Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring!
A Few Very Popular and Funny Spring Films

It Happens Every Spring (1949)

A Chemistry professor (Ray Milland) accidentally creates a liquid solution which repels contact with wood. Realizing baseballs dipped into the formula will never touch baseball bats, he's off to St. Louis to pitch in the major leagues. Jean Peters and Paul Douglas co-star in a script by Valentine Davies.

Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)

"This Monty Python religious parable will probably offend every denomination equally, but it shouldn't," says film critic Leonard Maltin. "Story of a man whose life parallels Christ is the funniest and most sustained feature from Britain's bad boys." You might, however, want to avoid watching it on Easter, especially if there's lightning. The whole Monty Python gang of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, and Eric Idle bring Brian of Nazareth to life.

Easter Parade (1948)

A holiday movie for gentler sensibilities, although Fred Astaire's Easter bonnet festooned in the frilly pink ribbon is a horrifying spectacle and may require your consultation with clergy. This colorful MGM musical, full of easy comedy touches and Irving Berlin tunes, is bookended by Easter parades. In the interim, Judy Garland, Ann Miller, and Fred warble and dance through a 1911 romantic triangle. Humorous songs include "Snooky Ookums" and "A Couple of Swells" (with Fred and Judy as hoboes).

The Producers (1968)

Broadway con men scheme to mount the worst play ever doomed to failure, so they can pocket the unspent production funds. Great plan, but there's one small problem. The tasteless Nazi lovefest, "Springtime for Hitler," may be too good for its own bad. Mel Brooks' first feature film, an Oscar-winner for its original script, is a straight, but twisted, comedy of show business and shysters. Ironically, this movie became one of Broadway's biggest successes. Zero Mostel shines and Gene Wilder blooms.

Feeling Good, Nina Simone

The First Days of Spring, Noah and the Whale

Spring Rain, The Go-Betweens

Spring Affair, Donna Summer

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Solar Impulse 2, a solar powered plane, is set for an historic and epic Round-the-World Flight, today, March 9th

You can hear the Initiator, Chairman and Pilot, Bertrand Piccand's, interview with the BBC here:

And visit:

for a live play by play of this historic and epic solar flight around the world. And while you're there, please join the THE FUTURE IS CLEAN initiative at 

A prompt: "I want concrete actions for a clean future" will reveal a button below that.  Click on "I Agree." You'll be directed for your basic registration information.

What an exciting moment in history! I wish Solar Impulse 2's pilots and team God's speed.

Solar Impulse 1's Flight from San Francisco to New York

Fly Like An Eagle, Steve Miller Band

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Madrid's Prado Museum Introduces Unique Art Exhibition for the Blind

The Museo Nacional Del Prado (Madrid, Spain) opened its first exhibit for the sight impaired recently which allows people to touch recreated famous classical masterpieces. For the visually impaired, this is one of the first exhibits of its kind to cater to the audience with the intention of allowing all people sighted and non-sighted to experience famous paintings. It also might be one of the first exhibits where "touching the art" is actually encouraged in a fine art museum!

The exhibit, titled "Hoy Toca el Prado" opened January 20th and features famous works such as Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and El Greco's El caballero de la mano en el pecho. However, you wont find any originals in this exhibit, all paintings have been recreated with special textures so that people can now feel how the paintings look. Each painting has been "enhanced" using sophisticated 3D printing techniques to give certain fabrics, skins, hairs and other elements unique and identifiable textures.

No bullet proof glass here. Touch this version of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa all you want! (image courtesy of Museo Nacional Del Prado)
So far, the exhibit has received positive revues with sight impaired patrons excited that the exhibition is catering to them and allowing them to experience art in a new and accessible way. "Hoy Toca el Prado" also features audioguides and texts in braille for its informational materials.

And while the exhibit should appeal to the museum's sighted guests with its own unique merits, the museum is also offering opaque glasses so that everyone can experience the exhibit on a level footing.

The reliefs were created using a special technique called “Didu” that adds volume and texture to 2D art.

I Can See Clearly Now, Johnny Nash

Your Smiling Face, James Taylor

Sunday, March 1, 2015

For a birthday, or any day, consider the gift of a tree...Sunday is for Poetry: ETREENITY

It's my birthday, today. I thought long and hard as gift considerations surfaced, and concluded that a tree or tree seedling would be perfect.

Gift Boxed Giant Sequoia
Per Joanne M. Wotherspoon:

"Established under the business name Joanne M. Wotherspoon, provides tree seeds and seedlings for earth friendly gifts.  These timeless treasures will bless you with long lasting memories.
I didn't have to dig very deep for the inspiration for this venture.  My father had a passion for planting trees.  The trees he planted represent an important part of his life and legacy.  They flourished under his care and they continue to nurture the earth and nurture the soul with their beauty.
When my father passed, we laid him to rest with a lovely arrangement of lilies, wheat stalks, and spruce boughs, carefully selected from my parent's land.  Naturally, a tree was planted to celebrate his life.  It was a fitting memorial and tribute to a man who placed such value on the land and the fruits it produced.
I share my father's love of trees and, whenever I plant a tree, I think of him.  For me, planting a tree is a heartfelt gift that keeps on giving."

Hello again, Your Majesty.
Hello, my dear.
Your rebirth is magnificent.
Lie down, She offered gently.

As I lay on the grass
beneath Her sprouting branches,
I felt the dampness,
Smelled the petrichor.
Ecstatic, I dug my fingers into Her soul,
Earth, supporting us.

It was cool.
A rush of excitement stirred me.

How old are you today? I asked.
The same since I last saw you, She replied.

Ageless, I commented.
Eternal, She declared.
**written by petra michelle March 2009** 

The Memory of Trees, Enya

Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell