Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dream Rooms In Dolls' Houses

 Small Stories: At Home in a Doll’s House is an exhibition at the V & A Museum of Childhood in London that shows histories of domestic life across the centuries using dolls’ houses.” To add a modern touch to the show,  19 designers have each created their “dream room” inside a 30cm wooden box.

Wilderness Dreams by Orly Orbach“Orly wanted to represent the idea of dreaming in this room, using cave drawings and wild animals. She’s quite into Jungian symbolism, the idea of an archetypal primeval wildness that we can access even in our civilised times through our dreams.”

Library (a Recent Plan) by Emma Mawston, Liberty Art Fabrics Interiors.
“Liberty looked back to the early 1900s and took a real library plan from the archive. The craftsmanship in this is amazing: the wallpaper, the vases, the little books. The rug on the floor was hand-embroidered by students at the Royal School of Needlework.”

Room with a View by Nancy Edwards“This is inspired by London’s skyline. These iconic buildings are used to create furniture: the bed is one of the pods in the London Eye, the tower of Big Ben has a swing underneath, the Thames is sewn into the carpet.”

Photograph: V&A Photo Studio

More: The Guardian

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Alysha Umphress In Performance

Alysha Umphress, with Brett Rowe on piano, sings the number “I Can Cook, Too” from the Broadway revival of the 1944 musical “On The Town.” The show is at the Lyric Theater.

For sale: the final residence of Tsar Nicholas II’s last surviving sibling — a dilapidated semi in Toronto

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna was the youngest child of Emperor Alexander III of Russia.
Her older brother was Tsar Nicholas II.

At age 19, on the occasion of her wedding in 1901, Tsar Nicholas granted his youngest sister a 200-room starter home — a $453-million St. Petersburg neo-Palladian with a 47-window front fa├žade. It's a far cry from such opulence to the house at 716 Gerrard Street East where she died in the upstairs front bedroom Nov. 24, 1960.

Listed last week on MLS, the modest two-story Riverdale semidetached was the final residence of the Tsar Nicholas II’s last surviving sibling, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandranova. The highest ranking member of the Russian imperial family to emigrate to North America, Olga convalesced in the care of Russian friends who ran the beauty shop on the main floor.

She was bedridden for a year and ate nothing but ice cream, according to Nick Barisheff, who was 15 when the 78-year-old duchess succumbed to cancer in his family’s apartment.

The exterior of 716 Gerrard Street East, where Grand Duchess Olga of Russia lived in Toronto,
is pictured on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (Matthew Sherwood for National Post)

More: National Post

Fairy Post Office

 In 2013 the sweetest post office was installed in a tree at California's Tilden Park. The original office consisted of a miniature mailbox in front of a pint-sized office complete with desk, lamp, a thimble-sized birdcage, and art on the wall. The creators of the post office put little letters in the mailbox and after a couple of months simply left the whole thing to exist in secret. When they returned months later they found that hikers who had stumbled upon post office had added decorations, like miniature wall maps and trinkets on the desk; new notes had been written and left in the mailbox. The post office even distributes its own newspaper ("The Small Times")

More: Atlas Obscura


Memorializing Asia’s Most Traveled Roads

Above: detail, Famous Places of the Fifty-Three Stations: Yoshiwara, Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858)
Japan, Edo period, 1855; Six of a set of 55 woodblock prints; ink and color on paper

 "The Traveler’s Eye: Scenes of Asia,"  an exhibition at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery contains more than 100 mementos spanning 500 years of travel across the Asian continent. Among the items in adjoining rooms are rocks from China, archeological sketches done in Iraq, postcards, a scroll and woodblock prints from Japan.

Detail, Famous Places of the Fifty-Three Stations: Kawasaki.

More: Smithsonian

Friday, November 21, 2014

Seals Think Acoustic Tags On Fish Are Dinner Bells

When scientists are studying fish or invertebrates they often mark them with acoustic tags that make ultrasonic pinging noises. Although the marked animal cannot hear the sound a new study finds that predators such as grey seals may hear those tags as a dinner bell.

Amanda L. Stansbury of the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland and colleagues set up a foraging experiment consisting of 20 boxes placed at regular locations along the bottom of the wall of a long pool:

Eighteen boxes were empty, one had fish in it, and the last had fish plus an acoustic fish tag. Each seal was then given 20 trials to find a fish. The results of the study were published November 19 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Over time, the seals became better at finding a box with the fish. And in the later trials, they found the fish in the box with the tag more easily than the one with the fish alone.
More: Science News

Eugenia Loli’s Dreamy Collages

Greek-born artist Eugenia Loli makes surreal collages inspired by old magazines.



Bloomed Joyride

Artist's Tumblr 


Whale Shark Rescue

While swimming in isolated waters 300 miles south west of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, david valencia spotted this thirty five foot female whale shark with a line six inches thick wrapped around her and digging into her skin. The growth of anemones and gooseneck barnacles on the rope would indicate that it had been there for a long time.

Read more: Sport Diver


Goldfish Tea Bags

CHARM VILLA makes tea bags that look like goldfish.


America’s First Pet Burial Grounds - Est 1896

Hartsdale Pet Cemetery near White Plains, NY, also called The Peaceable Kingdom, was established in 1896 by a New York City veterinarian who offered an apple orchard at his summer retreat in nearby Westchester County to serve as a burial plot for a bereaved friend’s dog. Its five acres are home to 80,000 pets (rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, and a lion cub among the vast numbers of cats and dogs).