via kottke; the page isn’t perhaps as interesting as the question. ‘Can you find three foods such that all three do not go together (by any reasonable definition of foods “going together”) but every pair of them does go together?’
‘How to make a fireball you can hold in your hand’
The Courtauld Gallery currently has a small but perfectly formed exhibition of medieval ivories.
I do love me some medieval art. And I can really see why someone would collect ivories: they are small but full of character, and I imagine they are beautifully tactile although obviously I didn’t get my hands on the ones in the exhibition.
It’s curious to think, as well, of the trade that must have been involved to get the ivory from Africa to Paris, which was the centre of ivory carving.
I wasn’t taking any notes in the exhibition so I can’t tell you anything about this little head. I remember it was only a few centimetres tall; I think it may be a memento mori bead: the other side carved in the form of worm-eaten skull.
A thoughtful post about nature photography at CRN.
Professor Longhair. What more could you want?
I share a birthday with Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili, the Man of Steel. I’m so proud.
Making a plaster-cast of a vast underground ant colony. Skip forward to about 2.50 if you’re in a hurry.
The Leopard has been on my to-read list for some time and I’m glad I finally got round to it. It’s a novel, written by a Sicilian prince in the 1950s, about the declining aristocracy in Sicily in the second half of the nineteenth century.
The leopard of the title is the Prince of Salina, whose heraldic emblem is a leopard. The novel is centred around him, but he is a curiously passive figure. The world he grew up in crumbles around him and he gloomily but pragmatically goes with the flow.
The book is nostalgic and melancholy in tone—in so far as a writer can be nostalgic for something that happened before he was born—and it exhibits a kind of regret for a lost world; but crucially, it doesn’t read, to me, as wishing to turn the clock back. The aristocratic world represents a special kind of elegance and sophistication in the book and the shift of power to a nouveau riche class of merchants as a coarsening of society, but the book doesn’t attempt to claim the aristocrats as especially virtuous or deserving of their position. It reminds me a bit of Proust: not immune to snobbery and the glamour of the aristocracy, but just a bit too clear-sighted to fully buy into it.
It’s low-key and atmospheric and rather wonderful.
» The photo is a stuffed leopard in the Crystal Palace and is from the British Library collection.