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Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Happiness search: Amazon

In happiness on June 30, 2009 at 9:14 am

We all love a good bargain. And, as the postal delivery workers to my house know well, so do I. I wonder if I type happiness into the Amazon search engine it will just bring up a load of books about happiness? Let’s see…
Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill by Mattieu Ricard (paperback, published Jan 07)

Happiness: Lessons from a New Science by Richard Layard (paperback, published April 06)

Happiness – the movie starring Philip Seymour Hoffman (1999 movie, released on this DVD in May 2000)

Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science by Jonathan Haidt (paperback, published April 07)

Looking down the very long list which followed, there are mainly books and DVDs, mostly in the ‘self-help’ but also including The Inn of Sixth Happiness (made into a great movie) and books by the Dalai Lama. Yikes, this has made me realise how much more reading I have to do.

Happiness search: BBC

In happiness on June 29, 2009 at 10:45 am

Let’s start this mini-investigation with one of the first sites I often visit each day. The good old BBC News website.
A happiness search in the news and sport section yields:

An article about how sisters make each other happy. 2 April 09

A study from the USA about how happiness is infectious (it rubs off on other people). 5 December 08

A local news piece from BBC Bristol about how some people there are very happy, while others are cripplingly lonely. 1 December 08

Newcastle University say that happy cows produce more milk than unhappy ones. 28 January 09

A very readable comment piece about happiness in the economic downturn and whether our politicians should be paying more attention to making us happy in the recession. The piece features David Cameron’s suggestion that if we valued General Well Being (GWB) as much as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), we might not have got into such a mess in the first place. There are some great responses from readers, including the suggestion that a Ministry of Happiness be established! 9 October 08

Searching for happiness … online

In happiness on June 28, 2009 at 8:19 am

As part of my ongoing research project into the nature of happiness and what it means to us today is having a bit of an experimental week.

Given that I’m seeking out a wide variety of responses to and definitions of the concept of happiness, I regularly tap the H-word into search engines and wait for the smorgasbord of results to spring forth before me. There’s always quite a surprising range of answers. So, for the rest of this week I’m going to present the results of what I’ve found on different websites – I could have chosen any sites, but I went for pretty mainstream sites that I use on a regular basis. I’ll update the results each day.

What use is this? Well, the findings might not necessarily be indicative of what happiness means to us – it’s just some content I’ve pulled off the web, after all – but they might be food for thought in my ongoing investigations. We’ll see …

I will list here the top results from searches using the search engine on a particular site. If prompted, I’ll ask for the engine to give me results by relevance, rather than by date. I’m after the subject matter, not necessarily the most recent material.

Peering over the garden fence

In Dulwich OnView, new content on June 26, 2009 at 9:15 am

From my study, I see over the fence into my next-door neighbour’s back garden. I’ve long admired the striking glass sculptures which adorn her lovely garden. Sue King makes stunning fused glass pieces herself. Last weekend I took a trip to her studio in Deptford – part of the Cockpit Arts open weekend where the public are allowed in to nosy around the studios and buy artworks from designer-makers.

There’s a brilliant vibe in the studios and they are proud to be an incubator of creativity. Artists renting there don’t simply get a space in which to practise when they pay their fees – they get business support and commercial encouragement too. It’s like a community in there. They even have a manifesto, called Maker Difference, which encourages us not to buy objects d’art from Habitat or Heal’s, but to go and meet artists and get something completely unique. It’s inspirational stuff.

I was so impressed with the studios and with Sue’s work that I wrote a piece about it for Dulwich OnView, which went live this morning.

Ambitious Future for Science Museum

In Museum [Insider], Museums, new content on June 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm

The Science Museum is 100 years old this week. Big news.

What’s bigger news is that they’ve just unveiled their plans for what the museum is going to look like in 2015. It’s a huge project which basically involves sticking lumps on the existing building. There’s going to be a domed blob protruding out the front of the building, through the glass, and a huge golden inverted take-out tray on the roof for a new gallery about Space. The whole thing opens in 2015, so there are, doubtless, plenty of jobs coming up there in the next few years.

Take a look at the images of the what the build will look like and read about it on Museum [Insider].

Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn

In happiness on June 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Sarah Dunn is a chick-lit writer. She’s recently published Secrets to Happiness, a story about a woman who discovers her own personal happiness after the end of a relationship.

Booksie is a blogger and an avid reader. There’s a positive review of the book on his/her blog this week.

Or you can buy it from Amazon.  

I’ve not read it, but if you have then do let me know what it’s like.

Lost but not forgotten

In Dulwich OnView, Museums, new content, Uncategorized on June 12, 2009 at 10:40 am

There’s a new exhibition of paintings, etchings, drawings, maps and all sorts of 2D material chronicling the history of Southwark life and architecture at the Cuming Museum in south London. Popped along to see it last week and to write a piece of Dulwich OnView about it. Lost Southwark is definitely worth a look if you live in south London and are interested in local history.

Something for everyone in Tate Modern 2

In Museum [Insider], Museums, new content on June 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I wrote a piece a few months ago about the proposed developments at the back of Tate Modern. Turns out Tate got planning permission for the new extension which will rise eleven storeys high from the back of the existing building.

I went back to Tate Modern last week to interview Anna Cutler (Head of Learning) and Gillian Wilson (Curator of Interpretation) about what they’re up to now. We chatted about the content planned for TM2 and the interpretive thinking about their audiences that’s going into the project. Their plans sound really exciting – there’ll be a wider variety of interpretive devices in the TM2 – something for everyone.

The resulting article is live on Museum [Insider] now.

Paris meets Dulwich

In Dulwich OnView, new content on June 5, 2009 at 10:32 am

Just posted a lovely little interview on Dulwich OnView with a local artist, Gail Gosschalk, who now lives in Paris. She’s back in Dulwich this weekend to show some of her work in an exhibition.

The way she describes her work makes me want to follow suit. I could easily live in Paris, sipping coffee and penning articles at whim. What a life that would be ….

Design Museum on the move

In Museum [Insider], Museums, new content on June 4, 2009 at 8:25 am

There are plenty of rumours around at the moment about the Design Museum and their potential change of venue in the not too distant future. But who knows what’s fact and what’s merely flotsam and jetsam on the museum industry drinks circuit?

Gossip ferret here had a little look around and wrote a piece about the potential move to the former home of the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington for Museum [Insider].