Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tardis Decanter and Glasses

This set by SarukenDesigns features a decanter etched to look like the Tardis and six glasses featuring the silhouettes of various regenerations, all in a stained wooden box.
This is the perfect glassware for hosting a gathering of time lords. Make sure you have some Blue Curacao on hand.

Buy it here.

People's Biggest Regrets All Had Something In Common

A blackboard in New York City asked passersby to write down their biggest regrets. As the board filled up it became clear that all of these responses had one thing in common.


Samuel Beckett Short Play Starring Alan Rickman and Kristin Scott Thomas

Beckett on Film: PLAY (Dir. Anthony Minghella, 2001) from CAJ on Vimeo.

Play is a component of the 2002 omnibus project Beckett on Film, which enlisted 19 prominent talents, including Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Atom Egoyan, Neil Jordan and Damien Hirst, to direct films of every one of his nineteen plays. Anthony Minghella, directs Play, which you can watch above.  A man (“M”), his wife (“W1”), and his mistress (“W2”), each trapped in an urn, are forced to speak about the details of their triangular relationship when the camera turns to them.

More:  Open Culture


Williams-Sonoma’s Founder Is Getting His Own Museum

Chuck Williams was the founder of the Williams-Sonoma company in the early 1950s and his business played a major role in introducing French cookware into American kitchens. He celebrated his 100th birthday in October 2015 and died just two months later on December 5.
After Williams' death, his estate donated Williams' nearly 4,000-piece collection of cookware to create the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum in Napa Valley, California to be operated by the Culinary Institute of America.

The Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum at The Culinary Institute of America at Copia is expected to open in spring 2017. Williams - Sonoma stores are Nag magnets so I'm looking forward to seeing this collection. Hopefully the Canadian dollar will take a trip out of the cellar by then.


Ask Vincent

Vincent van Gogh often dispensed advice to friends during his lifetime. The Art Institute of Chicago offers some of his wise words in a blog titled Ask Vincent in advance of the upcoming exhibition Van Gogh’s Bedrooms. The blog offers genuine quotes from Van Gogh letters in response to modern day questions.

Dear Vincent:
For many years I have rigorously followed the debates among the medical and fitness communities about what sort of diet one should follow for maximum health and well being. But now I find myself more confused than ever. First we were supposed to eat carbs, now we’re not supposed to eat carbs. Then we were supposed to eat margarine, then that changed to butter, and now it’s olive oil. A few years ago we were supposed to eat four to six small meals a day, now we’re supposed to be fasting. What’s the right answer here?
- - -

Dear Bewildered:
To my mind, there is nothing wrong with having a reasonably strong body, so make sure you feed yourself properly, and if you feel very hungry sometimes, or rather, have a good appetite, then eat well. I assure that that is what I do myself often enough, and above all used to do. Especially bread, in my opinion, my boy, and don’t be too shy about it. ‘Bread is the staff of life,’ the English say (although they like meat as well, on the whole far too much). (October 14, 1875)
Are you in need of advice? Don't worry. Van Gogh is here to help. Leave your question in the blog's comment section.



Saturday, January 30, 2016

First Colour Photos Of Ireland

Marguerite Mespoulet and Madeleine Mignon-Alba were two French women who participated in Albert Kahn's project titled “The Archives of the Planet.” Kahn was an early 20th century banker  who wanted to capture the world as it was using autochrome, the first known form of color photography. He spent 22 years creating over 72,000 color photos and 100 hours of film footage.

The two women travelled to Ireland in 1913 and the photos they took are believed to be the first color photos of Ireland ever taken.

‪ROUGE by Carte Noire

Millefeuille choco-framboise au café serré. This is what I'd call an epic dessert.

Thanks Bruce!

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Risqué German Cartoon Character Who Morphed Into The Iconic Barbie Doll

The Bild Lilli Doll was based on the German comic-strip character, Lilli, a seductive gold digger. The cartoon character was created by artist Reinhard Beuthien for the Hamburg-based tabloid, Bild-Zeitung. The slightly risqué doll was designed as an adult novelty that was often given out as a bachelor party gag gift and dangled from a car’s rearview mirror.

