Monday, April 28, 2008
Now we know that a morpher can put any two faces together with computer tricks. But even then we knew that the old man's portrait had been discovered in the 19th century, and only wishful thinking had attributed it to Leonardo, much less as a self portrait. Well, that's an earlier story of self-deception about Mona Lisa and all the legends about the painting. All of which make life interesting.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
"I was sad to hear this week that a campaign had been launched to save the postcard, because I love sending and getting postcards, and campaigns to save dying social institutions tend to be launched when the institutions are all but dead to the herd already. Announcing a 'campaign to save the...' acts like an invisible tag, announcing to society at large that the Great British whatever-it-is is crippled, stale, beginning to stink, and that the rest of us had best keep clear if we want to avoid being tainted with the pheromones of lameness."
I love postcards. One aspect of my postcard love is in my collection of Mona Lisa postcards. Here are two photos of me shopping for Mona Lisa postcards. The first photo is in Paris, the second in Vinci, Italy, native town of Leonardo:
My mother collected postcards. She taught us that whenever we traveled, we should send cards to friends and relatives, and she also instructed her relatives to send postcards to whatever children in the family were currently maintaining collections. For years, I sent cards from every vacation, and in all kinds of resorts, exciting cities, and tiny villages, I eagerly sought out the "tourniquets" -- yes, in French there's a word for those rotating postcard holders in tourist locations.
My sister and I still sort of maintain that tradition, but we are flagging. After all, with blogging and email available from all kinds of foreign locations and with the incredible slowness of postcard arrival, web communication lets me share the experience of my travel in real time, while postcards often arrive weeks after the trip is long finished.
The article about the coming demise of the postcard concludes:
"Getting one is so rare now that you never quite know what the reaction of the recipient will be. Irritation, perhaps, at the implied rebuke to their own lack of manual correspondence; a sense of weariness at the prospect of being dragged into a mutual obligation to exchange holiday postcards for at least a year; or irrepressible excitement, and an urge to reply immediately to the sender with the news that the postcard has arrived. By email, naturally."