Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Pygmalion is a 1938 film based on the play by the same name. This stars Leslie Howard as Professor Higgins. Did you like the movie My Fair Lady? I did. This is better! There's no music in this one, and My Fair Lady is a musical. Since the best thing about My Fair Lady is the music but this is the better film, listen to the My Fair Lady soundtrack any time you like but watch this film.

Film Site has an article. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score 94%.

Here Miss Doolittle is taking tea in company for the first time:

and I offer that screenshot as my connection with the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering, hosted by Bluebeard and Elizabeth. Join us?


ATCs (the inspiration prompt is named above each ATC)

At some point someone asked how many of these I've done, and this week I passed 300. I started numbering them when I first started doing them years ago in response to the swap Elizabeth sponsored. There was a gap of a few years when I didn't do any, but when I got back into it I just started numbering these where I left off.







Blossoms, Butterflies, Bugs:

April showers bring May flowers:

Primary Colors:

Random, not from a prompt:

Monday, April 29, 2019

Let's Get Together

Image from Parigi Books

Let's Get Together is a 1957 science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It's one of his robot stories, but these are a different kind of robot than his better-known ones. These are perfectly willing to serve as tools of war. You can read it online here. It begins,
A kind of peace had endured for a century and people had forgotten what anything else was like. They would scarcely have known how to react had they discovered that a kind of war had finally come.

Certainly, Elias Lynn, Chief of the Bureau of Robotics, wasn’t sure how he ought to react when he finally found out. The Bureau of Robotics was headquartered in Cheyenne, in line with the century-old trend toward decentralization, and Lynn stared dubiously at the young Security officer from Washington who had brought the news.

Elias Lynn was a large man, almost charmingly homely, with pale blue eyes that bulged a bit. Men weren’t usually comfortable under the stare of those eyes, but the Security officer remained calm.

Lynn decided that his first reaction ought to be incredulity. Hell, it was incredulity! He just didn’t believe it!

He eased himself back in his chair and said? "How certain is the information?”

The Security officer, who had introduced himself as Ralph G. Breckenridge and had presented credentials to match, had the softness of youth about him; full lips, plump cheeks that flushed easily, and guileless eyes. His clothing was out of line with Cheyenne but it suited a universally air-conditioned Washington, where Security, despite everything, was still centered.

Breckenridge flushed and said, "There’s no doubt about it.”

"You people know all about Them, I suppose,” said Lynn and was unable to keep a trace of sarcasm out of his tone. He was not particularly aware of his use of a slightly-stressed pronoun in his reference to the enemy, the equivalent of capitalization in print. It was a cultural habit of this generation and the one preceding. No one said the "East,” or the "Reds” or the "Soviets” or the "Russians” any more. That would have been too confusing, since some of Them weren’t of the East, weren’t Reds, Soviets, and especially not Russians. It was much simpler to say We and They, and much more precise.

Travelers had frequently reported that They did the same in reverse. Over there, They were "We” (in the appropriate language) and We were "They.”

Scarcely anyone gave thought to such things any more. It was all quite comfortable and casual. There was no hatred, even. At the beginning, it had been called a Cold War. Now it was only a game, almost a good-natured game, with unspoken rules and a kind of decency about it.

Lynn said, abruptly, "Why should They want to disturb the situation?”

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Gregory's Girl

Gregory's Girl is a 1980 British romantic comedy/coming-of-age film, neither of which are genres I tend to like. It's a sweet film, well-respected and positively reviewed, if you like that kind of thing. (The video embedded below seemed to me to run fast, so I slowed it down a notch in the settings.)

Empire Online gives it 4 out of 5 stars and says,
Amid the gentle frippery, Gregory's Girl nails the glorious pains and heartfelt highs of adolescence better than many films with more serious centres. Tapping into universal dating rituals — getting up the nerve to ask someone out, dressing up for a date, waiting for the date to arrive — the playing out of Gregory's infatuation may be comic but it is truthful.
Roger Ebert calls it "a charming, innocent, very funny little movie about the weird kid." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 93%.

Saturday, April 27, 2019


Showboat is a 1936 musical film directed by James Whale and starring Irene Dunn. It also has Alan Jones, Paul Robeson, and Hattie McDaniel.

part 1:

part 2:

TCM has an overview, and Warner Brothers has information. DVD Talk says, "it's difficult to quarrel with a show that yields such emotional riches." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 100%.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Thirty-Three Teeth

Thirty-Three Teeth is the award-winning second book in the Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series by Colin Cotterill. I picked up the first of these on a whim and was so pleased with it that I put the next one in the series on my birthday list. This one is just as good as the first, and I will continue to read these as I can. There's a real warmth between the characters that appeals to me, and the setting is fascinating. This book ends during the month of April.

from the back of the book:
Dr. Siri Paiboun, Laos's reluctant national coroner, has a very odd set of bodies on his hands. Could an old escaped bear be mauling Vientiene citizens? Or is it something more mystical, like a weretiger? When he is summoned to the capital to identify a pair of charred bodies, he realizes the victims are connected to the royal family, which annoys Communist Party leaders. Can Dr. Siri solve the mystery behind the unexplained deaths and keep himself out of jail?
Kirkus Reviews says, "Siri’s second is as entertaining as his debut." Eurocrime has a positive review. Publishers Weekly concludes, "The elegant, elderly Paiboun seems an unlikely vehicle to carry a series ..., but he does so with charm and aplomb."

I've also read
  1. The Coroner's Lunch

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Peter and the Wolf (2006)

Peter and the Wolf is a 2006 award-winning animated short film based on Sergei Prokofiev's music.

The director's site has excerpts from and links to reviews. PBS calls this version "provocative". Rotten Tomatoes has an audience rating of 89%.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Happy Birthday, Hubble!

image from NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched on this date in 1990. You can see Hubble images at Wikipedia and at the Hubble Heritage Image Gallery.

Here are a few:

This 3-minute video celebrated last year's birthday observance:

Monday, April 22, 2019

Kitchen Still Life

Kitchen Still Life:

by Gustave Van de Woestijne, who died on April 21, 1947. Join us at T Stands for Tuesday with a blog post that includes a beverage. The painting above and one of my ATCs below are my offering.


ATCs (with the prompt that inspired it listed above the card)


Crayon background:

Circles (and Neutral):

Religious and Use gauze to make a background:

Use plastic wrap to make background:

Use salt to make a background (I used salt on a wet black acrylic paint background):


Buttons and Bows (I'd probably have better luck photographing the card than scanning it when part of it stands up so much higher than the rest):

Maps and Plans:


Random, without a prompt:

Bad Day at Black Rock

Bad Day at Black Rock is a 1955 John Sturges film starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan, Ernest Borgnine, and Lee Marvin.

part 1:

part 2:

Slant Magazine has a positive review and says,
Shot in 1955, Bad Day at Black Rock was one of Hollywood’s first productions to directly tackle WWII internment of Japanese-American citizens, an incident of paranoia-fueled prejudice that nicely jibes with the film’s critique of McCarthy-era distrust.
Empire Online concludes,
In terms of taut drama. Black Rock writes the book. Hitchcock, busy with Dial M For Murder at the time, must have smarted when he saw this nerve-shredding masterpiece.
Film Site says,
On the surface, this American film classic is concerned with the themes of individual integrity, group conformity and complacency, and civic responsibility. It can also be seen as a powerful, allegorical indictment of the Hollywood blacklist, created during the climate of suspicion and fear of the 1950s McCarthy era.
TCM has information. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 97%.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Too Late for Tears

Special note regarding Elizabeth's Altered Book Lover blog:
I'm sure you already know, but Elizabeth has been locked out of her usual blog
and can currently be seen on

Too Late for Tears is a 1949 film noir. I have a soft spot for this genre film but hadn't heard of this movie until I happened across it online. It's said to have quite the cult following.

Noir of the Week says,
The character of Jane Palmer, played here with such delectable and duplicitous precision by Lizabeth Scott stands in the Dark Dame Film Noir Hall of Fame along with the infamous Cora Smith (luscious Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice) and deadly Phyllis Dietrichson (steely Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity).
The Chicago Tribune says, "The movie failed to find much of an audience in its own time. It looks a little better every year." DVD Talk says, "The direction is tight, the pacing is quick and the story is tense. This works and it works well." TCM has an overview.

