- Down to a sunless sea.
- So twice five miles of fertile groundWith walls and towers were girdled round:And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
- But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slantedDown the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !A savage place ! as holy and enchantedBy woman wailing for her demon-lover !And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,A mighty mountain momently was forced :Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and everIt flung up momently the sacred river.Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,Then reached the caverns measureless to man,And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
- The shadow of the dome of pleasureFloated midway on the waves ;Where was heard the mingled measureFrom the fountain and the caves.
- It was a miracle of rare device,A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!A damsel with a dulcimerIn a vision once I saw:
- That with music loud and long,I would build that dome in air,That sunny dome ! those caves of ice!And all who heard should see them there,And all should cry, Beware ! Beware!Weave a circle round him thrice,And close your eyes with holy dread,For he on honey-dew hath fed,And drunk the milk of Paradise.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
"Work began in 1873 and was completed in 1880. The new museum opened in 1881, although the move from the old museum was not fully completed until 1883.
Both the interiors and exteriors of the Waterhouse building make extensive use of terracotta tiles to resist the sooty climate of Victorian London, manufactured by the Tamworth-based company of Gibbs and Canning Limited. The tiles and bricks feature many relief sculptures of flora and fauna, with living and extinct species featured within the west and east wings respectively. This explicit separation was at the request of Owen, and has been seen as a statement of his contemporary rebuttal of Darwin's attempt to link present species with past through the theory of natural selection.
The central axis of the museum is aligned with the tower of Imperial College London (formerly the Imperial Institute) and the Royal Albert Hall and Albert Memorial further north. These all form part of the complex known colloquially as Albertopolis."
I saw my first Banksy the other day, at least I think I did. It was in Oxford City Centre and I know he has marauded around there before now to "decorate" the city streets. Obviously there are hundreds of copies and it is almost impossible to tell the difference if they are done well, but I just had a feeling that this one was genuine. It was a member of the 'Rat' collection and it was in a location that I am sure Banksy would have chosen. I don't think he would have missed this one, nor do I think a fraud would have discovered it instead. I could just visualise the hooded Banksy crouched down, casually making his mark down this crooked little alleyway. It wasn't hard to spot at all but you had to be lucky to see it. It was at an awkward angle to the direction people would be walking but clearly visible to anyone who takes a glance in the general direction.
Monday, 5 October 2009
I saw the other day that the US Army are proposing a new Ad Campaign focused on the threat of EIDs (Improvised Exploding Devices). They are now the number one threat to troops out in Afghanistan, killing 36 in the past month! That, to me, is a shocking statistic.
Konishi's work both disgusts and intrigues me...I don't know what to do when I see it. I find myself really enjoying his work, yet I cannot look at it for too long. Although this is only a small section of his work, his favoured subject matter is the naked female form and that is what initially grabbed my attention. Not because he creates realistic representations of breasts but that he finds it an appealing and successful basis for these works. I too, love to draw and sculpt the female form as it presents wonderful shape and tension, no matter what size the female is. His additional paint washes over the top make the pieces less mundane and realistic and, as a result, I personally think more successful (less weird).
The idea of being able to influence somebody without them consciously knowing is undoubtedly intriguing.
"The two most famous types of alleged subliminal messages are:
- Spoken messages which are recorded backward onto a track that is meant to be played forward, called backmasking
- Written messages which are quickly flashed during videos, sometimes called 25th frame"
"Used in advertising to create familiarity with new products, subliminal messages make familiarity into a preference for the new products. Johan Karremans suggests that subliminal messages have an effect when the messages are goal-relevant. Karremans did a study assessing whether subliminal priming of a brand name of a drink would affect a person’s choice of drink, and whether this effect is caused by the individual’s feelings of being thirsty.
His study sought to ascertain whether or not subliminally priming or preparing the participant with text or an image without being aware of it would make the partaker more familiar with the product. Half of his participants were subliminally primed with Lipton Ice ("Lipton Ice" was repeatedly flashed on a computer screen for 24 milliseconds), while the other half was primed with a control that did not consist of a brand. In his study he found that subliminally priming a brand name of a drink (Lipton Ice) made those who were thirsty want the Lipton Ice. Those who were not thirsty, however, were not influenced by the subliminal message since their goal was not to quench their thirst.
Subconscious stimulus by single words is well known to be modestly effective in changing human behavior or emotions. This is evident by a pictorial advertisement that portrays four different types of rum. The phrase "U Buy" was embedded somewhere, backwards in the picture. A study (Key, 1973) was done to test the effectiveness of the alcohol ad. Before the study, participants were able to try to identify any hidden message in the ad, none found any. In the end, the study showed 80% of the subjects unconsciously perceived the backward message, meaning they showed a preference for that particular rum. Though many things can be perceived from subliminal messages, only a couple words or a single image of unconscious signals can be internalized. As only a word or image can be effectively perceived, the simpler features of that image or word will cause a change in behavior (i.e., beef is related to hunger). This was demonstrated by Byrne in 1959. The word "beef" was flashed for several, five millisecond intervals during a sixteen-minute movie to experimental subjects, while nothing was flashed to controlled subjects. Neither the experimental nor controlled subjects reported for a higher preference for beef sandwiches when given a list of five different foods, but the experimental subjects did rate themselves as hungrier than the controlled subjects when given a survey. If the subjects were flashed a whole sentence, the words would not be perceived and no effect would be expected.
In 2007, to mark the 50th anniversary of James Vicary's original experiment, it was recreated at the International Brand Marketing Conference MARKA 2007. As part of the "Hypnosis, subconscious triggers and branding" presentation 1,400 delegates watched part the opening credits of the film PICNIC that was used in the original experiment. They were exposed to 30 subliminal cuts over a 90 second period. When asked to choose one of two brands 81% of the delegates picked the brand suggested by the subliminal cuts.
Studies in 2004 and 2006 showed that subliminal exposure to images of frightened faces or faces of people from another race will increase the activity of the amygdala in the brain and also increase skin conductance.
In 2007, it was shown that subliminal exposure to the Israeli flag had a moderating effect on the political opinions and voting behaviors of Israeli volunteers. This effect was not present when a jumbled picture of the flag was subliminally shown. "
Thursday, 1 October 2009
A film that needs no introduction. I felt this film for a while after having seen it. The plot from Stephen King is very moving and the acting from Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins is second-to-none. It is huge credit to King and the rest that it has finally been transported to the stage, in London's West End. I am yet to see it but I defintiely intend to.
"The choice of a shell as an emblem was not surprising, as it was the company name. Also, each of Samuel’s tankers carrying kerosene to the Far East had been named after a different seashell. But why specifically was the scallop or Pecten chosen as the company’s symbol in 1904? It was certainly not the simplest shape to reproduce in printed form.
There is some evidence that the Shell emblem was taken from his family coat of arms. The ‘St James’s Shell’ had been adopted by the Graham family after their ancestors made the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in Spain. Whatever its origins, the original design was a reasonably faithful reproduction of the Pecten or scallop shell.
The form of the Shell emblem has changed gradually over the years in line with trends in graphic design. The current emblem was created by the great designer Raymond Loewy and introduced in 1971. Thirty years on it stands the test of time as one of the world’s most recognised symbols."
Why red and yellow?
"The exact origins of the Shell red and yellow are hard to define. True, Samuel and Company first shipped kerosene to the Far East in tin containers painted red. But the link, once again, could be with Spain.
In 1915, when the Shell Company of California first built service stations, they had to compete against other companies. Bright colours were the solution, but colours that would not offend the Californians. Because of the state’s strong Spanish connections, the red and yellow of Spain were chosen.
As with the Pecten, the actual colours have been modified over the years, most notably in 1995 when a bright, fresh and very consumer friendly new Shell Red and Shell Yellow were introduced to launch Shell’s new retail visual identity. The Shell emblem - or Pecten - remains one of the greatest brand symbols in the 21st Century."
Santa Maria del Fiore, better known as the Duomo, is one of the most magnificent constructions I have visited. Built in the early 13th Century, the vast dome defies so many "architectural rules of thumb" and now stands as the largest masonry dome in the world. The view it offers over Florence is fantastic too.