Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Free eBooks at Book Depository

Online bookstore, The Book Depository is offering free ebooks to download. A lot are old classic books. Check it out for yourself. If you go to the page, it will have the price the book costs to buy, but down below is a green button that says Download Free eBook PDF.  You can use keywords to narrow your search. It's a great chance to discover some lesser known books for free!

Check it out.

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/dealsAndOffers/promo/id/100?searchSortBy=bestsellers&promo=100&page=1&searchTerm=

Christmas books:
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/dealsAndOffers/promo/id/100?searchRefined=true&searchSortBy=bestsellers&promo=100&page=1&searchTerm=&searchAddedTerm=christmas&utm_source=NL-Body&utm_medium=email-Newsletter&utm_term=Free-xmas-eBooks_Block&utm_content=Block6&utm_campaign=Newsletter-December-11

Monday, 28 November 2011

Black White and Silver

I never really used to know how to match black and white to make it look good, even when I used to wear black all the time. Now that I seem to be able to do it, I'm kind of addicted. 

I love skirts like this at the moment. Ones that are long but made of light material so they swirl around as I walk!


Rock/ stone pendant from hippie shop a long time ago. It's a violet-grey porous stone, I'm not really sure what it is. Perhaps it's volcanic rock, although I have never seen it in this particular colour.

The white patterned waistcoat and striped skirt are second hand.

My kind of Victoriana boots from the second hand shop. One of my favourite pairs of boots.


Isn't this bag delicious? I got it from my boyfriend's sister, it was originally hers. I'm pretty sure she got it second hand.



I've had this song stuck in my head for days:

What Are You Grateful For?


Thanksgiving was a few days ago in America. On this day, people reflect on the things they are thankful for in their lives. In Australia, we don't have a day when we do this. I think everybody should reflect sometimes on what they are grateful for, and realise all the things they are lucky to have in their lives.

Radical self love blogger Gala Darling is an inspiration to me. She often makes lists of all the wonderful things in her life she is grateful for. And yes, she may have a more busy and exciting life than some of us, but I think this is a great idea! Why not make a list of all the things you are grateful for in life, or just recently, like a nice dinner, or family and friends who support you or a beautiful sunset?

I'm thankful for my boyfriend, for everyone else who supports me, for having the time at the moment to read and watch movies, I'm grateful for my blog followers, and other blogs that inspire me. I'm grateful I have time to write. There are loads of other things to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for?

Friday, 25 November 2011

Neverwhere



Television miniseries by Neil Gaiman

If you are a Neil Gaiman fan, you may have read Neverwhere, but perhaps you have not heard of the miniseries. I gather it isn't that well known outside of Britain.

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman is the story of an ordinary man who discovers there is another world below London, a clever, humorous and intriguing reinvention of places and ideas about the city of London. There are actually three incarnations available, the original novel, the graphic novel and the television series. Interestingly, apparently the television series came first and was re-edited to become the novel.

I have two of these, the graphic novel and the television series. They both tell the story a little differently, but are both wonderful in their different ways. The only thing I would say is not the experience the two in too close succession as it can lead to comparison, and that is never fun.

As well as being great to watch, the television series has a wonderful aesthetic, with some truly beautiful settings, and kind of punk grunge inspired outfits. (Please forgive my failure to properly describe clothing styles, I love clothing but I never learned any terminologies.)

The IMDb link for more information because you should totally try and watch it!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115288/

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Freakangels Webcomic and Phryne Fisher Novels!

I've been so busy reading recently, I haven't had time to tell you what I've been reading. Recently I read Freakangels, a free web comic set in post-apocalyptic London by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield and three of the Phryne Fisher novels by Kerry Greenwood.



Freakangels is a webcomic about twelve exceptional children who accidentally caused an apocalpytic event. These children all have unusual powers far beyond that of normal humans. Now 23 years old, most of them live in London, trying to help the people who live there survive, due to the guilt of their past actions. This is definetly an adults comic, the characters bicker and swear and their are a lot of sexual references. The characters can be hard to get to like at first, but they will grow on you. At first I couldn't stand most of them, but the comic is so well written, you get to see the real characters and how they became who they are, and come to understand them and care about what happens in the end.

This web comic has now been finished, which means you can read the whole thing online for free. Of course, if you like it, you can buy it in book form, but I am always impressed with writers who have the generosity to offer you access to their work for free! It's a hard world out there for us writers, you know!

If you want to read it all, begin reading here: http://www.freakangels.com/?p=23


Phryne Fisher is a heroine for modern day women. Living in 1920s Australia, she is an independant and intelligent young female detective. Although she is rich, she doesn't take it for granted, perhaps because of her impoverished past. She does enjoy luxuries like beautiful clothes and baths, handsome lovers and good food, though. I don't want to give away too much, because with this series, you learn a lot more both about her past, and her present life as you go along. The stories can all be read as stand alones, although I would recommend reading the very first novel , Cocaine Blues first of all to introduce her properly. I have read quite a few of the books, and most of them had me totally hooked. It took me two days (reading most of the day) to finish these latest three. The only thing about them is that reading about so many crimes in succession can somewhat erode your faith in humanity.

The three Phryne Fisher novels I read this time were Murder In Montparnasse (which I especially liked for it's mentions of Paris and Phryne's earlier life), The Green Hill Murder and Queen of The Flowers.

Homepage for the Phryne Fisher books: http://www.phrynefisher.com/

I Am Inspired By A Blind Kitten

Watching this blind kitten play with the jingly balls and quickly learn to find them by the sound, I was of course, overwhelmed by the cuteness, but also impressed at his ability to learn and to use his other senses to compensate for those that he did not have. It reminds me that we can always do more than we think we can, or more than others think we can. It doesn't matter if you are differently abled, or different in any way, you can achieve it if you set your mind to it!

Wild Thing Headpiece, Instructables.com

http://www.instructables.com/id/Wild-thing-headpiece/

I absolutely love this site, there are so many amazing DIY projects to look at! This one is particularly exciting, check out some of the costumes people have made to go with this head, like the whole family dressed as Max and The Wild Things!


This DIY is not mine and belongs to the site I have linked. If you like it please visit and let them know. :)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Awesome Librarians #1 Giles

I am two years into my degree to become a librarian, and thinking about what kind of librarian I want to be. Obviously, I will be a highly enthusiastic librarian, encouraging people to read books, but I would also love to be some kind of cool, unusual librarian. I would love to have horn rimmed glasses and work in a dusty library in a high buttoned Victorian blouse, and lend people books on magic and stories that change their lives.

So, anyway, I decided to profile some awesome librarians...


Giles from Buffy The Vampire Slayer



Giles is probably the best known librarian in pop culture. Extremely classic British, with tweed coats, tea and refrerring to computers as dread machines, he is a typified old fashioned librarian. This is one reason I love him so much. The other is that his area of expertise is demonology. Is there anything more awesome than a stuffy English librarian who can advise you on how to kill demons?

Friday, 18 November 2011

Paint It Black Nail Polish and 80s Australian Bowie

Black and white nails, very carefully and slowly painted just using the nail polish brush. I don't like to advertise brands, but I do think that the brush of the black nailpolish, which was the top coat really helped get the lines nice and straight. It was L'Oreal Resist and Shine Titanium. I got it on sale for $5. The other is $2 chemist nailpolish, LilyWhite by Ultra3. I like the name, and it works as well as most more expensive ones.



I'm not really happy with this picture. With the flash and the lighting, my skin came out looking like plastic. However, let me assure you, my skin is NOT plastic. I just have really terrible lighting for taking pictures in this house.

This is two different hands, also. My thumb did not change sides although it appears to. Sorry about the freaky turn my photography seems to be taking!

