Updates from February, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Christa Forster 20:33 on 28/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Reflection on #1850charla 

    Here’s a post wherein I reflect on the relationship between the #1850charla installment of the What’s on [My] Mind? performance project. How does today’s event relate to what I’m doing on March 12, 2014?

  • Christa Forster 20:29 on 28/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Just finished the timeline for the #1850charla today… 

    Just finished the timeline for the #1850charla today. https://twitter.com/xtaforster/timelines/439577717525078016

  • Christa Forster 12:51 on 28/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    I want to thank everyone who joined me… 

    I want to thank everyone who joined me today on the Twitter stage for the #1850charla, especially @mediciprincess (Isabella Medici), @patrick (Patrick J. Sweetman), @donnie (Donnie Archer), @auntrenie (Aunt Renie) and @ysidora (Ysidora Pico). xoxoxoxo

    • Isabella Medici 14:07 on 28/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for inviting us! It was a wonderful experience. How does it relate or connect to your 12 March event?

    • Aunt Renie 02:27 on 01/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thank YOU so much Christa, the pleasure was all ours. It was a lot of fun spending a little time with your wonderful troupe of people. AND, as you’ll see in my post above, I was also able to do my MU AF&S interview during the charla! Say hello to the new Director of the Clinic!

  • Aunt Renie 19:36 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Hello children I have exciting news I’m coming… 

    Hello children! I have exciting news! I’m coming out of retirement! I’ve been so touched by the sad stories of avatars who can’t bear their own children, that I’ve decided to open an Avatar Fertility Clinic focusing on surrogate avatar arrangements. What a gift to be able to give! More info coming soon!

  • Izzy 18:42 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Dual Citizen! 

    Isabella Medici's certificate of Ladonia citizenship

    I’m thrilled to announce my dual citizenship! In addition to my long standing as a citizen of Italia, I have now also become a citizen of Ladonia. I have great hopes of eventually becoming Ladonia’s Minister of Education.

  • Vanessa 09:07 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Meanwhile if anyone remembers that old PBR… 

    Meanwhile if anyone remembers that old “PBR” MOOC, the peeps over on the FB group are determined to get the certificates promised in the syllabus and for some reason, the instructors seem adamant that certificates not be given:

    • Hugh 10:00 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not in that loop. I bailed out of FB and into Diaspora. Something similar but more flexible and open source. And oh yeah, user owned so Markie Zee doesn’t have his mitts on my stuff. Do the instructors give a reason for not wanting to give the certs seems curious? I can’t really see the cert being a deal breaker in a job interview though so it seems like a little bit of a waste of energy. But people will often stand on principle before they stand on their own two feet.

      • Vanessa Blaylock 10:05 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Agreed Hugh. It’s not worth making a fuss. Yet weird that the MOOC that asked for more work than any I’ve taken doesn’t want to pass out certs. The instructors apparently claim they never offered one, but the FB group has pointed to the promise in the syllabus.

        I originally liked the vision of Diaspora. But love or hate FB, it’s biggest strength is that it’s the new “Phone Book” with almost everybody in it. There aren’t a lot of peeps (that I know of) to share stuff with on Diaspora.

    • Hugh 10:16 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      All true. I just feel ikkey every time I use it and I have this messiah complex. If I join they will follow. So far I only know one person there. Perhaps there is an opportunity for a collaborative project there?

      • Vanessa Blaylock 10:25 on 28/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes Hugh, there are SOOOO many platforms out there! For any activity you like there are numerous Proprietary, and numerous Open choices. Just to take blogging as an example, you could get an account at a proprietary site like Tumblr or Medium or Blogger, or use Open software like WordPress or Open Blog or Ghost. Or many others!

        It’s an obscenity of riches! Perhaps all the choice / confusion is even a piece of why so many mostly use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and that’s it. “FTY” IS “The Internet” for many. I was shocked to hear that many people can go a whole week without ever using Google Search, since I, like so many others, use it so many times every day.

        It doesn’t have to be an oversimplified binary thing, but when I’m choosing which Feudal Lord to pledge my allegiance to, I choose Google. They’re still proprietary, and they definitely make choices I don’t like, but when it’s Google vs anybody else, Google’s perspective almost always suits me better than the other peeps.

