Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mars Up Close

Apparently later this week (Dec. 24th) Mars will be very close to earth. We won't be able to see it THIS clearly, though. But pretty, right?

The guy at Bad Astronomy says,
And remember: Mars will not look as big as the Moon! But it is still a burning red beacon in the east shortly after sunset. If you go out around 9:00 p.m. or so you’ll see it rising in the east, with Orion and the Pleaides looming nearby too (on the right if you’re in the northern hemisphere, or if you’re standing on your head south of the Equator). It’s a pretty scene, so even if you don’t have access to a telescope, go outside and have a gander.

More News: Vlad is "Person of the Year"

Hmmmm. As we know, this isn't particularly news to me, but still, noteworthy.

It's True!

Guinness IS good for you! Drink up!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Baking Cookies

So, this weekend we made Holiday cookies. What fun! Like bunches of ginger cookies, and chocolate stars with crushed peppermints and chocolate drizzle, jam tots, sugar cookies that the girls decorated with icing and sprinkles, and new chocolate chip-pecan-dried cherry cookies. MMmmmmmmmm good.

What I just learned from the cookbook we were using is that the tradition of baking cookies for Christmas is another vestige of our pagan past that was conglomerated into our celebration of Christian holiday. Which makes it even MORE appealing to me! And so yummy!

Springerle (SPRING-uhr-lee) - These have been and still are traditional Christmas cookies in Bavaria and Austria for centuries. Springerle are white, anise-flavored cookies, made from a simple egg-flour-sugar dough. Usually rectangular or circular in shape, they have a picture or design stamped on the top. The images are imprinted with specially carved rolling pins or flat molds (Springerle presses, or boards). After the cookies are baked, the designs are sometimes enhanced with edible food colors--or with tempera or acrylic paints, if the cookies are to be used as decorations. Hartshorn is the traditional leavening (it is an ammonia compound).

These cookies are made with a leavening agent called ammonium carbonate, or baking ammonia. Ammonium carbonate is a byproduct of hartshorn, a substance extracted from deer antlers (harts horn). This leavener is the precursor of today's baking powder and baking soda .If you sample the dough of these cookies, you will be able to taste the ammonia, but it will completely evaporate out when the cookies are baked

The name Springerle comes from an old German dialect and means "little knight" or "jumping horse." Historians trace these cookies back to the Julfest, a midwinter celebration of pagan Germanic tribes. Julfest ceremonies included the sacrificing of animals to the gods, in hope that such offerings would bring a mild winter and an early spring. Poor people who could not afford to kill any of their animals gave token sacrifices in the form of animal-shaped breads and cookies. Vestiges of these pagan practices survive in the baking of shaped-and-stamped German Christmas cookies such as Lebkuchen, Spekulatius, Frankfurter Brenten, and Springerle.

Scenes from the Bible were some of the earliest images portrayed on the springerle molds. and were used to educate those who couldn't read or write. Eventually, other scenes were carved and the co okies soon reflected images of holidays, events, and scenes from every day life. The cookies were also used to celebrate births, weddings, and used as betrothal tokens. Exchanging springerle during the holidays was a common practice very much like we exchange cards today.

The oldest known springerle mold from Switzerland was carved from wood in the 14th century. This round shaped mold pictures the Easter lamb, and originates from the St. Katharine monastery in Will St. Gallen. It is now in the collection of the Swiss national museum in Zurich, Switzerland. From:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Messiness of Motherhood

In this Advent season, there's a fair amount of talk about the messiness of being a mom.

Wouldn't Mary have felt that messiness too? It's easy to get swept up into the franticness of this time, instead of being thoughtful, truly preparing ourselves. But at the same time, God knows we humans are messy people. And a lot of the ideals we have about motherhood just don't always fit the reality.

The Rev. Mama talks eloquently about the fact that part of the miracle of Jesus is that he was borne of a woman and became fully human. God knows all about us. And understands. What a blessing!

Africa - Future Power Source for Europe? and more

From a great environmental/architecture/design blog, Pruned:

Last week, The Guardian reported that Europe is looking to Africa to serve its energy needs by basically turning the continent into one giant solar power plant.

Europe is considering plans to spend more than £5bn on a string of giant solar power stations along the Mediterranean desert shores of northern Africa and the Middle East.

More than a hundred of the generators, each fitted with thousands of huge mirrors, would generate electricity to be transmitted by undersea cable to Europe and then distributed across the continent to European Union member nations, including Britain.

Billions of watts of power could be generated this way, enough to provide Europe with a sixth of its electricity needs and to allow it to make significant cuts in its carbon emissions. At the same time, the stations would be used as desalination plants to provide desert countries with desperately needed supplies of fresh water.

Fascinating stuff, right?? Especially just now as the Bali conference is going on! I think the post-colonial ramifications of this have not been fully understood, but it seems like a good idea green-wise.

Another recent post from Pruned discussed the issue of the housing shortage in Manila that has driven some people to take up residence in cemeteries. Kind of like an "extended-stay" "Day of the Dead." But moreso. (?)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Science Meets Art

Just saw these on one of the Science Blogs I read: Science Creative Quarterly. Beautiful, eh? It's funny because I've just been thinking a lot about Fibonacci numbers. And ideas like this have led me to the conclusion that I NEED to get over my math phobia. I am signing up for an "Ideas in Mathematics" course that I hope to take next semester. There might be hope for me yet!

Xmas Quiz - What Color Tree Are You?

You Should Have a Blue Christmas Tree

For you, the holidays represent a time of calm, understanding, and peace.

You avoid family fights, and you don't get too stressed out - even when things are crazy!

You like to make Christmas about making everyone's life a little bit better.

You don't get caught up in greed or commercialism. You're too sincere for that.

Your blue tree would look great with: Lots of silver tinsel

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: It's a Wonderful Life

What you should bake for Santa: Chocolate chip cookies

Monday, December 10, 2007

Food Fives meme

Food Fives

I found this fun food-related meme at City Mama. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged (and link back so I can find you!)

What were you cooking/baking 10 years ago?
I had just moved back to Philly after a year in parts Southward. I was married, but no kids yet, and still mainly vegetarian, though we did start eating fish right about then. I can’t really remember what I was cooking, but mainly pasta, beans and rice, broccoli enchiladas (husband’s family’s recipe). And as for baking, I made lots of pies and cobblers.

What were you cooking/baking one year ago?
Basically, same as what I was cooking 10 years ago, but with more kid-approachable stuff. Also, I decided to start making very nice sit-down meals for Sunday evenings. So I started searching on Epicurious every so often to get ideas. I started cooking more seasonally, and incorporating the colored fruits and vegetables in each meal (as much as possible) – so, a green and a yellow vegetable on Sundays, for example. Or at least have a starch that wasn’t truly bad for us. And then last Christmas, Josiah got me a Bundt ™ pan and I started baking cakes. Now I’m known as a cake-baker. And that’s a good feeling!

Five snacks you enjoy (in no particular order):

  • My ginger snaps
  • Super-crisp apples
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Carrots
  • Chile & lime tortilla chips

Five recipes you know by heart:

  • broccoli enchiladas
  • apple crisp (aka cobbler)
  • many Mexican-style beans & rice dishes
  • baked tofu w/rice & vegetables
  • most breakfast foods

Five culinary luxuries you would indulge in if you were a millionaire:

  • lobster; truly fresh, good seafood (mussels, shrimp, octopus, etc.) whenever I wanted
  • a wine cellar stocked with delicious red wine and champagne at all times
  • year-round access to the gardens at Villandry
  • having a chef of Turkish cuisine on-call at my home 24/7
  • all the ingredients necessary for any dessert concoction that I love on hand at all times, esp. fresh cream-based ones.

Five foods you love to cook/bake:

  • Pies
  • Cakes
  • Sunday Dinner
  • Potato salad
  • Mexican or Turkish feasts

Five foods you cannot/will not eat:

  • Beef (mad cow disease)
  • Tiny, cold, grey & white fish that I had once in Southern Spain
  • Don’t love beets or onions, but sometimes like foods they are in.
  • Liver, kidneys, most organ meats (esp. brains, see above)
  • Black licorice

Five favorite culinary toys:

  • Cuisinart
  • Good bottle opener
  • Rolling canvas for pie crust
  • Hand-held mixer
  • Egg-slicer (I love the concept, and as a kid I played it as a harp)

Five dishes on your "last meal" menu:

  • Lobster and roasted chicken, with a bottle of red wine, lots of good cooked vegetables and fresh fruit, followed by a tray of sweets. See TV movie, "Moll Flanders", for and idea of what I’m talking about.
  • My mom’s roast beef and Yorkshire pudding w/gravy, roasted potatoes and peas, w/ a bottle of really good red wine.
  • Soufflé with a cold champagne

Five happy food memories:

  • Every Turkish meal I ate in Turkey
  • The birthday dinner we had for my dad’s 60th in the South of France, and eating moules in Brittany
  • Making apple pie w/ my mam-gu
  • Our anniversary dinner at Cube in Montréal
  • And – eating reindeer and other traditional Finnish delicacies in Helsinki.

