Focus: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 14 June 2017

The bokeh that resulted give the lights of the city a magical quality and creates a unique look for a heavily photographed location.

— David W., The Daily Post

Self had to look up the definition of “bokeh”, here.

Last night, self saw “Tristan and Yseult” at Shakespeare’s Globe. Such a beautiful, high-energy production, Emma Rice’s last as Director at the Globe.

Audience Leaving the Globe After “Tristan and Yseult”: Tuesday, 13 June 2017

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Leaving Shakespeare’s Globe after a performance of “Tristan and Yseult,” Tuesday 13 June 2017

Going home, over London Bridge, she snapped this shot of Big Ben:

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London Bridge Last Night, Around 10 p.m.

And this one of the London Eye:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

BATH: Magnificent Order

And self does mean magnificent.

The Royal Crescent in Bath takes her breath away. Even after seeing it for the third or fourth time.

The shape is an ellipsis cut in half. Who thought of this curved shape? So perfect. It’s almost mystical.

The architect (whose name self immediately forgot) was inspired, according to the guide on the walking tour, by the Roman Coliseum (which is itself elliptical. Really? Self never knew!)

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Royal Crescent

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Royal Crescent No. 1 (Royal Crescent Museum): Self is so happy that this woman came out of the entrance just as self was getting ready to take this shot.

Self had been on the Grand Parade, many times. But she never looked over the bridge to the river below. She finally did, yesterday, and — GAH! Rapids! Who would have thought?

Only after looking at the river for several moments did she realize that the gulls were walking on the edge of the top rapids. Grand illusion! And there are kayaks over there!

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The River Avon from the Grand Parade

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

ORDER: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 7 June 2017

ORDER: “Neat, tidy objects and spaces.”

Monet’s garden at Giverny has a profusion of flowers but it’s the individual blossoms that really show you nature’s genius for order.

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Giverney: May 2017

The flower is ready for its close-up:

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Finally, I. M. Pei’s magnificent pyramid at the Louvre:

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Fabulous: I. M. Pei’s audacity

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

HERITAGE: “My” Globe, Last Night

  • This week, share a photo that channels a living tradition, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

This is her second post on HERITAGE. She deleted the first one, pictures of the Imperial War Museum. For the first time in forever, that post got 0 likes, go figure.

Self watched (last night) a kickass production of Twelfth Night, directed by Emma Rice, who’s departing the Globe after just two years at the helm. As a tribute to Ms. Rice (who famously told the Guardian two years ago: “Being childlike is underrated. It takes commitment.”) Self thinks this would be an appropriate time to share why she loves the experience of watching a play at the Globe, so much:

It’s so London. And London is a city absolutely buzzing with energy. Especially at night. Every year since her first Globe play (2014’s bloody Titus Andronicus), she watches at least one play at the Globe.

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Last Night: Heading home in a cab after watching “Twelfth Night”

At intermission, she heads straight for the wharf. This is the view:

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The Thames, Seen From Behind the Globe

It is an essential part of her Globe theatre-going experience.

Self still remembers her first sight (up close) of the Millenium Bridge. Her jaw dropped. She had no idea — no idea — that London had become this cool place. That was the moment when self fell in love, really fell in love with the city:

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The Millenium Bridge connects the South Bank to Saint Paul’s.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Betsy DeVos, Have a Breakdown

Because, at this point, I do question your mental health.

Smiley face when confronted by angry Black students.

Absolutely the right response. Absolutely.

How dare you, woman have you no shame. Race issues obviously mean nothing to you. Nothing.

Then if you can’t understand, be afraid.

Afraid of your own poor judgment.

So I look at the video again. There you are: Keep on smiling! Adjust those podium mikes! Look helplessly at the Black University President by your side! (A completely idiotic and inappropriate response, let me tell ya: “Help me! I’m a vulnerable white woman! In a sea of angry Blacks!” Thus prompting racists of all stripes, those in plain view as well as those merely lurking, to go: “Look at what those people are doing to this poor, helpless white lady!” I wish never to see another such performance in my lifetime)

Betsy, you are doing so much damage to education, every day that you continue in your position. Because you’re just sleepwalking. You know it, the President knows it, the GOP knows it.

To the graduating class of Bethune-Cookman: I salute you. You will go on to do great things.

Link.

In Honor of Earth Day 2017, #amreading

Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill (Flying Eye Books)

This is a grrrreat children’s book which gives a clear picture of the difficulties faced, through spare illustrations that evoke the truly epic nature of Shackleton’s journey.

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There’s a quote from Roald Amundsen on the publication information page:

  • No man fails who sets an example of high courage, of unbroken resolution, of unshrinking endurance.

— Roald Amundsen

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Self absolutely loves it.

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Stay tuned.

#amreading Tom Holland: RUBICON

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Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic, by Tom Holland

Finalist for the Samuel Johnson Prize

One of the Guardian’s Books of the Year

Published 2003 by Abacus, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group

Self is hugely enjoying the narrative sweep. Holland will not give you dates on every page, but you will learn much about narrative rhythm.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mary Beard on Edward Gibbon

Beginning a new book today: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, by Mary Beard

Beard begins by saying, in her Prologue:

  • “. . .  over the almost 250 years since Edward Gibbon wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, his idiosyncratic historical experiment that began the modern study of Roman history in the English-speaking world . . . “

Self is quite tickled by the description of Gibbon as “idiosyncratic.” She just read Gibbon for the first time, here at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. Her biggest quibble with him was that he spent an inordinate amount of time on the spread of Christianity and while some of that history was good — especially the parts about monastic life —  most of it was really broad survey. And surveys are dull.

In contrast, another history she just finished reading, Francis Parkman’s Montcalm and Wolfe, was amazing. Amazing in every sense: as history, and as narrative.

The Guardian calls SPQR “vastly engaging.” We shall see if it manages to unseat Francis Parkman’s as self’s favorite history book in years.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

John Wick, Chapter 2: Keanu, Self Will Always Love You

Have you ever walked out of a film so struck by awe and wonder your skin is abuzz? Has a film ever left you so joyful and drunk on adrenaline that it made you more hopeful about the world? Has a lead performance in an action film ever had such balletic grace it made you marvel at the possibilities of the human body itself? This is exactly how I felt watching John Wick: Chapter Two, the sequel to the surprising 2014 action hit.

— Angelica Jade Bastien, rogerebert.com

2017 Winners: World Press Photo Awards

Self only has a few minutes to post this, as she’s running here there and everywhere and the only reason she is still in her apartment is because she decided to work a little more on her sequel to “First Causes”: “This Is End” (dystopia, fantasy, apocalyptic, etc what else is new, lol)

Winner:  Associated Press Photographer Burhan Ozbilici, for his image of a gun-wielding off-duty Turkish policeman standing over the body of Russia’s ambassador, Dec. 19

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES

Singles

  1. Jonathan Bachman (USA), Reuters: “Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge”
  2. Vadim Ghirda (Romania), The Associated Press“Migrant Crossing”
  3. Daniel Etter (Germany): “The Libyan Migrant Trap”

Stories

  1. Amber Bracken (Canada): “Standing Rock”
  2. Lalo de Almeida (Brazil): “Victims of the Zika Virus”
  3. Peter Bauza (Germany): “Copacabana Palace”

DAILY LIFE

Singles

  1. Paula Bronstein (USA), Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting: “The Silent Victims of a Forgotten War”
  2. Tiejun Wang (China): “Sweat Makes Champions”
  3. Matthieu Paley (France), National Geographic: “China’s Wild West”

Stories

  1. Tomas Munita (Chile), The New York Times: “Cuba on the Edge of Change”
  2. Elena Asonova (Russia): “Out of the Way”
  3. Francesco Comello (Italy):  “Isle of Salvation”

GENERAL NEWS

Singles

  1. Laurent Van der Stockt (France), Getty for Le Monde: “Offensive on Mosul”
  2. Santi Palacios (Spain): “Left Alone”
  3. Noel Celis (Philippines), Agence France-Presse: “Inside the Philippines’ Most Overcrowded Jail”

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