1. npr:

    It’s October, which means it’s officially OK for Americans to go crazy about pumpkin and pumpkin-flavored stuff.

    I’m fascinated by the pumpkin craze, so I searched our archives for related stories. I came across this neat 1996 All Things Considered interview about the origin of the pumpkin. The transcript is copied below. Photo: iStockphoto.

    - Kate

    DANIEL ZWERDLING, Host: And finally, to prepare you and your loved ones for Halloween, we have called Marjorie Cuyler [sp], author of The All Around Pumpkin Book, and we’ve asked her some of the pumpkin questions that undoubtedly you have been yearning to ask.

    QUESTIONER: What is the origin of the pumpkin?

    MARJORIE CUYLER, Author: The prevailing theory is that the first Indians who came to the Americas brought seeds with them from Asia.

    DANIEL ZWERDLING: How long ago?

    MARJORIE CUYLER: Thirteen thousand B.C.

    QUESTIONER: What is the oldest pumpkin ever found?

    MARJORIE CUYLER: The oldest evidence is actually in the mythology, in the Eastern part of the world. There’s a creation myth in eastern Indochina that the world was created from a pumpkin, and in Africa there’s some old, old stories about the pumpkin. There’s one about the devil dying and the pumpkin being born at that moment.

    QUESTIONER: Why do we carve pumpkins at Halloween?

    MARJORIE CUYLER: When the Europeans came to America, they brought certain customs with them. Certainly the ancient Celts had a tradition of carving turnips as part of the celebration of Samhain, S-A-M-H-A-I-N, which is a festival they held on October 31st to mark the end of the summer.


    MARJORIE CUYLER: And they would carve turnips because they felt that after 30- the 31st, winter would begin and spirits would walk the Earth during the darkness of winter. And if they could carry turnips with lights, candlelight inside of them, these lanterns would keep the evil spirits away from the people.

    DANIEL ZWERDLING: So how did carved turnips from the- from England get to be pumpkins carved in the United States?

    MARJORIE CUYLER: Well, when the Europeans came to America, the Indians were very helpful in teaching them how to grow pumpkins in mounds that were included among the corn crops. And as the settler- early American settlers began to grow pumpkins they realized that they could be used for the purpose of carrying lights inside. So they just felt that pumpkins were a more efficient vegetable than turnips or beets.

    QUESTIONER: What are some great moments in pumpkin history?

    MARJORIE CUYLER: On January 21st, 1950, a man named Alger Hiss was sentenced to five years in prison. Now back in the ’30s, in fact in 1938, he had been working for the State Department, and while he had that position he passed secret documents to the communists. Now the man who accused him in the ’50s, in 1950, was an ex-communist named Whittaker Chambers. And in court Mr. Chambers produced microfilm of the papers that he said Mr. Hiss had given to the Russians, and Mr. Chambers had kept the microfilm hidden in a pumpkin on his farm in Maryland. And that’s quite a famous story, and it certainly put pumpkins on the map.

    DANIEL ZWERDLING: Marjorie Cuyler is author of The All Around Pumpkin Book. And for this evening, that’s All Things Considered.


  2. "Already it is October, and the wind blows strong to the sea."
    — D.H. Lawrence, “Butterfly” (via wordsnquotes)

    (via milvertons)

  3. scienceisbeauty:

    Beautiful pictures of Siamese Fighting Fish by Visarute Angkatavanich (check out his gallery at 500px).

    Via Colossal

  4. vjeranski:

    In Bed, 1891

    Edouard Vuillard 

  5. lotvdesigns:



    Inspired by the rich gold and black of Dolce and Gabbana’s A/W 2012 collection, I saw this fabric and knew it was meant to be.  Just finished over Thanksgiving weekend, it’s been a great relief since I haven’t sewn anything this ambitious in a long time.

    It’s done! I wonder what my next sewing project should be. I’m on a roll!

    Gorgeous!  The pleating with the paisley? (brocade?  tapestry) fabric is just great.   Impeccable taste as usual!

    (via vivaciousviolinist)

  7. fuckindiva:

    Maria Callas

    (via girlinlondon)

  8. lalalaetc:



    Emma Sulkowicz is on the cover of this month’s New York Magazine and that is the coolest thing wow

    DUUUUDE this is a huge fucking deal honestly

    You can read the full article here.

    (via unadoptable)

  9. beatonna:

    I have just read through some of the online exhibits here from the collection Children’s Books and War from Ryerson University.  This is a sample of some titles, click through for more.  They are short reads, with illustration, very good.

  10. Audrey Hepburn by Vincent Rossell for Charade, 1963

    (Source: missingaudrey, via inlovewithaudreyhepburn)

  11. teachingliteracy:

    postcards (by delgrosso)


  13. "I like her. She makes life interesting. She, herself, is interesting, I suppose. She talks right from the heart. I appreciate her frankness and I like the fact that she doesn’t force the natural flow of a conversation. There’s personality in her words. She thus gets to the core of things and that’s important because with her — I can talk knowing that the talk is real! Oh believe me, it’s amazingly real! And she also gives me the opportunity to listen as fully and completely as possible. And I can’t seem to get her out of my head […]"
    — Virginia Woolf, from Selected Letters
    (via ohhhkat)

    (Source: violentwavesofemotion, via hannahleeduke)

  14. Robert Downey Jr. and his son Exton for Vanity Fair - Behind the Scenes

    (Source: letsgetdowney, via vivaciousviolinist)


  15. "The afternoons drone on, stagy and dazed.
    Dog-day cicadas exhume themselves, telegraph
    their terrible passions from tree to tree.
    Lacewings take wing from the uncut grass—
    in time with [the] orchestrated back and forth—
    and summer’s last mow smells of red
    wine or the first dark sex after
    betrayal, then forgiveness."
    — Angela Shaw, closing lines to “Tango,’ from The Beginning of the Fields: Poems (Tupelo Press, 2009)

    (Source: apoetreflects)