CARTOON: Garfield & Simon

PhotobucketGarfield reminds us of our cat called Simon:
Photobucket
and here is what I wrote about Simon some while back:
Simon is absolutely so not simple, no matter what the rhyme tries to convey to the contrary!! He would make a first class security personnel where the concerns for the high safety and security would be of utmost importance!

He is a heady mixture of these well-known characters:
  1. Garfield -the same gingery good looks and the equal sassiness of character
  2. Kramer in the Seinfield – the skidding as he barges in like Kramer
  3. Cato – the Korean (?!) servant of the Inspector Clouseau – the total unpredictability in attacking.
There is never a dull moment with Simon around! He really is an one cat-show that runs non-stop with hardly any commercials for a break in-between! Aaahhh…”
How does the cat get its own way? With friendly purr-suasion.
Tis for now. Rii
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HOLOCAUST Memorial Day 27.1.


The photo is part of The Names at the Yad Vashem* Museum in Jerusalem by me.

January 27, aka today is the annual official day for the remembrance of the victims of the Nazi-era worldwide and here is the what the UN has decreed on the same:

“International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27) is an annual international day of remembrance designated by an official resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on November 1, 2005.

The resolution urges every member nation to honor the memory of Holocaust victims and encourages the development of educational programs about Holocaust history as part of the resolve to help prevent future acts of genocide.

“There can be no reversing the unique tragedy of the Holocaust. It must be remembered, with shame and horror, for as long as human memory continues. Only by remembering can we pay fitting tribute to the victims. Millions of innocent Jews and members of other minorities were murdered in the most barbarous ways imaginable. We must never forget those men, women and children, or their agony.” — United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, January 27, 2006. (Wikipedia)

I was wondering as to ’why’ this day of January 27, until I realized that this is the day that the Soviets entered/liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps in 1945 where some 1,1 to 1,6 million people perished; 90 per cent of them Jews. My dad visited these camps about five to ten years later after the events and his comments were ‘that it still did smell very nauseatingly of burned flesh’ – amazing when one thinks of the time-lapse. He also had black and white photographs of the ovens, the barracks, the imposing entrance at Birkenau and generally of the camps. I did find these pictures very haunting to look at, by the way.

A further quote off Wikipedia:

“…about three-quarters of the total, went to the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau within a few hours; they included all children, all women with children, all the elderly, and all those who appeared on brief and superficial inspection by an SS doctor not to be fully fit.In the Auschwitz Birkenau camp more than 20,000 people could be gassed and cremated each day. At Birkenau, the Nazis used a cyanide gas produced from Zyklon B pellets, which were manufactured by two companies who had acquired licensing rights to the patent held by IG Farben….
At the Auschwitz complex 405,000 prisoners were recorded as slaves between 1940 and 1945. Of these about 340,000 perished through executions, beatings, starvation, and sickness. Some prisoners survived through the help of German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved about 1,100 Polish Jews by diverting them from Auschwitz to work for him, first in his factory near Kraków and later at a factory in what is now the Czech Republic.”

In my entry on Amsterdam some time back, I mentioned that I visited the Anne Frank House Museum and this is what I said then: ”The horror of the Nazi era came alive in the Anne Frank House where we spent hours looking, thinking and going from room to room in the Annex as it still looks like it was when the people and Anne herself were hiding in there. The bookshelf – so familiar from the book of Anne’s, ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ – is still there…”

In Israel, the day for the Holocaust Remembrance, Yom HaShoah, is in the spring which I have witnessed there myself for a few times; the Wikipedia puts it like this:

“On the eve of Yom HaShoah in Israel, there is a state ceremony at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Authority. At 10:00am on Yom HaShoah, throughout Israel, air-raid sirens are sounded for two minutes. Public transport (including virtually all highway vehicles) comes to a standstill for this period, and people stop and stand silent. During Yom HaShoah, public entertainment and many public establishments in Israel are closed by law. Israeli television and radio channels broadcast mourning songs and documentaries about the Holocaust, without commercials. All flags on public buildings are flown at half mast.

Also during this day, tens of thousands of Israeli high-school students, and thousands of Jews from around the world, hold a memorial service in Auschwitz, in what became known as “The March of the Living“, in defiance of the Holocaust Death Marches.”

Additional information: Oliver Lustig’s Presentation of Historic Holocaust Photograps @ I Survived.org/ Holocaust Remembrance Network.

Tis for now. Riihele xx

Holocaust; the literal meaning of the word is: Completely burnt.
The Holocaust
(from the Greek ὁλόκαυστον (holókauston): holos, “completely” and kaustos, “burnt”).

* YAD VASHEM: The origin of the name is from a Biblical verse:

“And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name … that shall not be cut off.” (Isaiah, chapter 56, verse 5) In Hebrew, “a memorial and a name” translates as yad va-shem. A literal translation would be “hand and name.” (Wikipedia)

(Re-entry.)

Knitting or Stitch ‘n Bitch

“Those of you who feel knitting has changed your life, welcome to the club. I can think of no better occupation to reveal your own creativity.”

Kaffe Fassett

Wikipedia defines knitting as “a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth. Knitting consists of loops called stitches pulled through each other. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can be passed through them.”

We had to learn knitting at schools in Finland from very early ages it being compulsory; I do have to admit that my ’products’ at that time were the most sorry sights ever! Really. What I managed to produce after much sweat ’n toil was one mitten, one sock instead of pairs of the same as required, a whirly-twirly scarf that looked like waves, and so on; you get the picture, for I absolutely disliked handicrafts then. That we had a sour teacher on the subject who did not like me, did not help either, it must be said.

Then years later I moved to Sweden where the girls were very partial to knitting and sewing — surprise, surprise!! as the reputation of the Swedish females would bring to one’s mind something totally different interests, eh?! — I learned to love the knitting, sewing et al. And from then on I have been doing my own patterns and whatnot, I absolutely love knitting nowadays.

Ireland, had I in my mind’s eye painted as, THE land of great yarns with the numbers of sheep the land has grazing in the fields, but when I reached the shores of the Emerald Isle, the selection was minuscule and pitiful to the ultimate as far as a variety of yarn was concerned. Sure, the meat of the mutton et al was and is ab fab over there, but as I said…The Irish, of course, are spectacularly gifted at spinning the verbal yarn, that is well-known world over.

It is funny as in ha-ha! to see that when the males want to ‘beat’ the women in females’ own games aka in cooking, etc., and even knitting — even though, Ezer Weizman said this: ‘Honey, have you ever seen a man knitting socks? ’ — they quickly become super celebrities as is Kaffe Fassett. What a brilliant name for kaffe in Swedish means coffee, by the way, and the beverage of choice in knitting sessions many a time. Here is what I found about KF on the net:

”Kaffe Fassett is known as the U.K’s King of Colour and Design – for interior and garden decoration, needlepoint, knitting and mosaic designs; also for his award-winning 1998 Chelsea Flower Show garden. Now he is designing sets and costumes for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His books include magnificent examples of tapestry, knitwear, painting, patchwork, fabrics and the latest mosaics, but the emphasis has to be on his original and daring use of colour.
Born in San Francisco, Kaffe Fassett’s earliest influences were the beauty and colour of his mother’s garden. In 1964 he moved to England and gardens are still what he loves most.” (Radio National Australia)

Great chefs carry their sets of knives, able artists carry their brush sets, and serious knitters have their knitting needle cases!

Stitch ‘n Bitch is a brilliant book of 258 pages on all things as per title; seriously, it seems like a handy guide to everybody who wants to have a fun and comprehensive reference on this grand pastime.

This is an absolutely hysterically funny video about knitting made by sharp-witted Finns:

”No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love.”
Edvard Munch

Tis for now, Rii — who finds that knitting eases the frazzled nerves very much indeed!!

Fabulously in-vogue pages of knitting et al on Vogue online:
http://www.vogueknitting.com/vkm/?q=node/79
http://www.vogueknitting.com/vkm/

Victoria and Albert Museum great links:
http://www.vam.ac.uk/index.html

Other handy links:
http://www.knittinghelp.com/
http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/learn-to-knit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knitting

PICTURE PERFECT: CONTRAST


This week’s theme on

PICTURE PERFECT
is

CONTRAST

I call this picture:

FIRE & ICE!

