blogs are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.

actually, james russell lowell said "books," not blogs. books are the bees. but there's a lot of cross pollination i see going on as of late regarding bees themselves. a couple of days ago i posted about the beeswax vase, then i see over on chris's blog he's featured an artist by the name of aganetha dyck, who's been doing collaborative art with bees for years. she puts such objects as shoes, clothes hangers, and dolls into her bees' hives, uponwhich they create the most compelling wax and honeycomb sculptures.

when i visited miranda over at geegaw, i was reminded of the strange and inexplicably widespread bee disappearance which began last autumn. one of her readers put in a link to an interesting article on synchronizm concerning certain symmetries arising between honeybees and the sun.

listed in miranda's sidebar is a link to a wonderful blog called woolgathersome. her april 14th entry is all about the bee, and contains loads of links to other bee lovers, including jean henri fabre and rudolph steiner, the father of waldorf and biodynamic farming.

she includes as well a poem written by osip mandelshtam entitled "necklace of bees," which i would just like to put here also in its entirety, to pollinate further:

For the sake of delight
Take from my hands some sun and some honey,
As Persephone’s bees enjoined on us.

Not to be untied, the unmoored boat;
Not to be heard, fur-shod shadows;
Not to be silenced, life’s thick terrors.

Now we have only kisses,
Like little furry bees,
Which perish when they fly from the hive.

They rustle in transparent thickets
In the dense night forest of Taigetos,
Nourished by time, by honeysuckle and mint.

For the sake of delight, then, take my uncouth present:
This simple necklace of bees
That turned honey into sun.”


things to root for

this is Amy Franceschini's pogoshovel, part of what this sf gate article calls her effort "to create a kind of utopian agrarian future." the pogoshovel is part of her special kit for planting gardens. another of her"possible/impossible" prototypes is a wheelbarrow that can be attached to a bicycle to transport soil and seeds. both are part of her project to revive the idea of victory gardens in public parks, and has proposed to revive the practice by mixing her special combination of "art, politics and gardens."
great link via eyeteeth.

then there's this unstoppably dapper chair over at ikea hacker.

lastly, over at the institute for infinitely small things, you can get a quick and delightful reminder that there are at least 57 things in life that are still free.

link also via eyeteeth.


sophie breaks a leg

last night was opening night for the high school's production of "grease." i was crazily proud and delighted the whole time.

she sure has grown up a lot since this picture was taken.


the addictive quality of flickr

"how i

"ladies by the seaside"


and "the dailies"

head on over to my flickrsphere to find the photographers....

"this takes time and time creates value." ~tomas gabzdil libertiny

found this over at inhabitat, and was completely smitten by the idea. the vase was made by 40,000 bees over the course of one week. writes inhabitat: "Studio Libertiny constructed a vase-shaped hive that the bees then colonized, building a hexagonal comb to encompass the existing form. And in the usual dry yet oh-so-clever Dutch manner, Studio Libertiny calls this process “slow prototyping,” a more time-consuming, yet much more poetic alternative to CNC rapid prototyping."

what the artist says about it:

"i have been interested in contradicting the current consumer society (which is interested in slick design) by choosing to work with a seemingly very vulnerable and ephemeral material - beeswax. To give a form to this natural product it has occurred more than logical to choose a form of a vase as a cultural artifact. Beeswax comes from flowers and in the form of a vase ends up serving flowers on their last journey.

At this point I asked myself a question: “Can I make this product already at the place where the material originates?” My ambition to push things further led me to alienate the process by which bees make their almost mathematically precise honeycomb structures and direct it to create a fragile and valuable object – like a pearl. This takes time and time creates value."


wild women of the past

a wonderful photoset by nyctreeman on flickr.

and how could i resist pairing these two?


behold our little garden

my fingertips are sore from weeding and the spot between my shoulder blades feels fiery from lugging wheelbarrows full of new topsoil from where the landscape company guys dumped it to the beds across the yard over the last couple of days. yesterday adam helped me with a lot of it--what would have taken me hours he had done in about 20 minutes. but now i've got over half of it planted-- white and yellow corn, an artichoke, two varieties of tomato, yellow sweet pepper, japanese and pickling cucumbers. i've never made pickles before so maybe i'll do that this year. for one bed i've got only herbs; so far chamomile, mint, sage, basil, and two kinds of thyme, because thyme is my favorite. we've also got a flowerbed with gerbera daisies, sundrops, foxglove, and wallflower. i had no idea that wallflowers had such an intoxicating smell. i love that they do, seeing as the way we use the word wallflower to describe a shy person. but these are often the people that if you get to know them, you find that they're very interesting. i think interestingness translates to fragrance in flowers.

so i'm off to the neighborhood nursery "evermay" to get more. i'll keep you posted as to what i find there.


the joy of translation

how babelfish translates certain french idioms:

to drown in a water glass (make a mountain out of a molehill)

keep a pear for thirst (save for a rainy day)

it's not necessary to push yourself into the nettles (going a bit far)

to make a cinema of something (make a big deal of it)

to fall into the oubliettes (become obsolete: oublier is french for forget. an oubliette is a dungeon.)

all is not pink in life (life is not a bed of roses)

to cry one's coil dry (cry your eyes out)

to make a fatty morning (to sleep in--i love this one.)

to fall into the apples (to faint)

to have a puppet in the drawer (to be pregnant)

to search for the small beast (to nitpick)

occupy yourself with your onions (mind your own business)

the dress does not make the monk (don't judge a book by its cover)

and then there's window-licking, the french way of saying window shopping.


