Monday, July 16, 2012

My Favorite Bookplate

Many zillions of years ago I checked out a book with the infamous Widener bookplate.  (It wasn't the following book; I'm just using it as an example.)

Read the second bookplate.

I was rather shocked, because I didn't know the story behind the infamous bookplate:

"In 1931 Joel C. Williams, A.M. '09, Ed.M. '29, a former instructor at Groton and a former high-school principal, was caught with 2,504 stolen Widener books at his home in Dedham, Massachusetts. He said he was preparing himself for a college professorship. His thieving had begun eight or 10 years before, but had stopped a year and a half before he was caught when, according to a newspaper account, "extraordinary steps were taken by the Harvard authorities to prevent students 'sneaking' books out of the library without permission. A turnstile was erected at that time and suspicious bundles were ordered examined." An editorial writer in the Boston Post said that the case "suggests impaired mentality." When the books came back to Widener, librarians had an acerbic bookplate printed and affixed to each volume. It reads, "This book was stolen from Harvard College Library. It was later recovered. The thief was sentenced to two years at hard labor. 1932." A security measure of sorts."  From Harvard Magazine.  The Crimson article.

Note that, though literally true, the text of that bookplate is misleading.

Despite the security measures, the thieving continued.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Hot Weekend

Juliet relaxes on the patio.

The trees outside my patio help keep my electric bill down.

But even in July, Romeo is making lots of fur.  I could stuff a mattress with what he sheds!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Victoriana, etc.

I'm reading The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime by Judith Flanders.  I picked it up because I loved Judith Flanders's earlier book Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England.  JF writes intelligent, funny, fascinating social history.  One of the more fascinating facts from TIM is that well-off Victorians collected Staffordshire figures of murderers and victims.

Potash Farm, the home of murderer James Blomfield Rush

The barn where William Corder (at the door) murdered Maria Marten (at the left).

The Victorians united the charmingness of porcelain with the grisliness of murder!

Monday, July 09, 2012

From Planet to Galaxy

Last Friday some buddies and I ate at the newish Veggie Galaxy.  It is certainly fancier than Veggie Planet, of which this is an offshoot.

Julie was relaxed and out of focus.
 Dave was a bit sharper.  In the background, a woman signals.

 Dave's view of me is slanted.
 Laureen approves!

Next time I'm going to have the Eggs Benedict, which Julie says is very good.  My black-bean hamburger was just OK.  The chocolate cream pie, however, was fantastic.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Clandestine Decoration

This tree-hugger is the first instance of yarn bombing that I seen in my usual haunts.

In an age of acid etching graffitti,  it's encouraging to see nondestructive forms of street art.