Wednesday, December 30, 2009



Finally, after the Christmas break I managed to do my regular 1.5 hour walk (I 
try to do it a few times a week).  I take the same route most of the time 
(although if I do a run, I do a shorter one).  It could get boring, but I've got a 
great incentive to do it, which is listening to podcasts on my iPod.  My favourites 
are most of the Slate Magazine ones, NPR's 'This American Life' (early this 
morning in bed I listened to nightmarish stories in an 'episode' called 'Party 
School', which was about appalling excesses of Penn State University rowdy 
students), and NPR's 'Fresh Air'.  From the BBC I subscribe to the 'Media Report', 
'Arts and Ideas', and 'Front Row Highlights'. The New Yorker Fiction podcast is 
always very enjoyable, but it comes out only once per month. I just listened to 
author Junot Diaz reading Edwidge Danticat's short story "Water Child", with a 
pre- and post- reading discussion about the piece with Junot and Debra Treisman 
from the New Yorker Magazine.

'Some of your ears may be purely ornamental'.  Vladimir Nabokov to his students 
during a lecture of his...  (learned this from Slate's Audio Book Club that I 
listened today, the book subject was Nabokov's 'Laura').

Walking while listening to these requires some concentration, so usually my eyes 
are downcast, making me often notice feathers aside the road.  I've got to a 
habit of picking them up, bringing them home, and sticking them to a box (see 

Today I found two feathers, one of Cockatoo's and another I'm not sure:

Between podcasts I came to think about how Michael Riley had photographed his 
iconic feather images from his Cloud series.  I though maybe he used a mirror to 
lay the feather on, with a reflection of sky in the background.  To test this theory 
I did exactly this and here are two results:

Michael Riley
Untitled, from the series cloud
- Cloud series
- Feather 2000
Photograph, chromogenic pigment print
110 x 155 cm, Edition of 5

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