Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My First Cat Show

I've loved cats my whole life, but have never been to a cat show. This past weekend was my first trip to one. One of my students was showing Abyssinian Cats in a show in Joplin, Missouri and invited me to come. We went as a family with an ulterior motive in mind, however. My husband dreams of owning a Maine Coon for the sake of having something that gargantuan around the house. He wanted to check out their size as a breed in person.

It is certainly a surreal subculture, to be sure. I loved seeing all the cat breeds, but I enjoyed watching the people as well. The judging was bizarre. I'm not entirely clear on how cats are judged. They have always seemed to be judging me and other humans. It was strange seeing them on the other end of the stick. There were several Maine Coon cats and my husband definitely got a definite idea of the size of a Maine Coon. There was one winning cat named "Rusty Nail" who was only 14 months old and as big as the length of his owner's torso. Maine Coons are not considered full grown until they are 4 years old! Can you imagine?! He was a sight and very beautiful and with a good temperament. His owner said they make great companion animals. I'm sure we'll get one someday.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Too Racy for London

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Venus, 1532,
Oil and tempera on red beechwood,
37.7 x 24.5 cm. Stadel Museum, Frankfurt am
Main, Inv. Nr. 1125. Photo © : Jochen Beyer, Village-Neuf.


LONDON.- Transport for London has refused to display a poster of the “Venus” painting by German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder stating it was overtly sexual. This painting is one of the 70 works that will be on view at the Royal Academy of Arts on March 8 in London. According to the academy, Transport for London would only display the image if the bottom half was cropped out.

Academy spokeswoman Jennifer Francis said, “I think it is because she's totally nude as opposed to say she's topless. We're shocked. We wouldn't have put a poster design forward if we thought it was offensive."

Jennifer Francis stated that the "Venus" was chosen because it best represents Cranach's work, but the academy was uncomfortable altering the artist's work by cropping it. Jennifer Francis stated, "We actually thought it was quite an innocent painting."

Transport for London issued a statement: "We have to take account of the full range of travelers and endeavor not to cause offense in the advertising we display."

Additional information on Cranach:

An article at all-art.org.
An article from Germany.info.
An editorial at Guardian Unlimited.

Friday, February 01, 2008



LONDON—United Nations peacekeepers have vandalized prehistoric art in the Western Sahara, spray-painting graffiti over the artwork at Devil Mountain, known throughout the area as a place of cultural significance, the Times (London) reports. The U.N. officers who sprayed the graffiti also signed and dated their work. "I was appalled. You’d think some of them would know better..." said Julian J. Harston, the U.N. representative of the secretary-general for Western Sahaha in charge of the mission there. "They will not enjoy the action we have taken. We will report it to the troop-contributing countries. We can move them." He said he also would seek funding from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco) to remove the graffiti.