Thursday, 25 March 2010

This week is Quiet Week on Sprismatic ... Info-Dieting

In last week's Going Up section in The Sunday Times Style Magazine:  Info-Dieting "When you limit what you take on board, for a happier mentally healthier life".

As the Sunday papers are so heavy, it takes a shopping trolley to get them home, I thought that was a bit rich. But the thought was there. 

Writing this is giving you more words, so I'm as guilty as they are. 

Please turn off my blog and enjoy a week of observing not absorbing.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Animation of the Planets doing their Equinox Thing

The bulbs are coming through. We're wearing less layers than three weeks ago and in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere ... the sun's out. I hope you've managed to get out in the sunshine and, even if you live in a city, you've seen some evidence of nature waking up. Here's an extraordinary animation of what has actually been going on up there this month.

Robert von Heeren
Robert Von Heeren, a German astrologer and "astronomy specialist" created this animation. Clever man. Happy First Day of Spring people.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Penguin Dating - not how I read the tin

While researching the previous post, I discovered Penguin Dating. Thinking it meant that the Group were sponsoring the courtship of shy penguins, I clicked the link ready for an Aw! moment. After all, penguin colonies are shrinking and they are represented in most of our zoos conservation reports. Those of you who are more up to speed than me will already know that Penguin have a tie-in with

Rockhopper Penguins

The idea being to introduce people with similar reading interests. Well good luck to them, whatever it takes to help people say hello to each other. But I hope readers don't miss the love of their lives just because he has a Nigella Lawson cook book fetish and she's more of a Jamie Oliver fan.
Now there's a thought ... if you don't like cooking, get searching for someone who reads cook books. Maybe it's not such a daft idea.

It's clever and it may make you smile

The following video was made for staff within the Penguin Group and happily it has been released for public viewing. Stick with it until at least half way.

Imagine what fun we could all have with our words if we could give them the same treatment. Now there's an idea ... get creating, clever bods. It worked on a few albums in the seventies but maybe it's time to really work with the idea? Greetings cards, posters, duvet covers ... whole pages on blogs (yes I've gone off on one).

Rainbow Delicious

Last week my eye was drawn to black and white, so I just went with it as a final monochrome moment before Spring.

And here, to bring some colour back into Sprismatic, some amazing flashes of rainbow and sparkle. The first two photographs were taken by Marilyn Minter for an assignment with M.A.C. Delicious?

"Her photographs and works often include sexuality and erotic imagery. Her method of painting involves many coatings of translucent enamel paint on metal to produce a luminous, almost hallucinatory finish. Her photographs are all taken in order to create a painting, yet sometimes she uses the photograph as is, without converting it". wikipedia
More about her work and the M.A.C. project.
Flare by Infinite705 on deviantART

Sunday is ... a new dawn, a new day, a new life ... Happy Equinox

Well hooray. Hooray for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere anyway ...

At last ... Spring is nearly here. The Vernal Equinox is on Sunday, March 20. Day and Night will be equal and gradually the days become longer and longer than night.

Time to crawl out from our hibernation. Those of us you have already rushed out of hibernation a little prematurely are suffering a bit with the cold patches, but people really do smile more when the sun's out.

Image: Almond tree blossom - TAMAS KOONING LANSBERGEN

I was having a little trouble believing Spring was nearly here, until I saw Tamas' photograph. Tamas lives in Ibiza so is further ahead than the UK but we're nearly there!

Just the sight of a new shoot on a twig gives us reason for optimism that the bush has survived the winter. So please, sometime on Sunday, spend some time thinking about what you would love to happen over the summer. (Even if it's just for a few minutes before you go to sleep). This is a time for optimism and growth so tap into nature and give yourself a treat.

Most of the time we balance our wishes with sensible logic. Well, on Sunday I'm going to spoil myself and focus on what I would like to achieve over the next few months. I'll really go for it, because I know from previous experience that there's nothing like assuming everything will be alright unless proven otherwise.

Have fun with it. It's just between you and whoever you pray to. If you don't pray then maybe consider throwing your wishes out there into the planets while they are in position for the Equinox. Tap into a special 24 hours and have fun with it. Best case Scenario.

Happy First Day of Spring

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The best how-to-give-good-cunnilingus guide I've ever seen

And I've seen a lot. It also made a laugh too. Warning: The piece was written by Gavin McInnes (a co-founder of Vice Magazine). If you read the mag you won't be put off by the language. If you don't read Vice, please be warned its down to earth graphic and "eating pussy" sets the tone. McInnes talks like a bad ass guy but one who likes to please, his woman.

Prepared? Right here's the Link

Guys share it with your mates and I promise I'll restore the balance with the ultimate guide to blow jobs, when I see it.

Image: Blanco Y Negro

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A ray of sunshine among all the media royalty confusion

Embedding this video is special. It is possible because the American band OK Go stepped outside the corporate record company box and said "No this isn't right'. In this case, the removal of embedding code on their videos on YouTube. If you would like a background to this story, The New York Times published an Opinion Editorial piece by OK Go member, Damian Kulash Jr.

Kulash explained the bands frustration with EMI's restrictions imposed on the sharing of their YouTube posted videos. He gives some interesting figures proving the publicity value of social network sharing. It's a balanced insight into the advantages and disadvantages of being a signed act.
OK Go and EMI have now parted company; the band has formed its own record company and an insurance company has sponsored the above video for "This Too Shall Pass".
I'm posting this as a celebration, because we can. And because I wish I'd been one of the guys in the band for this shoot!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Having a Black & White Appreciation Moment - 2

Hugh MacLeod. Do you know him? He's a cartoonist. He found his niche while doodling on the back of business cards, during down-time in New York bars. That was in the late 90s. Now he's happy to have moved out of the city and continues to draw cartoons of the business card size.
And larger prints too. His humour is ... cynical, dry and yet positive. He posts a daily cartoon on his website Gaping Void which you can sign up for.
(There's also a widget to include in our own websites).

