Les Miserables: Even After all These Years

My sister-in-law gave me Les Miserables (by Victor Hugo) for Christmas one year. It was a big book, a tome. But, I was curious. I hadn’t read the book, seen the movies or performances. Also, the story is over 100 years old (closing in on 200 years even) and I really like history. What better way to see history than from the words written by someone who was there.
Reading the book took awhile. I was glad my version of the book was translated by someone who took out some of the less relevant parts. Victor Hugo did go on about a lot of things, like the war which happened before the story in the book, the slang used in France 200 years ago and other things. The editor (Norman Denny) did not remove these sections from the book, but left it up to the reader to decide to read them or not. Which was good because Les Miserables is a very long book with a story which pauses frequently to discuss life and philosophy in what seems a roundabout way by current/ modern standards of book writing.

Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables almost 200 years ago.

Yet the story isn’t so outside of our own experience with broken families and trying to manage on a tight budget. I had expected the story to be more about poverty and drudgery. It wasn’t. It also was not just about a police chase. I had seen some of the Les Miserables movie made in the 1970s. The part I watched (before turning the channel) was all about Jean Valjean being tracked down by Javert. If this is your impression of the story you should read the book. There is more to it.

Which movie version of Les Miserables have you seen and which was your favourite?

Jenny Holzer Writes Projections as Art

Jenny Holzer is an artist presenting ideas in words for public spaces. 
The public dimension is integral to Holzer’s work. Her large-scale installations have included advertising billboards, projections on buildings and other architectural structures, and illuminated electronic displays. LED signs have become her most visible medium, although her diverse practice incorporates a wide array of media including street posters, painted signs, stone benches, paintings, photographs, sound, video, projections, the Internet, and a race car for BMW. Text-based light projections have been central to Holzer’s practice since 1996. As of 2010, her LED signs have become more sculptural. Holzer is no longer the author of her texts, and in the ensuing years, she returned to her roots by painting.
Quoted from Wikipedia.
I found her through Twitter, someone else said she was one of his favourite people to quote. My experience has been different. To me she sounds fatalistic, meaning she has lost hope and doesn’t feel anything will change for the better. 
These are among her recent posts. The first one is current, posted today. I don’t find those inspirational and I don’t agree with them either. 
I do like some of her quotes, but these three make me worry for her. I hope she has people around to notice should she need help. 
Anyway, I posted her link and her art out of interest for the genre. I like combining art genres and styles in new and interesting ways. What would you post up on a building in lights? Something you wanted to share and inspire the world (or at least the city) with.

Build a Better Mousetrap for the End of the World

Would you even guess this is a mousetrap? It’s vintage, from the 1930’s approximately. I first saw it on a video from Shawn Woods and then I went looking on eBay out of curiousity. Shawn Woods makes videos of how mousetraps actually work at catching mice. If you are especially squeamish or strongly against killing rodents, don’t watch. 
I think people have been trying to catch rodents, mice in particular, from the earliest days of deliberately planting anything with the idea of farming. You might think we should let all the urban wildlife live and, I’m not out to kill them all, but I do think we need to find some balance. Some animals are very good at surviving, adapting and scavenging. I’d rather see other animals keep their foothold instead of the planet being overrun by predatory scavengers. (I do include ourselves among those). 
I enjoyed watching the mousetrap videos for the engineering aspects really. My Father was an electrical engineer and I also like seeing the mechanics of things and how all the little parts work together and rely on each other. Vintage things especially because they were still made to last then. I like the heavy, solid feel of them and 100 years later they made need a little cleaning up but will still work. Often any repairs are simple enough you can manage yourself. 
I like to imagine the mousetraps people would come up with if there were an end of the world, a zombie apocalypse, a worldwide disaster, or some other possibility like the end of all fossil fuels. Could you make a mousetrap if you had to design and build it yourself? Don’t go with the “let all creatures live” thing. If it came down to the mouse or yourself for the last of the food you have on hand, I don’t think you would feel quite so charitable about sharing with a pack of rodents.

Your Monster in Your Haunted House

Create your own haunted house.
Plan the layout, the type of rooms, the design and colours. Write about the street appeal and what people see, hear, smell and sense from out on the street.
Then, create the monster living in the house, the surprise in the centre of the maze of rooms and storytelling. What happened to create this monster and what will happen in the future? Do things get better or worse for your monster in your haunted house?