Sunday, 31 August 2014

BMC Ecology Prize

The overall winner of the BMC Ecology Image Competition 2014 is Petra Wester of the Institute of Sensory Ecology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany. Her winning photo of a Namaqua Rock Mouse (Aethomys namaquensis, Muridae) is the first time "nocturnal rodent pollination" has been captured on film in the wild. The mouse is lapping nectar from the flowers of a Pagoda Lily (Whiteheadia bifolia, Hyacinthaceae). His nose is dusted with pollen, which it will transfer to another flower. CLICK for a BBC show of excellent category-winning photos. CLICK for BMC Ecology journal for lots of technical details.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Ashya Found

Ashya King, the 5-year-old boy with a brain tumour, has been found alive is Spain. His parents, who removed him from Southampton General Hospital against medical advice, have been arrested and questioned by Spanish police. Ashya has been taken to a major children's hospital in Spain (CLICK).

Folkestone Digs

Alleged German "artist" Michael Sailstorfer buried £10,000 worth of gold bars on Folkestone's Outer Harbour beach as part of the town's Triennial arts festival. Hordes have descended on the beach in search of gold and are digging furiously. The project is appropriately called Folkestone Digs. Fake gold bars (one shown) and washers to attract metal detectors were buried with the real treasure. Art? I reckon that Sailstorfer has found a way of getting revenge on Brits for winning World War II (CLICK).
Update: a £500 ingot has been found (CLICK).

Open House London

Yesterday I picked up a free copy of Open House London 2014 at my local library. There were only a few left. Eighty pages this year. It's becoming quite a weighty tome. This annual Open-City event takes place on the weekend of 20 and 21 September (CLICK).

Zoo Weigh-in

My favourite photo of the past week is of this Mossy Frog (Theloderma corticale) being weighed in London Zoo, taken by Carl Court (2014). The Zoological society of London holds an annual stocktaking of the animals it keeps. This is more than just a count of its animals. It checks their vital statistics to monitor their wellbeing. This little fellow weighed in at 37.1 grammes (CLICK).

Friday, 29 August 2014

Horse Dancing

Dressage is the ultimate art of horsemanship. This YouTube video shows Britain's Michael Eilberg and Half Moon Delphi dancing to the music of Shakira in 2013. Today Eilberg came eighth in the World Equestrian Games in France with his freestyle dressage routine (CLICK). The winner of the freestyle dressage world title was fellow Brit. Charlotte Dujardin on her horse Valegro (CLICK).

Terror Alert

A day after Tory MP Douglas Carswell defected to UKIP, PM David Cameron has raised the UK's terror threat level from "substantial" to "severe", allegedly due to the prospect of Muslim nutters returning from conflicts in Iraq and Syria. Anything to upstage Nigel Farage (CLICK).

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Cumberbatch in Wax

Quick as a flash after Benedict Cumberbatch won an Emmy for best actor in a mini-series, awarded by the US Primetime Emmys in Los Angeles, Madame Tussauds in London has released photos of the Sherlock star inspecting his likeness in clay. Looks impressive. His completed waxwork will be unveiled at the Baker Street tourist trap later this year. The artist is Louis Wiltshire (CLICK).

Bullets & Burgers

From Gothic horror to modern American horror. In an Arizona shooting range called Bullets and Burgers, a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot her instructor in the head when she lost control of the Uzi submachine gun she was firing. Her parents filmed the accident, a shortened version of which has been released by the Mojave County Sheriff's office. The girl successfully fired a single shot at the target, then her instructor sets the Uzi to automatic and the film cuts. He died after being airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas (CLICK). Thomas Jefferson, who enshrined the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution in 1791, would turn in his grave if he saw the murderous military firepower being put in the hands of American children. In Jefferson's day the guns were muzzle-loaders: muskets, duelling pistols, blunderbusses and cannon.

Google Goes Gothic

Only yesterday I posted news that the British Library and the BBC were going Gothic this autumn. Today's Google Doodle has gone Gothic too with this graphic celebrating the 200th birthday of Gothic horror writer Sheridan Le Fanu, who was Irish despite his French-sounding name. He was a pioneer of Gothic horror literature, with stories such as Uncle Silas and Carmilla (CLICK).

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wildlife Photos 2014

The Natural History Museum in London has released 4 photos as teasers for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition 2014, which opens on 24 October and runs until 30 August 2015, when it will go on tour. Shown is young photographer Marc Montes's winning Snake-eyes, which he took while trekking through the forest in the Val d’Aran, Northern Spain. The 100 best photos (out of over 40,000 submitted from 96 countries) will be selected for the 50th anniversary exhibition (CLICK).

Mobile Lovers Sale

The sale of Banksy's Mobile Lovers (2014) was announced yesterday, but the price remained a mystery until the artwork was handed to its buyer at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery this afternoon: £403,000 (CLICK). Thanks to a letter from Banksy, the work was sold by Broad Plain Boys Club in Bristol. It will keep the cash-strapped club going for a few years to come. A portion of the cash will be shared with other youth clubs in the area. The Private Treaty sale was handled by MM Contemporary Arts (CLICK).


This autumn BBC Two and BBC Four in partnership with the British Library are going Gothic with a season of programmes that celebrate the literature, architecture, music and art that strongly influence British culture. On 3 October the British Library opens the UK’s biggest ever Gothic exhibition: Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination. Two hundred rare objects trace 250 years of the Gothic tradition. Beginning with Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764) the exhibition traces Gothic horror through Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) and Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) to modern films by Clive Barker, Stanley Kubrick and the Twilight series (CLICK). The BBC has produced a range of TV programmes to explore Gothic art and architecture (CLICK).

Frank Auerbach

The inspiration behind Lucian Freud appears to have been Frank Auerbach. Freud collected Auerbach's daubs and doodles over many years and created the most important private collection of his works. Shown is Auerbach's Rebuilding the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square (1962). Earlier this year the Lucian Freud Estate palmed off this collection on the nation under Government's in lieu of inheritance tax scheme. On Monday, Tate Britain in London opened the collection to free public viewing: BP Spotlight: Frank Auerbach: Paintings and Drawings from the Lucian Freud Estate (CLICK). It gives the public the opportunity to ask Why on earth is Auerbach regarded as "one of Britain’s most celebrated living painters"?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Sherlock wins Emmys

BBC One's melodrama Sherlock picked up three awards at the US Primetime Emmys in Los Angeles. Benedict Cumberbatch won best actor in a mini-series and Martin Freeman won best supporting actor. Steven Moffat won best writing in a mini-series for the final episode of Sherlock's third season (CLICK). I can't recall much about it. The series was becoming too daft and convoluted for me. Have you noticed the spikes on an Emmy? Wave that about and you're likely to put somebody's eye out.

Iced Dockery

Believe it or not, this is the lovely Michelle Dockery having a bad hair day. Who would have imagined that the divine Lady Mary of Downton Abbey had such a big mouth? Michelle took the Ice Bucket Challenge, which is all the rage at the moment. I know it's done for charity, but sooner or later it's going to cause somebody to have a heart attack. CLICK to hear Michelle scream.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy

For one day only, Sunday 7 September, the first ever Fighting Fantasy Fest is to be held at The Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Ealing, London. The event has been organized by Jonathan Green to publicize his Kickstarter-funded You are the Hero - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks (2014). Tickets are probably sold out (CLICK). The creators of Fighting Fantasy, Games Workshop founders Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, will be at the Fest. It is more than 30 years since they published their first FF book: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Puffin 1982). For those of you who haven't a clue what I'm writing about, the FF books are basically role-playing dungeons and dragons computer games in book form. Having selected a role to play, the reader rolls dice to see what page to go to next, according to the choice of options made. The continuing success of FF owes much to its spine-tingling cover art. To find out more, CLICK for BBC News.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Richard Attenborough RIP

Breaking news: Oscar-winning film director and character actor Lord Richard Attenborough died today, aged 90, five days short of his 91st birthday. He and his wife Sheila Sim have been living in the same nursing home for a few years, since a fall down the stairs left him severely weakened. They wed in 1945 and enjoyed one of the longest showbiz marriages. They have three children. Shown is a recent portrait of Lord Attenborough - cropped - by Ian McPherson (CLICK). Note the wedding ring. To read the BBC's obituary of one of our greats CLICK.

Demolition Art

Yesterday crowds thronged to watch the demolition of the Wellington Hotel Annex in New York. Since the advent of videos on the Internet, I guess most of us have viewed explosive (or implosive) demolitions of major buildings and admired the technical skill that allows a building to be dropped onto its foundations without a loose brick flying off to damage neighbouring structures. But this demolition raises it to an art form. A combination of real fireworks by Grucci Fireworks of Long Island and the dynamite and careful preparation of Controlled Demolition Inc (CDI) created an awe-inspiring spectacle for the crowds to gasp at. CLICK for the BBC News video or, if that doesn't work outside the UK, CLICK for Albany News and expand the video. By the way, the J & J stands for the project developer Joe Nicolla and his wife Jessica.

Norfolk & Amiens

Regular readers will know that I tend to give short shrift to gimmicky art installations. Here's one I like: In Praise of Slow by landscapes designers group NineteenEightyOne. This traditional folly has an air of mystery about it that makes me want to explore. It's part of the hortillonnages (floating gardens) of Amiens in northern France, one of those hands-across-the-sea projects. This example is called Art, Cities and Landscape and is organised by the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk in England and the Maison de la Culture d’Amiens in France. The idea is to create "alternative tourism" (CLICK).

Bronze Tiger Skull

British sculptor Simon Gudgeon, who created the park Sculpture by the Lakes to showcase his work. is launching his latest series Skulls across the USA this autumn. Shown is his Bronze Tiger Skull, a limited edition of 9 (2014). The series began with a bronze tiger skull created to raise funds for the Born Free Foundation. He has since created life-sized bronze skulls of cats including Leopard, Cougar and Bobcat and is now working on enlarged skulls of birds, such as the American Bald Eagle (CLICK).

Saturday, 23 August 2014

JMW Turner Show

On 10 September Tate Britain opens The EY Exhibition: Late Turner – Painting Set Free. The exhibition brings together the impressionistic paintings J.M.W. Turner created between 1835 and his death in 1851. Shown is Turner's Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus (1839). The exhibition is far too expensive at £15 for adults and £13.10 for silver surfers (CLICK).

The Five of Us

On 4 September the Tate gallery will publish the latest book by Sir Quentin Blake: The Five of Us. The five friends have disabilities, but also each of them has an unusual ability. Combining their individual powers allows them to save the day when disaster strikes (CLICK).

Notting Hill

Shops are boarded up. The police are rounding up known troublemakers, some found with knives and at least one with a gun. Yes, the Notting Hill Carnival, the largest street party in Europe with a million people expected to attend, is back again. Sunday is Children's Day, the best day for families. All hell breaks loose on Monday. Whatever you think of Carnival, you've got to admit the costumes are works of art (CLICK). Shown is a sulky-looking member of the Paraiso Samba Troupe from last year.

Deep Breath

My TV set gave up the ghost some weeks ago and, being an impoverished blogger, I haven't replaced it. So I won't be watching Deep Breath, the new Doctor Who episode starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor and the delectable Jenna Coleman as ... er ... his impossible companion. The show is back on BBC One this evening at 7.50pm (CLICK). Maybe I'll catch it on iPlayer. Update: watched it on my PC. Silly as ever, but great fun.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Jihadi John

British newspapers are obsessed with tracking down James Foley's sadistic murderer, whom they've nicknamed "Jihadi John" (CLICK). As usual, they are clueless. So are our leaders. Infidels are fair game under Sharia Law. Remember the case of Meriam Ibrahim, sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging by a Sudanese Sharia court for apostasy (CLICK). She was lucky to escape. Did you know that there are seven countries in the world that can behead you for being an atheist, because disbelieving in Allah is considered blasphemous? All these countries follow Sharia Law. They are Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, the West African state of Mauritania and the Maldives (CLICK). All "good" Muslims are supposed to follow this medieval system of cruelty and injustice, because Sharia is considered the infallible law of Allah. Nothing to do with us? Sharia Law is already being practised in Great Britain. This year The Law Society issued ground-breaking instructions to solicitors on how to implement bigoted Sharia Law when writing wills for Muslims (CLICK). So PM David Cameron's notion of trying to bribe Muslims to finger lunatics like "Jihadi John" is doomed.

