Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Can't Buy My Love ?

In The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine, Benjamin Wallace combines the knowledge of a sommelier with an investigative reporter’s tenacity mixed in with a heavy dose of a Hollywood thriller writer.
Wallace’s work has appeared in GQ, Food & Wine, and he was the executive editor for Philadelphia Magazine. But it was during his tenure as wine writer for the magazine that he discovered the controversial tale about a 1787 bottle of Chateau Lafite Bordeaux owned by Thomas Jefferson that fetched $156,000 at auction. Intrigued by the rumors and mysteries surrounding the bottle, Wallace investigated not just that one specific transaction, but the entire ostentatious world of wine collecting in the mid-eighties.
What he uncovered and wrote about was a cast of eccentric characters who regularly consumed wine worth tens of thousands of dollars. And, some of them may have been tempted to cheat a bit in order to secure their place in the wine world. The Billionaire’s Vinegar instructs the novice drinker without boring the experts and has the compelling story of the best page-turners.
(read more...)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ein Hod 1966 עין הוד

Ein Hod, village d'artistes, avec l'interview d'un de ses fondateurs (Marcel JANCO ) qui en raconte l'histoire et parle des différentes réalisations artistiques qui y sont réalisées

Bizarre Sex of Moroteuthis Ingens

Reproduction is no fun if you’re a squid. With one species, the Taningia danae, I discovered that the males give the females cuts of at least 5 centimetres deep in their necks with their beaks or hooks – they don’t have suction pads. They then insert their packets of sperm, also called spermatophores, into the cuts.
With a different species, the Moroteuthis ingens, the spermatophores are introduced in a more peaceful way. ‘With this species the spermatophores penetrate the skin independently. They probably do that with the help of an enzyme-like substance that dissolves tissue.’ Hoving is the first to be able to prove that these sperm packets are able to penetrate the skin under their own steam. He discovered this when he experimentally placed spermatophores on the skin of just-caught individuals. His results are supported by an incident in Japan, where someone had to have an operation after eating squid to remove a spermatophore that lodged in his throat.
(read more...)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tel -Hai Potttery 2008 תל- חי קדרות

Fong Choo

Gareth Mason

...and more from Youtube

(more on Tel Hai Here)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Donmeh: Following Shabtai Zvi

In October 2007, while on an artistic journey through the Balkans, the artists Nechama Levendel and Nadav Bloch were invited to exhibit their work in the municipal gallery of Ulcinj in Montenegro , on the border with Albania .
The gallery was located in a three-story stone building in the center of an archeological site in the old town of Ulcinj . On a preparatory visit to the gallery, the artists climbed to the third floor, where, to their amazement, they discovered a niche in one of the walls over which two Stars of David (Magen David) and on the facing wall two trees were engraved in the stone. The reply to their questions as to the origin of these symbols was that the building had served as the study house of the Messiah Shabtai Zvi and his followers.
Nechama and Nadav, as Jews and as artists, were intrigued by the subject and delved into the saga of the Messiah Shabtai Zvi, which had caused such a shock to the exiled and hunted 17th century Jewish communities. In the second half of the 17th century the Turkish Sultan banished Shabtai Zvi to the farthest corner of the Turkish Empire – the town of Ulcinj , then in Albania . Various sources tell that on Yom Kippur Shabtai Zvi went outside, recited "Shema Israel " and the mosque across the street collapsed, as Shabtai Zvi died. The remains of the mosque can still be seen across the street from the gallery. Shabtai Zvi died in Ulcinj and was buried there, presumably under a false name. The grave is in a closed building and is considered holy.
In May 2008 the artists returned to the town of Ulcinj , and used the gallery as a studio in which they spent two months working on this project. The work process became part of the exhibition entitled "Following Shabtai Zvi", which was shown in Ulcinj , Montenegro , at the Shkodra University in Albania and at the National Gallery in Tirana , Albania .
Nadav Bloch chose to paint on jute (burlap) sacks that were used for coffee, on the premise that trade routes were conduits of culture , through stories and tales told by the merchants about lifestyles, tradition and religion. Kabalistic literature inspired the creation process. Soft colors serve as a background to the design of spheres, upon which appear combinations of numbers and letters taken from Kabala mysticism. In his work, Nadav attempts to examine and interpret the secrets of Messianic faith created by Judaism as a longing for redemption and as a quest for insight and meaning in our spiritual and material lives.
Nechama Levendel shows objects created from books. She received the books from local residents, to which she added motifs concerned with the Shabtai Zvi theme and other local materials: gauze bandages, candle-wax from churches, shoe-polish and so on. The book, which is present in most culture s, sends a material and a spiritual message. In the work process, the book loses its original designation and becomes the bearer of a new visual message, beyond language, comprehensible to every spectator. The book holds a secret. The works are symbolic. Every book tells its unique story.
Opening: January 3rd, 2009 at 18:00

