Shared posts

20 Jul 23:21

Men climb the mast of a fishing boat to furl the sail in Port...

Men climb the mast of a fishing boat to furl the sail in Port Said, Egypt, 1924. Photograph by Maynard Owen Williams, National Geographic Creative

02 Jul 00:33

Teenage Fanclub : nouvel album, premier titre en écoute

by Olivier


Here, le nouvel album de Écossais de Teenage Fanclub sortira le 9 septembre sur leur propre label Pema. On en écoute un premier extrait :

28 Jun 00:45

Fingerling Potatoes with Herb Vinaigrette

by Elise Bauer
Fingerling Potatoes with Herb Vinaigrette

Why should russets and yukon golds have all the fun? Here’s a quick and easy potato recipe, for a side or salad, depending on if you serve them warm or cold, using fingerling potatoes or new potatoes.

The approach is simple—quickly boil halved fingerling potatoes and douse them in vinaigrette.

But that’s not all. Two simple tricks will elevate this dish to make it company worthy.

Continue reading "Fingerling Potatoes with Herb Vinaigrette" »

27 Jun 07:46

J Mascis teste la Converse All Wah

by Olivier

Une paire de Converse avec pédale wah-wah intégrée. Qui d’autre que l’imperturbable J Mascis pour la tester  ?

21 Jun 11:19

Les jeunes filles aux perles de Maisie Broadhead

by Le Maitre de la Boite


Avec cette série de portraits de jeunes filles aux perles, la jeune photographe anglaise Maisie Broadhead reprend les codes des photographies anciennes destinées à mettre en valeur des jeunes femmes de familles aisées avant leur mariage tout en jouant sur le symbolisme des perles.







18 Jun 22:15

A Handy Guide on How to Download Old Coursera Courses Before They Disappear

by Dan Colman


Image by Mathieu Plourd, via Wikimedia Commons

On June 30th, Coursera plans to wind down its old e-learning platform. And according to this email the company sent around, any “courses and course materials on [that] old platform will no longer be accessible.” Concerned that dozens of older MOOCs could be lost, some have called this move a form of “cultural vandalism.” Others, like the good folks at Class Central, have created a very thorough and handy guide that will show you how to save the course materials (videos, slides, transcripts, etc.) before the June 30th deadline. You’re on notice. Start reading the guide and thank Dhawal Shah for putting it together.

For a list of MOOCs starting in the second half of June, click here.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. And if you want to make sure that our posts definitely appear in your Facebook newsfeed, just follow these simple steps.

A Handy Guide on How to Download Old Coursera Courses Before They Disappear is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

13 Jun 20:45

Broken Ceramics Found on the Beach, Turned Into Chopstick Rests Using Kintsugi

by Johnny Strategy

watch this video & photos!
Cat fell into the lynx cage 6 years ago, and now they are the best friends in the world and the lynx saved the cat who was starving. In St Petersburg.


“As every Japanese has realized, the waves can take away a great deal from us,” says artist Tomomi Kamoshita. But it is also true that we greatly benefit from it.” Using broken pieces of ceramics that she picked up on the shore, and combining it with pieces of her own broken ceramics, the Tokyo-based potter uses the ancient kintsugi method of repairing ceramics to turn the shards into one-of-a-kind chopstick rests.


If the broken pieces of ceramics could talk, some would tell you that they fell off a ship. Others would tell you they were swept away by a tsunami. Some might even simply have been thrown away. But rather than focus on their tragic state of being, and how they got that way, Kamoshita looks to the future; the revival. “I wanted to revive what wave have brought us,” she says. In fact, many of the shards have been polished by the waves and sand while all the while retaining their beautiful colors.

As a potter, Kamoshita was skilled in the ancient craft of kintsugi: “a Japanese traditional repairing technique used to connect broken pieces together with gold.” Using this method – intended to accentuate the cracks rather than hide them – the artist pieces together the broken ceramics she’s collected. The pink pieces, she explains, are her own broken ceramics, which she likens to the cherry blossoms that come back to life every Spring.




Kamoshita received honorable mention in the 2016 Ronin | Globus Artist-in-Residence Program, for which Spoon & Tamago [Colossal’s sister site] was a judge. The ceramic pieces will be on display in the group exhibition “Contemporary Talents of Japan” from June 23 to July 30, 2016 at the Ronin Gallery in New York. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

13 Jun 09:59

What the Paris Flood Really Looks Like

by MessyNessy

sorry for the repeat but it still fascinates me!


I posted this photo yesterday on Instagram and noticed it provoked a stronger reaction than I’d anticipated. People hold such love and concern for our city of light, but I just want to assure you that everything is perfectly under control. Well, sort of…


So you might have heard that the Louvre is moving art to higher ground. It makes a good headline but just remember we’re talking about the art they keep in the basement, and it’s just a precaution given the museum’s proximity to the Seine.


In fact, most Parisians probably haven’t really noticed that their city is experiencing the worst flood in over 100 years unless they’ve come down to the banks of the river Seine, which is where all the action is happening.


If anything, it’s an opportunity for someone like me to get out of the office and wander along the river during my lunch break to snap some pretty cool scenes that I’m unlikely to witness again in my lifetime.



So just to give you an idea of how much the water levels have risen…


Here’s a before & after shot of the Seine right by the Notre Dame ↑ In summer time, these riverbanks are usually full of people walking dogs, having picnics or waiting to board a boat tour.



But the only boats getting under Paris’ bridges at the moment are the lifeguard and police boats– and even the smallest ones are having a trouble squeezing under those arches. But my guess is they’re secretly having a grand old time.


The river has definitely become quite a source of entertainment these past few days…



And I tell ya, the ducks are loving it.



This is an island in the middle of the Pont Neuf where Parisians come dancing on warm summer evenings. The only moves you’d need here at the moment would be the breaststroke.



But honestly, I don’t think we’ll be needing one of these ↓ just yet…


I hope I don’t have to eat my words later, but I think we’ll be just fine. The suburbs of Paris are having a much more miserable time and getting their feet considerably more wet. I’m sure we’ll have our old Paris back in no time…



We’re pretty lucky we didn’t get it as bad as our ancestors did in 1910. Just to put things in perspective…







Archive images (c) PVDE/GETTY IMAGES

Keep up with Nessy in Paris on Instagram.

This article What the Paris Flood Really Looks Like was published by Messy Nessy Chic.

09 Jun 22:54

Students Rename School House After Banksy, Banksy Shows Up

by Christopher Jobson

Photos by Jon Kay

Elementary students at Bridge Farm Primary School in Bristol arrived this morning to discover an eye-opening new mural by Banksy that appeared sometime in the night, but the placement wasn’t random: the building itself is used for a house bearing elusive street artist’s name. Several weeks ago the school held a competition to rename houses and the winners were Brunel, Blackbeard, Cabot and Banksy (the artist’s work first appeared in the city in the early 1990s). When the students returned from half-term they found the new mural on a blank wall of the building.

The new piece depicts a scribbled figure of a child playing with a stick and hoop, but the hoop has been replaced with a giant flaming tire. Perhaps not the inspirational motif you’d expect to adorn a primary school, but we imagine it must be inline with their sense of humor. The mural was also accompanied by a fantastic note:

“Dear Bridge Farm School, thanks for your letter and naming a house after me. Please have a picture, and if you don’t like it, feel free to add stuff. I’m sure the teachers won’t mind. Remember, it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission. Much love, Banksy.”

