2. These Tributes for the Passing of Queen Elizabeth – I’m worried for the UK. From what I’ve read, the new Prime Minister is like Margaret Thatcher on steroids. That is the last thing they need right now. And they don’t have the EU to keep things from going off the rails and now they don’t even have the Queen. Guess we’ll see what mettle King Charles is made of.
3. This TikTok Filter – Every Gen X-er will love this (and apparently now Millennials and Gen Zs too.) I me, a-ha’s ‘Take Me On‘ is a classic.
[Posted by my friend Ann on FB – thanks Ann!]
4. This Rousing Speech by Michael Sheen – If you ever doubted Sheen’s talent, you won’t after watching this. If he had been born 100 years ago (or more) he’d have ruled the world. Hell, he could rule the world today if he wanted to.
This was posted by a friend of mine on FB and one of her friends posted a comment saying here’s evidence that this speech is completely spontaneous –
As a Welshman I’d like to explain a few things for those that might not know:
Spirit of ’58 – This is referring to the last time Wales got to the World Cup – 1958. The teams have been pretty poor between then and until the last 5 or so years so it’s seen as a massive achievement just to get to the finals.
Rob’s page – This is referencing the current Wales manager Rob Page who has been somewhat of a really good stand-in after Ryan Giggs, the previous manager, was removed after assault allegations surfaced.
Yma o hyd, you sons of speed – This is two references, the first is a very popular Welsh language folk song called Yma O Hyd, which has been co opted recently by the Welsh fans and Welsh FA to stir support. It’s a song about although being invaded and ruled by the English and despite their best efforts, the Welsh language and the Welsh people / culture are ‘still here’ (yma o hyd in welsh).
The other reference in this is to Gary Speed, a Welsh football legend who sadly committed suicide in 2011 that was adored by Welsh football fans.
[Shared with me by Angela G., Thanks Stasie!]
5. This Video Showing a Cartoonist Creating a Work of Art – MESMERIZING!
6. This Artist’s Drawings of the Queues Waiting to Say Good-bye to the Queen – Beautiful art illustrating an historic moment.
7. This Lumberjack Cake – Anyone else unable to hear the word lumberjack and not think of this?
3. These Photos of the Stars – You’ve probably already seen these photos someplace but I’m including them nevertheless. The first photos were released from the James Webb Space Telescope and they are freaking amazing!
To really see how incredible these photos are you can visit this interactive webpage that NBC created where they have side-by-side comparisons of photos taken by Hubble vs. Webb.
This is the most spectacular of the photos…
And these are pretty damned impressive (especially when you look at the NBC interactive site.)
One last thing, as usual the twitter-verse has had some fun with something that went viral. Here’s an article from Hyperallergic that has compiled some of the best memes about the James Webb Space Telescope but here’s one just to lure you in…
4. This Drink Tip – I saw this video on the Milwaukee Journal Facebook Page about summer mocktail drink tips (I LOVE Kristopher!) One of his suggestions was to use frozen fruit to keep drinks cold. Genius! Who likes a watered down drink and as Kristopher mentions, you get a healthy snack to boot.
The only draw back is that there may be a limitation on which fruits you can use based on size.
Somehow I ended up finding these and I think they are an equally good solution if there are any fruits that you like that may not work as well frozen by themselves.
Sorry I missed you all last week but I was down for about 10 days with some sort of (non-COVID) bug. Let me tell you guys, keep washing your hands and wearing your masks because you DO NOT want to get this, and apparently it’s going around.
1. This Oatmeal Cartoon – I don’t actually “love” this but it’s an excellent cartoon.
The Oatmeal explains in their usual indubitable way, why religious extremists SUCK…
2. This Target Commercial – Yay for body positivity! If only the body positivity movement had started 50 years ago.
3. This Podcast – Only the first episode is about the current residents of Windsor Palace (Prince Andrew and his shady association with Jeffrey Epstein), the other episodes are about Elizabeth I, “Mad” King George III, and Victoria (who was not the prim and proper monarch we thought she was…)
4. This Recycling Idea – My biggest gripe about weddings is the cost. My second biggest gripe is the waste. This young bride found a solution that addresses both issues.
Gwendolyn Stulgis found her dream wedding gown but it cost waaaay more than she had budgeted. She decided to buy it and then after her wedding give it to another bride who couldn’t afford a wedding gown.
