Friday, February 27, 2009

Jack Vettriano Valentine Rose

Jack Vettriano Valentine RoseJack Vettriano There's Always Someone Watching YouJack Vettriano The Twilight ZoneJack Vettriano The Parlour of Temptation
SOME people will accuse me of playing with fire. Next summer, I am due to marry Nic, my boyfriend of two and a half years. We have plenty in common, get on famously, and I have a strong desire to kiss him whenever I see him. ButThen I received a press release from a company called ScientificMatch, based in Florida, which offers to match couples according to scent-related aspects of their DNA profiles. By hooking you up with your biological match, rather than someone you just get along well with, the company promises a better sex life, more orgasms, a lower risk of cheating on each other, higher fertility and healthier children. Intrigued, I did some research and came across a similar company, GenePartne recent events have left a niggling doubt in my mind.It started with a recent paper I read. It suggested that taking hormonal contraceptives (as I have for many years) affects your sense of smell, which is a key factor in finding Mr Right (Proceedings of the Royal Society B, vol 275, p 2715).r

Thursday, February 26, 2009

George Bellows Club Night

George Bellows Club NightCaravaggio The Seven Acts of MercyCaravaggio The Lute PlayerCaravaggio The Inspiration of Saint Matthew
You?" said Hrun uncertainly.
"Ahaha. Yes," said Rincewind. "Hrun, isn't it? Long time no see. What brings you here?"
Hrun pointed to the luggage.
"That," he said. This much conversation seemed to exhaust Hrun. Then he added, in a tone that combined statement, claim, threat and ultimatum: "Mine."
"It belongs to Twoflower here," said Rincewind.
"Here's a tip. and we might all stand a chance of getting out of here alive. Or merely just dead."
"Who is he?" asked Twoflower. He was holding a cage in his hands, dredged from the bottom-most depths of the Luggage. It appeared to be full of sulking pink lizards.
"I am Hrun," said Hrun proudly. Then he looked at Rincewind.Don't touch it."It dawned on him that this was precisely the wrong thing to say, but Hrun had already pushed Twoflower away and was reaching for the Luggage... which sprouted legs, backed away, and raised its lid threateningly. In the uncertain light Rincewind thought he could see rows of enormous teeth, white as bleached beechwood."Hrun," he said quickly, "there's something I ought to tell you."Hrun turned a puzzled face to him."What?" he said."It's about numbers. Look, you know if you add seven and one, or three and five, or take two from ten. You get a number. While you're here don't say it
"What?" he said.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pablo Picasso Studio with Plaster Head

Pablo Picasso Studio with Plaster HeadPablo Picasso Les Demoiselles dAvignonPablo Picasso Le Moulin de la GalettePablo Picasso Crucifixion
darker shadow inched its way along one of the walls of the Drum, a few yards from the two trolls who were guarding the door. Rincewind was sweating. If they heard the faint clinking of the specially-prepared bags at his belt...
One of the trolls tapped his colleague on the shoulder, producing a noise like two pebbles being knocked together. He froze in mid-grope.
Then, for the third time, the door burst open. Two trolls hurried through it, slammed it behind them dropped the heavy bar across it and fled down the stairs.
Outside there was a sudden crescendo of running feet. And, for the last time, the door opened. In fact it exploded, the great wooden bar being hurled far across the room and the frame itself giving way. Door and frame landed on a table, which flew into splinters. It was then that the frozen fighters pointed down the starlit street...Rincewind darted from his hiding place, turned, and hurled his burden through the Drum's nearest window.Withel saw it arrive. The bag arced across the room, turning slowly in the air, and burst on the edge of a table. A moment later gold coins were rolling across the floor, spinning, glittering.The room was suddenly silent, save for the tiny noises of gold and the whimpers of the wounded. With a curse Withel despatched the assassin he had been fighting. "It's a trick!" he screamed. "No-one move!"Three score men and a dozen trolls

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Claude Monet Custom Officer's Cabin at Varengville

