Before they brushed their great gray wings across an otherwise ordinary neighborhood of bungalows in lower Montrose, before their place in Houston’s history felt as ordained as the live oaks, and before Houstonians began trading stories about sightings of a thin and ethereal woman seated in front of her museum’s great paintings, there was simply a couple: John and Dominique de Menil. A pair of émigrés who fled France after the Nazi invasion with their three small children in tow. A couple whose wealth, a prominent Houstonian once told Grace Glueck for a May 18, 1986, New York Times Magazine article, was “really peanuts,” when measured on the same scales as Houston’s old oil aristocracies. A couple whose story is as much about Houston’s coming of age during a time of social upheaval as it is about their pushing a cadre of visionaries to accomplish the extraordinary wherever an institution gave them the space and freedom to act. To recall just a few of the details of this story is as much an elegy as it is a celebration.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
The Menil Collection celebrates its 25th anniversary today. OffCite recalls how revolutionary John and Dominique were to the Houston community before the collection was even built! I lived less than a block from the Menil, and it was my oasis from the dog eat dog of Houston life.
Meet Hector, a robot developed by Dutch company Smart Homes (with the help of a lot of partners across Europe). His task is to help dementia sufferers around the home, and as a result help them be able to live at home longer.
Monday, September 17, 2012
A teenager has been found guilty of posting an offensive Facebook message following the deaths of six British soldiers in Afghanistan.
Azhar Ahmed, 19, of Ravensthorpe, West Yorkshire, was charged with sending a grossly offensive communication.
He told Huddersfield Magistrates Court he accepted the message had been "unacceptable" but had denied it was "grossly offensive".
The judge said his comments were "derogatory" and "inflammatory". [...]
The offensive message, which said "all soldiers should die and go to hell", was posted by Ahmed just two days later on 8 March.
Ahmed told the court he was only trying to make his point that many other deaths in Afghanistan were being ignored and added he had no idea it would cause so much upset.
He said he replied with apologies to many people who commented on his Facebook page and when some told him they had lost relatives in Afghanistan he realised how serious it was.
"That's when I realised it was unacceptable for them to see something so upsetting and distressing, to write something like that," he added.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
video up in English. And there are some photos from an old family album.Photo credit: De Standaard.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Actor John Cusack examines Barack Obama and a few issues about him - with a bit more scrutiny than we hear from the "progressive left." Read his conversation with Jonathan Turley about the Obama administration’s "War On the Constitution."