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Guerilla Knitting in Australia

"Denise Litchfield of Sydney, Australia… (a) global artist…helped cover an old men's restroom with yellow yarn designs, and then shared photos of the display with CNN iReport. She says she loves guerrilla knitting because it's so unique, different and unmasculine.
'It's a response to the growing street art world to make a distinctly feminine statement in urban art in a way that is far less harmful to the surroundings. As in, it does not need solvents or cleansers to remove. It's stitched on, and if you don't like it, you unpick it.'
"Tree trunks, door handles and street signs are fair game. Projects as large as buses and buildings have been undertaken as a response to garden-variety shenanigans. The artists seek to bring their own feminine flair while beautifying their surroundings in a non-damaging way."

From Rick

Interview with Jeff Bezos Re: Kindle

Excerpt from NY Times Magazine interview with Jeff Bezos by Deborah Solomon
Published: December 2, 2009

Of all the books that Amazon sells, what percentage are digital books?

For every 100 copies of a physical book we sell, where we have the Kindle edition, we will sell 48 copies of the Kindle edition. It won’t be too long before we’re selling more electronic books than we are physical books. It’s astonishing.


Road Sign in Ireland

Lesley shot this when we were in Ireland in September.

Weeping Ornamental Cherry Tree

I shot this in our garden about 7:00 this morning. It was cold and misty and the tree was illuminating the garden. (Full moon last night. It's a Mt. Fuji variety weeping cherry tree.

Little House in Berkeley

There are 1000s of tiny houses like this all over America, built before rampant bureaucracy shut down the possibility of building small, inexpensive, practical homes.

Lightning Storm in Baja California

Daniel Amora sent us this photo taken by his brother Cesar with his iPhone, of a chubasco (tropical storm) in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Mystery Write P. D. James on London

From The Private Patient an Adam Dalgliesh mystery by P. D. James, in which she is writing about London:
"The city which lay below was a charnel house built on multi-layered bones centuries older than those which lay in the cities of Hamburg or Dresden. Was this knowledge part of the mystery it held for her, a mystery felt most strongly on a bell-chimed Sunday on her solitary exploration of its hidden alleys and squares? Time had fascinated her from childhood, its apparent power to move at different speeds, the dissolution it wrought on minds and bodies, her sense that each moment, all moments past and those to come, were fused into an illusory present which with every breath became the unalterable, indestructible past. In the city of London these moments were caught and solidified in stone and brick, in churches and monuments and in bridges which spanned the grey-brown ever-flowing Thames…."

Obama: The Good News, by Mark Morford

Obama, the great disappointment? The Miracle President hasn't actually accomplished much? Wrong
Yesterday Mark Morford published a brilliant online column on the great stuff Obama is doing:
"…as I…noted all the changes in a single year, I found myself reenergized, invigorated, slapped awake at the new tone and direction, the sheer scale of all the changes, and how we are no longer the rogue macho cowboy laughingstock jackass of the world.
Sure, there's still a long way to go. Yes, we're still invading Afghanistan. Wall Street is still packed with jackals and demons. DOMA still exists. All is far from perfect. But times have changed indeed. Things are most definitely not what they once were. I can think of no better news to report."
To the editors of the Chronicle: Put this prominently on your op-ed page, (say in place of Debra Saunders one day?). It's a unique, thoughtful, hopeful essay, worthy of real ink, as well as digital.

