A Lesson in Context

In Maine, whistles were just that: whistles. A device through which to make a loud sound, with no exterior connotations attached. Certainly no one carried one around, unless you were on a hunting trip and even then it was an optional accessory. I think when I was in high school, a mention of a whistle would probably call to mind that Frosty the Snowman movie- the old-school animated one that plays every year on ABC family around Christmastime. There’s a scene with a huffy, tiny policeman directing traffic, and he’s getting redder and hoppier and jumping mad, and he keeps blasting on this whistle, over and over.

In Boston, and probably any urban area, a whistle is a rape whistle. It has no other purpose. Even if the maker was making an ordinary whistle, it becomes a rape whistle in the city: a device to call for help should someone make an unwanted advance or attack. My two roommates and I (all female) were each given a rape whistle by our broker when we moved into our new apartment. Mine is metallic green, and made out of a single block of metal. It’s a cylinder shape, with a hole on top for air to pass through, and a hole on the end to blow into. I keep mine on my key ring, in between the mailbox key and my Swiss Army knife (because I’m both a former Mainer as well as a former girl scout and I think “Be Prepared” is a universally good idea).

In the last year that I’ve carried it on my person, I haven’t had the need to put the rape whistle to use other than to test the sound on first receiving it- knock on hypothetical wood. It is just another keychain, one that makes noise if I blow air into it. A toy.


Landscape Silhouettes

I adore these. I hope he eventually makes these on commission, because I would love to order one or two that use silhouettes of family members.

The artist, Aritz Bermudez of Creative Farm, overlaps two complementary landscapes and a trace outline of a young boy or girl. Result:

Source 1.

Source 2.

Nifty music video

Michael Andrews – Bubbles In Space from Josh Hassin on Vimeo.

Via Flavorwire:

To create his new video for “Bubbles in Space,” Michael Andrews got some help from an unexpected place — a whole mess of teenagers armed with art supplies. To build this video, 100-odd art students from San Diego’s High Tech High International’s class of 2013 drew over 3,000 individual frames, following a pre-planned form, but each free to draw in their own style and add as many, um, embellishments as they liked. The result is a manic, almost epileptic riot of style and color, filled with “did you spot that” moments that will have you wanting to watch it frame by frame. If you’ve ever been a teenager with a Sharpie, it’s pretty much guaranteed to make you smile.

Song of the Week: Dual Edition

I’m pretty sure everyone on the internet has seen this (the video has 174 million views and counting) but I’m featuring it anyway because it’s one of my new favorites. And this is my blog and I make the rules. So there.

And because you’ve probably already heard it, here’s one you probably haven’t.

I’m not-so-secretly in love with this woman.


‘Sewn found photos’ is my sharp pin today by artist Lisa Kokin. It was originally from the dailyartmuse website written in 2007. Kokin takes old photographs, cuts them out and creates identities for them. In this example they are like paper dolls but standing in a circle talking to each other.


Now I’m not sure if you noticed but I’m a big fan of artists who clearly use the things around them to make their art. It is resourceful (thrifty, nifty and gifty) but makes them super imaginative!

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