Open House for Butterflies

Ruth Krauss’s Final and Loveliest Collaboration with Maurice Sendak

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“Krauss books can be bridges between the poor dull insensitive adult and the fresh, imaginative, brand-new child.”

Beloved children’s author Ruth Krauss (July 25, 1901–July 10, 1993) penned more than thirty books for little ones over the course of her forty-year career, but remains best-known as half of one of the most celebrated author-illustrator duos of all time, the other half being none other thanMaurice Sendak. Their eight-year partnership, masterminded by the great Ursula Nordstrom who also nursed Sendak into genius, produced such soul-stirring, heart-warming delights as the hopelessly wonderful ode to friendship I’ll Be You and You Be Me. But Krauss’s eighth and final* collaboration with Sendak, Open House for Butterflies (public library), was arguably their loveliest. Originally published in 1960 and thankfully, unlike what happens to a tragic many out-of-print gems, reprinted in 2001, this tiny treasure is a timeless smile-inducer for children and grown-ups alike.
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2D Or Not 2D

My research for the curatorial presentation at the Angkor Wat festival led me to many interesting bodies of work. I had help from several areas. The photographers themselves, particularly Pedro Meyer, Frad Baldwin and Wendy Watriss of Fotofest, were many amongst them. Francoise Callier  helped by giving me unfettered freedom in choice and format. It was hard work, but I was enjoying it. As always, there was work I couldn’t include into a 90 minute presentation. I decided to continue the work. Here is some of the work that didn’t make it to the show. Not because the work wasn’t good enough, but because it didn’t quite fit. Enjoy:

Models’ Faces Turned Into Stunning Optical Illusions By Creative Russian Duo

Moscow-based photographer Alexander Khokhlov and makeup artist Valeriya Kutsan have created a bewitching series of portraits that play with the natural lines of their models’ faces and twist them into strange new forms.

Their newest series of stunning colored portraits, 2D Or Not 2D, is only the latest collaboration between the two artists. Khokhlov and Kutsan have also created portrait series with powerful black-and-white designs and a series parodying the popular Angry Birds game. The designs are amazing – some of them soften or break down the face’s lines, while others reinforce them or create unnaturally perfect patterns.

The idea behind their latest series was to make the faces look like 2d images. According to Khokhlov – “Valeriya used different techniques of face painting so you can see a lot of variations – from sketch and graphic arts to water-colour and oil-paintings. This is a combination of interesting make-ups, studio photography experiments and careful retouching.”

The Trial of Tony Blair

Channel 4. 2007

A very well made film. Fiction, but too close to the truth to be comfortable. I can’t believe this film hasn’t gone viral. Are people even scared of watching a spoof’ C’mon folks. Share this widely.

Talk like a terrorist all the time

NSA Anti-Surveillance Suggestion: Operation Everyone Talk Like a Terrorist All the Time

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The comedian Trevor Moore, of Whitest Kids U Know fame, has a video out for Funny or Die styled as a public service announcement about NSA surveillance. Moore is a pessimist, explaining that elections are of no use because the people who run for president are assholes, and instead suggests Operation Everyone Talk Like A Terrorist All the Time to thwart any wiretapping efforts the NSA may be directing. Watch:
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The Barometer Story

Here is the problem a professor of physics had at the beginning of the XXth century:

“I received a call from a colleague about a student. He felt he had to give him a 0/20 to a physics question, while the student claimed a 20/20. Professor and student came to an agreement to select an impartial arbiter, and I was selected.

I read the examination question: “Show how it is possible to determine the height of a building with a barometer.”

The student replied: “I carry the barometer to the top of building, I attach a rope to it, I lower it to the ground, then I haul it back up and then I measure the length of the rope, which gives me the height of the building. “

The student was right, he had truly answered the question and accurately. On the other hand, I could not give him the exam: in this case, he’d receive his degree in physics without having shown me any knowledge in physics.

I offered to give another chance to the student giving him six minutes to answer the question with the caveat that for the answer he had to use his knowledge of physics. After five minutes, he had not yet written anything. I asked him if he wanted to give up but he said he had many answers to this problem and he wanted to choose the best one.

