Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Botanical Jewelry by Arozona

Arozona (Roz Borg) makes jewelry out of plants. Her miniature succulent rings are lovely and quite in demand for weddings in her native Australia. I love the bit of quartz crystal in the last image...

And just when I think I may have seen it all, she seems to have invented a new accessory--the succulent nail!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Another meditation on a color...

Monday, August 14, 2017

A storm's coming...

"There’s this big storm that’s all around us and we’re in the middle of it so it’s calm but I can feel it, like it’s everywhere."
--Florence Welch

I've been saying this and people don't believe me. But it's coming.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Charlottesville, Virginia...

...thinking of you with sympathy for such a senseless loss of life.

As I say in the description of this blog, "I am dedicated to posting the positive, the fascinating, the beautiful, the interesting, the moving, and the inspiring and uplifting. Sometimes I post cultural as well as personal observations, milestones, and remembrances. And just like life, all of these things may often have a bit of melancholy or even sadness in them, which is what makes our time here so lovely and bittersweet and precious."

And I feel I would be remiss if I did not recognize this most recent tragedy here in the United States which these days is not feeling so united at all. I hope I am not right, but I have a feeling we might look back at this event as one of the infamous triggers for the Second Civil War. Oh, it won't be fought like it was the first time. This kind of Radical Republican Terrorism will make the Second Civil War a completely different affair.

The fact that such a thing is looming on our horizon should give us even more incentive to protest against and conquer the kind of hatred, inequality, fear, bigotry, and racism we are seeing infect our culture... although I am personally feeling more than a little frustrated since all the usual avenues like voting, writing members of congress, and protesting in the streets have been tried. Because of the Monster-in-Chief, I think we will see a rise in Radical Republican Terrorism--they feel he is on their side and he won't denounce them. But if certain factions and groups of United States citizens will not share basic tenets of humanism or participate in our social compact (the voluntary agreement among individuals by which, according to any of various theories, as of Hobbes, Locke, or Rousseau, organized society is brought into being and invested with the right to secure mutual protection and welfare or to regulate the relations among its members), we cannot allow them to hurt, maim, or murder. At this moment in history, we are at a fork in the road--not just the United States but everywhere in the world. You can see down each road if you stop and think and take it to its logical conclusion.
We will see in the next few years which road we head down.

It's times like these that make me seek out and treasure the good things, the beautiful things, the things that make our time here worthwhile.

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”
--John Adams

"Orca" by Until The Ribbon Breaks

Until The Ribbon Breaks is a Welsh musical duo consisting of frontman and founder Pete Lawrie-Winfield and James Gordon. The project started with Lawrie-Winfield making music for his original films in film school. Soon he stopped the visual part in favor of making music. But the group still write music in a studio while projecting films with the sound off...anything from David Lynch to Terrence Malick. Of Until The Ribbon Breaks' music, music site Pitchfork accurately observed that Lawrie-Winfield exhales "his vocals with a painfully resigned rasp circled by lurching drum machines, deflating synths, and industrial clanging."

This aching song was written after a tragedy. Lawrie-Winfield writes:

"In the late, humid summer of last year, I was living in a shoe box room in Brooklyn, At 6pm on a fairly normal Sunday afternoon, I showered, collected my things and headed to the door. It occurred to me as I stepped out onto the street that I hadn't heard a peep from my roommate and good friend Adam, all day.
This struck me as strange. We normally watched films on a Sunday afternoon, always hungover, trying desperately to fend off the heat. Upstairs,I found my roommate sat at the end of his bed. His glasses were balancing on the end of his nose, his shoes were tied and his bedroom smelt faintly of the cigarettes that he could never quite quit. He had been dead for 8 hours. Orca is a song about the finality of death, no one is above it, it will affect us all. It is black and white, much like Orca."

I no longer go to 7th street
In the spring, we moved out west
I miss the cocktails at the Concorde
But every wave must have a crest
There is an image that I-I cannot shake
The wind blowing through your hair
A part of you still moving, but all of you not there
I wonder how they think of you now
Which picture they've had framed
And if it's easier at dinner to not bring up your name

Orca, Orca, Orca
There's nothing quite as black and white as you

Of course there are two oceans: the shallow and the true
The one outside the window, and the one inside of you
Such eyes you had, not colour
But space to see the truth
I think I knew that you were dying
I just didn't want the proof

Orca, Orca, Orca
There's nothing quite as black and white as you

You were dressed in your shirt
With your back to the wall
Like you'd made up your mind
Like you knew

We all make our own way
Into blue
We all make our own way
Into blue
There's nothing quite, as black and white, as you
I wonder if you feel that too
There's nothing quite, as black and white, as you
We all make our own way into blue
Orca, orca, orca, orca

You were dressed in your shirt
With your back to the wall
Like you'd made up your mind
Like you knew

We all make our own way
Into blue

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Clarkson's Cloud 2.0

Richard Clarkson previously made a hanging cloud that flashes and emits thunder claps (seen here) and now, he has made a miniature desk top version that actually hovers!

The official Clarkson website says:

"Richard Clarkson Studio presents: Floating Cloud, a magnetically levitating ambient lamp. The project is a collaboration between the two companies – merging the innovative levitation technology developed by Crealev with the form and function of the Cloud product of Richard Clarkson Studio.

Embedded into both the base and the Cloud are magnetic components that allow the cloud to float approximately 2.75 inches (70mm) off the base. While the base itself must remain plugged in a rechargeable lithium ion battery powers the Cloud and enables a totally wireless and unobstructed levitation while in use. With full rotational movement and slight vertical bobbing of the cloud a more realistic atmospheric experience is possible. The Floating Cloud also has the same sound reactive LED lights as our other interactive cloud products.

After months of design research and user testing, we found that embedding a speaker into the Cloud was not the right direction for several reasons. Firstly - the weight it added significantly decreased the levitation height of the Cloud. Secondly - the speaker drastically reduced the battery life of the Cloud, and required much more frequent recharging. Thirdly - you already have a speaker system right!? Simply let your speakers do what they do best, and the Floating Cloud will do what it does best. While the Cloud itself does not have a speaker, it will react to your existing sound system as well as spoken voice and loud sounds. An embedded microphone allows the Cloud to flash to the beat of the music in four different styles. The Cloud also has a range of ambient lamp modes in both white and colored versions. Each of these modes is controlled via an infrared remote.

The Cloud is held in place using both rare earth magnets, electromagnets, and a location sensor. There is a discrete infrared locating beam in the center of the Cloud, which, if obstructed by an object (such as a hand) will result in the Cloud "falling off" it's levitating balance point. In such an event the Cloud has a soft felt bottom to cushion the fall. To return the Cloud to its floating position, use your fingers to pry the Cloud off the base and with two hands hold the Cloud roughly in position, slowly move the Cloud from side to side until you feel it 'lock' in place.

The Floating Cloud is designed for permanent levitation and can be charged while floating. To preserve battery life we recommend switching the Cloud off when not in use - there is a hidden switch at the top of the Cloud next to the charging port for this purpose."

The Floating Cloud 2.0 can be yours! Go to the link below and click on BUY for pricing...but you might want to make sure you are seated and take a deep breath first...

Friday, August 11, 2017

"Bicep" by TR/ST

Canadian Roberet Alfons is TR/ST (or Trust), previously here. His new single, "Bicep" is a dark electronic fantasia and I love it...

...and him.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

BEAUTY: Installation--Michael Pedersen

Here is an update of the delightful work of artist Michael Pedersen (previously here, here, and here) who creates humorous and sometimes thoughtful and touching signage to grace public spaces.

Top to bottom: Amnesia Station; Attention Shoe Tossers; Bricked In; Endless Waiting Area; Exit; Exit detail; Loudest Spontaneous Shout; Near Misses; Personal Space Preferences; Suspended Text; Abandoned