She set up a contest on Facebook asking brides to submit their requests. She also laid out the following requirements:
The recipient of the dress should have a wedding date within a few months of the post, and after it is worn, the bride must dry-clean it and pass it on to another bride, creating an ongoing chain.
She found a very grateful woman who was overjoyed to win the dress and the contest went on to inspire other brides to do the same thing.
Now Stulgis has started a Facebook group called “Shared Dream Dresses” where women can share their wedding gowns and bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses.
7. This New Marvel Series – Ms. Marvel is the first Muslim, Southeast Asian, female superhero and she ROCKS! I also love that they have brought some real history into the storyline, pulling in the India-Pakistan partition as part of the plot. I highly recommend you check this out on Disney+.
1. This Grrrl – It’s no surprise that Lizzo the goddess would handle a mistake like an adult.
After the release of the track Grrrls from her upcoming album ‘Special,’ there was a bit of a social media uproar because the lyrics contained some words considered derogatory to the disabled community.
Instead of making excuses and getting defensive or apologizing and then doing nothing about it, Lizzo apologized andchanged the lyrics. She actually listened. Shocking!
2. This Performance Artist / Dada “Dynamo” – She was one of those people who lived many lives in a lifetime. Elsa Hildegard Plötz was born in 1874 in Swinemünde in Pomerania, Germany (now Świnoujście, Poland.) ,
In her younger years she did vaudeville in Berlin and then traveled around Europe leaving a string of lovers behind her. She eventually landed up in NYC where she worked as an artist’s model and she also created her own art, mostly with found objects – sculpture, fashion, performance art, she didn’t limit herself in the mediums she worked with.. She also wrote poetry and it was considered “perhaps the best of any woman’s of our time” by TheLittle Review.
She made sculptures and costumes from found objects (her wedding ring was a rusted metal hoop picked off the pavement) and wrote experimental poetry, which she also performed. Memorable ensembles included a bra constructed from tomato soup cans and a caged canary; hats tinkling with stolen teaspoons; postage stamps worn instead of rouge. Modesty, whether in the studio or on the street, was for squares. She collaborated with fellow surrealists Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray on the film The Baroness Shaves Her Pubic Hair. Alas only a few stills survived the editing process.
From ‘Sleep with everyone! Be embarrassing!’ – the dada baroness who shocked society by Hettie Judah; The Guardian; 31 May, 2022
It was in NY that Plötz acquired her Baroness title, after a brief marriage at age 39.
She was considered a pioneer in dadaism, she is credited with having invented “Readymade” (though like so many woman in art, she isn’t really given any sort of honors for the achievement – case in point, an article about Readymade that doesn’t even mention her and which is linked to from the article about the Baroness where it saying she invented “Readymade”!)
She was a contemporary of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray and other , were members New York’s literary and art scene, especially those in the Arensberg Circle of Artists. In fact she collaborated with Duchamp and Man Ray on a film called “The Baroness Shaves Her Pubic Hair” (there are only a few stills remaining.)
Still, despite all these accomplishments, her male counterparts, who actually, in some cases, were working on concepts thought up by the Baroness, are the ones people know of, whose names people recognize, who are in the museums, who received the credit. Will the historical sexism ever be rectified?
3. These Crocs – These are wonderful sandals – They have great support and cushiness which are the two things most important to me nowadays. They don’t run particularly wide or narrow, which is good because the straps aren’t adjustable (and they don’t come in a “wide” size). I also like that they give me a little height. For decades I tried to hide my height but now that I’ve started shrinking I am actually happy to have a little lift back.
Having said all that, there are a couple things I wish were different…
Ass I mentioned, the straps aren’t adjustable. That’s actually not a good thing. My left foot is slightly bigger because I broke it years ago. The sandals fit me great but when my feet swell, as they are bound to do, especially if I’ve been on them all day, or if it’s hot, or if I’ve had too much sodium, the left shoe gets uncomfortable tight.
I REALLY wish they would have made these flat. To clarify, as I said, I like the height, I just wish the heels were even with the toes. I just don’t think it’s good for anyone’s foot to have all the pressure on the ball of your foot. They certainly don’t do this for men’s shoes.
One last thing, they don’t really “breathe” so your feel will may get hot sometimes.
4. This Sheep – JUST TOO CUTE!
5. This Teacher – Mr. Daniel Gill has kept an empty chair in his classroom for FIFTY years. He’s done this to teach his students the importance of making people feel welcome.
Let me explain. When Gill was a kid he had a best friends named Archie. Archie was black. Gill was white. Neither boy thought anything of this until one day when the two of the went to a birthday party together. They showed up and the mother of the child who the party was for, answered the door. She looked at both of the boys and proceeded to tell them she didn’t have enough chairs. Gill told her that was okay, they didn’t both need a chair, they could either share or could even sit on the floor. She repeated that there wasn’t enough chairs and that is when the boys realized it had nothing to do with chairs, it had to do with the color of Archie’s skin.
So, in the 1980s, when Daniel Gill started teaching, he put an empty chair in his classroom s that there would always be an extra seat available for anyone who stop by – there would never not be enough chairs.
He has taught five decades worth of students lessons of tolerance and anti-racism.
After completing her studies, Aldridge worked as a concert singer, piano accompanist, and voice teacher. A throat condition ended her concert appearances, and she turned to teaching and published about thirty songs between the years 1907 and 1925 in a romantic parlour style, as well as instrumental music in other styles. Among her pupils were the children of London’s politically-active Black middle-classes, including Amy Barbour-James, daughter of John Barbour-James, Frank Alcindor son of Dr John Alcindor, and composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’ssister Alice Evans. Her notable students included African-American performers Roland Hayes, Lawrence Benjamin Brown, Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson, and Bermudian-British actor Earl Cameron. In 1930, when Robeson performed as Othello in the West End, Aldridge was in attendance, and gave Robeson the gold earrings that her father Ira Aldridge had worn as Othello. Aldridge also took the singer Ida Shepley under her wing and converted her from a singer to a stage actor. In 1951, African-American weekly magazine Jet reported that she was still giving piano and voice lessons aged 86.
1. This Overlooked Female Artist – Hilma af Klint. Have you heard of her? I’d never heard of her. But last week I was visiting with friends and we watched a fantastic documentary called Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint (you absolutely need to watch it) and whoa.
And in fact, some of the “firsts” that have been attributed to white males were not actually done first by these men.
One person whose story fits into this category is Hilma af Klint.
Miss af Klint was born in Sweden in 1862. She exhibited artistic talent from an early age and even studied art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Though she chose not to live the “traditional” life that was expected of her – to get married and have children – she did take a more traditional route with her professional art career while she was alive.
But privately she was painting magnificent abstract art, some pieces being enormous and in large series.
Another mark against af Klint was that she was a spiritualist, which led to her being called a “crazy witch”. It gave people, particularly men, an excuse to dismiss her work as being frivolous.
In 1908 af Klint met Rudolf Steiner, who was a noted occultist and clairvoyant. She asked him to visit her studio so she could share some of her private work. It did not go well. He told her he was unimpressed with the work and that it wasn’t appropriate for a theosophist. Fortunately for the world this didn’t stop af Klint from continuing her painting but it is mostly responsible for why no one saw any of her works until decades after her death.
(Side note: Wassily Kandinsky has been dubbed the “Father of Abstract Art.” Kandinsky claims to have created the first abstract painting in 1911. As noted above, af Klint was showing her abstract pieces to Steiner in 1908. Also, Kandinsky was a follower of Rudolf Steiner. Coincidence? Of course not.)
As a result of Steiner’s dismissal of her art, af Klint continued to hide her abstract paintings. When she passed away in 1944 she left all her art to her nephew – all 1200 pieces of them! She requested he keep them for at least twenty years before doing anything with them. Her nephew barely was able to store them and frankly, it’s a miracle they survived.
After that he tried donating them to the Moderna Museet but they declined (I bet they could kick themselves now.) Finally a foundation int he artist’s name was created an accepted the paintings in the 1970s. It took nearly four more decades before the world finally appreciated Hilma af Klint’s work and even today the art world has not given her the status she deserves.
One last thing – this artist paints pictures of people looking at other people’s art.
I love this….
2. This John Oliver Piece on School Safety Officers – There are many reasons why we need to get police out of schools. We have the data. Use your vote wisely in November.
