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Thursday, July 22, 2004

Marianne la belle Francaise - I love the new stamp design

- art culture info expo
Marianne stamp,
by Thierry Lamouche chosen by president Jacques Chirac.

It will be issued by la poste in January 2005. La Poste
had a competition to design a new stamp the theme was " L'engagement de Marianne en faveur de l'environnement et des valeurs fondamentales de la Republique". 50,000 designs were sent in from all over France. The winning designer Thierry Lamouche is an illustrator, who lives in Saint-Ange le Vieil, Seine-et-Marne.
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15 - 31 July - An exhibition of stamps, representing Marianne since 1849, can be seen at the "la galerie des tapisseries" the National Assembly, 33 quai d'Orsay. 10-7pm daily except le dimanche. It's free.

Image Hosted by The four famous faces who have represented Marianne - Brigitte Bardot (1970) Mireille Mathieux (1978) Catherine Deneuve (1985) Laetitia Casta (2000)

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There is a good article relating to the history of Marianne in
the IHT

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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Art Galleries, are they scaring away thier victims?

artzen - art culture info expo
londonzen - park life

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This is a fascinating article from The Art Newspaper that I found on Forbes.

It dicusses how art can be sold outside the confines of galleries and all that they entail. Are Art Galleries Necessary?

"Contemporary art dealers are finding that art fairs and the Internet can replace the hassle and expense of maintaining a full-time gallery". more>>

I also came accross this spot on piece on Jason Calcanis Art Blog, Gallery Rudeness by Caryn Coleman citing an article by Paige West of Art Addict

"Intimidation is a well-known sales tactic, especially in some of the Blue Chip galleries. If you aren't "in the club" (they don't know you and/or you've never purchased anything at the gallery), many galleries won't offer any assistance, even if you ask"...more>>

Too true, the same can be said of some auction houses, estate agents, restaurants, hairdressers, hotels and chic shops. Manners...?

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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Rank and pile

londonzen - park life

London gets new taxi rank signs
BBC photo

la vie du chien, Poo Poo a la francaise
Le dernier cri of chic spots to poop

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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The saga of the parrot and the fourposter bed

ecozen - animals ecology philanthropy
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oil painting by Serena Konig

Several years ago, whilst in Toulouse to collect a fourposter bed. My partner Alastair went to buy me a puppy as a present, the pet shop didn't have any, so he got 2 Canaries instead. On his way out he heard anguished shrieks coming from the back of the shop. There in the gloom was a red and grey African parrot in a tiny cage on the floor. This was the start of our parrot saga. There wasn't room in the van for the bed, the cages and us. So a friend drove and we took the train back to Provence. It was a night train, the parrot shrieked the whole time. We called him Corot, perhaps subconsciously because "the Corot" had caused much trouble over the years. Anyway, Corot was sad and lonely and needed better quarters; So Richard and Pierrot our friends who just happened to be master welders were commissioned to make a bird palace fit for Corot.

In the mean time we scoured the pet shops for a companion, near Avignon we found "Richard" another red and grey. He had a very poorly friend huddled up next to him, a black Madagascan...we called him "Pierrot". The aviary was splendid, customisable, demountable. Filled with trees and fallen branches, also a mist system. OK so I couldn't resist buying the tropical rainforest tape! (it was played about once, although I am sure I detected a flicker of appreciation from Corot).

They all got along fine, even the canaries. The fencing was of a smaller guage to stop the canaries escaping. Little by little we saw chewed bits, holes. They were repaired. Richard would sit on a tree and sing away to Pierrot as a diversionary tactic while Corot clipped through the wire.

I had a dream about them escaping, that morning I went downstairs and heard people shouting that the birds had gone! The canaries were still there as was poor Pierrot, but Richard and Corot were gone! We all rushed round the garden (the aviary was on the terrace outside the dining room) we caught sight of something red in one of the little pine trees. It was Richard, he didn't want to come down. Alastair finally managed to reach him, Richard grabbed the palm of his hand in his pincer beak, it hurt. So he was safe and sound and back with Pierrot. I am really glad that Corot flew to freedom and wish the others had gone too. A neighbor came to tell us she had seen a red and green parrot in her garden, was it ours. We saw parrots in Avignon, in the trees behind Credit Agricole.