I like that he isn't sugary soppy and stamps his feet when surrounded by bulls**t,  and yet hidden within his cartoons is this description:
"A story without love is not worth telling ... Love matters. People matter. Everything else is secondary". Hugh MacLeod.
I'm reading his book Ignore Everybody And 39 Other Keys to Creativity.
A lot of what the man says is resounding with me, not just with creativity, but with all our choices - more on that when I've had a ponder. Meanwhile, you can read a sample of the book on his website.
To give you an idea, here's a few chapter headings ...
Chapter 5:
If your business plan depends on suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. (He was "discovered" by a hot shot publisher but turned it down because it was a sting deal).
Chapter 20:
Sing in your own voice
Chapter 28
The best way to get approval is not to need it.
It's an illustrated biography, as much as a book of encouragement.
It's more letters of advice from a fond uncle (who has learnt through experience) than a smug, drum banging self-help manual.

Having a Black & White Appreciation Moment - 1

Why is Black and White so cool?! Having extolled the virtue of orange in these cold, dark, winter days I think I must be all oranged up because this week I'm really drawn to B and W. I'm embracing black and white before spring starts on March 21st. In the name of research I found myself diverted (as we so easily do on the internet, but that's how we make discoveries ... right? ) I've spent way too long gazing at this image of the Rolling Stones, by David Bailey.  I've a couple of Bailey's exhibition posters from his Barbican Birth of the Cool exhibition about 10 years ago. And they still make me stop and stare. 
If you like Bailey and have a few pounds to treat yourself, get over to Bonhams website fast. They are hosting a selling exhibition of Bailey's photographs of 60's icons.

All images have been chosen for exhibition by the photographer and include the Rolling Stones (above), Jean Shrimpton (pictured on the exhibition poster left), Michael Caine, Andy Warhol and John Lennon. Pure Sixties, Pure Baileyruns at Bonhams, New Bond Street, London runs until April 7th.  

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Talking of Painted Elephants II

Today started off with writing about irresponsible news reporting and has become Sprismatic's Elephant Day! Well I can't end Elephant Day without sharing a final image with you. I've chosen this one because it is by one of my favourite inspirational artists, Philip Shadbolt.

For me, Philip's work oozes fun and down to earth spirituality (my favourite sort).  His work is far wider than beautiful representations of Hindu gods, but as I began to sign off from the blog I felt the need to  pay a quieter respect for the elephant and remembered this photograph on his site.

African elephant by Arno & Louise Creative Commons
And finally, to end Elephant Day at Sprismatic, an African elephant living it large in the wild. Life isn't easy for the horny males there either. Once they realise it's coming up to their week for mating, they have to find a female heard. They then have to follow the females for days and prove they're fitter than any other male elephant in the area. The elephant: powerful, intelligent and persistent.

More (250) Painted Elephants

Talking of painted elephants ...  over 250 life-size elephants will be creating the largest outdoor art event in London, this summer.
The Elephant Parade London 2010 is being organised by Elephant Family, a charity working to save the Asian elephant from extinction and abuse. Artists and celebrities are decorating the fibre-glass elephants which will be placed in parks, streets and buildings throughout the centre of the capital.
At the end of June, the elephants will be auctioned to benefit the Asian elephant and 20 conservation charities round the world.
I'm going to plot my trail to include the  ones created by Lulu Guinness, Quentin Blake and Alice Cooper (yes him, that one).
Also, artists Carrie Reichardt and Nick Reynolds are decorating their London Parade elephant (pictured) with mosaic tiles. That, I have to see. Carrie is blogging the progress of this, literally mammoth, undertaking on her site. (Love the truck too).
The locations are still being arranged, but Berkeley Square has been confirmed to be the setting for six of the elephants. We can keep up with the preparations on the Parade's Facebook fan site. 

Elephant goes on rampage and demolishes 20 limousines!

Headlines huh, don't you love them?! What image did that conjure up for you? For me, I went off on one imagining our largest landliving neighbour had escaped captivity somewhere in Los Angeles and had trumpeted through the traffic jam that is the red carpet drop off for the Oscars. 

Of course it was nothing of the sort but it took me some effort to get the full story. So many of the news reports differed. 
Inspite of, or maybe because of, having newspaper sub-editor within my CV, I am ever hopeful that reporting will be responsible and unsensational. Well that isn't going to happen, so we get better at reading between the lines.
The story of the rampaging elephant can be better explained when you devote an hour of your life to really researching the various reports. Not something we can do with every headline screamed at us. 
Long story short:  male elephants are on heat just one week out of 52. This poor bull should have been making whoopee in the countryside with a gorgeous cow that week. Instead he was painted, decorated and paraded as part of a wedding ceremony in a town near New Delhi, India.
The reports vary to what caused him to run for it. Was it the ceremonial gun fire? The noise of the drums or the smell of an equally on-heat lady in a nearby field? The articles also differ regarding the ensuing drama. There was a lot of damage, no human casualties thankfully and he was eventually knocked out by a tranquilliser gun. So what would have been a responsible headline? Maybe "Elephant's keeper indirectly causes £200,000 of damage"? Doesn't have quite the attention grabbing tone to it does it? 
At least they didn't use the factually correct and even more universally attention grabbing :  "Horny male causes £200,000 damage and demolishes 20 limousines".