Seen and Heard: Contradictions, Miniatures and Pranks

Contradictory vs. Contrary

The other day I was surfing the internet and I tripped upon this charming little poem which I much enjoyed. I thought you might like it too and then, once I had put it into this post, I was also reminded of the video from Monty Python which I have placed further below. They seem to go hand in hand.

I Often Contradict Myself

I often contradict myself. 
Oh no, I never do.

I argue with me day and night.
That simply isnt true.

Oh yes it is. Oh no it's not.
I do this all day long.

Oh no I don't. Oh yes I do.

That's right. No way! It's wrong.

I'm really quite agreeable.
I argue night and day.

I love to be around myself.
I wish I'd go away.

So if you see me arguing,
it's certain that you won't.
I like to contradict myself.
I promise you I don't.

--Kenn Nesbitt

"A Model of Biblical Proportions"

I think we all have them at one time or another of our lives. Episodes of deep fascination with something. I was 14 years of age for example when a knitting craze overtook over Panama City. Like everyone else taking lessons, I also learned to wield needles and yarn in mesmerizingly intricate and loopy patterns that laboriously produced sweater after heavy woolen sweater. They were great but totally unsuitable to my tropical weather. Eventually I gave arctic sweater knitting up.

Then there was the time when I was obsessed with mosaics. Covering erstwhile clean surfaces in glass sorta took over my life. Ever heard of "I never met a tesserae I didn't like?" well that was me. I went mosaic nuts. Eventually an intervention was staged by family members who were much freaked out by the overpowering Byzantine aspect of our sorroundings. Apparently, I had gotten to a point where I went one glass bit too far. So like the sweater craze, the mosaic frenzy too, passed.

I could go on and on with all the projects that have engaged my time to the detriment of all else throughout the years but, even If I were to chronologically weld them together, I could never outdo the single-minded and magnificent obsession of Alec Garrard's Temple of Herod. At 78 years of age, he has spent these last 30 years, dedicated 33,000 work hours, sculpted more than 4,000 tiny human figures, and baked thousands of Lilliput-sized, individually crafted clay bricks, columns and tiles in an effort to recreate a biblical temple that was destroyed by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. And he has done it on a 1:100 model scale. Pretty magnificent. Take a look.

"I have an interest in buildings and religion so I thought maybe I could combine the two and I came up with the idea of doing the temple."

My wife Kathleen thinks I'm mad...

"She wishes she'd married a normal person..."

"4,000 tiny human figures populate the courtyards."

"Everything is made by hand. I cut plywood frames for the walls and buildings and all the clay bricks and tiles were baked in the oven then stuck together."

"Mr. Garrard who started the epic project in his 40s, says that his masterpiece will not be finished in his lifetime."

Story via the UK Telegraph

Singling out the ordinary with a whimsical hoax

Who doesn't like whimsy and fun? Duo artists Eva and Franco Mattes (aka 0100101110101101.ORG) certainly do. The placed a sign on an ordinary building, simulating those that would be put up by the City Council. The sign is a fake and a piece of art. It reads:

This building was designed by an unknown architect in an irrelevant epoch and never belonged to an important person. The complex does not show any original architectural solutions nor does it conserve any important works of art within. No memory is kept of any significant historical events occurring on this site. No know personality was born, lived or died here, nor is any excellent artist or sublime poet still working here.

Hundreds of unaware passersby have been staring at the sign: "It's brilliant!" comments an elderly woman "But I have no idea how to interpret it". While an outraged citizen living nearby comments "This is just unacceptable, look around, there are buildings much worse than this one, especially in the suburbs."

Via Urban Prankster


  1. Hmmm...wonder where I can get one of those signs...

  2. Jay, the sign would be perfect for you if it read that someone extraordinary lives here.

  3. I LOVE the Temple of Herod. I spent a looong time examining that -- it's fantastic! That looks like the kind of thing I would do, only not on nearly as grand (or accomplished) a scale. You have the most interesting stuff, Miles. Plus, Monty Python! More, please.

  4. Hi M! What a wonderful collection of sights and sounds you've collected...each visit is like stopping by a wonderful museum!


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