(Video link here.) We love this installation at one of Issy Miyake’s stores: computer-controlled electric fans sending little gusts and sculpting an ethereal fabric. We wish we could translate the idea to home but think it’s beyond our reach. BUT we could take the idea of the etched-looking floor that we saw early on in the video, read more…
(Video link here.) The story behind this extraordinary video is brief and understated:
On an unseasonably warm November night in Manhattan on our way to get ice cream, we stumbled upon what appeared to be a vintage shop, brightly lit display window and all. As we began to walk in, a man sitting out front warned us that we were welcome to explore, but nothing inside was for sale. Our interests piqued, we began to browse through the collections the man out front had built throughout his life. This is a story of a man and his home.
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(Video link here.) Last week, Open Culture ran two incredibly illuminating videos in tandem: the first, below, is the comedian Louis C.K telling of being at a low point in his career, having done the same old comedy routine for 15 years and getting nowhere, when he happened to hear George Carlin talk about how he came to figure out who he REALLY was, and the work he was really meant to do. Carlin’s example totally changed Louis C.K.’s life, eventually bringing him massive success. The second video, above, was Carlin telling part of the story C.K. heard. The story of Carlin’s process of becoming is interesting and valuable; as usual we notated the essential bits.
I realized…that I didn’t fit. And here’s what was missing: I was missing who I was.
What I really was was an outlaw and a rebel…I didn’t give a shit. It’s important in life if you don’t give a shit. It can help you a lot. read more…
(Video link here.) …makes us wonder what it would be like if we all wore the occasional L.E.D-laced outfit…to become…moving light sculptures…
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(Video link here.) Although we’ve spent decades improvising in the kitchen (figuring out ways to cure hams in a city apartment and make souffles in iron skillets and teacups) we haven’t embraced molecular gastronomy in our everyday cooking. We enjoy its magical qualities on forays to the restaurants of inventive chefs like Wylie Dufresne and Daniel Humm….and now on YouTube with Alinea’s edible helium-filled balloon. We WOULD love to experience this triumph of fun, imagination and beauty (especially knowing that it started with Alinea chef Grant Achatz asking himself “What if…” and then figuring out how to do it.)
While we find we can go pretty far pushing the limits of ordinary cooking equipment, there is one esoteric tool we have found truly useful: The Smoking Gun. It’s a battery-powered pistol that turns hardwood sawdust like cherry, applewood and hickory into fragrant smoke with which you can infuse all manner of food read more…
(Video link here.) The great Waylon Jennings singing “I’ve Always Been Crazy.”
I’ve always been different with one foot over the line
Winding up somewhere one step ahead or behind
It ain’t been so easy but I guess I shouldn’t complain
I’ve always been crazy but it’s kept me from going insane
His words describe just about every great, creative person we know…“different, with one foot over the line”.
We especially love his intro.
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(Video link here.) The results of our “what are you reading?” post have been incredibly illuminating. Thank you so much for sharing the many great paths for us to follow from Stinky and other Toon books for kid’s, to Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace to a pile of fiction and blogs. We never would have found this video of the amazing Jessie Mae Hemphill if it weren’t for checking out the blog Logcabineer. (Dig her tambourine shoe!)
We especially liked a comment from Pippin that started: “Nothing specific, but rather a new approach.” read more…
(Video link here.) A reader sent us this lovely little video her friend Julia Warr made. It is about 95-year-old Maia Helles, a former Russian ballet dancer who she met on a plane four years ago. Warr became convinced that Maia “remains resolutely independent, healthy as a forty year old…through the benefits of her daily exercise routine, which Maia perfected, together with her Mother, over 60 years ago, long before exercise classes were ever invented.”
Towards the end, Maia reveals the keys to her long life:
“My secret for a long life is simplicity and work and enjoyment. “
And we would love to know her exercise routine.
This video came from a CD/book called Graceful Passages: A Companion for Living and Dying. It’s read by Thich Nath Hanh and chanted by brother Phap Niem. Whether you’re Buddhist or Not, it’s full of riches. Watch full screen…or just listen (here).
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(Video link here.) Early this morning, rapt, we watched this wild Chinese version of the famous ballet Swan Lake, in which the ballerina literally dances on point on her partner’s head. It’s neither ballet nor pure acrobatics but an astonishing hybrid. A recent N.Y. Times article tells the story of its evolution: the vision classical ballet dancer and choreographer Zhao Ming imposed on the Guangzhou Acrobatics Troup, and the conventions he purposely set out to break:
“People usually talk about the skill of acrobats and the beauty of ballet. Now they can talk about the beauty of acrobats and the skill of ballet,” Zhao said. “I really love to turn things on their head.”
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(Video link here.) Ekso Bionics, creators of a robotic exoskeleton that enables paraplegics to walk, has created a compelling video about their remarkable invention. Much of the video is of Amanda Boxtel, an early product tester, who has not walked since she sustained an spinal cord injury 20 years ago (though she has mastered – and taught – many sitting-down sports.) Watching her, and listening to her speak of her experience, is to be reminded of – and really “get” - the little ordinary things that we take for granted…“putting my heal on the ground…being able to bend my knee..taking a step and then another step…a walk in nature.”
(Video link here.) We were just getting disgruntled at Pandora’s “Bjork” stream when “All Is Full Of Love” came on. We WOKE UP, amazed at what we were hearing and went looking for the lyrics. They are beautiful, somehow making us think of the creative process as much as love. “You have to trust it, despite wrong turns. It’s there.”
This video of a young Bjork performing the song is a bit unfocused until 1:20 when it really picks up steam. At 2:30 she holds a note – the word “love” – for a stunning 17 seconds. It has an utterly forthright, courageous quality that reminded us read more…
The treasures to be seen on YouTube continue to astonish. For this lazy New Year’s weekend, we offer Émile Cohl‘s Fantasmagorie; created in 1908, one of the first animated films.
To make this film, Cohl placed each drawing on an illuminated glass plate and then traced the next drawing-with variations-on top of it until he had some 700 drawings… the characters in the film look as though they’ve been drawn on a chalkboard, but it’s an illusion. By filming black lines on paper and then printing in negative Cohl makes his animations appear to be chalk drawings.
It is charming, odd, fabulous and at the .47 second mark seems to be secretly giving a New Year’s message.