Friday, April 19, 2019


Dune is the multiple award-winning first book in the series by Frank Herbert. A classic, I've read it several times.

from the back of the book:
Dune is one of the rare novels that has met with unanimous praise, both in science fiction and literary circles. Since the time of its first publication, it has become a best-selling classic, hailed as a landmark in the field and as an amazing feat of creation.
Wikipedia describes it,
Set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which various noble houses control planetary fiefs, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose family accepts the stewardship of the planet Arrakis. While the planet is an inhospitable and sparsely populated desert wasteland, it is the only source of melange, or "the spice", a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities.[7] As melange can only be produced on Arrakis, control of the planet is a coveted and dangerous undertaking. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice.
Fantasy Book Review says,
Frank Herbert’s Dune is easily one of the most layered works of fiction produced during the twentieth century. From examining Byzantine political gambits to the human penchant for hero worship, Herbert using a far-flung future setting to examine the best and worst aspects of human nature. Dune is easily one of the primary masterpieces of science fiction.
The New Yorker praises it, calls it a classic, and says,
“Dune” is an epic of political betrayal, ecological brinkmanship, and messianic deliverance. It won science fiction’s highest awards —the Hugo and the Nebula— and went on to sell more than twelve million copies during Herbert’s lifetime. As recently as last year, it was named the top science-fiction novel of all time in a Wired reader’s poll.
The Guardian says, "It has sold millions of copies, is perhaps the greatest novel in the science-fiction canon and Star Wars wouldn’t have existed without it. Frank Herbert’s Dune should endure as a politically relevant fantasy". SFReviews.net opens with this: "Literary landmark and pop culture icon, Frank Herbert's epoch-making Dune has for so long held the crown as the Most Important SF Novel Evar".

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel is a 2019 superhero movie, an origin story of the title character but also the story of Nick Fury and Phil Coulson from before the beginnings of the Avengers. If you like the super-hero movies, you'll like this. Don't go to see it knowing what to expect and then complain it didn't offer something else. This is also a necessary movie to see if you plan on watching the Avengers: Endgame film when it comes out later this month.


The New York Times says, " it’s pretty good fun ... It’s not too long, not too self-important, and benefits from the craft and talent of a cast that includes Annette Bening, Jude Law and Ben Mendelsohn." Variety has a glowing review.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

White Butterfly

White Butterfly by Walter Mosley is the 3rd book in the Easy Rawlins mystery series. I've enjoyed taking a look at Los Angeles in the 1950s from the point of view of this detective. There's atmosphere galore here and a look at race relations and African American culture from those days.

from the back of the book:
The police don't show up on Easy Rawlins's doorstep until the third girl dies. It's Los Angeles, 1956, and it takes more than one murdered black girl before the cops get interested. Now they need Easy. As he says, "I was worth a precinct full of detectives when the cops needed the word in the ghetto." But Easy turns them down. He's married now, a father -and his detective days are over. Then a white college coed dies the same brutal death, and the cops put the heat on Easy. If he doesn't help, his best friend is headed for jail. So Easy's back, walking the midnight streets of Watts and the darker, twisted avenues of a cunning killer's mind....
The New York Times has a positive review. Kirkus Reviews concludes, "As usual, plotting, setting, dialogue, and social comment are all as mannered as Raymond Chandler and -if the manner doesn't put you off- nearly as compelling."

I've also read these from this series:
#1 Devil in a Blue Dress
#2 A Red Death

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Still Life with Fruit Bowl

Still Life with Fruit Bowl:

by Elsa Carolina Celsing, a Russian-born Swedish artist who died on April 19, 1974. The drink (or the glass waiting for a drink?) in this painting is posted to connect with the bloggers at the T Stands for Tuesday gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth. Please share a drink in your post and join us. You'll receive a warm welcome.




Foil Background:



Warm Beginnings:

Background made out of overlapping shapes:


Sweet Things:

Let's Rock:

Polka Dots: