Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year’s Eve Infographic: Champagne-Glass Pyramid offers this diagram along with a table for calculating the number of glasses needed for building pyramids of various heights. Also tips for filling the glasses and all things related to Champagne. They can be hired to build a pyramid for your next event.

There is a page of Champagne quotes, including this one from Art Buchwald: "I like Champagne because it always tastes as if my foot's asleep."

May this be the only kind of Pyramid Scheme you encounter in the new year. Wishing a happy, healthy, and peaceful 2011 to all!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bergdorf's Windows

Bergdorf’s Holiday windows are, so over the top this year that they are a challenge to behold. ‘Labor intensive’ doesn’t even begin to describe this extravaganza of passementarie, quilling, encrustation, and taxidermy, with a dose of steampunk.

During the day, the reflections of Fifth Avenue
upon the glass offer some dreamlike surprises ...

But the general effect is dizzying.

If you visit after dark …

and get up close to explore …

you’ll be transported to a world of fantastical detail.

Glorious, but exhausting, much like the Christmas season in New York!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Dysfunctional Xmas

Had enough of It's a Wonderful Life? Here's tonight’s movie lineup on Turner Classic Movies. I’m not kidding.

8:00pm THE LION IN WINTER (1968)
Christmas 1183--an aging and conniving King Henry II plans a reunion where he hopes to name his successor. He summons the following people for the holiday: his scheming but imprisoned wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine; his mistress, Princess Alais, whom he wishes to marry; his three sons (Richard, Geoffrey, and John), all of whom desire the throne; and the young but crafty King Philip of France (who is also Alais' brother). With the fate of Henry's empire at stake, everybody engages in their own brand of deception and treachery to stake their claim.

A bitter aging couple with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

1:00am CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958)Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

3:00am ORDINARY PEOPLE (1980)The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Have a Ball This Christmas (or next, it's pretty late)

“English Bone China with a Japanese twist,” is how these baubles by Reiko Kaneko are described by UK online retailer Rockett St. George.

Note pads by Amsterdam-based Trapped in Suburbia.

You’ll find both 'functional' and 'decorative' items for sale at the Paul and Kate Studio on Etsy. These orbs are from the 'decorative' (completely useless) category. But who cares--they are so textural and mysterious, and absolutely perfect for someone who really doesn’t “need” anything. You might want to combine the Prehistoric Planet (top) with a copy of "The Little Prince." And you can safely assume that the recipient of the Caramel Barnacle (not really an orb, its flat bottom makes it more like a scone), doesn’t already have one.

This vintage pendant, from TopsyDesign on Etsy, is so Rosemary's Baby. If you're giving this to a pregnant woman, don’t forget to fill with tannis root!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Class Photos: University of Iowa College of Dentistry

The University of Iowa has a vast and varied digital archive to explore. Included are over 80 years (1883-1967) of graduating-class photo boards from the College of Dentistry.

The early years, of course, have the most interesting boards, and not only for visual variety. I couldn’t help noticing a perplexing change in the number of women graduates over the years. During the first 40 years, 34 women earned degrees, with the classes of 1888 and 1902 graduating five women each. From 1925 through 1967, however, there were a total of seven female graduates--over the entire 42 years! I'm not quite sure which of those stats I find more surprising. Today, 40% of students at the College of Dentistry are women. Drill, baby, drill.

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