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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window

20feb2020

cropYeah, I really didn't think I'd have time for any more pages, but on the other hand, I'm going to Brooklyn, and this uber-cool website evidently based in the same city sponsored this post about a 3D recreation of Athens...so, instead of as the low-grade displacement activity I can call “getting ready” for my trip, here's a link roundup so's I can tidy up my browser before I go:

This Athens Recreation is a 12 year project by one amateur who taught himself the program, researched the history, & then happily shares the results, basically because he lives in Athens, Greece, and wanted to share the beauty of his home-city's history. So why people worry that with UBI people will just sit around all day uselessly is beyond me—here's an example of just the sort of thing people would do with all that free time (which I grant you involves sitting at a computer, but hardly uselessly!)

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19feb2020

cropSorry about only posting Wednesday for this week (though, yay, I turned in the docs for taxes to the accountant yesterday) —and I plan to be out of town next week & will likely be too busy prepping for that to put up anything then. (Though with any luck I should have at least a couple of sketchbook pages to post when I come back!)

Today's page is sort of a tribute to the end of an era: I started photographing Kristin Perkin's beautiful jewelry in July of 2006; I took this picture 4 years later, in July of 2010; and probably shot my last set of images for her in early August of 2019. I learned a great deal during that time: Kristin's work is distinguished by clean lines and clear colour, and her vision for its photography was equally precise: for example, she wanted white backgrounds. Problem was, I was shooting stuff with these nikon coolpixes, which didn't have very good (or maybe any) manual focus, and the autofocus was confused by the white plexi. So I shot on black plexi, which had the additional advantage of popping the colour.

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14feb2020

cropLet's meet again in 5 years: a romance —with a pragmatic underpinning. Most fictional love stories just bug me, because of the silly, stupid stuff people do. If only they would just talk to each other and address things sensibly...! —Of course, when the wizard asked me to marry him, my response (thought very harsh at the time by several people I told the story to) was: not yes, nor even no, but ‘Can I think about it?’

I didn't think I was being mean at all. It was a serious question, and deserved a careful answer. I hadn't thought we were that far along, so I had put off thinking about making our relationship permanent so I could just enjoy the pink haze of being in love. —Now I had to examine things critically. Yet my answer wasn't a totting up of pros and cons, or anything rational like that. After about a week of still not really knowing, (& being a little frustrated about my indecisiveness) I was standing in the yellow bathroom of my parents’ house, tiled in ogee tiles, a shape I still love (my kitchen backsplash is done in them, for example), idly considering stuff, and a thought went through my head,

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13feb2020

cropSome day I'll get around to posting the single-needle right angle woven David Chatt designed amulet bag I made to hold f2tY's birth cord. It's made in red and turquoise, to echo the colours of the combs I used to help with pain management during the birth, pretty basic symbolism.

Far more awesome is this dad's textile representation, in the form of a two-colour knitted blanket encoding the child's sleep-wake patterns. He spent 300 odd hours alone on the knitting; there was all the prep as well (i.e. gathering the data, formatting it in a chart, creating a ‘go-anywhere’ accessible web page, etc...Via bb. Now that's true love for you!

But hey, if you're wanting a more mundane expression, here's a batch of those modern hearts I promised yesterday.

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12feb2020

cropI had been seeing a lot of favourable buzz on the new Little Women film, so when my friend P asked me to see it with her, I readily agreed, and yes, the movie is up to the hype, though it's not going to be enjoyed by people who loathe non-linear storytelling or hate assembling timelines, because despite fairly careful cues on the part of the film-makers, even I, who enjoys that sort of thing, sometimes had a bit of difficulty following along.

The core of the story—as in the book—is the deep and abiding love the four sisters have for each other and their parents, especially their mom (their dad is absent for most of the film, fighting for serving as ...um, a chaplain ? for the union in the Civil War.) Moreover, the cinematography, costuming and oh my goodness that gorgeous golden light shot on location, is splendid.

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11feb2020

cropYet, as someone who is also rather pragmatic about the whole romance thing, I can't help feeling a certain level of joy in recommending a book I read recently, Bryan Caplan and Zach Weinersmith's Open Borders: the Science and Ethics of Immigration. It's a nonfictional manga, making a case for a political dream close to my heart: open borders, or the freedom to move.

I had the vague suspicion that while it would be expensive to open our borders (especially initially) the benefits—particularly to others who have so much less, and with whom it seems only fair to share—however difficult to measure, (kindness and cultural exchange not lending themselves so readily to metrics) would be more than worth it. —I also had the suspicion that over time, that cultural exchange would be tremendously valuable.

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