A beautiful teaching story

… although it doesn’t say much for the teacher training requirements in California in the late 1940s. From the New York Times’ obituary for Karl Benjamin, an abstract painter from Los Angeles:

he began teaching fifth and sixth grade in the public schools in Bloomington, Calif., where, in addition to the three R’s, state law required him to teach art. He had not thought much about the subject before.
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Santana with subtitles

Bio-doc on Carlos Santana on BBC4 last night. A nice reminder of the quality of the extended jams as opposed to many of the radio-friendly songs – singing was not the group’s strength. And, for British audiences, subtitles to cut past the perfectly lucid Mexican and Californian accents. Continue reading

They read them so we don’t have to

From Sunday’s (London) Observer:

Victoria Coren explains that what draws readers to Fifty Shades of Grey is not sex, but – I’ll let her explain why – pancakes and maple syrup.

Which will not be as kinky as some had hoped, but probably taste better than stale British upper crust: Alexander Larman reviews discards the Memoirs of former Times editor William Rees-Mogg:

“Meaningless name-dropping … Virtually everybody significant in his life he met while up at Oxford… Pooterish banality … collection of measured banalities and grandly privileged utterances.”

The review is followed by a helpful link for ordering the book.

Museum and lost marbles

Yesterday we visited Athens’ new Acropolis Museum. Not a beautiful building from the outside, but a terrific display space and plainly designed as an argument for the return of those parts of the frieze appropriated by Lord Elgin and now held in London. The argument is made through a demonstration of the power of context. Continue reading