Tag: Astronomy

Seven Things I Love (5-9-2022)

1. This Outfit for the Met Gala 2022 – People have a lot of strong opinions about the Met Gala. Some say it’s an ostentatious event full of self-absorbed, pretentious individuals who have too much money. (After all, tickets are $35,000* a piece.)

Others say it’s a pretentious event full of ostentatious, self-absorbed individuals who have too much money. (Just kidding.)

They see it as an opportunity to showcase creativity in the areas of fashion and the performing arts.

Whatever side you fall on, you can’t deny, it’s a spectacle.

My interest is dependent upon the theme. This year I was excited about the theme – Gilded Glamour – because I love Victorian and Edwardian era clothing. I expected people to use fashion of the “Gilded Age” as inspiration for their gowns/ensembles. There were a number of incredible designers of that period (Charles Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Jeanne Paquin, Madeleine Chériut, and John Redfern to name a few) as well as a few modern designers who use fashion of the era for inspiration (Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Christian Lacroix.)

For the most part I was disappointed.

But then I saw Emma Corrin, wearing this outfit by Miu Miu, and, well, at least the Met Gala gave us this. Corrin did her homework (or her designer did her homework) and IMHO she won the Met Gala.

Emma’s outfit is a modern take on one worn by Mr. Evander Berry, known as “The King of the Dudes,” in 1888. He was a Gilded Age fashion icon and once changed his clothes FORTY times between breakfast and lunch. (You can click on his photo below to read more.)

There were three other dresses that I think did the theme justice – Nicola Coughlan, Cardi B., and Billie Eilish.

*Did you know that the Met Gala is a benefit for the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art? The Costume Institute, which is self funded, will be receiving $17.4 million from the 2022 gala – a record amount.

[Seen at the Met Gala and found in Vogue]

2. This Barbie Doll – It’s sold out, but if you click on the photo below you’ll be sent to the Mattel page with all the close-up photos. The amount of detail is incredible. The original cost was $75. They’re already selling on eBay for $200-$500.

[Found by Jeannie and found on the Modern Met]

Also this Barbie Doll…

Part of a quartet of Star Wars Barbies. In addition to C-3PO Barbie I also love Stormtrooper Barbie but honestly, they’re all fabulous. They were released in 2020. At that time they cost $100 each. Amazingly you can actually still find them. C-3PO appears to be the one most available. It currently costs around $150. Stormtrooper Barbie is harder to find and is priced between $225 and $450. Chewbacca is running minimally for $500. And Rey is $200+.

3. This Guy, Perfectly Copying How Specific Actors Run – no words necessary.

[Found by my “little” bro, Chuck. Thanks Charlie!]

4. This Amazon Commercial – I abhor Jeff Bezos which means, by association, I hate all things Amazon. I stopped my Amazon Prime membership from renewing and I only order from Amazon when I absolutely have to. (I always try to buy from small, local businesses.)

Having said that, even greedy corporations can do good things once in a while. And I think that is the case with the all-female delivery services they have set up in South India. Giving women employment opportunities in Kerala, Chennai, Kadi, and Gujarat is a big deal.

One thing I’ve learned in my years of supporting charities that help women: when you help women there is a much higher chance for success (i.e personal growth & advancement, health & education of their children, safety & security, etc.)

(If the video isn’t showing above click on the image below to go to YouTube.)

5. This Shel Silverstein Stamp – I don’t think that there are many people in the U.S. under the age of 60 who aren’t, at the very least, familiar with Mr. Silverstein’s book The Giving Tree, or who haven’t chuckled while reading/hearing one of his poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends.

I, along with so many other GenXers, have been a huge fan, so when I saw these stamps I knew that I had to get some. And I did, three sheets.

Being a children’s librarian for twelve years (before becoming a library director for another dozen years) I’ve read more Silverstein than the average person.

One poem that I (and pretty much every other librarian in the world) really love is his poem “Overdues” from ‘A Light in the Attic.’ Course as most libraries are now eliminating fines, some day it will be completely “dated.” Still, probably not in my lifetime, so I’m not going to worry about it!

But it seems that more people are now seeing the message of ‘The Giving Tree’ as being negative. I sort of get that. As a kid ‘The Giving Tree’ wasn’t one of my favorite books. I didn’t like that the kid used up every little bit of the tree. I thought the kid should have let the tree thrive and grow. (My favorite book was actually Mrs. Twiggley’s Tree.)

Still, the majority of Silverstein’s iconic books were only in black and white. I’m sure they wanted a picture that everyone would recognize but that also had color.

[Found on USPS]

6. This Perfectly Aligned Telescope – If you click on the picture below you can get all the scientific details but ultimately you can see, the photo on the left is the normal shot they’ve gotten in the past, and the photo on the right is with the new perfectly aligned telescope. MAGNIFICENT!

[Found on Gizmodo]

7. This Frank Lloyd Wright “Preserve” – When FLW designed homes he took every little detail into consideration. This is why most of the homes he designed included FLW furniture made especially for the house. He also was very aware of environment, making sure that whatever he constructed blended well and since he often used nature for inspiration his homes were located in green, woodsy spaces.

A couple who were trying to sell their FLW house couldn’t find a buyer. Urban creep was threatening to overtaken one of FLW’s creations. So a very remarkable solution was found.

This story made me weepy (happy weepy.)

[Seen on Sunday Morning – obviously.]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week


What to Watch This Week

Seven Things I Love (3-29-2021)

  1. 1. This Incredible Photo of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II – Honestly, when I first saw this I thought it must be photoshopped by the person who posted it sent me to this link on the NASA website.

The photo was taken on February 12, 1984. Are you surprised, I was! I actually thought it would have been more recent. According to the website, it was the first ever untethered space walk. “Astronaut Bruce McCandless, ventured further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut had ever been. This space first was made possible by a nitrogen jet propelled backpack, previously known at NASA as the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU.”

The photo below, which I discovered on social media, is a little more photographic/dramatic than the one found on NASA. I’m not sure if that is because there was more than one camera taking photos and this took them at a higher resolution or if someone has tweaked the “original” version, either way, the photo is amazing.

Here’s a few more photos…

2. This Door that Converts into a Ping Pong Table – Genius, no? There’s only one eensy weensy problem. It costs nearly $15,000!!!

3. This AWESOME Tweet that Includes a Video of the Celebration that Ensued After the Ship Stuck in the Suez Canal Finally Started Moving – EPIC! It brings tears to my eyes.

4. THIS Seven-year-old Boy Who Dressed Up as Amanda Gorman for “Dress as Your Idol Day” – well done!

Poet AMANDA GORMAN at the Inauguration of President Joseph Biden on January 20, 2021

5. This SNL Video from this Past Weekend – People who actually think of themselves as the “greatest generation” are NOT the greatest generation. Just sayin’.

Man, Boomers suck! Please God, don’t let us turn into them! Too late, it’s already happening…

6. This Gorgeous Apartment in Covent Garden that you Can RENT – it’s about $900 per night but if you shared it with two other people it would be completely worth it!

7. This WONDERFUL Art Teacher – EDUCATORS ROCK!

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Five Things I Love (7-13-2020)

1. Hamilton Mask-Up! by the Holderness Family – Do you have Disney+? Did you get it just so you could watch the new Hamilton movie? I actually already had Disney+ (got it for The Mandalorian) so I watched Hamilton on the day it premiered, July 3rd*. SO GOOD! I was lucky enough to see Hamilton on stage. Went last year with a good friend. The theater experience itself was exciting and completely worth it but being able to see the original cast and notice the expressions on their faces and hear the words so clearly, it was equally exciting.

2. Mask Lanyards (or chain or cords or keepers or whatever you want to call them.) I saw one of these advertised in an article about mask accessories. Most everything in the article was crazy expensive but I thought the mask “chain” was cute and it was only $4.99. But I wasn’t sure about the clips so I browsed around until I found exactly what I wanted. There are a ZILLION options. I have already used this several times and I only got it last week. I think it will really come in handy going out to dinner (which I’m not doing yet.)

3. This video, Le Mythe Dior – the House of Dior dresses “creatures” from mythology. It’s mesmerizing.

4. This photo taken by the Hubble Telescope (you can see more photos at this article)

5. This new children’s book, ‘First Day Critter Jitters,’ illustrated by one of my favorite artists Liz Climo and written by Jory John – it really makes me wish I was still a children’s librarian so I could read this for storytime (when there wasn’t a global pandemic of course.)

[Bonus] The York Museum Trust’s twitter thread comparing Judi Dench to items in their collection (not quite as good as the thread comparing Angela Lansbury to teapots but pretty dang close)…

[Another Bonus] Gary Larson is BACK!!! Who isn’t a huge fan of Gary Larson’s cartoons? After a 25 year hiatus, Mr. Larson has gifted the world with three brand new cartoons and there is the possibility of more because he says that working in a new digital format has reinvigorated him, sparking his creativity. WHOO HOO! To see the new cartoons you’ll need to visit his website.


I’d like to thank my friend Ann for contributing the
Dior and York Museum Trust items this week!


*I’m sure that Disney+ chose July 3rd to premiere ‘Hamilton’ simply because it was the Friday before Independence Day but there is something also very apt about the movie premiering on that date (or rather not on July 4th.) July 3rd is the day between the day we now celebrate as our Independence Day and the day that independence was formally declared and that John Adams said would call “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” It appears that we all celebrate our nation’s birthday on a date that was written on the back of the Declaration of Independence by an unknown person.

Despite conspiracy theories and movies, there isn’t a secret map or code on the back of the Declaration of Independence. There are words, however. An unknown person wrote “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776” on the back. It’s believed that was added as a label when the document was rolled up for storage.

Thomas Jefferson is often called the “author” of the Declaration of Independence, but he wasn’t the only person who contributed important ideas. Jefferson was a member of a five-person committee appointed by the Continental Congress to write the Declaration. The committee included Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.

The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776. In fact, independence was formally declared on July 2, 1776, a date that John Adams believed would be “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the final text of the Declaration. It wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776.

From the article Why do we celebrate the 4th of July? Independence Day facts, history by Leada Gore

Five Things I Love (6-22-2020)

1. This Doritos commercial with Lil Nas X and Sam Elliott – Sam Elliott is 75 years old and still sexy as hell. (And yes, I know that isn’t actually him dancing, but I don’t care. I’m going to believe it is.) Yowzah – I like dancing cowboys!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OpuHa2vwdk

2. Sam Barsky – oh to have even an ounce of this guy’s talent, and his patience! So Sam has a fantastic back story which you can read about in the article here, but long story short, this guy knits sweaters of places he’s going to go visit and then has photos taken of himself wearing the sweater in front of the place… well, you get the idea. It’s just so very meta. I love things that are meta (and not just because I have a friend named Meta.) Sam has a Facebook page too.

Also, this particular item is especially for my friend Kathy. Cuz I know you’ll love it.

3. This video on how to incorporate art into your home. The video is of my friend (and interior designer) Emily Winters of Peabody’s Interiors.

4. SistaStrings singing ‘Lift Every Voice‘ – this recording was made at Silver City Studios in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Just glorious. It makes my heart ache, but in a good way.

5. Last, but definitely NOT least, this AMAZING video of People Looking at the Moon. It sounds simple enough. This guy, Alex Gorosh, brought his high-powered telescope outside one night because he was bored and it resulted in a video that will bring tears to your eyes. The reactions are all the same – truly genuine and pure. It makes it even more obvious that people in our country, in the world, have many more similarities than differences.

I’ve been collecting quotes for ages so it occurred to me that I should start ending my ‘5 Things’ with one of these little nuggets of wisdom (or humor). Here’s the first one.

Five Things I Love (5-11-2020)

  1. Kimmy Schmidt is coming back, couldn’t happen at a better time!!!

2. Angela Lansbury – a friend of mine told me about this marvelous twitter thread – Angela Lansbury as Teapots. Ms. @Pandamoanimum (I’m assuming this is a woman, which is completely sexist I know, but I feel fairly confident that I am correct) is super clever & creative. She’s taken a series of fabulous photographs of Angela Lansbury, some from her later Murder, She Wrote days, some from her early film career, and paired them up with perfectly matching teapots. The result is, well, see for yourself.

After looking through all the wonderfully imaginative match-ups I felt challenged and decided I had to give it a whirl myself. Here is my first attempt, what do you think? (The photo of Angela is from the film, Samson & Delilah – was she a babe or what?)

While searching for photos of Ms. Lansbury to use to pair with teapots I ran across this fabulous article – Living My Life Like Angela Lansbury. The author of the article, a HUGE fan of Murder, She Wrote, decided to spend a solid day following the advice found in Angela’s book (photo below.) I was astonished to see that what Lansbury recommended in a book nearly thirty years old is exactly what health experts are telling people to do today. It’s no wonder she’s lived so long! SO, I found a used copy and ordered one for myself.

3. Elephant Feet – truth be told I am generally grossed out by anything anatomical but sometimes the wow factor overcomes my squeamishness.

4. Corgi-butt buns – this Japanese bakery, the Utiwapayna bakery, creates all sorts of delightfully designed treats but these custard or apple jelly filled buns are by far my favorites. How cute are these???? If you have been to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights, they have a Japanese bakery, the Pastry House Hippo, that makes some adorable delicacies.

5. Composite Photos of the Moon by astrophysicist Andrew McCarthy (not to be confused with the actor.) These images are AMAZING. McCarthy has given the world the most extraordinary and clearest photos of the moon ever seen.

And remember, wear masks, stay home, and practice physical distancing. Here’s a wonderful drawing from another favorite artist of mine, Linzie Hunter.