Your turn!

Global Warming & Al's Speech

I saw this great photo on one of my favorite Art Blogs (no, not Bob's this time but) Das Artes Paslticas. It reminds me of how things WERE back in the day. It was hard to take photos like this, but the borders all across Eastern Europe looked like this.

Perhaps everyone will catch on to what Al Gore is saying about global warming, and we can change the outcome of the crisis. Just like we did during the Cold War. Here's hoping.

Global Warming & Al's Speech

I saw this great photo on one of my favorite Art Blogs (no, not Bob's this time) but Das Artes Paslticas. It reminds me of how things WERE back in the day. It was hard to take photos like this, but the borders all across Eastern Europe looked like this.

Perhaps everyone will catch on to what Al Gore is saying about global warming, and we can change the outcome of the crisis. Just like we did during the Cold War. Here's hoping.

Friday, December 7, 2007

ADVENTure with Doctor Who! Commercial Religion Part III

It's funny to me that the BBC is using an Advent Calendar to lure fans/build hype for Dr. Who. Complete with different treats for each day in December. This little poster is one. Check it out for more fun.

Hey - this isn't really in the spirit of Advent (quiet preparation for the coming of Jesus), but it IS getting the concept of Advent out there to the masses, I guess. Am I making lemonade out of lemons?

Commercial Religion, Part II

Apparently, the Vatican is upset that an Italian cell phone is selling download-able Saints & church leaders for their phones. I don't know, I'm torn. As the cell phone reps say:
"I had the idea from my mother who always puts a prayer card in her bag before travelling," Labate said.

"I don't think it is scandalous or blasphemous at all. We have had saint and prayer cards for more than 600 years and we will always continue to have them.

"What we are doing is moving with the times," she added.

That's a good point. A small visual cue to remind people to pray can't be a bad thing, right? In my mind, it keeps religious art in our daily lives.

If the phone company were charging much more than the 3Euros per week that it is, I might have a problem (that does total over 150Euros per year!). But to me, this is the best kind of (religious) art: accessible, inexpensive, ever-present. I wonder how subscription rates are going.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy Finnish Independence Day!

I guess Finland is closed for business today, but still, I hope you guys are having a blast over there. It's cold and snow is on the ground here in Philadelphia, so in theory we have that in common. The time I've spent in Finland has been awesome and Josiah and I are itching to go back. We have all kinds of wacky hare-brained schemes about how we'll get a house on a lake there. Or how we'll get a sauna installed in our house in Philly. But it's nice to dream, right?

So, this Independence Day celebrates Finland's fight for independence from the Russian Empire - a battle that was happening when the rest of Europe was fighting WWI. Two great movies, if you haven't seen them that describe Finland during WWII are: Ambush! and The Cuckoo. They are Fantastic! Check 'em out! Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dali as Scientist

Found this fascinating discussion of Salvador Dali's treatment of Science. It's a good treatment of Science in Dali's work, a concept I've never really thought about before. I think Dali was a genius.

Here is another article about the Dali retrospective with a more psychedelic angle.

Not Good News

Beliefnet has been sold to Rupert Murdoch's Fox conglomerate. I foresee the ecumenical and interdenominational tolerance that has been Beliefnet's hallmark going out the window. Bummer.

Will this mean censorship of inter-religious discussion? Or just Fox News' version?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hot Style News!

Thank you Josiah for this link! Marimekko's coming to H&M! Woo Hoo!

Our Lady in the Garden

Maybe this is where I first gained an appreciation for religious art. In my home town there were lots of outdoor statues of the Virgin Mary. They pretty much looked exactly like this one from Flatbush Gardener's blog. But What I love here is the flower garland. It shows such devotion on the part of the owner. And the plexi-glass protecting her too.

I grew up in a "low-church" Episcopal church in New England. There was very little decoration. Just two stained glass windows, all the rest were plain glass. That suited my parents just fine, who are both "made very uncomfortable by the 'high church' services that I attend" (their words).