        With FB vs G, for example, Facebook really wants to be The New AOL. They’d love it if you never left their walled garden. It’s not quite that simplistic, and they do provide lots of hooks in and out, but I still find some truth in that perspective. By contrast, Google really wants you to surf the complete Information Superhighway, they just want to be the gas station on all the on-ramps. As a blogger, the Google perspex suits me a whole lot better than the FB.

        • Christa Forster 11:22 on 28/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

          Great metaphor there at the end, Van. Love this discussion!

  • Christa Forster 13:33 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Plan for Upcoming Twitter Chat — #1850charla!! — on February 28, 2014 

    Okay, February 28 is only hours away, and that’s the day we take our #1850charla to the Twitter stage. I…I don’t really know what’s going to happen, but let’s pretend I do.

    The original plan (from the .Re/cipes page) was to

    pull sentences from…letters we’ve crafted (from our past to our present) to tweet out, using the hashtag #1850charla (a charla is the Spanish world for a “chat.”)

    However, some of you may not have written a “letter,” but you still want to participate. Some may have been using this .Re/act page as your letter. And some of you may have written many missives; you may want to tweet out the whole collection in one fell swoop.

    Anyone who wants can participate in anyway he or she wants. You will be participating if you use the #1850charla hashtag.

    Schedule A: Between 9am and 10am PST (5pm to 6 pm UTC), the #1850charla “performance” will take place. If you are available, please join us on the Twitter stage during that hour. We will be chatting about _________________ (I’m still taking suggestions — from myself and others! if you would like to suggest a topic, please post it in the comments here. I’m very open to suggestions right now!

    Here are some useful resources for prepping for the chat, especially if you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before.


    Schedule B: If you are unable to attend the 9am to 10 am PST chat, then please consider contributing to the #1850charla throughout the day; you can do so by posting something related to the topic/s and adding the hashtag #1850charla. 

    On February 29, I will “Storify” or create a custom Twitter timeline for the #1850charla and share it here on .Re/act and via Twitter.

    Thank you so much for your participation so far. I am truly grateful for your playful and adventurous spirits!!


    • Christa Forster 16:51 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Link for directions about how to customize a Twitter timeline.


    • Isabella Medici 04:29 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      How wonderful Christa. So this is not the thing called “Tweetchat” but rather a “Chat on Twitter” (with #1850charla) – is that right?

      And then we can participate about our letters or whatever else for the one hour… or the rest of the day?

      See you Friday! 😀

      • Christa Forster 14:06 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        That is right, Isabella. I think, yes. What you said. I am looking forward to our exchange! LOVE!

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 10:05 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      See you all there. Looking forward to it. Some great stuff written.

    • Aunt Renie 19:33 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes I FEEL like I was born in 1850!

  • Izzy 09:07 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Yes brothers and husbands can sometimes be the… 

    Yes, brothers and husbands can sometimes be the lowest vermin. It’s old news. But people can also be so beautiful. This 21st century is about exponential possibilities. The 16th was about a scarcity of possibilities, even for a Medici Princess. Yet for all the abundance of this time, I am troubled by 2 trends: sedentary lifestyles and academic lethargy.

    Everything is better, save for our bodies and minds sliding into disuse. Too much of both work and play is now experienced from a chair parked in front of a flat-screen. The university has become too much about the pursuit of a piece of paper, not about a rich, humanist education. And so I offer Izzy’s Gym and Medici University, new hopes in a new century for our reinvention, body and soul.

  • Patrick J. Sweetman 01:44 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    It always ends in tears….Boys should never play with guns 

    I’ve been off the grid the last few days. Sooo 1850s. I went to see a medium and as I was telling Ysi she was more of a small, coming in at 155cm and weighing 45 kg. Still she was able to see the future. And as I suspected it’s not pretty. My brother John’s political rantings have so influenced his son that he got seriously involved with the movement for independence and the plight of those who fled the famine for America by helping to establish the Irish-American Colonisation Company in 1880. My nephew, John, stored guns on the site of the brewery for revolution. Because it was not proven that he was directly involved he escaped a jail sentence but the brewery was given a punitive fine (guns and alcohol is never a good idea). The fine, coupled with the financial loss caused by his American exploits, bankrupt the brewery which was then bought out by Guinness six years after I died. At least I did not have to see the Brewery’s sale but I did see its rapid demise. After that John devoted himself to politics full time and co-founded Sinn Fein in 1905. When we won independence in 1921 John felt he was too old to contest the election and so my son Roger stood for a seat which he won. However Roger resigned from parliament less than 12 months later. He stood down as a contentious objector as he did not like the direction the civil war was taking. And he didn’t even have a keg to drown his sorrows in. Ironically we married into a bunch of alcoholics after that. They really missed the boat. Next time my gggs drinks a pint of Guinness I’m going to haunt him with the worst hangover ever.

    First Dail of the Irish Free State

  • Yellow Fever 08:17 on 25/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    We’re out here…. 

    And we’re headed for you!

    Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 10.17.05 AM


    • Patrick J. Sweetman 00:54 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      You’ll never take me alive!

    • Christa Forster 16:23 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I know THAT’s right.

  • Ysidora Pico 20:44 on 24/02/2014 Permalink | Reply


    ¡Ay Dios Mio!

    I’m worried, so worried about the state of our world. As a result of the hoards streaming into Alta California to plunder the land and the rivers for this gold that they believe the whole land rests upon, much turmoil has erupted. They call our land — which is now newly their land — “the golden state,” but they should be calling it the red and black and blue state because of all the spilled blood and violence being done to get this gold. I have been up to my eyeballs in safeguarding native women and children, refugees to our mission San Juan Capistrano, who have heard rumor that they gain shelter here, gain safety. As I am “la llavera,” I have been taking them in and keeping them in the attic at nights, but we are running out of room! I’ve heard told that there are men in the north full of so much cupidity that their eyeballs are literally turning yellow!


    Meg, who seems to have a stronger immune system than most (I’m not positive she is human) is perhaps safe on Mars, but as I have not heard anything from the others (sweet Oscar, Donnie — whose immune system I’m sure is dashed due to his lifestyle — Isabella, Mr. Sweetman), I fear that my comadres and compadres have been victims of some new violence or virulence and that the end is truly nigh!

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 00:34 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      No I’m here I had the deep blues (to go with your reds and blacks) after visiting the clairvoyant. I was told she was a medium but she turned out to be very small. Huh advertising. So I snuck off for a couple of days to gather my thoughts. Oh and violence is coming on over here. All guns blazing. My nephew John will bring you some if needed but I fear that will be too late as he only starts to get involved in America in the 1880s. Still let me know if there is anything I can do. Truely yours, PJ

  • Ysidora Pico 21:51 on 21/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Getting Closer… 

    Here is a version of the What’s on [My] Mind? publicity website. Please take a look at it, and if you have a moment, I would appreciate any feedback you might have about what’s working well and about how I can make it better. THANK YOU!

    (P.S. If you click on the image, it should take you to the link.) (P.S.S. if you click on the #1850charla post on the website, it will give you an initial understanding of how I’m thinking about organizing the charla).

    Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 11.42.10 PM

    • Christa Forster 17:16 on 25/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Looks awesome, Ysi!

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 00:29 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Ysi (goes with Izzi) it looks great. And I’ve no problem hanging out with Prima Donnas. Who’s going to throw the best parties the Prima Donnas or the Wallflowers? I’m with the PDs all the way. And anyway in a previous life I was Sarah Bernhardt, that’s enough Prima Donna for any man!

      • Christa Forster 16:30 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Ah, Sarah! I love her style! I’ve turned my hair into a nest for birds but never into a belfry for bats! Next up….

        Sarah Bernhardt with Bat

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 10:22 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      The lady is a vamp and a little known influence for Ozzie Osbourn’s stage show.

  • Meg O'Ryan 09:02 on 21/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Katherine Fernandez Rundle Kicks Ass! 


    State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle arrests Oscar & Donnie for insurance fraud!

  • Meg O'Ryan 08:06 on 21/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Boys Lie 

    detail of a t-shirt with a silkscreen printed image of Pinocchio and the text "Boys Lie"

    Boys Lie.

  • Izzy 01:48 on 21/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Fluxkit, 1964/65. Fluxus edition, assembled by George Maciunas. Mixed media (vinyl attaché case), printed matter. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection, Detroit / Photo: Walker Art Center. All you need to make Fluxus art is in this suitcase.

    Fluxkit, 1964/65. Fluxus edition, assembled by George Maciunas. Mixed media (vinyl attaché case), printed matter. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection, Detroit / Photo: Walker Art Center. All you need to make Fluxus art is in this suitcase.

    What would a “Fluxus Briefcase” or Fluxkit be in cyberspace?
    What would a Cornell box be in cyberspace?

    Is all of cyberspace a Wondercabinet?

    • Christa Forster 18:30 on 21/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m fascinated by the fact that you are fascinated with this question! You keep asking it; and in doing so, a response is starting to form in my mind. What a wonderful phenomenon: if we ask the same question over and over, the mind continues to solve the problem (find the solution), slowly but surely.

      I’ll let you know when it’s clear! It’s still inchoate.

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 00:11 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Izzie and Christa, This is new to me not have lived through the 1960s. What defines a Fluxus Briefcase? I must go and dust off the old travelling case and fill it with stuff and things. But I feel I’d probably be a bit random at the moment.

      • Isabella Medici 21:09 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes Patrick, I think you’ve got it! A briefcase filled with stuff and things. Everything you need for a fluxus performance.

        Or to put it in Ysidora friendly terms, you might say that a Fluxus Briefcase is like a Spanish Land Grant for your mind.

  • Oscar 00:58 on 21/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    NO! STOP! Donnie is innocent! 

    NO! NO! NO! STOP!!! This is really cruel and wrong! Donnie didn’t do it and, to be clear, I never said he did. He’s right. I fell. (What he’s wrong about is the “Palace of Justice” reference – it was a small claims court.) Media loves a frenzy. The juxtaposition of text and image led Meg to jump to an erroneous conclusion and, despite the fact that Donnie tried to nip the inaccuracy of her judgement in the bud, the damage had already been done. The first stones cast and the witch-hunt was on. Donnie was a dead man already at that stage.

    What can I say? To Donnie: I’m so immensely sorry. And to the others: Be careful. Words and images do not always add up to the total you believe, or want to believe.

    Can Donnie survive this character assassination, the firing from the job he hadn’t yet started?

    I’m scared that Donnie with his bluster, his grit, his illness (yes, I mean his alcoholism) he was already a marked man in a community of well, it would seem, otherwise flawless characters…

    • Meg O'Ryan 01:34 on 21/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      You’re such a fucking worm Oscar. Crucify the man then say “no, I was only kidding.” Why don’t you stand behind something for once in your life Oscar? If I ever see either of you two liars again I swear to god I’ll turn you both into sawdust. I’ve got better things to do with my fake life than waste it on liars like you.

      Good riddance.

      • Yellow Fever 12:51 on 25/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        FAKE, YOU’RE DEAD.


        Fake your dead.

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 23:57 on 25/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry Donnie, I shouldn’t read things chronologically. Well at least the cops aren’t coming for you but I still hear Betty Ford calling.

  • Meg O'Ryan 21:38 on 20/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Warrant for Donnie’s Arrest 

    photo of Donnie Archer on a wanted poster

    Have you seen this man?

    This criminal is believed to be armed and dangerous. If you see him do not approach! Please contact local authorities immediately. This man is extremely dangerous! DO NOT attempt to arrest him yourself. Always call for backup first!

  • Oscar 00:38 on 20/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  


    So…Donnie threatened to sue me for…er…minor infractions of protocol during surgery. (Or, as he put it: “How the hell did you manage to get your goddamned sleeve stuck to my head???!!”).