(via Arrested Motion)


Photo by Jon Kay


Photo by Jon Kay


Photo by Jon Kay

09 Jun 22:53

Hyperrealistic Paintings of Children and Animals Exploring Urban Remains by Kevin Peterson

by Kate Sierzputowski


Hyperrealist painter Kevin Peterson paints fairytale-like interactions of children and wolves, birds, and bears in scenes much different than the pastoral worlds of storybooks. Instead Peterson places the unlikely packs in distressed cities filled with decaying buildings and urban detritus. Despite the worn surroundings, the young girls in the paintings maintain a sense of innocence while they bravely explore the streets with their powerful compatriots.

“My work is about the varied journeys that we take through life,” explains Peterson in his artist statement. “It’s about growing up and living in a world that is broken. These paintings are about trauma, fear and loneliness and the strength that it takes to survive and thrive. They each contain the contrast of the untainted, young and innocent against a backdrop of a worn, ragged, and defiled world.”

The Houston-based artist studied at Austin College in Sherman, Texas where he received his BFA in 2001. Peterson is represented by Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, California. You can see more of his work on their website and his Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness, Faith is Torment)










09 Jun 08:25

How and Why to Hold a Weekly Marriage Meeting

by Brett and Kate McKay

come on guys, what's about your marriage meeting?
Well not all is bad, but onece a week seems a lot and this psychorigid american organization may sound a bit laughable.


The institution of marriage arguably carries a heavier weight of pressures and expectations in the present age than it has in any time previous. Spouses don’t just partner up for purely economic and procreative purposes — they expect to be romantic lovers, best friends, co-parents, and sometimes even business partners.

Balancing all of those roles might seem like a burden, and it certainly can be. Husbands and wives may both be working — and not just one job, but several. There are kids to raise and schedules to juggle. Family members can end up feeling like ships passing in the night.

But modern marriage is also an incredible opportunity — one that, if managed right, can be an unending source of joy and satisfaction. It’s you and her, against the world, building your world.

But if you want to plan and tackle life’s greatest adventures side-by-side, you’ve got to stay in-sync and work effectively as a team. As marriage therapist Marcia N. Berger puts it:

“the art of marriage is really the art of keeping up to date with your partner, of staying on track with your own and each other’s life goals as they emerge, exist, and change. It is about supporting each other and staying connected emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually.”

So how do you stay connected on all those levels?

Enter the weekly marriage meeting.

Berger suggests holding a weekly 30-minute meeting with your spouse that’s broken into four parts: Appreciation (expressing gratitude to your spouse), Chores (making sure to-dos are getting done), Plan for Good Times (scheduling date nights, as well as individual and family activities), and Problems/Challenges (addressing conflicts/issues/changes in the relationship and in life in general).

The structure of the marriage meeting is designed to rekindle your romance, solidify your friendship, nip potential conflicts in the bud, and help you smoothly run your household economy. If you’ve already got a great marriage, then marriage meetings will enhance it. If your marriage has been struggling, the meetings can help you get your relationship back on track.

Kate and I recently started making marriage meetings a habit, have found them to be really beneficial, and would recommend them to others. So today we’ll walk you through the four parts of marriage meetings, as well as the nuts and bolts of how to implement them in your relationship.

The Benefits of Marriage Meetings

You may be wondering what the point is of holding an “official” weekly marriage meeting. If you and your wife talk about things like chores and activities in passing, then why sit down for a discussion during a dedicated time?

The answer is that you’ll go deeper on the things you’re already talking about superficially in snatches. You’ll also open up on things you keep meaning to mention, but haven’t — either because you keep forgetting or because you’ve felt uncomfortable and it never seems like the right time to talk about it.

Marriage meetings off-load concerns and ideas that are crouching on your mental bandwidth, and bring closure to loose ends. They ensure you’re on the same page about everything that’s going on internally and externally, and contribute to a home and family life that’s more orderly and harmonious. And they don’t just reconnect you as a couple during that half hour; in smoothing out snarls, encouraging appreciation, and laying plans for fun, they create the conditions for greater connection the rest of the time as well.

Consider marriage meetings as a weekly fueling stop — periodic maintenance for your relationship. You can only get so far off track in 7 days! Checking in each week thus ensures your relationship is always headed in the right direction.

The device might seem contrived, but if I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that nothing happens haphazardly. If you want a satisfying, fun-filled, long-lasting marriage, you’ve got to be intentional about it. And marriage meetings are a key way of doing that.

How to Execute a Marriage Meeting

The following are some of the guidelines Berger suggests for implementing and carrying out a marriage meeting: 

  • Meet weekly. Doing the meeting at the same time each week can help make it a habit, but schedules change, and it’s fine to adjust the time as circumstances dictate.
  • Meet as just the two of you. This is a private meeting. No kids. If you’re already doing a weekly family meeting, that’s great; one does not supplant the other, but rather complements it. Meeting as husband and wife will ensure you’re on the same page when holding council with your kids.
  • Minimize distractions/interruptions. The best place to do a meeting is a comfortable, quiet spot in your home. Schedule a time when the kids are napping on the weekend, or after they go to bed during the week. Turn off the TV and your phones if you can. If you need your phone for scheduling, exercise self-control in not looking at distracting apps, or let an app exercise the control for you.
  • Sit together. Berger advises against sitting across a table from each other, as that can feel confrontational, and recommends sitting side-by-side instead. Kate and I, though, haven’t had a problem with face-of-face marriage meetings (then again we practice every day with our business meetings!). However you position yourselves, Berger suggests sitting “close enough to feel like partners handling a project together.”
  • Jot down notes during the week. It’s useful to jot down notes in the days leading up to meeting on things you’d like to talk about. But you don’t need to have a set agenda at the meeting, unless you’re the uber-organized type. It can be free-flowing.
  • Bring your organizational devices/notebooks/apps to the meeting. You’re going to be scheduling stuff and will want to write down dates and to-dos. So bring your paper or digital planner, or use other apps to keep track of these. Kate and I use todoist for both our business and personal to-dos, as well as Google calendar.
  • Keep the meeting to about 30 minutes. A half hour is long enough to cover the 4 stages of the meeting, but short enough to keep it focused and productive. The meeting might be a little longer when you first start out and are getting the hang of it, or when you have more than usual to discuss. But err on the side of shorter over longer, so it doesn’t feel like a drag.
  • Cultivate a positive atmosphere. Each spouse is responsible for coming to the meeting in a good mood and with an upbeat, patient, positive attitude. Each spouse should try to use a supportive tone throughout the meeting and abstain from any griping or criticism. (Constructively working on issues is okay — but not snark or empty complaining.) “A good goal for each meeting,” Berger says, “is that it should inspire you to want to meet again a week later.”
  • Allow both partners to feel ownership in the meeting. The more verbal partner should allow the less verbal partner to speak first at times, and should actively solicit feedback, instead of dominating the meeting.

While some of these guidelines, like keeping a positive attitude, are essential for the success of your marriage meetings, others can be tweaked and experimented with. See what works for you as a couple.

The 4 Parts of a Marriage Meeting

Experimentation can continue with exactly how you run your marriage meetings, but I’d recommend keeping to the 4 parts Berger recommends, done in this order; as we’ll see, it has been structured in a deliberate way.


Appreciation kicks off each marriage meeting, and it consists of a simple, and yet surprisingly encouraging exchange of gratitude. Each person says “everything you can think of that you specifically liked or admired about your partner during the past week.”

Here are the guidelines for how the Appreciation part of a marriage meeting should work:

  • Plan ahead. If you’re someone who finds it hard to remember the things you’re grateful for, or to articulate them on the spot, take notes in a journal or app; when your spouse does something you appreciate, jot it down. Of course, you should thank them on the spot too; it’s fine to repeat things you’re grateful for at the meeting.
  • While one spouse speaks, the other listens. You’ll take turns expressing your gratitude, and while one spouse is speaking the other actively listens and does not interrupt.
  • Be specific. General compliments are fine sometimes, but you should typically try to get as specific as possible; sharing details shows you were paying attention. So “I appreciated the amazingly delicious pot roast and blueberry cobbler you made on Tuesday” rather than “I appreciate your cooking.”
  • Ask yourself “What else?” The goal here is to try to share everything you appreciated about your spouse the previous week. Once you’ve said a few things, ask yourself “What else?” to try to jog your memory and dislodge a few more compliments.
  • Keep it 100% positive. This is not the time for expressing complaints or disappointment. Avoid backhanded compliments — criticism in the guise of gratitude: “I appreciate that you actually washed the dishes last night for once instead of leaving them in the sink.”
  • Touch on physical characteristics, behaviors, and character traits — big or small. Your appreciations can run the gamut — everything you like and admire about your spouse is on the table. Don’t take anything for granted — be grateful even for small stuff. Here are some examples to get your gears turning:
    • I appreciate how you never check your smartphone when you’re playing with the kids or talking to me.
    • You looked amazing in your blue dress at the party on Saturday night.
    • Thank you for sticking up for me when your mom tried to criticize my decision.
    • Thanks for taking the kids to the doctor this week.
    • I appreciate the conversation we had at dinner last night. Thanks for always reading interesting things and having interesting things to talk about.
    • Thanks for always greeting me with a kiss when I come home from work.
    • Thanks for letting me know you’d be coming home late on Tuesday.
    • I appreciate you watching the kids so I could go play basketball.
    • I appreciate you cleaning up the bedroom yesterday.
    • I appreciate the hot sex we had last night.
    • I appreciate you filling the car up with gas for me.
    • Thanks for complimenting my work in front of your family.

The Appreciation part of a marriage meeting has several benefits. The open expression of gratitude rekindles feelings of warmth and intimacy, and makes each partner feel, well, appreciated. And, through the power of positive reinforcement, in showing your spouse you notice the things they do, they’ll more likely to do those things in the future. Paying more attention to the things you appreciate in your spouse will help you cultivate a more grateful mindset about life in general as well.

Starting with Appreciation also importantly sets a warm, positive, supportive vibe for the rest of the meeting.

Even if you express appreciation for each other on a regular, daily basis, it’s still a beneficial exercise. Kate and I always try to thank each other even for small, routine, “expected” stuff; for example, even though she always makes dinner, and I always clean up the kitchen, we always say, “Thanks for doing that.” And yet we still really enjoy this portion of the marriage meeting; you end up thinking of things you forgot to show appreciation for during the week, and it’s just really unexpectedly heartwarming to be acknowledged for who you are and what you do.

Chores (Including To-Dos/Finances)

Berger calls Chores “the business part of the meeting. Each of you says what you think needs to be done. You agree on priorities, timelines, and who will do each task. Teamwork is promoted and jobs get handled.”

You don’t have to talk about chores for which you’ve already established a routine and division of duties that’s working well. Instead, discuss chores that aren’t getting done, and are occasional rather than re-occurring.

Negotiate and brainstorm ways to get neglected chores done more effectively and consistently. One spouse can volunteer to take on a task, or you can decide to take turns, or delegate it to one of the children in the family or to outside help (like hiring a housekeeper).

Don’t demand that your spouse do a certain chore, but instead try to compromise. Don’t fall into the tit-for-tat trap either, where you insist on things being split evenly. Strive instead for a flexible, generous, reasonable give-and-take. One partner can do more chores if the other works more paid hours; it may not be equal, but it’s fair.

Really, you should ideally not think about the division of duties much at all; in the healthiest of relationships, partners often just see an undone chore and tackle it without asking whose job it is, without debate, and without having to exactly divvy up and assign tasks. You’re in this together, after all.

If that describes your relationship, then just use the Chores part of your marriage meeting to discuss other to-dos — things around the house that need to be fixed, appointments that need to be made, etc. Decide who will take care of that to-do, create an action step (“Call plumber”), and set a deadline to have the task finished. Todoist makes this very easy — you can share the list between you, assign the to-do to you or your wife, and set a date for its completion; if it doesn’t get checked off by the deadline, todoist will send you a reminder that it’s overdue.

You can also use this part of the meeting to talk about your finances, if there are things to discuss in that area.

At your next meeting, review what got done, offer progress reports, discuss why undone tasks weren’t completed by the deadline, and set new goals and priorities for the coming week.

If an issue concerning chores, to-dos, or finances runs into a significant conflict, and/or becomes heated/emotional, then table it for the moment, and move its discussion to the Problems & Challenges part of the meeting.

Plan for Good Times

In the foreword to Berger’s Marriage Meetings, therapist Linda Bloom notes that “cultivating a loving partnership isn’t just about ‘working on our relationship’; it’s also about co-creating experiences that bring pleasure and happiness into each spouse’s life.”

In fact, I’d say happy marriages have almost nothing to do with “working on our relationship,” and about 99% to do with striving to be an excellent, interesting, well-balanced person yourself, and doing things with your spouse that solidify your friendship and promote flourishing.

The “Plan for Good Times” portion of your marriage meeting helps you take concrete steps to do just that. You plan for:

  • A date for just the two of you. Ideally, you should be going out on a one-on-one date every week. That’s not possible, or even necessary for everybody, so shoot for doing date night at least once a month. Remember, even if you’re busy or feel you can’t afford a regular night on the town, you can always plan a romantic at-home date.
  • Individual activities. When you and your wife met, a lot of what drew you to each other was the fact that you each had your own interests and hobbies, and you took care of yourself. You embodied an attractive vitality. Don’t let that deteriorate after you get married by becoming complacent and losing yourself in the relationship. At your weekly marriage meeting, each partner should let the other know of at least one activity they’d like to do by themselves, or with a friend. It’s not selfish; alone time renews an energy that’s ultimately good for your marriage and your whole family.
  • Activities with mutual friends. Hanging out with others together has a strange way of renewing your own feelings of happiness and love for each other. You don’t necessarily have to go out together with friends every week, but aim for at least once or twice a month.
  • Family recreation. A family that has fun together, stays together. Instead of sitting around all weekend long, get out and do a microadventure. You can come up with some ideas at your marriage meeting, and then run them by your kids at your family meeting.
  • Family/couple vacations. Talk about how your plans are progressing for your next trip.

It’s easy to talk about date nights and microadventures, but if you don’t sit down and decide on a specific activity and time, you’ll usually end up taking the path of least resistance and do nothing. By intentionally making plans for good times, you’ll end up with a lot more fun in your life. Date nights build intimacy and maintain the spark between you and your wife, while hanging out alone, with friends, and as a family creates bonds and memories that both elevate your individual happiness, and the happiness of your relationship as well.

Problems & Challenges

The Problems & Challenges part of the marriage meeting comes last by design. By this time the two of you are feeling appreciated, are confident that chores will get done, and are already looking forward to the fun things you’ve planned to do together. You should hopefully be feeling upbeat and have the confidence to tackle any challenges you may be facing with each other, or from life in general.

In this part of the meeting, “each of you can bring up any concern — money, sex, in-laws, parenting, changing schedules, or something else.” Here are some examples of the kinds of things you might talk about during Problems & Challenges:

  • The (mis)behavior of one of your children and what to do about it
  • Spouse isn’t backing you up when you’re disciplining the kids
  • In-laws have been coming over too often (or you haven’t visited your own parents enough)
  • Where to spend Thanksgiving/Christmas
  • Where to send a kid for school
  • Unhappiness with how much time spouse is spending at work
  • Lack of intimacy/unhappiness with the frequency of sex
  • Spouse is always late for everything
  • Mutual or individual unhappiness with the church you’re attending
  • Mutual or individual struggle with faith
  • The frequency with which overnight guests have been visiting
  • Spouse always leaves kitchen a mess
  • Spouse makes critical comments about you in front of family/friends
  • Conflict over budget
  • Schedule of activities feels too packed
  • Spouse is consistently in bad mood after work
  • The desire to change jobs
  • Whether to accept a job
  • Spouse sabotages your diet
  • Spouse has been drinking a lot

Problems & Challenges isn’t a chance to issue a laundry list of grievances. Each spouse can pick, at the most, two issues to bring up per meeting.

Each partner should explain their sides of things, or talk about the pros and cons of various choices. Brainstorm ideas for addressing the issue, and try to reach a compromise or mutually agreed upon decision.

If one partner tends to go on and on, endlessly coming up with new issues and angles to talk about, and they get offended if you try to wrap things up, agree to use a timer and set it for 20 minutes. Then the timer can end things impersonally. If you haven’t resolved something by the sound of the beep, agree to revisit the issue next week.

If you and your wife struggle to discuss issues without it becoming heated and acrimonious, review our articles on the commandments of clean communication, and how to communicate your needs in a relationship.

At your first few meetings, instead of bringing up serious, sensitive, contentious issues straight off, talk about things that will be fairly easy to resolve. That way you’ll build confidence in your ability to discuss and address issues together and come to associate the meetings with enjoyment rather than tension; having your first marriage meeting be acrimonious may cause you to drop the idea altogether.

Keep in mind that research says that almost 70% of marriage problems never get resolved. That doesn’t mean they invariably lead to divorce. In healthy relationships, spouses are able to accept that their partner isn’t ever going to change; yet they feel that their partner’s positive traits outweigh their flaws, and are grateful for them on the whole. Instead of solving problems, you can simply learn to manage them.

Happily, the stronger you keep your love and friendship, the easier that management process is; you won’t notice things that bother you nearly as much. When you stay connected with each other and are physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually tight, you’ll naturally have few interpersonal issues to talk about during Problems & Challenges; you can simply discuss the challenges you’re facing together — side-by-side, looking out at the world as partners in crime and everything else.

And what helps you arrive at this level of harmony and intimacy? Holding a weekly marriage meeting of course!



Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted by Marcia Naomi Berger

06 Jun 22:31

Download All 239 Issues of Landmark UK Feminist Magazine Spare Rib Free Online

by Josh Jones

spare-rib-front-cover -Issue122-0001

The feminism we associate with the mythically bra-burning sixties and seventies—with Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem—falls under the so-called Second Wave of the movement. And it has sometimes been cast by its critics and successors since the 1980s as overwhelmingly white and middle class, excluding from its canons working class women, women of color, and the LGBTQ community.

Advocates of intersectionality—the term coined by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in the 80s to describe, writes the New Statesman, “how different power structures interact in the lives of minorities”—have made concerted efforts to broaden and diversify the movement. But as Crenshaw herself admits, the concept is not a new one. Its antecedents are “as old as Anna Julia Cooper, and Maria Stewart in the 19th century in the US, all the way through Angela Davis and Deborah King.”

spare-rib-front-cover -Issue55-0001

We can see many of these discussions and debates around intersectionality in Second Wave feminism and beyond firsthand in British feminist magazine Spare Rib, which is now fully available online. Every one of its 239 issues, from its 1972 debut to its final, 1993, publication, can be viewed online and downloaded by anyone for free through a website called Jisc, a “charity,” writes the British Library, “which supports digital technologies in UK education and research.”

Additionally, the British Library hosts a “curated Spare Rib website featuring 300 selected pages from the magazine, alongside articles written by academics, activists and former contributors about how Spare Rib was run, its history and the issues it tackled.” The Guardian offers a concise summary of the magazine’s attempts to “provide an alternative to traditional gender roles” by covering

…subjects such as “liberating orgasm,” “kitchen sink racism,” anorexia and the practice of “cliterectomy,” now called female genital mutilation. Cover headlines included “Doctor’s Needles Not Knitting Needles” and “Cellulie—the slimming fraud” and articles featured women such as country and western singer Tammy Wynette and US political activist Angela Davis.

Founded in ’72 by Marsha Rowe and Rosie Boycott (pictured below), and run as a collective, the magazine featured a “breadth of voices.” Early issues “involved big-name contributors including Betty Friedan, Germaine Greer, Margaret Drabble and Alice Walker, but alongside these were the voices of ordinary women telling their stories.” As we see in hundreds of pages of Spare Rib, the often very heated arguments around issues of race, class, and sexuality in the feminist community were no less heated in the past than today.

Marsha-Rowe-and-Rosie-Boycott-in-the-Spare-Rib-offices-1972-Photograph-by-David Wilkerson

One woman who helped push the boundaries of the conversation before Spare Rib’s “conscious effort to diversify the collective membership” was Roisin Boyd, an Irish broadcaster and writer who joined in 1980. Boyd describes some of the magazine’s challenges in a British Library retrospective essay, “Race, place and class: who’s speaking for who?” “Over the three years I worked on the collective,” she writes, “I was often puzzled by the fact that although we were all women and all feminists, how difficult it was for us to negotiate our differences, let alone recognise them.”

Boyd found that “some collective members were upper class and wealthy” and “distanced from the reality of post colonialism.” Likewise, The Guardian describes many of the debates in the magazine as “acrimonious,” given its representation of “so many different threads of feminism.” Spare Rib “reflected the sometimes ‘painful’ discussions between the collective on how best to tackle issues such as sexuality and racism.”

spare-rib-front-cover -Issue66-0001

In spite of, or perhaps because of, these disagreements, the magazine “was a highly visible part of the Women’s Liberation movement,” says former collective member Sue O’Sullivan, “and a tool for reaching thousands of women every single month for over 20 years.” Now with the digitization of its entire catalog, it can be “a wonderful resource for younger historians and feminist activists, researchers and all the women (and men) who wonder what their mothers, aunts, grannies and older friends got up to all those years ago.” Known for its irreverent humor, intelligence, and eye-catching covers, Spare Rib preserves a record of the many ways feminist issues and debates have changed over the decades—as well as the many ways they haven’t.

Related Content:

11 Essential Feminist Books: A New Reading List by The New York Public Library

Simone de Beauvoir Tells Studs Terkel How She Became an Intellectual and Feminist (1960)

The First Feminist Film, Germaine Dulac’s The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922)

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Download All 239 Issues of Landmark UK Feminist Magazine Spare Rib Free Online is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

06 Jun 08:57

How to Clean and Grease a Bike Chain

by Patrick Hutchison

Bike Chain 1

When you ride, your bike chain is subject to an onslaught of mud, sand, rain, oil, and chemicals. Over time, that cocktail of gunk starts to affect your chain’s performance, causing linkages to stick and skip so you’re no longer getting the power you deserve with every leg-pumping pedal. With regular riding, you should remove, clean, and grease your bike chain every few months.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

26 May 13:56

Hallettsville water tower

by (Mike Szwarc)
I finished grocery shopping, and found I still had 40 minutes before I had to pick up my wife from yoga, so I decided to remain in the grocery store parking lot and sketch the Hallettsville water tower. I don't recall when this was built, but like almost everything else on the north end of town, it was built after I moved out here.

6" x 4 1/4", Tachikawa School EF with Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor on Aquabee Super Deluxe sketch paper in hand-bound sketchbook, 35 minutes, color added later.

