Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
The White House’s kitchen garden includes beehives tended by carpenter Charlie Brandts. The honey, intended primarily for use in White House meals, has been bottled for gift-giving. Spouses of leaders attending the recent G20 Summit received a special gift from Michelle Obama consisting of “a one-of-a-kind porcelain tea set and honey vase designed exclusively for the occasion of The Pittsburgh Summit 2009, with honey harvested especially for the occasion from the White House beehive.” The tea set was inspired by the gold and purple White House china set purchased by Mary Todd Lincoln. The lovely honey vase was designed by California glassmaker Caleb Siemon.
College students these days don’t sacrifice the comforts of home when they move into the dorms. Flat screen TVs with hundreds of channels, DVRs and game consoles fill out their leisure time. And for busy students or moms and dads who want to make sure someone local is looking after their kids, there are personal concierges. A concierge helped Alexandra Kaplan move into her dorm room and checks in on her weekly, bringing snacks, taking care of her laundry and other chores. Precious Time NY specifically targets the college crowd, offering all the amenities you’d expect from any concierge service, plus tutoring services.
The New York Times’ “Rooms” series has closed its final door and takes a look back at a year of rooms. The backstage room of a conductor, the little known bowling alley at the Frick, a tiny room in the Lincoln Tunnel, the series carries all the variety of the great city of New York. Where weren’t they allowed in? The CIA, Rikers Island, Goldman Sachs, the Metropolitan Club, and a place reportedly run by the Mafia.
Six years ago I wrote a nostalgic post about Weston Woods and their filmstrips which we watched in grade school. The release of Spike Jonze’s movie version of “Where the Wild Things Are” brought to mind their animated version of the book. I dug up the Weston Woods version on YouTube. The visuals are actually animated, not just from a camera panning over the book illustrations. The Academic Film Archive of North America website has pages on Weston Woods founder Morton Schindel and animator Gene Deitch who directed this adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are” (Deitch also created the Tom Terrific series for Captain Kangaroo). The film took five years to complete; Deitch blames author Maurice Sendak’s requests for changes. Peter Schickele, known also as P.D.Q. Bach, composed the music and serves as narrator.
A 1,658 pound pumpkin from Iowa won the 36th annual World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, CA this year. It was a new state record, but fell short of the recent 1,725 pound winner in Ohio.
Time Magazine did a round-up of how Nobel winners have spent their prize money and I was happy to notice two of them put their winnings towards advancing women in science. Neuroscientist Paul Greengard created the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize with his $400,000 share of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Named after his mother, the prize is awarded every year to a female biomedical researcher. It is presented by a woman who has distinguished herself in law, politics, the arts or the sciences. 2008 winners Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider, were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine this year along with Jack W. Szostak. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, winner in the same Nobel category in 1995, established a foundation that provides female scientists in Germany with funds for childcare and other practical household needs.
It’s time to start figuring out those Halloween costumes because (where has the year gone?) the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book is out for 2009. Among the unique fantasy gifts this year: a custom cupcake car (top speed 7 mph), an exclusive dinner party with at least 8 literati ($200,000 to charity), and the world’s fastest electric motorcycle (top speed 150 mph).
If you’ve ever dreamed of a large room entirely covered in trampolines, it exists at Sky High Sports. There are 3 locations in CA and WA. For parents of jumpy kids it seems like a great alternative to a padded cell.
At the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday, the Los Angeles Philharmonic welcomed music director Gustavo Dudamel by putting him to work conducting Beethoven’s 9th. But the high point for a bunch of kids from central L.A. was when Dudamel led the YOLA Expo Center Youth Orchestra in an abbreviated version of “Ode to Joy.” The L.A. Times takes a look at the experience from the perspective of 11-year-old violinist Arlette Romero who takes a 30 minute bus ride to Saturday morning rehearsals. Says Romero of her music experience: “I like how you can express yourself just by playing a few notes. And it’s fun. Lots of fun.”
Donald Fisher, founder of Gap, Inc., died Sunday at age 81 in San Francisco, the city where it all began on Ocean Avenue in 1969 after an unsatisfying search for pair of Levi’s. Fisher and his wife announced their intent last week to turn over their 1,100 piece contemporary art collection to the SF MOMA after plans to build a dedicated museum at the Presidio fell through.