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With clear skies, cool temperatures and low humidity, Friday was not a day to be wasted on work. For those of you not familiar with Houston weather, when this happens in October it can create something close to a religious experience for the locals. Probably has something to do with more oxygen and less ozone and smog in the air. At any rate, I celebrated the occasion by spending the morning drinking coffee and reading at Boheme and then heading over to the MFA Houston to view the German impressionist landscape paintings by Liebermann, Corinth and Slevogt.

Inspired by these works, I returned home in the late afternoon to engage the light and landscaping of my backyard with the camera.


(via io9)

The artists name is Sayaka Ganz and she gives animal form to used and discarded pieces of plastic, thereby “transcending the origins of the original object”.

Stunning. Make sure to scroll down and check out the zoom views.

Great description of the magnification of this fractal at Kottke.

I still think of her as Helena Bonham Carter and me heart goes pitta-pat!

Debunking the Myth of Lady Jane Grey

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Last Friday night the balcony seats to Lohengrin that I purchased online somehow morphed into 12th row center orchestra. I asked no questions but hastened straightway to the new digs for the evening, halfway expecting the seats to be occupied by some matronly season ticket holder who would assure me that there must be some mistake, dahling. But no! The seats were empty and I was golden!

And what a treat it was. Hard core opera heads might raise a fuss but I really liked the staging, which was a vaguely dark mid 20th century European setting. It conveyed the mood that times were tough, strongmen were in control, justice was not on the menu and people yearned for a savior to make things right. The villainess was supremely evil and the hero superb. Hat tip to HGO orchestra for a most excellent musical performance as well.

This animated short film from France is both beautiful and enchanting. Entitled “The Joy of Living” it celebrates, through dance and in fine art moderne style, the idea of progress through technology and modernization but remains true to the French spirit of love of life and nature.

Was really cool this year. Good thing I made it over there yesterday because the weather today has really gone south.

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There is a very good interview with Terry Gilliam here. It certainly is worth the time to read, especially if you would like to know more about his life and work in the years before Monty Python and an overview of each of his movie efforts as well. Strangely, the interview also contains a reference to Moss Hart – the second reference to Hart that I have encountered in a week.

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(via yewknee)

This cardinal collage captured my imagination. Many more cool and very creative works here.

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When I was a wee lad I spent a few Friday and Saturday nights watching spaghetti westerns on the late show on a funky old black and white TV I had in my bedroom. The long stretches with no dialogue, odd angle close-ups of Clint Eastwood’s face with three day stubble, truly insane bad guys and of course, the Ennio Morricone soundtrack made for an experience that one just could not get from watching Gunsmoke or Bonanza. Besides, the atmosphere of those movies was very similar to the one I experienced in parochial middle school at that time.

In later years, one of the cable movie channels made it a habit of running those great films every December 24th and 25th and it became quite the tradition, when my daughters were young and impressionable, for our entire family to celebrate the spirit of the season with Clint Eastwood and Lee van Cleef. The girls turned out fine, though. The oldest even went on to study film in college. (Hmm…maybe she is trying to work through the scars of that earlier time?? Nah!)

Enter, the Spaghetti Western Orchestra. (!) I heard about these guys this morning on BBC and have been stoked ever since. For five guys, it looks to be an incredibly large production and promises to be a load of fun. Check out the ten minute clip on the site. Unfortunately, they are presently only touring in Europe but if they ever get over here, I will be first in line to purchase tickets.