    However, fortunately, we agreed to settle out of court:

    Out of court settlement

    Out of court settlement

    On a lighter note: Hello Patrick! Nice to see you here. Seems you’ve just met the ladies so far, so please, allow me to introduce myself: I’m Oscar and Donnie is my 19th Century blast from the past. And he sure is a blast…

    Looking forward to chatting over the week ahead.

    • Meg O'Ryan 08:40 on 20/02/2014 Permalink | Reply






      • Donnie Archer 08:53 on 20/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hey, Meggie, did the kid say I did that to him? I don’t think so. Naw, Meggie, it wasn’t me. Here’s what happened: Just as we reached an agreement not to go any further with the whole legal mallarky, the kid slipped and toppled down a flight of concrete steps outside the Palace of Justice. (Actually. I bandaged him up myself.)

        • Isabella Medici 19:34 on 20/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

          I really hate to say I told you so, and my sincere sympathies to poor Mr. Oscar, but, I told you this man was trouble from the start!

          I believe that Tree Surgeons Without Borders is one of the great humanitarian organizations of our time. I am always humbled when I see their ship enter the port at Livorno. The way they bring reanimation to dummies, marionettes and other creatures great and small is nothing short of sublime.

          And now the thanks Mr. Archer shows a great humanitarian is to beat him senseless and then BLAME THE VICTIM! There is nothing lower.

          This is so like my own death. When I was allegedly washing my hair and just suddenly died while bending over the sink!

          My husband’s handprints all over my neck? Oh, no, that’s not proof that he strangled me at all, they only look like handprints but are actually the marks from me hitting the sink after suddenly dying.

          And Carl Andre didn’t murder Ana Mendieta, she simply fell out of the window!

          Gran’ disgraziato Mr. Archer.

          My husband’s handprints were on my neck because he strangled me, just as sure as yours was on Mr. Oscar’s back because you pushed him down those stairs. Admit it Mr. Archer, you’re a drunk who nearly murdered the man who saved your life.

          As for your faculty position at Medici University…
          YOU’RE FIRED!

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 23:55 on 25/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Wow Donnie, man what happened. I go off grid for a couple of days and all hell breaks loose. We could use your fighting spirit over here at the moment. But I’ll need to keep you away from the Brewery. Hey is that Betty Ford I hear calling you. I’ll come and visit PJ

  • Donnie Archer 22:58 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    On the subject of gifts… 

    Well, whatdya know? Look what the cat dragged in! A drinking buddy for Donnie! Oi, Paddy, I’ll shout ya a beer, kid.

    But hands off the women, sweet talkin’ Sweetman, they’re with me!!

    Cut'nPaste Donnie (Chequered)

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 00:51 on 20/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Donnie, you’re looking dapper. Not as dapper as me though. I’ll post my new profile pic shortly. The sideburns look much better on me in the 19C than my gggs. At least I’m of my time. He looks like a B movie 1970s throwback (he disqualifies for the 1850s as he doesn’t have enough bowties). But as I told him if he keeps them for long enough they’ll be back in fashion. Hopefully he’ll still be alive when they do. I’d offer you a pint but according to the clairvoyant I went to we lost the Brewery in the 1890s and were bought out by an upstart stout makers called Guinness. Anyway lets go for a beer. Any good virtual bars around here? PJ

      • Donnie Archer 03:59 on 20/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Geez, PJ, thanks for complimentin’ my clobber. To tell ya the truth, I’m not entirely sure where today’s togs came from. I’ve been through a few “wardrobe rotations” over the past coupla weeks. (I’m guessin’ You Know Who has plenty to do with this).
        Sorry to hear about the demise of your family’s business. That’s low, kid.
        I dunno about “good virtual bars” but I’ll imbibe at any ole waterin’ hole with you. Would be a pleasure to have your company!

  • Patrick J. Sweetman 21:47 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Now that I’ve got my act together 

    Hi Ysidora and Izzie, Yesterday in my excitement to be involved I forgot my manners and should have brought you a little something. So here is a bunch of flowers all the way from c1850. Chat soon, Patrickflowers

  • Izzy 06:24 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The Florentine (another era) 

    screencap of twitter conversation between Isabella Medici and The Florentine

    Another Era.