When winter came the cage was dismantled and put up in the living room. This was fine for all, the 4 dogs never bothered the birds, the mice lived on the floor of the cage and ate seeds. One morning Pierrot was dead on the floor. He usually perched on an old wooden ladder. We took him to the vet, who said that we should be able to find out quite easily how he died. He took a big pair of scissors and literally cut him in half! I am very fond of the vet he is the dearest of friends, but he obviously didn't think that we might be feeling a bit sad or upset by poor Pierrots' demise, he was still warmish. He had always picked at his feathers and looked very ragged, his beak was white which made him seem somewhat anaemic too. So there he was, neatly sliced, mirrored, Pat said immediately that it was kidney failure. Well.

Richard was lonely. We could see all this happening again. When Corot arrived we had thought of flying to Africa and setting him free. One day Pat took us to see a client who kept all kinds of birds, including African Greys, so Richard was introduced into the bird place. I heard some time later that he had mated, had children and was happy. Isn't that super. So when I hear of all these news stories about Parrot infestations in England, on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco as Marc Canter wrote about and elsewhere, I am pleased they are free. Maybe one of them is someone's Corot.

P.S. The fourposter was too tall for the bedroom ceiling and so languished in the garage until flooded...which is another story.

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I know that by rescuing Corot from the pet shop prison others were ordered to replace him. We must stop this pet trade and the breeding of animals for pets.

World Parrot Trust
EXCELLENCE IN PARROT CONSERVATION AND WELFARE The WPT is campaigning to stop importation of wild caught birds into the European Union. Sign the petition

Please red this about the plight of Parrots.The African Grey Parrot, Psittacus erithacus, has a wide distribution, across the tropical belt of Africa, including the islands of Bioko and Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea. This species is harvested intensively for the pet trade. More>>

Free News and views v.good site, you can join, help.

Harvard biologist Mike Schindlinger introduces you to the parrots he studies, as individuals, as they move through their daily lives - singing, cavorting and playing as they explore their environment; doing chores, like eating, roosting, and caring for young - with an intelligence not dissimilar, in ways, to our own. More>>

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Sunday, July 04, 2004

If you aren't going to the British Grand Prix next weekend , go to LA

bookzen - literary reviews
londonzen - park life


Swink invites you to celebrate the Lying, Cheating & Stealing online theme issue:

Sunday, July 11th

1644 Elevado Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026 (in Silverlake)

Reading starts at 7:00 pm
Celebration starts at 8:00 pm

Open bar

Please RSVP to or at 310.861.5996

Swink is a new L.A. NY literary magazine.

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Tsunami Relief Effort
Support the relief efforts in the areas that have been hit by the earthquakes and tsunami in Southeast Asia.
Click to learn how you can help. Thanks for your support.
Southeast Asia Tsunami-MISSING PERSONS a Flickr group to post and find photos
The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
Photo by Bill Barkle
Tsunami's Animal Victims
Tsunamis have devastated thousands of families and entire communities bordering the Indian Ocean in South Asia. While the world turns toward dozens of humanitarian agencies to help the people who are gripped with incredible suffering, some are also thinking of the forgotten victims of natural disaster....the animals. The World Health Organization estimates that 5 million people are now without food, water and shelter. What will happen to the animals who were under their care?
Donate to the World Society for the Protection of Animals WSPA
Tens of thousands of tsunami animals have been left homeless, in need of food and water.
Donate to Your entire donation will be sent directly to help tsunami animals.
Photo by heterotopias
Photo by heterotopias
Bill Barkle has posted some great images on Flickr.
Photo by Bill Barkle
He is a Field Officer for UNHCR in Jaffna, Northern Province, Sri Lanka, his blog

Flickr tsunami images from Thoha, lirneasia, heterotopias, and more.'s photos.

Also Javajive who's blog is

The Tsunami Images Group on Flickr.

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