Closing: January 23rd, 2009 at 12:00

Tova Osman Art Gallery

100 Ben-Yehuda St., Tel- Avi v

Monday, December 22, 2008

הסימפוזיון הישראלי לקדרות , תל חי 2008

Never ask potter Fong Choo how long it takes him to complete a piece unless you want a sarcastic answer, such as “20 years, two days and five minutes.” Truth is, his miniaturized teapots are created in a few minutes.
After moving to the United States from his native Singapore in 1983, Choo, somewhat serendipitously, happened upon ceramics when the business major registered for art classes and never looked back. “I was totally enamored once I handled clay, and I haven’t stopped,” Choo, 51, says.
Strictly a tea potter, his pots, also influenced by Chinese yíxing teapots, vary in shape and glaze, each unique in some way.
Tel-Hai 2008 Pottery Symposium
(for 2007 event click HERE)

הסימפוזיון הישראלי לקדרות , תל חי 2008
הסימפוזיון הישראלי לקדרות ה-12, יתקיים במכללת תל חי ,בחנוכה, בין התאריכים 24 עד 26 לדצמבר 2008.
זכינו גם השנה בעזרתן הנדיבה של קרן בנימיני ורות קורמן, לארח בסימפוזיון שלושה מהאמנים המובילים בעולם הקראמי:
השנה יתארחו שלושה אומנים ידועי שם, בקשת רחבה של סגנונות דבר המבטיח עניין לכולם.
Fong Choo
אומן ממוצא סיני, שנולד בסינגפור וחי בLOUISVILLE ארה"ב - פרופסור מרצה באוניברסיטת louisville. בעשר השנים האחרונות מתמקד בעשיית קומקומים מיניאוטוריים באובניים, אחד האובייקטים המורכבים בלקסיקון הקרמי. בגודל הקטן הוא מצליח להעביר עושר של צבע, צורה ועיצוב הכולל פרטים קטנים.
Gareth Mason
אומן אנגלי שעובד על אובניים ביצירת צורות קלאסיות ומצליח לשלב חומרים שונים ולהביא את עבודותיו לאקספריסיביות עכשווית. הוא מעבד את פני השטח בצורות מגוונות. ניתן לקרוא מאמר על עבודותיו ב=Ceramic Review no. 222 וגם בCERAMICS MONTHLY החדש - עבודה שלו על השער.
Merete Rasmussen
אומנית דנית שחיה בלונדון המביאה איתה עיצוב סקנדינבי נקי. היא עובדת באבנית, ובונה ביד פיסול אבסטרקטי כאשר הצורה היא הנושא המעניין אותה. היא מציגה בתערוכות בכל רחבי אירופה

(read more...)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

But to live outside the law, you must be honest

"Four days before the Bernie Madoff bust, I found myself, through circumstances too complicated to explain, in a Bukharan Kosher restaurant in Queens, eating skewers of lamb, beef, liver, and sweetbreads with a wildly mixed group of guys that included a retired Jewish gangster I'll call Lucky, since most of his rackets involved gambling of some type. Lucky had great stories to tell. He saw himself as the last of a dying breed—"I'm the caboose," he kept saying—a breed that spawned legends like Meyer Lansky, Mickey Cohen, Bugsy Siegel, and Longy Zwillman..."
"It began to seem to me that the whole Bernie Madoff scandal was not about Jews and money but Jews and respectability. (And, by the way, let's cut the crap about Jews and money in the first place. If you look at the history of America, the big money has always been made by criminals of non-Jewish persuasions. The non-Jews who committed genocide to steal the land in the first place. The non-Jews who built up big fortunes through the disgusting and murderous crime of slavery. The non-Jews who built "respectable" old-money fortunes on the broken backs of the wage slaves they exploited. As Balzac famously said, behind every great fortune is a great crime. Old money in America is for the most part just old crime well-varnished by time.)"

(read more...)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Guttus: Baby Bottle in Mass Grave

Small terracotta vessel called a guttus--essentially an ancient Greek baby bottle--was found near the skeleton of a baby in ancient mass graves recently unearthed on the island of Sicily.
Archaeologists at Himera discovered the skeletons of many newborn babies, likely buried in the fifth century B.C.
"Infant mortality was very high at the time," lead archaeologist Vassallo said. "We found the tiny skeletons placed inside funerary amphorae [jars], like in a womb."
(read more...)
Photograph courtesy Stefano Vassallo/Archaeological Department of the Cultural Superintendence of Palermo

דונמה: בעקבות שבתאי צבי Dönme

בחודש אוקטובר 2007 דרך מסע אמנותי בחבל הבלקן הוזמנו האמנים נחמה לבנדל ונדב בלוך להציג בגלריה העירונית בעיר אולצין שבמונטה נגרו הגובלת עם אלבניה.
הגלריה, בנויה אבן , שלוש קומות , שוכנת במרכז אתר ארכיאולוגי בעיר העתיקה אולצין.
בביקור הכנה לתערוכה עלו האמנים לקומה השלישית והופתעו לגלות גומחה באחד מקירות הגלריה ומעליה שני סמלי מגן דוד מסותתים באבן ועל הקיר ממול גומחת אבן נוספת ולצידיה שני עצים מסותתים באבן.
לשאלתם לפשר הסמלים בקירות נענו, שכאן במקום זה היה בית התלמוד של המשיח שבתאי צבי וקהילת המאמינים שבאו בעקבותיו.
נחמה לבנדל ונדב בלוך כיהודים וכאמנים מצאו פיתוי ועניין להחשף לנושא והחלו לעסוק בפרשת המשיח שבתאי צבי שגרמה זעזוע כבד בעם היהודי שהוגלה מארצו ונרדף באכזריות.
במחצית השניה של המאה ה 17 הוגלה שבתאי צבי ע"י הסולטאן התורכי לקצה גבול האימפריה העותמאנית לעיר אולצין שהייתה אז באלבניה. לפי סיפורים ממקורות שונים יצא שבתאי צבי ביום כיפור וקרא בקול גדול שמע ישראל והמסגד ממול קרס ובו במקום שבתאי צבי מת . את שרידי המסגד ניתן לראות גם היום ממול הגלריה.
שבתאי צבי מצא את מותו באולצין וכנראה נקבר שם בשם אחר. הקבר נמצא במבנה סגור ונחשב למקום קדוש.
כחצי שנה לאחר מכן במאי 2008 חזרו האמנים לעיר אולצין והפכו את הגלריה לסטודיו ליצירת עבודות בנושא , במשך כחדשים ימים עבדו במקום.
תהליך היצירה הווה חלק מהתערוכה שנקראה " בעקבות שבתאי צבי" התערוכה הוצגה באולצין - מונטה נגרו , באוניברסיטה בשקודרה , אלבניה ובגלריה הלאומית בטירנה , אלבניה.
נדב בלוך בחר ליצור את עבודותיו על גבי שקי יוטה ששימשו בעבר שקי קפה, מתוך מחשבה שבנתיבי המסחר עוברת גם תרבות , בסיפורים ובמעשיות שמספרים הסוחרים ביניהם עוברים
גם סיפורי אורח חיים , מסורת ודת.
השראה מתוך ספרות קבלית שימשה את נדב כחומר ליצירה , שימוש בצבעים רכים כרקע ליצירת ספירות כמצע לכתיבת צירופי אותיות וטכסט שנדלה מתוך עיון בתורת הנסתר.
בעבודתו מנסה נדב לתהות ולפענח את סוד האמונה המשיחית שיצרה היהדות בכמיהה לגאולה מגורל חיי האדם המחפש תובנות ומשמעויות לחיים החומריים והרוחניים.
נחמה לבנדל מציגה אובייקטים מספרים.
את הספרים לעבודתה קבלה מהתושבים במקום להם הוסיפה מוטיבים הקשורים לנושא וחומרים מקומיים כגון : תחבושות גזה, שעוות נרות מכנסיות , משחת נעליים צבע ועוד.
הספר, שנמצא ברוב התרבויות בא להעביר מסר כלשהו גשמי ורוחני. בתהליך העבודה מאבד הספר את ייעודו המקורי והופך בעל מסר חדש, ויזואלי מעבר כל שפה , ברור לכל צופה, הספר טומן בחובו סוד.
העבודות הן סימבוליות וכל ספר מספר את סיפורו האישי.

גלריה טובה אוסמן
(read about dönme)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Я и другие: сладкая каша

В этом фильме есть поразительный эпизод: детям дают манную кашу, всем сладкую, а одному соленую. Потом малышей спрашивают, сладкая ли у них каша, и после того, как все ответили, тот ребенок, который давился соленой кашей, тоже говорит, что каша сладкая.

А в конце 1971 года авторитет Соболева сработал таким образом, что высокое начальство прошляпило откровенно диссидентский фильм «Я и другие». Вроде бы ничего особенного: дети и взрослые друг друга дурачили. На черное говорили «белое», на соленую кашу — «сладкая». В основе фильма — игра. Разные группы, сговорившись, навязывают свое мнение новому испытуемому. И в каждом случае он соглашается. Соболев впервые показал механизм конформизма. В фильме нет никаких выводов, но возможность сделать их остается у зрителя. Соболев был шестидесятником. Шел в духе времени. И если диссидентов делят на физиков и лириков, то он, конечно же, был лириком.(read more...)

Double Entendre - Raunchy, Risque, Ribald, Rude and Racy

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Double-entendre \Dou"ble-en*ten"dre\, n. [F. double double +
entendre to mean. This is a barbarous compound of French
words. The true French equivalent is double entente.]
A word or expression admitting of a double interpretation,
one of which is often obscure or indelicate.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Terror Management : Flight from Death

Narrated by Gabriel Byrne (Usual Suspects, Vanity Fair, Miller's Crossing), this seven-time Best Documentary award-winning film (Silver Lake Film Festival, Beverly Hills Film Festival) is the most comprehensive and mind-blowing investigation of humankind's relationship with death ever captured on film. Hailed by many viewers as a "life-transformational film," Flight from Death uncovers death anxiety as a possible root cause of many of our behaviors on a psychological, spiritual, and cultural level.
Following the work of the late cultural anthropologist, Ernest Becker, and his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Denial of Death, this documentary explores the ongoing research of a group of social psychologists that may forever change the way we look at ourselves and the world. Over the last twenty-five years, this team of researchers has conducted over 300 laboratory studies, which substantiate Becker's claim that death anxiety is a primary motivator of human behavior, specifically aggression and violence.(read more...)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Next Energy Secretary

Since 2004, physicist Steven Chu has been on indefinite leave from Stanford University so that he might head Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Looks like Stanford will have to hold his slot a bit longer.Yesterday Associated Press reported that Barack Obama has selected Chu to become the next Energy Secretary. If this is formally confirmed, the next task for Chu, a Missouri native, will be finding digs for his family in the Washington, D.C. area.
The soft-spoken scientist is a heavyweight. For developing a new technique to laser cool and trap atoms, Chu shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics. However, his passion in recent years has become a search for the ever-more-parsimonious use of energy. He’s been exploring the development of not only new technologies but also novel social and economic policies that will lead businesses and the public to accomplish more while using far fewer resources.(read more..)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hurricane - Bob Dylan

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall.
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood,
Cries out, "My God, they killed them all!"
Here comes the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Three bodies lyin' there does Patty see
And another man named Bello, movin' around mysteriously.
"I didn't do it," he says, and he throws up his hands
"I was only robbin' the register, I hope you understand.
I saw them leavin'," he says, and he stops
"One of us had better call up the cops."
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin'
In the hot New Jersey night.

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are drivin' around.
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that.
In Paterson that's just the way things go.
If you're black you might as well not show up on the street
'Less you wanna draw the heat.

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops.
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowlin' around
He said, "I saw two men runnin' out, they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates."
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head.
Cop said, "Wait a minute, boys, this one's not dead"
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men.

Four in the mornin' and they haul Rubin in,
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs.
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin' eye
Says, "Wha'd you bring him in here for? He ain't the guy!"
Yes, here's the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame,
Rubin's in South America, fightin' for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley's still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin' the screws to him, lookin' for somebody to blame.
"Remember that murder that happened in a bar?"
"Remember you said you saw the getaway car?"
"You think you'd like to play ball with the law?"
"Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin' that night?"
"Don't forget that you are white."

Arthur Dexter Bradley said, "I'm really not sure."
Cops said, "A poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we're talkin' to your friend Bello
Now you don't wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow.
You'll be doin' society a favor.
That sonofabitch is brave and gettin' braver.
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain't no Gentleman Jim."

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much.
It's my work, he'd say, and I do it for pay
And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail.
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

All of Rubin's cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance.
The judge made Rubin's witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger.
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger.
And though they could not produce the gun,
The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed.

Rubin Carter was falsely tried.
The crime was murder "one," guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride.
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell.
That's the story of the Hurricane,
But it won't be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he's done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

She was Born Odetta Holmes

Odetta she was born Odetta Holmes sang at coffeehouses and Carnegie Hall and released several albums, becoming one of the most widely known and influential folk-music artists of the 1950s and 60s.
Her voice was an accompaniment to the black-and-white images of the freedom marchers who walked the roads of Alabama and Mississippi and the boulevards of Washington in quest of an end to racial discrimination.
Rosa Parks, the woman who started the boycott of segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama, was once asked which songs meant the most to her. She replied, "All of the songs Odetta sings."
Odetta sang at the August 1963 march on Washington, a pivotal event in the civil rights movement. Her song that day was "O Freedom," dating back to slavery days.
(