Photographer Krista Long took a bunch of high-speed photographs at a water park, and called the series I Love Summer. See the whole project here. It's wonderful fun.
And, if you need some good short reads for your long weekend, here are a few articles I really enjoyed this week:
A first-time skydiver lives to tell the tale of a jump gone wrong and the hero instructor who saved her. (Sports Illustrated)
Surviving 12 hours alone in the North Atlantic. (The New York Times)
Amy Boesky simultaneously worked on a PhD at Oxford and ghostwrote the Sweet Valley High series. (Kenyon Review)
Here's to summer and to hijinks.
A new poster for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo?
The Real Story: descent into the deepest known cave in the world, the Krubera Cave in the Ghagra mountain range in Abkhazia, Georgia.
So, the World Cup is happening. And I really don't think it would be possible for me to care less about it. I know, I know. In this age of major diaspora, I think I might be the only person in Toronto who doesn't care at all. I won't be hanging out at the bars to watch matches (or at the grocery store, for that matter--the Loblaw's mecca at Maple Leaf Gardens that I shop at has a big screen set up for those in the neighbourhood who prefer to do their shopping and footie watching at the same place), I'm not wearing the jersey or flying the flag of an ancestral or adopted country, and other than Ronaldo, (who has been everywhere lately) I couldn't name you another player on any team attending.
And yet, there are stories in this particular land of sport. This one is from World Cup 1982. Look at this guy's face: he is scared. Apparently, this West German player, Uli Stielike just missed a rather critical penalty kick. He is right in the midst of a huge moment of his life. What a great short story this would make ... if I knew anything at all about football.
Also, World Pride is here now! Yeah for middle-of-the-night dance parties and Chaka Khan impersonators and totally equal rights for all people.
In honour of Maya Angelou:
Also, in her honour, I wanted to talk about beautiful titles for books, because the title of her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, has long been one of my favourites.
Titles are tricky things, especially these days, with so much attention paid to the supposed science of marketing. In many cases, choosing the title of an author's work is a decision made by committee (editors, marketing experts, author input), rather than something the author comes up with on their own. Usually, the book has to be finished before a title can be chosen. All the thematic cards have to be on the table. Fathom Lines was called The Depths for a long time, until I realized the stories were more about the charting of those depths rather than the metaphorical deep waters themselves.
So, I have no idea how these titles came to be, but congratulations to whoever is responsible for putting these particular words together:
I could keep going with this list for a long time, but what about you? What are your favourites?
There's been a lot of discussion in the last few days about gender equality, thanks to the craziness that is happening at the New York Times, so when I came across this beautiful photograph, I thought it and the story behind it were a good fit this week. Way to go Ashol Pan!
We don't need to look to other planets to see whole new worlds. Photographer Vyachesla Mischenko helps us see some of them.
And, in honour of mothers everywhere, one of my favourite poems about them, The Lanyard, by American poet Billy Collins:
The other day I was ricocheting slowly
Ah, the good old days, when even the snake wranglers wore suits and ties.
The setting for your next post-apocolyptic novel?
The real story: New York City subway tunnels under construction.
Probably not your average day at work for these two guys ...
Filming the roar of the MGM Lion, 1929.
Today, I ask you ... what could you make with just your mouth, a few claw-like fingers and spit? I'm guessing it won't be this marvelous or this functional.
"The nest and eggs specimens, collected over the last two centuries, were photographed at The California Academy of Sciences, The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. While few nests are collected today, these nests and eggs are used for research, providing important information about their builder’s habitats, DNA, diseases and other survival issues." --from photographer Sharon Beals
"At once the lost boys—but where are they? They are no longer there. Rabbits could not have disappeared more quickly. I will tell you where they are. With the exception of Nibs, who has darted away to reconnoitre, they are already in their home under the ground, a very delightful residence of which we shall see a good deal presently. But how have they reached it? for there is no entrance to be seen, not so much as a large stone, which if rolled away, would disclose the mouth of a cave. Look closely, however, and you may note that there are here seven large trees, each with a hole in its hollow trunk as large as a boy."
The Real Story: The photographer, Tsuneaki Hiramatsu, took multiple long exposure shots of fireflies and merged the images to show the flight paths. Magical and real.
You may not be blown away by today's photo. A gull is something we see all the time, mostly in less-than-glamourous circumstances: circling garbage at the dump, swooping to catch fish entrails flung from boats, patrolling parking lots, crapping on everything in sight. But still, when I found this photo earlier in the week, a solitary gull on the wing, I knew I would use it today.
I love gulls. Certainly it has something to do with Joni Mitchell's Song to a Seagull. "Fly silly seabird, no dreams can possess you, no voices can blame you, for sun on your wings ... " (Let's face it, J.M. could probably make me like root canal if she sang about it) But also, to me, gulls are one of the first harbingers of spring. In Toronto, their call goes up early, in the shift from winter to spring, when there's still grungy snow on the ground but the sun is coming back around. Today, there is sun. (Never mind how much snow is still on the ground.) Perhaps I will hear you, silly seabird.
Pixie Dream Home. Also, where are you Spring? We need you.
The real story: Teahouse Tetsu, designed by Terunobu Fujimori for the Kiyoharu Shirakaba Museum in Japan.
Not a good job for the depressed, or the weak of bladder ...
The real story: Construction of the American airship, USS Macon, which was christened in 1933, but sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean just two years later.
Erin Bedford, writer.