Check out this Australian David Bowie music video. You can see the Harbour bridge, so it's clearly in Sydney.



Apparently Bowie had a flat in Elizabeth Bay Sydney from about 1982 til 1992. Yet another reason I was born in the wrong time!

The Night Circus Outfit and Victoriana Outfit



Black velvet ribbon around neck from the local craft and sewing shop.

Necklace made by me out of fake leather thonging, cameo pendant, ankh and old keys.

Corset top from garage sale near the Portobello markets, about 4 years ago. Really want to go back to England, and see the rest of Europe!

Black and white dress from fill a bag sale at second hand shop. It's actually several sizes too large but the corset top pulls it in so you would never know!


Cameo earrings from boyfriend's mum :)



Necklace I made.


Ring from Vintage/ second hand shop. One of my favourites at the moment.


Recent outfit. All second hand items. I was really excited when I found the top, it is very Victorian and elegant. I pinned the neck with a fake pearl brooch I had from the op shop.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Night Circus



Novel by Erin Morgenstern. A Must Read!

I just finished reading The Night Circus last night (Wednesday), after getting it from the library on Tuesday. I was totally hooked from beginning 'til end. I have not been so entranced by a book in years, probably since Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Travellers's wife.

Even from what I had already heard and read, this book managed to surpass my expectations. The story is wonderful, with magic and forbidden romance, and the use of two different narratives running parallel was very well done. Of the two narratives, one starts several years later than the first, leaving us wondering what has happened in the meantime, but of course, all is eventually revealed. I found this a fresh and interesting way to write the story.

The prose is lush and beautiful. The descriptions of the circus are wonderful, keeping you intrigued. When I read books, I often find myself disappointed in the descriptions, feeling that the writer has built a place up to be something more than it is. It's hard to explain, but say an author describes a place as truly divine or magical and then their prose fails to really evoke this, it is hard not to feel cheated. but Erin Morgenstern's imagination is truly breathtaking, the circus feels a perfect evocative whole, none of the elements jar or seem misplaced. It is an amazing whole, the kind of magical circus I always dreamed to visiting, but that has never existed in real life.

This book is an amazing flight of fantasy, and has already made it's way into my heart and list of favourite books! A must read!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Cat Piano

If you haven't seen this, you really need to. A wonderful little short film voiced by Nick Cave.

It's only 8 or 9 minutes, and you really will not regret taking the time to watch it!

It is a little disturbing, but what else would you expect from Nick Cave?


Information from YouTube:

A city of singing cats is preyed upon by a shadowy figure intent on performing a twisted feline symphony.

Latest short film by The People's Republic of Animation, directed by Eddie White and Ari Gibson. 

The Cat Piano features the voice of iconic Australian artist Nick Cave narrating a poem written by Eddie White. Nick Cave recorded the narration whilst in Melbourne in 2007 while on tour with his band, The Grinderman.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Go The F**k To Sleep



Picture book, Adam Mansbach & Ricardo Cortes

Remember all those cutesy books that were read to you as a kid with cute little animals and babies going to sleep? 

Well, this isn't one of them. 

Anyway, I think these images should give you a pretty good idea of what it's about. It's a pretty amusing read, and I think people who have young kids will really get what it's about. Apparently Mansbach started writing the book when his daughter was two and taking two hours to get to sleep. He posted a joking note on Facebook saying, "Look out for my upcoming children's book, "Go the ____ to sleep". His friends were so enthusiastic, he decided to actually write the book. There has been an outstanding reaction to the book, frustrated parents who often dare not talk about the exhausting job of parenting for fear of being judged really identify with the events of the story. 

Apparently there is also an audiobook read by Samuel L. Jackson.

Click on pictures to enlarge.





Saturday, 12 November 2011

Wordstock!!!

On 11/11/11 I went to Wordstock. Wordstock is an event at my university with poetry, music, plays and short stories. It was organised by my awesome tutor, Sarah Attfield, and a group of students. I ended up helping set up, too, because I had a long time to hang around after class until Wordstock started, and frankly, I am one of those annoying people who would rather be doing something useful than doing nothing. As long as it doesn't involve maths.