I excused myself for interrupting him and I asked him to continue.
In the next minute, he hastened to explain: “The barometer is placed at the height of the roof and is dropped: in calculating the fall time with a stopwatch, then using the formula: x=gt2/2, I find the height of the building. ”

At this point, I asked my colleague if he would give up. He replied in the affirmative and gave the student nearly 20/20

Leaving his office, I recalled the student because he said he had several solutions to this problem. “Well, he said, there are several ways to calculate the height of a skyscraper with a barometer. For example, you place it outside when the sun is shining. Height of the barometer is measured, then the length of its shadow and the length of the shadow of the building, then with a simple calculation of proportion, it’ll give you the height of the building. ”

“Good, I replied, what else?”

“There is a pretty basic method that you will enjoy. You climb the stairs with a barometer and you mark the length of the barometer on the wall. Counting the number of lines gives the height of the building in barometer length. This is a very direct method.
Of course, if you want a more sophisticated method, you can tie the barometer to a string, swing it as a pendulum, and determine the value of g at the street level and at roof level. From the difference of g, the height of building can be calculated.
Similarly, you attach it to a long rope and on the roof, allow it to get down about the street level. You swing it like a pendulum and the height of the building is calculated from the period of precession. ”

Finally, he concludes: “There are other ways to solve this problem. Probably the best is to go to the basement, knock at the concierge’s door and say.” I have a nice barometer for you if you tell me the height of the building. ”

I then asked the student if he knew the answer I expected. He admitted that yes, but he was tired of school and teachers who tried to direct his way of thinking. ”

The student was supposed to be Niels Bohr and Rutherford the referee.
[Rutherford – Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1910]
[Bohr – Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922]
The links in the comments lead to question the authenticity of the anecdote.

The myth of Niels Bohr and the barometer question
Barometer question

RECALL NOTICE:

The Creator and Maker of all human beings and the entire universe (ALLAH) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been identified as “Subsequential Internal Non-morality,” more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.
Some of the symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion Continue reading “RECALL NOTICE:”

Flood expert from Bangladesh

“Kemon achen?” Mr. Li from the Chinese embassy greeted me in near perfect Bangla. I had an invitation to the Middle Kingdom, in Chinese, with a gold stamp and an embossed watermark. I felt important as he ushered me in to the spacious embassy building in Gulshan and offered me tea. Normally, I am not a tea drinker, but this elaborate concoction of herbs and berries steeped in water could hardly be refused. It didn’t look anything like tea anyway, and I didn’t want to appear rude. He brought pictures of China, gave me a video and showed me their photographic collection. However, despite all the fanfare, what he steadfastly refused to do was to issue me a multiple entry visa. I had half hoped this official invitation by the Mayor of Beijing, would make my subsequent trip to Tibet easier. Oh well!My first trip to China had been in 1986. The Indian photographer Raghu Rai and I had been asked to judge the Standard Chartered Photography Contest in Hong Kong. The photographs weren’t that great and we’d gone through them quickly. The organisers were embarrassed. Having gotten us, the judges, over for a week, they now needed to entertain us, and arranged for us to see a dolphin show. Raghu and I both felt a side trip to China would be far more interesting. We had taken the train to Guangzhou, and found to our amazement Hindi music wafting down the aisles. Staid-looking Chinese passengers were glued to the train video, listening to “Ichik dana bichik dana, dana’r upar danaaa”. I did have a three-month solo show at the Nikon Gallery in Richmond with that work, but that had been a long time ago, and I was looking forward to Beijing. Continue reading “Flood expert from Bangladesh”

Nobel Committee Asks Obama ?Nicely? To Return Peace Prize

By NORM DE PLEUME in The Final Edition

Nobel Committee Asks Obama ?Nicely? To Return Peace Prize
Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, said today that President Obama ?really ought to consider? returning his Nobel Peace Prize Medal immediately, including the ?really nice? case it came in. Continue reading “Nobel Committee Asks Obama ?Nicely? To Return Peace Prize”

Joan Fontcuberta – 2013 Hasselblad Award Winner

Hasselblad Foundation

The Hasselblad Foundation is pleased to announce that Catalan photographer Joan Fontcuberta is the recipient of the 2013 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography for the sum of SEK 1,000,000 (approximately EUR 110,000). The award ceremony will take place in Barcelona on 7thMarch, 2013. An exhibition of his work,?Joan Fontcuberta ? 2013 Hasselblad Award Winner?will open on 25th?October, 2013 at the Hasselblad Center at the Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden. That day, The Hasselblad Foundation will host a symposium with the award winner, and a book on the work of Joan Fontcuberta, published by Mack, will be launched. Continue reading “Joan Fontcuberta – 2013 Hasselblad Award Winner”