I don't know enough about liturgy yet to be able to speak meaningfully on the subject. All I can say is that I like what I perceive to be the more emotional-ness of the church I attend now. There is more movement, music, color, sounds, and yes, even smells (smells and bells). But what I really enjoy is being surrounded each Sunday by such amazing religious art. I understand on a deeper level the love, suffering and awesomeness of God.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Evel Knievel, RIP

During the summers growing up, all the kids in our neighborhood would zoom around on bikes for hours. We tried to jump over things on our bikes, and had skid competitions a la Evel.

To this day, anything that has a red, white & blue, especially if it's sparkley, I think of Evel.

He's an icon from another era, and he will be missed.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Culture of Media

My Pal, Laura Blankenship, posted this video on her (work) blog ETC@BMC:

It was done by a Cultural Anthropology class at Kansas State University. I work in academia, but was trained amidst the 19th C classroom ideals they talk about (we all were, I guess, right?). But it really makes me wonder "what's going to happen to education"? It's a totally different ball game now!

Many of the comments I've read on YouTube (for what they're worth) talk about "these whiny kids - how about living on the street for a while?". I'm not sure how many people who have posted those kinds of comments have lived on the street either - I think the point of the video is that the way that ideas are communicated now is MUCH different than it was when books were the main mode of education. But the teaching style has not changed to keep up with the new media.

Back in MY day, people we skipping class and writing letters in class too, but we got out of school when the printed page was still the standard. It's not the standard anymore. If students don't learn this in school/college, where and when ARE they going to learn this way? Food for thought.

Have a good weekend, all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

From one of my favorite blogs

Art Blog by Bob. Bob just rocks the house!

After learning about Ulrich Zwingli, yesterday, I think this painting, "God as an Architect"by William Blake is right on topic. Bob describes Blake's artwork in relation to his poetry:

Blake’s spirituality earned him a reputation as a madman during his life. When a friend found Blake talking to a tree, he asked him if he was actually talking to the tree. “Of course not,” Blake replied. “I’m speaking with the angel in the tree.” However, Blake never blinded himself to the possibilities of science. Isaac Newton became one of his favorite subjects. In The Ancient of Days (God as an Architect) (above, from 1794), God himself assumes the role of a man of science, taking the measure of the universe he created. Just as there is always a balance between poetry and painting in Blake’s vision, there is always a balance between reason and imagination—a continual back and forth where neither side dominates for risk of losing the benefits of the other. Blake’s art intoxicates you when you first encounter his poetry or his imagery. Then it overwhelms you with his complexity. Because of this difficulty, a select handful of followers kept Blake’s memory alive and rescued it from the very real threat of obscurity.

Just like Zwingli, who worked on balancing reason and spirituality: Huldrych (or Ulrich which was his birth name in memory of Saint Ulrich von Augsburg) Zwingli or Ulricus Zuinglius (January 1, 1484October 11, 1531) was the leader of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland, and founder of the Swiss Reformed Churches. Independently of Martin Luther, who was doctor biblicus, Zwingli arrived at similar conclusions by studying the Scriptures from the point of view of a humanist scholar.

And then there's this beautiful painting, The Road to Calvary, Bob shares with us by an artist, Maurice Denis, that I'd never seen before - and I'm a fan of the Fauves! This is the kind of religious art I love. It's so dramatic, emotional and stark, but also beautiful. The colors, the light & dark, and the little details - the sweet yellow flowers, the Roman insignia, the shadows. Thank you, as always, Bob, for your blog!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quiz results: who knew?

Took a quiz, here is the result:

Eucharistic theology
created with
You scored as Zwingli

You are Ulrich Zwingli. You believe that bread and wine are symbols of the absent Jesus. You believe in interpreting Scripture reasonably.













Monday, November 26, 2007

It's all about me

I can't resist the meme:

Vampires: Josiah and I met at a vampire-themed party back in college. "The Hunger" was playing. Fuzzy navels were served. The rest is history.
I like blogging: it's a challenge for me, I'm trying to stay focused and DO IT, but it's FUN!
Religious Art: was the foundation of what I wanted to blog about. It still fascinates me, but I am often stumped by how to talk about it - and trolling the Patron Saint site, or other religious art blogs, doesn't really help me, because then I'm just trolling! If anyone has any suggestions about areas you think would be interesting to explore, or saints or symbols you'd like to learn more about or see more of, just leave me a comment!
Green: I'm an environmentalist, and a gardener.
I'm a mom.
Not a fashionista, but am struggling to define my "look" in my role as a 30-something mom.
International in my outlook in many ways - fashion, music, travel, reading, study, interests, you name it.
A bit of a culture vulture, Jane-of-all-trades-mistress-of-none.