    Oh my!

  • Izzy 04:26 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    It’s so wonderful to have Patrick J Sweetman… 

    It’s so wonderful to have Patrick J. Sweetman joining us. His friends and countrymen have suffered and lost so much under these horrible famines. In reading his “rant” I’m reminded of my own bitterness over things past.

    I know Ysidora initially invited us here to think about the past and share moments of our lives and worlds. Perhaps I’ve cheated that. Yet somehow my journey here in 2014 seems to have been to let go of the past. I never dreamt that I would return and then so quickly open a Gym and then a University. It’s all so unanticipable how the river chooses to make its way across the land. In recognition of all that, today I’ve decided to change my bio blurb on most of the websites where one posts such things.

    Old Isabella Blurb

    Look pretty. Die young. It’s a shitty deal.

    Loveless marriage to a psychopath. So I had a 10 year affair with his cousin. That doesn’t make me a “whore,” it makes me a human being. And it certainly doesn’t give Mr. Psychopath the right to murder me. What was babbo thinking? Bethroved to that jerk at 10? Please! It’s the 16th century! Can we stop living like we’re still in the 13th!?

    New Izzy Blurb

    I’m passionate about healthy, cruelty free, sustainable living. I don’t support patriarchal culture, the military industrial complex, or the slaughtering of animals. I do support educational experiences and careers that don’t involve hours, requirements, or offices, but that instead are based on achievements.

    • ysidorapico 19:24 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, Querida! this is such a wonderful development. I await achievements; I ache for achievement.

      Perhaps your efforts in this life can be an example to some of the more errant knaves. I have known many errant knaves in my life. But what I am now knowing is that they may be errant because they are not granted opportunity to achieve in ways that match their abilities, especially when these knaves are unmotivated by hours, requirements (patriarchal!), offices. As we both know, attaining an office is in and of itself an achievement of dubious merit.

      • Isabella Medici 20:29 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Ysidora! I’ve been studying entropy (haha, yes entropy! Even if I’m not from the 1850’s, Entropy is!)

        Entropy seems to say that no matter how much food you produce, that still, someone will always starve. And probably there will always be misanthropes.

        HOWEVER, I do think you’re right. How many knaves just got stuck with the wrong “job description”? If we did a lot more career planning, might we better match the tendencies of the individual with the greater good of the culture? How many evil traits might be turned to benefit in the proper context?

        • Patrick J. Sweetman 21:24 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

          Sadly that reminds me of the Crimean War and the 1854 Charge of the LIght Brigade. Career profiling for the right ‘job description’, we could have certainly done with that in the 1850s. The lack of it is what caused so many unqualified aristocrats to be placed in positions of military command sending working-class, men serving god and country, to an early death. I note one of your cultural commentators Michael Franti when speaking about the liberation/invasion (depending what side of Jerusalem you are standing on) of Iraq said ‘Those who start wars never fight them’ So once again the world stands still. Seems I won’t find it too hard to catch up on the last 130 years.

  • Patrick J. Sweetman 00:29 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Hi Ysidora and Isabella Thanks for the invite… 

    Hi Ysidora and Isabella, Thanks for the invite. Well now I’m here obviously protype steam trains aren’t as fast as the web. Looking forward to getting stuck in for the last 10 days or so. See ya around, Patrick

    • Isabella Medici 04:05 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hello Patrick! DId you just wake up? I found on my “return” that I immediately started screaming about my scumbag husband and brother. I guess sometimes “time heals” and sometimes it just builds up resentment.

      I’m sorry to hear about the famines. What enormous human tragedy.

      Sweetman’s Superior Leinster Ale is made by your family then? Brewers? How interesting!

      • Patrick J. Sweetman 08:17 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah. I’ve got the scream out of my system. It had to be done. When you’re sleeping in the ground for ~130 years a lot of steam is going to build. It’s gone now. But it pales to what your dodgy relatives did. Hopefully they met Dante’s (Disco) Inferno Burn baby Burn. Still you’re here. They’re not Izzie 1, Dodgy Gits 0

        • Isabella Medici 08:48 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

          Thank you Patrick. Well, I suppose the entire Medici family is cast in the shadow of usury. So perhaps we’ll all end up in Dante’s 7th ring. Then again, seeing 2014, I’m convinced that MasterCard is far more guilty of usury than any Medici who ever lived.