3. This Cheeky Actor – Ian McKellen, age 83.
4. This Video of the Queen Having Tea with Paddington Bear – There is so much to love about this video. I know that people have opinions about the monarchy and historically, the rulers of England have done some horrifying things, but Lilibet has always tried to do the right thing for her people. She may have been more willing to remain within the formal confines of tradition than Diana, but in a lot of ways they were more alike than people are willing to recognize.
[Thanks for the link Meta!]
5. This Glass Artist – I mentioned I was visiting with friends last week. One of them, the place where we were all staying, my one friend Dawn has an art studio and makes beautiful things there.
Don’t worry, I didn’t buy all of them, but I did buy the necklace showing below.
In fact I bought most of these pieces, which is why I chose them to show you.
6. These Cookies – I think we can all agree that pretty much everything at Trader Joe’s is wonderful but some items are simply supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. These madeleines fall into that category.
7. These Pastry and Confectionery – Jules Gouffé, a renowned chef during the middle of the 19th century, was nicknamed l’apôtre de la cuisine décorative (or, The apostle of decorative cuisine.) Chef Gouffé had a huge influence on French gastronomy and published four books that were even translated into English by his brother Alphonse, who was the head pastry chef to Queen Victoria.
Clearly this man did not believe that less is more.
1. This Little Known Fact about Bea Arthur – or maybe it isn’t a little known fact and I simply never knew about it (or more likely, I just forgot.)
So, did any of you know that the woman who brought us Maude Findlay and Dorothy Zbornak was in the U.S. Marines at the tender age of 21?
Honestly, I didn’t even know the Marines let in women during WWII. Apparently it was the last service branch to do so. This was due to reservations held by Corps Commandant General Thomas Holcomb.
The primary reason for allowing women into the armed services was to free up men from non-combative positions. so they could be sent to the front. Holcomb eventually conceded and allowed women to join in 1943.
Women had already joined the army, navy, and airforce a year earlier. Each branch had come up with a name for the female sector of their branch. The army called theirs the Women’s Auxillary Army Corps (WAAC), the navy had the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and the airborn division had the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS). Once the Marines opened up to women the suggestions came in, including Glamarines and Femarines. Fortunately, Holcomb felt that Marines were Marines and he nixed the use of a separate group name.
2. This County Clare (Ireland) Artist’s Work – sigh.
Here is his website (though it’s extremely slow but definitely worth the visit,)
3. This Speech by Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow – Democrats/liberals/progressives need to start pushing back in this culture war.
4. This 3-D Virtual Tour of the Crystal Palace in London – created during the pandemic, the 3-D virtual tour of the Crystal Palace (which you can access here) is super cool though I’ll admit I had difficulty navigating at first, which is why you may want to check out the video below (or this shorter video) before trying it out.
5. This Recycling Symbol That Doesn’t Require a Magnifying Glass To Read – This is from a giant container of CostCo blueberries (about two very generous pints in one container.) I’m telling you the size to give a better idea of how large the symbol (actually called Resin Identification Code or RIC) really is. No squinting required.
I don’t understand why companies make the recycling symbols so damned small on the bottom of packages.
Does it take away from the package aesthetics? No, it’s the bottom of the GD package.
Is there not enough room? No, 99% of the time there is tons of space around a teeny-tiny little recycling symbol.
Does it cost more to make the symbol bigger? I honestly don’t know. But I can’t imagine it does. I suppose the extra amount of plastic multiplied by the thousands of packages a company produced could result in a minimal cost but Jeez Louise, is it really that much of a savings?
More companies need to follow FamilyTree Farms’ example.
6. This Toast Art – The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is one of my all-time favorite paintings. Toast is on of my all-time favorite foods. Need I say more…
[Found on Facebook]
7. This Biker Jacket – There may be cooler biker jackets but none that warm my heart nearly as much.
1. This Recipe for Drop Scones – Sent by Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in January 1960, this piece of correspondence is part of the Letters of Note project: “nothing but history’s most famous letters.”
I love ‘Letters of Note,’ (LON) both for the history and the literary finesse. This one has an added treat – the addition of an audio clip (at the top of the page) with the absolutely wonderful Olivia Colman, in her role as QEII from ‘The Crown‘, narrating both the letter and the recipe.
You can subscribe to receive one Letter of Note per day in your inbox here. There are also several print books – two general collections and several themed collections. Those are available for purchase here but be aware, they ship from the U.K. and the postage is a bit high.
The ‘Letters of Note‘ audiobooks are available through Chirp, Google Play, Audible, and other audiobook streaming services. Letters of Note: Correspondance Deserving of a Wider Audiencecontains not only the Queen Elizabeth drop scone letter & recipe read by Olivia Colman, but letters read by Benedict Cumberbath, Juliet Stevenson, Alan Cummings, Gillian Anderson, and Mark Strong, among others.
2. These Hats of HBO’s The Gilded Age– I watched the first episode, which premiered tonight (January 24th). I’m hooked. And not just because of the hats. I also loved the dressed and the jewelry and the furniture too. Seriously, the story is pretty good. I’m currently watching several series and none of them have me very excited. In fact, I even stopped watching one of them – and I really wanted to like it – but none of the characters were remotely likeable.
The Gilded Age is the newest series by Julian Fellowes. If you are unfamiliar with him, he also created Downton Abbey. There will be ten episodes and new episodes will air at 8 pm (CST) on Mondays.
(FYI, the young blond woman in the straw hat – second photo below – is Louisa Jacobson, Meryl Streep’s daughter.)
3. This “Starter” Apartment in Paris – Fairly well-appointed for a first apartment, don’t you think?
4. This Artwork by Louis Wain – If you haven’t seen the movie ‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain‘ on Prime Video yet, I highly recommend it. Not only is it a lovely movie (though it does have its share of tragedy) but it’s very historically accurate, which makes my heart go pitter patter.
As far as the accuracy of Wain’s life, from what I’ve read, it does seem they got that right as well. The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Louis Wain, Claire Foy as Emily Richardson-Wain, Toby Jones (LOVE him) as Sir William Ingram, and its narrated by Olivia Colman.
Once you’ve seen the movie you’ll truly appreciate his art.
5. This Story with a Happy Ending – I remember when I was moving into my first house. At that time I had three kitty cats. Before the movers arrived I put all the cats in one room and shut the door. That way I could give instructions to the movers and then one by one move my beloved kitties into my car.
When the movers got to the apartment I told them the plan and said DON’T open this door until I have all my cats in the car. I put my first cat in the car. Then I put the second car in the car. I came upstairs to get my third baby (her name was Madeline) only to discover the door open to the “cat room” and of course no Madeline. Not surprisingly I freaked out. I looked all through the apartment then ran down the stairs and looked around the apartment building. People who lived in the neighborhood heard me calling her name so they started to help me look too.
Unfortunately, after about an hour the movers were finished and it was time for me to go to the house. Heartbroken I got in my car and drove to my new place. The movers unloaded all the furniture and boxes in about an hour (I had way less stuff back then.)
I went back to my old apartment and did another search and then went to the Wisconsin Humane Society to see if maybe they had found Madeline. It was a long shot but I was pretty desperate at that point. No luck.
Dejected I went to my new house, gathered up my other two cats (Indira and Beddi), plopped down on the sofa, and started to cry. That’s when I heard this very soft “meow.” I sat up. It was coming from the kitchen. Did I imagine that? I walked into the next room. No, there it was again. Where was it coming from? I listened. OMG, it’s coming from that stack of boxes! I started to tear open the big moving boxes and when I got about halfway down out popped MADELINE!
Apparently, when the movers had opened the door to the “cat room”, the little bugger got scared and hid in one of the open boxes. The movers just sealed the box up and carried it out to their truck. ARGH!
Still, that was most definitely one of the happiest days of my life.
Having told that story, I understand how this guy felt when they found his dog, even though it was weeks later.
6. This Absolutely Adorable Video of Mandy Patinkin & Kathryn Grody – These two should be the role models for every human being.
7. This Excerpt from a New Book on the Shackleton Expedition – For some reason I have always been interested in the Shackleton Expedition. Not really any other arctic expedition, just this one. There is something to be said about mans’ (or womans’) fortitude when facing a crisis. Or at least that used to be the case.
The book isShackleton: The Biography by Ranulph Fienne’s, published January 2022 by Pegasus Books. It covers part of the expedition that generally is skipped over.
“When explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew set out for Antarctica on the Endurance in 1914, they had no idea their journey would become one of history’s greatest epics of survival. After sea ice trapped the ship for nearly a year, ultimately crushing it, the men camped on unstable sea ice for months. The loss of theEndurance and a later, extraordinary ocean crossing to South Georgia Island by a small party led by Shackleton are well-known chapters in the saga. Less familiar is the story of what happened in between those two events, when Shackleton decided the crew would leave their position on the ice and venture in small open boats across the infamously rough Southern Ocean, to one of the region’s uninhabited islands.“
1. This Announcement that Pinterest Has Banned Weight-loss Ads – Pinterest is the first (and only) “major” social media network to ban weight-loss ads. Why is this a big deal? Not only does it end the constant promotion of the messed up theory that people (women primarily) can only be attractive if they are “thin.” But for people with eating disorders, it is removing a significant trigger that has lead them to have body dysmorphia. More social media networks need to follow suit.
In fact, the entire dieting industry should be investigated. Samantha Bee did a two-part story on her show a few weeks ago about how the weight lost industry is in overdrive now that the pandemic is being deemed “over,” focusing their ads on how people need to lose the weight gained over the past year and a half. As Samantha points out, we just survived a pandemic, that was STRESSFUL. If you happened to put on a few pounds and don’t look like you did in 2019 – so the fuck what?!?!
In part two she talks with a doctor who even says that dieting has been shown to do the opposite – it can cause people to put ON weight. I can attest to that. After a lifetime of chronic dieting all I’ve done is put on much more weight than I’ve lost. (If you haven’t heard about the ‘Set Point Theory‘ you should read about it.)
2. The New Statue Honoring Princess Diana – I think it’s lovely. But it’s being ripped to shreds by art critics and people who reported on Diana and basically, anyone who has a strong feeling and/or opinion about Diana.
I like what this woman tweeted…
3. This Woman, Kataluna Enriquez, Who is the First Openly Trans Miss USA Contestant – clearly she’s beautiful.
4. This Video Showing that the Problem at the USPS is NOT the Employees – I’ve always known this. Though I will say in MY neighborhood, it is the USPS delivery person who is also part of the problem. But that is a fluke.
5. This Early 19th Century Painting by Marie-Denise Villers – Originally thought to have been painted by David, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has rejected that attribution and determined it was painted by Villers. It looks like Marie, the model, is doing some sketching – I imagine she’s looking out the window. Do you think she’s drawing the couple across the way?
6. This Camera Man – Not only did he outrun all the sprinters but he did it carrying an 8-1/2 pound camera and dressed in street clothing. Here’s a video.
7. This SNL Skit – A friend of mine reminded me about this a few weeks ago (thanks Jeanne!) I laugh every time I watch it. And not just the ha ha kind of laughing but the belly laugh kind with a few snorts tossed in for good measure.
1. This Patent Drawing – Which finally puts to rest the question over or under. I don’t mean to gloat but I KNEW IT and my Mamma never lead me astray.
From My Modern Met:
Over or under? This is the question that has plagued the Western world since the invention of modern toilet paper. It was in 1857 that New York-based inventor Joseph C. Gayetty developed the first packaged variety to be made widely available in the U.S. However, it wasn’t until 1871 that perforated rolls of toilet paper were invented. Seth Wheeler filed a patent for his innovative design for the first time that year, and he filed another for a refined version of his invention again in 1891.
The illustrated diagram from Wheeler’s 1891 patent sheds some light on how the toilet paper roll was originally intended to be used. According to the image, it appears that the dangling end was designed to hang over—rather than under—the roll. This may be a crippling blow to those who are of the persuasion that under is the way to go. Even so, if hanging your toilet paper roll under is wrong, they probably don’t want to be right.
2. These Videos about Women’s Clothing in History – They are all just too good. The first talks about how women’s clothing may actually have been created to help protect. The second gives the history of how standard sizes came to be and the motivations behind doing so (hint, it’s always money.) The third video is a fascinating history of why men traditionally wear pants and women traditionally wear skirts (or did they….)
And last but not least (and this is a a wee bit of a stretch but I’m including it) a video about the clothing in the show ‘The Nevers‘ – my current favorite television show, which can be seen on HBO Max. They’ve already aired the first half of season one (8 episodes) and will be airing the second half sometime in the fall I believe (another 8 episodes.) As the vlogger mentions, the show is extremely historically accurate with their costumes (and she should know, it is her area of expertise.) She takes the opportunity to bust the myth that clothing from that era was extremely restrictive. There have been anti-corset campaigns for some time. Certainly the extremely boned corsets that reshape the body are not/were not good, but for women of this era most weren’t wearing the tightly drawn or heavily boned corsets (like Scartlett O’Hara). Unless a woman was from a wealthy family she would have been quite active and probably wouldn’t have had the luxury of having a ladies maid.
