Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Neil Gaiman's Library

In case you are a cave person, don't know who is Neil Gaiman (Oh! My God! How can ?).  Here is his brief bio : He is the author who gained wide acclaim with his complex and literate 75-issue comic series The Sandman (My favorite, especially The Dream Hunters - a collaboration with Japanese illustrator Yoshitaka Amano 天野喜孝) , and has since broadened his scope to write award-winning and bestselling novels (American Gods, Anansi Boys), screenplays (“Beowulf”) . His most recent novel The Graveyard Book has won him the Newbury Medal and, just a month ago, a Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Naturally, I was half-expecting that someone like him would have a fairly extensive library, but still very much surprise of what I saw. Wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling of books. Wow! Make me weep.




I like the sofa ...... so cosy. Can anyone tell me why cat can go along with books ? I have noticed that quite a number of booklovers do have cats. It makes me wonder if their books ever once been visited by cat's claws ?

For more, please go
here. All photos by Kyle Cassidy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another way to bookmark your books


This was found in a returned book by a Worthing librarian.  Was it raw ? smoked ?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bumblebee Chevy Camaro


My incredible was so excited when he saw this car at a roadshow in the Compasspoint Shopping Centre.  So much better that if it can truly transform into a real bumblebee ^_^


Big Hair Days

OK, OK. These are hilarious, absurd, or may be unthinkable, but yet very entertaining. Why the hell these women from the old days were so keen to enhance their burdens on top ? Did they ever suffer any back problems ?


Fruit Stall
Etching published by Matthew Darly in London in 1777. The head of a woman in profile is the foundation of a monstrous inverted pyramid of hair, decorated with the wares of a fruiterer. On the top are a basket of peaches and a large pineapple with its leaves. Down the side of the pyramid, where curls were worn, are large gourds of different shapes. The hair is further ornamented by two tall pottles of strawberries, bunches of grapes, pears growing on branches, a basket of plums, a basket of raspberries, and other fruit.



The Green Stall
1777 etching published by Matthew Darly. The head of a young woman in profile is the foundation of a monstrous inverted pyramid of hair decorated with vegetables; carrots predominating. On the top are heaped a large bundle of asparagus, a set of scales in one bowl of which are potatoes, a bunch of herbs (taking the place of the ostrich feathers of fashion), a cabbage, turnips, &c. Large carrots take the place of the large curls then worn flanking the coiffure; three bunches of carrots are the main decoration of the surface of the hair, on which are also a cabbage and clusters of leaves (or lettuces). Trails of pea-pods hang from the top of the head-dress after the manner of the lace lappets and ribbons then worn.

I've got an idea ...... these ladies, especially if they are the hostesses, could just sashay elegantly around the dinner party in their fancy new hairstyles entertaining, and at the same time, serving the guests with vege and fruits. Whoever wants anything, PLEASE D-I-Y. Pluck it from their hairs, you dweeb. How convenient !

click here to see more. Thanks to peacay.

These are other two which I find quite a bit of witty and sarcasm.



You can build a whole world on top, if you like.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Illuminated Manuscript : The Romance of Alexander

These gorgeous illuminated manuscript miniatures were produced by the workshop of the Flemish illuminator, Jehan de Grise, between 1338 and 1344. Look at the wonderful details, they are down right astonishing. You can see more at bibliodyssey, just click through to the super large version for the full impact.

You will be short of breath the moment you see the "breathtaking" illuminations.

full view

close up #1

close up #2

close up #3

full view

close up #1

close up #2


The Dead Sea Scrolls & The Ancient World

I brought my incredible to the exhibition at The Arts House yesterday, which was also it's last day. It is a rare exhibition featuring about 100 archaeological findings that capture the image of biblical times and speak of the persistence of God's Word.

A pleasant tour indeed.






More photos here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

100 Girls On Cheap Paper

Shown here is a selection of gorgeous drawings of 100 lovely ladies by German Illustrator, Tina Berning. You can see all the ladies here. You gotta fall in love with them.






