Friday, April 30, 2010

on acting

"It's listening and reacting; not acting."
- Michael Caine [born 1933]

Thursday, April 29, 2010

artisanal cheese


"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."
- John Maynard Keynes


"The height of recycling is adoption."
- Musician, environmentalist Sheryl Crow [born 1962], who adopted her first child at 44.


"The patients, therefore, often try to starve themselves, to hang themselves, to cut their arteries; they beg that they be burned, buried alive, driven out into the woods and there allowed to die ... One of my patients struck his neck so often on the edge of a chisel fixed on the ground that all the soft parts were cut through to the vertebrae."
- Emil Kraepelin, 1921

acropolis now

"Men ought to know that from nothing else but the brain comes joys, delights, laughter and sports, and sorrows, griefs, despondency, and lamentations ... And by the same organ we become mad."
- Father of medicine Hippocrates [c. 460-370 BCE]


"I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity. During these fits of absolute unconsciousness, I drank—God knows how often or how much. As a matter of course, my enemies referred the insanity to drink, rather than the drink to the insanity."
- Edgar Allan Poe, 1848

Backgammon and Poker

Omar Sharif's Poker and Backgammon charity tournament will be held at Sketch on 16th May. Tickets cost £365 and include tournament entry and Michelin-starred food & drink throughout the night. Sign up with Rita or Anne: +44 (0) 208 343 4612/4234 or email:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


"Nothing impresses me more than sucking the brains out of a head cavity."
- Anthony Bourdain on shrimps

Monday, April 26, 2010


"The best Rock 'n' Roll musicians are desperate men. You've got to have something bothering you all the time."
- Bruce Springsteen [born 1949]

Sunday, April 25, 2010

lamenting the loss of a shared culture

Regarded as the most important poem of the 20th Century, the full text of former investment banker T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land here.


"I become possessed by an intense, overpowering sense of sadness, that in my then sickly, nervous state produced a mental condition adequately to describe which would take a great physiologist. I could not sleep, I lost my spirits, my favourite studies became distasteful to me, I could not work, and I spent my time wandering aimlessly about Paris and its environs. During that long period of suffering I can only recall four occasions on which I slept, and then it was the heavy, death-like sleep produced by complete physical exhaustion."
- Hector Berlioz [1803-1869]

Saturday, April 24, 2010

born in the 1960s and 1970s

"It's the idea; not the mode of expression."
- Author, visual artist, furniture designer Douglas Coupland [born 1961]

regarding critics

"If they don't pay your bills and they can't whip your ass, what do you care what they think of you?"
- Chris Rock

basket case

Longaberger HQ, Newark, Ohio


"The worst part of prison is the snoring."
- Dr. Jack Kevorkian [born 1928], Right-To-Die Activist, who spent 8 years in jail

Friday, April 23, 2010

printing skin

"Researchers can literally print new skin onto burn victims, scanning the wound with a laser and laying down the patient's own cultured cells with incredible precision. [Bioephemera]"

bipolar PM

"... had he been a stable and equitable man, he could never have inspired the nation. In 1940, when all the odds were against Britain, a leader of sober judgement might well have concluded that we were finished."
- Anthony Storr, Churchill: The Man, pp. 4-5


Thursday, April 22, 2010


David Lynch makes coffee:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Manic-depressive individuals experience acute shame and humiliation for many reasons: because of psychosis [particularly manic] and shame for bizarre and inappropriate behavior, violence, financial irregularities, and sexual indiscretions, to name a few of the common problems. One patient stated, "No one who has not had the experience can realize the mortification of having been insane" [Reiss, 1910]. Robert Lowell, in "Home," describes the indignities of psychiatric hospitalization: "we might envy museum pieces/that can be pasted together or disfigured/and feel no indignity" [1977]. And Graves [1942] wrote:
While the intoxication of mania lasts, I for one have no disposition to embrace death. After the intoxication is over, my chief emotional reaction is shame and disgust with myself, and a wonder that my fear of death could be so wonderfully and idiotically twisted. That the facing humiliation, of despair, or deprivation should produce a desire for death is quite natural.
Joshua Logan, in turn, described his chagrin in the wake of a manic episode:
How can I go back to the theatre after all I've put my friends through, after all the galloping whispers and all the people who've seen me in this strange state. How will anybody, as long as I live, believe that I'm well again? [Logan, 1976, p. 180] 
In portions of two letters to T.S. Eliot, Robert Lowell wrote of his embarrassment following two different manic episodes:
[June 1961] The whole business has been very bruising, and it is fierce facing the pain I have caused, and humiliating [to] think that it has all happened before and that control and self-knowledge come so slowly, if at all.
[March 1964] I want to apologize for plaguing you with so many telephone calls last November and December. When the "enthusiasm" is coming on me it is accompanied by a feverish reaching to my friends. After it's over I wince and whither. [Robert Lowell, cited in I. Hamilton, 1982, pp. 286, 307]
* Manic-Depressive Illness, F.K. Goodwin & K.R. Jamison, Oxford University Press, 1990, p.19

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

tropical hardwood

Name: Vitória-Régia by Tora Brasil
Wood: Pequiá
Dimensions: 98 x 90 x 20
Price: > $1000 USD

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What is the greatest thing about acting?

