24 February 2011

Rescuing Prince Håkon

 Birkebeinerne, by Knut Bergslien, 1869
This weekend, we islanders will be reenacting the epic smuggling in 1206 of Prince Håkon, the infant son of King Syverresson and Inga of Vartieg, from Lillehammer and likely death at the hands of the Baglers, to the safe haven of Østerdalen, strong with peaceful Birkebeiners.  Prince Håkon was later able to ascend the throne, reconcile with his jealous enemies and bring peace to Norway.  Thank you Torstein Skjevla and Skjervald Skrukka for your bravery and fine skiing.  Hiya hiya hiya!!

23 February 2011

Music Wednesday: Dan Auerbach

 Photo by James Quine
Dan Auerbach rocks.  And he folks.  And he certainly has soul.  His is a voice that is equally able to soar over his screaming guitar, and just as easily sing in whispers.  Many of you probably know him as one of the members of the Black Keys, which I've also been into lately, considering the current political environment, and my search for Birkie pump-up music.  (More on the Birkie later this week)  What I particularly appreciate is his generosity on his myspace: 14 songs for your listening pleasure.  I've also thrown in a few videos--2 of Dan and 1 of him in the Black Keys (pg-13!).  Enjoy!

Photo by MCT campus

21 February 2011

Flower Walls

 Well, it's quite springlike in the southern half of Miles Island and we're starting to think that winter is just about over for us northern dwellers as well.  Islanders are all quite excited about the spring showers as they help the flowers--though in the mountains we still pray for snow!  Here are what some of my southern neighbors' walls look like--flowers and general greenery are considered integral components of architectural design, and rather than superfluous accessories are considered the very walls and windows themselves.  Happy Monday!

20 February 2011

Sometimes we have protests

 Miles Island tends to be a pretty apolitical place, but this was too good not to share.  Pity the gorilla couldn't spell governor correctly--or maybe that's the point.  I think I didn't learn how to spell that word until at least 3rd or 4th year of college!  In any case, I do believe that these images show what  free speech and democracy are all about--the peaceful scene within (and outside) the capitol was heartwarming and something I think everyone can be proud of, regardless of where they stand on the current issues at hand.  How wonderful to live in a country where pink gorillas and peaceful assembly are acceptable, and where the fear of violence is virtually nonexistent.  Jump around!

This song has been in my head lately, partly because I just saw the Wailers a couple weeks ago, and partly because I think it applies quite nicely to the senators on the run and all.  The chorus is pretty jammin too...

16 February 2011

Music Tuesday: The Middle East

Photographer unknown
The Middle East is not from the Middle East as we conceive of the region, though perhaps the band shares some of the same geosocial qualities.  The band is actually from Australia, a large island somewhere to the south (or north, depending on your perspective) of Miles Island.  Enjoy!

14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Heart Reef, Whitsunday Islands, Australia - photo by Penelope Beveridge
This post is to my valentine.  And also to my wonderful family.  And to my fantastic friends.  Thank you for loving!  Do pass it along to those you love...   Have a lovely day!
 The Kiss, Corsica

Heart in the rocks, Corsica

Voh (Mangrove Swamps), New Caledonia, photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

View Larger Map 
Galešnjak, Croatia

10 February 2011

Google's Art Project

from The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli
We on Miles Island love museums.  So you can imagine how excited we were to discover Google's Art Project.  It's basically like Google street view except in a museum... and with extremely high resolution of the various artworks--these photos are examples.  Right now there are almost 20 museums to explore, ranging from MoMA in New York to Gemäldegalerie in Berlin to The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.  Of course it's best to explore and wander in person, but this is a distant second!  Check the clips below for a visitor guide and a behind the scenes look (Hint: watch in HD).  Oh, and you can create your very own gallery with paintings from around the world...dig it!

from the Bedroom, Vincent van Gogh

from The Cathedral by František Kupka

from The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

from The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

from Young Knight in a Landscape by Vittore Carpaccio

08 February 2011

Music Tuesday: Oumou Sangare

Photographer unknown
Today's island music is from the beautiful Oumou Sangare of Mali.  Being Wassoulou, she is commonly known as 'The Songbird of Wassoulou'.  She is also known as the Songbird of Miles Island!  I've had one of her albums for almost 10 years now, and it still sounds refreshing.  Many of her songs advocate for human rights, particularly with regard to issues such as child marriage and polygamy.  Hear her music over at her myspace, and look below for a song and a video.  As she says: "Oumou Sangare is greeting you.  Listen hard to what I have to say."
Photographer unknown
Photographer unknown

07 February 2011

Kilian Martin for Man About Town

Photo by Karim Sadli

Kilian Martin for Man About Town magazine...photo shoot by Karim Sadli, film directed by Stylianos Pangalos.  No doubt about it, the guy's got style. 
Photo by Karim Sadli

Screengrab via Rojak Site

Screengrab via Rojak Site

via Scout Holiday

04 February 2011

My Dad's Snowshoe Tracks

Photo by Clay Kirby

Music Friday: Geographer

 Photographer unknown
 Photo by Muhammad Asranur
Well, it's been a slow week here on the island... apologies for the lack of posts.  See, we've had a blizzard here, and basically life got to be a whole lot more about snow than computers.  This is how we prefer things on the island.  In any case, just had to share this new band (to me) with y'all, so here's a special edition Music Friday.

Geographer is a San Francisco-geographically based band made up of Mike Deni on vocals, guitar, keys, synths, and bass, Nathan Blaz on cello and electronics, and Brian Ostreicher on Drums.  Thanks to my hip neighbors for sharing--apparently they're friends with the lead singer.  I don't know much about this band except that I may have listened to their song Kites (and the remix) on repeat for a good hour or so at work yesterday.  It promises to be bangin dance hall classic for years to come.  And of course I'm a sucker for bands that have a cellist--rock on!  In fact, I'm getting more and more inspired to pick up the ol' cello again after a 12-year hiatus... only on Miles Island.  Enjoy Geographer, and have a great weekend!