April 2008


Judi Dench, Living Quietly in ‘Cranford’ : NPR

Another great NPR podcast – this one is an interview with Judi Dench one of the finest actresses alive. I particularly loved her in Mrs. Brown, A Room with a View and in two BBC comedies A Fine Romance (with her husband Michael Williams) and As Time Goes By.

Masterpiece Theatre will be broadcasting the dramatization of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford next Sunday and she plays Matty Jenkyns. I’ve been waiting very patiently for this production. I’m in the middle of reading the book and it’s delightful. The link has an excerpt from Cranford.

Gaskell was a fascinating author, probably best known in this country for North and South and Wives and Daughters and both were beautifully dramatized by the BBC.

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High-Fidelity Memories on Record Store Day : NPR Music

Sometimes I think I’m the only person with vinyl records anymore. Yes, I know that’s not true but it feels like it is.

Even rarer than vinyl is the independent record store. I know of one here in DC although I suspect there could be a few others. When I was in high school, I bought most of my records from the local Ben Franklin down the street. It had a limited selection and occasionally I would find something really good like George Carlin’s Class Clown album.

Now I’m a bargain hunter and get things from Amazon.com or download from iTunes. It’s not the same as browsing through the local store (we have a great local chain called Olsen’s) but at least digital downloads don’t involve packaging and shipping costs.

I also buy from eBay which is almost like an independent store since you can get hard to find CDs, cassettes and vinyl LPs. You can get alot of used stuff that is still in good condition, too. I hate to see music thrown out. It just breaks my heart – like seeing someone’s photographs in a trash bin.

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Steichen, Sold on The Celebrity Aesthetic – washingtonpost.com

The link is for a review of our recently opened exhibition “Edward Steichen: Portraits” at the National Portrait Gallery. It’s a positive review but it seems to have a bit of an edge to it.

“Self-Portrait With Brush and Palette” is a celebrity photograph, an early one, one of the first. If you want to understand the knack of Annie Leibovitz, or the useful affections of Jeff Koons and Julian Schnabel, or how dress-up self-promotion got so deep into the art world, this 107-year-old image is a place where you might start.

It’s half artwork, half ad.

It’s great exhibition – not too large, not too small, very intimate. Here is the link to the official site for the exhibition:

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Cherry Blossom trees on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

This is cherry blossom tree (American not Japanese) in my front yard which began to bloom yesterday. It’s been a great spring; cold and wet but lasting. Yesterday it was 76 degrees but today it’s 55 degrees. This lets the flowers last larger.

Even the cat is glad to be outside.

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Websites and designers face prosecution in new French anorexia law

Websites and designers face prosecution in new French anorexia law – Times Online

Promoting extreme thinness will become a criminal offence punishable by a jail sentence under a government-backed law that was tabled yesterday in France to combat anorexia nervosa.

Now, I’m all for doing away with the obsession for excessive thinness and helping correct women’s body images (and I really hope that the super thin model ideal stops soon but I doubt it will), but I’m not certain this law is going to do anything affective to fight anorexia nervosa. It’s just going to create more work for lawyers.

Real change needs to occur in the industry, the schools and at home. Until the fashion designers and magazine editors change their attitude, nothing will change. Schools should be teaching healthy habits and outlooks and parents need to be more aware of the problem. More and more girls are starting to think they are too fat at 8 years not 16 years.

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