Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Google celebrates Halloween with interactive haunted doors doodle

"Double, double toil and trouble;
fire burn and cauldron bubble."

~~ William Shakespeare, “Macbeth,” 1611

English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". (1564-1616)

Google goes trick or treating today and celebrates Happy Halloween with a spooky, entertaining, " interactive doodle treat all in the wake of monster storm "Hurricane Sandy."
Much more than a just a Google doodle, today many internet surfers enjoyed spooky, interactive, search results instead of Google’s customary and “I’m Feeling Lucky” search options.

A black crow on the roof caws, complimenting the jack-O-lanterns scattered on the doorsteps and tin clank sounds from a scared black cat running and meowing to 5 haunted doors with a floating skeleton dangling from the facade . . .

. . . with a simple click, each door opens and strange taunts of squirts, ghoulish gibbering, and ghostly boohs as greeted by scary colorful figures.

A big blue octopus at the first haunted door, followed by a pair of giant red and yellow haunting eyeballs, a veiled ghost boohs at door #13, a boohing mummy and even a purple blob monster at the last haunted door.

To experience Google's Halloween doodle for yourself, visit this Google Halloween 2012 doodle.

This year doodle is a far cry from last year’s pumpkin-carving medley inspired doodle.

Here'a is the link to last year’s Google Halloween 2011 doodle.

Happy Halloween to you and yours!

What do you think of Google’s Halloween doodle today?

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Winds in my backyard from Hurricane Sandy: Video and haiku

"Winds in my backyard earlier today. Hurricane Sandy hasn't even arrived here, yet the winds are strong enough to move things around. The full moon is going to increase gravitational forces creating even more severe weather. The eye of the storm will be arriving soon. I hope our big old trees, fine young trees and even our lovely pergola hold up. Fox News just reported that the central part of the storm will be arriving in Atlantic City, NJ soon. The storm will most likely be hitting us in about 4 hours. Watch the video I took in my backyard -- one can hear the power of the storm and see the trees swaying in the air as the powerful winds grow stronger and stronger. And enjoy my haiku too!"
~~ Gloria Buono-Daly

If the embed video doesn't work, click this YouTube Video link:

Haiku - Winds in My Backyard

winds are a' blowing
trees, leaves, and all things going
up, down, round n' round

by Gloria Buono-Daly

Here are two more videos taken about 2 hours after the first video.

Winds have picked up heavier although the eye will not arrive until another few hours. Where are the wicked whitches? This is a so spooky just in time for Halloween and perfect weather for them to be flying on their broom sticks. This video was taken later at about 4:30 p.m.

If the embed video doesn't work, click this YouTube link:

Here's another take of winds in my backyard. Later on in the day today about 5:45 p.m. in Yonkers, NY. Notice the change -- Winds have picked up a lot, yet the eye of the storm still has not arrived and won't until another few hours or so.

If the embed video doesn't work, click this youTube link:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Macy’s celebrates another year: Happy 154th to Macy’s

“…He looked like something that had gotten loose from Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade …”
~~ Harpo Marx

(Nov. 23, 1888 – Sept. 28, 1964)American comedian, film star and second-oldest Marx brother

Obviously, the Marx Brothers shopped at Macy's. Did you know that 154 years ago today, October 28th in 1858 Macy's had the first day of business? Happy 154th to Macys!

One of the most popular department stores around is still described by many as being the “largest store in the world,” (however South Korea has a store 2X the size).

Macys has a history of traditions and culture including being featured in the 1947 movie "Miracle on 34th Street," sponsorship of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City since 1924, and also sponsoring New York City's annual Fourth of July fireworks display since 1976.

Founded by Rowland Hussey Macy between 1843 and 1855, four retail dry goods stores were opened, including the original Macy's store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts, (established in 1851) to serve the mill industry employees of the area.

All four Macy’s stores would fail, but Macy would learn from his mistakes.

He moved to New York City in 1858 and established a new store named "R.H. Macy Dry Goods" on Sixth Avenue between 13th and 14th Street.

He strategically positioned the location to be far north of where the other dry goods stores were at the time.

Born in Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, as a teenager, Macy worked on the whaling ship, the Emily Morgan.

While working on this ship, at the age of 15, Macy decided to get a red star tattooed on his hand. Little did anyone know that he would carry this star theme with him and incorporate it on all of Macy's emblems and logos.

Still touted as the most popular department store in the world, Macy's biggest asset is its brand.

The vision of Macy and his little red star tattoo on his hand as a 15 year old is a testament of how far imaginations and dreams can go. Below is a collage of some of the many Macy's logos and themes over the years that incorporate the star:

Other Resources
The Department Store Museum

Photos courtest of Wikimedia unless otherwise specified.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Duran Duran’s John Taylor ‘In the Pleasure Groove’ book launch in NYC

by Andrea Goldstein (Twitter@nydigitalmarket)
“I imagine he must have had quite the writer’s cramp after an earlier signing at a midtown Barnes & Noble!”
~~ Andrea Goldstein

On October 16th, I attended the US book launch for "In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran" by John Taylor (Twitter handle @thisistherealJT, #ITPG). The event was held at the Tribeca branch of the 92nd Street Y.

Once a pinup on millions of teenagers’ walls, John Taylor is now 52 years old, sober and happily married to the co-founder of Juicy Couture, Gela Nash. The road getting there wasn’t easy, as Mr. Taylor recounts in his autobiography, which saw its US release date on October 16th (the book has been out in his native UK for the past month).

As you might expect, the sold out audience was mostly women over the age of 35, who were “Duranies” growing up (I count myself as one of them). There were a few males in the audience, including one eager fan who left midway through the audience Q&A to secure his place as first in line for the post event book signing.

Glenda Bailey, Editor in Chief of Harpers’ Bazaar, served as moderator/interviewer. She was a perfect choice, since she and Mr. Taylor are both from the Midlands in England, are around the same age, and share a passion for fashion. Ms. Bailey asked questions ranging from why he wrote the book (his parents had both died in the past few years and he wanted to honor them somehow), to his discovery of glam and punk rock, drug use and one night stands with assorted women, and his recovery and current marriage.

I found Mr. Taylor to be quite frank, funny and charming throughout the hour plus interview and reading. His persona is one of a gawky, shy kid (as he describes in the book) married with the confidence and ego of a well-seasoned rock star. While there are some Youtube videos of him reading passages from the book, it was a treat to hear them read aloud in person. Mr. Taylor read excerpts including going to church with his mother as a boy (she was a devout Catholic), alcohol and drug addiction, then recovery and finally, a beautifully vivid description of Duran Duran’s moments before going on stage at Coachella in 2011.

The event was a benefit for a NYC based non-profit that Mr. Taylor supports called Road Recovery. Road Recovery provides programs for at-risk youth battling addictions and other adversities. Other high profile music industry veterans who support the organization are Sharon Osbourne, Tony Bennett and Slash.

Ten interesting tidbits ...

  • Princess Diana’s favorite band was Duran Duran and he met her during the Prince’s Trust Concert in 1985. When asked if he flirted with her, he first said no, but changed it to a maybe a little bit.
  • When asked why rock stars pair up with models, he responded with an answer that his band mate Simon LeBon would give: “Why does a dog lick his own balls? Because he can!”
  • When they toured the US in the 80s, their tour manager used to give a daily itinerary with city, the time for sound check and a number (18, 19, 20) to let him know what the age of consent was in that particular state.
  • Since his wife is a fashion designer, he said he never had the need to buy clothes when he was getting them for free. When her men’s line was discontinued, he had to re-learn how to go shopping!
  • When asked about former band mate Andy Taylor’s book, he was diplomatic saying that he was glad Andy wrote his book, but alluded to some bitterness between them when he said that ITPG was written when he was in a good place with his current band mates and “did not throw anyone under the bus.”
  • He had no further plans to act or go the solo route.
  • If he could relive one event in his life, it would be coming to NYC for the first time when they played the Ritz in 1981.
  • He joked about UK boy band One Direction, saying he would pat them on the head to welcome them into the music community
  • The hardest part of the book to write was about his addictions and his co-author Tom Sykes had to push him to dig deeper
  • He and his wife are fans of E’s Fashion Police

Although I did not stay for the signing, which apparently went on well into the evening; here are some pictures of Mr. Taylor signing for the many fans who waited online to meet their idol (courtesy of Duran Duran’s Facebook page). I imagine he must have had quite the writer’s cramp after an earlier signing at a midtown Barnes & Noble!

Andrea Goldstein (Twitter@nydigitalmarket) works for major publishers as a digital marketing consultant by day. While attending various NYC cultural and business events she also enjoys moonlighting as a writer."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tom Hanks recites slam poetry about sitcom “Full House” last night on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” show in NYC at Rockefeller Center

"Full House, house full of men ... Danny, Jesse, Joey, father, uncle, friend ... Uncle Jesse whose hair is never messy. Watch the hair hugh? Have Mercy on uncle Jesse. Three men raising 3 girls. Or are the girls raising them? Wake Up, San Francisco... No women in this full house, this house full of men ... This male dominated house. Cut it out!"
~~ Tom Hanks,
American actor, producer, writer, director, Oscar and Golden Globe awards recipient

Tom Hanks' visit last night to "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center in NYC was anything but the usual celebrity guest appearance to promote his latest, another Oscar-worthy film, “Cloud Atlas.”

Much more than a 3-minute recital, Hanks poetically performed slam poetry about "Full House," popular '90s sitcom that chronicles the life of a San Francisco widower who commissions his two buddies to help raise his three daughters.

Dressed in the usual “poetic black turtleneck,” Hanks poetics covered themes from famous episode about eldest daughter D.J. concert tickets to famous buzz words -- “Good Morning, San Francisco,” “Have mercy,” and “Cut it out!”

See what you missed by visiting this link: Tom Hanks performs slam poem about “Full House” on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”

Did you watch Hanks performance last night?

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Google celebrates Moby Dick with doodle: Happy 161st to Herman Melville’s classic

“Among Herman Melville books, "Moby Dick" had really crummy sales. Many reviewers at the time either ignored or insulted the novel. So why does everyone, including Google, revere "Moby Dick" today?”
~~ Google

Hard to believe, Herman Melville’s classic, "Moby Dick," was not well received 161 years ago (1851) by British reviewers and bombed big time. "Moby Dick" sold only 500 copies in the United Kingdom, compared to 6,700 for Melville's first book, "Typee."

According to The Christian Science Monitor“shortly after Melville's death in 1891, his publisher reprinted several of his novels, including "Moby Dick." These new editions excited New York's literary scene. Like long-smoldering embers, this underground movement kept Melville's name alive. Eventually, the flame spread. So much discussion surrounded "Moby Dick" that many people gave the book a second chance.”

Other Resources
The Christian Science Monitor, Herman Melville books: At first, 'Moby Dick' was a total flop

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Poetry Reading with Nobel Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Strand sheds pure delight: You should have been there

“There’s no confessions in my writing. I’m sure you know that already.”
~~ Mark Strand, October 10, 2012

Pulitzer Prize winner, Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress, American poet, essayist, and translator

On Wednesday, October 10th, a near full-house audience came to the Poetry Reading with Mark Strand event held at the Heimbold Visual Arts Center Donnelley Film Theatre of Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY. Strand read selections from his latest work, his second Pulitzer Prize winning book, Almost Invisible (2012).

As Strand read his works, there was an awe of silence around the theatre and there is something very special about Strand’s amazing presence and natural eloquence -- from tilting his head to his hands grasping the podium and even the way he moved his feet -- he is so genuine, kind and gorgeous.

The session was followed by an informative and inspirational Q&A where Strand answered about 2 dozen audience questions.

A wide range of questions were asked which lead to intriguing digressions ranging from the impact of the Surrealist movement and Fantastic art genre, and metaphoric and metonymic writing styles to sharing the one color he doesn't include on his palette and reading a quote from one of his favorite novels.

Below are worthy take-aways.

Q. How did you become a writer? What were the contributing factors?
A. I was never a reader. My parents were readers. One day we moved to South America and I was bored. My mother said “why don’t you write letters to your friends so they can write back to you.” I started doing that but I wanted it to be more than a letter.

Q. What attributes make you feel your poem is finished?
A. A poem that finally moves and I find it exhaustible. When you put it back on the psychic shelf and never go back to it.

Q. What’s your opinion of your individual art and how its worked into your other art?
A. My visual art cleanses my mind of verbal debris that seems to paralyze me at the end of the day. I could have claimed to be a visual artist or painter or collager. My friends who are do it all day long. My collages look like miniature abstract paints but I love doing it and it makes me happy and gives me a reason to wake up and get out of bed. One of my favorite novels is Dicken's David Copperfield. I urge you all to read David Copperfield. Strand then read an excerpt about Micawber, which is also included in the contents of his latest book Almost Invisible.
"Gentlemen," returned Mr. Micawber, "do with me as you will? I am a straw upon the surface of the deep, and am tossed in all directions by the elephants--I beg your pardon; I should have said the elements." --Charles Dickens.
Strand then added "that sort of thing intrigues me."

Q. How wide is your palette?
A. My collages don’t look like collages. I have a pretty wide palette. The only color I don’t use is blue because it’s associated with the sea and sky. What’s more important than the palette is the thickness of paper.

Q. How do you deal with place and the notion that the poet doesn’t know where the poem is going. When you write poetry what is the process?
A. I’m a writer of poetry and never show anyone until the work is done. Problem with workshops is that you have all this input. The words from all the decision making become muddy. You have to go it alone and trust your own idiosyncratic thoughts. Poetry is more important than that. Poetry is more about experiencing. It has to sound like something you are glad with, but be sure it’s not something that was written by someone else.

Q. In the 1998 Wallace Shawn interview ("Mark Strand, The Art of Poetry No. 77". The Paris Review). You mentioned people don’t read poetry on the internet. Even with the internet, why do you still write longhand?
A. With longhand, you’re slowing down the process. The internet is too close to print. People who compose on the screen respond visually and not auditory. Young poets can’t detect ear and natural cadence with visual contact. Writing becomes more physical aggressive and passive when writing longhand.

Q. Why did you give up writing?
A. I gave up writing because I ran out of gas. When I say it and it sounds familiar like I’ve already done that before. When you experience that you decide to do something new. The urge to write is not a conscious decision. There’s something else besides consciousness in mind. Something else is being satisfied – an unconscious motivation.

After the Q&A, Strand was available to autograph his books.
Born on Canada’s Prince Edward Island in 1934 and raised and educated in the United Sates and South America, Strand authored numerous books of poems including Man and Camel (Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), New Selected Poems (2007), Blizzard of One (Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), which also won the Pulitzer Prize; Dark Harbor (1993); The Continuous Life (1990); Selected Poems (1980); The Story of Our Lives (1973); and Reasons for Moving (1968). In addition to his poetry, Strand is also an editor, essayist, author of children’s books and translator. His honors include the Bolligen Prize, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Edgar Allen Poe Prize, and a Rockefeller Foundation Award, as well as fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the MacArthur Foundation and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. He is currently professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University (since 2005).

Strand’s academic career has taken him to numerous colleges and universities. Chronology below:

Teaching positions

► University of Iowa, Iowa City, instructor in English, 1962–1965
► University of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Fulbright lecturer, 1965–1966
► Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, assistant professor, 1967
► Columbia University, New York City, adjunct associate professor, 1969–1972
► Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, New York City, associate professor, 1970–1972
► Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Bain-Swiggett Lecturer, 1973
► Brandeis University, Hurst professor of poetry, 1974–1975
► University of Utah, Salt Lake City, professor of English, 1981–1993
► Johns Hopkins University, Elliot Coleman Professor of Poetry, 1994–c. 1998
► University of Chicago, Committee on Social Thought, 1998-c. 2005
► Columbia University, New York City, professor of English and Comparative Literature, c. 2005 - present

Visiting professor

► University of Washington, 1968, 1970
► Columbia University, 1980
► Yale University, 1969–1970
► University of Virginia, 1976, 1978
► California State University at Fresno, 1977
► University of California at Irvine, 1979
► Wesleyan University, 1979
► Harvard University, 1980

• 1964: Sleeping with One Eye Open, Stone Wall Press • 1968: Reasons for Moving: Poems, Atheneum • 1970: Darker: Poems, including "The New Poetry Handbook", Atheneum • 1973: The Story of Our Lives, Atheneum • 1973: The Sargentville Notebook, Burning Deck • 1978: Elegy for My Father, Windhover • 1978: The Late Hour, Atheneum • 1980: Selected Poems, including "Keeping Things Whole", Atheneum • 1990: The Continuous Life, Knopf • 1990: New Poems • 1991: The Monument, Ecco Press (see also The Monument, 1978, prose) • 1993: Dark Harbor: A Poem, long poem divided into 55 sections, Knopf • 1998: Blizzard of One: Poems, Knopf winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for poetry • 1999: Chicken, Shadow, Moon & More, with illustrations by the author • 1999: "89 Clouds" a single poem, monotypes by Wendy Mark and introduction by Thomas Hoving, ACA Galleries (New York) • 2006: Man and Camel, Knopf • 2007: New Selected Poems • 2012: Almost Invisible Prose • 1978: The Monument, Ecco (see also The Monument, 1991, poetry) • 1982: Contributor: Claims for Poetry, edited by Donald Hall, University of Michigan Press • 1982: The Planet of Lost Things, for children • 1983: The Art of the Real, art criticism, C. N. Potter • 1985: The Night Book, for children • 1985: Mr. and Mrs. Baby and Other Stories, short stories, Knopf • 1986: Rembrandt Takes a Walk, for children • 1987: William Bailey, art criticism, Abrams • 1993: Contributor: Within This Garden: Photographs by Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, Columbia College Chicago/Aperture Foundation • 1994: Hopper, art criticism, Ecco Press • 2000: The Weather of Words: Poetic Invention, Knopf • 2000: With Eavan Boland, The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms, Norton (New York) Poetry translations • 1971: 18 Poems from the Quechua, Halty Ferguson • 1973: The Owl's Insomnia, poems by Rafael Alberti, Atheneum • 1976: Souvenir of the Ancient World, poems by Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Antaeus Editions • 2002: Looking for Poetry: Poems by Carlos Drummond de Andrade and Rafael Alberti, with Songs from the Quechua • 1993: Contributor: "Canto IV", Dante's Inferno: Translations by Twenty Contemporary Poets edited by Daniel Halpern, Harper Perennial • 1986, according to one source, or 1987, according to another source: Traveling in the Family, poems by Carlos Drummond de Andrade, with Thomas Colchie; translator with Elizabeth Bishop, Colchie, and Gregory Rabassa) Random House Editor • 1968: The Contemporary American Poets, New American Library • 1970: New Poetry of Mexico, Dutton • 1976: Another Republic: Seventeen European and South American Writers, with Charles Simic, Ecco • 1991: The Best American Poetry 1991, Macmillan • 1994: Golden Ecco Anthology, Ecco Press • 1994: The Golden Ecco Anthology • 2005: 100 Great Poems of the Twentieth Century, W. W. Norton

► 1960–1961: Fulbright Fellowship
Source: (unless otherwise indicated). .

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