Thursday, May 31, 2012

First US President to supports equality for all couples!

"In the wake of recent same-sex marriage news (namely, North Carolina passing a ban against gay unions in its state constitution Tuesday), President Barack Obama has gone on the record that he personally supports equality for all couples.
He tells Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America:
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed, monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage — at a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”?

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Obama Says He's Not Bluffing on Iran

In Interview, Obama Says He's Not Bluffing on Iran - ABC News:

"President Barack Obama warned that he is not bluffing about attacking Iran if it builds a nuclear weapon, but in an interview published Friday, Obama also cautioned U.S. ally Israel that a premature attack on Iran would do more harm than good."

"I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff," he said in the interview. "I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But (both) governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Save Your Eyes!

Infographics News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip - Lifehacker:

"Staring at screens for three hours (or more) a day or having our necks flexed down for extended periods of time while texting surely can't be good for us. Just as a reminder, the "Are Mobile Devices Destroying Your Body?" infographic points out these and other health implications when using mobile devices and things we can do to minimize them.
Some stats may seem alarmist or still unproven (e.g., regarding cellphone radiation and cancer studies—cellphones are neither officially safe nor unsafe to use)."

Famed children's book co-author Jan Berenstain dies -

Famed children's book co-author Jan Berenstain dies -

""The Berenstain Bears'" co-creator Jan Berenstain has died at the age of 88, according to a Facebook page dedicated to the furry characters Berenstain and her husband created.
"It is with very sad hearts we inform you that our dear Jan died on Friday, February 24. We are grateful for all of your very kind thoughts. Please remember her family at this very difficult time," said a statement on the Berenstain Bears Facebook page."

RIP Jan Berenstain

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Recipes: Squash, Cabbage, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Apples

Fall Recipes: Squash, Cabbage, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Apples:

"The air is cooler and the days are getting shorter, but autumn still offers a bountiful harvest of fruit and vegetables. Bring fresh apples, potatoes and pumpkins to the table with these fall recipes from the Almanac recipe archive.

Whether it's from your own garden, a farmer's market, or a grocery store, fresh and local food has many benefits. Better taste, nutrition, and even cost savings."


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Hummingbirds: "
From scarlet to dusty gold,
to yellow flames,
to the rare
ashen emerald,
to the orange and black velvet
of our girdle gilded by sunflowers,
to the sketch
amber thorns,
your Epiphany,
little supreme being,
you are a miracle,
shimmering ..

Pablo Neruda - Ode to a Hummingbird [w]

book illustration of hummingbird
Le Stokes

19th century hummingbird illustration
Le Petit Rubis de la Caroline, sur une Mimeuse

adult hummingbird hand-coloured lithograph
Oiseau-Mouche Ensipenne, Plumage Complete d'Adulte

coloured lithograph 1833 hummingbird by René Primevère Lesson
Oiseau-Mouche Mediastin, Plumage Parfait d'Adulte

RP Lesson - ornithological illustration 1830s
Oiseau-Mouche Avocette, Jeune Age

colourful illustration of Trochilidae species, 1800s
Le Tricolore, Jeune Adulte

Trochilidae illustration by René Primevère Lesson
Oiseau-Mouche de Loddiges

René Primevère Lesson illustration of hummingbird
Le Buffon

bird sketch 19th century
L'Anais, Male en Plumage Parfait

illustration of hummingbird, RP Lesson 1832
La Caeligene

hummingbird illustration - perched on tree branch
Colibri faux Brins-Blancs

resting hummingbird in tree : 1832 sketch
Le Mazeppa

French physician and naturalist René Primevère Lesson (1794-1849) enlisted and served in the navy during the Napoleonic wars. In the 1820s he sailed around the world aboard La Coquille with a scientific expedition headed by Louis-Isadore Duperrey.

Chief among Lesson's duties during the voyage was collecting zoological specimens that served as the basis for a number of well regarded monographs. He is best remembered for the books he released on some of the most beautiful birds in the world: hummingbirds from the Americas and birds of paradise from New Guinea.

Notes on the Trochilidae family from the Internet Bird Collection:
  • Small to tiny fast-flying birds, with extensively iridescent plumage, many with strikingly coloured gorget or crest; thin bill extremely variable, from short to extremely long, from straight to sharply curved; feet tiny.
  • New World, mainly Neotropical.
  • Wide variety of habitats, wherever suitable food plants occur, from sea-level up to c. 5000 m, with greatest diversity in submontane zone.
  • 102 genera, 329 species, 684 taxa.
  • 29 species threatened; 1 definitely extinct since 1600.
The cropped and spot-cleaned hand-coloured engravings seen above were sourced from Volume Two of 'Les Trochilidées ou les Colibris et les Oiseaux-Mouches Suivis d'un Index Général dans Lequel sont Décrites et Classées Méthodiquement Toutes les Races et Espèces du Genre Trochilus ; Ouvrage Orné de Planches Dessinées et Gravées par les Meilleurs Artistes' [1832], online at Göttinger Digitalisierungszentrum.

  • Birdphotos has high resolution photographs of a large number of hummingbird species.
  • Via, or at least inspired by, Salzburg University Library's Book of the Month.
  • Short Wikipedia biography of René Primevère Lesson.
  • Previously: Gould's Hummingbirds (which post-dates Lesson by 60 years)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

David Klein’s Gorgeous Vintage Travel Posters

David Klein’s Gorgeous Vintage Travel Posters: "
Modern airlines take note: There’s something about David Klein’s brightly colored, and often abstract illustrations for TWA that manages to inspire wanderlust much more so than any present-day ad campaigns. In fact, his travel poster for New York was considered so iconic that it became a part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in 1957. Click through to get a better look at his work, and let us know in the comments if you think Don Draper would approve.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Houdini: Art And Magic

Houdini: Art And Magic: "

The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles has not one, but two very appealing magic-related exhibitions opening April 28. The first, Houdini: Art and Magic, travels to us from New York. Featuring tons of Houdini-ana, the exhibition looks not only at the historical Houdini, but also at his enduring legacy. To that end, the exhibition includes a number of artworks by contemporary artists inspired by the Houdini legend, including such luminaries as Matthew Barney, Petah Coyne, Vik Muniz and Raymond Pettibon. The Skirball has created a second exhibition to give context to Houdini. This is called Masters of Illusion: Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age, and it focuses on Houdini’s predecessors, colleagues and competitors in both Europe and the US, focusing on the years 1875 to 1948. The exhibition examines more than 40 fascinating careers, largely forgotten, and contains many outstanding objects, all displayed in “period” environments meant to evoke vaudeville stages, Victorian magic parlors and the like. Both exhibitions feature vintage photography, gorgeous promotional ephemera, original props and costumes, and rare documents, and Masters of Illusion includes four renowned automata.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Weddng

"Under cool, gray skies billions watched from outside Westminster Abbey and on television worldwide as 1900 invited guests inside witnessed as Prince William and his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton were married in one of the largest events in London in decades. A little over an hour after they arrived at the Abbey to be married, the couple emerged on a red carpet and onto the streets to a peal of bells and into a horse-drawn carriage, heading toward Buckingham Palace. The prince had married what the British call a commoner; now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (titles granted by Queen Elizabeth II). The couple stepped out onto a balcony a short time later to greet the enormous crowd along the Mall - a tradition at royal weddings. They kissed for the first time in public as a married couple as a cheer went up from the crowd."