Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year observations

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
Bill Vaughan

A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.
Author unknown

The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to.
P.J. O'Rourke

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.
Author unknown

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives not looking for flaws, but for potential.
Ellen Goodman

Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average. Which means you've met your New Year's resolution.
Jay Leno


In the New Year, may your right hand always be 
stretched out in friendship, but never in want. 

Traditional Irish toast

All that, and jazz too!

A little supper, a little dancing...

Times Square

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Levi's 1964

Gladys Deacon, Duchess of Marlborough 1881-1977

Giovanni Boldini

European-raised American heiress Gladys Deacon was one of the great beauties of her time. She was celebrated in Paris and won many proposals. She wed the 9th Duke of Marlborough and settled into British life. As a child, Gladys' father shot and killed her mother's lover in a hotel in Cannes. It caused an international scandal. Her father later died in a psychiatric prison. Later, Gladys' problems led her to seek care at a psychiatric hospital, where she spent the last years of her life.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Paleolithic art

The cave paintings of Lascaux, France

The Lascaux cave paintings were made approximately 20,000 years ago by people living in the Upper Paleolithic period when the Stone Age ended and the Hunter-Gatherers gained prominence. They did not live in the cave, but in huts and dugouts nearby.

Discovered by schoolboys in 1940, the paintings have since been damaged by crowds and bright lights, and are currently threatened by several forms of fungi. Preservation is ongoing. The cave is now closed to the public, and only a handful of scientists have access for monitoring purposes.

There are 600 paintings and 1500 engravings in the massive cave, including a large hall of bulls, in which one bull is 17 feet long. Artwork high on the walls and on the ceiling required scaffolding.

Monday, December 27, 2010

War children

Young London evacuees disembark in Cornwall during WWII.

American painter Peter Campbell

Winter Creek

Leeds Castle, Kent, England

Erected on a site dating to the 10th Century, Leeds Castle was built in 1119 and became a Royal Palace in 1278 under King Edward I. King Henry VIII restored the castle, and during WWII it was a temporary hospital. It was privately purchased in 1928 when further restorations were made. It remained privately owned until 1974 when it was purchased by a foundation. It was opened to the public in 1978, and has a large maze, an aviary and a golf course.|p0|n0|c0|s0|g1|d0&

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter in Montreal

Winter in Montreal, parc Notre Dame de Grace 
Jon Berg

What are you reading this winter?

If you didn't get any books for Christmas,
you'll have to provide your own.
You will be amazed at what's out there.

Find something literary at The National Book Foundation.

Find something popular on the NYTimes Bestseller List.

Help a child read. Learn more at Reading is Fundamental.

Springfield High School, Ohio

Located on W. High and Wittenberg, it was built
in 1875 and demolished only 53 years later in 1928.

I thought this is where my dad went to high school,
but he was born 10 years before it was razed.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Santa Claus Marathon, Kyoto, Japan

Caspar David Friedrich

Dolmen in the Snow

The Winter Solstice is tomorrow.
Tonight there is a lunar eclipse.
A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.

~ Garrison Keillor, host of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion, author, and master storyteller about Norwegians in Minnesota