Friday, July 03, 2009

MASTERMIND: Aubrey Martinson

MASTERMIND: Aubrey Martinson

By: Amy Whitesall, 7/1/2009

Pottery appeals to Aubrey Thornton Martinson for a lot of reasons – beauty, functionality, the challenge of striving for unattainable perfection. She likes its concrete ways to measure success. Is the pot heavy? Is it clunky? People can use the things she makes, and that feels fulfilling.

"I'm really happy still when people tell me, 'I use that mug I bought every day,' or 'That's my ice cream bowl.' " she says. "That is exciting to me."

Martinson, the 30-year-old executive director of the Chelsea Center for the Arts, doesn't throw pots anymore. The studio she and her husband, Chris, set up in their Grass Lake home gave way to renovations, then to their daughter, Lily. The kiln they started building as college students is almost done, and has been for years.

Go HERE and read the rest.

Araki Nobuyoshi

Nobuyoshi Araki (Araki Nobuyoshi) is a Japanese photographer and contemporary artist. He is also known by the nickname Arākī.

nobuyoshiaraki29 Photographer Spotlight: Nobuyoshi Araki

TouchPuppet: Photographer Spotlight: Nobuyoshi Araki

Paparazzi feeding our blood lust.

Paparazzi feeding our blood lust.

(Curious that each side of the tableau is so carefully staged.)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Eastern ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis)

Last time I saw this guy in my back field I thought it was just some old coarse weave tarp laying in the deep grass ... imagine my surprise when it slithered away.


Eastern ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis), observed at [an undisclosed location, because some people who share the same space with this harmless creature would never step outdoors if they knew he was there]. This snake was about five feet long (1.5 m). Learn more here.

[link to original | source: all creatures [great and small] | published: 3 hours ago | shared via feedly]

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Perfidious Albion, deLux Fiat

[link to original | source: | via: feedly]

Crumb, Burroughs

[link to original | source: /Ambivalence | published: 1 day ago | shared via feedly]

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm going back to IRC ... See you there.

If you are old(er) like me you will remember the communities in IRC. You will remember the conversations. You will remember the friends...and the feuds. You will remember when groups of people talked with each other in near-real time. You will remember full sentences. But most of all you will be a member.



I cannot promise that I will be on all the time - I do have a real job and some semblance of a life. I can promise that if you catch me there we can share more than 140 character blurts.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The circle of Life and Death here at the Flying Pig Ranch

Out of the corner of my eye I caught the shadow. A fast moving dark blur.

"What the heck was that?"

I stood at the kitchen sink window and watched. There it was again. More an illusion than a fact. A large dark visage careening across the front field of the Flying Pig Ranch. I stood stock still and waited. Perhaps my aging mind was playing tricks on me.

It swooped low on broad wings. It was being chased by three sparrows and a starling. Undeterred it turned again, folded its wings and settled two thirds of the way down the driveway. The huge vulture paced. Warily eying its prize. A prize invisible from my vantage point.

Here at the Flying Pig Ranch we don't have fur bearing indoor pets. Too many allergies to 'animal dander'. So we have outdoor cats - or more specifically now, one outdoor cat - Pussin.

Anyone who has spent time with cats knows the difference between ambling and intent. When Pussin got up from her throne on the stoop and walked by me with intent I knew something was up. She made a direct line for the field behind the new shed.

Enamored with the prospect of a new species to list on the ranch roster I made my way outdoors to stand behind one of the Norway spruces closest to the driveway. The vulture was still being pestered by the smaller birds. Opening it 6 foot wing span it made a graceful leap to a nearby fence post. There it turned and kept a careful eye on the still unidentified prize. Mollified the smaller birds skittered away to their respective places.

Majestic in its stature the vulture just sat... almost as if in a cartoon segment... waiting... so we waited together ... I from my somewhat hidden vantage point and the vulture for ...

Pussin returned as intently as she had left. Proudly she presented the field mouse at my feet. As only a cat can she then accepted her accolades ... my scratching her behind the ears and compliments on her kill. Duly acknowledged she sat down with the dignity befiting her station and respect for her prey she began crunching away.

Satisfied that the time was right the vulture slipped from the fence post and settle next to its prize. Affixing it with one foot the sharp beak made quick work of the dissection. Three good tears each followed by a head-tilt swallow and the meal was over. A moment to preen and then taking wing the vulture rose in characteristic circles seeking thermals off our hillside to drift into the summer afternoon.

Pussin, having completed her repast, settled again on her throne to wash. Once properly appointed she languorously stretched out and napped.

Curiosity bested me. I went down the driveway. It took a moment of searching but there I found the lone fore claw of a mole.

As a father my heart breaks... Daughters For Life

Daughters For Life

There are no words that can adequately express the sorrow...

Bummer, dude!

Click the pic for the story.

Tanka, Renga and Haiku


Tanka consists of five units (often treated as separate lines when Romanized or translated) usually with the following mora pattern:


The 5-7-5 is called the kami-no-ku ("upper phrase"), and the 7-7 is called the shimo-no-ku ("lower phrase").

Tanka is a much older form of Japanese poetry than haiku. In ancient times poems of this form were called hanka ("reverse poem"), since the 5-7-5-7-7 form derived from the conclusion (envoi) of a chōka[citation needed]. Sometimes a chōka had two envois[citation needed].

The chōka above is followed by an envoi, also written by Okura:

銀も Shirogane mo What are they to me,
金も玉も Kogane mo tama mo Silver, or gold, or jewels?
何せんに Nanisen ni How could they ever
まされる宝 Masareru takara Equal the greater treasure
子にしかめやも Koni shikame yamo That is a child? They can not.

[English translation by Edwin Cranston]

The Heian period also saw the invention of a new tanka-based game: one poet recited or created half of a tanka, and the other finished it off. This sequential, collaborative tanka was called renga ("linked poem"). (The form and rules of renga developed further during medieval times; see the renga article for more details.)

Renga (連歌 renga?, collaborative poetry) is a genre[1] of Japanese collaborative poetry. A renga consists of at least two ku (?) or stanzas, usually many more. The opening stanza of the renga, called the hokku (発句?), became the basis for the modern haiku form of poetry.

The first stanza of the renga chain, the hokku (発句?), is the forebear of the modern haiku. The stand-alone hokku was renamed haiku in the Meiji period by the great Japanese poet and critic Masaoka Shiki. Shiki proposed haiku as an abbreviation of the phrase "haikai no ku" meaning a verse of haikai[6].


Wikipedia: Waka (poetry)

Wikipedia: Renga


© Steve McCurry
Sharbat Gula, Afghan Girl, at Nasir Bagh refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984.

June 22, 2009

A Tribute to KODACHROME: A Photography Icon

They say all good things in life come to an end. Today we announced that Kodak will retire KODACHROME Film, concluding its 74-year run.

. . .