Digital Entries

The National Portrait Gallery in London has announced that it will be accepting digital entries for the BP Portrait Award 2015. In fact this will be the first stage of entry for all artists. Judges will consider digital photos in the first round of the competition. Those who pass the first round will then be invited to hand-deliver or courier their paintings to the judging venue in London for the final selection. This new system will make it quicker and easier for artists from around the world to submit their work. Details will be announced when the Gallery issues its Call for Entries in November 2014. The picture shows Thomas Ganter holding his BP Portrait Award 2014 First Prize Trophy for Man with a Plaid Blanket.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Top Models 2014

Forbes has released its list of the world’s highest paid models of 2014. Here are the top three: Gisele Bundchen from Brazil made a staggering $47m; Dutch model Doutzen Kroes made $8m and another Brazilian Adriana Lima made $8m. The UK's Kate Moss was fourth with $7m (CLICK).

Bestiary at Mall

This morning in Greater London it was cold enough for my central heating to come on. And it's still August! The chill reminded me that two exhibitions will be opening in the Mall Galleries in London on 2 September, both free. The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014 will showcase the wealth of British natural history and the talents of both amateur and professional photographers. Shown is a detail from Austin Thomas's Little Owl. The second opening is The Horse In Art 2014, the 35th Annual Open Exhibition by the Society of Equestrian Artists. This year’s show promotes the Society’s Working From Life programme with a selection of life sketches to buy. Demonstrations by artists take place during the show (CLICK).

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Beyoncé in Park

Beyoncé strolling in London's Regents Park to meet the geese keeping the grass clipped? No, it's Madame Tussauds latest Waxwork of Beyoncé posed in the park as a publicity stunt. That's a microphone in her right hand, by the way. CLICK to see more photos.

Talking Statues

The latest way of bringing statues to life in London and Manchester is Sing London’s Talking Statues. You need a smartphone to avail yourself of this novelty. You place your smartphone on the tab provided and a moment later receive a phone call from the person or animal depicted by the statue. I heard some of them yesterday on a BBC News video. Prunella Scales as Queen Victoria in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens and Nicholas Parsons as Samuel Johnson’s cat Hodge in Gough Square struck me as particularly amusing. Part of the fun is identifying the famous voice. Shown is Sir Eduardo Paolozzi's Statue of Isaac Newton (1995) based on the famous William Blake monoprint of Newton plotting the immensity of the Universe. It sits in the Piazza of the British Library (CLICK). There is a competition to write a monologue for William Shakespeare. CLICK for a list of statues already primed to give your phone a ring.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Bejewelled Creatures

We haven't changed much in 40,000 years. We still like our handcrafted figurines of interesting fauna. We just demand better craftsmanship. Left is a 19th-century diamond, tiger’s eye and ruby spider brooch, its legs set with rose-cut diamonds. Right is a Victorian enamelled brooch with tiger’s eye thorax, rose-cut diamond wings and ruby eyes. They will be offered as separate lots on 21 August by London firm Auction Zero (CLICK).

Ice Age Lion

Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen in southern Germany have found a fragment of the head of this 40,000-years-old Tübingen Ivory Lion Figurine which proves that it was three-dimensional, not a relief sculpture as long thought. The legless lion, carved from mammoth ivory, was found in 1931. The "new" fragment was found during recent digs in the Vogelherd Cave. For those of you who still believe that Biblical tripe about God creating the universe in six days an estimated 2,000 years ago, think again. This artifact dates from the Ice Age, when modern humans displaced the Neanderthals (CLICK).

Indian Parsi

This photo captures the old and the new. An Indian Parsi devotee chats on her mobile phone after praying at a fire temple on the Parsi New Year Navroze, in Mumbai. People accept new technology, but refuse to shed their outmoded faiths. The Parsi are followers of Zoroastrianism. They exist mainly in Mumbai as a small religious community, having fled Muslim persecution in Iran (formerly Persia) during the 7th century. There is nothing new about the recent Islamic atrocities, causing Yazidi and Christians and even non-Sunni Muslims to flee in terror. The sooner the world abandons the insanity of religion the better. Today is World Humanitarian Day 2014. A service in Westminster Abbey will commemorating those hundreds of aid workers who have died while serving humanity (CLICK). Why hold this commemoration in a religious place?