I didn't end up performing anything, as the programme was full, but I really enjoyed watching everyone else performing. There is a huge wealth of creative talent at my university, and I was really excited to see what amazing writers, musicians and performers we had. In my classes, I never get to see any of this, so it was a lot of fun for me. I got to chat to some really interesting people from different courses, some of whom I know, some of whom I hope to get to know better. All in all, it was a very inspiring night!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Why Must We Fall? From Owl City Blog

http://owlcityblog.com/2011/10/24/why-must-we-fall/


I found this by random, because it had some key words I was searching for in a movie quote. It is truly beautiful. I didn't even know there was a book of Bambi. I probably should have guessed, because many Disney films are based on other books or films, The Little Mermaid, The Fox and The Hound appears to be based very strongly on The Belstone Fox, etc. Anyway, it is well worth reading. I have included the post below. If this is from your blog and you are unhappy that I posed it, please let me know, and I will take it down.


Why Must We Fall?
"One of my favorite stories in the world is a short chapter taken from Austrian author Felix Salten’s incredible 1923 novel Bambi, a Life in the Woods. The story of the little deer itself is quite a bit darker and melancholy than the Disney movie, but if you find inspiration in anthropomorphic literature, I highly recommend it. The tale is pure, moral, sterling and virtuous — all things I find rare and unfamiliar among 95% of modern novels on today’s shelves.

Every year about the time the autumn leaves start falling, I digBambi out of my bookshelf because of a chapter concerning two introspective oak leaves entitled, Winter. It’s poignant and beautiful and I wilt and smile at the same time because Salten’s words benevolently remind me that life is fragile and even the smallest moments should be cherished dearly. I like how subjective and sobered I feel after reading the chapter.

The leaves were falling from the great oak at the meadow’s edge. They were falling from all the trees. One branch of the oak reached high above the others and stretched far out over the meadow. Two leaves clung to its very tip.

“It isn’t the way it used to be,” said one leaf to the other.

“No,” the other leaf answered, “So many of us have fallen off tonight we’re almost the only ones left on our branch.”

“You never know who’s going to be next,” said the first leaf. “Even when it was warm and the sun shone, a storm or a cloudburst would come sometimes and many leaves were torn off, though they were still young. You never know who’s going to be next.”

“The sun seldom shines now,” sighed the second leaf, “and when it does, it gives us no warmth. We must have warmth again.”

“Can it be true,” said the first leaf, “can it really be true that others come to take our places when we’re gone, and after them still others, and more and more?”

“It is really true,” whispered the second leaf. “We can’t even begin to imagine it, it’s beyond our powers.”

“It makes me very sad,” added the first leaf.

They were silent a while.


Then the first leaf said quietly to herself, “Why must we fall?”

The second leaf asked, “What happens to us when we’ve fallen?”

“We sink down.”

“What is under us?”

The first leaf answered, “I don’t know. Some say one thing, some another, but nobody knows.”
The second leaf asked, “Do we feel anything, do we know anything about ourselves when we’re down there?”

The first leaf answered, “Who knows? Not one of all those down there has ever come back to tell us about it.”

They were silent again. Then the first leaf said tenderly to the other, “Don’t worry so much about it, you’re trembling!”

“That’s nothing,” the second leaf answered, “I tremble at the least thing now. I don’t feel so sure of my hold as I used to.”

“Let’s not talk anymore about such things,” said the first leaf.

The other replied, “No, we’ll let be. But — what else shall we talk about?” She was silent, but went on after a little while. “Which of us will… which of us will go first?”

“There’s still plenty of time to worry about that,” the other leaf assured her. “Lets remember how beautiful it was, how wonderful, when the sun came out and shone so warmly that we thought we’d burst with life. Do you remember? And the morning dew and the mild and splendid nights?”

