Friday, October 9, 2009

Maira Kalman... Latest Pursuit of Happiness

excuse me, but how is it that the woman has a blue face on that bike--and I saw her. on my street. exactly her. and that dog? and the woman with the bag.

To see more of this genius's work go here

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

priceless treasure under your feet

"A harvest of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver so beautiful it brought tears to the eyes of one expert, has poured out of a Staffordshire field - the largest hoard of gold from the period ever found."

And it was found in July in a farmer's field by Terry Herbert, an amateur metal detector who lives alone in a council flat on disability benefit, who had never before found anything remotely as valuable.

This time though he uncovered a hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold so large it will "redefine the Dark Ages." It's been declared treasure (which means it belongs to the Queen). They think it's from the late 7th or early 8th century--and that it must have belonged to a king because there is so much of it and all it's so valuable. There are 1500 pieces so far--weapons, helmet decorations, Christian crosses and hundreds still embedded in blocks of soil.

How many people I wonder walked over that bit of mud little realizing priceless treasure was under their feet. And how many times, I wonder, did people laugh and make fun of Terry Herbert out there in the fields with his metal detector. And what treasure might be lying under our feet?

Treasure buried in a field. Hmm. Reminds me of a story Someone told once ...

You can watch Terry Herbert talk about it here and read more here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The "new and improved" Winnie The Pooh

Today RETURN TO THE HUNDRED ACRE WOOD is being published in the US and UK: the first authorized "sequel" to A A Milne's 1920s masterpiece. It appears to be the "new and improved" world of Winnie the Pooh--they've made Eeyore less Eeyore (he isn't such a victim, they say, but "more proactive"), they've added a Fancy Nancy-esque Otter (who loves to wear pearls)... which is all very well--but what I want to know is... why? Why is this a good idea, again?

The characters of The Hundred Acre Wood all sprung from actual real life toys that belonged to Milne's little boy... so nothing against otters or Lottie or pearls but he did he actually have an otter with pearls?

None of this bodes well. I should reserve judgment until I read the thing... (perhaps this book will drive children to the real Winnie The Pooh and away from the Disney-fied version which would be a very good thing and I'd be all for it) but apart from assuming we know better now than Milne and Shephard then (call me old fashioned, but new isn't always improved and improved isn't always better), the first question that popped into my head when I heard about Lottie and needing to add a girl character and improving Eeyore was--can you begin to imagine anyone adding a girl character into a Rembrandt painting? Or Shakespeare's Ophelia being "modified" to be less of a victim?

Not so much.

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