Some really weird and bizarre accessories for your office that can reflect a portrait of yourself or someone who made you such gift :)
Weirdest Office Supplies
World of technological innovation is not static. If 40 years ago, computers have become a brilliant invention, and 20 years ago - cellular, now it is 3D-printers, which predict an incredible success in all spheres of life.
Kayaking with drybags and GIANT jellyfish in the sea
GIANT jellyfish have been washing ashore along the Dorset coast thanks to the spring tides and windy weather. Over the past few days more and more sightings of the barrel jellyfish, which is relatively rare in coastal areas and can be as long as one metre (three feet), have been reported both in the sea and washed up on beaches..
Love Your Garden... Be Green... Recycle!
How green are you?
There are many items that with a little imagination and some minor alterations may be turned into a unique container for your plants! Many may be hiding in your attic, kitchen cupboards or garage while others may be purchased at a low cost or even free. They are eye catching, original and many would make great ideas! Look out for the slightly obscure, showing the sky’s truly the limit when it comes to imagination!
We are not ready for Climate Change....
Climate change will lead to increased frequency, intensity and/or duration of extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall, warm spells and heat events, drought, intense storm surges and associated sea-level rise.
450 Years of William Shakespeare
Don't you ever get tired of Hamlet?
As Oscar Wilde said, "There are as many Hamlets as there are melancholies."
And the play takes on a different colouring depending on time and place.
Kayaking with drybag in the sea
The sea is a powerful place...
I'm going to post pictures of my kayaking experiences in this blog. Here is my first experience on Bournemouth's coastline.
George W. Bush paintings
‘’I wanted to make sure that the last chapters of my life were full....’’
George W. Bush wanted to unleash his inner Rembrandt, and the results are now on public display: a deeply personal art collection "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy," at the Bush Library.
Crimea in war and peace Russia - Ukraine
In IIV century BC Kemmery tribes and Skiffs lived there. Tavrica was the first name of this Black Sea peninsula. People, who lived there in the I century BC called themselves Tavrs. At the end of VIII century AD Tatars came there and they called the peninsula Crimea. In there language it meant a bulwark with a dike. At the end of XV Crimea became a vassal of Turkey. As an outcome of Russian-Turkish War (1768-1774), on the 8th of April, year 1783, nearly 230 years ago Crimea became Russian land. As a result of a arbitrariness decision of Nikita Khrushchev (head of USSR 1953-1954) on the 19th of February, year 1954, nearly 60 years ago Crimea became Ukrainian.
Pray for the lost MH370
A new retail experience
Pop-up stores have been popping up all over London. They have come to symbolise a new age in retailing – one that is highly fluid, diverse and ever changing. These ideas challenge the thinking behind out-of-town shopping centres which seek to deposit people in generic shopping malls in the hope they will stay long enough to depart with their cash...
The Wonder of the Coast
Coastlines have always captured the human imagination. The sense of one place ending and another beginning has proved a source of inspiration for both writers and artists. It is the dividing line between land and sea which creates uniqueness to a coastline landscape. It creates a sense of ambiguity, a changing landscape where two different worlds meet and exist together.
It’s a well-worn cliché that sport is a theatrical spectacle. It has the lot - the plots, sub-plots and the drama in between often makes it compelling viewing. Stadiums around the world act like giant box offices, providing an irresistible pull to thousands of fans. Indeed, Manchester United’s ground is nicknamed ‘The Theatre of Dreams’ for its capacity to produce constant high-octane drama.
Is this some sort of hinterland? Underneath the great Metropolis, lies a sprawling network of tunnels and underground passageways. An escalator often takes you into the deep belly of the city where passers-by rarely make eye contact. No, it's the underground or 'Tube', the world's oldest underground railway (parts of it first opened in 1863), which serves 270 stations and has 250 miles of track. Today it consists of 11 different lines, and carries over a billion passengers a year. None of this explains the lack of eye contact, which probably has more to do with the Londoner mentality than the Tube itself.
Walking the Camino de Santiago
Walking across a country is a big undertaking, particularly if you've spent your 'training' period hanging out in the south of France with friends, eating cheese and drinking wine. It was the situation I found myself in when I set out for my month-long walk across the north of Spain. The walk – a famous pilgrimage called the Camino de Santiago ('camino' means 'walk' in Spanish) – follows various different routes, which all eventually lead to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a city in the Galician province of northwest of Spain. I chose to walk from Saint-Jean Pied-de-Port in the very south of France, a traditional starting place for the Camino, which gives walkers 800 km to cross before they arrive at Santiago de Compostela.