Grand Canyon Stamp

Quality paintings have been thin on the ground this week. I've posted only one other: CLICK. This magnificent painting Grand Canyon (1912) is by Thomas Moran, born in England, who moved to the USA and became one of the Hudson River School artists. This is one of four Hudson River School paintings chosen by the US Postal Service to be featured in the 12th issue of the American Treasures series, on sale from 21 August. CLICK to see a larger picture. To view the original painting, you need to visit The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri (CLICK). Admission is free. N.B. avoid Ferguson en route!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Julian Assange

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has announced at a press conference that he will "soon" end his two-year sojourn in the Ecuadorian embassy (CLICK).

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Napoleonic Cabinet

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has lashed out £534,000, helped by a £150,000 grant from the Art Fund, to buy this Napoleonic Medal Cabinet (CLICK). Very nice too, but what has it got to do with British culture, apart from the fact it was owned by a posh Briton? Now scroll down or CLICK to view Henry Holiday's Stained-glass Windows. These would compliment the V&A's collection of stained glass at a fraction of the cost of the Napoleonic Medal Cabinet. The estimate is £8000–£12000 for those British windows. The medal cabinet is on display in the V&A's Whiteley Silver Galleries until the end of August.

Henry Holiday Glass

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in Newbury, England, will auction Stained-glass Windows by Pre-Raphaelite artist Henry Holiday in a sale on 29 August. These windows were commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and created in 1898. Following an expansion of Chartered Accountants' Hall, the windows were bought by Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant and have been in his family ever since (CLICK).

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Ferrari Record

On 14 August Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California, sold this Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta (1962) for a record-breaking $38,115,000 (£22,843,633) making it the most expensive car ever sold at auction. Only 36 were built, from 1961 to 1964. The design owes a lot to the E-type Jaguar, but with spaghetti glitz and glamour added (CLICK). Work of art? More than a Picasso.

The House

Flying saucers? Artist Jose Pardo doesn't give anything away. It's called Untitled (2014). I do wish artists would have the gumption to create proper titles. This is one of the exhibits in Faggionato gallery's exhibition The House, which has been extended to 29 August. It's a group show with some big names, such as Richard Hamilton, Jeff Koons and Rachel Whiteread (CLICK).

Alpha Turtle

Large inflatable floating thingies are all the rage since Florentijn Hofmanis' Rubber Duck took the world by storm. Here's the latest: B.J. Price's Alpha Turtle being towed past Sydney Opera House. This five-metre tall, 15-metre long sea turtle is being berthed in Cockle Bay next to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium to publicise the opening of its Undersea Art Exhibition. Whatever next? I won't link you to the SEA LIFE website, because it locked up Internet Explorer and I don't link to dodgy websites.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Berkhamsted Map

Oo-er ... Does this shape remind you of anything ... er ... phallic? It has certainly titivated some Facebook and Twitter users, BBC News reports. The Map of Berkhamsted is published by the Canal and River Trust to help tourists find their way round the town's castle, train station and Grand Union Canal. The Trust admits it might have been "a bit naive" in not noticing the shape prior to publication, but the town's mayor is ... er ... cock-a-hoop. He welcomes anything to lift tourism (CLICK).

Frogmore House

The annual three-day summer opening of Frogmore House and Garden, situated in the magnificent grounds of the private Home Park of Windsor Castle, takes place on 16, 17 and 18 August this year. It is no longer an occupied royal residence, but is frequently used by the Royal Family for private entertaining. Tickets cost £8.50 for adults, £7.50 for silver surfers. CLICK to book.

Banksy in NY Book

Today independent publisher Carnage NYC released Banksy In New York by writer and photographer Ray Mock, who spent October 2013 chasing after Banksy's Better Out Than In project in New York. The book features over 120 photos and illustrations on 120 pages, published as a limited edition of 2,000, price $35. Shown is the Meatpacking District page, October 11 (CLICK).

