October 23, 2009
October 18, 2009
October 16, 2009
I was checking Sarko's and Carla's Facebooks to write a piece, and I found this pic, which remained me of a very ironic and terrible account of Mark Twain 's days in Paris, when he saw Emperor Napoleon III and Sultan Abdul Aziz.
Twain is describing things he sees in his trip as the common US-American would find things, not as he "should" see them. To understand this better I suggest you to check an academic study on this story by Mark Twain, and a very interesting project on The Innocents Abroad.
But the two central figures claimed all my attention. Was ever such a contrast set up before a multitude till then? Napoleon in military uniform -- a long-bodied, short-legged man, fiercely moustached, old, wrinkled, with eyes half closed, and such a deep, crafty, scheming expression about them! -- Napoleon, bowing ever so gently to the loud plaudits, and watching everything and everybody with his cat eyes from under his depressed hat brim, as if to discover any sign that those cheers were not heartfelt and cordial.
Abdul Aziz, absolute lord of the Ottoman empire -- clad in dark green European clothes, almost without ornament or insignia of rank; a red Turkish fez on his head; a short, stout, dark man, black-bearded, black-eyed, stupid, unprepossessing -- a man whose whole appearance somehow suggested that if he only had a cleaver in his hand and a white apron on, one would not be at all surprised to hear him say: "A mutton roast today, or will you have a nice porterhouse steak?"
Napoleon III, the representative of the highest modern civilization, progress, and refinement; Abdul-Aziz, the representative of a people by nature and training filthy, brutish, ignorant, unprogressive, superstitious -- and a government whose Three Graces are Tyranny, Rapacity, Blood. Here in brilliant Paris, under this majestic Arch of Triumph, the First Century greets the Nineteenth!"
October 12, 2009
Recently, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado published the first image of a sunspot's structure. The black part is a hole, the red is plasma being vacuumed by the immense magnetic force. All this measures rough two billion square miles.
There is just one word to describe the feeling of being in the middle of the Amazonian night, less than half a meter from the incredibly red eye of a caiman observing you: adrenalin! Till it suddenly attacks you or dives away. Really, really scary. That one in front of me was three meters long, the Indian natives calculated.
This one here is just a little turtle.
And this an even smaller frog.
October 11, 2009
October 10, 2009
In 1830, Delacroix used the figure of Marianne and transformed her into a symbol of Liberty in his best-known painting. It is said that she inspired the design of Statue of Liberty, but I rather think that inspired MIchel Rodange to draw his iconic Rénert (or Reynard).
Reynard the Fox, by Michel Rodange (1869)
October 9, 2009
I haven't watch An Inconvenient Truth, and I really have no opinion about Al Gore since I am ignorant about his work. But coincidentally I was thinking about Obama this morning, when we got stuck in a tram. Giving him the Nobel Peace Prize is a very early recognition of some promises he has been doing, I think, as half of the world is also thinking right now. The fact is that he, as President of USA, still is leading some wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, involved in Somalia...). A Peace Award for someone who is currently fighting wars? He was actually in the "Situation Room" when he was informed about the Prize.
Hmm... I understand the underlining idea, but still seems to be too much, or at least too early.
October 7, 2009
I was amazed when I saw this portrait of hers by famous '68 photgrapher Werner Bokelberg. It remained me immediately of Coralie Clément: the hair, the eyes, the nose and, above all, the lips (those French lips... there is an interesting theory about the thickness of the lips and the mother tongue).
October 6, 2009
Ayer se inauguró el nuevo sitio web de Carla Bruni, la Première Dame. A las pocas horas se había ya colapsado.
Algunas reflexiones al respecto en el blog de LsLs.
Y ya puestos, mi video favorito de Sarko (& Bar Refaeli):
October 5, 2009
Malgré un très grand nombre de visites, le site enriquegdelag.blogspot.com reste toujours accessible.
Merci de revenir dans quelques heures une autre fois.
* * *
En raison d'un trop grand nombre de visites, le site carlabrunisarkozy.org est provisoirement inaccessible.
Merci de revenir dans quelques heures.
October 4, 2009
He was also a speechwriter and politics analyst, who became famous because of his picture of the "Kitchen Debate". Earlier this year he published an account of what happened that day: Krushchev felt pissed off because of Nixon's strong-willingness, that he wanted to show to the new "weak" President who he was. That is why he build the Wall around East Berlin and set missiles in Cuba.
October 3, 2009
A trembling brown bird
standing in the high grass turns
out to be a blown
oakleaf after all.
Was the leaf playing bird, or
was it “just” the wind
playing with the leaf?
Was my very noticing
itself at play with
frail patch of brown in the cold
These questions that hang
motionless in the now-stilled
air: what of their
frailty, in the light
of even the most fragile
substances like all
these momentary playthings
Questions that are asked
of questions: no less weighty
dark than the riddles
posed by any apparent
bird or leaf or breath
of wind, instruments
probing what we feel we know
for some kind of truth.
October 2, 2009
For some years I knew a single exception: Les Jacobins, in Toulouse, where the rests of Thomas Aquinas are collected. "Jacobins" is not referred to the Revolutionaries who nationalized the church, but to the Dominicans.
But recently I found another exception, the beautiful church of Orsanmichele, in Florence. It was build in the little garden of the kitchen of the cloister, so that is the origin of the name (orto = garden).