Euro, or Not?

Tuesday 11.15.11

I’ve been following the European debt crisis with some bit of fascination, fear, horror and disgust. How the F*ck did we get here? Although their debt crisis is different from our own in some ways, it’s also borne out of the same greed, speculation, mismanagement, ideological differences, growing divisions of wealth and the list goes on…and on. I posited the question some time ago to someone way more expert than I in the field of economics as to whether they thought the euro was at risk. As often happens with so-called experts, they dismissed my query as ridiculous. And amateurish. Well, fast forward a few months. While the likelihood of the euro-zone being disbanded is unlikely, it’s still a possibility. A previously unthinkable one. Anyway, all this talk of euros made me feel incredibly nostalgic for the former currencies of Europe: Those individual bills printed with beautiful illustrations and likenesses of famous people. I have favorites (see the 10 Francs note with Voltaire’s face) for sure. This little collection comes courtesy of Jacob Lewis Bourjaily. He has a site where he documents all the currencies of Europe bearing depictions of either scientists or mathematicians. I like his parameters.

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11.11.11

Friday 11.11.11

My husband just called at 11:11 a.m. on 11.11.11. He said he set an alarm so that he would remember. Eleven.

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Italy On My Mind

Thursday 11.10.11

At a loss for words? Want to be fluent in Italian? Just pick up this gem of a book, practice the gestures, and before you know it you’ll be freely communicating the entire length of the boot. Speak Italian was first published in 1958 by artist, photographer, sculptor and all around genius, Bruno Munari. The photographs capture something from a time long since past. But the gestures themselves are still as current as can be. The book (a bilingual edition) was reissued a number of years ago by Chronicle Books, something for which I am very grateful.

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Happy Orange Blanket

Wednesday 11.09.11

Believe it or not, there are very few things that I actually covet. This blanket is one of them. Although, truly, we don’t need another. Well, maybe… Available at Ancient Industries. Check out their blog while you’re there.

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French Films

Wednesday 11.09.11

Vanves discovery. I miss Paris.

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Antarctic $$$

Wednesday 11.09.11

I had NO idea that Antarctica has its own currency. Actually, it doesn’t. We all know it’s a continent, not a country (right?), so doesn’t have its own legal tender. Antarctica is divided into territories, so in some parts the British Pound will buy you milk, and in others the US Dollar will pay your way. These bills are produced by the Antarctica Overseas Exchange Office, and while they may not get you far, they do fund valuable programs in that far flung place.

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Simon Monk: Obsessed

Tuesday 11.08.11

Flavorpill posted a nice bit today about Simon Monk’s paintings of superheroes in bags. And, while I love a comic book character (my first true crush was on Speed Racer), I am much more drawn to his series of slightly generic plastic toys in bags. The objects themselves are less caricature and more iconic childhood, which is far more interesting to me personally. Suggest reading his about page in order to better understand the reasoning behind his work.

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