Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A bit of random ridiculousness...

Is it wrong to be on the treadmill [2 miles and using arms weights as well], drinking water to stay rehydrated, and eating a couple of red vines [do this when I'm editing and plotting]?

I don't think so - but then again, I did it and think I might have crossed some line, pushing me in to the sick and wrong category.

And, don't forget to check out my challenge to blog for a here, comment and maybe win!

Thursday 13 - #17!

Recently I read a book called "Museum of the Missing" by Simon Houpt. It discussed the history of art theft. Yup, very interesting and so I thought I'd showcase 13 pieces that have been reported as stolen and are still missing.


Henri Matisse - Luxembourg Gardens
Missing since February 24, 2006
Chacara do Ceu Museum, Rio de Janerio, Brazel
Est. current value: unknown


Henry Moore - Reclining Figure
Missing since December 15, 2005
Henry Moore Foundation, Much Hadham, Herfordshire, England
Est. current value: $5.2 million
This sculpture is 11 foot in length and weight 2 tons. Thieves were seen on closed circuit tv, driving up in a Mini Cooper [oh good lord] and a stolen flatbed truck fitted with a crane. The fear is that it's been melted down by a scrap metal dealer.


Unknown - The Lion of Nimrud
Missing since April 2003
Iraq National Museum, Baghdad, Iraq
Est. current value: priceless
One of 14,000 objects looted immediately following the US invasion of Baghdad. To date, about 5000 pieces have been located.


Vincent Van Gogh - View of the Sea at Scheveningen
Missing since December 7, 2002
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Est. current value: $30 million [with aother piece "Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen" stolen at the same time]
Van Gogh painted this in situ during stormy weather near the Hague and bits of sand remain in paint.


Maxfield Parrish - Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Mansion Murals [Panels 3a and 3b]
Missing since July 28, 2002
Edenhurst Gallery, West Hollywood, California
Est. current value: $2 million each


Howard Pyle - The Battle of Bunker Hill
Missing since August 2001
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
Est. current value: $250,000
This is one of the more upsetting scenarios here. In August 2001, the museum was planning to show this piece and found it missing. Staff thought this piece [a part of the permanent collection] was being store in the basement. They are not entirely sure when it was taken.


Claude Monet - Beach in Pourville
Missing since September 19, 2000
Polish National Museum, Poznan, Poland
Est. current value: $7 million
Thieves cut the painting from the frame and replaced it with a badly printed copy on cardboard. They are not sure when the piece was stolen, they reported it once they noticed the forgery.


Thomas Sully - Portrait of Frances Keeling Valntine Allan
Missing since February 2000
Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia
Est. current value: unknown
This is Edgar Allan Poe's stepmother.


Jean-Baptiste Oudry - The White Duck
Missing since September 30, 1992
Houghton Hall, Norfolk, England
Est. current value: $8.8 million


Rembrandt - Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Missing since March 18, 1990
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts
Est. current value: priceless
The world is missing out on not being able to view the only surviving seascape by this artist.


Johannes Vermeer - The Concert
Missing since March 18, 1990
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts
Est. current value: priceless
After the theft of 11 paintings seventeen years ago, the museum keeps the empty frames on the wall. Very sad.


Lucian Freud - Portrait of Francis Bacon
Missing since May 27, 1988
Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
Est. current value: $1.5 million


Andrew Wyeth - Moon Madness
Missing since mid-1980's
Private Owner in the Philippines
Est. current value: $3 million
Disturbing because it's not an institution or business involved, but a person. In the 1980's Wyeth's office tried without success to make contact with the private collector/owner in order to include it in the artist's catalog. The office communicated through a lawyer and no contact was made, although there was a great deal of political upheaval at the time. The paintings whereabouts reamains unknown.

Sometimes the artwork is stolen to order, other times to trade for drugs, one time it was a fan who couldn't help himself [over 200 pieces taken] - unfortunately his mother threw them in the river to hide his crime [grrr!], and other times the thefts were undertaken in a bid to take a cultural statement away from a nation.

What piece of art would you feel heart broken to never see because it was stolen?

And, don't forget to check out my challenge to blog for a here, comment and maybe win!

Friday, August 24, 2007

A challenge accepted!

First, how about a little history.

Alessia Brio of Phaze, is the editor of a series of books called Coming Together which are based in various causes and is unique in that all the net proceeds go to a set charity. Susan G. Koman for the Cure has been designated the recipient of the proceeds from the recently released Coming Together: For the Cure.

On Wednesday August 22 author Alison Kent blogged about breast cancer and promised to buy 1 copy of Coming Together: For the Cure [now available] for every 10 comments left [max. 25 copies]. The deadline to accomplish this has been set for October 1. It's been three days and she has over 200 comments. So, with all this good nature swirling around blogland, Alessia Brio set a challenge down and I accepted. Author-bloggers who host a similar contest will have a recipe added to the 2008 Coming Together: In the Kitchen, which will benefit Action Against Hunger.

I'm keeping it simple: for every 10 comments left, I'll purchase a copy of Coming Together: For the Cure and will give away them away to commentors here. This will be open for a month [September 21] and will max out at 10 copies. And, one commentor will receive a copy of my December ebook OohRah! and will also have it dedicated to them or whomever they wish...ummm, have I mentioned yet that US Marine Dale Smythe and Tasha Ruskya meet during a fundraising run for breast cancer? Yup, and he looks lovely in pink :-)

So, get busy, leave a comment about yourself, family, friends, whomever or however breast cancer has affected you, or what you or someone close to you does so it doesn't!

UPDATE: Jessica Russell, Samantha Sommersby, Kathryn Lively, Victoria Blisse and Tammi Flora have all accepted Alessia Brio's challenge...visit them, make a comment, it's a totally painless way to help!

UPDATE: The first 3 CD winners have been contact - congratulations...but I have 7 more to give away. And, don't forget, one person will be chosen from all the commenters to have OohRah! dedicated to them, or someone of their picking, and a copy of the December release. So keep commenting :-)

Think Pink!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thursday 13 - 16!

Greetings All!

Yup, the break is over and I'm dragging. The usual things to do are on the table [literally], but the mail has been collected, milk and choc. soy milk are in the fridge, parents have all been called to say we've returned, and the laundry has been started.

Okay, it was a busy 3 weeks, full of eating, drinking, walking and much more, all good fun. Now don't go thinking it was a jolly because it wasn't, we both worked while spending some quality time with family and friends. And, it all ended on a great note...we were upgraded for the flight back and enjoyed some serious pampering. So why is my brain is still mush? Who knows.

Now, I walked off the plane with a newspaper so thought I'd give you all 13 of the more interesting bits I found. I'll give you the headline, author, and the first two paragraphs, you can let your imagination take you the rest of the way :-)

1. 'What About My Family's Rights'
by James Slack

The widow of murdered headmaster Philip Lawrence bitterly condemed the Human Rights Act last night after his killer used it to stay in Britain.

The Home Office wanted to deport Learco Chindamo to italy, where he was born, after he becomes eligible for parole next year.

2. 'Parting shot of the gamekeeper who grappled with Mr Madonna'
by Richard Simpson

Perhaps his goose was cooked the moment the lady of the house told how she feared being haunted by the souls of birds she'd bagged.

Thereafter things went sour between gamekeeper Martin Taylor and his celebrated employers, Madonna and Guy Ritchie.

3. 'BBC children's TV hosts 'are either gay or childless...and they don't like kids'
by Laura Roberts

A BBC children's presenter has said that 'everyone at CBBC is either gay or childless and don't like kids'.

Kirsten O'Brien, a stalwart of the coporation's programmes for youngsters, made the claim during a stand-up show at the Edinburgh festival.

4. 'Freed, the man who branded his wife with an iron'
by Beth Hale, Emily Andrews and Colin Fernandez

A management consultant branded his wife with a hot steam iron because she had failed to press his shirt.

Cambridge graduate Colin Read, 25, also slashed her with a knife because she had forgotten to make his sandwiches.