23 May 20:33

Portishead reprend « SOS » d’Abba

by Olivier

Portishead s’est fendu d’une excellente reprise du « SOS » d’Abba pour la B.O du récent film High-Rise, adaptation du roman IGH de J.G. Ballard :

23 May 20:31

When He Could Book a Men-Only Flight with United Airlines

by MessyNessy


It sounds like a plot line from an episode of Mad Men, but if you opened the Wall Street Journal in the 1950s and 60s, you were likely to have found an advertisement for United Airlines’ “club in the sky for men only”, offering complimentary cigars, cocktails, a steak dinner and special business amenities.


The flights between New York and Chicago also banned children, promising a relaxing, informal, club-like atmosphere. “Make yourself more comfortable by using the pair of slipper provided … take off your coat and stretch out in a deep, soft, Mainliner seat”.

2013016977As a member of the sex that would not have been permitted to fly on this particular service, let me try to be objective. I can certainly understand the occasional need for some privacy from the opposite sex in more traditional times, for example, if a gentleman was particularly self-conscious about his open-mouthed snoring and was willing to pay extra to ‘let it all hang out’ in the company of his brothers– a bit like a men’s locker room. Heck, a “Ladies only flight” actually sounds like a good time…

And then of course I’m reminded that not only did United Airlines not offer the same service to women, but the men-only flights were still staffed by female stewardesses who were there to top up whiskey glasses, serve steak dinners and light the cigars of leering fat cats.

A lawsuit by feminists ended the flights in 1970.


Looking back 40 years on you can see how much the world has changed. On another note– can you imagine trusting people with steak knives on a plane these days? A revival of the ‘no children’ option however, might interest some flyers.

23 May 15:45

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CXC)

by MessyNessy

1. The socialite buried wearing a lace nightgown inside her 1964 Ferrari


Sandra West was a Beverly Hills socialite and wife of Texas oil tycoon Ike West. When she made her will, she requested that she be buried inside a Ferrari (shown above) “with the seat slanted comfortably.”


“her beloved Ferrari 330 America was lowered into the 20 foot long grave and then covered with cement. The funeral director indicated that the cement was added as the cemetery was in a high crime area and he feared the car would be back on the street in a day!”


It was a request worthy of the Egyptian Pharaohs she so enjoyed studying. King Tutankhamen was buried 3300 years earlier with the best conveyance of his age, two golden chariots. Ms. West intended to journey to the hereafter in equally supreme style. 


Read the article on My SanAntonio.


2. Secret Egyptian Pyramid Base


In 1967, Shōnen Magazine published a set of illustrations detailing the secret weapons of Dr. Who, an evil scientist bent on capturing King Kong who regularly appeared in “The King Kong Show,” a popular animated series on Japanese and US television at the time (not related to the British “Doctor Who”).


“equipped with advanced military hardware, including 3D radar, jet launchers, recoilless guns, flamethrowers, rocket launchers, and military tanks that burrow underground. Dr. Who monitors all the action from a wall of TV screens in his room at the center of the pyramid. The base is powered by a nuclear reactor in the basement and surrounded by giant ant-lion sand traps.”

Find an enlarged full version here.


3. Straw Castle in Diourbel, Senegal






Apparently it’s called the Castelo de Palha, but I couldn’t find more information than that. Any leads?

Found on Pinterest.


4. The Soviet “Dream Apartment Block”


A family celebrates with the east german flag on the balcony of her new apartment, 1963. In 1964, 90 percent of all homes in eastern Germany were produced industrially.

Found on Modern 1960s


5. The world’s deepest hole, abandoned by the Soviets beneath this rusty metal cap


Drilled by the Soviets just to see what would happen, the Kola Superdeep Borehole is the result of a scientific project attempting to drill as deep as possible into the Earth’s crust.


The deepest point reached 12,262-metre-long (40,230 ft) in 1989 and still is the deepest artificial point on Earth. The project was closed down in late 2006 because of a lack of funding. All the drilling and research equipment was scrapped. The site has been abandoned since 2008.


Found on Wikipedia.


6. Nothing, an uninhabited ghost town named by a “bunch of drunks”


The town sign on the only building left reads:

Town of Nothing Arizona. Founded 1977. Elevation 3269ft.
The staunch citizens of Nothing are full of Hope, Faith, and Believe in the work ethic. Thru-the-years-these dedicated people had faith in Nothing, hoped for Nothing, worked at Nothing, for Nothing.


Abandoned in 2005, Nothing once contained a gas station and small convenience store.


An attempted revival of Nothing occurred in 2008 when Nothing was purchased by Mike Jensen, who opened his pizza business, run from a portable oven, with hopes of reopening the mini-mart and creating accommodations for RVs.


As of April 2011, it appears that Nothing has once again been abandoned. The building has fresh boards in the windows, and no sign of inhabitance or any activity.


Found on Roadtrippers / Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4


7. Neon salesman’s sample case, circa 1935


Found on Tumblr.


8. An Artist responds to a Supermarket’s Ad for Unpaid Work

The original ad published by Sainsbury’s supermarket:


One of the locations of Sainsbury’s — the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom — took out an ad looking for an artist to liven up their canteen for free. An artist replied with a potential ad looking for a supermarket to stock his/her kitchen for free.

sainsburys (1)

The supermarket chain has since apologised, found on Buzzfeed.


9. A Beatnik Glossary


Might come in handy. Found on Tumblr.


10. Hair Tape


A product that was probably only available for a short time. Found on Flickr.


11. Playboy’s Playmates of the Year and their Pink Prizes, 1964-1975

playboypink playboypink1 playboypink2 playboypink3 playboypink4 playnboypink5 playboypink6 playboypink7 playboypink9 playboypink8 playboypink10

Full list of winners here.


12. Herding Sheep in Italy


Found on Flickr


13. Taking Airline Reservations before Computers, 1945


Back before computers, airlines took reservations manually. Centered around a large board that displayed the next thirty days of flights, employees would receive calls for reservations, write down passenger’s information, and then assign them seats on their chosen flights. Modern reservation systems developed with the evolution of computers. Shortly after World War II, American Airlines introduced the first automated reservation system, the Reservisor. 

Found on SFO Museum

21 May 21:53

A man stands next to the cross section of a giant redwood tree...

A man stands next to the cross section of a giant redwood tree in California, 1909. Photograph courtesy U.S. Forest Service

19 May 07:19

Ash Dome: A Secret Tree Artwork in Wales Planted by David Nash in 1977

by Christopher Jobson


In 1977, sculptor David Nash cleared an area of land near his home in Wales where he trained a circle of 22 ash trees to grow in a vortex-like shape for an artwork titled Ash Dome. Almost 40 years later, the trees still grow today. The artist has long worked with wood and natural elements in his art practice, often incorporating live trees or even animals into pieces. The exact site of Ash Dome in the Snowdonia region of northwest Wales is a closely guarded secret, and film crews or photographers who are permitted to see it are reportedly taken on a circuitous route to guard its location. Nash shares in an interview with the International Sculpture Center:

When I first planted the ring of trees for Ash Dome, the Cold War was still a threat. There was serious economic gloom, very high unemployment in our country, and nuclear war was a real possibility. We were killing the planet, which we still are because of greed. In Britain, our governments were changing quickly, so we had very short-term political and economic policies. To make a gesture by planting something for the 21st century, which was what Ash Dome was about, was a long-term commitment, an act of faith. I did not know what I was letting myself in for.

Dr. James Fox recently visited the artwork for the BBC’s Forest, Field & Sky: Art out of Nature (YouTube) featuring six different land artists in Britain. You can see an excerpt regarding Ash Dome below, as well as footage of Nash working on the piece further down. (thnx, Elsie!)