    • ysidorapico 18:57 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Welcome, Mr. Sweetman. Thank you so much for joining us here. As you may have already guessed, Izzy Medici is the gregarious one, and I truly thank god for her! She is a consummate hostess, a goddess of digital grace.

      I’ve been busy helping my great great great grand-daughter prepare for another installation of this #1850charla — a fandango which will take place on March 12. I don’t know how that woman manages to get things done without losing her mind, except that she seems to be able to be in more than one place at one time. If anyone I knew back in Alta California had been able to illustrate this present to me, I would not even have known how to conceive it. In the past, we were so stuck in one place.

      Currently, there are some in-laws whom my great-great-great granddaughter has alienated, in part because they think that she is neglecting her children while she works on her creative projects. I have assured her that by not working on her creative projects not only would she be neglecting her children (because not creating = not living for her, and if that’s the case then she’s liable to do something drastic, which would probably result in a episode of tragic ur-neglect), but also she would be neglecting me. After being neglected for 200 years, I’m not about to let that happen soon.

      Just a note, then, to say if you don’t see me around these parts as regularly as you might hope, please forgive me while I provide my gggdaughter with the matronly support, support which I never had the chance to provide a daughter of my own while I was alive.

      Su comadre,

      • Vanessa Blaylock 20:19 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Vanessa taps on the microphone…

        Tap… tap… is this thing on?

        Hey Ysidora! That’s so great about you and the GGGD, but I’m sure you already know my question… can you post any WORDS or PIX or LIGHT PLOTS or whatever your (pre) production involves? We like to SEE! And we know y’all are the worlds greatest sharers!

        Not to mention that 28 Feb is only 8 days away!
        Oh yeah… btw… WHAT happens on 28 Feb??? 😀

      • Patrick J. Sweetman 21:35 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thankyou so much for your warmth and welcome. It must be something to do with the sun in south California. You have had a hard life. And I do not know if enjoyment is the right word but I’ll certainly find it interesting to read back through your posts and see how your life unfolded. Ah the tug of the living and the recently restored to living. Yes my gggs has the same dilemma. Except my gggs is quite self centered and like a covert smoker who is pretending to be reformed and sneaking out for the quick puff, he’ll find a way of drowning out the sounds of his screaming offsping. Probably by sticking a turnip in his ears or else bribing them with chocolate.

  • Patrick J. Sweetman 22:51 on 18/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s Funny How Little Things Change 

    I was chatting with my brother John, the brewer, about the Great Famine and how we might help those who have fled the country when it struck us the title ‘Great Famine’ obscures history. Only 100 years ago Ireland had another famine in 1740-41 when just as many and by some accounts more people died. In truth this should be the ‘Second Great Famine’. Although I don’t know what’s so great about 1 million people dead and another 1 million leaving the country. But there is a significant difference between the 18C famine and ours. The previous famine is attributed to the last rage of the mini ice age (~1400-1800) while this one is entirely due to the failure of our Lords and Masters. The Queen gave us a paltry £2,000. In your 2014 money that would be £61,000. That is 6p per soul that fell victim to disease and hunger. Clearly our lives are valueless to the British and we will have to take matters into our own hands. John is becoming increasingly agitated I am afraid he will do something rash.

    As I say History obscures itself and it also repeats its self. The famine of 1740 due to climatic conditions should serve as a warning as to the consequences of your climate changes. Also the economic and social collapse due to the famine of 1845-52 has echoes with the current economic failure precipitated by the banks. Now, as then, it is the less well off who suffer disproportionately. At the height of your recent collapse 50,000 people per annum were leaving Ireland. You are losing 1% of your citizens year on year to the failure of neo-liberal deregulation. This is not why the United Irish Men and the Irish Republican Brotherhood fought for your emancipation and independence just so you could substitute colonial domination for corporate subjugation.

    That rant has made my blood rise. I’m off for a pint of Sweetman’s Superior Leinster Ale. I’ll put it down to spillage and deduct it as a business expense. The less tax we export to the British the better. This evening I’m off to visit a medium she’s a friend of William Mumler so she’s bound to be good. Hopefully she’ll tell me what the future has in store and I’ll be in touch.

    beer sweetman

  • Ciara Finnegan 09:52 on 18/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  


    Hi Guys,

    I’m afraid I have to step out of the 1850Charla process for a couple of days as I’ve come down with a horrible flu.

    Fortunately, I am privileged to be suffering in the 21st Century with access to products of modern medicine helping to alleviate the symptoms that might otherwise have me writhing on my 19th Century deathbed 😉

    Cough. Sniff. Sniff…

    • Christa Forster 12:28 on 18/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, no, Ciara! I hope you are better very soon!

    • Isabella Medici 16:06 on 18/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

      I am uncertain that this will offer much consolation, but if you think 1850 medicine was bad, honestly, you should try 1550!

      Bleeding your right foot didn’t cure it? No problem, we’ll bleed your left today!

      • Ciara 23:02 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Aw, thanks, Christa & Izzy. I’m dying here and it’s all starting to heat up on “the wire”. I’m losing the pace! Argh!! Bring on the leeches!!!!!

        • Isabella Medici 08:53 on 20/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

          16th century doctors are quacks… 21st century surgeons are incompetent… patients are violent… what a world!

          I think the best advice might be rest & plenty of fluids. Maybe stream a few Renaissance movies on YouTube or Netflix.

          Get well soon! 😀

  • Meg O'Ryan 14:26 on 17/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Frock Coat 21? 

    runway fashion photo of a woman in a complex pink dress

    Hey Donnie!

    How’s your recovery?

    Maybe you can escape the century of your birth in one of these amazing 21st century frock coats! What do you think? Maybe ask Dr. Oscar if your health plan covers this?

  • Izzy 10:08 on 17/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Carnival in Florence! 

    carnival in florence

    It’s Carnival in Florence!

    And you know, I can honestly say that the festivities in 2014 are not all that different than the ones I organized in 1564!

    * The Florentine / Carnival
    * Carnevale di Viareggio

    (but please don’t ask me about The Medici Wedding of 1589. I’m still a little sad that I wasn’t around to produce that)

    carnival in viareggio

  • Izzy 02:59 on 17/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Sugata Mitra: Self-Organized Learning 

  • Sello Tape 01:10 on 17/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

    No More Ms. Nice Tape! 

    scary face made of sellotape

    Bwaa haa haa!

    I can be scary too!

    aww… just kiddin… I didn’t mean it…

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 23:40 on 18/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      There are two types of problems in this world those you can fix with duct tape and thos you can’t. And with wire coat hangers and flexi-ply you can fix 94.3% of the world’s problems including world peace.

      • Sello Tape 07:55 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Duct Tape!?

        Duct Tape!?!?

        Duct Tape!?!?!?

        Oh how you wound me sir!

        I mean you no disrespect, however I must ask, are you blind? Duct Tape is hideous! It’s ugly! It’s repulsive!

        What propaganda machine ever conned people into believing that such an ugly adhesive was great, I’ll never know.

        I can do anything duct tape can do! And I can do it with transparency, with shimmer, with sparkle, shine, pattern, decoration, and so many joys and delights that duct tape never, in its puny brain, ever dreamt of!

    • ysidorapico 19:03 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t fathom what it must be like in your time to be able to talk to the worms (I’m assuming — maybe incorrectly — this Sello and Duct are members of the tapeworm family?) Is this how you’ve been able to overcome death?!! You’ve figured out how to communicate with the worms? FANTASTIC!

  • Ciara Finnegan 12:15 on 16/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  


    My seven-year old son fared better with his Sellotape dinosaur. (Portion of quarter roll; 20 minutes).


    • Sello Tape 01:07 on 17/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      These are both fantastic Ciara! You bring joy to an old adhesive’s heart! And I thought with all the computers and 3D printers and whatnot these days that no one even cared about me anymore.

      Bless you!

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