Claude Monet Custom Officer's Cabin at VarengvilleClaude Monet ChrysanthemumsClaude Monet Camille Monet in the GardenClaude Monet Blue Water Lilies
Fire roared through the bifurcated city of Ankh-Morpork. Where it licked the Wizards' Quarter it burned blue and green and was even laced with strange sparks of the eighth colour, octarine; where its outriders found their way into the vats and oil stores all along Merchants Street it progressed in a series of blazing fountains and like drowning fireflies towards the sea. In any case, sparks were riding the breeze and touching down far across the river in hidden and remote brickyards. The smoke from the merry burning rose miles high, in a wind-sculpted black column that could be seen across the whole of the Discworld. It was certainly impressive from the cool, dark hilltop a few leagues away, where two figures were watching with considerable interest.explosions; in the Streets of the perfume blenders it burned with a sweetness; where it touched bundles of rare and dry herbs in the storerooms of the drugmasters it made men go mad and talk to God.By now the whole of downtown Ankh-Morpork was alight, and the richer and worthier citizens of Ankh on the far bank were bravely responding to the situation by feverishly demolishing the bridges. But already the ships in the Morpork docks - laden with grain, cotton and timber, and coated with tar - were blazing merrily and, their moorings burnt to ashes, were breasting the river Ankh on the ebb tide, igniting riverside palaces and bowers as they drifted

Monday, February 23, 2009

Leonardo da Vinci da Vinci Self Portrait

Leonardo da Vinci da Vinci Self PortraitRembrandt The Return of the Prodigal SonRembrandt rembrandt nightwatch paintingRaphael The Sistine Madonna
rifle banged, and then another, as the gyptians realized what was happening. But firing at targets you can't see is dangerous when you can't see your own side either. The Tartars, in a tight group now around the sledge, were able vision, ragged shadows, racing light-
A great swirl lifted curtains of snow aside, and into the cleared area leaped lorek Byrnison, with a clang and screech of iron on iron. A moment later and those great jaws snapped to blaze at will into the snow, but the gyptians dared not shoot back for fear of hitting Lyra.Oh, the bitterness she felt! The tiredness!Still dazed, with her head ringing, she hauled herself up to find Pantalaimon desperately fighting the monkey still, with wolverine jaws fastened tight on a golden arm, changing no more but grimly hanging on. And who was that?Not Roger?Yes, Roger, battering at Mrs. Coulter with fists and feet, hurtling his head against hers, only to be struck down by a Tartar who swiped at him like someone brushing away a fly. It was all a phantasmagoria now: white, black, a swift green flutter across her

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gustav Klimt The Fulfillment (detail I)

Gustav Klimt The Fulfillment (detail I)Gustav Klimt The Embrace (detail_ square)Gustav Klimt Schloss Kammer Am Attersee IIGustav Klimt Portrait of Adele Bloch (gold foil)
pocket of the anorak before shoving that through too.
She jumped the hideous cruelty of the intercision, she could cope with; she was strong enough; but the thought of that sweet face and gentle voice, the image of that golden playful monkey, was enough to melt her stomach and make her pale and nauseated.
But the gyptians were coming. Think of that. Think of lorek Byrnison. And don't give yourself away, she said, and drifted back toward the canteen, from where a lot of noise was coming.
Children were lining up to get hot drinks, some of them still in their coal-silk anoraks. Their talk was all of the zep-pelin and its passenger.down, pushed back the locker, and whispered to Pantalaimon, "We must just pretend to be stupid till she sees us, and then say we were kidnapped. And nothing about the gyptians or lorek Byrnison especially."Because Lyra now realized, if she hadn't done so before, that all the fear in her nature was drawn to Mrs. Coulter as a compass needle is drawn to the Pole. All the other thingsshe'd seen, and even

Friday, February 20, 2009

Salvador Dali Galatea of the Spheres

Salvador Dali Galatea of the SpheresSalvador Dali GalarinaSalvador Dali Figure at a Window ISalvador Dali Corpus Hypercubus
marmot, and trying to look as if she was on the verge of tears.
"With your father? I see. And what's he doing in this part of the world?"
"Trading. We come with a load of New Danish smokeleaf and we was buying furs."
"And was your father by himself?"
"No. There was my uncles and all, and some other men," she said vaguely, not knowing what the Samoyed hunter had "They never found me," she said doubtfully. "There was a fight. There was lots of 'em and they had arrows...."
"Oh, I don't think so. I think you must have wandered away from your father's party and got lost. Those huntsmen found you on your own and brought you straight here. That's what happened, Lizzie."
"I saw a fight," she said. "They was shooting arrows and that....I want my dad," she told him."Why did he bring you on a journey like this, Lizzie?"" 'Cause two years ago he brung my brother and he says he'll bring me next, only he never. So I kept asking him, and then he did.""And how old are you?""Eleven.""Good, good. Well, Lizzie, you're a lucky little girl. Those huntsmen who found you brought you to the best place you could be."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Camille Pissarro Still Life with Apples and Pitcher

Camille Pissarro Still Life with Apples and PitcherWinslow Homer The Houses of ParliamentWinslow Homer Children on the Beach
She felt angry and miserable. His badger claws dug into the earth and he walked forward. It was such a strange tormenting feeling when your daemon was pulling at the link between you; part physical pain deep in the chest, part intense sadness and love. And she knew it was the same for him. Everyone tested it when they were growing up: gate, scrambling over the icy mud toward him, and he turned into a wildcat and sprang up into her arms, and they were clinging together tightly with little shaky from them both.
"I thought you really would-"
"I couldn't believe how much it hurt-"seeing how far they could pull apart, coming back with intense relief.He tugged a little harder."Don't, Pan!"But he didn't stop. The bear watched, motionless. The pain in Lyra's heart grew more and more unbearable, and a sob of longing rose in her throat."Pan-"Then she was through the

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Leroy Neiman Ryder Cup

Leroy Neiman Ryder CupUnknown Artist Mary Magdalene in the DesertLeroy Neiman World Class Skier
you talked to me, Farder Coram, and I lost it. See, it's just floating any old where."
"Yes, I see that. I'm sorry, Lyra. You tired now? D'you want to stop?"
"No, I don't," she said, but her cheeks were flushed and her eyes bright. She had all the signs of fretful overexcitement, and, rusty and cobwebbed with pipework, beside a refinery where a thick smear of smoke ascended reluctantly to join the clouds.
"Where are we?" said Lyra. "Can I go outside just for a bit, Farder Coram?"
"This is Colby water," he said. "The estuary of the river Cole. When we reach the town, we'll tie up by the Smoke-market and go on foot to the docks. We'll be it was made worse by her long confinement in this stuffy cabin.He looked out of the window. It was nearly dark, and they were traveling along the last stretch of inland water before reaching the coast. Wide brown scummed expanses of an estuary extended under a dreary sky to a distant group of coal-spirit tanks

Vincent van Gogh The Plain at Auvers

Vincent van Gogh The Plain at AuversVincent van Gogh The Night Cafe in the Place Lamartine in ArlesVincent van Gogh The good Samaritan Delacroix
Lord Asriel, no less. For them as has forgotten, it were Lord Asriel who interceded with the Turk for the of Sam Broekman. It were Lord Asriel who allowed gyptian boats free passage on the canals through his ? Stand up and answer, man."
But Raymond van Gerrit had sunk to his seat, and nothing would make him stand. A low hiss of disapproval sounded through the great hall, and Lyra felt the shame he must be feeling, as well as a deep glow of pride in her brave father.
John Faa turned away, and looked at the other men on the It were Lord Asriel who defeated the Watercourse Bill in Parliament, to our great and lasting benefit. And it were Lord Asriel who fought day and night in the floods of '53, and plunged headlong in the water twice to pull out young Ruud and Nellie Koopman. You forgotten that? Shame, shame on you, shame."And now that same Lord Asriel is held in the farthest coldest darkest regions of the wild, captive, in the fortress of Svalbard. Do I need to tell you the kind of creatures a guarding him there? And this is his little daughter in our care, and Raymond van Gerrit would hand her over to the authorities for a bit of peace and quiet. Is that right, Raymond

Monday, February 16, 2009

Franz Marc Blaues Pferdchen

Franz Marc Blaues PferdchenMarc Chagall The Fall of IcarusMarc Chagall The Birthday
of the coal-silk bags from the shop they'd visited that very afternoon. Mrs. Coulter had given her money like sweets, and although she had spent it lavishly, there were still several sovereigns left, which she put in the pocket of the dark wolfskin coat before tiptoeing to the door.
Last of all she packed the alethiometer in its black velvet cloth. Had that abominable monkey found it? He must She slipped through the door and into the hall, and in less than three seconds she was opening the front door of the flat. A moment after that she was through and pulling it quietly shut, and with Pantalaimon a goldfinch again, she ran for the stairs and fled.
have done; he must have told her; oh, if she'd only hidden it better!She tiptoed to the door. Her room opened into the end of the corridor nearest the hall, luckily, and most of the guests were in the two big rooms further along. There was the sound of voices talking loudly, laughter, the quiet flushing of a lavatory, the tinkle of glasses; and then a tiny moth voice at her ear said:"Now! Quick!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

George Frederick Watts Watts Choosing

George Frederick Watts Watts ChoosingFrancisco de Zurbaran Rest on the flight to EgyptClaude Lorrain Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba
no," protested the Librarian. "But I wish you had told me more.
The Master was silent for a while before saying, "Yes, perhaps I should have done. The alethiometer warns of appalling consequences if Lord Asriel pursues this research. Apart from anything else, the child will be drawn in, and I want Between them both, Charles, I tremble."
The Librarian was silent in his turn. Ever since Pope John Calvin had moved the seat of the Papacy to Geneva and set up the Consistorial Court of Discipline, the Church's power over every aspect of been absolute. The Papacy itself had been abolished after Calvin's death, and a tangle of courts, colleges, and councils, collectively known as the Magisteriumto keep her safe as long as possible.""Is Lord Asriel's anything to do with this new initiative of the Consistorial Court of Discipline? The what-do-they-call-it: the Oblation Board?""Lord Asriel-no, no. Quite the reverse. The Oblation Board isn't entirely answerable to the Consistorial Court, either. It's a semiprivate initiative; it's being run by someonewho has no love of Lord Asriel.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Claude Monet Vase Of Flowers

Claude Monet Vase Of FlowersClaude Monet The women in the GardenClaude Monet The PicnicClaude Monet La Grenouillere
Lee, I couldn't abide to be anywhere away from you for a single second," she whispered back.
"You think the witch will come?"
"Sure she away down the slope.
Another long silence. The pain nearby was losing its fear of him. It was like a pack of jackals, circling, sniffing, treading closer, and he knew they wouldn't leave him now till they'd eaten him bare.
"There's one man left," Hester muttered. "He's a-making for the zeppelin."
And Lee saw him mistily, one soldier of the Imperial Guard creeping away from his company's defeat.will. We should have called her before.""We should have done a lot of things.""Maybe so…"Another crack, and this time the bullet went deep somewhere inside, seeking out the center ofthought: It won't find it there. Hester's my center. And he saw a blue flicker down below, and strained to bring the barrel over to it."He's the one," Hester breathed.Lee found it hard to pull the trigger. Everything was hard. He had to try three times, and finally he got it. The blue uniform tumbled

Rene Magritte Woman Bathing

Rene Magritte Woman BathingRene Magritte The Voice of the WindsRene Magritte The Sea of Flames
'Grandfather,' they said, 'how far back does your memory go?'"
"'Way, way back. Back long before humans,' he said, and his voice was soft and cracked and frail."
"'Is it true that the greatest battle ever known is coming soon, Grandfather?'"
"'Yes, children,' and daring and he believes his cause is just. Except for one thing, children. He hasn't got Aesahaettr. Without Aesahaettr, he and all his forces will go down to defeat. And then we shall feast for years, my children!'"he said. 'A greater battle than the last one, even. Fine feasting for all of us. These will be days of pleasure and plenty for every ghast in every world.'""'And who's going to win, Grandfather? Is Lord Asriel going to defeat the Authority?'""'Lord Asriel's army numbers millions,' the old cliff-ghast told them, 'assembled from every world. It's a greater army than the one that fought the Authority before, and it's better led. As for the forces of the Authority, why, they number a hundred times as many. But the Authority is age-old, far older even than me, children, and His troops are frightened, and complacent where they're not frightened. It would be a close fight, but Lord Asriel would win, because he is passionate

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bill Brauer The Gold Dress

Bill Brauer The Gold DressHenri Matisse Blue Nude I 1952Cassius Marcellus Coolidge A Friend in Need
lane ran down through trees to another road at the far end, and it wasn't lighted. It would have been easy for an ordinary burglar to get unobserved into the shrubbery and that there was a strong iron fence twice as high as Will, with spikes on the top, running the length of Sir Charles's property. However, it wascabinet thing and I'll close that window and then I'll come back to this one. You stay here in this world and keep watch. As soon as you hear me call you, you come through this window into Ci'gazze and then I'll close it up again. All right?"
"Yeah," she whispered. "Both me and Pan'll look out."
Her daemon was a small tawny owl, almost invisible in the no barrier to the subtle knife."Hold this bar while I cut it," Will whispered. "Catch it when it falls."Lyra did as he said, and he cut through four bars altogether, enough for them to pass through without difficulty. Lyra laid them one by one on the grass, and then they were through, and moving among the bushes.Once they had a clear sight of the side of the house, with the creeper-shaded window of the study facing them across the smooth lawn, Will said quietly, "I'm going to cut through into Ci'gazze here, and leave the window open, and move in Ci'gazze to where I think the study is, and then cut back through to this world. Then I'll take the alethiometer out of that

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thomas Kinkade End of a Perfect Day

Thomas Kinkade End of a Perfect DayThomas Kinkade Beacon of hopeThomas Kinkade The Sea Of Tranquility
! Stop crying!" he said. "Tell me from the beginning. What old man? What happened?"
"You're going to be so angry. I promised I wouldn't give you away, I promised it, and then…" she sobbed, and Pantalaimon became a young clumsy dog with lowered ears and wagging tail, squirming with self-abasement; and Will understood that Lyra had done something that she was too ashamed to tell him about, and he spoke to the daemon.
"What in his agitation: dog, bird, cat, snow-white ermine.
"What did the man look like?" said Will.
"Big," said Lyra's muffled voice, "and ever so strong, and pale eyes…"
"Did he see you come back through the window?"
"No, but…"
"Well, he won't know where we are, then."happened? Just tell me," he said.Pantalaimon said, "We went to the Scholar, and there was someone else there—a man and a woman—and they tricked us. They asked a lot of questions and then they asked about you, and before we could stop we gave it away that we knew you, and then we ran away—"Lyra was hiding her face in her hands, pressing her head down against the pavement. Pantalaimon was flickering from shape to shape

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Leroy Neiman Daily Double

Leroy Neiman Daily DoubleLeroy Neiman Cross Town Rivalry 1967Leroy Neiman Cowboys Bills Superbowl
what do you think it is?" she asked.
"Well, what we think it is—" As she began, the kettle boiled, so she continued. "We think it's some kind of elementary particle. Something quite different from anything discovered so far. But the particles are very hard to detect… Where do you go to school? Do you study physics?"
Lyra felt and put
She handed across a was no milk and no sugar, but she did find a couple of ginger biscuits in a drawer, and Lyra took one hungrily.
"And we found a particle that fits," Dr. Malone went on. "We think it fits. But it's so strange… Why am I telling you this? I shouldn't. It's not published, it's not refereedPantalaimon nip her hand, warning her not to get cross. It was all very well, the alethiometer telling her to be truthful, but she knew what would happen if she told the whole truth. She had to tread carefully and just avoid direct lies."Yes," she said, "I know a little bit. But not about dark matter.""Well, we're trying to detect this almost-undetectable thing among the noise of all the other particles crashing about. Normally they put detectors very deep underground, but what we've done instead is to set up an electromagnetic field around the detector that shuts out the things we don't want and lets through the ones we do. Then we amplify the signal