5. 'Full of life, girl whose heart beat the traffic'
by Chris Brooke

Like all successful transplant transplant patients, Laura Whitworth owes her life to the skill of her medical team and the courage of a heart donor's grieving family.

But in two-year-old Laura's case, the roll of honour also includes a resourceful ambulance driver and council worker Margaret Rollinson and her old Volvo saloon.

6. 'Apart from the rain and wind, are you enjoying this unusually sunny August?'
by Fiona MacRae

As you shiver miserably under menacing grey skies and reach for your umbrella for the umpteenth time, here is some news that will come as a serious surprise.

This August, apparently, has been officially sunnier than usual.

7. 'Why we're ALL to blame for our bullying supermarkets'
by Joanna Blythman

Supermarkets like to portray themselves as the ultimate proponents of dynamic free-market capitalism. But these days they bear more resemblance to the feudal barons of medieval times, ruthlessly absuing their monopolistic power and turning their suppliers into little more than vassals.

Far from thriving on competition, they seek to stamp it out so that they can entrench their fiefdoms. The grossly unequal relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers has been exposed in a series of bullying emails sent by Tesco and Asda, demanding swingeing reductions in the prices charged by their producers.

8. 'Truth is the first Casualty - again'
by Richard Littlejohn

After halving rubbish collections, Portsmouth Council is now telling householders not to stash their bags in wheelie bins.

'Elf 'n 'safety has decided that the dustmen could hurt their backs lifting the bags out of the bins.

Oi, George, putcha back inta it. Second thoughts, best not, you might do yerself a mischief'.

9. 'From mean streets to Parliament'
by Roy Hattersley

The Trinity College Center in South-East London, a university settlement was founded long ago to enable Cambridge graduates to help the disadvantaged and dispossessed in Peckham.

In the yard, children of more or less primary-school age are playing a disorganized game of football. Inside the center's slightly dilapadated building, a mountain of luggage is ready to be loaded on to the buses that will take the young footballs on holiday.

10. From Ephrainm Hardcastle
Last night's Prom concert featured a suite from an opera called Powder Her Face, by Philip Hensher, a former House of Commons clerk with a PhD in 18th century satire and a confirmed bachelor. Based on the life of the late Margaret Duchess of Argyll, it has the distinction of being banned by Classic FM. It features, inter alia, the duchess, who died in 1993 aged 80, performing a sex act with a hotel waiter. Her businessman son, Brian Sweeny, says the work is 'largely fictitious' and written in a score 'only bats can hear'. Margaret's notoriously keen interest in sex is said to date from falling down a lift shafter after visiting her London chiropodist in 1942, aged 30. A friend says: 'Afterwards she started entertaining six men at a time.'

11. 'A WAG at the Foreign Office'
by Emily Andrews

By reputation, it is a carefree life of non-stop shopping, sunbathing and cocktail consumption.

But in reality, being a WAG in foreign parts can be a perilous business.
NB: WAG=Wives and Girlfriends [of soccer players]

12. 'Joan slapped her husband's face. 'I hate you! Get out of my house!' she screamed'
by Graham Lord

When Joan Collins was contemplating marriage to the Hollywood playboy Arthur Loew in the Fifties, she told friends she needed to be sure he was the right one for her before they tied the knot. 'I'd hate to be one of those girls with four or five husbands,' she said.

Many years later, when her third marriage was over and she was preparing to wed her fourth usband, the Swedish former pop star Peter Holm, she announced: "There can be no more divorces. I absolutely cannot and will not go through taht again.' The union was to last just 13 months.

13. 'Victory in the fight to send frontline troops free parcels'
by Matthrew Hickley, Ian Drury and Dan Newling

Royal Mail last night bowed to mounting pressure and agreed to scrap charges for sending parcels to troops risking their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The move comes after the Daily Mail highlighted the unfairness of anxious relatives having to spend hundreds of pounds a year to send morale-boosting home comforts to their loved ones on the frontline.

Those were all found in the first third of the paper, what do you think - pretty interesting?