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Netsuke & Gashapon toys Ancient Japanese treasures and modern collectibles

Netsuke are uniquely Japanese and sublime in their beauty. They are tiny objects carved of ivory, ceramic, wood, tortoise-shell, gold or many other materials. They tell the story of the culture of Japan during the old Edo period and before. Netsuke featured fishermen and farmers, who rubbed shoulders with scholars, samurai warriors, royalty and even…

Every Picture Tells A Story: Henry Rollins and Nick Cave babysitting

Everyone's two favourite nhilists and goth mongers Nick Cave and Henry Rollins contemplate the inevitable futility of procreation, while an uncomfortable infant attempts to crawl away from them. If you love Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds then you will like this review of his Skeleton Tree album and this post about the cult German…

Book Review: Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Book Review: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Book Two of the Min Kemp (My Struggle) in the series of six autobiographical volumes is possibly the least adventurous of his stories although still no less compelling and compulsively readable as the other ones. If you are unfamiliar with Karl Ove Knausgaard then you must have been living under a rock. He has been…

The Private Lives of Animals circa 1842

The Private Lives of Animals circa 1842

This collection of funny and witty animal fables was originally published in 1842 in French as Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux. The authors of these fables are a who's who of literature in the mid 19th-century including Honoré de Balzac, George Sand. Also The Private Lives of Animals boasts some fine,…

Lebensader: a little girl finds the whole world in a leaf

Lebensader: a little girl finds the whole world in a leaf

This is a luscious trip into a parallel microcosmos where colours, sounds and mystical beings all abound and swirl together. Lebensader is a short film with a sweetness, innocence and curious wonder about it that will stay with you for a long time afterwards. It was created in 2009 by animator Angela Stefffen who works…

A Journey into Childhood Nostalgia at the Muzeum Zabawek in Kudowa-Zdrój, Poland

A Journey into Childhood Nostalgia at the Muzeum Zabawek in Kudowa-Zdrój, Poland

Kudowa-Zdrój is a border town between the Czech Republic and Poland. Traditionally over the centuries, the area has been a  spa town for convalescence, attracting visitors from all parts of Central Europe who come to enjoy the abundant mineral springs and fresh mountain air. There are beautiful landscaped walks through forest and woodland here. As the…

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

Book Review: The Tao of Winnie the Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

The cultural phenomenon of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne (1926) crosses generations and time. Winnie the Pooh still speaks to me as an adult within the adult world. It speaks to the child within and her curiosity and wonder at life. The characters are each archetypes of human desires and fears. Pooh: a certified glutton…

DreamWorks Wizard Gives Kid Magical Powers

DreamWorks Wizard Gives Lucky Kid Magical Powers

Daniel Hashimoto is probably the coolest dad who ever lived. Why? He placed his young son into a rocket that blasted off from the McDonald's playground into outer-space. He temporarily opened up the worm hole between The Matrix and boring reality, while his kids jumped around bemused on the couch. Daniel is responsible for after-effects wizardry…