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Leroy Neiman the 37th Ryder Cup

Leroy Neiman the 37th Ryder CupLeroy Neiman Ryder CupLeroy Neiman Ryder Cup detail
Queen," said the young witch, unable to stay silent under Serafina's gaze, "I know the man Stanislaus Grumman. I used to love him. But I hate him now with such a fervor that if I see him, I shall kill him. I would have said nothing, but my sister. But this task of ours is greater than revenge. Remember that."
"Yes, Queen," said the young witch humbly.
And Serafina Pekkala and her twenty-one companions and Queen Ruta Skadi of Latvia prepared to fly into the new world, where no witch had ever flown before. made me tell you."She glanced with hatred at the elder witch, who returned her look with compassion: she knew about love."Well," said Serafina, "if he is still alive, he'll have to stay alive until Mr. Scoresby finds him. You had better come with us into the new world, and then there'll be no danger of your killing him first. Forget him, Juta Kamainen. Love makes us sufferwisest, suggesting a mission to all the other witch clans to urge them to join together for the first time.
Ruta Skadi agreed with that

Monday, February 2, 2009

Marc Chagall Paris Through the Window

Marc Chagall Paris Through the WindowMarc Chagall Lovers in the MoonlightMarc Chagall Adam and Eve
with it, well, it's like having the alethiometer but no idea how to read it. I suppose I'll have to work, but I don't know at what. My parents are probably rich, but I bet they never thought of putting any money aside for me. And anyway, I think they must have used all their money up by now, so even if I did have a claim on it, there wouldn't be any left. I don't know, Master. I came back to Jordan because this used to be my Home, and I didn't have glittering more than usual, her chin was held high with a look she'd learned from Will without knowing it. She looked defiant as well as lost, Dame Hannah thought, and admired her for it; and the Master saw something else, he saw how the child's unconscious grace had gone, and how she was awkward in her growing body. But he loved the girl dearly, and he felt half-proud and half in awe of the beautiful adult she would be, so soon.
He said, "You will never be lost anywhere else to go. I think Svalbard, and I think Serafina Pekkala would let me live with her witch clan; but I'm not a bear and I'm not a witch, so I wouldn't really fit in there, much as I love them. Maybe the gyptians would take me in...But really I don't know what to do anymore. I'm lost, really, now."They looked at her: her eyes were

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Juan Gris The Guitar

Juan Gris The GuitarJuan Gris BreakfastGeorge Bellows Stag at Sharkey's
Anyway," Mary went on. "I remembered the taste, and all at once I was back tasting it for the first time as a young girl.
"I was twelve years old. I was at a party at the house of one of my friends, a birthday party, and there was a disco, that's where I remember trying to smile, and blushing, and feeling so foolish, and I fell in love with him just for that, for the gentle way he touched my lips with the marzipan."
As Mary said that, Lyra felt something strange happen to her body. She felt as if she had been handed the key to a great house she hadn't known was there, a house that was somehow inside her, and as she turned the key, she felt other doors opening deep in the they a kind of recording machine and people dance," she explained, seeing Lyra's puzzlement. "Usually girls dance together because the boys are too shy to ask them. But this boy, I didn't know him, he asked me to dance, and so we had the first dance and then the next, and by that time we were talking... And you know what it is when you like someone, you know it at once; well, I liked him such a lot. And we kept on talking and then there was a birthday cake. And he took a bit of marzipan and he just gently put it in my mouth,