“Now the nights are dreadful,” the second leaf complained, “and there is no end to them.”

“We shouldn’t complain,” said the first leaf gently. “We’ve outlived many, many others.”

“Have I changed much?” asked the second leaf shyly but determinedly.

“Not in the least,” the first leaf assured her. “You only think so because I’ve got to be so yellow and ugly. But it’s different in your case.”

“You’re fooling me,” the second leaf said.

“No, really!” the first leaf exclaimed eagerly, “believe me, you’re as lovely as the day you were born. Here and there may be a little yellow spot, but it’s hardly noticeable and only makes you handsomer, believe me.”

“Thanks,” whispered the second leaf, quite touched. I don’t believe you, not altogether, but I thank you because you’re so kind. You’ve always been so kind to me. I’m just beginning to understand how kind you are.

“Hush,” said the other leaf, and kept silent herself, for she was too troubled to talk anymore.

Then they were both silent. Hours passed.

A moist wind blew, cold and hostile through the treetops.

“Ah, now,” said the second leaf, “I…”

And then her voice broke off. She was torn from her place and spun down.

Winter had come.

Monday, 7 November 2011

David Lynch adds art to maths: The Telegraph, UK

David Lynch adds art to maths

What happened when the weird and wonderful film-maker David Lynch was invited to explore the beauty of numbers?

