“The one dollar bill is the most ubiquitous piece of paper in America.” ~ Mark Wagner on his Collage with Currency project

Reblogged from Curious History:
I found these images by artist Mark Wagner incredibly inventive. I mean, he only used one dollar bills, glue, and a razor for his media. So cool . . .

Incredible Currency Collages

Artist Mark Wagner has proven he can create any scene using only single dollar bills. His latest series, titled Currency Collages, involves cutting up single dollar bills to produce these incredibly detailed compositions. Using the currency as his medium, the American artist has a great talent for visualizing new images with the shades of gray and green, George Washington’s portrait, and the patterns of numbers across the surface.

This recent work includes a variety of humorous scenes in which Washington is fighting a dinosaur, and mowing the lawn. With the simple color palette and the limited variety of imagery to work with, Wagner is still able to produce amazing landscapes and scenes that most of us could never imagine emerging from a single dollar bill. He says, “Blade and glue transform it-reproducing the effects of tapestries, paints, engravings, mosaics, and computers—striving for something bizarre, beautiful, or unbelievable… the foreign in the familiar.”

source 1, 2

                   

Music by Johnny Clegg & Savuka, “Cruel, Crazy Beautiful World”

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” ~ Albert Einstein

Reblogged from Curious History:

These are breathtaking.

Amazing Aluminum Human Wire Sculptures

Korean artist Seung Mo Park created these incredible human figure sculptures using tightly wrapped layers of aluminum wire based on fiberglass forms. The works shown here are part of the Brooklyn-based artist’s Human series where he recreates the delicate wrinkles and folds of clothing as well as the sinuous musculature of the human body in metallic layers reminiscent of tree rings. He’s also sculpted bicycles, musical instruments and other forms as part of his Object series.

(Source: mymodernmet.com)

                   

Music by Brian Jonestown Massacre (what a name for a band), “Anemone”

Here, have a little history with your Sweet Tarts . . .

Samhain_Autumn_Face

                   

“Men say that in this midnight hour,
The disembodied have power
To wander as it liketh them,
By wizard oak and fairy stream.” ~ William Motherwell, from “Moonlight and Moonshine”

How was your Nos Calan Gaeaf (or Halloween, or Hallow’s Eve)? Centuries ago Nos Calan (or Galan) Gaeaf was an Ysbrydnos, or spirit night.

Mine was slow, only a dozen or so kiddies out and about in my neighborhood, no evil spirits. Olivia was adorable in her ladybug costume. She seemed to want to keep her candy pumpkin empty, however. Alexis brought her by at the end of the evening, so they were both tired.

Wonder how many of those who were out realized their guising was an ancient tradition? Anyway . . .

A comment by Leah in NC referencing my 10/30 post led me to search for a bit more on the Black Sow and other Samhain traditions. Here is what I found:

In Wales, 1 November, the first day of winter, was called Calan Gaeaf. Much of the frightful aspect that we associate with Halloween arose from Galan Gaeaf traditions. The image of Y Hwch Ddu Gwta, a black sow without a tail, accompanied by a headless woman, that would together roam the countryside, terrified everyone on Galan Gaeaf when the best place to be was inside your house in front of a roaring fire. The tradition of Coelcerth involved building fires and placing name stones:

From Lunatic Outpost: “Home, home, let each try to be first. May the tail-less black sow take the hindmost” (Celtic chant for Samhain)

Before dawn, huge bonfires were lit on the hillsides, often two or three within sight of each other. It was a great honor to have your bonfire burn longest and great pains were taken to keep them alight. While apples and potatoes were thrown into the fires for roasting, the watchers would dance around or leap through the flames for good luck. Stones were thrown into the fire; then, when the flames died down, everyone would run for home to escape the clutches of the Hwch ddu gwta. The next morning, at daybreak, searchers would try to find their stones. Those who succeeded would be guaranteed good luck for the coming year. If you could not find your stone, then bad luck or even death would follow.

And here is more on hazelnuts: “Hazel nuts were also used in matrimonial divination. Two groups of “Sweetheart” hazel nuts were placed within the hearth fire; one group was marked with the names of the village’s eligible maidens, and the other with the eligible bachelors. As the nuts popped, the names of the pairs were romantically linked. On a more somber note, people sometimes placed a hazelnut with their initials on them in the hearth fire. If the nuts were missing the next morning, the unlucky person would not survive the year. Hazel is a sacred tree in Irish and Scottish mythology. In Ireland, nine hazel trees grew around the Well of Segais, where the sacred Salmon lived. This was the source of all wisdom. Using hazel nuts at Samhain availed seers of that sacred wisdom.”

                   

Now on to Friday leftovers . . .

I dare you not to smile . . .

Look what’s coming in November . . .

Remember when people used chalk?

Perspective in time: NASA engineers prepare a PowerPoint slide in 1961.

And finally, a wonderful smack down of Kanye of the West from French bakers (as posted on Today Entertainment):

Croissants
Croissants (Photo credit: Jutta @ flickr)

Regarding Croissants in “I am a God”

Association of French Bakers
900 Rue Vielle du Temple
Paris FRANCE

To Monsieur Kanye West:

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, Nord! This is a truly auspicious time for you  —  and so it is with great sadness that we must lodge a formal complaint against the song “I am a God” from your new album “Yeezus.”

Our organization represents bakers across France, many of whom have taken great offense at this particular rhyming couplet:

In a French-ass restaurant
Hurry up with my damn croissants

Assuming you, as a man of means, dine exclusively at high-end restaurants and boulangeries during your voyages to Paris, it could not be possible that the delay of your “damn” croissants originated from slow service. And certainly, you are not a man to be satisfied with pre-made croissants from the baked goods case reheated and tossed out on a small platter. No  — you had demanded your croissants freshly baked, to be delivered to your table straight out of the oven piping hot.

And it was with great joy you ordered croissants  — not crêpes or brioches  — because only croissants can proudly claim that exquisite combination of flaky crust and a succulent center. The croissant is dignified  —  not vulgar like a piece of toast, simply popped into a mechanical device to be browned. No —  the croissant is born of tender care and craftsmanship. Bakers must carefully layer the dough, paint on perfect proportions of butter, and then roll and fold this trembling croissant embryo with the precision of a Japanese origami master.

This process, as you can understand, takes much time. And we implore the patience of all those who order croissants. You may be familiar with the famous French expression, “A great croissant is worth waiting a lifetime for.” We know you are a busy man, M. West, but we believe that your patience for croissants will always be rewarded.

We could easily let this water pass under the bridge, as they say, but we take your lyrics very seriously. From the other lines in the song, we have come to understand that you may in fact be a “God.” Yet if this were the case  —  and we, of course, take you at your word  —  we wonder why you do not more frequently employ your omnipotence to change time and space to better suit your own personal whims. For us mere mortals, we must wait the time required for the croissant to come to perfect fruition, but as a deity, you can surely alter the bread’s molecular structure faster than the speed of light, no? And with your omniscience, perhaps you have something to teach us about the perfect croissant. We await your guidance and insights.

We appreciate your continued patronage of French culture. (Your frequent references to menage perhaps speak an interest in the structure of the French household?) We hope from the deepest recesses of our hearts, however, that in the future you give croissants the time they need to fully mature before you partake. With that, we say, adieu. And our member Louis Malpass from Le Havre wants you to know that he loves “Black Skinhead.”

Salutations cordiales
Bernard Aydelotte
Association of French Bakers

Friday Leftovers . . .

Man . . . I missed National Grouch Day (October 15). So perturbed I missed the perfect excuse for my demeanor ………

Here. Have some of this . . .

and this . . .

Hill of Witches, Lithuania

On one of the most beautiful and oldest parabolic dunes in Juodkrantė, Lithuania, the forest is alive with a vast array of fairy-tale creatures, witches, demons, kings, princesses, fisherman and devils. Known as the Hill of Witches (Raganų kalnas), this public trail through the woods takes visitors on a trip through the most well-known legends and stories in Lithuanian folk history.

and don’t forget this . . .

Howard Johnsons Children’s Menu (1968)

Have some Holmes . . .

Some complete Game of Thrones randomness . . .

And just for good measure, the 125th anniversary of Jack the Ripper . . .

Letters From Hell — The “Jack the Ripper” Murders

This year and month mark the 125th anniversary of the reign of terror that the “Jack the Ripper” murders held over the world. Jack the Ripper is the best-known name given to an unidentified and notorious Victorian murderer who became the first internationally known serial killer. He was active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. His name originated in one of several letters written by someone claiming to be the murderer. Within the crime case files as well as journalistic accounts, the killer was known as “the Whitechapel Murderer” as well as “Leather Apron”. The letters were sent in September and October of 1888 and are believed to be written by Jack the Ripper himself, though scholars debate over their authenticity.

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and enter the wilderness of your intuition.” ~ Alan Alda

“Do what we can, summer will have its flies.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A small collection of total nonsense . . .

Miss Universe Pageant 1954
Miss New Zealand passes out from the heat
Whoopi Goldberg on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”
Had to post even though I can’t find the source . . .

↑This is a real thing, folks . . .

Late addition . . .

Kevin Weir historical gif
Historical Gif by Kevin Weir

“Don’t let your luggage define your travels. Each life unravels differently.” ~ Shane Koyczan

Reblogged from TED’s* blog website:

Shane-Koyczan

Shane Koyczan has a way with words.

“I’ve been shot down so many times I get altitude sickness just from standing up for myself,” he says, beginning today’s talk. “That’s what we were told—stand up for yourself. But that’s hard to do if you don’t know who you are.”

Koyczan appeared on the TED2013 stage just a week after his spoken-word poem, “To This Day,” went viral as a crowd-animated video. Live onstage, mixing poetry and prose, Koyczan explains to the audience what prompted to him to write the poem, an ode to anyone who felt bullied or left out as a child, and have it animated by people around the world. Koyczan says it wasn’t just overt bullying he was reacting to — but the subtle discouragement kids receive along the path to adulthood, as they’re required to define themselves in narrower and narrower ways.

“At the same time as we were being told who we were, we were being asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’” Koyczan’s answers were: a writer, then a professional wrestler. Both ideas were shot down.

“What made my dreams so easy to dismiss?” he asks. “Granted my dreams are shy, because they’re Canadian. My dreams are self-conscious and overly apologetic—they’re standing alone at the high school dance and they’ve never been kissed. See, my dreams got called names too — silly, foolish, impossible.”

To hear more of Koyczan’s motivation, and to hear a beautiful live rendition of “To This Day,” watch this talk. For more of Koyczan’s poems, read on.

Shane Koyczan: To This Day … for the bullied and beautiful

Shane Koyczan’s “Instructions for a Bad Day”

Koyczan got some help in sharing these “Instructions for a Bad Day” from a group of students at G.P. Vanier secondary school in British Columbia. They wrote the storyboard for the video, handled the cameras, did the acting and collected the props. The piece was created for Pink Shirt Day — a national day devoted to the discussion of bullying.

*If you are unfamiliar with TED (ideas worth spreading), here is a link to their about page. They are awesome.

                   

I’m not the only kid
who grew up this way
surrounded by people who used to say
that rhyme about sticks and stones
as if broken bones
hurt more than the names we got called
and we got called them all
so we grew up believing no one
would ever fall in love with us
that we’d be lonely forever
that we’d never meet someone
to make us feel like the sun
was something they built for us
in their tool shed
so broken heart strings bled the blues
as we tried to empty ourselves
so we would feel nothing
don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone
that an ingrown life
is something surgeons can cut away
that there’s no way for it to metastasize

it does

~Shane Koyczan

“I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” ~ Anaïs Nin

Progression and transition for the first 1,000 digits of φ Christian Ilies Vasile and Martin Kryzwinski
Progression and transition for the first 1,000 digits of φ
(Christian Ilies Vasile and Martin Kryzwinski)

                   

“At the end of this day there remains what remained yesterday and what will remain tomorrow: the insatiable, unquantifiable longing to be both the same and other.” ~ Fernando Pessoa, from The Book of Disquiet

Sunday afternoon. Partly cloudy and not quite as hot, 90 degrees. Possible thunderstorms.

So were we? Oh yes, joists, mold, swelling, heat wave, water damage, no toilet . . .

The bathroom is coming along. All of the joists have been replaced. The subfloor is going down. A few studs left to replace, and then the repair part is mostly done. Corey replaced all of the water lines, did some moving around, extended the water pipes to outside the bedroom window so that if we ever get around to building the deck out there, we can have a rustic outdoor shower, something I’ve always hankered after but never had an excuse to have.

Progression and transition for the first 1,000 digits of the accidental similarity number
Progression and transition for the first 1,000 digits of the accidental similarity number
(Christian Ilies Vasile and Martin Kryzwinski)

I have to say once again how very impressed I am with my hubby’s abilities. He looks at things, thinks about them, and then presto! Voila! He makes it work (in the words of the estimable Mike Holmes). That’s not to say that Corey hasn’t wondered more than once if he’s in over his head, but I have reassured him that as compared to a lot of other people, he’s really done an amazing job.

Mike has helped out over the weekend, which has sped up some aspects of the work, but still, it’s slow going. It is a full gut, after all, which I don’t think everyone fully comprehended.

“Someone, and no matter who, inhabits my head like it’s an empty house, he enters, he leaves, he bangs each door behind him, powerless I put up with this ruckus.” ~ Claude Esteban, from “Someone, and no matter”

As to the wonderful Botox-related facial swelling? Yes, still here. The heat really exacerbates it. I can walk outside and feel the skin on my face tighten and tingle. Lovely. Absolutely lovely.