The festival season is upon us! The ranges of bejewelled, sequinned, feathered, floral head-body-foot wear that lines women's high street shops can make you feel as though you've entered your childhood dressing up box. But don't be deceived – festival-goers mean action, and the shops are only too happy to oblige. Boohoo and Asos both have their own 'festival fashion' sections, where they offer a selection of paisley-floral-sixties coloured jumpsuits, dungarees and headscarves.
You’re sticky with fruit juice and the tips of your fingers are stained a deep plum colour, but you’ve never felt better – you’re fruit picking, contributing to the food industry with your very sweaty labour. The apples, pears and grapes that you collect in your bucket will be shipped off to both small and large retailers across the world, enjoyed by unknown and faraway humans and perhaps the occasional lucky rabbit. I once spent a few months in New Zealand undertaking this somewhat backbreaking toil, but thoroughly enjoying it.
Immersive theatre is all the rage. The pioneering company Punchdrunk started in 2000, offering theatre that interacts with audiences and combines award-winning design installation with the most intriguing of locations. This takes audience participation to a whole new level of theatre going: spectators are encouraged to explore the ‘set’, which is often designed across an entire building that has been transformed specially for the performance. The idea is to apply a cinematic level of detail so that the audience finds themselves totally immersed in the world of the spectacle and the narrative.
I've just bought a new breakfast cereal – a very worthy Dorset Cereals muesli – and it now takes me about half an hour to get through a bowlful each morning. I was happily eating cornflakes until a friend criticised my apparently “backward” breakfast choice, claiming that I was falling short of every slow-release energy and fibre rule in the book. Given that I'd been complaining about how hungry I was by 11am, I thought it best not to laugh at her faddy escapades. So I buckled and begrudgingly gave muesli a go...
Life on Water
Does the idea of living on water float your boat? Perhaps it's the 'boat' bit that's not totally up your waterway? However, canal life is not restricted to the narrowboat, and as I have been discovering, you can enjoy all the luxurious benefits of inland living whilst residing on a canal. Houseboats come in all shapes and sizes, and many do not have engines meaning that they are permanently moored – you might even be so lucky as to have a letterbox installed...
For me, Rio de Janeiro's Carnival summons up a host of imaginary hot pink feathered samba parades, peacocking their way through hoards of bedazzled onlookers. I have not, as yet, been lucky enough to make these imaginings real – indeed, I haven't even been to South America. However, I did recently join an amateur samba band, which has increased and hammed up my fluorescent dreams no end. Although the main aim of my practices were initially to expend excess tension on the innocent drum, I have become more curious about the possibility of actually joining a real samba school and sashaying my way down the crowded Carnival streets...
Bamboo – yes, that towering evergreen that resembles a giant stick insect and famously sustains the fearsomely cute giant panda in China, the red panda in Nepal, and the spectacular Madagascan bamboo lemurs. It can grow up to 100 cm in just 24 hours: the natural world's version of a microwave dinner. The reason for this fast growth rate is that bamboo is actually a type of grass, which firstly means that it grows in abundance, making it an easily sustainable material as it grows back very quickly after harvesting.
Olympic Stadiums: before and after.
It was two golden evenings last summer which really caught the nation’s imagination. ‘Super Saturday’ and ‘Thriller Thursday’ were nights where the gold medals just kept on coming for Great Britain. It was when the Olympic Stadium came alive and provided defining moments for both the Olympics and Paralympics.
It was the culmination of seven years of hard work which converted a wasteland in East London into a sporting paradise. Land had been flattened and cleared, the contractors sent in and steadily the Olympic Park in Stratford began to take shape. All this was crowned by a glorious Olympic opening ceremony where the world caught a glimpse of a confident Britain in the 21st century. But great sporting moments make great venues, so it was the gold’s around the necks Mo Farah and Hannah Cockcroft et al which really made the Olympic Stadium. After years of anticipation and millions of pounds of public money, those moments provided a focal point to the entire summer.
Audio versus visual: where one begins and the other continues...
by Haroon Mirza
It's an undeniable fact that kids are great at getting their hands mucky. I remember my younger brother pulling worms directly out of the mud and sampling them like spaghetti. I never felt particularly inspired to follow him, but as he got a bit older and started to dismantle not only his own toys, but occasionally mine as well. Rather than getting angry (I was apparently much calmer then!) I would sometimes join him – much to the grief of our parents – and together we would discover the dark underbelly of Barbie and tamagotchis. When I came across artist Haroon Mirza (b. 1977) it kindled a few of these memories... As a child Mirza used to dismantle his toys to see how they worked: "I used to try and fix things and, perhaps not knowing how to fix them, I'd make them into something else."
The Impracticalities of Space
You're in a hurry for work. The last thing you want to encounter is an M.C. Escher-style staircase, leading you upside-down, back-to-front and on the straight-to-nowhere. It’s unlikely that you would ever reach work given these labyrinthine conditions. Yet architecture firm dRMM have unveiled plans for an Escher-style staircase outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London as part of the London Design Festival 2013.
Cycling culture: chic and critical
Nowadays, it’s far from unusual to see chicly attired cyclists atop sleek fix-gear bikes casually peddling around town.
This almost fanatical indulgence in biking, which up until just a few years ago exclusively belonged to the shared domain of bicycle couriers, professionals and eccentrics, has now entered the mainstream – and in a big way. Not only do high-street retailers stock aesthetic conceptions of how the bike should be – you can now get your Charge or Fuji 'fixie' from Evans Cycles down the road – but it is becoming easier to find bespoke bike shops that will tailor your cycle's specs to your needs. And while the province of bike knowledge and bike lore – 'fixie culture' – was once dominated by men, women are now claiming their rightful place in its burgeoning world. On my own (rusty-old-banger-of-a) bike, I now encounter seemingly as many tattooed and sharply dressed female cyclists as I do male.
You may have heard of the term 'outsider art' by now in association with The Museum of Everything, indie film Junebug (2005) starring Amy Adams as an outsider art dealer, and most recently an extensive exhibition at the Wellcome Institute in London called Souzou, featuring outsider art from Japan. There is also the pioneering American Folk Art Museum in New York, which opened in 2001 and shows the work of self-taught artists.
Locally sourcing and foraging: the new austerity cuisine?
I used to work in a small cafe that put a lot of emphasis on locally sourcing their produce. That meant the bread was delivered daily in a tiny van - except on Sundays, when the baker was given a lie-in -, Tuesdays were veg days, and Thursdays were dairy days. The fridges and vegetable boxes would be crammed full of fresh produce until the following Monday, when we had to forage around in the depths of the cupboards to find occasionally very bizarre ingredients with which to make our homemade cakes.
A Glance at the Male Toilette
We are confronted daily with not only the requisite 'women's essential cosmetics' but also with a vast and growing collection of 'essentials' for men. The pressure felt by men as well as women to groom themselves until they resemble a glowing billboard has never been more strongly felt. Let's be clear: men care as much about appearances as women do and have always done so. But this more recent preoccupation has not taken on quite such a high-maintenance form since the 18th century.
Capturing the Everyday
Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) is considered to be the father of modern photojournalism and 'street' photography. His style of photographing the 'everyday' is known for its aesthetic finesse and quality of realism. He came to photography after dabbling with painting, the foundations of which can detected in the elaborate composition of many of his photographs. Cartier-Bresson’s talent was in showing the seemingly ordinary in an extraordinary light.
A Little Chair Design..
Chairs can be pretty varied in shape, size and design... The case of 'how would you like your eggs?', which can obviously offer a selection of answers, is a very reduced example of the chair question: 'how do you like your chair?' Okay I'll be honest, I've never really put much thought into my ideal chair shape, but then I came across these extremely simplistic and beautifully designed chairs via the website Pastoe, which not only look a bit like modern art installations but also appear to be extremely comfortable. I was particularly drawn to the pieces by the Dutch designer Cees Braakman (1917-1995), who said: “For me, the challenge lies in finding ways to fuse technical perfection with aesthetic form."…
...but is it art?!
Minimalist design is primarily recognisable for its less-is-more aesthetic. It has been used as a bastion for architectural innovation and interior design since its explosion in the 1960s as an art movement.
I am always instantly drawn to its attention to clean and bright colour combinations - or often a reduction in colour and attention to black and white lines and shapes - un-fussiness, and emphasis on surface textures. A first encounter with minimalism is like taking a dip in a cool swimming pool after having been on a hot and sticky 10km hike: in one words - refreshing.
Environmentally Embedded Homes
Feldman Architecture's Mill Valley Cabins, situated about 15 miles north of San Francisco, are environmentally sound and beautifully designed rural retreats. Feldman prioritise their strong connection between construction and landscape, physically building their wonderful cabins into the sides of the hills.
All of the homes have 'green roofs' made from grass and earth. From a bird’s eye point of view, they are camouflaged into the natural environment. Inevitably, all architects have to build within a natural environment. But few strive to build alongside nature, incorporating the landscape into their vision or, rather, using it as the very first building block