Artist and film-maker David Lynch
Image 1 of 2
Artist and film-maker David Lynch  
On the top floor of the Fondation Cartier art gallery in Paris, a mathematician with an equation on his tie and a glint in his eye leans towards me as if to divulge a secret. His name is Don Zagier, and he’s a number theorist. “I shouldn’t be here,” he says softly. “What I know about art is less than the man in the street knows about mathematics by a long shot.”
“But,” he adds, flattening his hair across the dome of his head, “I do believe that, at the highest level, the pleasure maths gives is an artistic pleasure. It’s not the pleasure of solving a problem or of doing something useful. It is the pleasure of beauty.”
Across the room sits Cédric Villani, a charismatic thirtysomething Frenchman who last year won the Fields Medal, the maths equivalent of the Nobel Prize. He is saying something about “fat triangles” and “lazy gases” that has the mademoiselles on his table spellbound: their eyes fall on the flamboyant silk bow that droops below his chin, on the sparkly spider-shaped brooch pinned to the lapel of his tailcoat. Villani has the mind of Pythagoras and the dress sense of Baudelaire. “I forged this look when I was 20,” he tells me later, “and there is no rational explanation behind it.”
Zagier and Villani, along with a handful of other leading mathematicians – among them Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, head of the French Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies, and robotics expert Pierre-Yves Oudeyer – are here on the opening day of the gallery’s new exhibition not as visitors but as contributors.
Mathematics – A Beautiful Elsewhere was dreamt up by Fondation Cartier’s pioneering director, Hervé Chandès. It is almost certainly Paris’s first ever exhibition to explore the aesthetic potential of what he calls the “abstract art par excellence” and what the rest of us know simply as maths. “The art world is all ego, ego, ego,” says Chandès. “With mathematicians it’s not like that.”
He had been toying with the idea of bringing science into the gallery for years when he heard a mathematician talking on the radio about the financial crisis and decided now was the time. He got in touch with Bourguignon who, in turn, contacted the cream of the mathematics community.
Within months, he had furnished Chandès with a dossier containing what he and his colleagues considered some of the most artistically rich ideas in contemporary mathematics. All that was then needed was an artist with the imaginative dexterity to transform the ideas in that dossier into an engaging series of interactive exhibits. Chandès recruited his old friend, film-maker, artist and former Fondation Cartier exhibitor David Lynch.
The American has imposed a typically unsettling design on the show. One room houses an imposing white structure in the shape of a zero. Inside, a punishing two-hour filmed history of maths, inspired by the reclusive Russian mathematician Misha Gromov and part-sung by Patti Smith, is screened on a continuous loop while, opposite, an animation of a fire flickers on a screen in the hearth.
The neighbouring room hosts a live feed from the control room of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. When I look, it’s lunchtime in Geneva: a lone scientist, surrounded by monitors, seems to be fishing something out of a Tupperware box with a fork. Across the gallery, a colony of robots bestowed with “artificial curiosity” by Oudemeyer, and given skull-like faces by Lynch, chirrup like canaries when they’re happy and flounder like dying worms when they’re not.
Downstairs, the gallery’s cinema is screening a documentary by Raymond Depardon and Claudine Nougaret. They have invited mathematicians to present to the camera their brilliant ideas – and terrible teeth– in a succession of beautifully framed four-minute encounters. “Mathematics is imbued with the human spirit,” declares Britain’s Michael Atiyah in one of them. “It is a reflection of what people dream.”
This is all terrifically engaging and utterly disorienting, so I seek out Lynch, who has flown in from Hollywood for the opening, in the hope of getting some answers. He is closeted away in one of the gallery’s offices, proudly sporting a paint-spattered blue workcoat from the famous Parisian printing studio where he’s been making lithographs. I ask if maths was already on his mind before Chandès contacted him. “No,” he says with what is either exquisite deadpan timing or deadly seriousness. “I was not interested in maths at all.
“I guess in an abstract way I thought of the great mathematicians as artists, but then when I met these mathematicians I saw it way more clearly. They’re just like painters, but their medium is equations and numbers. They’re all fired up, they love life, they’re happy.” He smiles beatifically. “Mathematicians are bright and shiny.”
Back on the gallery floor, tucked almost out of sight, Lynch has posted a disclaimer. “The mountains in The Film of the Universe are said to be 10cm” it begins, referring to an animation projected on to the ceiling that depicts objects found in the visible universe arranged in order of size, from the smallest hadron to the largest galaxy. “In reality the mountains on Earth are closer to 10cm but I just felt 7 was so nice and lucky that it had to be 7.” What’s an order of magnitude between friends?
This kind of thinking – and the mind-bending anti-logic built into the narratives of his films such as Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway – makes me wonder if Lynch considers maths to be an enemy of the sort of mystery on which so much of art thrives. “I do think there are mysteries that, when they’re solved, you get depressed because it’s over,” he says gnomically. “But then there is also the big, big mystery and when that is solved, there’ll be no depression. In some way, mathematicians are helping to unravel that big mystery.”
The show – which also contains sculpture by Japan’s Hiroshi Sugimoto and collage by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes – provides plenty both to feed the eyes and tax the brain, but the extent to which it succeeds in narrowing the ideological gulf that separates art from maths remains debatable.
In the end, Lynch admits, “the world of mathematicians is a pretty private club and there are not a lot of people who can go in that room and understand what is going on”. He pauses, as if to calculate something, and his raised hands flutter hypnotically on either side of his face. “I would say it is probably easier for the mathematicians to understand me than it is for me to understand them,” he says. I wouldn’t be so sure.
  • Maths – a Beautiful Elsewhere is at Fondation Cartier, Paris (00 33 1 4218 5650; fondation.cartier.com) until March 18 2012

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Surrealist Dreams: The Art of Remedios Varo


Useless Science


?


Personaje, 1958


Cazadora des Astros


Creacion de las Aves


El Relojero


Expedicion del Aqua Aurea


Hacia la Torre


Icono


La Despedida


La Gitana y el Harlequin


La Paraiso de los Gatos


Les Feuilles Mortes


Mujer Saliendo del Psicoanalista


Nacer de Nuevo


Personaje, 1963


Personaje Astral


Personaje, 1961

Premonicion


Presencia Inquentante


Retrato del Dr. Chavez


Rompiendo el Circulo Vicioso


Ruptura


Taxi Aquatico


Transmundo


Vampiros Vegetarianos


Papilla Estelar