Pass it on!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Mommy, you're just like Strega Nona"

La Prima told me that this morning, as I stuck a band-aid (tm) on her big toe. "How's that?" I asked. "Because whenever anyone ever doesn't feel good, you make them feel better. Like Strega Nona takes away people's headaches."

It's just about the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me! I've never read Strega Nona, but apparently it's a fantastic book, written by a fellow Connecticutian (at least, that's what I call us!).

I have a lot I want to blog about, but haven't had the time, recently. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Separated at Birth?" and other crushes...

What do you think?

Similar, right?

Different hairstyles, I grant you.

But: The manly brow... the potential capacity for violence burbling under the surface. The suavity under pressure.... And Putin may even be able to get the Russian Constitution changed to allow him to be President for another term... I seem to remember Vorenus getting dispensations too!

I mean, Lu(s)ci(o)us Vorenus, played by Kevin McKidd on Rome, has his bleak moments. But he is loyal, and sheesh can he kick butt! I don't know, but Vladimir (Vlady) Putin seems similar. At least from the photos, right?

Speaking of Russians and mobsters, another of my all-time crushes, Viggo Mortensen, will be in "Eastern Promises," a movie soon-to-be released! Can't wait.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Clotilde & Clovis

Lakshmi and I are both reading "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley, right now. I am fascinated by my reaction to it now, reading it again after 20 years from my first time.

The characters seem less robust to me now. But there also seems to be an agenda to the religious discussion - almost proselytizing for Wiccanism. I don't know if that was actually MZB's goal, but when Lakshmi and I talked about it, we realized how much has changed in the world since the book first came out [1987]. Now there are even Wiccan chaplains in the US military!

Much has NOT changed, of course.

It may sound backwards, but I came back to Christianity through paganism. I dabbled in Wiccan practice, but found that I missed the structure, ritual and readings (Bible stories) of the Church. It was too hard for me personally to create a practice. PLUS, as MoA shows, the basis of the European interpretation of Christianity is heavily influenced by paganism. Start to finish. So, when the seasons turn, as they are now in Philly (Fall has arrived here) I follow the Christian liturgical calendar, and begin to think about Advent. The preparation for the coming baby new year.

Lakshmi and I have also been talking (at length) about open adoption and the process and all the DECISIONS! I have been thinking and praying about the process a lot, and all those involved, and went to my handy-dandy Patron Saints Index to find out who is affiliated with adoption. Apparently it's Clotilde - patron saint of adopted children. I still can't figure out WHY she's the patron, but whatevs.

So, while I was reading about her, I looked up her husband - Clovis I - who she brought to Christianity, and the story sounds EXACTLY like how MZB portrays Arthur's religious conversion around a battle and subsequent struggles. Amazing!

This is a good time of year for adopting - a time of preparation for the joy of a new child.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Day of the Dead!

My favorite part of Halloween is the Day of the Dead/All Souls extravaganza that takes place in Latin America. I like the culture around Death in Mexico. I have a habit of getting sad and focusing on the loss of the people I've known who have died. But the tradition of remembering and honoring, and the GOOD times, the happiness we've shared with our loved ones who are gone is awesome.

Plus, the food, the flowers, the decorations, hanging out in the cemetery all night, that sounds like a lot of fun to me. Seriously.

Aahhhh.... the Food! Like, some mole, stuffed poblanos, flan, and of course, some tequila - what about a pomegranate margarita??

Saturday, October 27, 2007

How is this OK?

From the BBC website:

"Fema employees posed as reporters at Tuesday's "news briefing" with Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson because an agency was providing a live video feed to US TV networks, according to the Washington Post.

Six questions were posed by the Fema officials and Mr Johnson even used the typical practice of calling for a "last question".

"I'm very happy with Fema's response," Mr Johnson said in reply to one query from an employee."

