Archive for May, 2010

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

May 21, 2010

Douglas Adams

Douglas Noël Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English writer, dramatist, and musician. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a “trilogy” of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and in 2005 a feature film. Adams’s contribution to UK radio is commemorated in The Radio Academy’s Hall of Fame.

He also wrote Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988), and co-wrote The Meaning of Liff (1983), Last Chance to See (1990), and three stories for the television series Doctor Who. A posthumous collection of his work, including an unfinished novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.

Known to some of his fans as “Bop Ad” for his illegible signature, Adams became known as an advocate for animals and the environment, and a lover of fast cars, cameras, and the Apple Mac. He was a staunch atheist, famously imagining a sentient puddle who wakes up one morning and thinks, “This is an interesting world I find myself in—an interesting hole I find myself in—fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” The biologist Richard Dawkins dedicated his book, The God Delusion, to Adams, writing on his death that, “[s]cience has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender.”

Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there more quickly than waiting for the big one to come along.

May 20, 2010

Hugh Allen

Sir Hugh Percy Allen (23 December 1869 – 20 February 1946) was an English musician, academic and administrator. He was a leading influence on British musical life in the first half of the 20th century.

The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

May 19, 2010

Walter Bagehot

Walter Bagehot (pronounced /ˈbædʒət/ BA-jət) (3 February 1826 – 24 March 1877) was a British businessman, essayist, and journalist who wrote extensively about literature, government, and economic affairs.

Art is the only discipline where saying less means more.

May 18, 2010

Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton (c. 1676 – August 4, 1741) was a Scottish lawyer in Colonial America, best known for his legal victory on behalf of printer and newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger. This 1735 decision helped to establish that truth is a defense to an accusation of libel. His eloquent defense was concluded with the notion that the press has “a liberty both of exposing and opposing tyrannical power by speaking and writing truth.” His success in this case has been said to have given rise to the expression “Philadelphia lawyer”, in the sense of a particularly adept and clever attorney, as in “It would take a Philadelphia lawyer to get him off.”

The busier you are the more you can accomplish.

May 17, 2010

B. J. Adams

Gossip machine embroidery

B. J. Adams artwork began with representation, developed into abstraction, and now goes back and forth between the two, sometimes combining elements of both, giving the viewer a surprise, an out of context scale, image and viewpoint. The sewing machine has become brush and pencil; hundreds of colors of thread have become paint for realistic and abstract images set on various backgrounds. The unusual or commonplace materials and techniques used, the focus required by the slow process of this art, and the infinite available subjects, keep her work ever-changing, challenging, and always interesting.

Just as our taste in lovers is far more revealing than our choice of friends, the object of an artist’s obsession can open up doors to their soul that might otherwise remain shut tight.

May 16, 2010

Vince Aletti

Vince Aletti (born 1945) is an American music journalist and photography critic.

Vince Aletti was the first person to write about disco (in a piece published in Rolling Stone in 1973), writing a weekly column about disco for the music trade magazine Record World(1974-1979) and reporting about early clubs like David Mancuso’s Loft for The Village Voice in the late 1970s and 1980s.

In 1979 and 1980, Aletti also worked as the A&R man for Ray Caviano’s RFC Records. He was a senior editor at The Village Voice for nearly 20 years until leaving in early 2005.

In 1998, Aletti was the curator of a highly praised survey exhibition of art and photography called Male, which was followed up in 1999 by Female, both at Wessel + O’Connor Gallery in New York. In conjunction with those shows, he was the co-editor of the Fall 1999 “Male/Female” issue of Aperture, featuring his interview with Madonna, which was later anthologized in Da Capo’s Best Music Writing (2000).

In 2000, he was the co-curator of an exhibition called Settings & Players: Theatrical Ambiguity in American Photography at London’s White Cube 2 gallery, and the following year he organized a show of Steven Klein’s fashion work for the Museé de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Aletti was one of the two featured writers of The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century (2001).

In 2005, Aletti wrote moving tributes to Helen Gee and Richard Avedon for the Village Voice, in addition to his weekly reviews of New York museum and gallery exhibitions. Aletti is especially attuned to new developments in the New York City art world and his writing combines a journalistic sensibility and an understated critical grammar.

These days, Vince Aletti reviews photography exhibitions for The New Yorker’s “Goings on About Town” section.

No man who has managed to keep out of an office can be called a failure in life.

May 14, 2010

Richard Aldington

Richard Aldington (8 July 1892 – 27 July 1962), born Edward Godfree Aldington, was an English writer and poet.

Aldington was best known for his World War I poetry, the 1929 novel, Death of a Hero, and the controversy arising from his 1955 Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Inquiry. His 1946 biography, Wellington, was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

Don’t be a blueprint. Be an original.

May 13, 2010

Roy Acuff


Roy Claxton Acuff (September 15, 1903 – November 23, 1992) was an American country music singer, fiddler, and promoter. Known as the King of Country Music, Acuff is often credited with moving the genre from its early string band and “hoedown” format to the star singer-based format that helped make it internationally successful.

Acuff began his music career in the 1930s, and gained regional fame as the singer and fiddler for his group, the Smoky Mountain Boys. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1938, and although his popularity as a musician waned in the late 1940s, he remained one of the Opry’s key figures and promoters for nearly four decades. In 1942, Acuff co-founded the first major Nashville-based country music publishing company—Acuff-Rose Music—which signed acts such as Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, and The Everly Brothers. In 1962, Acuff became the first living person inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The greatest artist is one who expresses what is felt by everybody.

May 12, 2010

Lama Govinda

Lama Govinda was born as Ernst Lothar Hoffmann in the kingdom of Saxony nowadays Germany. At the age of 16 he became interested in the study of different religions and published a few years later his first book, “ The basic Ideas of Buddhism and its relationship to Ideas of God “.

Shortly after the First World War, Ernst Hoffmann went to Capri, Italy, an international artist colony of its time. In Capri he became deeply involved with Buddhism and painting.

Just as good, isn’t.

May 11, 2010

Julia Child

Julia Child (August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was an American chef, author, and television personality. She introduced French cuisine and cooking techniques to the American mainstream through her cookbooks, beginning in 1961 with Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her television programs, notably The French Chef which premiered in 1963.