ABC Scrap Books

A few years ago I went to New York City for my daughter Aurora’s graduation from NYU and during my stay in there I created this alphabet of collected images.  (the ‘C’ is a link of chain, not dog feces, honest)


And when I took a volunteer vacation in Mexico a few years ago, I created this one in the Ciudad Mexico:


When I went to the UK for the 60s exhibit  You Say You Want a Revolution at the Victoria & Albert Museum I created 2 collections, one in London:


And one on the Brighton Pier:


And recently it occurred to me that while I live in one of the most colorful and popular tourist destinations in San Francisco, the Haight Ashbury, I had never created one for it. It took me about an hour to gather them today:


Looking back at the albums from previous years brought a flood of very enjoyable memories.

I’m headed back to NYC to see Aurora get her well-earned Masters degree and am planning to create another.

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Stephen Hawking, science’s brightest star, dies aged 76 

I am very proud of the letter I got back from Dr Hawking when I sent him a copy of my black velvet portrait of him:

He once said: “It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.”

For fellow scientists and loved ones, it was Hawking’s intuition and wicked sense of humour that marked him out as much as the fierce intellect that, coupled with his illness, came to symbolise the unbounded possibilities of the human mind.

“Stephen was far from being the archetypal unworldy or nerdish scientist. His personality remained amazingly unwarped by his frustrations,” said Lord Rees, the astronomer royal, who praised Hawking’s half century of work as an “inspiring crescendo of achievement.” He added: “Few, if any, of Einstein’s successors have done more to deepen our insights into gravity, space and time.”

The Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield lamented on Twitter that “Genius is so fine and rare”, while the US rock band Foo Fighters was more succinct, calling Hawking a “fucking legend.”

Stephen’s deal with the Simpsons was that could use his image for free but he got to record his lines. He once called the show the “best thing on American television.”

Excellent obituary: Stephen Hawking, science’s brightest star, dies aged 76 | Science | The Guardian

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Haight & Clayton Sidewalk Art

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Falcon Heavy Test Flight: A Momentous Event

The world’s newest, most powerful rocket in decades has reached space. It took a few weather delays Tuesday, but the private space company SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Center.

Watch the video of the launch at the top of this page. (If you’d like to skip ahead to the very moment the rocket lifts off, you can find it about 29:50 into the video.)

Not long after the massive craft blasted off NASA’s historic Launch Pad 39A, arcing a fiery path through the sky, its side boosters fell away. As the main rocket continued its journey into space, two of the boosters returned to Earth, landing successfully back on their designated pads.

“SpaceX lands its rockets so it can reuse them again,” NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce reports. “That’s how it’s trying to make space flight cheaper.”

Falcon Heavy is yet the latest example of that quest to make it much cheaper to get things into orbit. According to the company, it will cost just $90 million per launch, a fraction of the price of similar heavy-lift rockets.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder, has said the ultimate goal is to make humans an interplanetary species, by creating a colony on Mars.

Falcon Heavy is a small step on that journey, but it is still a very large machine. Weighing in at over 1,500 tons, it can carry more stuff into space than any vehicle since the Saturn V rockets of the Apollo Era.

Onboard this flight is a car made by one of Musk’s other companies, Tesla. The cherry red roadster — complete with an unpaid intern wearing a spacesuit, naturally — is heading into an elliptical Earth-Mars orbit.

At a news conference Monday, Musk said three cameras mounted to the car should provide “epic views.”

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Don’t Look Down! 5

More vertically exciting images, .gifs, and this video:

Some of these made my heart pound a bit:

I generally don’t include rock climbers or parachutists because they usually have safety equipment on and are safe. It’s the free climbers and the crazy urban climbers that impress me.

Most of these were collected from Acid Cow, a very entertaining blog.

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Do you think he knows they’re all socialists?

Does he know they're all socialists?

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The Couple Who Designed The American Dream: Dorothy And Otis Shepherd – Flashbak

This is an amazing post over on Flashbak. I could not improve on it so I’m just suggesting you go and check it out there.

Their impact on American design was phenomenal!

(I have reversed the order of the wording in the title because I think it’s more intriguing phrased with their names at the end)


Source: Flashbak

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Jewish Britain on Film

Some of My Best Friends 1969 Jews (and Gentiles) muse on what it means to be Jewish in 1960s Britain

If you’re in the UK or have a VPN like Hola click on images to watch the films 

British Paramount News No. 251 1933 We Protest: 80,000 descend on Hyde Park to demonstrate against Hitler’s antisemitism

This collection uncovers insights, injustices and hidden histories across a century of Jewish life on British screens. It brings together documentary and first-person accounts of Jewish life in the UK, alongside historical dramas and artists’ work exploring the 20th century Jewish experience.

Jew Süss 1935 Conrad Veidt plays a Jew seeking power in the British version of Lion Feuchtwanger’s novel, later adapted by the Nazis.

The earliest surviving depictions of Jewish characters in British cinema offer a troubling insight into antisemitic representation, yet prejudice was later tackled head-on, with newsreels documenting the anti-fascist movement of the 1930s.

Marriage of Miss Rose Carmel and Mr. Solly Gerschcowit, 1925 Follow the happy couple from the family shop on Brick Lane to a garden party serenaded by the San Diego Dance Band

Lynne’s Wedding 1980 Eating, dancing in the front room, playing football in the garden, walking around Whitby, a birthday party, a wedding – just being common people, only with a Jewish twist.

Drop in on joyous family weddings and community gatherings, and see the ways in which UK Jewry supported Jews young and old, and those fleeing persecution, in a selection of fascinating films from the 1900s to the 1980s.

The Antique Vase 1913 A penniless actor sells his beloved antique vase to a Jewish dealer who is pained to part with his money

Motherland 1927 In the surviving opening scenes of this WWI-set feature, young soldiers head to the front and face life in the trenches

As a record of the 20th century the collection obviously tackles the trauma of conflict and war, but it also shines a spotlight on resilience and celebrating the strength of community. Here you can also drop in on joyous weddings from the 1920s to the 1980s, Marriage of Miss Rose Carmel and Mr. Solly Gerschcowit (1925), Wedding of Thelma and Danny, 11th August 1946 (North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University), Lynne’s Wedding (1980) (Yorkshire Film Archive) as well as colourful snapshots of everyday family life at work, rest and play.

The Battle of Cable Street 1936  The notorious Battle of Cable St kicks off this film from 1936 which also shows young Basque refugees and a Communist Summer Camp in rural Kent

Through early comedy shorts, rare newsreel footage and local television news reports, documentaries, charity appeals contemporary short films, experimental work produced by the BFI and British-made historical epic, the collection paints a portrait of Jewish life across the UK and Northern Ireland, with films from Regional Archive partners; Screen Archive South East, East Anglian Film Archive, North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University, Yorkshire Film Archive and Northern Ireland Screen as well as the BFI’s National Archive collections. From Robert Vas’s record of the ‘lost’ streets of London’s traditionally Jewish East End in his classic documentary, The Vanishing Street (1962) including the film’s raw material, to an insider’s view of local Jewish communities living in Manchester, Autumn in Delamere (1969) (North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University), Leeds, Sharonah Dance and Modern Food Store (1975) (Yorkshire Film Archive) and Belfast’s Jewish Community in Ulster (1966) (Northern Ireland Screen) identity is explored within a wider British cultural context.

The Challenge 1967 Ben-Gurion visits a youth centre in Leeds in this promotional film for the Youth & Hechalutz Department of the Jewish Agency in London

Impressions of Disraeli 1931 Celebrity endorsement: Stanley Baldwin introduces George Arliss playing the legendary PM


Source: Jewish Britain on Film

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Moschino “Cape Sheer Overlay” Cocktail/Party 

A bit late for this holiday season, alas.

The Moschino “dry cleaning cape overlay dress” by Jeremy Scott is a bargain at $735.00!
Unfortunately, the website reports it as out of stock.

This dress showcases the brand’s economical Fall/17 runway theme and features a slip-on sleeveless design made from a see-through polyester re-used ‘plastic bag’ that is printed with ‘Free pickup and delivery’ text in red and ‘We ❤ our customers’ across the top. We’ll be wearing our Moschino with Proenza Schouler, Off-White and Isabel Marant.

*Please note that the slip shown above is not included.

Source: Moschino cape sheer overlay dress | Cocktail & Party Dresses | Browns

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A Library Hidden from Hitler & Stalin

For decades, a confessional in a church in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius kept a precious secret: a trove of documents offering an unprecedented glimpse into Jewish life in Eastern Europe before and during the Holocaust.

Documents awaiting conservation at the Lithuanian Central State Archives.

The cache, with documents dating back to the mid-18th century, includes religious texts, Yiddish literature and poetry, testimonies about pogroms as well as autobiographies and photographs.

“The diversity of material is breathtaking,” said David Fishman, professor of Jewish History at New York’s Jewish Theological Seminary, describing the discovery as a “total surprise”.

“It’s almost like you could reconstruct Jewish life before the Holocaust based on these materials because there is no aspect and no region and no period that is missing,” he added.

The trove was discovered earlier this year during a cleanout of the church that was used as a book repository during Soviet times. 

The documents, together with a larger cache found in Vilnius nearly three decades ago, are “the most significant discovery for Jewish history since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the 1950s”, Fishman said.

‘Jerusalem of the North’
Among the most treasured finds are several original manuscripts of poems written in the Vilnius ghetto by celebrated Yiddish poet Avrom Sutzkever, including the haunting “To My Brother”.

“We had the versions that he reconstructed from memory and published right after the war,” Fishman said of Sutzkever, who survived the Holocaust.

“Now we have the manuscripts that he actually wrote in the ghetto and there are differences — that was a very powerful find.”

An 1857 agreement between the Jewish water carriers in Vilnius and the city’s famous Ramailes rabbinic Talmudic academy, or yeshiva, offers a telling insight into everyday life 160 years ago.

In exchange for copies of the Bible and Talmud, the yeshiva agreed to let the water carriers use a room for prayers on the Sabbath and holidays free of charge.

The Reading Room of the Strashun Library. Strashun’s prewar librarian, Khaykl Lunski, wrote that “the library mirrored Jewish life.”

A ledger of the patients of Zemach Shabad, a famous Jewish doctor and social and political activist whose monument stands in central Vilnius, was also among the documents.

Known as the “Jerusalem of the North” before World War II, Vilnius — Vilna in Hebrew and Vilne in Yiddish — was a hub of Jewish cultural and religious life and home to hundreds of Jewish social, religious, cultural and scientific organizations.

The Strashun Library of rabbinical and other works, often referred to as the most important library of Jewish learning in prewar Europe, was bequeathed to the Jewish community of Vilna by its founder, Matityahu (Matisyahu) Strashun (1817-1885).

‘Book Smugglers’
Established in 1925, the YIVO Yiddish Scientific Institute was among the most important. Co-founded by Shabad, it documented and studied Jewish life in Eastern Europe.

Its New York branch was founded in 1926, and became the institute’s headquarters in 1940 as Nazi Germany invaded Eastern Europe.

After occupying Vilnius in 1941, the Nazis destroyed the Jewish community and plundered its cultural wealth.

Jewish poets and intellectuals were coerced by the Nazis in the Vilnius ghetto into selecting Yiddish and Hebrew books and documents for a planned institute in Germany about the people they had slated for annihilation.

Their story has been chronicled in a book written by Professor Fishman entitled “The Book Smugglers”.

Book with the stamp of the Strashun Library
at the National Library of Lithuania.

The Germans sent a portion of the plundered texts to Frankfurt, but the Jewish archivists risked their lives to hide a vast array of precious documents from their tormentors.

Then, the Soviets
But that was not the end of the threat.

After the war, a Lithuanian librarian, Antanas Ulpis, intervened to save those documents that had survived the Nazis from the country’s new Soviet occupiers, who were bent on destroying them as part of dictator Joseph Stalin’s anti-Jewish purges. 

Ulpis deftly hid some of the manuscripts “under a pile of Soviet journals — that’s why no one bothered to look, that’s why they weren’t discovered sooner,” says Renaldas Gudauskas, director of Lithuania’s National Library.

There they remained untouched for decades in the confessional in St. George’s Church that the Soviets used as a book repository after the war.

It was only earlier this year when any remaining papers were being cleared out in order to hand the building back to the Catholic Church that the pile of Jewish documents was stumbled upon.

They were transferred to Lithuania’s newly renovated national library in Vilnius which already holds a larger archive of Jewish documents discovered in the capital after the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly three decades ago.

The entire collection includes roughly 170,000 pages.

History online 
Library archivists, who read Yiddish and Hebrew, pore over the newly-found documents that Fishman estimates will take five years to catalogue.
Book being digitized.JPG
They are also preparing them to be accessible on the internet.

The New York-based YIVO Institute has spearheaded a bid to put the collection online along with Jewish documents from Vilnius that the US Army found in defeated Germany in 1946 and sent to New York.

Launched two years ago, The Project aims to put the overall total of more than one million documents online in a digital archive highlighting Jewish life in Eastern Europe before and during the Holocaust.

Archives that were once scattered on both sides of the Atlantic are now conceptually, intellectually and physically being reunited.

For Simonas Gurevicius, one of the city’s few Jews who still speaks Yiddish, the newly discovered archive proves that Hitler and Stalin ultimately failed to wipe out his language and the civilization built around it.

“The star of the Northern Jerusalem nearly burnt out, but its light is still shining,”says Gurevicius.

Some 195,000 Lithuanian Jews perished under the 1941-44 Nazi German occupation. Today, there are around 3,000 Jews living in the NATO and EU country of 2.8 million people.

I just came across these associated photos from Agent French Presse:

Source: YIVO Online Exhibitions

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