3. This Article about the New Version of the Game ‘Oregon Trail’ – A fascinating essay where the author, who is a black historian, is in a battle between his longing for childhood nostalgia and truth-telling in history. Is there really any correct way to make a game about colonialization?
4. This Article on Book Curses – In medieval times, because books were handmade, written by scribes, and took a long time to make, they were rare and had great physical value. Most scribes and book owners did not have the financial means to protect their libraries with armed guards so instead they used words to fend off would-be thieves. Fortunately for them, most people believed in curses so it worked fairly well.
What I want to know is why don’t we use book curses today? They would look so nice on a bookplate. Even if most people don’t believe in curses anymore, at least it would remind them to keep their paws off of things that aren’t theirs.
I looked up some more and found one [here] that I am going to make into stickers so I can put it inside all my books:
Whoever steals this book Will hang on a gallows in Paris, And, if he isn’t hung, he’ll drown, And, if he doesn’t drown, he’ll roast, And, if he doesn’t roast, a worse end will befall him.
From a 15th century manuscript owned by Count Jean d’Orleans.
5. These Articles about Coco Chanel and Her Nazi Connections – I’ve always been a huge fan of Coco Chanel so when I first read about this it made me extremely sad. The first article was from nearly a decade ago and appeared on MessyNessyChic. It was written about eight months after the book Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan was released. This was the first book to really include details about her involvement with the Nazis (not just that she was dating one) such as her code name, agent number, that she was included in nazi missions and worst of all, that she had taken advantage of her “Aryan rights” (meaning the seizing of Jewish-owned property and businesses.)
The second article was equally interesting. This one appeared on Forbes last year. The author is trying to determine if we can justify overlooking such a horrifying past in someone like Coco Chanel, whose left such a legacy. It’s an interesting question. I think this might be a good analogy – what if there was a building built by the nazis and after the war, all that remained was the foundation. So the French come and build a ground floor and the English build a 1st floor and the Norwegians build a 2nd floor (I’m doing the european counting of floors) and the Danish build a 3rd floor and so forth. And each floor is filled with beautiful things. But ultimately that base was built by nazis – should the entire thing be torn down and rebuilt? Should it be moved? I don’t think so.
BUT what I do think is that Chanel should stop avoiding Coco Chanel’s horrific history. I know that they think it can’t be good for PR but what they need to do is use it to help and get ahead of it. Just admit – we realize that our founder was a nazi sympathizer, possibly a nazi collaborator and our response is that we are appalled by the information as much as you are. Our founder was a talented woman and we cannot deny that Chanel wouldn’t exist without her genius but the nazi atrocities were unforgivable and that she was involved is a huge black stain on the origin of our company. They could put their money where their mouth is and contribute to a Holocaust organization.
My believe is that we should not be completely erasing bad history but instead we should be making it accurate and using it as a teaching opportunity.
6. This Article about How Women in the UK/Ireland Were Duped into Believing it was Bad to Drink Tea – Though it’s me who is saying that the women were actually duped. The article implies it but doesn’t come right out and say it. Neither does this one.
Here’s the situation – first and foremost, tea was considered expensive back then. So was sugar if you wanted to sweeten it (because milk and honey in tea just doesn’t work.) Right away men (husbands and fathers) were going to say that women shouldn’t be drinking something as expensive as tea.
Then there were the wealthy, who liked to feel that drinking tea was something the gentrified did, certainly not the poor.
And of course, there was concern that women who sat around drinking tea would have time to talk to one another and that could lead to anarchy.
Even without social media, the “powers that be” managed to get messages out that women shouldn’t be drinking tea – said it was “unhealthy”, it made you lazy, etc. And the worse part is that the poor, uneducated women were the ones that bought into the lies and helped spread it. Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.
7. This ‘Self Portrait’ by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston – I was thrilled when I finally found out who this photo was of and what it was about. I’ve loved it for years! Taken around 1896 by the photographer herself, it is supposed to represent the “new woman.”
Here’s a great article about the photo and the photographer from Smithsonian.
