Whole by Katrina Wendt — Hello Poetry

26 03 2013

StumbledUpon at Hello Poetry.

So as you might be able to tell if you’re reading these recent posts en masse… I’ve found some pretty random things recently. Random perhaps, but that have each spurred me to blog, instead of paying those bills online, or catching up on my Scouty emails.

This poem came to me because I have poetry as one of the criteria for StumbleUpon to offer me pages. Mostly they’re either famous well known pieces, or banal mediocrity. This one spoke to me though. Perhaps to you too.

It aches with the simplicity of the request – love me totally, or let me go.

Was it ever so simple?

Stop showing
You love me
A little at a time.

Stop saying
You care
Bit by bit.

Stop keeping
Me here
For tiny pieces of time.

Because I need
All of you
Not piece by piece.

I love
All of you
Not just some parts of you.

So love all of me
All the way
All the time.

Or let all of me go
All at once
For good.


The Things We Say – Your journey has molded you for your greater good

26 03 2013

I’d never heard of Asha Tyson until I stumbled upon “The Things We Say”, and this quote: The Things We Say – Your journey has molded you for your greater good.

Turns out she’s a motivational speaker. “Homeless at 17, retired at 26”. Asha Tyson Dynamics (her corporate self’s website) claims “Upgrade and Supercharge Your Life in 1 Week”. Hmmhmm…

As I recently counselled a Ugandan friend whose brother had been offered a job at a Toronto hotel via email… (All flights included for free(!). Salary paid in $US(?). “Hotel Manager” of a major chain with a yahoo email address (!?!!)): If it seems too good to be true… it likely is!

Actually this quote caught my eye for a very different reason: “molded”. Now Noah Webster was a very smart gentleman, but it didn’t stop him butchering the written English language in North America. Shades of Ministry of Truth in my view. Double plus bad.

He tried to bring rationalisation and a quest for simplicity to English. Trouble is, as we learned from Google’s recent foray into dictating Swedish word usage… language refuses to be fettered like that. English is a pig to learn, and even native speakers frequently get bits of it wrong when forced to commit it to writing. (Self being an extremely prime example!)

The thing I put on a wheel and what happens when I’m sleepy may sound the same, but they have different meanings. Spelling them as tyre and tire avoids any confusion: a sensible stance taken by the entire English-speaking world… well – at least outside North America. Unlike many cases where Canada “could go either way” and use English or American spelling, this one is definite. Canada sticks firmly with the US variant. I cringe every time I enter Canada’s version of Halfords: Canadian Tire.

Even things you might consider important like weights and measures are negotiable in Canada. Here, a pint can be 16oz  (US) or 20oz (rest of world). All the more confusing because technically we’re metric anyway!! For the most important use – measuring beer – conflict is avoided by selling it in measures of “a sleeve” which is generally accepted to be in the approximate region of a pint (for a given value of “pint”), plus or minus. It neatly side-steps the entire issue and allows us Canadians to continue peaceably drinking together whilst (I love that word) watching the blood and mayhem on the TV as we follow the ice hockey. We’re violent by proxy. In fact we often import Finns, Swedes and various other folk of Viking lineage to do it on our behalf.

Confusion is true of linear measures too. I was shocked the other day to see in large letters across the back of a fire-engine: “Stay back 150 meters”. Voltmeters? Ammeters? Water meters perhaps? Surely a meter is something that measures (or meters out) some quantity. A metre on the other hand is a unit of length. C’est un mot français, n’est pas? Comme “centre” ou “theatre”. OK… so the difference in these last couple is historic. Despite the fact that the revolutionary Americans relied on the French military for their gaining independence, they didn’t follow England in adopting trendy French words like autumn (Shakespeare used “fall”) and theatre (common in England from ~1700).

All that to bring me back to mold. I was taught in school that a mold is a fungus. A mould on the other hand is something that shapes something… like a personality.

To be molded by a journey smacks ever so vaguely of contracting athlete’s foot! Hardly inspirational, now, is it?!

Shadow Art by Kumi Yamashita

24 03 2013

I’ve posted before about the work of Rashad Alakbarov. He “paints” with light through apparently randomly suspended coloured items to build up beautiful composites. More here.

He also uses shapes to build up a composite shadow, totally unpredictable from the individual items.

