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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Van Gogh Pie Charts by Arthur Buxton

(click to enlarge slightly)

It says: "28 van Gogh paintings visualized as pie charts showing the five most common colours in each as a percentage.  Can you tell which one's which?"

Art meets science and makes beautiful children.  Would love to see more!  Artist Arthur Buxton is having a show at The Arts House in Bristol with a reception on Friday the 18th of February. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Knit the Dr. Who Scarf

 Jodi's comment on the knitting post a few days ago reminded me of an awesome Xmas gift she made a few years back for one proud geek we both know....a Dr. Who scarf.  Above is actor Tom Baker in the original scarf and below is Jodi's scarf.  A website devoted to the history of this iconic scarf, complete with free knitting instructions, can be found at

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where you can buy William Morris wallpaper


Charles Rupert Designs and Historic Style.  An older post about Wm Morris wallpaper is here (you can also search blog using "wallpaper" for additional posts or click on "wallpaper" in tag cloud).





Wild Tulip


Monday, January 17, 2011

Deciphering the Knitting Code

I like to knit, especially small cute items for little kids that can be finished in my lifetime---the hardest part is always deciphering the direction codes in the knitting such cases, a knitting guru (thanks Deb!) or the internet comes in handy. The pattern for the hats above can be found here.

Here are some more adorable patterns I'd like to try from Morehouse Farm (that are also sold as kits).

 hedgehog mittens

 pagoda hat (imagine this in lots of crazy colors)

 penguin mittens

add an iceberg hat!

confetti hat

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter bean bouquet

Found tree beans make a bouquet inspired by Al Moudira visit. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

BBC's Desperate Romantics

Millais, Rossetti, Hunt, and "Fred"

After two marathon nights of viewing, regrettably I can give only a mixed review of BBC's six episode mini-series about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Desperate Romantics.  It started off great, focusing on the friendship of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and a fourth fictionalized friend Fred along with their love interests, Lizzie Siddal, Fanny Cornforth, Effie Gray, and Annie Miller.  All of these characters were brilliantly realized and acted, offering convincing portrayals of our favorite bohemian bad-boys and their gals (as well as the sexually repressed, if not downright perverted Ruskin).  Rossetti in particular, portrayed by Aidan Turner, was mesmerizing....who couldn't fall for this charming roue´?  I hope we see him again soon.

 Lizzie posing as Ophelia in tub

But then episode 5....oh woe is me...introduced William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, and Jane Burden.  Ugh!  Could these actors have been any less convincing in their roles!?!  Morris was played as a simpering, stuttering buffoon who at one point, quite literally, impales himself in the back of his hand with a fork while seemingly jizzing in his pants.  Seriously, there is not one moment in the portrayal of Morris by this actor where even a glimmer of the man's genius and creatively is allowed to shine.  Jane, the most stunning of the "stunners", who history anointed the embodiment of pre-Raphaelite ideals of beauty, is played by a nondescript woman with bad skin.  I can't even find "in-character" photographs of these actors on the web to show you---testament to how quickly everyone, even the actors, wanted to forget about them?  Did the director make any effort at all to think about these "minor" characters?   Masterpiece Theater and BBC, isn't it time for a real mini-series about the life of the great one?

Rossetti and Ruskin

Hunt posing in front of the hideous "Scapegoat" (one gal's opinion).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Zeus's thunderbolts of antimatter!

 Image credit: Joe Dwyer/Florida Inst. of Technology

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, designed to search for antimatter in the farthest reaches of the solar system, has recently detected beams of antimatter launched by thunderstorms right here in our backyards!!!  Apparently, thunderheads act like enormous particle accelerators emitting not only gamma-ray flashes (magenta in above pic) which scientists knew about, but also newly discovered jets of particle beams (yellow) and antimatter (green).  This is going on tens to hundreds of kilometers above our heads!

Watch the Gamma Ray/antimatter burst in all its full-screen exploding beauty by clicking here (really, the antimatter look like little worms trying to escape).

