Human Flower Project


Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed
Murrieta, CALIFORNIA USA

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Take a Bow


A prima ballerina flies away in a great floral rite of the theater.


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The ballet-after-the-ballet, floral curtain calls for Nina Ananiashvili, after her final performance, in Swan Lake

Photo: Gene Schiavone, for AP

Until yesterday, we’d never heard of Nina Ananiashvili – the Georgian (as in Tbilisi) ballerina who danced her farewell over the weekend. Ananiashvili performed in Swan Lake with American Ballet Theatre at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House on Saturday night. At age 46, she’s being put out to pond.

Reviewer Alastair Macaulay of the Times was enthralled and wistful. In his review, we find a litany of the dancer’s gifts: “…radiance that her slender physique creates in arabesque, the wit she achieves in intricate rhythm, the thrilling effects of sharp timing and the light playfulness of her manner….”

And, we must add, a flair for improvisational floristry; Ananiashvili turned her final curtain calls into a human flower project.

The featured soloist often receives a bouquet – sometimes two or three—at the final curtain, but Saturday’s floral accolades for this ballerina were more loving and lengthy, and more imaginatively received than any we’ve ever heard of.


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Posted by Julie on 06/30 at 03:47 PM
Art & MediaSecular CustomsPermalink

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kings, Queens and Mangosteens


As the mercury rises, the Local Ecologist unpacks an array of tropical fruit. Plug in the blender!


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Inside a fresh mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana). Queenly? Try it and see.

Photo: Georgia Silvera Seamans

By Georgia Silvera Seamans

“So precise a balance of acid and sugar,” that’s how R.W. Apple decribes mangosteen, the southeast Asian fruit that “can’t get a visa.”

My friend L.I. sent me Apple’s story before I left for Singapore and Malaysia and Hong Kong. Busy as I was before the trip (my husband was graduating and families were in town), I did not read the article till my return. Now I can agree.

My husband fell in love with the “queen of fruit” in Malaysia and Singapore. (Singapore used to be a part of Malaysia.)  The taste! But magosteen is interesting in other ways, too, most notably its inner math—the number of lobes on the bottom of each mangosteen corresponds to the number of segments in that particular fruit.  My friend’s dad proudly disclosed this to us with several mangosteens.


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Posted by Julie on 06/26 at 02:41 PM
CookingTravelPermalink

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Flowers for ‘The Other Wren’


Among one group of Australian songbirds, flower-giving is a cheatin’ thing.


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Male fairy wren (Malurus splendens musgravi) with a petal for his mistress

Photo: Grame Chapman



If your partner hasn’t brought you flowers in awhile – or ever –  take heart. He may be a purple crowned fairy-wren.

Most fairy wrens, male and female, are renowned for their infidelity. Pairs put on a good front; they raise their young together and together defend the home territory for life. But nosy researchers who’ve tested the genetics of their progeny have discovered that most of their offspring are “illegitimate.” Also, spying human eyes have caught male fairy-wrens taking off to “court” other females, several others in a day.

To turn on the “other wrens,” males have evolved glitzy blue attire and come-ons, including “presentation of flower petals during courtship displays.”

But recently, scholars at the Max Planck Institute of Ornithology in Germany and the University of Freiburg have found one “unqiuely faithful species,” among these Austraian songbirds.


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Posted by Julie on 06/20 at 01:29 PM
EcologySciencePermalink

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Soft Power of Flowers


Who’ll prevail in Iran? Craig Cramer, looking at confrontations past, finds that flowers usually point toward victory. See Ellis Hollow for more of Craig’s insights and artistry.


imageZahra Rahnavard, wife of Iranian presidential candidate Mirhossein Moussavi, at a June 9 rally in Tehran. Moussavi, who campaigned on broadening the rights of Iranian women, is challenging the official outcome of Friday’s election.

Photo: Reuters

By Craig Cramer

In case you missed it, there were elections in Iran on Friday and a coup d’état over the weekend. Popular challenger Mir Hossein Moussavi, who was Iran’s Prime Minister during the the bloody 8-year war with Iraq in the ‘80s, had strong support among the country’s youth and progressives. He had been expected to defeat incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – a Holocaust-denier.

But as Josef Stalin supposedly said: Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything. Some are saying they didn’t even bother to count in Iran. Ahmadinejad was declared the winner by a ridiculous 63 to 34 percent margin.


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Posted by Julie on 06/15 at 09:51 AM
Art & MediaPoliticsPermalink
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