Posts Under Anything Else (I.D.W.P.) Category
(An open letter to Tesco, inspired by, and in support of, this article by Let Toys Be Toys: “Since when were science toys just for boys?“. Update: Tesco’s most recent tweet to me – 9 March 8.33pm BST – read: “@SciDoll In light of this feedback we will be reviewing how toys are categorised online and will be carrying out further research.” Well, we’ll see what happens. In all events, the place you ought to be heading is the Let Toys Be Toys website, to give them your support and catch up on all the latest news.)
I do hope you’ll excuse the impertinence of my writing to you. I have, alas, frivolously wasted time in gaining a PhD in theoretical physics, investigating the mysteries of the universe, and co-founding a biomedical charity to address the suffering caused by the diseases of aging. Regretfully, I have spent woefully little time in the kitchen. If only you had been there, in my early days, to guide me in my life choices: then, perhaps, things would have been very different.
I recently found a poem by Paul Éluard on the BitterGrace Notes blog, in translation. It turns out that the French original was published in a book called Facile, with photographic illustrations by Man Ray. The translation differed from original, in its sense of flow and cadence, so I decided to translate from the French myself, and thought I’d share the result. I make no pretense that it’s born of deep contextual scholarship, and I’m aware of various “strictly the French reads…” moments which it might engender, but hopefully someone can take enjoyment from it and perhaps feel closer to reading the original.
Easy is good
Easy is beautiful beneath your eyelids
As a gathering of pleasure
Dance and what follows
I have spoken of the fever
The best of all arguments for fire
That you be pale and luminous
A thousand winning poses
A thousand losing embraces
Repeated as they forget themselves
You fall dark you raise your veil
A mask you soften
It resembles you vividly
And you never look better than nude
Nude in shadow and dazzlingly nude
As a sky shivering with lightning
You give yourself up to your own self
To give yourself up to others.
Paul Éluard (trans. Sarah Marr)
And the original:
Facile est bien
Facile est beau sous tes paupières
Comme l’assemblée du plaisir
Danse et la suite
J’ai dit la fièvre
Le meilleur argument du feu
Que tu sois pâle et lumineuse
Mille attitudes profitables
Mille étreintes défaites
Répétées vont s’effaçant
Tu t’obscurcis tu te dévoiles
Un masque tu l’apprivoises
Il te ressemble vivement
Et tu n’en parais que mieux nue
Nue dans l’ombre et nue éblouie
Comme un ciel frissonnant d’éclairs
Tu te livres à toi-même
Pour te livrer aux autres.
In which your blogger marvels at the thoughtfulness of people, and the rarity of two blog posts in as many days.
I forget who said:
The true measure of friendship lies not in the orthodoxy of the consequential, but in the unbidden kindness of the moment.
Actually, I remember now: I said it, a few minutes ago. I just put it in quotes because there’s far more gravitas in the found quotation than in the “Hey! I just thought of this!” discourse of the internet. Sorry about that.
In the past couple of days, two of my friends sent me emails, as unbidden kindnesses of the moment. I can’t help but feel that there are other people who will appreciate their contents, so…
So, read on...
In which your blogger loses herself in a twilight world of philological machinations.
On this Sunday’s “The Newsroom” one of the characters quoted Robert Herrick’s “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”:
Gather ye rosebuds whilst ye may,
Old time is still a flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
I am, by nature, driven by curiosity, and I started to wonder about that innocuous little ye between Gather and rosebuds.
Wait! There’s now an iPhone 5 version available, which fits its larger screen. If you have an iPhone 5, click here. If you have an iPhone 4S or older, you’re in the right post.
A TARDIS lockscreen for your iPhone: now iOS5 compatible and less Thal-friendly!
I updated the TARDIS lockscreen I previously posted, so that it was integrated with the camera icon which has been added in iOS5. My original intention was just to redo the shading to accommodate the shortened slide-bar, but there was something about that camera lens, staring out at me, unblinking, uncaring…
So, here it is. If you’re still on iOS4 then head to the original post. Otherwise, grab this version: just right-click and ‘save as’, then transfer to your iPhone using email (or do whatever your inner nerd tells you is necessary). Once again, the colours look odd, but that’s to compensate for the lockscreen overlay, and the ‘Police Box’ text is missing because the time and date go there.
There’s also a home screen, which is darker, so that it doesn’t interfere with your icons.
Post a comment if you use them. Thanks. Enjoy.
It is, apparently, World Homeopathy Awareness Week. I’ve written a long, detailed post about homeopathy, which is none-too-favourable, as one might expect coming from any author with even the vaguest inkling of scientific method. Anyway, in the spirit of things, I have diluted my original post repeatedly, removing random characters each time, and banging my computer in what is technically referred to as ‘just the right way’ at regular intervals. The result is a homeopathic post about homeopathy. To you, with an untrained (but oh-so-delightfully blue/green/grey/brown/false*) eye, it may seem like there’s nothing there at all. But! rest assured the pixels of your screen retain the resonances of my well-reasoned arguments, and you will still feel its benefit, and be able to act on its sage advice about the damage homeopathy can do when, amongst other things, it is applied to communicative diseases, replacing medicines which have been shown to work in both double-blind studies and in general use. This post does differ from normal homeopathic offerings, in that you can have it for free: who says you can’t get something diluted to nothing for nothing?
Homeopathic post begins.
Homeopathic post ends.
Thank you for reading. You may also like this piece by Martin Robbins in The Guardian.
*delete as appropriate
Whoa there! I don’t think you really want to be here: this version is only for iOS4 or earlier.
If you have an iPhone 4S or older, you’re probably running iOS5 or 6, with a camera icon on the lockscreen. So, head over to the iOS5 or 6 version: click here.
If you have an iPhone 5, you need a larger version for the new screen, which you can find in this post: click here.
If you are still on iOS4, however, then feel free to click here to download a version which works without the camera icon.
And here’s the original post:
Yes, this is a bit random. No, it doesn’t really fit into the overall goals of the blog. But, yesterday I went to a Doctor Who exhibition in London and I figured it might be fun to have a Tardis-themed lock screen on my iPhone. I couldn’t find one that fitted my criteria: had to work with messages I received, had to show the time and date clearly, should be as ‘full-screen’ as possible. Anyway, I spent a productive breakfast editing images, and came up with the following. I thought I’d share it, in case anyone else wanted to use it. The colours look odd, but that’s to compensate for the iPhone’s lock-screen shading. The ‘Police Box’ text is missing, but that’s because the date sits there.
Post a comment if you use it. Thanks.
(I stupidly deleted the original Tardis image file, and can’t remember where I found it. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. If you’re the rights holder and want it taken down, or credited, then please accept my apologies: contact me through comments and I’ll oblige. It just seemed like a harmless thing to share with people, in a derivative-work-kind-of-way.)
Washington Post wins award for “Highest number of times ’2008′ can be included in a short video description”. Yesterday, there were evidently a lot of links to a piece in the Post which suggested Romney had dropped out of the primaries. Today, the Post has clearly taken steps to remove any confusion. I figured this would happen, so I took a screen shot. Not important, but it made me smile and I thought I’d share it with you.
Finally, a chance to combine Darwin, Marat, mermaids, taxidermy, Star Wars, Poussin, Rilke and Japanese death poetry in a single essay. Let me explain. A talented artist friend, Kelly McCallum, is having a solo show at Shizaru Gallery in Mayfair. Simon, the gallery director, was kind enough to hire me to write a short piece for inclusion in the catalogue, and thus was born Plumage and Paradise : Art and the Catalysis of Personal Narrative.
Now, thanks to the wonder of the internet, you, too, can own and enjoy a fine copy of this timeless piece of cultural analysis. This lovingly hand-crafted pdf is guaranteed to bring moments of reflective happiness to any enquiring mind. It also includes photographs of Kelly’s work, to give you an idea of what I’m actually talking about. Just click here or on the image below to download.
Better still – and I highly recommend this – get down to the gallery to see the exhibition. You can find full details on Shizaru’s website, but in summary: Plumage and Paradise, 15 September – 29 October 2011, Shizaru Gallery, 112 Mount Street, London, W1K 2TU, UK.
So, you may have heard whispers of a slight hoohah in London last night. I ventured out this morning and took some photographs. (For wherever there is trouble I shall be bravely there, a few hours later, when things have calmed down, and it’s daylight, and I can get a cup of tea.) Please insert your own social commentary as required. Photos after the break.