Steven Cummer, an atmospheric electricity researcher from Duke University, to the BBC:

"I think this is one of the most exciting discoveries in the geosciences in quite a long time - the idea that any planet has thunderstorms that can create antimatter and then launch it into space in narrow beams that can be detected by orbiting spacecraft to me sounds like something straight out of science fiction."

Anne, you knew this all along didn't you?  And does this mean we didn't really need the nine billion dollar Large Hadron Collider after all?   Thanks Steve P. for the "heads up"!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Devastating Beauty, Abstraction of Destruction

Agent Orange, Canadys, SC , 2009, Coal ash waste at electricity generation station, 50 x 70 in.

Ectoplasm, Geismar, LA, 2005
Phospho-gypsum waste at a fertilizer manufacturing plant
30 x 40 in.

 Untitled, Saint James, LA, 2010
Waste from fertilizer manufacture
50 x 70 in

These incredible photographs, shot from the air over Louisiana and South Carolina, are just a few of the ones J. Henry Fair, artist, conservationist, eco-warrior, and friend, is showing at an exhibit opening this week at the Gerald Peters Gallery in Manhattan. You may also remember Henry's work from the post about James Hansen's protest of mountaintop coal mining in West Virginia.  More of the exhibit photographs can be viewed at the gallery link above---they must be incredibly powerful experienced first-hand.  Here is a link to a video of Henry talking about this work that was published by Smithsonian Magazine.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Underfoot at Topkapi Palace

 a beautiful drain

 a mysterious drain

 recycled pavement

Monday, January 10, 2011

Performance art

 I finally figured out how to embed a video link in a post. This is Denki Groove's video for its song "Fake it!"

Just finished watching the first episode of BBC's Desperate Romantics (earlier post here) in future.  Also saw premier last night of a new TV show called "The Cape"  about a crime fighter who wears a cape of spider silk "stronger than Kevlar"----the second article made of spider silk in the world.   Here is the first---for real!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Poetry as extreme sport

me: "i'm going to a poetry slam at the Cantab."
neighbor matt: "are you reciting a poem?"
me: "no, just a spectator."
neighbor matt: "good.  good.  words can hurt."

Boston Slam master Simone Beaubien

I attended my first poetry slam last week, a competitive, winner-take-all poetry reading event emceed by nationally renowned Slam master Simone Beaubien and judged by selected members of the audience.  National Poetry slam rules were followed: original poems of three minutes or less, no props, costumes or music.  Poems were scored by judges with placards on a scale of 1 to 10 with high and low scores thrown out and penalties assessed for exceeding the time limit.  Does it sound crazy, cool, strange, and fun?  yes!  

Over at the blog of the William Morris Society, News from Anywhere, the debut of the Victorian Poetry Network was recently announced, anticipated to provide "a hub for Victorian poetry scholars, teachers and students on the web."  I have a great idea for an event they can sponsor---how about a mock poetry slam with youthful participants dressed as William Morris, Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, and Algernon Charles Swinburne among others?  Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats could also make appearances.  The anti-establishment Morris would be in his purple waistcoat and likely incur excessive time penalties.  I'd love to be a judge at that poetry slam!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Furniture porn from Home Decorators

 The most recent cover of the Home Decorator Collection catalog features this completely awesome craft cupboard---look! even a spot for the sewing machine (although we much prefer it to be out at all times).  And check out dream craft room below.  Oh Martha, yes, more!  I want it!

 all click to enlarge

The prices seem uber-reasonable although, having not seen the actual furniture, I cannot comment on their quality.  However, I can say that the two rugs I bought from HDC were of higher quality than I expected, not lower. 

Check out the chrysanthemum would go so well in a modern Morris room setting with Chrysanthemum wallpaper or maybe some Chrysanthemum pillows from William Morris Style Cushion Covers.  Other beautiful and inexpensive Arts and Crafts carpets from HDC can be found at this post.