More on the BBC.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle on Religious Art

And here, by way of Iconia, is a beautiful quote from my favorite childhood author, Madeleine L'Engle, who died recently:
"How many of us really want life, life more abundant, life which does not promise any fringe benefits or early retirement plans? Life which does not promise the absence of pain, or love which is not vulnerable and open to hurt?...
How many of us dare to open ourselves to that truth which would make us free? Free to talk to Roman Catholics or charismatics or Jews, as Jesus was free to talk to tax collectors or publicans or Samaritans. Free to feast at the Lord's table with those whose understanding of the Body and Blood may be a little different from ours. Free to listen to angels. Free to run across the lake when we are called.
What is a true icon of God to one person may be blasphemy to another. And it is not possible for us flawed human beings to make absolute zealous judgements as to what is and what is not religious art. I know what is religious art for me. You know what is religious art for you. And they are not necessarily the same."

-Madeleine L'Engle , 1918-2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Alan Johnston's Story

I am so glad Alan Johnston was released from captivity in Gaza. I was so worried about him! I remember him reporting on the BBC, and his voice was in my ears each day when I read the number of days he was held.

He just wrote a (long) description of his ordeal. He's an amazing person. I love it that we both admire Ernest Shackleton! He describes creating his own psychological lifeboat, to make it to his tiny island of sanity. If you read Endurance, the story of how Shackleton saved his crew and himself from freezing to death in Antarctica by navigating to a minuscule island in the Pacific, you can see what I mean. I'm psyched that Alan Johnston and I are both fans of Shackleton's!

Joan of Arc is the Patron Saint of prisoners and captives. The icon above is by Br. Robert Lentz and available through Trinity Stores.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Southern California Fires

The ladies over at Hasta Los Gatos Quieren Zapatos asked for prayers and good wishes to get through the wildfires in S. Cali. It looks horrifying! 500,000 people displaced - before Katrina, I couldn't imagine it - and now, well, it's still mind-boggling.

According to the Patron Saint Index, St. Barbara is the saint to pray to against fires. And she's the patron saint of Firefighters too. Let's all say a prayer for everyone there.... may they return to normal life unscathed.

Psalm 23
1: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5: Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mini News Round-up from Philly

Since pretty much everything in Philadelphia is dominated by Comcast, either their new building on the skyline, or their monopoly on our cable service, I thought this article at BlogHer would interest many of you.

I read this quote from Chris Satullo in the Inky today, which made me smile:
Philadelphia has to decide whether it wants to be green every day, or just on days when the Eagles play.

We do have a lot of work to do here in the City of Brotherly Love. But IS doable. We've made strides at rallying around this issue. Now if we could just take it to the level of the Phils making it to the Championships, we'd be set!

OMG! Plus, Marky Mark will be in town for "Lovely Bones!"

Friday, October 19, 2007

My favorite Prada jacket

... on a real person! See the Sartorialist to see the photo! It's on the lady on the right. Enjoy!

And speaking of Romania, check this out over on Das Artes Plasticas! Wow! How mind-bendingly beautiful!

Enjoy the weekend, all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bird Sighting: Hermit Thrush

Well, who would've thunk, that here in Philly I'd see a pair of Hermit Thrushes in my back yard?! I saw them through the window and watched them eat berries of a vine. They are beautiful! And if you go to the Cornell Ornithology site, you can hear their song - which is amazing.

Back in the day, Robert J. Lurtsema, radio host for WFCR, Amherst, used to play a tape of bird songs early in the morning. [I could never understand how grown-ups would want to get out of bed listening to the soothing birds singing all morning, but whatevs.] Hearing those thrushes in the "Back 40" brings me back....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Now that it FINALLY feels like Fall here in the City of Brotherly Love, I've started to check out another favorite clothing design source: Marimekko.

I have to say, again, that the color palette, in general, is a little drab for my taste - but there are still some stand-outs:

And if I really get nostalgic for the old-style Marimekko prints, I can always buy an "oilcloth" table cloth or something and ogle THAT all day:

Anthropologists Make Headlines

And not in a good way. You know, you have to be careful what you wish for.... I was hoping there would be more jobs for cultural Anthropologists out there, and this is what happens!

It's a classic dilemma for an Anthropologist. But I have to say, working for the military in a war zone is not a good idea in my opinion. The idea of "anthropologizing the military" IS a good idea. Like, have an understanding of the people we're fighting against. Yes, I'm all for that. But this late in the day? Knowing that their actions and research would put their informants directly in harm's way? I applaud the Concerned Anthropologists, and hope their cause makes some headway.