Ruth Handler, one of Mattel's founders, bought some of the Lilli dolls when she was on a trip to Europe. She reworked the design of the doll and renamed her Barbie, who debuted at the New York toy fair on March 9, 1959. The rest is history.

More: Messy Nessy Chic

Lego 1916 The Movie

1916 is the 100th anniversary of Ireland's Easter Rising, a pivotal event in Irish history, and it will be celebrated in a variety of ways throughout the country. The third grade students of Sunday’s Well Boys National School in Co. Cork with the help of their teacher, Michael O'Connor,  have  recreated the events of Easter Week and the fighting that took place in the rebel headquarters of the Dublin Post Office through a favourite childhood pastime—Lego!

Giant Clams Could Help Us Make Better Screens and Solar Cells

Researchers from the University of California in Santa Barbara are investigating how giant clams produce each of their shades. These creatures, native to the Pacific and Indian oceans, have cells known as iridocytes that use their structure to scatter light waves and produce iridescent shades. In the species Tridacna maxima and Tridacna derasa, for example, the clams generate their white hues by mixing colors in a way similar to how video displays mix red, blue, and green pixels to create white. Scientists are hoping that by better understanding how this phenomenon works in giant clams they will be able to create more efficient solar panels and color displays in the future.



7 Snowdogs Popped Up Next to Statue of Hachikō - Or Did They?

photo via May_I_bite

It snowed in Tokyo for the first time this winter.  At Shibuya Station commuters found a remarkable series of snow sculptures beside the statue of Japan's famously loyal dog Hachikō.

In 1924, University of Tokyo professor Hidesaburō Ueno adopted an Akita he named Hachikō. The pup would greet his human at the Shibuya Station each day when he returned from work. In May 1925 the professor suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away but Hachikō continued to wait for his human at the station for the next nine years. Locals began to feed the devoted dog during his wait and, before long, Hachikō became a national symbol of loyalty.

Did someone create 7 identical snowdogs or was it shopped from a 2014 photo of one snow sculpture? I don't know but it's so darn cute I had to post it,


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Everyday Landscapes Of Venice

Italian photographer Claudia Corrent’s ‘Insulae’ series documents everyday life on the islands of Venice.

Laurin Döpfner Uses a Planer To Create Time-Lapse Videos

"With an edge sander, half a millimeter is sanded off each work piece (wood, walnut, transformer, skull or analogue camera) and photographed. About 650 photos are made into a short film, which contrasts the inner structure of nature and technology."

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sous Tes Doigts

Bande annonce du film Sous tes doigts de Marie-Christine Courtès from novanima on Vimeo.
On the day of the cremation of her grandmother, Emily, a young mixed race Asian, delves into the memories of the old woman. She discovers her grandmother's romantic encounter with Jacques (a French colonel), the birth of Linh (her mother), their tragic departure to the accommodation camp of Sainte-Livrade in France and the exploitation of women by the Indochinese market gardeners of the Lot-et-Garonne. Through memories, dance, anger and traditional rituals, Emily learns to accept this legacy ...

Sous Tes Doigts has been nominated for a César Award for best animated short film.

Everything You Need To Know About Sunset Boulevard

Everyone in the world knows Sunset Boulevard. It is the street that defines Los Angeles and most people associate it with fame and affluence. Travelling the length of Sunset Boulevard this episode of Vice's City Guides shows both the glitz and grit.


Storm Photograph Looks Like an Impressionist Painting

During the Jonas Winter Storm that swept across the East Coast last week, photographer Michele Palazzo captured this incredible shot of the Flatiron Building against a backdrop of swirling snow.

Photo © Michele Palazzo. Jonas Blizzard in New York, 2016.


A Day In The Life Of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Even the world’s greatest original artists have to structure their creative work around eating, sleeping, personal relationships, day jobs and other things. Since it is his birthday let's take a look at the daily routine of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
At six o’clock in the morning I have my hair dressed, and have finished my toilet by seven o’clock. I write till nine. From nine to one I give lessons. I then dine, unless I am invited out, when dinner is usually at two o’clock, sometimes at three, as it was to-day, and will be to-morrow at Countess Zichi’s and Countess Thun’s. I cannot begin to work before five or six o’clock in the evening, and I am often prevented doing so by some concert; otherwise I write till nine o’clock. I then go to my dear Constanze, though our pleasure in meeting is frequently embittered by the unkind speeches of her mother, which I will explain to my father in my next letter. Thence comes my wish to liberate and rescue her as soon as possible. At half-past ten or eleven I go home, but this depends on the mother’s humor, or on my patience in bearing it. Owing to the number of concerts, and also the uncertainty whether I may not be summoned to one place or another, I cannot rely on my evening writing, so it is my custom (especially when I come home early) to write for a time before going to bed. I often sit up writing till one, and rise again at six.
More: Brain Pickings

A Chateau For A Chameleon

gutesglutes posted step-by-step instructions for transforming a $50 TV armoire into a luxury abode for a chameleon.
More: Imgur

17th Century Dog Names

Historian John Reeks compiled a list of 17th-century hunting dog names. The list came from a 1686 book by Nicholas Cox, The Gentleman's Recreation in Four Parts, which is available digitally via Early English Books Online.

Here are some of the monikers included in Cox's "Catalogue of some general Names of Hounds and Beagles": Drunkard, Flippant, Fuddle, Gawdy, Juggler, Jollyboy, Ranter, Rapper, Sweetlips and Wanton.

Violet is one of the names on the list. This was the name of my first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She was a beautiful girl.

Bird Moves

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has documented migratory movements of bird populations spanning the entire year for 118 species throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Thanks Bruce!

Manning, Broncos Defense Dismantle Brady and Patriots

For the football fans.: The creators from Next Animation Studio deliver world famous news animations to a global audience. Here they give the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots the treatment.

Thanks Bruce!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

360° Mount Fuji Book

Artist and architect Yusuke Oono has created the 360°BOOK of Mount Fuji using a format that presents a panoramic three-dimensional world. Each page is a finely crafted diorama.


The long, incredibly tortuous, and fascinating process of creating a Chinese font

Most people think fonts appear out of the computer. They don’t. The process is long and painstaking. This is the story of how a Chinese font gets made. It is a story not only of the Chinese writing system itself, but of its limitations, and its frontiers. And it all begins with turtle bellies.

Read the whole fascinating article here

Huacachina, A Peruvian Oasis

In the midst of a barren desert near the city of Ica in Peru is an oasis with exotic palm trees and a blue-green lagoon which is said to have healing properties. Huacachina is a national cultural heritage site and the town depends on the tourists who come to sandboard and ride in dune buggies on the surrounding dunes.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Building a Better Egg McMuffin

The Egg McMuffin is more than a breakfast sandwich; it's a cultural icon. The Food Lab's Kenji Lopez-Alt reverse engineers (and improves) the Egg McMuffin for the home cook.

More: Serious Eats

Dancing with Costică

Australian artist Jane Long came upon the the Flickr archive of Costică Acsinte, a Romanian war photographer who documented WWI and passed away in 1984. Long was looking for a way to brush up on her retouching skills and the archive provided her with a treasure trove to work with. She digitally restored, colorized, and manipulated the half-century old black-and-white photos, transforming them into a whimsical and surreal series called Dancing with Costică .

More: My Modern Met

Under London

A construction site for the new Crossrail system unearthed thousands of artifacts from London’s long and eventful past. The video team at National Geographic have created an amazing stop-motion paper animation that recreates 40,000 years of the city’s history, era by era.


Churchill Solitaire

Played by the 20th century’s greatest statesman, Churchill Solitaire was long thought to be lost to the ages. Now the game Churchill played to improve his strategic thinking has been brought back to life for a new generation of players.