StumbleUpon (if you’ve not already tried it Deliberately Delicious, you’re missing out!) lead me to Piccsy – somewhere I don’t really linger, but do dip into occasionally. There I found that Kumi Yamashita takes the concept up a notch. Enjoy…

Piccsy :: Shadow Art by Kumi Yamashita.

Source: Piccsy: Kumi Yamashita

Piccsy :: I would ask for still more

18 03 2013

I’d never heard of Rabindranath Tagore before I stumbled upon this image. A tad creepy, but the sentiments are gorgeous.

Piccsy :: picc.

I would ask for still more, if I had the sky with all its stars,
and the world with its endless riches; but I would be content with
the smallest corner of this earth if only she were mine.

Rabindranath Tagore

STREET ART UTOPIA » We declare the world as our canvas

10 03 2013

A friend of mine posted a photo on Flickr/Twitter yesterday of a piece of street art in Mt. Pleasant, Vancouver. It was quite twee in a Banksy kind of way, and certainly not without merit.

At the time, I commented regarding my discomfort of the genre. I applaud the skill of many of the artists, and in many cases the humour used alongside their artistic skill. What makes me uncomfortable is that often permission is not sought to use these public spaces in this manner.

More and more, cities are explicitly calling upon artists to place their works prominently (and even get paid for them). Many of the examples of street art (even though skillful and/or humorous/thought-provoking) are done without permission in public (or even private) places. One man’s art is another man’s vandalism. Whereas one can forgive a piece of “official” art that one does not “get” or does not like, it’s quite another when a piece is daubed, no matter how skillfully, on a public space or even the side of ones house or fence.

I’m not totally decided on the matter. After all, much of the hard landscaping being “arted”, though official, is often ugly and had no more public consultation of its aesthetics than the unofficial work subsequently applied to it.

Here’s a site I “stumbled upon”, as well as a couple of my favourites from it.

STREET ART UTOPIA » We declare the world as our canvas106 of the most beloved Street Art Photos – Year 2012 » STREET ART UTOPIA.

From up North

21 01 2013

Stumbling around on StumbleUpon, and found some interesting “inspirational” design pieces. Thought you might like this one…

25 new great quotes! | From up North.

25 new great quotes! | From up North

My new favorite web page: Rainy Mood

9 01 2013

Some who know me have remarked less than pleasantly about my love of rain. I was born and raised in Yorkshire and now live in Vancouver BC. It rains occasionally.  Sometimes.

I stumbled upon this page quite unexpectedly. It’s awesome (if you’re not too demanding about your awe.) On a PC, the video is a little boring – a simple loop of DIVX AVI, but the audio soundtrack seems to be much more lengthy and varied.

I LOVE IT! I could close my eyes and easily drift to sleep.

Using WordPress to get a graphic from the page to help you link, I see all manner of Apple, Android and other icons. I suspect that no matter what device you reach the page via, you’ll be left feeling wet and refreshed!

Rainy Mood.

Patricia Piccinini

2 12 2012

I’ve been thinking about “social networking” recently. I went to a marketing seminar on Tuesday, and that was much of the focus. But it bothers me. The more social media we use, it seems the less truly social we become.

We share inane minutiae about ourselves on Twitter, Facebook (or Twitbook as I once heard them collectively called) to a world that couldn’t care less. Because we can, we do. Yawn. But I think it’s worse than just irrelevant. I actually think it’s negative.

A relationship, be it romantic or friendship (or both, or somewhere in the middle, or neither, or…), waxes and wanes over its lifespan. It gets little pulses of renewal when some new facet is uncovered. “I never knew you had six toes!” It’s not that these little things are secrets per se – they just weren’t worthy of explicit mention. When they do pop up in a conversation, they’re surprising and renewing to the bond that was formed. You realise then that no matter how well you thought you knew the person, there’s an infinite number of layers and facets within them. They’re interesting.

Real people are fascinating.

Online people – less so.

It’s a manufactured persona. A marketing effort. Usually we ourselves are the marketing department and typically suck at it, but “celebrities” really do have other people paid to manage their online “social” persona. I am under no illusions whatsoever that Obama is REALLY checking his LinkedIn connection to humble ol’ Quieter Elephant… especially as I can’t vote in the US! Lloyd Cole on the other hand is (and I say this respectfully) past his creative prime, and I’m a little more confident that he himself creates the tweets I read from @Lloyd_Cole. Especially as he is looking to fund his next album through pre-orders.

