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Yesterday we participated in a StoryMob. What’s that you ask?
“StoryMobs are where great kids’ books meet flash mobs with a dash of Mardi Gras thrown in. A story mob is inspired by an exceptional children’s book and allows for participation in a variety of ways. These may include costumes & props, copies of the book, simple choreography, musical instruments and vocal parts.”
I learned of it through our love of Fancy Pants Kids, whose Mompreneur Gretel Meyer Odell is one of the organizers of the StoryMobs in Toronto. We were eager to participate and lucky the timing worked out for us so we could enjoy this family friendly theatre-esque event in Toronto.
Yesterday‘s book was Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman, which was a great choice due to all the dressing up that the characters in the book do, along with the refrain: “Jillian, Jillian, Jillian Jiggs, it looks like your room has been lived in by pigs!”.
I really wish I could have gotten video of the experience itself, but when you’re in the middle of it, as a reader (of two lines I was :-D) and costume changer of the kids, I wasn’t able too. Hopefully down the road a video will be released of it from some of the many other participants so you can see what it is like in true flash mob style. The passers-by who were walking the closed down Queen St for the Beaches Jazz Festival seemed to enjoy the street theatre they happened upon.
Thanks to children’s book store Ella Minnow for being a back-drop and anchor for the event.
If you’re keen to try this out yourself, they will be organizing two more this summer here in Toronto. And yeah, why not start your own local one where ever you might be?
As you may know, we use the library A LOT (over 500 checkouts so far this year (track it yourself with athenaeum)). Somehow or other, the barcode on the back of my library card is wearing out (darn you Friction!), making it more and more difficult to get it to scan at the self-checkout stations. The kids helped me (they are short) find the keyboard locked under the shelf checkout station, and we learned how to unlock it, pull it out and type in the library card # to get by. This lasted a while, until I was almost ready to go to the circulation desk to claim a new card, thus suffer the personal horror of being assigned a new number, and more terribly, a new location on the holds shelf — when I had an epiphany.
It is just a barcode. I know how to make barcodes. Why don’t I replace the barcode on my library card? I could just paste it over top the worn out one and I’d be off to the races. But wait, why stop there? I carry around three library cards (mine, my wife’s and my son’s), taking up over 40% of the contents of my pocket on any given day, let’s solve that problem too. I proceeded to print up a sheet with all three library card #’s barcodes so now I just have a tiny slip of paper and presto problem solved, life hacked. For those who carry a smart phone, it is even simpler as you just can keep an image file on your phone and display that to the barcode scanner and be on your way.
Only times you need your card now are when you need to present official identification to government officials.
Don’t get carried away with this though. You wouldn’t want to ‘cheat‘ any other systems by consolidating your barcodes, or heaven forbid alter something’s code.
I wonder if there is a keen enough library user who wants their library card for life that will get a working tattoo barcode of their library card?
Want to do it too? Super easy way is to just follow this link here to Barcodes Inc’s Generator. and look to your browser’s address bar and change the number where it says code= to your library card number — make sure you leave all the other things in place. I’ll state the obvious, the barcode seen in that link is not a valid barcode, it isn’t your library card #, you must type your own personal number in there (and know that there is a small chance someone somewhere will have a record of your number in a log file). If you’re going to do it yourself using the form (click advanced options) or have other tools to make a barcode I tested and found that the “numeric only” codes are recognized by the library’s scanners. Thus pick “Interleaved 2 of 5” or “Code 128-C” to get you started. Once you have your image file of your barcode, do what you want with it in terms of laying it out to be printed, or encoding it to be tattooed, or sending it to your smart phone. Good luck, and have fun!Note this should in no way be limited to the Toronto Public Library system. Anywhere that has a self-checkout that uses a barcode can be hacked in this way.
I came across the above image posted at Babes at the Museum, and they were requesting to identify the people in the photo as of February 2012. I decided to go on a bit of a hunt.
My conclusion is that the photo is the work of Charlotte Duberry, Nessa Norich, Jessica Hinds, and Marina Lazzarotto and is an outtake shot during the rehearsal of commissioned performances at the Louvre, in front of Regnault’s The Three Graces (“Les Trois Grâces”) on a Tuesday sometime in 2010. An applicable title is “Mimesis in the Louvre”.
Now to document some of my search for those curious.
I started out using TinEye, as if it was an ‘official’ photo it was good chance it would be registered over there (and I was curious if it would trigger on the painting in the background). It returned 12 images, best guess being this post, but nothing official. I found a post over at blended.fr that claimed the photo was part of lingerie company La fille d’O‘s advertising but couldn’t find anything corroborating that. I found a blog post by Jim Harris over at Huffington Post about Facebook’s censorship of the image (what is art, vs what is porn? and many nice things said about the image), but again, no source information.
Next up was using Google Image Search. This led me to the trove that is tumblr. Its best guess was a post by Mr. Harris Tweed which he named “The Four Graces”, but then I was determined to try to find the first occurrence of the picture online. Via this line of inquiry I found a nice article here asking where the line between classical beauty is and just plain sexy. Using the date searches, leading back to the beginning of May 2011, I narrowed it down to this post at contraindicaciones which was the first I found listing some names of the participants: “Nessa Norich, Jessica Hinds, Charlotte Duberry, Marina Lazzarotto, Sofia Senna” (also this post at Girls Who Like Porno). The earliest dated post I found was Feb 18, 2011 at murdermetonymy‘s tumblr, but again no source. Having some names in hand, and the location known due to the background image (though many attributed it to Rubens or Rapheal instead of Regnault, and one even named it as the Graces from Botticelli’s Primavera) I tried to confirm things.
I found a website for Nessa Norich which listed in her ‘Devised Works’ section a project called “The Three Graces”. There are images of a dance performed by three women in front of the painting. It is still difficult to confirm the faces of the participants though. Over on Marina Benitez Lazzarotto’s resume she too lists a theatre performance at the Louvre, so this connected four of the names I found from the other sites to the image’s location.
Finally I emailed my suspicions and received confirmation from Ms Benitez Lazzarotto that it was in fact a photo taken on her camera after hours while they were rehearsing for their respective shows.
“The girls in the photo from left to right are: Charlotte Dubery, Nessa Norich, Jessica Hinds and me. The picture was taken with my camera which i put on a timer. It was taken on a tuesday when the museum was closed and the three girls and i were rehearsing for Les Nocturnes du Louvre.” – Marina
So, there is a brief history of this meme.
And keeping it all current, if you like the talent Marina showed in creating this image, perhaps you’ll want to help her out making a movie? Crowdsource her over at IndieGoGo for her film project FLASH.
A facebook thread discussing this quotation “Shoes do no more for the foot than a hat does for the brain.” (which I read here) prompted this earnest question: “What is your issue re: wearing shoes?” Here is my reply.
Hi Jen, thanks for the inquiry. I had prepared a new reply to use: “why don’t you wear a corset”, but I’ll go easy on you 😉
Most importantly, it feels right. Shoes have never felt right. Have you ever experienced that pleasure of being barefoot — be it in the grass, or after a long day on your feet and you’re stretching out your toes, or having a foot rub? Why is it people continually make themselves uncomfortable?
I have a philosophy called the escalation of convenience: if you do something because it’s convenient, you’ll soon do something else and then something else and then something else and after a while you won’t know where or why you did it in the first place. My explorations with shoes have fallen into this model. Most people in our culture never question the fashion that tells them to be shod, and as a result they suffer for it (see my succinct comment about corsets above). Greatly. Ever had sore knees, or a bad back? A foot infection, or an ingrown toe nail, twisted an ankle? Why?
As you might have noticed in the past though, whenever the topic comes up on here there is a lot of unfounded, strongly held opinions against such a simple expression of non-conformity so I can’t say it is something for everyone to try in public, for now. Give it another few years and some of the ignorance and resistance might lessen.
It is hard for those of us in our culture to go against something we learned so young. Your mother told you you had to wear shoes from the time you could walk. Who am I to question that?