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Posts Tagged ‘Scotland

“this body (the miniature universe) may be called the field or creation”*…

 

René Magritte’s “The Son of Man” on a Chinese coin

The Sao Paulo–born, Frankfurt-based artist and designer Andre Levy has earned himself a huge online following and an exhibition at Stew Gallery in Norwich, England with his project Tales You Lose, for which he turns the portraits of monarchs and political heroes adorning coins into images of pop culture icons…

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Leonardo on Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man

More about Levy’s work, and more examples, at Hyperallergic.

* Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter 13

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As we count our change, we might sign birthday greetings to Walter Geikie; he was born on this date in 1795.   The victim at age two of a “nervous fever” that cost him his hearing, Geikie became one of Scotland’s most-loved artists– a chronicler, in black-and-white sketches (examples here), of life in his native Edinburgh.

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Written by LW

November 10, 2014 at 1:01 am

The Baker of Amherst…

 

Emily Dickinson is, of course, renown for her verse; but acclaim for her poetry was largely posthumous.  In her lifetime, she was probably better known as the quiet-but-kindly lady who would lower baked treats from her kitchen window to Amherst children.  Her Rye and Indian round bread won second prize at the 1856 Amherst Cattle Show (though in the spirit of full disclosure, it should be noted that Emily’s sister Lavinia was one of the judges). And when the Dickinson family’s housekeeper quit, Emily took it upon herself to bake the family’s daily bread– a responsibility she retained even after a replacement was hired, in deference to her father’s preference for her bread over all others.

Even as her dough rose in the kitchen, so did her inspiration, which often struck as she baked.  So she would draft poems on wrappers and other kitchen papers; her poem, “The Things that can never come back, are several,”

The Things that never can come back, are several—
Childhood—some forms of Hope—the Dead—
Though Joys—like Men—may sometimes make a Journey—
And still abide…

…was first composed on the back of a friend’s recipe for Coconut Cake.

For more on Emily Dickinson’s kitchen connection, see “A Poet in the Kitchen” at History Kitchen.  And for Emily’s own recipe for Coconut Cake (or, as she called it, “Cocoanut Cake) click here.

God gave a Loaf to every Bird —
But just a Crumb — to Me —
I dare not eat it — tho’ I starve —
My poignant luxury —

To own it — touch it —
Prove the feat — that made the Pellet mine —
Too happy — for my Sparrow’s chance —
For Ampler Coveting —

It might be Famine — all around —
I could not miss an Ear —
Such Plenty smiles upon my Board —
My Garner shows so fair —

I wonder how the Rich — may feel —
An Indiaman — An Earl —
I deem that I — with but a Crumb —
Am Sovereign of them all —

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As we reach for the oven mitts, we might recall that it was on this date in 1306 that Robert I (aka Robert the Bruce) was crowned King of Scotland… at Scone.

Robert and his (first) wife, Isabella of Mar

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Written by LW

March 25, 2013 at 1:01 am

Special Halloween Edition: Horror for all!…

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By way of helping readers ready themselves for this evening’s frightful festivities, a stroll down memory lane…

These and other terrifying trailers (along with lots of other fascinating film fodder) at The Ebert Club; inexpensive annual membership required– and more than worth it.

And for advanced students: “The Top 10 Zombie Movies You’ve Never Seen.”

SPECIAL HORROR-GEEK UPDATE: “‘Why won’t you die?!’ The art of the jump scare.”

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As we steel ourselves against breaking prematurely into the candy, we might note that it was on this date in 2004 that the 14th Baron of Prestoungrange pardoned the 81 “East Lothian Witches” who had been put to death 400 years earlier (often, for crimes as innocuous as owning a black cat and living on their own).

The Baron acted on the authority of Scotland’s ancient baronial courts– and not a moment too soon, as the courts were abolished the following month.

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Written by LW

October 31, 2012 at 1:01 am

Food Fight!…

As students return to high school and college cafeterias around the country, it’s an occasion to consider the technological advances that have turned old fashioned food fights (like the one immortalized in Animal House) into the Twenty-First Century slap-downs enabled by implements like these:

The Zing (“Launch Your Lunch!”) is available at Fred and Friends, purveyor of fine novelties since…  well, since a while ago.

As we mash our potatoes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1997 that a pre-legislative referendum in Scotland decided the Scots should have their own Parliament with (relatively) independent taxing authority; the process of devolution was begun.

We are Devo

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Written by LW

September 11, 2009 at 12:01 am

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