1. This New Rollin’ Wild Video – The first new ‘Rollin’ wild’ film short in THREE years. And was it worth the wait? I think so…. I laughed my buttootie off! Have watched it about a dozen times so far, laugh just as hard every time.
2. This Perfect Man – He really does exist! The White House decided to rebrand Doug Emhoff as “Douglas Emhoff. Apparently they believe the formality is more suited to his position and sounds more “grown-up.” I’m going to guess that all the adult men who go by the name Doug disagree with this assessment. As one late night comedian pointed out, Bernie goes by Bernie and not Bernard and no-one dares to not see him as grown-up and serious. Let’s just hope and pray that the White House doesn’t tell “Douglas” he has to cut back on the PDA! (The Vice President is SO lucky!)
[Thanks to Ann for this one.]
3. These Breathtaking Still Life Photographs – it’s hard to believe they aren’t paintings. If you click on the photos it will take you to each photographer’s website. Or click on the link below to see the original story where I first ran across these works of art.
4. This Podcast about Florence Nightingale – It checks all my boxes: a woman fighting against the patriarchy, British history (particularly the Victorian era), nerds, how information is power – check, check, check and check.
Recently I’ve read about several people/historical events where I thought, why isn’t there a movie or best-selling book about this?!? Then I’d think, wait, maybe there is and I just don’t know about it. And I’d look up the person or event and find out that yes, there was a movie but it was filmed 40 to 50 years ago or it was a made-for-tv special or there was a book but it’s for children or by some author I’ve never heard of.
That’s what happened when I looked up Florence Nightingale. There actually are a ton of books but none that are by well-known historians (there are loads of kids books about her). There is an autobiography called “Notes on Nursing.” I’m sure is interesting but doubt it’s all that readable (after all, she could do many these exceedingly well but writing wasn’t one of her talents.)
There was a tv movie with Jaclyn Smith playing Nightingale. I’m sure THAT was historically accurate. There’s a 1915 British Silent film about Florence. And there was a British film made in 2008 with not a single name in the cast I recognize (which never happens) and the one review it got on IMDB gave it one star and wrote, “One of the worst costume dramas I’ve seen in years! The acting was terrible. the script was terrible, the screenplay was dull and the characters seem like they had been plucked out of the 21st century and thrown back in time! Laura Fraser was useless, good looking, but useless. She plays the strong modern woman type which is totally out of context for the time, and all the male characters are weak.” (By the way, the review ends with “Americans will love it!” I’m not joking!)
I came across which is that Elizabeth Moss is supposedly working on a new film about Florence Nightingale. I hope this isn’t one of those projects that gets announced but never happens but the article I linked is from 2018 and I couldn’t find anything past late 2019. Well, we’ll see what happens. Maybe they’ll be a resurgence of Nightingale-mania!
[Thanks to my friend Kathy for sharing this with me!]
5. This Book about the Classic Restaurants of Milwaukee – This is a bit niche for a general blog, but I think the majority of my followers will appreciate it. Talk about a trip down memory lane! My only complaint is that it wasn’t physically bigger (it’s only 6″ x 9″) because I wish that the photos were larger and frankly I’d like to have seen more restaurants included. But it’s an Arcadia Publishing book and this is the standard size for the majority of their titles. But I suspect it’s the only way to get a book like this published anymore. Sigh. Anyway, I enjoyed reading it immensely.
6. This Reboot of Leverage with the Original Cast (minus one) – I know that people who didn’t watch Leverage won’t be as excited about this as I am (in fact, you probably won’t give a hoot) but I’m over the moon about this news. I was super bummed when they ended the show in 2012. They did tie everything up, but in the four years it aired it built up quite a following and I know we would have been happy for the show to continue for several more years.
But it’s back with the entire cast, except for Timothy Hutton. (I had no idea there had been accusations made against him too.) I’m a bit surprised, although thrilled and relieved, that Aldis Hodge is returning as Alec Hardison. I mean, he’s hit the big time with ‘One Night in Miami’ and he’s also been on ‘City on a Hill.’ The addition of Noah Wyle to the cast must also mean that a return of ‘The Librarians’ is not in our future. Oh well. You can’t have everything.
7. This Miniature Round Bookcase – If you love miniature things you’ll enjoy perusing the entire Instagram for the Daily Mini.