Archive for May 2008


time travel

Funai (a Brazilian agency that works to protect Indians) claims the below photos in this news report were taken of an Amazonian tribe completely untouched by modern civilization. How amazing? They say there are about 100 uncontacted tribes worldwide, a fact that came as a shock to me because I didn’t think there was even one. I know there are tribes who continue to live according to their indigenous ways, but I thought just about every corner of the world had some exposure to modern civilization in one form or another. In one of the photos, warriors can be seen pointing their bow and arrows at the airplane (or helicopter) from which the photos were being taken. This made my heart contract with a wistful/hopeful/fearful feeling. I can’t help but wonder how mystifying and frightening they find these flying machines (or strange noisy birds), and how brave those warriors are, ready to defend their own against this other-wordly ‘thing’ that may threaten them. What kinds of stories do they tell each other to explain this stuff? It seems inconceivable to me that there are little pockets of untouched humanity still living as if the Earth were the garden of Eden. This makes me both so happy and so very sad. I hope Funai can successfully prevent loggers and developers from encroaching upon this tribe’s forest home!

Rainbow photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand , found on Flickr

Posted at 1pm on 5/30/08 | 7 comments | Filed Under: environment, photography | read on


tōrō nagashi

Bob astutely pointed out that Yibi Hu’s animation in Josie’s Lalaland was probably inspired by the Japanese ceremony, Tōrō nagashi, which I’d seen pictures of, but never knew what I was really looking at…

“The Lantern floating is a time-honored Buddhist rite originating in Japan and conducted in order to pay respects to our ancestors and comfort the spirits of the deceased. During this Toro-Nagashi, or “lantern offerings on the water,” candle-lit lanterns are individually set afloat on the ocean and are said to ferry spirits ‘from the shore of delusion to the shore of salvation.'” (via mongrelheart’s flickr.)

Beautiful ceremony in every which way.

This first photo was taken by mongrelheart at a ceremony in Hawaii. The second photo is not Tōrō nagashi, but I had to post because it’s so magical. It was taken of the Pingsi International Lantern Festival in Taiwan by Daniel. Thousands gather at this festival to release their wishes to the sky. Come to think of it, maybe Yibi Hu’s animation was inspired by floating lantern festivals as well?

Posted at 10pm on 5/28/08 | 5 comments | Filed Under: photography | read on


shadow & light


After two and a half years battling leukemia, 16 year old Josie Grove halted treatment and chose to spend her last days enjoying family and friends rather than staving off death. Yibi Hu read an article about Josie in the paper and was inspired to create an animated piece that captured the spirit of a young girl bravely facing death. Take a moment, turn up the volume and watch below. It’s short, sweet and beautifully done! Every time I see it, I cry a little. (I’d link to the HD version with pristine audio, but it’s no longer available. The dinky YouTube version is still mighty impressive.)

(Found on the ever-inspiring Le Divan Fumoir Bohemien.)

Posted at 12am on 5/25/08 | 5 comments | Filed Under: art & artists, film | read on


shadows & reflections

Two cool photos that caught my eye last week. The second pic was taken by Sarah Wilmer. The first, taken by Lynn Smith, who writes: Whenever it rains in Sydney I’m drawn to this amazing space: an abandoned factory which had its roof punctured by hailstones in a severe storm . I love the thousands of points of light and their reflections in the pools of water on the floor. This is the first time I’ve photographed the place at night.



Posted at 7pm on 5/19/08 | 5 comments | Filed Under: photography | read on


fire power

Lightening storm generated by the Chaiten Volcano in southern Chile last Friday. A reminder that Mother Nature is atomic. More pics on Universe Today.

Posted at 9pm on 5/12/08 | 5 comments | Filed Under: environment, photography | read on


white phantom, on the long black river

The “Subaquatic Beauty” spread shot by Alix Malka is magnificent! The above pic made me think of Arthur Rimbaud’s poem, Ophelia

On the calm black wave where the stars are sleeping
the white Ophelia floats like a great lily.
Floats very slowly, lying in her long veils…
–Far off in the woods there are hunters’ calls.

It’s already more than a thousand years that sad Ophelia
passes, a white phantom, on the long black river;
More than a thousand years that her gentle craziness
murmurs her romantic story to the evening breeze.

The wind kisses her breasts and arranges her great veils,
cradled softly by the waves, in a halo around her;
the shivering willows weep on her shoulder,
the reeds bend above her wide dreaming forehead.

The rumpled lotuses sigh around her;
she awakes sometimes, in a sleeping alder,
some nest from which a little shiver of wing escapes:
–a mysterious chant falls from the golden stars.

O pale Ophelia! beautiful as snow!
Yes you died, child, carried away by a river!
–It’s that the winds coming down from the mountains of Norway
talked to you quietly of bitter freedom;

it’s that a gust, twisting your long hair,
carried strange sounds to your dreaming mind;
your heart heard the singing of nature
in the wails of the tree and the sighs of the nights;

It’s that the voice of the crazy seas, immense groan,
broke your child’s breast, too human and too sweet;
it’s that one morning in April, a handsome pale cavalier,
a poor fool, sat mute at your knees!

Heaven! Love! Freedom! What a dream, O poor foolish girl!
You melted into him like a snow in the fire:
Your great visions strangled your words
–and terrible infinity appalled your blue eye!

–And the poet says that by starlight
you come looking at night for the flowers you gather,
and that he saw on the water, lying in her long veils,
the white Ophelia floating like a great lily.

Posted at 6pm on 5/11/08 | 3 comments | Filed Under: books & writing, fashion, photography | read on


{artist} patrick dougherty

I am smitten with Patrick Dougherty’s creations. Such a fantastical fusion of nature, fantasy and movement!

“Dougherty’s works allude to nests, cocoons, hives, and lairs built by animals, as well as the manmade forms of huts, haystacks, and baskets, created by interweaving branches and twigs together. Many of his works look ‘found’ rather than made, as if they were created by the natural force of a tornado sweeping across the landscape. He intentionally tries for this effortless effect, as if his creations just fell or grew up naturally in their settings.”

Posted at 12pm on 5/11/08 | 3 comments | Filed Under: art & artists | read on



I’ve been obsessing over views this week, dreaming of having a fantastical one. That gorgeous elephant would be a pretty cool way to wake up in the morn’. (See more shots from the Makanyane Safari Lodge over on Yoli’s inspiring blog, Musings.) The treetop infinity pool and the forest-surround bathroom were both pulled from Desire To Inspire and saved in my fantasy home folder. The one I dream of building here, here or here. Or, here. (I did say, fantasy.) The breezy cliff-top view off Thira (Santorini), one of the most special spots on this twirling planet, was taken by Semmi.  



Posted at 2am on 5/9/08 | 3 comments | Filed Under: photography | read on


{artist} paula dimauro

Loving the exquisite detail of these botanical etchings by Paula DiMauro. More here.

(Hat tip: Ullabenulla)

Posted at 11am on 5/2/08 | 3 comments | Filed Under: art & artists | read on


{photographer} itou kouichi

I came across Itou Kouichi’s photographs on FFFOUND!, and was immediately touched by how this man sees the world’s creatures, plants and people. His stark moody photographs capture the essence of his subjects be they clover blossoms or a polar bear. Do not miss his stunning series of animal portraits called “Vita”. Must see!

Posted at 10am on 5/2/08 | 3 comments | Filed Under: photography | read on

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