19 May 07:18

A Rotating 42-Layer Sculpture of Franz Kafka’s Head by David Cerny

by Christopher Jobson


Located in a busy shopping center in Prague, this twisting and reflective sculpture depicting the head of writer Franz Kafka is the latest kinetic artwork by controversial Czech artist David Cerny. Installed in 2014, the enormous mirrored bust is comprised of 42 independently driven layers of stainless steel and weighs in at some 45 tons. The piece brilliantly reveals Kafka’s tortured personality and unrelenting self doubt that plagued him his entire life. The layering of objects is a common motif for Cerny who built a similar rotating head that also functions as a fountain titled Metalmorphosis. (thnx, Chelsea & Diana!)


David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.


David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.


David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.


David Černý, kinetic Head of Franz Kafka, Prague. Photo by Jindřich Nosek via Wikimedia Commons.

09 May 22:37

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CLXXXVIII)

by MessyNessy

1. Photoshop from the 1930s

retouche-beaute-avant-photoshop (1)

Beauty retouching has been around a lot longer than we thought. The side-by-side images above from the early 1930s show what a glamour portrait looked like before and after manual ‘Photoshopping.’ Photographer George Hurrell shot the portrait of actress Joan Crawford as a publicity shot for the 1931 film Laughing Sinners. A retoucher named James Sharp, who spent six hours smoothing skin, removing spots, and erasing wrinkles. Sharp used a retoucher machine, which backlit and vibrated the original negative, allowing Sharp to physically smooth out the film using a pencil.

Found on PetaPixels


2. Elvis Presley Lipstick




More Elvis Presley Memorabilia found here.


3. Just Barry White


Found on Pinterest


4. The Last Shopkeepers





Francesco Pergolesi’s series “Heroes,” which opens at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago on May 6, is set at dusk, when the proprietors of the tiny Italian shops he depicts are working late—baking bread, making shoes or sharpening knives. Made as a sort of collaboration with storekeepers in Rome, Milan and in small towns


“When I was a child, I used to walk free, exploring my village streets. I loved to spend time in the little cobbler or the grocery where my grandmother sent me to shop. Time seemed to be extended and gave me a sense of freedom. I grew up loving neighborhoods where human relationships were the center of life. I understood these places were disappearing, pushed by a mysterious force, and a new era was coming.”




Found on PDN Photo of the Day.


5. A Miniature Village within a miniature village within a miniature village within….






More info on visiting Bourton-on-the-Water, “Venice of the Cotswolds”.


6. The Giant Telescope from the Universal World Exposition in Paris, 1900



With an objective lens of 1.25 m (49 in) in diameter, it was the largest refracting telescope ever constructed. Since it was built for exhibit purposes as the centerpiece within a large metropolis, and its design made it difficult to aim at astronomical objects, it was not suited for scientific use.


When the year-long exposition was over, its builders were unable to sell it. It was ultimately broken up for scrap; the lenses are still stored away at the Paris Observatory.

Found on Wikipedia


7. What releasing 1.5 million helium balloons looks like…


In 1986 in Cleveland, Ohio, a world record was broken with 1.5 million balloons…





Photos by Thom Sheridan.


8. An Ejectable Seat Test, 1963


Dummy pilot and seat soar, as engineers test a catapult escape system in Arizona. Found on Nat Geo.


9. Atomic Mickey


Found on Pinterest.


10. Albania’s 700,000 Bunkers

Concresco_David_Galjaard 04.jpg.CROP.original-original



In Albania today, one bunker stands for every four people who live there. Built during Stalinist Enver Hoxha’s 40-year rule, the more than 700,000 above-ground bunkers dotting the landscape were never used to defend against attack, as intended. Now, they serve as a stark reminder of the Hoxha’s dictatorial reign.


They’ve been documented by photographer David Galjaard, article found on the Atlantic. 


11. Sending Cars by Train in the 70s





Within the same volume of an 89-foot car, the Vert-A-Pac could hold as many as 30 automobiles instead of 18. Full article found on Amusing Planet.


12. Paintballing in 1909





In 1909 NYC, you could fake-murder your friends in a wax bullet duel. Found on Gizmodo.


13. The Most Beautiful Pistol in the World

28 Apr 14:31

A Repurposed Boeing 737 Engine Cowling Makes a Fantastic… Chair

by Christopher Jobson


If you’re looking to remodel your home or office with ultimate conversation starting furniture, look no further than the 737 Cowling Chair by Fallen Furniture. The behemoth chair is made from a genuine Boeing 737 engine cowling that sits atop a spun aluminum base in the same orientation you would find on an airplane and measures nearly 6.5′ square. It’s hard not to compare the curvy space age design to something Eero Saarinen might have designed. The Bath-based furniture company specializes in making functional objects from “reclaimed, authentic aircraft parts, from both military and civilian aircraft,” and you can see more of their designs on their website and on Facebook. (via Bored Panda)




27 Apr 06:05

An Alien Planet of Candy-like Rocks and Plants by David Brodeur

by Christopher Jobson


As part of his Celestial Series, Chicago-based digital artist David Brodeur rendered an alien world filled with berry-like plants, glowing crystals, and candy shaped orbs that sprout from the ground. Despite their exotic designs, Brodeur relies on common colors of familiar fruits to create this Willy Wonka-esque habitat where you can’t help but want to reach out and gobble everything up. You can see more from the series on Behance, and he also posts a new digital piece each day on Instagram.








27 Apr 06:05

See Prince (RIP) Play Mind-Blowing Guitar Solos On “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “American Woman”

by Josh Jones

Amidst all its other unsettling excesses, 2016 has become a year of collective mourning as musical icon after musical icon passes away. The names begin to sound like a list of battlefield casualties. Our latest loss was much more than a leader among men: he was royalty.

Prince’s death strikes me as a tragedy for so many reasons: he was too young, only 57. He was—as for nearly everyone of my generation—a fixture of my childhood, a figure of impossible cool; his loss feels deeply personal. Lastly, Prince seemed so above it all—above all of the ugly, petty crap the rest of us slog through every day, including death.

All pop stars seem like that to their fans.

But when it comes to Prince, it wasn’t just his forever young sexuality that made me think he’d never die, but the fact that he could do anything, and I mean anything at all as a musician. He seemed to have no limitations. Unlike many of this year’s lost stars, I was lucky enough to see him play. That show became the high watermark by which I’ve unfairly measured every other performer.

He played for three hours, then held an afterparty and played for two more. He tore through his catalog, then played everyone else. Members of his band left the stage one by one, and Prince continued, picking up instrument after instrument. The hugeness of the sound didn’t seem diminished one bit when he remained on stage alone with his guitar at three o’clock in the morning.

And that guitar, man…. Whether his trademark butterscotch Telecaster or series of unique, signature instruments—he played like no one else: he made the guitar cry, sing, howl, wail, and launch into outer space hysterics. His power and control were unmatched. Eric Clapton, when asked what it felt like to be the world’s greatest guitarist, supposedly said, “ask Prince.” Apocryphal or not, it’s believable. No guitarist can be anything but blown away by Prince’s prowess. Witness his solo at the end of the 2004 all-star Rock and Roll Hall of Fame George Harrison tribute performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (top), widely cited as one one of the best guitar moments caught on tape, and as evidence for why Prince belongs in the top ten of world’s greatest players.

I don’t think there’s any hyperbole in saying that Prince may have been the greatest stage performer of the past forty years, as a total package: showman, songwriter, and musician. And though he dominated center stage, he wasn’t too proud to play the sideman. Check him out above, for example, backing Lenny Kravitz on “American Woman.” But when it came time for Prince to take a solo (see him tear it up at around 4:50), it was like everyone else had left the stage.