Currently available on iOS exclusively, but coming soon to Android. Too bad former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld is involved in the venture.

Churchill Solitaire


Civil War Tear Catchers

"During the Victorian era, mourners sometimes collected their tears in gold decorated "tear bottles" to keep as a remembrance for the next of kin. It has also been said that the widows would go to the grave on the anniversary of the first year of death and sprinkle the tears on the grave to signify the end of the first year of mourning."


Citron On a Citroën

This custom hood ornament up for auction by Bonhams was made in 1923. It shows a Citroen 5CV Torpedo erupting out of a lemon.


Bouncy 3D-Printed Shoes

Israeli designer Neta Soreq's 3D printed shoes will put a spring in your step. The Energetic Pass footwear comes in two variations: one design has a bouncy platform beneath the centre of the foot, and the other features springs under the front and back. Both models surround the feet with sinuous stripes of material based on muscle fibres.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cat Funerals in the Victorian Era

Sorrow by Émile Friant, 1898.

In the early 19th century mortal remains of a pet cat were often buried in the family garden. But cat funerals stepped up during the Victorian era. Undertakers built elaborate cat caskets. Clergymen performed cat burial services. And stone masons chiseled cat names on cat headstones.  In March of 1894, several British newspapers reported the story of a Kensington lady “of distinction” who held a funeral for her cat, Paul. An article on the subject in the Cheltenham Chronicle states:

 “Except that the Church did not lend its sanction, the function was conducted quite as if it had been the interment of a human person of some importance. A respectable undertaker was called in, and instructed to conduct the funeral in the ordinary way; the body was to be enclosed in a shell which would go inside a fine oak coffin. There were the usual trappings, including a plate on which was inscribed the statement that ‘Paul’ had for seventeen years been the beloved and faithful cat of Miss —, who now mourned his loss in suitable terms. The coffin, with a lovely wreath on it, was displayed in the undertaker’s shop, where it was an object of intense interest and not a little amusement.”
Read more

Careful Arrangements of Everyday Objects Offer Relief From An Overstimulated World

Nashville-based photographer Emily Blencoe's zen-y arrangements of objects according to their shape, color, and size provide uniformity in an otherwise unpredictable world.


The Wrong Suitcase

I don't often post music videos but today I've posted two. This one is fabulous.

More about Maria Johansson Josephsson here

Reggae Cover of Adele's Hello

For your listening pleasure: A reggae cover of Adele's hit single 'Hello' performed by Conkarah from Jamaica and Rosie Delmah from The Solomon Islands.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Edmonton ‘Freezeway’

What started as a landscape architecture student’s conceptual project has already become a 1,300-foot ice pathway in winter that also serves as a bike route during the summer.What a great idea!

More here

Craco - The Abandoned Town

In 1963 massive landslides damaged the hilltop town of Craco in the province of Matera, Basilicata, Italy. Today, although the local authorities have made attempts to rehabilitate the town as a tourist attraction, it remains eerily abandoned but still beautiful as demonstrated by Walter Molfese’s film.

Craco - The abandoned town from Walter Molfese on Vimeo.


Feral Children

Feral Children is a photo-project by London-based photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten. Her disturbing images portray the early years of fifteen of young people who were reared by or with animals without human contact, children so neglected and abused that they found more comfort from animals than humans. Fullerton-Batten has recreated the experiences of these feral children and each image is accompanied by their story.

Ivan Mishukov, Russia, 1998
Oxana Malaya, Ukraine, 1991
Marina Chapman, Colombia, 1959

A Map Of William Shakespeare’s Shordiche

Shakespeare arrived at London’s earliest custom-built theatre, The Theatre at New Inn Yard, as a young actor in 1585.

Click here for larger image

Artist and cartographer Adam Dant has been collating information about the landscape of London’s theatreland of five hundred years ago and has created a vision of William Shakespeare’s Shordiche.

