Monday, March 16, 2009

Today

Joy!

Spring brings lots of joy but also lots of cleaning and gardening to do! Less time to blog, I'm afraid...

Spring cleaning


If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

-- Billy Collins --

Friday, March 13, 2009

In Praise of the Fighters

There are men who struggle for a day and they are good..
There are men who struggle for a year and they are better..
There are men who struggle many years, and they are better still..
But there are those who struggle all their lives: ,
These are the indispensable ones..


-- Bertolt Brecht in the play The Mother (1930) --



I dedicate this post to my family and friends.

Everything was brighter two years ago...

Good Morning!

...and more inspired.

Springwatch

Signs of spring


First Crocuses

First daffodil 2009

The first flowers of 2009 are blooming.

Tough job

20080118_7
20080118_8

Thursday, March 12, 2009

History is written by the victors










Both Ana and Clara are studying World War II at school at the moment, at different levels of depth and detail, of course. Clara's learned a lot about the London Blitz and she wrote an article on it that's going to be featured in the school play in a couple of weeks' time. She's also learned about rationing, the blackouts and how the children of London were separated from their parents and sent to the countryside to be safe from the bombs. Ana is studying darker aspects of the war, namely the events that lead up to the Kristallnacht, the Final Solution, and the death camps of Treblinka and Auschwitz. The three of us have been watching some good child-friendly documentaries on the History Channel and I've noticed that the bombing of Dresden and other atrocities perpetrated by the Allies are rarely mentioned, so I briefly mentioned them so that their knowledge is a bit more well-rounded.

Meanwhile BBC2 has been showing reruns of the fabulous 1973 documentary "The World at War" (the one with Lawrence Olivier as narrator) which is mandatory viewing for anyone interested in the subject but way to complex and extensive for kids. I had wanted to buy the DVDs with the whole series as a gift to my Dad but found out that the current edition doesn't have subtitles in any language, including English, so I'm not going to until a new one is released (hopefully it will come soon as there are a couple of one star ratings in Amazon.co.uk because of this and they really taint the overall outstanding reviews and stand out against the large majority of five star ratings).

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Crisis of Credit Visualized





Greed greed greed...and BOOOM!

Monday, March 02, 2009

The future

the future

I'm still trying to figure out what on Earth Twitter is good for...

A couple of friends are using it and I just don't see the point, especially when all you want is to keep 2 or 3 people informed about something... isn't email enough? Through one of my friends' tweets I came upon some big time celebrity tweets which I briefly browsed and which puzzled me even more... why do fifty thousand people want to be instantly notified when Lily Allen decides to share her thoughts or disclose what she has just eaten, seen or done? Why do a quarter of a million people have urgency in knowing that Stephen Fry is just about to take a dive with the sharks or that he has lost his GSM signal?

Beats me...

Anyway, even God is on Twitter... as well as no.10 Downing Street...

Finn update

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Salman Rushdie on adaptation

I enjoyed reading Salman Rushdie's article in yesterday's Guardian on the adaptation of novels to movies.

It's always rewarding to read something written by someone universally acclaimed as a top thinker that reflects an opinion closely resembling our own on a particular subject.

Lori Nix

lori_nix
Lori Nix, Library

My interest in contructed photography has been growing steadily ever since my Mother showed me some of James Casabere's work. Yesterday I stumbled upon this Lori Nix photograph and was fascinated by it. Lori Nix bends the line between truth and illusion in her photographs. She accomplishes this by photographing miniatures and models and I particularly like her The City Series.

"The line between truth and illusion in photography is one that has been frequently crossed by practitioners since the invention of the medium. Sometimes that line was crossed deliberately through the use of simple techniques like double exposing the film in order to place the same individual in two different parts of the picture (a popular technique for professionals and amateurs at the end of the nineteenth century). Other times the breach of the truth was dictated by the limitations of the materials needed to produce a picture. For example, no clouds ever appeared in a sky made with orthochromatic film, and until the 1930s rarely was a scene rendered in color, which is the most obvious breach of truth in a long list of possibilities associated with the medium. With so many opportunities to bend reality, it was inevitable that practitioners from advertising photographers to artists would exploit this characteristic of the medium."