So, having said all that – it’s not without its uses either. As with a hammer – it’s a tool that can’t be used for solving every problem, but it does have a place when used appropriately. A big one for me is learning. We never stop learning. If we do – we die. Maybe not physically, but practically. Young people think old people are worthless because they find it harder to learn and adapt. Kids, eh? I think “getting old” is just another way of saying “full!”. The elderly have learned so much in their lives. The young could benefit from tapping into that hard won knowledge and experience. Then the old could learn how to mentor. Win-win!

So I enjoy the opportunities the interwebs (as Bunbury would call them) offer to access new-to-me ideas, opinions and stuff generally. I enjoy StumbleUpon because of its randomness within the scope of my selected interests. (Though “Babes” does seem to come up more often than most. Just sayin’…)

And this very morning my computer, via software written after I arrogantly left the profession claiming “there are no new interesting problems to solve”, delivered to me the work of Patricia Piccinini.

Wikipedia: The Young Family; Patricia Piccinini

Wikipedia: The Young Family; Patricia Piccinini

Born in Sierra Leone, she’s an Australian artist, specialising in “hyper-realistic” sculptures. Typically fibre-glass, silicone, human hair, real clothes. Though her work is varied, a common theme is “what if?” Particularly that emotional space where we question what it is to be human.

I encourage you to check out her website. There’s some amazing work. Thought-provoking as well as technically brilliant. I suspect some readers will be repulsed, others fascinated.


Lorenzo Duran and BAFTA awards

24 11 2012

Years ago I used to live in the UK and was an annual member of the National Trust. As a subscriber I got to visit all manner of Manor Houses (sorry – couldn’t help myself). Amongst them was Snowshill Manor – about which I wrote in an earlier post. (If you’re interested, I’ll leave that as an exercise in googling.) One of the bewildering collections there was a small group of scrimshaw carvings by sailors and Napoleonic prisoners. In bone and ivory. Also some very fine oriental cricket cages. All were examples of very fine handiwork. Good ol’ StumbleUpon led me to this page today. A similar level of detail… but on leaves!! Lorenzo Duran – Designaside.com (It’s in Italian, but most browsers will translate it for you if you feel the need).

On a very tenuously connected thread…

When I was a Scout Leader in the UK, one of my young charges went by the name of Diarmid Scrimshaw. Still does actually – why change such a great name? It’s pronounced “Dermott” BTW, in case you were wondering. (I won’t share here what his rather cruel nickname at the time was – boys will be boys!) He was a bit smarter than the average, and I took a shine to him because he was a little bit out of phase with the rather bland world around him in Stony Stratford.

He used to ride a unicycle, just as a random example. To and from Scout meetings. While juggling live cats and chainsaws. OK, not actually, but the unicycle was real enough. I vaguely recall he was a dab hand with cards tricks too, and even more vaguely recall fire eating, but that might just be a false memory. A born performer, nevertheless.

I once bumped into him in a bar at the local cinema complex (he was still very much under drinking age) and he was dressed something like the Blues Brothers. It turned out he was there to play trombone with a band going by the name of The Blues Collective. I have a CD of their’s… not bad at all (“Hot Hits – Volume 1″… not at all pretentious!). Not unlike the sound of the band in The Commitments actually. Plainly this young man would go far. Here’s the opening track “Syrup” about a French prostitute.

Turns out he did go far after all. He just won a BAFTA award as the producer of “The Tyrannosaur“!! Read his interview here.

He just went up even further in my esteem as I learn on IMDB that he produced the Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo!

Guru: Diarmid Scrimshaw: now appearing on TWO wheels!

Diarmid on the right with Paddy Considine

Mark Jenkins // Glazed Paradise

4 11 2012

If you like art and quirky installations, you’ll LOVE Mark Jenkins!

No – I’d never heard of him either.

That’s why God invented StumbleUpon and Wikipedia! 🙂

Make sure you check out all his web site, but here are a few things I particularly enjoyed…

Mark Jenkins // Glazed Paradise

Mark Jenkins // Glazed Paradise.