The FLAMING HOT FIRE of the orange rising sun in the photo looks like a fireball had burst on the scene, and the contrasting extreme cold and frost on the branches and on the ground look so chill-into-your-bones ICY C-O-L-D. Brrr….

Day Breaking over the River

It was an extremely cold day, as it was minus 36*C or thereabouts, when I took this shot of FIRE & ICE and a selection of other similar photos in Finland in February 2007. Some of the photos were taken in the morning of that day when the sun was rising, and the others slightly later in the afternoon as the sun was setting. There is a collection of these photos in this link.

Tis for now, Rii

© All photos Riihele. All rights reserved

Riverdance on Ice

This is a Canadian couple Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz*
dancing the RIVERDANCE in the Olympics in Nagano (Japan) in 1998.

I suppose I am homesick for Ireland…

Tis for now, Rii 

* He is married to a Finnish ice dancer since 2004 according to Wikipedia.

HUMOUR: Pickled Onions

Some while back Noizy had a photo of an Irish pub in Maine in his blog on 360 and the name of the establishment was:

The Pickled Onion!

My comment was this:

HEEEH!! lol

I think that the onion is not the only one that is getting pickled in that establishment!!

Tis for now, Rii

European Commission announced that the list of products and services to which Regional Indications apply will be updated on January 1st 2008. New items on the list will be Irish pubs (Ireland), saltibarsciai (Lithuania), Koksksu (Malta), Kiselo mljak (Bulgaria)

“Also the protection of the Geographical Indication of Irish pubs is an important step towards including cultural expressions in the GI Regime. Geographical Indications have proven themselves to be very effective in protecting products ranging from Cheese to Wine and Sausages. We hope to be equally effective in protection authentic European cultural expressions. Next year we hope to include such diverse cultural phenomena as the Sirtaki dances from Greece, Latvian folk stories known as Dainas and Finnish smoke saunas, known as Savusaunas.” (Jean-Claude Hulot, Chairman of the Committee for Regional Indications)

A geographical indication (such as “Roquefort”) testifies to the link between a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of a product, a service or a cultural expression and its geographical origin. There are approximately 700 GIs registered under the Regulation today.

http://www.eucgi.eu/?page=press&article=13467

PICTURE PERFECT: A Song Title

The theme this week on
PICTURE PERFECT

is
A SONG TITLE

This RHAPSODY in BLUE is my contribution. The photo was taken during the holidays in December in the Finnish countryside. This title came to me while looking at the photo; for to me, everything is dancing: the falling snowflakes, the lights on the pier and even the trees are swaying….

Rhapsody in Blue
Rhapsody in Blue is a musical composition by George Gershwin for solo piano and jazz band written in 1924, which combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects. The composition was orchestrated by Ferde Grofé three times, in 1924, in 1926, and finally in 1942. The piece received its premiere in a concert entitled An Experiment in Modern Music, which was held on 12 February 1924, in Aeolian Hall, New York, by Paul Whiteman and his band with Gershwin playing the piano. The version for piano and symphony, orchestrated by Ferde Grofé in 1942, has become one of the most popular American concert works.
Gershwin hastily set about composing a piece, and on the train journey to Boston, the ideas of Rhapsody in Blue came to his mind. He told his first biographer Isaac Goldberg in 1931:
“It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattle-ty bang, that is so often so stimulating to a composer – I frequently hear music in the very heart of the noise… And there I suddenly heard, and even saw on paper – the complete construction of the Rhapsody, from beginning to end. No new themes came to me, but I worked on the thematic material already in my mind and tried to conceive the composition as a whole. I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our blues, our metropolitan madness. By the time I reached Boston I had a definite plot of the piece, as distinguished from its actual substance.” (Wikipedia)

All of the themes rely on the blues scale, which includes lowered sevenths and a mixture of major and minor thirds. Each theme appears both in orchestrated form and as a piano solo. There are considerable differences in the style of presentation of each them.

Tis for now, Rii

© All photos Riihele. All rights reserved

Here is the bonus: