Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Marking the autumnul equinox

A poem for the first day of my favorite season... "Haunted Houses" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (read by Tom O'Bedlam):

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Nerd Tourism, Toronto

I had a few hours free in Toronto this week to fit in some nerdy tourist stops... first to the Bata Shoe Museum, which has a great permanent collection and two brilliant temporary exhibitions (Standing Tall, an exploration of men's heel height and gender identity throughout history, and Fashion Victims, showcasing restrictive, dangerous, poisonous, and flammable clothing and footwear of the Victorian era), then to the Toronto Public Library to see the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation & Fantasy and the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books.

"chromatic torpedoes" - dye would transfer and stain the wearer's feet

tartan boots, mid-19th Century

poisonous arsenic-dyed Victorian footwear

1920s deep-sea diving boot

sock knitted from human hair, 13th Century

dandified jack boot, early 1700s

despite the Wonderland perspective, my feet are huge compared to most historical shoes

open stacks at the Toronto Public Library

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Smithsonian Summer

I've been teaching at the Smithsonian's summer camp for the last several weeks. It would have made my 7-year-old self, in love with the Smithsonian museums, very happy...

The Smithsonian Castle, standing in for the Great Hall
for "Hogwarts at the Smithsonian" camp

Ravenclaw pride for Hogwarts camp

Spit Spot the fez-wearing giraffe in his office habitat,
made by a camp of seventeen 6 to 8 year-olds

The surface of Pluto, created by "Out of this World" camp

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

England & Hessen

I'm back from a month away in green and pleasant lands, seeing friends and family, and celebrating weddings and birthdays.

the Wedding Tower in Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, Germany..
part of a Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) artists' colony in the early 1900s

the Russian chapel in Darmstadt

Jugendstil pillars at the Darmstadt atelier, designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich

plane trees, Darmstadt

statue in Wiesbaden

Globe theatre, London

statue of Shackleton at the Royal Geographical Society, London

cricket in the park, Greenwich

St. Paul's

wedding meadow, Hampshire

Gilbert White's House,Hampshire

near the Maltings, Farnham

Friday, December 5, 2014

Richard William's 'A Christmas Carol'

In 1970, Richard Williams, known for Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Thief and the Cobbler, directed an animated version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol for the American Broadcasting Company. Ken Harris, who worked on a number of Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera cartoons as well as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, served as chief animator. The animation style, aimed at an adult audience, is based on original 19th century engravings for the book by John Leech and Gustave Doré. The resulting film is dark and completely unique. It won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 1972. Watch it below:

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Mixtape for Halloween

James Wyeth "Pumpkinhead-Self Portrait" (1972)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Late Summer, Early Autumn

Assateague Island seashore, late summer

wild ponies on Assateague Island, possibly descended from survivors
of a long-ago Spanish galleon shipwreck

Assateague marshlands

hiking in the San Francisco Peaks
(the Grand Canyon can be seen in the far distance)

walking in an aspen grove

mountain meadow