"The drink after the show."
- Laurence Olivier [1907-1989]

song of a bird that has come to love its cage

"[The prevailing sentiment is that] your job in life is to gratify your own desires."

Saturday, April 17, 2010


“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.”
- Christopher Columbus

a camel is a horse designed by committee

"A vision is more perfect than committee."
- Ricky Gervais [born 1961]


Figures in Landscape by Roy Lichtenstein from Michael Crichton's collection here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

parental objectives

"Keep 'em off the pole and outta rehab."
- Chris Rock [born 1965]

slow blogging

"[Ms. Ganley] tends to post once or twice a week, but sometimes she can go a month or so without proffering something new."

Article here.

MoMA Collection April 10, 2010

Kelsey Keith captions:
This video shot by YouTube user chrspck is pretty self-explanatory: it documents every single painting on display in the Museum of Modern Art’s painting galleries on April 10, 2010. We spotted Bacon, Pollock, Braques, Monet, Rothko, Kahlo, Dubuffet, Picabia, Leger, Klimt, Mondrian, Warhol, Chagall, Wyeth, Johns, Gauguin, Newman, Van Gogh, Twombly, Lichtenstein, and many, many others.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


"Every man has fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well."
- Ernest Hemingway quoted by Judd Hirsch as Alex Rieger

A place to go for BBQ

Mustard-based BBQ in South Carolina here.


Video of train passing through Tornado here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's a sickness

one acre

"Victorian farmers worked from dawn until dusk ploughing eleven miles per day."


"I can smell the cheapness of your suit from here."
- Insult directed at Tim Gunn [born 1953] by someone who only wears $5000 suits.

Monday, April 12, 2010

largest arms manufacturers

From The Economist online
BAE Systems, a British firm, took the top spot as the world's largest arms manufacturer in 2008. This is largely because the company has pursued a strategy of expanding the American side of its business in recent years. The next five places and most of the top 20 are made up of American firms that specialise in selling arms or have a defence division. America's huge defence budget—it should reach some $700 billion in 2010—provides an inviting target for the country's home-grown defence industry.

Priest Off

Saturday, April 10, 2010

acting is the same

"[As a quarterback] My job was to get the ball to the person who could do the most with it."
- Mark Harmon [born 1951]


"There is more of me in there than here."
- Ernest Hemingway pointing to a pile of books

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

be your own light

"In order to gain anything, you must first lose everything."
- Buddha, The Awakened One

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A place to eat in Sicily

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"Humble, simple. Greek, Roman, Arab, Bourbon influences."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Queen's favorite painting

Portrait of the shipping magnate Jan Rijcksen and his wife Griet Jans, 1633

Monday, April 5, 2010

strategic improvisors

 Joshua Green looks at the Greatful Dead's business acumen:
Much of the talk about “Internet business models” presupposes that they are blindingly new and different. But the connection between the Internet and the Dead’s business model was made 15 years ago by the band’s lyricist, John Perry Barlow, who became an Internet guru. Writing in Wired in 1994, Barlow posited that in the information economy, “the best way to raise demand for your product is to give it away.” As Barlow explained to me: “What people today are beginning to realize is what became obvious to us back then—the important correlation is the one between familiarity and value, not scarcity and value. Adam Smith taught that the scarcer you make something, the more valuable it becomes. In the physical world, that works beautifully. But we couldn’t regulate [taping at] our shows, and you can’t online. The Internet doesn’t behave that way. But here’s the thing: if I give my song away to 20 people, and they give it to 20 people, pretty soon everybody knows me, and my value as a creator is dramatically enhanced. That was the value proposition with the Dead.” The Dead thrived for decades, in good times and bad. In a recession, Barnes says, strategic improvisation is more important then ever. “If you’re going to survive this economic downturn, you better be able to turn on a dime,” he says. “The Dead were exemplars.”

15 Petabytes

Sunday, April 4, 2010

living costs in big cities

"Paris is not just a city; it's a world."
- Charles V [1500-1558]


Saturday, April 3, 2010


"Not the fastest. Not the smartest. The most adaptable wins in the end."
- Paraphrase of Charles Darwin [1809-1882]

key to success

"When we're victorious, we don't think about failure. But when we fail and make mistakes, we all scrutinize our failures. That's exactly what we shouldn't do. When you're successful, scrutinize your success. Ask how you could've done a lot better."
- Gary Kasparov [born 1963] paraphrased

mechanical cheetah

See it run here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

medium well

The President prefers his burger with cheddar, Dijon and a side of fries.


Other fireplaces here.


Battle of Cassel

The Battle of Cassel was fought on April 11, 1677, as a part of the Franco-Dutch War. It resulted in a French victory under Philippe I of Orléans, assisted by the Duke of Humières and Marshal Luxembourg, against the Dutch under William III of Orange, stadtholder of the Netherlands. The battle took place near the city of Cassel, 30 km south of Dunkirk in present-day France. Source here.