Supposedly, when I spoke to the doctor’s office the other day, I was through with the worst of it. Only not so much. I’m taking antihistamines and ibuprofen mostly because I don’t know what else I should take. Fortunately, I have finished with the prednizone, but the fact of the matter is that my face has this patches of puffiness, and I finally figured out what it reminded me of: Harry Potter.

Progression of the first 10,000 digits of pi Christian Ilies Vasile and Martin Kryzwinski
Progression of the first 10,000 digits of pi
(Christian Ilies Vasile and Martin Kryzwinski)

There is a scene in The Chamber of Secrets in which the three main characters take some polyjuice potion to assume others’ identities. In the film, the changing process is shown through this bubbling of the facial skin as it morphs from one face to another. That’s how my face feels.

Bubbly. As if it’s changing from one thing to another. It’s really, really uncomfortable, and these side effects are making me rethink the whole Botox for migraines regimen. Corey says it’s too soon to decide, but his face isn’t bubbling and sliding around, is it?

“I am excessively diverted.” ~ Jane Austen

Brett has been spending the last week away from home as the renovations seem to bother him on some deeper level that I cannot quite understand. I don’t know if it’s the extent, that he wasn’t expecting it, or the disarray, which is unnerving.

Progression and transition for the first 1,000 digits of e
Progression and transition for the first 1,000 digits of e
(Christian Ilies Vasile and Martin Kryzwinski)

Would that I could spend the time away from the house, but then again, that would mean leaving, wouldn’t it? The constant banging is obnoxious, but at least the migraine is gone for now. I’ve only gone to my mom’s house once to take a shower. The rest of the time, we use the pool to get wet and then shower via garden hose in the backyard under the night sky, which is actually very refreshing.

Good thing we have a privacy fence, not that I really care about the neighbors.

Anyway, I expect that I’ll be able to begin the tile work in a couple of days, and I’m really looking forward to it. Once I start, I can stop obsessively looking up articles on hanging tile and reading all of the forums on do’s and don’ts and why and why not. It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutiae of these discussions. This substrate is good . . . no This substrate is good . . . but you should use this kind of mortar . . . but what about . . .

It’s enough to drive a sane person to drink.

“One gets to the heart of the matter by a series of experiences in the same pattern, but in different colors.” ~ Robert Graves, from The Art of Poetry No. 11, The Paris Review

I had the strangest dream last night about neighbors who don’t exist. They invited us over for a quick casual dinner after we had all gone to a theme park for the day. I was really tired but thought it would be rude not to accept the impromptu invitation. During this, my mother disappeared, and I didn’t know it until I answered the phone and she was on the other end telling me that she had gone out with some friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I told her that I’d take care of the dogs, and suddenly, there were four dogs, not two, and I hadn’t remembered to give them food or water, so I had to excuse myself from the company to take care of the dogs.

Progression and transition for the first 2,000 digits of e
Progression and transition for the first 2,000 digits of e
(Christian Ilies Vasile and Martin Kryzwinski)

Then, the museum curator wanted to compare a document, and I knew that it was a problem because the original document had gotten water spots on it from the water damage, and we had been hiding that. The curator was very miffed, and we had to take the document off display because it couldn’t be authenticated. Meanwhile, the company wanted to drink margaritas, but I told them the tequila gave me a migraine, so they drank something that was the color of Midori liqueur.

Finally, everyone left while I tried to tape together the transcript with red sealing tape, this after assuring all parties that homework had to be completed before there could be any playtime.

“I have moved to the edge of the world for two years. If I am not careful, I will fall.” ~ Roxane Gay, from North Country

And you wonder why I have migraines . . .

I awoke to banging in the bathroom and pressure in my forehead and a curious sense that I hadn’t finished what I had started.

Progression and transition for the first 1,000 digits of π. Created with Circos
Progression and transition for the first 1,000 digits of π.
(Christian Ilies Vasile and Martin Kryzwinski)

Anyway, that’s life around the homestead for the past several days. The puppies are managing well, and Bailey has seemingly potty trained herself overnight, which is one less thing to worry about.

In between all of this, Corey has job applications out, and I’m revisiting the idea of taking the GREs so that I can apply to a doctoral program. I haven’t seen le bebe since the birthday party, and there’s no way she can be in the house with all of the wood and nails and what-have-you everywhere. It’s enough to keep the wood chips out of the puppy’s mouth.

Here’s hoping the next few days see a domino effect in getting things done . . . but I won’t hold my breath.

More later. Peace.

All images are taken from The Creator’s Project, Visualizing the Infinite Beauty Of Pi And Other Numbers. No, I don’t even begin to understand the principle behind this, but I found the images quite beautiful regardless.

Music by Sara Jackson-Holman, “Cartography”

                   

Richard Silken Meanwhile