Wednesday, December 23, 2009


From a projection in Singapore. Photo by Darren Soh.

Image source here.

a place to have a haircut in London

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Guinea Pigs

Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot performed by guinea pigs here.

Guinness Guide to Oysters

A brief history of the man who created this ad here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

the Queen who wanted to be King

In 1977 Neil Simon depicted Richard III as gay for comic effect.

The Known Universe

Thursday, December 17, 2009

cerebral aneurysm

Frank Gehry's Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, Las Vegas.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Francisco Goya, Saturn Devouring His Son, 1820-23


A 45 year old Andy Warhol shot by a 42 year old Ron Galella in New York, 1973.

Andy Warhol is the art market bellwether, explains The Economist here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

landscape of the dispossessed

"Writing tames what you have lived."
- Herta Müller [born 1953], 2009 Nobel Laureate

Photo source here.

best Nobel speech

Nobel Prize dinner, Stockholm, Sweden

William Faulkner's 1949 acceptance speech:

I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work--a life's work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only mine in trust. It will not be difficult to find a dedication for the money part of it commensurate with the purpose and significance of its origin. But I would like to do the same with the acclaim too, by using this moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand where I am standing.

Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only one question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed--love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, and victories without hope and worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.

Until he learns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man. I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

12th century

Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare;
To-morrow's Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

- Omar Khayyam, Excerpt from The Rubaiyat, 1120 C.E.

obedience in the same direction

The essential thing "in heaven and earth" is, apparently [to repeat it once more], that there should be OBEDIENCE in the same direction, there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living; for instance, virtue, art, music, dancing, reason, spirituality -- anything whatever that is transfiguring, refined, foolish, or divine.

Friday, December 11, 2009

last civil war veteran

Dead Confederate soldiers, Battle of Antietam, 1862.

Confederate veteran Pleasant Riggs Crump [1847-1951] died at the age of 104.

largest bike parking facility

ASCOBIKE is the largest bike parking facility in the Americas and is located an hour from São Paulo.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

how big is the internet?

Commenting on the vastness of future storage capacity, Google's Eric Schmidt predicts that today's Internet would fit into one standard Smart Phone sized device within 15 years.

Graphic source here.

Personality Test

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The Civilization of Man, British Museum entrance portico, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London.

Image source here.


Daily Mail founder Sir Alfred Harmsworth, Lord Northcliffe, circa 1917.

“News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.”
- Lord Northcliffe [1865-1922]

Monday, December 7, 2009


"I had to be the funniest guy around just to not get the crap kicked out of me."
- Richard Pryor according to Robin Williams


Sunday, December 6, 2009

hand cut

bespoke cowboy boots have a 3 month waiting list

Saturday, December 5, 2009


"Ten yards too far in winter and ten yards too close in summer."

Image source here.


"The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music."
- Lewis Thomas [1913-1993]

Friday, December 4, 2009


"The sea is the last free place on earth."
- Attributed to Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961] by Humphrey Bogart [1899-1957] according to Lauren Bacall [born 1924].

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Führer reading

Adolph Hitler in Mein Kampf:
A man who possesses the art of correct reading will, in studying any book, magazine, or pamphlet, instinctively and immediately perceive everything which in his opinion is worth permanently remembering, either because it is suited to his purpose or generally worth knowing ... Then, if life suddenly sets some question before us for examination or answer, the memory, if this method of reading is observed ... will derive all the individual items regarding these questions, assembled in the course of decades, [and] submit them to the mind for examination and reconsideration, until the question is clarified or answered.
A look at Hitler's library here.

If Germany had won WWII

robot blob

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


In the Navy I flew A-6's off carriers...In combat, events have a duration of seconds, sometimes minutes... But what you're going through goes on day in and day out. Whether you're ready for it or not, week in, week out... Month after month after month. Whether you're up or whether you're down. You're assaulted psychologically. You're assaulted financially, which is its own special kind of violence.
From the screenplay The Insider.


"The future does not come with the sound of a drum."
- Paul Theroux [born 1941] quoting an African proverb on the futility of forecasting.


[Vincent van Gogh's brother] Theo suffered from recurrent depressions and became psychotic at the end of his life; his sister Wilhelmina spent forty years in an insane asylum with "chronic psychosis," and his younger brother Cor committed suicide.
- Kay Redfield Jamison, Touched with Fire, pg. 141

pervasiveness of denial

"Human kind cannot bear very much reality."
- T.S. Eliot

hoped to be nearly crucified

"The artist is extremely lucky who is presented with the worst possible ordeal which will not actually kill him."
- John Berryman [1914-1972]