You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

Nantes by Beirut

If you haven’t already seen The Takeaway Shows, I suggest you do so now. They feature some of my favourite bands and musicians performing live on the streets of Paris. They’re beautifully filmed and make me wish I had any semblance of a musical talent. I once tried to learn to play the violin and gave up, then repeated the process for piano and saxophone. Plus, they’re sometimes just a little silly, like this one with Grizzly Bear, not a single instrument involved!

The Knife by Grizzly Bear
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823keys1

823keys is an interesting project that is trying to fund new artists in an exciting way. The idea is relatively simple. They have collected 823 unique skeleton keys, from 1830 to 1940, and are selling them on a necklace for $75 a piece. The money raised from selling each of these keys will then be awarded as a grant to an artist.

It’s a sweet idea, and whilst I get the feeling it’s a bit on the pricey side, I decided I’ll give it a go. It could be fun to feel involved in a community based art project of sorts, or I could just end up with a nice necklace. Either way sometimes it’s good to take a gamble.

823keys2

Photo by jpstanley via Flickr

Photo by jpstanley via Flickr

A few week’s ago, as a birthday treat for my boyfriend, we went to Greenwich Observatory for a special evening viewing through their telescope. We had the planetarium pretty much to ourselves and then the sky cleared after a cloudy day and two enthusiastic astronomers guided us through the darkness. Greenwich’s telescope is rather unique, the biggest of it’s kind in Europe (don’t ask me what kind, I wasn’t paying that much attention, I was too starstuck… hohoho) and after looking at a double star and the Andromoda galaxy, it was the Orion Nebula that got me.

Taken by Diegokun, via Flickr

Taken by Diegokun, via Flickr

Up until this point, I wasn’t convinced I’d seen anything I couldn’t see with the naked eye, my imagination perhaps ruined by all the magnificent images we’re given by Hubble. Then I clambered up the little set of steps and peered through the eyepiece, to be truly astonished to see the detailed dust cloud around the bright trapezium of stars that forms the centre of the nebula.

Since then, I’ve been smitten and often find myself staring at the night sky, pleased that I can now pick out Venus, Sirius the dog star, Ursa Major, Polaris, Cassiopeia, The Pleiades and Andromeda. A few days ago I purchased my first pair of binoculars and a book to guide me around the night sky and tonight, as a tiny crescent moon and venus hung in the sky on my way home from work I thought I’d get to use them. Alas, the sky clouded over and I was left to wait for another day, but I thought I’d share my excitement anyway.

By davidteter, via Flickr

By davidteter, via Flickr