Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mona Lisa Smile

Zombie Vultures ate my T-Top

In every parking lot in the Everglades are big warnings about vultures. No, it's not that you should watch your little puppy or your toddler. It's the rubber and silicone gaskets on your rental car. The vultures love them. So they walk or waddle around nearby, waiting for you to leave your car unguarded. They don't run very fast when you approach them, either. I saw a couple of them ignore a fairly large dog.

In the parking lot of the Anhinga Trail, the most popular of all the various trails, the park service have strung up a dead vulture, which the label insists died a natural death and was found in a land fill. This is supposed to discourage the others from predatory car pecking.

We also saw a crow diligently picking at the plastic bags protecting the leather seats of bikes attached to the back of a pickup truck.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Alligators: most famous animals in the swamp

Dolphins playing in the wake of the boat

AND birds, birds, birds! An osprey, a pelican making a water landing, a roseate spoonbill, a wood stork, and an anhinga drying its feathers.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

At Barnes and Noble Today

Another book that did not appear to have any actual connection to Mona Lisa -- except in the unimaginative mind of some second-rate cover designer.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Newly Discovered Photographs of Shtetls

A recent discovery has brought to light nearly 200 photos taken during S. An-Sky's travels in Jewish communities of Eastern Europe almost a hundred years ago. I've seen pictures of some of the objects he preserved, during this expedition. It was a remarkable endeavor, as the lives of the poor Jews were little valued in those days.

The new material is available in a book: Photographing the Jewish Nation: Pictures from S. An-sky's Ethnographic Expeditions by Eugene M. Avrutin, Valerii Dymshits, Alexander Ivanov, and Alexander Lvov. I learned about the new book in this article.