See more

Friday, January 22, 2016

Don't forget your toothbrush (or your Shetland Pony)

Travelodge, a British hotel chain, recently released its annual list of some of the bizarre items forgotten by its guests. The list includes a bag full of prosthetic limbs, a suitcase of designer Jimmy Choo shoes, a house made out of bread and a Shetland pony named Pudding. What on earth was a pony doing in a hotel room?

Some people leave friends or relatives behind. I suspect that this is sometimes intentional - mothers-in-law can be so annoying. Another family was disappointed that their plan to ditch Mama Rosa's heave-inducing pasta sauce recipe failed yet again.

According to a survey by sex toys and dolls accounted for 30% of items that are left behind. Being a chambermaid must be a real eye opener.

Here's the list:
  • A mother in law called June
  • A Centurion card (Black American Express Card)
  • A miniature Shetland pony called Pudding
  • A Louis Vuitton wallet containing money
  • A prenuptial agreement
  • A collection of lightsabres in different colours 
  • A diamond tiara
  • A rice cooker
  • A vintage Lionel train set worth £1,200
  • A 3D model of London
  • A wedding saree worth £10,000
  • A book of stories written by a ten year by called John
  • A stamp collections that goes back to 50 years ago
  • A family secret recipe that has passed down five generations for pasta sauce 
  • A wedding proposal poem
  • A business contract between two oil companies 
  • A replica of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress
  • A set of manuals on how to fly a plane 
  • A Swarovski encrusted 5ft wedding cake
  • A suitcase of Jimmy Choo shoes 
  • A house made out of bread
  • A business contract written in Mandarin 
  • A friend called Seamus
  • A suitcase of Disney Princesses outfits 
  • A Fender Guitar
  • A collection of prosthetic legs with different shoes
  • A politician’s speech 
  • Keys to a Bentley 
  • A collection of Steiff teddy bears worth £5,000
  • Cake recipes from The Great British Bake Off TV programme
  • Children’s Range Rover car  

Moving with the reindeer in the winter

This is aerial drone footage by Jan Helmer Olsen of a reindeer herd on the move in Norway.

A Map of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Neighborhood

A map of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Neighbourhood on John Atkinson's Wrong Hands comic.


First, Catch Your Jellyfish

New York Times columnist Ben Schott has compiled a tasting menu from the cookbooks of noted chefs that will likely never be attempted by me or, I suspect, most of you. Here are a few of the courses:


A Seat At The Table

A Seat At The Table is a collaboration with the NY Times' T Brand Studio for Amazon’s hit show “Transparent." Using a unique split-screen style, this film documents the universal ritual of family dinner. We follow two very different multi-generational households as they prepare, cook, and gather for a meal, revealing the enduring power of food to bring us together.

A Seat At The Table from Public Record on Vimeo.


The Most Wonderful Place In The World

Luís Azevedo of Beyond the Frame has compiled a wonderful film montage that demonstrates the marvels that can be found in bookstores and libraries.


In Spite of All the Danger

"In Spite of All the Danger" is one of the first songs recorded by The Quarrymen, then composed of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, pianist John Lowe and drummer Colin Hanton.

The song was written by McCartney and Harrison and is the only song to credit the two alone. It is believed to have been recorded on Saturday 12 July 1958. The tape was wiped after being pressed on a 10-inch disc. Only one copy of the recording was made. In 1981, pianist John Lowe attempted to sell it at auction.  McCartney  purchased it from him and had engineers restore as much of the record's sound quality as possible and then made approximately 50 copies of the single that he gave as personal gifts to family and friends. In 2004, Record Collector magazine named the original pressing as the most valuable record in existence, estimating its worth at £100,000, with the 1981 copies made by McCartney coming in second on the list at £10,000 each.
Read more
Here's a video of Paul telling the story of the recording and performing the song:

Thanks Bruce!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Miniature Test-Tube Cities

Amsterdam-based freelance designer, art director and animator, Rosa de Jong, creates meticulously crafted buildings and narrow landscapes in test tubes that are just a few centimetres wide.The collection is called Micro Matter

More here