"the struggle of literature...

...is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary."
~italo calvino, "the literature machine"

image from here.


dark tourism

i encountered this phrase a couple of weeks back and it's been on my mind ever since. then today i saw it again on word spy. it is defined as: "tourism that involves traveling to places associated with death, destruction, or a horrific event."
a professor named john lennon has co-authored a book titled "dark tourism: the attraction of death and disaster," and he writes:

'Dark tourism' sites are important testaments to the consistent failure of humanity to temper our worst excesses and, managed well, they can help us to learn from the darkest elements of our past. But we have to guard against the voyeuristic and exploitative streak that is evident at so many of them."

this, i think, is very true. there is a troublesome ring to the sentence i found here: "Beaches and theme parks? Forget it - dark tourism is the new way to enjoy yourself."
for though i am just as morbidly curious as the next person, i am vehemently against the commodification of sites of unspeakable atrocity. it betrays a blatant lack in modesty of spirit. i think it is natural for us to be drawn to these spaces, ominous shadows in the body of an eclipse, so long as we exercise restraint as "consumers" of them. there is much to be learned from a selfless tenderness toward the suffering of others, but there is nothing to be gleaned if all we do is make a spectacle of humanity's most monstrous mistakes as another incentive for profit.

image from here.


"words contain their own beauty of face, but they desire an occupation. they cannot exist on beauty or necessity alone." ~barbara guest

for friday's pairs:

"before and after"

and "chemistree."

i would say go to my flickr and click on the favorites to access the separate photographers, but you're probably getting to know the drill.

"tiny bubbles" was the first song i ever learned

don ho dies at 76



you learn something old every day

Lido (swimming pool)

"A Lido, in the United Kingdom and some other countries, refers to a public outdoor swimming pool and surrounding facilities, or part of a beach where people can swim, lie in the sun or participate in water sports. Over a hundred Lidos are still open.
The term Lido comes from the name of a place in Venice where bathing took place.

The Golden Age of new Lidos was in the 1930s when swimming became very popular and 169 were built across the the UK as recreational facilities by local councils. Many have closed as cheap foreign holidays became more appealing, but the remaining Lidos have a dedicated following of supporters."

this is what wikipedia had to say about the lido. i had to look it up when i was looking at valentine schmidt's beautiful work with lidos in london.



a photoset on flickr by artelisa


the lovely mandibles

that's what i'm calling this friday flickr pair.

and this is simply "rabbits"
as you can see i've become a big fan of lapinfille on flickr. i think you'd like her too.

for more favorites, go here.

something wonderful for your netflix queue

dziga vertov's "man with a movie camera" left me breathless. his silent avant-garde documentary of a day in moscow from dawn to dusk in 1929 made me only wish for one thing, and that was a larger television. nevertheless, i was swept away by this visionary celebration of motion and simultanaeity. it is imperative that everyone see it. (especially andrea).

in his film, vertov places a lot of emphasis on the grace and fluidity of machines, portraying them as fitting seamlessly in with human life. all the workers in the factories he films seem to revel in the repetition of their jobs, as if they are temporarily tuned in to the underlying and hypnotizing rhythm of the film, the teeming pulse of life when it's running full steam. the whole thing is just visually exhilarating, and the soundtrack only enhances it. (be sure you watch the kino version, for there are others out there with different soundtracks, as the original film is completely silent, so when it was played in theatres it could be accompanied by live music.

i have a link right here for you to watch the first ten or so minutes. the guy who added it to youtube calls vertov "a koyaaniskatsi of the silent era," but i'd say it was the other way around.


what jakobsen said

"without contradiction, there is no interplay of concepts, no interplay of signs, the relationship between the concept and the sign becomes automatic, the progress of events comes to a halt, and all consciousness of reality dies [...] poetry protects us from this automaticization, from the rust that threatens our formulation of love, hate, revolt, and reconciliation, faith and negation."

~from julia kristeva's "desire in language"


poetic logic in action

an object i deeply desire, brought to us by bb.

this room, complete with a set of those cups...
(sadly i don't remember where i found this picture.)

this is so inventive. if this kind of imagination was put into gyms here, i'd go a lot more often. link via sf girl by bay.

and then there's ithaa, the first ever all glass underwater restaurant, in maldives. five meters down. as travel post puts it: "as the fish swim freely on the outside, diners are the ones occupying the aquarium."

how i adore the topsy-turvy.