For Rock 'n Rollers Only

To say that rock and roll changed my life in the 60s-'70s is an understatement. Stones/Beatles/Dylan/etc. Sound familiar? If it does, if you've still got that R&R spirit in your bones, this is for you:
Yesterday I drove over the mountain to visit my mom, and to run with my friends. Sunny afternoon, I put on Last Man Standing by Jerry Lee Lewis and friends. Blue skies with clouds, green trees, shadows on the winding mountain road and listening to killer (sic) rock and roll…I'm embarassed it was so much fun. Yes I cranked up the volume. I was making my own movie. Boy, so much good stuff! BB King, Merle Haggard, Kid Rock, Robbie R., Mick & Keith & Ron, Springsteen, Fogerty, George Young, Buddy Guy…does this tell you anything? Jerry's voice is strong & clear, his piano sparkling, and he's obviously a powerful presence for all these musicians, many of whom sing backup harmonies. Blues, country, honky-tonk, rock 'n roll, it's a masterpiece. Check out the previews: http://bit.ly/6GgCnM

Still Love Newspapers? Get Dave Eggars' Panorama Edition

I have always loved newspapers and so it pains me to see my hometown San Francisco Chronicle struggling, like a ship without a captain. They've reduced the page size, are printing on glossy stock (big deal!), they've consigned their brilliant columnist Mark Morford to their website (here), they have no Voice.
However, here's one thing they're doing right: partnering with Dave Eggars (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), a newspaper lover, who is publishing (via his McSweeney's publishing house):
"• A 120-page broadsheet, including a 48-page news section, 24 pages of arts, 16 pages of sports (an 8-page sports section and an 8-page special World Series section featuring Stephen King), 16 pages of comics, and a 16-page food section
• A 112-page magazine
• A 96-page books section
• Pull-out posters

A bunch of writers and artists "…use their creativity to unleash the full potential of a daily newspaper? The result is San Francisco Panorama, a unique publication filled with breathtakingly innovative features and sections."

You can order a copy ($16) from McSweeney's.

Back to the land with Maria Kalman

"And the Pursuit of Happiness—Back to the Land" is a wonderful hand-lettered article by prolific artist Maria Kalman: in the NY Times. Farmers, fast food, healthy food, edible schoolyards. Sent us by Leo Hetzel. Photo is of farmer Mickey Murch's rolling food van. He drives it into the small town where he lives to sell fresh bread and other food. http://bit.ly/5LrkQj

Maria Kalman's website: http://www.mairakalman.com/

Bell Tower Near Church in El Transito, Nicaragua

By photographer Taeke Henstra

Fred Astaire Rode Skateboard at Age 78

Lew sent me this on Fred Astaire:
"Astaire was awarded a life membership in the National Skateboard Society At age seventy-eight, he broke his left wrist while riding his grandson's skateboard. He remarked 'Gene Kelly warned me not to be a damned fool, but I'd seen the things those kids got up to on television doing all sorts of tricks. What a routine I could have worked up for a film sequence if they had existed a few years ago. Anyway I was practicing in my driveway.'"
-From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Astaire

Photo from: http://www.dancehelp.com/articles/photos/Tap-photos.aspx

Bamboo Scaffolding on Hong Kong Skyscrapers


Shipping Container Converted to Bar-B-Q Joint, Nairobi

"Spotted in Nairobi, January 2008 at Lagoon, a bar/nyama choma (roast meat) joint."

Mirrored Treehouse in Sweden

"Swedish firm Tham & Videgard Hansson Arkitekter, have cleverly used mirrored panels to create an almost invisible treehouse “hotel.” Although the square footage hasn’t been revealed, the “hotel” unit boasts a kitchen, sleeping area, living area, and for those not afraid of heights, a terrace."

More Photos of Bamboo Structure on Thai Island

Here are more photos (from Architectural Review) of the sculptural bamboo building on an island in the Gulf of Thailand (which was on my blog 3 weeks ago): http://www.arplus.com/9994/ecological-activity-and-education-center-koh-kood-thailand-by-24h-architecture/

Tiny Skateboarder on Steep Hill

I think I posted this a year or two ago, but just ran across it again. Made me smile all over again. Dude! I'm sure this little guy didn't take off down the hill, but it's the thought that counts. I can't find out who took it. (Here are 170 places it's appeared on the web, thanks to TinEye).

Spiffy Little Wood Rowboat

Isn't this pretty? It was down the beach from all the little beach huts, in front of a more substantial beach house.