Rest In Peace, Prince. As a guitarist, singer, and general explosion of purple amazingness, he was in a class all his own.

Related Content:

Prince (RIP) Performs Early Hits in a 1982 Concert: “Controversy,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover” & More      

David Bowie (RIP) Sings “Changes” in His Last Live Performance, 2006

The Memorial Service & Celebration of “Lemmy” Kilmister, Motörhead Frontman, is Now Streaming Live

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

See Prince (RIP) Play Mind-Blowing Guitar Solos On “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “American Woman” is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

23 Apr 00:31

Prince en 35 ans de coiffures iconiques

by JulietteVonGeschenk

Un illustrateur anglais a dessiné les trente-cinq ans de coiffures iconiques du chanteur Prince, qui s'est éteint hier à l'âge de cinquante-sept ans.

Cet article Prince en 35 ans de coiffures iconiques est apparu en premier sur

20 Apr 22:33

Marks & Spencers lance son programme « Clothes Exchange » en France et en Belgique

by JulietteVonGeschenk

Marks & Spencer lance son programme de Clothes Exchange en France, soit une installation de box pour récupérer les vêtements de ses client•es afin de les recycler !

Cet article Marks & Spencers lance son programme « Clothes Exchange » en France et en Belgique est apparu en premier sur

19 Apr 08:42

Phishing, fausse mise à jour : des arnaques ciblent les utilisateurs d’Apple

by Thierry Noisette

Fishing on apple users

Les produits Apple étant plus chers que la moyenne, les utilisateurs d’iPhone, MacBook ou autre appareil à la pomme sont présumés plus fortunés que les autres ; c’est en tout cas le raisonnement que semblent faire des cyberarnaqueurs, qui lancent des attaques ciblées, dont la première élaborée par phishing, cette fraude dont l’auteur se fait passer pour quelqu’un d’autre afin de voler des données.

Graham Cluley, un spécialiste de la sécurité informatique, a lancé deux alertes successives : le 11 avril il a signalé des SMS prétendant aux destinataires que leur compte Apple ID...

19 Apr 08:40

A view of the ornate art and architecture of a building in...


Do you have people in your family that have lived in India or any British possessions?
I have for french colonies : in Morocco, in Vietnam, ... Several persons of my mum's family have lived there at least for a while.

This is very present here, so I suppose it's a bit the same in Britain, no?

A view of the ornate art and architecture of a building in Chennai, India, 1948. Photograph by Volkmar Wentzel, National Geographic Creative

17 Apr 21:36

Victor Noir: Still Pleased to See You (Even in Death)

by (Admin)
Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris contains the graves of many famous people, including Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. One person you may not have heard of, however, is Victor Noir. It is, in fact, his monument rather than his memory which draws people to his final resting place and for reasons you may not automatically associate with a cemetery.

You may have already noticed that much of his face is the familiar grey-green of oxidized bronze you would expect from a monument dating from 1891 (Noir died in 1870). However, the lips and the nose are unaccountably shiny. Victor Noir’s mouth and nose are regularly caressed and kissed. Yet the host of women who descend upon his tombstone have more than Victor’s face in mind when they visit. Despite only the faintest trace of a smile across it, Victor Noir is, it seems, still very pleased to see you.

The bronze sculpture has a very noticeable protrusion of some prominence in the trouser department. Whether or not this is a reflection of Victor’s reputation while alive it has certainly afforded him one post mortem. Victor’s monument has become one of France’s more unusual fertility symbols.

It is believed that if a woman kisses Victor on the lips and then rubs that bulge in his trousers then her fertility will be much enhanced and that a baby will follow soon after (the getting of which, according to the legend, will be even more blissful than usual). Single ladies in search of a man need not worry either: a furtive but friendly frottage with Monsieur Noir will ensure a husband within the year. From the looks of all that French polish, it seems that a lot of women believe the story.

There is, of course, payment. Each visitor to Victor’s recumbent form must place a flower in to his hat or hand to thank him for his time. The sculpture, which portrays Victor prone, his hat fallen to the ground, gives some clue to the manner in which death approached him – rather unexpectedly.

Victor Noir was a French political journalist during the time of the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III (which lasted from 1852 – 1870). The editor of his newspaper had been challenged to a duel by Prince Pierre Bonaparte after the publication of an article which was rather disparaging about the prince’s great uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte. Prince Pierre challenged the editor, Paschal Grousset, to a duel, despite the fact that his great uncle had been dead almost fifty years.

Grousset accepted and dispatched his seconds (one of whom was Noir) to arrange a time and a date with Prince Pierre who then, following an altercation, duly dispatched Victor Noir to the great hereafter. The truth of what exactly had caused this outrage in the streets was never fully discovered but the courts sided with the prince, accepting his story that Noir had taken umbrage at being called a lackey of Grousset and had struck the prince (after which, of course, he was left with no choice other than to gun him down in the street).

Over 100,000 people attended Noir’s funeral and his death pricked many a republican in to action against the Emperor’s regime. There was violence on the streets of a number of French cities but a more liberal constitution was quickly voted in by a plebiscite and further bloodshed was avoided. Although the hopes of the republicans seemed to have vanished the Emperor was in fact overthrown within nine months.

Noir’s body was taken to Père Lachaise Cemetery twenty one years after his death and the monument we see here was erected (not to put too much of a fine point on it). Since then his has become one of the most visited graves in the cemetery. To keep his face, groin and feet so shiny and nickel clean it is estimated that many thousands of women have taken a surreptitious joyride atop his recumbent, bronze form.

Dalou, the sculptor, was perhaps wrong in portraying just that flicker of a smile on Victor Noir’s face: a smug grin would, perhaps, have been more appropriate.

First Image Credit Flickr User MB Schlemmer
15 Apr 08:41

Bienvenue au royaume de l’Himalaya

by Lynda

I want to go there!

Le voyage de Kate et William touche à sa fin. Cette pérégrination hors des frontières indiennes conduit les émissaires de la couronne aux confins d’un pays légendaire: le Bhoutan blotti entre l’Inde et la Chine. Un trésor enchanteur, une nature étincelante, des paysages entre poésie et mystique.

Un manteau jaune en hommage au drapeau national

Un manteau jaune en hommage au drapeau national

Ce royaume peuplé de 750.000 habitants a remplacé le PNB par le “Bonheur National Brut”. Ouvert au tourisme depuis 1974, seuls 6000 chanceux pèlerins par an pénètrent dans ce pays mystérieux. Vous l’avez compris, ce royaume perché sur le toit du monde se protège du tourisme de masse.

Aéroport de Paro

Aéroport de Paro

Cette destination très prisée des randonneurs-on y vient pour voir les neiges éternelles ruisseler dans les montagnes-reste encore très secrète. Et l’environnement s’en voit préservé. Un mantra bhoutanais proclame “Ne prenez que des photos, ne laissez que l’empreinte de vos pas”. A méditer. Même si les antennes prolifèrent, on ne trouve ni sac plastique ni canettes dans les montagnes bhoutanaises.

Un paysage planant

Un paysage planant

Kate va ressortir son Canon

Kate va ressortir son Canon

Procession en technicolor

Procession en technicolor

Kate et son époux se trouvaient dans le cockpit, lorsque l’avion a engagé sa descente. L’approche est difficile en raison du relief sinueux et le pilote a dû faire une annonce pour rassurer la cabine. Sur le tarmac, le duc et la duchesse respirent. Et pour cause, l’air est pur, beaucoup moins pollué qu’en Inde. Le Bhoutan est un pays sans tabac. Le regard de Kate se pose sur un immense portrait disposé dans l’aéroport de Paro. Jetsun Pema, “La Kate Middleton de l’Himalaya” est photographiée avec son mari “le roi dragon” Jigme Khesar. Elle ressemble à un top de la Fashion Week, lui à Mario Valentino. Le roi a confié à sa sœur aînée la princesse Chhimi, le soin de recevoir le couple princier avec les honneurs dus à leurs rangs. Ce n’est pas n’importe quel tapis rouge que viennent de fouler les représentants de la reine. Une broderie composée de grains de riz multicolores en décore le centre.




Des BO folkloriques

Order of the Thisle 2012

Order of the Thisle 2012

Brora Gold Charm earrings

Brora Gold Charm earrings

Natalie clutch LKB

Natalie clutch LKB

Fern Pumps LKB

Fern Pumps LKB

Leurs regards se croisent. Le roi tombe fou amoureux de la jeune fille belle comme une estampe. Dans ce pays où la polygamie est autorisée, le monarque fait le serment qu’il n’aura qu’une seule épouse. Ils s’unissent le 13 octobre 2011 et la belle aristocrate diplômée en relations internationales, psychologie et histoire de l’art (Regent College Londres) devient la reine dragon, la plus jeune souveraine du monde: elle n’a que 20 ans. Un prince héritier né en février 2016. Le Bhoutan a aussi son royal baby!

Son altesse royale le Gyalsey

Son altesse royale le Gyalsey né le 5 février 2016

Reine moderne et très influente sur les réseaux sociaux, Jetsun s’investit dans la lutte pour la préservation de la nature: elle est ambassadrice des Nations Unies pour Ozon Action. Sa majesté ne s’habille pas chez Topshop. Les étoffes chatoyantes des Kira exacerbent sa beauté. Au Bhoutan, par décrets royaux, les vêtements traditionnels sont obligatoires en public.

En direct du plus beau théâtre du monde

En direct du plus beau théâtre du monde

Reines du Bhoutan

Reines du Bhoutan

Revenons à nos visiteurs britanniques. Le duc et la duchesse rejoignent Thimphu, la capitale du Bhoutan. Ils sont immédiatement saisis par les lieux et les enfants les acclament. A Thimphu Dzong-une forteresse datant du XVIIe siècle- un rituel de bienvenue (Chipdrel) leur est rendu en musique, chants, danses et couleurs. Kate a hâte de faire connaissance avec son double au teint de lune. Une audience privée s’est tenue à l’intérieur du Dzong. Le duc et la duchesse se sont fendus d’une révérence en présence des souverains.



A la fin de la rencontre en huis clos, le couple royal se présente. Le roi et la reine se tiennent par la main. Kate et William sortent de la forteresse aux boiseries sculptées. La duchesse arbore une cape Paul&Joe dans l’air du Bhoutan. Aurait-elle été influencée par celle d’Elie Goulding? Kelzan Wangmo, un fabricant local a confectionné l’étoffe de sa jupe longue. Il peut d’ores et déjà se préparer à réapprovisionner ses stocks tissus. Les commandes vont pleuvoir et “l’effet Kate” va dynamiser le secteur du textile local. Kate ne devait pas endosser l’habit traditionnel mais elle s’est recomposé un ensemble folklorique. On dit qu’il s’agit de sa plus belle entrée en scène.

Kate se fond dans le décor et William reste très British dans son costume marine

Kate se fond dans le décor et William reste très British dans son costume marine

Toutes ces altesses royales se retrouvent dans la cour d’honneur, joliment décorée pour la circonstance. On a tendu une gigantesque tapisserie. C’est à cet endroit que les souverains et le couple princier posent pour la postérité et les archives royales, face à un mur de photographes. Puis ils franchissent le seuil du temple pour y recevoir une bénédiction. On allume des cierges dans les vapeurs d’encens. Le Bhoutan est le seul pays où le Vajrayana (bouddhisme tibétain) est la religion d’Etat.


Kate s’applique

Game of throne

Game of Throne


Photo de famille bis

Catherine duchesse de Cambridge te reine des hauts plateaux de l'Himalaya

Catherine duchesse de Cambridge te reine des hauts plateaux de l’Himalaya

Jupe portefeuille fabriquée à Londres et coupée dans un tissu bhoutanais

Jupe portefeuille fabriquée à Londres et coupée dans un tissu bhoutanais

La reine Jetsun se chausse chez Saint Laurent

Les Royals

Les Royals

Dans le corridor qui mène à la salle du trône d'or

Dans le corridor qui mène à la salle du Trône d’Or


Deux reines au sommet de leur beauté qui posent sur le toit du monde

Jupe tissée au Bhoutan

Kate a gardé ses escarpins Fern LKB

Cap sur la cape rebrodée


Focus sur la broderie ethnique

Focus sur la broderie ethnique

Jupe tissée au Bhoutan

Jupe tissée au Bhoutan

Lavender Amethyst Kiki McDonough

Lavender Amethyst Kiki McDonough

Le duc et la duchesse prennent congés des souverains. Ce ne sont pas des adieux:K&W reviendront dîner ce soir au palais royal de Lingkana. Les caméras ne seront pas autorisées à filmer l’événement…il s’agit d’agapes privées. Les spécialités culinaires sont à base d’épices et de fromage. Espérons que le chef a lui aussi reçu des instructions spéciales. La reine et la duchesse ont beaucoup de points en commun. Elles sont diplômées en histoire de l’art, mamans, amoureuses, engagées, modernes…elles vivent un conte de fées. Cela promet des discussions enrichissantes classées secret défense.

Départ de l'hôtel

Départ de l’hôtel

Il y a des piments sur l'encolure de la robe et cet ingrédient entre dans la composition de la spécialité locale

Il y a des piments sur l’encolure de la robe

Un châle parce que les nuits sont fraîches en altitude

Pashmina John Lewis

Tiens revoilà le salut

Tiens revoilà le salut

Tory Burch portée avec un châle orange

Tory Burch portée avec un châle orange

Gianvito Rossi

Gianvito Rossi

Encolure piments comme ceux de la spécialité culinaire locale

Encolure piments comme ceux de la spécialité culinaire locale

Du fromage et des piments le Hemadatsi plat national du Bhoutan

Du fromage et des piments le Hemadatsi plat national du Bhoutan

Les invités du couple dragon se détendent avant de passer à table. Dans la petite ville, les tireurs à l’arc se produisent devant eux. Le duc et la duchesse de Cambridge s’installent à l’abri du vent. Un thé bien chaud leur est servi. Voilà une discipline que les sportifs de la couronne ne pratiquent pas encore. Çà tombe bien, les organisateurs ont prévu une initiation. Sous la pluie, K&W saisissent les arcs sans remporter la victoire.  A l’origine, ce sport national se jouait avec des arcs rustiques, fabriqués de pièces de bambous reliées entre elles. L’équipement a évolué et les tireurs se servent aujourd’hui d’arcs à poulies. La cible est toujours placée à la même distance soit 145 mètres. Le tir à l’arc est réservé aux hommes mais la championne Sherab Zam a défendu les couleurs du Bhoutan aux JO de 2012. Qui sait, Kate et William étaient peut-être dans la tribune ce jour-là. Demain sera un autre jour: six heures de marche en montagne pour atteindre le monastère de Taktshang. Sweet dreams.



William essaye de sauver l'honneur mais Kate ne semble pas très confiante

William essaye de sauver l’honneur mais Kate ne semble pas très confiante

Tir à l'arc en escarpins du jamais vu au Bhoutan

Tir à l’arc en escarpins du jamais vu au Bhoutan

Thé ou tachai servi dans un somptueux gobelet

Thé ou tachai servi dans un somptueux gobelet