Saturday, December 24, 2011
Today's the last day of shopping before Christmas, so I thought I'd talk about a few thinking-out-of-the-box gift ideas. Sure, anyone can give the latest big biography, or the currently hot novel or kids book as a gift this year. But how about something unexpected, something out-of-the ordinary, something to perhaps take the breath away?
It seems that LEGO(tm) is everywhere we look these days: LEGO (tm) Harry Potter, LEGO (tm) Star Wars, and so on. Everyone seems to want back in on the LEGO (tm) craze. Heck, they were hot when I was a kid, and that was more than just a few years ago.
LEGO (tm) is an abbreviation of the two Danish words leg godt, meaning "play well." The LEGO (tm) Group was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. The Company has passed from father to son and is now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder.
And now here's the perfect gift for the LEGO-lover in your life: The Cult of Lego, by John Baichtal and Joe Meno. The authors take readers on a story-packed adventure through the history of LEGO (tm), from its humble beginnings in a small Danish village to its ascent to the summit of the toy world. The book is filled with pictures of spectacular LEGO creations, such as a life-size Stegosaurus and a detailed microscale version of Yankee Stadium.
For the casual LEGO fan or the hardcore builder, The Cult of LEGO makes a fabulous gift.
Everyone's gaga over Lady Gaga. Here's the perfect gift for the Gaga-fan in your life: Lady Gaga, by Lady Gaga and Terry Richardson. To create this coffee-table photo book, photographer Terry Richardson followed Lady Gaga during one year of her life, from Lollapalooza through the final show of her Monster Ball tour. During the year he followed Gaga, Richardson took over 100,000 images and attended more than 30 Monster Ball dates around the world.
Billboard named Lady Gaga both the 2010 Artist of the Year and the top-selling artist of 2010, ranking her as the 73rd Artist of the 2000s decade. She was named Forbes' Most Powerful Woman in the World 2011 and was included in Time's annual "The 2010 Time 100" list of the most influential people in the world.
And now, for a little entertainment and fun, here is a video of On the Rocks, the all-male a acappella vocal group from the University of Oregon, singing their version of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance."
Missed Connections, artist Sophie Blackall creates art in Chinese ink and watercolor to illustrate "missed connections" ads. A "missed connection" classified (usually posted on a website) is an attempt however far-fetched, by one stranger to reach another on the strength of a remembered glance, smile, or blue hat. The anonymous messages are hopeful and hopeless, funny and sad. This charming book offers a collection of illustrated love stories. Blackall is also the illustrator of the very popular Ivy and Bean series for young girls.
Here's a taste of the stories this new book tells: