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<<July 2016>>
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1. What Can I Be? by Ann Rand & Ingrid Fiksdahl King

Holding What Can I Be? in my hands after reading it, I felt like I had just walked through a gallery at a modern art museum. I knew that there had to be a story behind this book, which was published this year by Princeton Architectural Press, but feels much older. The premise of What Can I Be?which was written by Ann Rand and illustrated by painter and architecture professor Ingrid Fiksdahl King, coauthor of A Pattern Language, one of the most influential books on architecture and planning, is simple, suggestive and playful, presenting readers with a shape and asking what could it be, then encouraging readers to imagine what else that shape could be. Reading this article at the marvelous Brain Pickings, I learned the story behind What Can I Be?

In the 1950s Ann Rand and her husband at the time collaborated on three picture books that are still in print. Her husband, Paul Rand went on to be a legend in the graphic design world, creating many of the corporate logos that are still in use today. Like Fiksdahl King, Ann Rand was an architect and trained under Mies van der Rohe. In the 1970s the two created What Can I Be? but it did not reach publication for forty years. It is always fascinating to me when creative people from different disciplines make picture books, and when it is successful, the results stand out on the shelves, and What Can I Be? is definitely successful.

What could be green and shaped like a triangle? "a Christmas tree / the sail of a boat / a tent / or maybe a kite flying high in a windblown sky." While concept books are, by their very nature, simplistic, Rand and Fiksdahl King add layers of complexity, especially in the illustrations, but also in the text, using words like "splendid," "ruffled" and "windblown." What Can I Be? will definitely appeal to parents with a background in in art, design and architecture, but I believe it will also truly inspire little listeners who will want to hear it read over and over.

Books by Ann & Paul Rand

Source: Review Copy

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2. From the archives: the top 5 movie scenes set in libraries

Paul Feig’s Ghostbuster’s remake has made waves on both sides of the Atlantic. As the original 1984 film set some significant action in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library, we couldn’t help but indulge in a rifle through the archives of cinematic tributes to libraries.

The post From the archives: the top 5 movie scenes set in libraries appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. Etymology gleanings for July 2016

As I have observed in the past, the best way for me to make sure that I have an audience is to say something deemed prejudicial or wrong. Then one or more readers will break their silence, and I’ll get the recognition I deserve (that is, my comeuppance).

The post Etymology gleanings for July 2016 appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Just Been To See... Star Trek: Beyond

Well, I had to go at some stage, didn't I? I have loved Star Trek since discovering it in my teens. The original cast are either old or have passed away. So it has been wonderful seeing the new young cast who have grown into their roles over the last three movies.

A friend at work suggested we should go together. Weekends are difficult for me nowadays - family commitments on Saturday and some of Sunday, plus Sunday is the only day I can clean the house and make sure my classes are ready for next day. 

We went, instead, after work to the cinema complex nearest the school. We had something to eat beforehand - in my case just scone and tea, in hers a sandwich - and, on an impulse, decided to go Gold Class - small cinema and you get to have ordered food and drink brought to you as you loll in a comfy chair. I keep Gold Class for special films, but it was my friend's first time. She was delighted. We both ordered gourmet pecan pie-flavoured popcorn and mineral water, but we could have ordered a meal or even cocktails if we'd chosen. To be honest, the popcorn was nice, but not worth what we paid for it. Next time I'll have something more substantial. 

The movie was very enjoyable. I couldn't help noticing that the Enterprise was destroyed AGAIN in the third film of the series, as in The Search For Spock. Not a spoiler, as it happens about ten or fifteen minutes into the movie and the characters have a lot on their plates as the film goes on. I must admit, I found the villain's motivation a bit hard to swallow, as was the reveal about his background, but it was a fast-moving action piece and what I loved best about it was the build-up of our heroes. 

Spock and McCoy have their familiar relationship that we all know and love. Kirk has begun to do that quirky little smile at the corners of his mouth and his personality has also begun to be the familiar  cheeky Kirk not-a-boy-scout one. At the same time, he does the usual Kirk lecture to the villain. Oh, yes, this young man may not look like Bill Shatner, but the script is right and he is getting the mannerisms right too. 

Zachary Quinto's Spock voice is beginning to sound a lot like Leonard Nimoy's, while Karl Urban has been McCoy from the very beginning. I believe DeForest Kelley would have been delighted with him - and with the way the character is drawn, from sharing a (stolen from Chekhov)Scotch with Kirk early in the film to protesting, "I'm a doctor, not a..." as he's whisked off on an away mission he really doesn't want. 

The music was good, by Michael Giacchino, a composer who has done the scores for several movies I enjoyed, including the new Trek movies and Up. There was, of course, the Alexander Courage theme at the end. I'm into film music in a big way and have always been. My brother and I used to collect and share the recordings of our favourite films when we were both living at home. I guess I'll have to keep an eye out for the score to this one.

There was a tribute at the end to the two cast members who have gone since the last film was made. Leonard Nimoy' of course, but it was rather sad to see the young Anton Yelchin as Chekhov and know he would never be back. I believe they have decided not to re-cast the character. 

Chekhov did get to do his line about Scotch having been invented by a little old lady(from Leningrad in the original, in Russia here).

Here's a Creative Commons picture of him I found on Wikipedia. 

Sleep well, Anton! 

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5. How to Write a Poem


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6. जिंदगी का सच -ऑडियो

Click करिए और सुनिए 1 मिनट और 58 सैंकिड की audio …  जिंदगी का सच -ऑडियो जरा सोचिए .हम अपनी जिंदगी में किसको महत्व देते हैं घर परिवार, दोस्त हमारा जोश या सिर्फ काम को, अपनी नौकरी को … क्या जरुरी है और क्या नही जानना चाहते हैं तो क्लिक कीजिए और सुनिए. जिंदगी का सच […]

The post जिंदगी का सच -ऑडियो appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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7. makebardo


makebardo is a design studio based in Queenstown, New Zealand that specializes in packaging design, brand strategy, signage systems, and wayfinding. The studio highly values minimal design and its power to be memorable and recognizable, as seen in their work for Cargo Brewery. To differentiate Cargo from other premium breweries, the studio aspired to design a branding and packaging system that is as clean and pure as the water that is used to make the beer.





Also worth viewing:

Christina Magnussen AKA Gala
Deanna Halsall
Lo Siento

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8. NEW WORK - jennifer orkin lewis

Today we are lucky enough to see some brand new artwork from artist Jennifer Orkin Lewis. They form part of a collection of fresh work that uses dark backgrounds, and can be seen on Jennifer's Instagram page August Wren where she shares all of her sketchbook paintings. She is represented by Jennifer Nelson Artists and these works and more will be available for licensing. In September Jennifer

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9. XJK

Our little man is here! XJK arrived safely last Tuesday. Both baby and Mom are both doing great! As are the big sisters. We are all just floating. 
I'll largely be off social media, but will likely keep posting daily sketches over at Instagram.com/StudioJJK.

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10. GIFT WRAP - khristian a howell

Khristian A Howell worked as a designer at Nordstrum when she first began reading Print & Pattern before going freelance and creating her own design studio and label. Khristian's latest designs are a new collection of sophisticated wrapping papers featuring dark florals and chic geometrics. Khristian also sells art prints, cards, jotter notebooks and more online here.

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11. Lafayette and the French Alliance: TV Interview Part #6

Here's another bit from the interview I did with Kevin Avard on "Gate City Chronicles." Here the topic is Lafayette's crucial role in keeping the French Alliance going! (If you can't see the video on your mobile device, go here.) What I didn't get around to saying was that he also went back to France during the Revolution to help get more support. When he sailed back to America in L'Hermione in 1680, he brought the news that French troops and ships were on the way!

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12. STATIONERY - thegoodviv

These notebooks are new designs Vivian Kvitka of TheGoodVIV. Vivian is a surface pattern designer by trade and these mark her first line of branded stationery. As seen online here.

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13. Bocetos

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14. Book Characters Blooming at Hollins

A treat here at Hollins University every summer is how children's book characters pop up everywhere. It's the invention of Ashley Wolff (one of our faculty), and she keeps making new ones, so you never know who you might run into. Like...




Miss Rumphius

and more - like Tinkerbell, Pippi Longstocking, Minna, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, etc...! Clifford gives you the full idea of how these fit into the beautiful landscape here at Hollins. He has a prime position on the quad:

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15. Celebrating 25 Books Over 25 Years: Reflection with Matthew Gollub

Lee_Low_25th_Anniversary_Poster_2_Guest BloggerLast week we wrote about the enduring impact of Cool Melons–Turn to Frogs! The Life and Poems of Issa and today we bring you reflections from the award-winning author Matthew Gollub

“Looking back on this book’s remarkable journey, I remember my frustration with publishers early on. My previous publisher had declared as “lovely” the poems that the artist Kazuko Stone and I had presented. But, they believed, haiku were too abstract for most American children to grasp. This made us all the more grateful to Lee & Low, and the editor Liz Szabla, for sharing our intuition that the translated poems would in fact resonate, especially when interspersed in a story about the poet’s life.

Now, having spoken at over 1,000 schools, I’ve been greeted with countless wall displays and “welcome” folders of haiku. It is an honor to have worked on a book that has inspired such an outpouring of original children’s poetry and drawings.

Last summer, while traveling in Japan, I had the further honor of meeting the noted translator Akiko Waki. She had translated, then lobbied her publisher Iwanami Shoten, to issue a Japanese edition of “Cool Melons.” Ms. Waki and her husband graciously invited my college-age son and me to their home. The Japanese version also had been well-received and widely collected by libraries, so it felt even more celebratory to meet the translator in person. Over dinner, she described how daunting it would have been for a Japanese writer to translate centuries old haiku. That, she pointed out, was a job better suited to a Japanese speaking foreigner less encumbered by the weight of Japan’s literary tradition. Better suited also to an innovative publisher like Lee & Low!”–Matthew Gollub

About Cool Melons–Turn to Frogs! The Life and Poems of Issa:

This award-winning book is an introduction to haiku poetry and the life of Issa (b. 1763), Japan’s premier haiku poet, told through narrative, art, and translation of Issa’s most beloved poems for children.

Author Matthew Gollub’s poignant rendering of Issa’s life and over thirty of his best-loved poems, along with illustrator Kazuko Stone’s sensitive and humorous watercolor paintings, make Cool Melons—Turn to Frogs! a classic introduction to Issa’s work for readers of all ages. With authentic Japanese calligraphy, a detailed Afterword, and exhaustive research by both author and illustrator, this is also an inspirational book about haiku, writing, nature, and life.

cool melonsFor further reading:

Matthew Gollub is an award-winning children’s author who combines dynamic storytelling, interactive drumming, and valuable reading and writing tips. What’s more, he does this while speaking four languages: English, Spanish, Japanese and jazz! He helps families re-discover the joy of reading to children aloud for FUN. Find him online at matthewgollub.com.


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16. Wings of Fire Would You Rather

Wings of Fire Escaping PerilFive dragon eggs are stolen away and hatched in secret, raised to one day fulfill an ancient prophecy and end the war. The Wings of Fire series follows these dragons as teenagers. It’s not just full of fighting and fantasy and fate (although there’s plenty of that!) but also dragon bullies, lovable nerds, crushes, and funny personalities.

Whether you’ve been a fan forever or are just getting interested, test your fate with the Wings of Fire Would You Rather.

Would You Rather . . .

1. Breathe fire like a Nightwing OR deadly, freezing air like a Skywing?

2. Be attacked by an enchanted statue OR locked in an underwater prison?

3. Dream about food like Clay OR read minds like Moonwatcher?

4. Have your mouth bound shut so you can’t spit out your poisonous venom OR have your touch be made of fire?

5. Be raised as a killer (like Peril) OR be raised with the pressure of fulfilling a prophecy to save the world?

6. Live in an underwater kingdom OR rainforest kingdom?

7. Baby dragons OR baby dinosaurs?

Hatch your answers in the Comments below, and let us know if you love the Wings of Fire series too!


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17. Paraphernalia

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18. Around the world in spices and herbs

On supermarket shelves, we are given a mind-numbing array of choices to select from. Shall we have some peppercorns on our macaroni, some cinnamon for baking, or a bit of rosemary with roast pork? Five hundred years ago, however, cooking with herbs and spices was a much simpler choice.

The post Around the world in spices and herbs appeared first on OUPblog.

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19. Way Back Wednesday Essential Classic: Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall

[There is a video that cannot be displayed in this feed. Visit the blog entry to see the video.]

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20. Critics Say ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is “Charmed”

The first official reviews for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are in, and it’s clear that audiences have been bewitched by the latest installment in the Potter story.


Five-star reviews have been flooding twitter all day–many accompanied by brand new pictures from the play showcasing impeccable set design, costuming, and a closer look at the characters we know and love (as well as a few characters we look forward to getting to know!).    




If these rave reviews–and countless others found on J.K Rowling’s twitter and the official Pottermore and Cursed Child twitter accounts–are any indication, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child does indeed live up to the hype and the Potter magic lives on through a new generation.

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21. POISONED BLADE by Kate Elliott \\ Further Expands The Court of Fives Universe..

Review by Kaitlin... POISONED BLADE By Kate Elliott Series: Court of Fives #2 Hardcover: 418 pages Publisher: Little, Brown (August 16, 2016) Age Range: 12-17 years Grade Level: 7 up Language: English Goodreads | Amazon In this thrilling sequel to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's captivating young adult debut, a girl immersed in high-stakes competition holds the fate of

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22. World Record Broken For Fastest Drawing of Fred Flintstone

Can you beat 18.7 seconds?

The post World Record Broken For Fastest Drawing of Fred Flintstone appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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23. Pajarillos


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24. From ‘conforming stores’ to digital first – the changing world of retail

I was in a taxi in Hong Kong several years ago, stuck in traffic in the pouring rain. I said to my Hong Kong-based colleague how notable it seemed that all the apartment buildings looked exactly the same. “Cheaper that way isn’t it?” was his response, “Just design one then put up 50. Obvious really.”

The post From ‘conforming stores’ to digital first – the changing world of retail appeared first on OUPblog.

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25. चुनाव – नेता और कमर कसना

                                     चुनाव – नेता और कमर कसना चुनाव – नेता और कमर कसना कमर कसने का सच.. चुनाव आने वाले है भारतीय जनता पार्टी, आप पार्टी, कांंग्रेस पार्टी सहित अन्य पार्टिया तैयार हैं आरोप प्रत्यारोप, पैराशूट उम्मीदवार और […]

The post चुनाव – नेता और कमर कसना appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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