Tag: Charles Dickens

Seven Things I Love (3-7-2022)

Tuesday is International Women’s Day
CELEBRATE accordingly!!!

  1. 1. This Ukrainian Artist’s Work – Maria Prymachenko’s artwork are cheery and colorful but some of the pieces are darker, which is not surprising considering what the Ukrainian people have been through over the past decades.

[Found on Kottke.org]

  1. 2. This Website – The V&A Museum kept quite busy in 2020 and 2021, and through social media and online activities they kept their patrons informed and engaged during the pandemic. I follow them on Facebook and get their newsletter but somehow I missed this.
  2. Luckily a friend of mine’s daughter is dressing up as Marie Antoinette for school and while I was looking for this picture to show both of them I found this fun page.

What we have is an interactive site that allows you to create your very own Marie Antoinette style wig! You can make it as small or as LARGE as you like (I discovered that depending upon the way you swoop you can even create braids). After you’ve made your wig you can decorate it with a various feathers, flowers, pendants, and other items (note the ship). Last, but not least, you can powder it to your heart’s content (there are some lovely colors to choose from.)

Here’s one of my creations

I always love learning new things, especially history. This was particularly fun. Is seems the wigs got pretty out of control for a while. Men’s wigs were as big a deal as the women’s wigs.

[Found on Dazed Digital]

3. This Mom’s Sense of Humor – Kayla Marie Sullivan used her skills from when she was a reporter to convey the difficulties of parenting a two-year-old.
It’s H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S.

@kaylareporting

Now accepting donations for babysitters & or take out! Venmo: @Kayla-Sullivan-96 🤣 #NewsVoice #ToddlerMom #EveryKiss #newsvoice #YerAWizard #2022

♬ original sound – Kayla Marie Sullivan

4. This Historic Mystery Solved! I have loved the Venus of Willendorf (sometimes called the Woman of Willendorf) since the first time I saw it. I mean, what’s not to love – they worshiped a voluptuous babe!

The Venus is estimated to be around 30,000 years old and made from oolite limestone. It’s called the Venus of Willendorf because it was found in 1908, somewhere close to the banks of the Danube River near Willendorf, Austria. But they’ve never know her origin.

Researchers led by Gerhard Weber, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Vienna, believe they have matched the figurine’s limestone with a location near Lake Garda in northern Italy, revealing the likely origin of “one of the most famous signs of early modern human symbolic behavior,” according to a study published on Monday in Scientific Reports

The new research suggests that the crafters of this iconic object, a hunter-gatherer culture known as the Gravettian people, traveled hundreds of miles across the treacherous landscape of Europe before the last ice age, though the team noted that it’s unclear what might have prompted such a journey. 

From “Scientists Solve 30,000-Year-Old ‘Venus’ Statue Mystery, Study Says” by Becky Ferreira; March 1, 2022; Vice-motherboard

[Found on VICE]

5. This Crowd-Sourced History Project – Charles Dickens is well-known for his literary genius but one lesser known element of his life is that as a younger man he taught himself a form of shorthand using Thomas Gurney’s 18th century manual on Brachygraphy. The word Brachygraphy means “a system of writing using abbreviations or special characters” – in other words, shorthand.

There are several documents that Dickens wrote using brachygraphy that scholars have been struggling to decipher, some with success. But the one that has been most elusive is the Tavistock letter.

Two Dickensian scholars, Claire Wood of the University of Leicester, and Hugo Bowles of the University of Foggia, decided to create the Dickens Code Project in the hopes of getting assistance from puzzle experts and code breakers around the world. They ended up with sixteen full submissions, none of which were complete.

Shane Baggs, a computer technical support specialist from San Jose, California, won the overall contest, while a college student at the University of Virginia named Ken Cox was declared the runner-up.

Since then, Baggs and Cox have managed to finished deciphering nearly 70% of the letter, far more than they ever expected. You can see a line-by-line translation here.

Full page of the Tavistock letter.

6. This Inspiring Article – With all that is going on in the world we need some positivity and hope. Here ya go.

[Found on Harper’s Bazaar]

7. THIS Postmodern Jukebox Video – I was lucky enough to get to go to a REAL concert last week. I saw one of my favorite bands – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ). And man, I was not disappointed!

PMJ does covers of songs in a variety of styles, such as the roaring twenties, sixties girl group, swing, jazz, gospel, and “film noir.”

This video is one of the songs sung at the concert – you will recognize it right away. We didn’t have this many performers but some of them – like Tia Simone (wow), LaVance Colley (wow), and Olivia Kuper Harris (beautiful) – were there on Friday!

Click on the photo below to see the video.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (12-21-2020): Christmas Edition

It’s almost Christmas, YIPPEE!!!!

I want to thank my friend Ann who was the person
who shared a few of this week’s ‘Things I Love’ with me. Thanks Ann!

1. This Suffragettes’ Christmas Card – Savvy Twitter users who could read music noticed that the music at the bottom of the card was actually for ‘La Marseillaise,’ the French national anthem. One Twitterer pointed out the song was indeed used by the movement.

In fact it was called “The Women’s Marseillaise‘ and it was the official anthem of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU.) With words written by Florence Macaulay, the song was sung by suffragettes both in the United Kingdom and in the United States. I don’t think women today can truly grasp how much we owe to the Suffragettes of the early twentieth century.

2. This Netflix Series, ‘The Holiday Movies That Made Us’ – a holiday version of the popular ‘The Movies That Made Us,’ the series covers two films: ‘Elf‘ and “Nightmare Before Christmas.’ (Personally, I enjoyed the ‘Elf‘ one better, even though “Nightmare Before Christmas‘ is one of my Mom’s favorite movies of all-time.)

3. This Excerpt from a Letter from Virginia Woolf to Violet Dickinson. – This excerpt of the letter is from the site ‘Letters of Note (LoN).’ I’m rather obsessed with ‘LoN.’ ‘LoN’ started as a book (I have a personalized copy) and eventually turned into this incredible online museum, all the brainchild of one person named Shaun Usher. Now there are multiple volumes with more on the way. I suggest signing up for the newsletter so you get a handful of letters delivered straight to your inbox daily.

So you know, Violet Dickinson was an old family friend of Virginia Woolf. Here is some information about her from Ellen Moers NYT review of “The Letters of Virginia Woolf, Volume I: 1888-1912“:

“Violet Dickinson gave far more than affection. She nursed Virginia at her Welwyn home through her suicidal depression in the summer of 1904, and then introduced her to the women’s editor of The Guardian and to Nellie Cecil. The Guardian assigned Virginia books to review and published her first writing; with Nellie Cecil (a professional critic, as will as daughter and wife of peers – her nephew is Lord David Cecil) she collaborated on a literary column for The Cornhill. From then until her marriage, Virginia Woolf was a hard-working literary journalist; she adored it.”

It is Christmas evening, and we are all soporific from the effects of a Christmas tea eaten on top of a Christmas turkey. Sophie never lets us off on Christmas day at all, and when this letter is finished, I shall have to go down and attack the turkeys legs which were left intact. Thoby had such a large helping that another plate had to receive the overflow, and he ate impartially from both. They spent the afternoon in making Rum Punch, which is made half of rum half of brandy, with sugar and lemon and hot water thrown in: the house smells like a public house in consequence, and we shall have a very merry evening. Isn’t this better than your high and dry aristocrats? We all talk at once, and make such brilliant jokes as never were seen.

Virginia Woolf | Letter to Violet Dickinson, Christmas Day 1904

4. This Scatelogical Celebration in Catalonia – I actually wish this was a thing here. These are called “caganers” and they are meant to bring luck. They need to be placed in a Nativity and the idea is that the defecating (caganer supposedly loosely translates to “the defecator”) figure is fertilizing the soil and therefore will bring good crops – basically it’s a symbol of fertility and good fortune. This explains why there are more figures of beloved people/things taking a poop than of ones that are disliked.

People buy a new one every year and they amass quite large collections apparently. I know I would be one of those people.

5. This Map Showing the Favorite Christmas Treat for Each State – if you’d like to see a larger version you can click on this link. Not sure if you agree with the map. I grew up in Iowa and we never had oreo balls. But we were right on the border of Wisconsin & Illinois so we weren’t really typical Iowa. I’ve lived in Wisconsin for the majority of my life (about 37 years,) and I don’t particularly recall seeing a lot of Andes Peppermints around during the holidays.

6. This Special Reading by Neil Gaiman of ‘A Christmas Carol’ – Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and it’s not just because he’s an amazing writer but it’s also because he’s a HUGE advocate for public libraries. There are many Gaiman quotes to choose from about public libraries but his most “famous” in the library world is this one:

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” ~ Neil Gaiman

7. This Collection of Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials that includes the “Vintage” Commercials

https://youtu.be/-2C5B5DpcJg

Another vintage show with original commercials…

https://youtu.be/WzCL3FM9dDc

[Bonus] 8. These Vintage Ceramic Christmas Trees – one of my favorite things about Christmas is decorating and the reason I love it so much is because it takes me back to my childhood. Every year, right after Thanksgiving, when I start to open up the boxes that store all my Christmas decorations I find myself mostly thinking about my Mom. Which is the best part.

I inherited a lot of her Christmas decorations and as I look at them, every one of them makes me think of her and the Christmases we spent together. The memories have become hazy but the feelings haven’t.

We actually never had one of these trees when I was a kid, not that I remember (as I said, hazy) but there is still something very familiar about this tree and I now own one. They are absolutely delightful. There’s a wonderful history of the trees written up here. And here is an article from Taste of Home with advice on how to find a ceramic tree if you are interested in having one for yourself.

via Amazon

Christmas collectibles have great sentimental value. Nowadays there isn’t a lot that gets passed down from generation to generation anymore. Mothers don’t give/leave their children china or silver or antiques. But that treasured tree topper or those favorite Christmas ornaments, well, that is something that any kid of any generation will appreciate.

[Bonus] 9. This Christmas Playlist – and don’t forget to check out the Menopausal Broad Playlist: Christmas Edition. I’ve added some new tunes and I’m sure that I’ll be adding even more music as the week goes on…


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

(We’ve been at the threshold of hell most of this year but we’re close to being saved!)


Wishing You All a Very Merry & Healthy Christmas