Saturday, May 12, 2012
Yes, I have been preoccupied. With one daughter flying off to Provence, France last weekend and another, busily packing (on second thought, cramming) her bags for a four-month stay in Portugal, I have officially joined the fraternity known as the empty-nester.
I've enjoyed blogging for close to two years now, but find myself spending less and less time rummaging around the net in my free time and more time doing countless frivolous activities that make me feel like "Janice" again - one of the benefits of an aerie devoid of clamorous, taller-than-me eaglets.
The delicious pre-summer sun is seductive with those come-hither blue skies and strong white rays of heat *insert sigh*, so I won't be posting any new items on M.R.S. Instead, you'll find me in my garden up to my Hunter wellies in steaming compost; on my bike wheeling through pastoral vistas or hiking through hemlock-filled coppices. I've always known that the world is far too vast, and time, profoundly ephemeral, to spend it in the company of electronic screens and it's time to digest that final morsel of bodhi-truth -- my only exception will be my brimming iPod because I've always contended that life, continuously undulating, requires a soundtrack.
Thank you to my supportive friends, readers, facebookers, twitterers, fellow bloggers and my most lovely commenters and letter-writers from every continent around this planet. It has been a pleasure sharing my words and the world's beautiful oddities with you.
postscript June 19th: I've received several emails since posting this entry, each one asking me the same question: "Are you giving up your blog ... for good?" The short answer is, yes, I am.
I've never been more happy and content indulging my nature-cravings and curious (and endlessly silly) mind. Life is tickling me with its exuberance.
Thank you, as always, for your interest and warm wishes.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
|Andy Warhol's "Photobooth" series|
In 1926, Anatol Josepho opened the first photo booth in New York City and it took Gotham by storm. Up to 7,500 people a day payed 25 cents ($3 in today's funds) to receive eight miniature images of themselves.
|Anatol Josepho with his "Photomaton" (Getty Images)|
Josepho eventually sold his invention in 1927 for $1 million (the equivalent of $13 million today) to a syndicate of investors that included a US ambassador and John T. Underwood, the typewriter tycoon. The popularity of the photo booth declined with advances in digital technology, but the classic photo booth image has joined The Polaroid as a nostalgic centrepiece of photographic archaeology.
Canadian Joel Allen, a former software developer turned carpenter, created a unique tree house called the the HemLoft, in a secret location in the woods near Whistler, British Columbia. Allen's structural opus hangs like a mondo pine cone amidst the hemlock bows, serenely connected with the verdant landscape.
However, there is a major problem in paradise: Allen is a squatter who has built his egg-shaped villa on government-owned land and the woodsy jig is up.
Read about Joel's architectural journey and what he may eventually lose, here.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
|"Not important people," or, "No need to pay attention to these folks."|
Sherman Billingsley was a former bootlegger and owner of New York's legendary Stork Club. Being an excellent host, Billingsley engaged in numerous table-side chats, mingling with his high-brow celebrity clientele.
New York's finest knew that they could always count on a wonderful evening surrounded by the crème de la crème of American society at the Stork, but what they didn't know was that Billingsley had a series of discreet hand signals that were gestured to staff members, furtively communicating anything from "Get them out, and don't let them back in again." to "Call me to the phone. I want to get away from this table."
|"The music is too loud."|
See the whole series of Billingsley's booth charades at Life.
Monday, April 16, 2012
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration took this photo of a pair of shoes resting on the sea floor at the site of the Titanic shipwreck.
According to Robert Ballard, the man who discovered the wreck in the bottom of the Atlantic in 1985, there are countless pairs of shoes at the bottom of the ocean floor. "The body parts deteriorated, and the skeletal remains decalcified. The only thing left are the shoes, and the leather is perfectly preserved," thanks to bacteria-resistant tannins in the shoe leather.