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Injustice Exhibition

Here's an interesting exhibition which will open at La Galleria, 30 Royal Opera Arcade, London, on 29 September. It's an open charity art exhibition entitled Injustice, presented by London Legal Support Trust in association with Arts for Justice. This excellent painting Access to Justice (2014) created specifically for the show by Andrew Brady sums up the main title. Blind Justice is lounging on the right. Beside her is a wealthy woman petitioning while holding back a poor woman in a tattered blouse. In a text description of the work the artist makes the point that "Making cuts to Legal Aid is one of the greatest injustices in our country today". The price of the original painting is £6,395, but you can buy an A3 print for £30 or an A4 print for £20. CLICK to visit the Just Art website to view the exhibits and, if you wish, enter a competition by voting for your favourite and making a small donation, say £2.

National Gallery Wi-Fi

The National Gallery in London has launched a free Wi-Fi service. Another gimmick to drag the smartphone generation off the streets? Tweet your friends a selfie standing in front of a 500-year old masterpiece? Actually it's more sensible than that or should be. You can point your smartphone at a painting and receive information about the work, even a YouTube video about it. This will be especially helpful for foreign visitors whose grasp of English is poor. They will be able to receive information in their own language, at least that's the plan. CLICK for more information.

After Dark

Tate Britain's After Dark, which has four robots wandering round the gallery from 10pm to 3am, allegedly controlled by online visitors, looked a shaky idea from the start. Out of curiosity I signed up last night and twice got the message "Error 503 Service Unavailable Guru Meditation...". This bugged tripe won the £70,000 IK Prize, a competition to encourage innovative digital uses of the museum. Money to burn, those idiots in charge. Try it yourself and let me know if you have better luck than I did: CLICK. Shown is a pre-launch video still of one of the robots viewing Sir Jacob Epstein’s The Visitation (1926). Even the BBC can't make this daft idea look worthwhile (CLICK).

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Famous and Infamous

Throughout August, until 2 September, Christie’s South Kensington is showing Famous and Infamous, an exhibition of highlights from the collection of Jersey collector David Gainsborough Roberts. His first major acquisition was the red sequin gown worn by Marilyn Monroe in Howard Hawks' Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) co-starring Jane Russell. Since then he has amassed an extraordinary collection of memorabilia from popular and notorious icons, from a piece of Queen Victoria’s wedding cake to gangster John Dillinger’s death mask. Each piece tells a fascinating story. CLICK for details.

Heathrow Taxi

Heathrow Airport has unveiled this London Taxi by artist Benedict Radcliffe. It stands in the departure lounge of Terminal 2, "The Queen’s Terminal", a reminder of the famous black cab as a farewell to the 20 million pests who will pass through Terminal 2 every year. (The damned jets pass over my house.) It's Radcliffe’s first piece of permanent public art (CLICK).

Lauren Bacall RIP

Another Hollywood great has passed away: Lauren Bacall at the age of 89 from a major stroke. the Humphrey Bogart Estate confirmed yesterday. Born Betty Joan Perske of Polish and Romanian immigrants in New York, she once described herself as "a nice Jewish girl from the Bronx". Her love of theatre was stirred at an early age by watching John Gielgud in Shakespeare's Hamlet. She took up a modelling career, which led to her first movie. At the age of 19 she exploded onto the silver screen in her debut film To Have and Have Not (1944), starring opposite Humphrey Bogart, whom she famously invited to whistle to call her and whom she later married. Her husky voice and smouldering looks made her a huge box office hit. After Bogart's death from lung cancer, she married Jason Robards. Her career lasted seven decades (CLICK).

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Robin Williams RIP

The tragic suicide of Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams has dominated BBC News headlines throughout the day. I watched the press conference given by police lieutenant Keith Boyd of Marin County Sheriff's Office, who read out a statement, then answered sensible questions and fielded the sillier ones. He confirmed that Williams had died of asphyxia due to hanging. The actor's personal assistant had entered the room just before noon California time and found Williams dead and cool to the touch. He was hanging in a seated position. What demons drove this fine actor with a beautiful wife, lovely daughter Zelda Mae and two sons to kill himself? The photo shows Robin Williams with his wife Susan Schneider in happier times. She has asked to be left alone and that Robin be remembered for the joy he brought to the world (CLICK).