Sunday, June 29, 2008

I love...

The following post is a declaration of love.

It is not a declaration of love for any man - as I am not currently
(mutually) in love with any man to my knowledge.
Neither is it a declaration of love for my son - who does indeed deserve one, as he is and will always be the greatest love I know.

This is a declaration of love for a treasured part of my household.
One that I became acquainted with for the first time in my life at the mature age of 33, and promise I will never let go of ever.

Someone who is always there, always stable and trustworthy.
Someone who always and without the faintest complaint does the dirty job.

Someone who is my perfect match as he does something which I loathe but is his raison d' être.

After the day has finished and I go to sleep - this guy goes to work.

I LOVE my dishwashing machine

As the perfect household partner he operates silently, discretely without any sound other than a pleasant, melodic humming. Making me happy when i wake up in the morning (...good to wake up to, uuhhmmm, clean dishes...).

I may be accused of abusing this loved one a little.
Laziness makes people creative - right? So tonight the dishwasher is doing not only dishes but also LEGO bricks. Hope it turns out well...

Other work this guy has done excellently includes lamps - (there even exist dishwasher safe crystal chandeliers), a ventilation filter and oil-sticky baby bath toys (generally - make sure to buy dish washer safe toys. Only not teddybears; they go in the washingmachine instead).
Even the dishwashing brush is as new after a ride in the dishwasher - need I mention that the brush really is totally superflous with a machine like mine in the house.

My next project is to see how it works with sunglasses. I'm optismistic as glass always gets amazingly clear in the washer.

Basically the only thing I wouldn't wash in it is textiles (good we have other machines for that) - or my hair.

Dishwashing machines are good to the environment too. They use much less water than washing up by hand plus you actually don't have to pre-rinse, do save that water too.

Recently I read in a comment to a post at Martin Rundkvists Aardvarchaeology, that ANTS should be magnificent dish cleaners. Says Lassi Hippeläinen:
....Since they were in the kitchen, I put them to work. As an old trekker I know they can dry-clean the dishes better than soap&water. Once the job is done, the ants are gone.

That is one way of cleaning dishes that might have a future. Just think, totally environmentally friendly waterless, eco biological - and completely mute - dish cleaning. There must be a future in that stuff. Hello, any dishwashing-engineers reading here?

To my dishwasher - parce que vous le valez bien♥♥♥

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nude or Prude?

In its' essence all nudity is natural. Nudity only becomes unnatural when cultural norms infect our views on it.

The newly released video for "goobledigook" by Sigur Rós is a wonderful example of natural and beautyful nudity. It celebrates happiness, innocence, freedom and youth.
The video features a bunch of young people running around in a forest, jumping in the water and just being very sort of primate-ish, joyful and young. Yes, they are undressed, and there are even erotic scenes in it. But from my point of view, it is in no way at all pornographic.

Yet the video has been removed from youtube! And worse: it has been substituted with an amputated version where the background scenes are playing but all the naked people have been cut out. A very strange sight.

So please do yourself the favour of going to the website of Sigur Rós to download the complete version (quicktime player). The music is GREAT and gets you in a happy mood!

Where in the world are we, having youtube censoring an innocent video celebrating LIFE just because it contains naked people?

I believe in dialogue rather than censorship.
There are filters that parents can apply if they want to hinder their children in catching porn on their computer. But no filter in the world can replace a sensible conversation.

WHY this fear of nudity?

Paddy K tells us in his blog on Naked Sweden that it was common to see topless girls sunbathing in the parks ten years ago. But now it is no longer so.

Women no longer feel comfortable showing the upper part of their bodies in public (except for the brave few actionating for the right of both genders to show up bare chested at public swimming pools).

We also learn from Paddy K's blog, that a lot of people (see comments on his post) are especially uncomfortable with nakedness of people that are concidered less fortunate from an aesthetic point of view (referred to as "albino whales").

I find it interesting that fear of nudity has increased simultaneously with the increase of sexualization of public space.

At bus-stops, public walls, poster-stands and magazine covers, bodies in suggestive positions - artificially altered to perfection - are thrown into our vision. On tv, in music and in films we are confronted with booty-shaking, shiny-legged teen popsters along side stick-skinny 40+ stars with volumptious (restylane boosted) lips that still look 21 - only better.

And I wonder if not the porn industry has its' share in the growing fashion of removing "other hair" (like for example.... chest waxing...) and other, more drastic bodily alterations?

Anyhow, with all this bodily "perfection" and sexualization that we are bombarded with from all sides on a daily basis, it is no wonder that women are covering up and men might feel uncomfortable with their own and especially other peoples' less than perfect bodies.

The idealized body has become a norm because it is on display everywhere, and thus the majority of people feel like freaks with ugly flappering "albino whale" bodies!

So instead of worrying about average people enjoying nudity (shoes or not), we should worry much more about the many inputs coming from all over the place that make us feel uncomfortable with our own - and other peoples'- naked bodies.

This entry got really long, I know. But thanks for sticking around till the end - if you are still reading... bling bling...bling.

Last, a note just for the record: even though I advocate nude in favour of prude, I don't walk around naked all day myself. Not in need to hide that I'm actually an albino whale but because I succomb to the norms of the culture I live in and don't wish to attract untimely attention or even punishment (yes, even in super liberal Scandinavia, "disturbance of the public order" is considered a crime).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The sun disc chariot

Yes, it is the sun disc chariot glowing behind me. The national symbol from the danish bronze age, the object which once was the toy of the finder's young son, the object which has been subject to speculations of the bronze age mythology - which is illustrated in the Bronze Age section of the new permanent exhibition of Danish Prehistory at the National Museum in Copenhagen.

Visit the exhibition! It features moving, jittering, vibrating objects. This is TRUE, go see for yourself how the bronze age shields are waving, the parade axes are shaking and the gold bowls threaten to tip over at the slightest movement in the floor.

But that's about the only entertainment you'll get in that exhibition.

As an archaeologist you'll probably be happy to see that the volume of finds in the exhibition has increased massively. Which is a good move - from the representative exhibition showing single objects as representatives of a style/type/time to a volume of objects competing to overwhelm you and to give an impression of the rather massive volume of finds, that actually exist.

And hooooraaaay, the amount of text has been limited to a minimum. My biggest pet peeve in museums is "books on walls". Thank you for getting rid of that.
If people want to READ to learn about history, there are more comfortable ways of doing that. Like taking a book to your armchair with good light, no disturbances but perhaps some dim music and a cup of tea. Books on walls in crowded museums CANNOT compete with that.
Instead, the text has been limited to a nice chronological overview you can always cling to when you get overwhelmed and dizzy of the masses of jewelry and weapons surrounding you on all sides.

Wonder why it's become fashion to use black as the background colour in museum exhibitions recently? Not very practical as it reflects the light and sometimes what you see most is the reflections of the lamps in the already very dark rooms. I've been informed that the darkness in the dark rooms is a technical fault - it's too dark some places. It will be taken care of (eventually...).[the dim lighting is intentional in some rooms only it has become too dim by mistake]

The exhibition is stocked with jewellery from all periods - it's overwhelming. But personification I think is what is lacking. The exhibition does not succeed in bringing the past to life. Where are the people who wore the jewelry, those that drank from the beakers, buried their dead, scraped the skins, made the sacrifices, fought the wars?
Perhaps a little contextualising wouldn't hurt. And yes, it can be done without adding more text, it just needs altering of the text and perhaps some storylines, some more effects, more drama?

Go and see the Barbaricum exhibition at Lunds Universitets Historiska Museum. Here you have a brilliant example on how to contextualize without overtexting, and how to create a setting that helps the visitor plunge into the past.

Thank you, that's all.For now.