Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms


February 2016

My Little Free Library

by Marnie Wellar

A few years ago in Montreal, I saw a charming little wooden cupboard set up on a post outside a coffee shop. A notice on the little door offered free books, and the cabinet had a variety of books inside. What a beautiful idea, full of goodness! I decided I would make one someday.

Last year I was deep into a major DIY project: a minimal-waste, salvaged-materials sustainable kitchen renovation. It’s a rewarding approach, but also painstaking and protracted. Taking a week off to make a Little Free Library would be the perfect side project, one I could enjoy accomplishing quickly. Continue reading “My Little Free Library”

A pint of plain and #dotMED16

by Pat Rich

It was probably inevitable that what was intended to be a sincere post about a unique conference in Dublin that combines the humanities and medicine (#dotMED16) would ramble a tad unsteadily into ruminations about Flann O’Brien and the Platonic theory of forms as it relates to Irish pubs.

Frankly, it was Samuel Shem, the keynote speaker at the dotMED conference, who brought the disparate elements together when he explicitly referenced O’Brien’s The Third Policeman and how Shem had incorporated the two large (both in size and importance) policemen from that book into his own novel, The House of God. Continue reading “A pint of plain and #dotMED16”

Miniature bottles in Oslo

by Amy Flora

While in Oslo a few weekends ago, between shockingly expensive pints and looking at beautiful architecture, I visited the Mini Bottle Gallery. The Mini Bottle Gallery was surprising and a total delight. Open only for a few hours on the weekend, the gallery is a little slice of kitschy heaven. It really is just the largest collection of miniature bottles. Continue reading “Miniature bottles in Oslo”

Public art in Reykjavik 1

by Patricia Lightfoot

Both official and unofficial creativity thrive in Iceland’s capital. The environment may not be one that is friendly to plants, but there are flowers and robots.

Reykjavikstreet art
Photos: Phil and Patricia Lightfoot
Reykjavikstreet art
Reykjavik street art

Continue reading “Public art in Reykjavik 1”

I laughed until I stopped: Are the Internet and social media killing satire?

by Pat Rich

Social media and the Internet have been widely praised for ushering in a new era of improved communications and networking. Through the Internet and a wide variety of social media tools and platforms, individuals have the opportunity to interact globally at levels previously unknown in human history.

Unfortunately, the widespread use of social media and the Internet has led to unprecedented levels of bad behavior (spamming, flaming, trolling … you name it) and appears to be threatening long-cherished literary forms such as satire. Continue reading “I laughed until I stopped: Are the Internet and social media killing satire?”

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