Want to keep these beautiful ladies ? Go get the art book titled 100 Girls On Cheap Paper by Chronicle
here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Czech illustrator : Jaroslav Šerých


I'm a fan of Czech illustrations. It all started about 8 years ago when I get hold of a second-hand book, published in China, introducing children's books illustrations of Czech and Slovakia. There onwards, I've admired the works by Jan Kudláček, Miloslav Troup, Jirí Trnka, Květa Pacovská, Mirko Hanák, and many others. Few years back, their works were very hard to come by as fairly few were made available online. Now, thanks to the evolution/proliferation of internet, you can easily access their works. More and more "mortar and bricks" bookshops in Czech are also into setting up an online store. With all these wonderful happenings, Jaroslav Šerých (b. 1928) was one new addition to my list not too long ago. A handful of books featuring Šerých's illustrations were published in English in the early 70s, including Fairy Tales from Japan, Persian Fairy Tales, Tales of the Uncanny, and The Dragon King's Daughter. The below illustrations are from Tales from Indonesia (Contes d'Indonesie) via A Journey To My Skull.





They are gorgeous, aren't they ?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dušan Radović's Fledgling

Discovered these lovely tri-monthly children magazines by Dušan Radović, a Serbian jounalist and writer who was known for his poetry at childrenslibrary.org.

"An illustrated collection of educational texts (poems, short stories, riddles...) from the Fledgling [Poletarac] magazine. The texts explain different subjects and nature phenomenons and teach children about famous people (scientists, writers, painters...) and their works."

4 issues (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) published in 1987 are available online for free reading. It doesn't stop me from admiring the illustrations without knowing a single word of the foreign language.






Sunday, September 13, 2009

Malacca Getaway



Here are some of the photos taken during my Malacca trip on 29 & 30 August'09. Nothing much to say, it was really just a free and easy, rest and relax self-drive trip. Not forgetting, eat and eat. Tried the well known but overly crowded Farmosa Chicken Riceball at Jln Bendahara. Not Bad! My incredible is already asking when will we be going for a second round.

We were staying at Holiday Inn, the city's considerably newest hotel which was open in 2007. The room was comfortable and spacious. If you're an night owl like me, you can walk over to The Jetty for a drink or two. There is a number of eating places, a discotheque, an internet cafe and even a spa.










The Maritime Museum itself is housed in a huge replica of a Portuguese warship, Flor De Lar Mar. The museum is well organised and traces the maritime history of Malacca from Portuguese rule up until the British. Entry fee is only RM2.00.


I'm planning to re-visit in Dec. This time I would like to stay at Heeren House, a beautiful colonial guesthouse by the side of the winding Melaka River.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Uncopyable

Last month, John had posted an interesting article on the packaging of music. I fully agree with him that absolutely anything digital can be copied and passed on, and that applies equally to album extras as to the tracks themselves. What can’t be copied is the desirable object which contains the music. This is the reason why I still buy CDs instead of downloading songs from iTunes store, which is obviously more convenient ..... I will then transfer the songs to my beloved iPod Touch. Of course, not everyone feels the same. It is true that music business is slacking as it continues to be assailed by digital technology. Our local CD store Sembawang is inevitably having this 50% discount sale for quite a long while to help boost the business. Besides all those extras that come with albums : interactive booklets, sleeve notes, photographs, lyric sheets, even video clips, shouldn't EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music (the 4 largest record labels) spend some effort to churn out some eye-catching and extraordinary CD designs ? I find the albums by indie are generally more playful, attractive and at times, provocative, but not necessarily expensive.

I really like Moldover’s extraordinary light-operated theremin-in-a-CD-case, a beautiful design and a really clever use of the wretched jewel case box. And yes, the music on Moldover’s accompanying CD may be swapped around illicitly but no one is going to copy the hardware. Immediately, I've ordered a copy of the "Awesome Edition" which cost USD60 (lncluding shipping charge).


Tristan Perich's 1-Bit Music is another delightful one. An electronic circuit is assembled inside a CD case with a headphone jack on the side. The device plays back 40 minutes of low-fi 1-bit electronic music—the lowest possible digital representation of audio. The "Regular Edition" costs USD25.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bookfest 2009

What’s a book? Does a book have to have sections? Text? Illustrations? Sequence?

“Let’s just say we wanted to put a lot of objects before the public and have them look for the bookness in them.” said Ed Hutchins, co-curator with Carolyn Chadwick of beyondWORDS: Bookfest 2009, an exhibit at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in June.

There are many intriguing books.



Carla Rae Johnson’s “Hildegard of Bingen Meets Herman Melville.” The 6-foot ship, constructed of maple strips, is equipped with a Scrabble board and seems to ride on a Scrabble tile wave.





Not your conventional books, though. One simply looks like a vege to me.

The exhibit is now far over, but the catalogue is still available to view online at www.bookfest.com. Links to the artists’ own websites are provided too.