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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Weekly Roundup: 12.11.2009

A Muppet Family Christmas
My mom recorded this off the television the first time it aired, 1987. Ever Christmas since, it has been a tradition to watch A Muppet Family Christmas on Christmas eve. It is a really impressive, funny, singable special, which somehow managed to feature most of the muppets made at that point, including the Sesame Street Gang and Fraggle Rock. Also, it has an appearance by Jim Henson, himself. As you can imagine, our recorded VHS is no longer in the best shape. So I went online to try and find a DVD version, and was disappointed. According to MuppetWiki, the USA releases have certain sections edited out for music rights reasons. Lame. To ease my pain, I did manage to find an unedited version of the movie in clips on YouTube.
A Muppet Family Christmas (Part 1)
A Muppet Family Christmas (Part 2)
A Muppet Family Christmas (Part 3)
A Muppet Family Christmas (Part 4)
A Muppet Family Christmas (Part 5)

Sea Lion Navy
Have you ever heard the play on words "The Right To Arm Bears"? It conjures to mind something like the Bear Cavalry. While not quite so impressive in my mind, this may be cooler just because it's real.
The Navy's Other Seals ... And Dolphins from NPR

Leonora Carrington
I don't remember all the details, but in elementary school I had to do a project/paper on a artist, and I picked Leonora Carrington. I'm not even sure how I found out about her. I love her work, but she's somewhat obscure. As this was circa 5th grade, over the years I had forgotten her name. I've been trying for a while now to remember it, and finally spent a good hour sifting through lists of female, surrealist painters until I recognized some of her work. I love it now as much as I loved it then. Fabulously, she is still alive, and making art.

The Giantess or The Guardian of the Egg (1947)

A Mechanical Computer from the 19th Century
I first heard about Charles Babbage when I was researching steampunk. From what I had read online, I understood that he had conceptualized the idea of the computer in the 1800s, but his attempts at executing his designs into a working model failed. I took that to mean the designs were flawed, but I guess I was wrong. Two working models have been made using Babbage's original drafts and notes, and made only from materials that would have been available to him. You can get the full story on NPR's website, and it includes photos and a video of the machine in action.
A 19th-Century Mathematician Finally Proves Himself by Laura Sydell

Victorian-Style Boots
I came across this online store, Sheplers, while I was looking for cowgirl boots. They have a pretty nice selection, but these Victorian Dress Boots have stolen my heart. This summer my cousin inherited a real pair of Victorian era boots to my intense envy. I didn't think I'd ever be able to find something comparable. Thank you interweb.

Ruthless Films
I first came across Ruth Leitman's work a couple of years ago, when she directed a music video for The Redwalls. This week a coworker showed me a clip from one of her documentaries, and it was even more impressive. I really like how this filmmaker sees the world, and her sociological approach. It's like art, research, and documentation all rolled up together. Her production company is Ruthless Films, and its website features clips from most of her work. I recommend Wildwood, NJ.

Fruit Bats - The Ruminant Band
They've been playing this song on XPN, and I am utterly enamored with it. The music video is original and well made, while complimenting the song perfectly. I vaguely remember seeing Fruit Bats at Subterranean when I lived in Chicago a few years ago. I seem to recall only being only a little impressed, so it's nice to seem them come to fruition as a band (no pun intended, I swear).


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