I love Google Cultural Institute

From time to time we make those tiny discoveries that make us very, very happy. So happy that we want to jump high into the sky, laugh very loud or just share our joy with others at the Speakers’ Corner if our extroversion level is high. Since my is not, I will stick to this post.

So you are probably wondering what made me so happy. Surprisingly, it was… Google. And not because a location on Google maps is matching an actual place. That would not be enough. But Google Cultural Institute is more than I need.

A single web-site full of stories and collections from around the world that you can discover with a single click. And the content is really interesting, just have a look at this article about 10 Amazing Facts About Colour Blue.

They are also working with various museums to capture the finest details of artworks from their collection which means once you fully zoomed in, you can see every single brush stroke! Yes, you can see more than in a museum!

I will not fall asleep today from all that excitement… It is too much…

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The least caffeine in 25 years

My history of caffeine intake is quite long. It started more than 25 years ago when, probably still as a toddler, I drunk my very first cup of black tea. Sometimes with some sugar or milk, it became my regular beverage celebrated few times a day.

And once I became a teenager I could finally put my hands on coffee, another wonderful drink which would give you even more pleasure. Years of seeing my family members indulging in this aromatic, dark liquid, simply programmed my to follow their habit.

Going decaf

So when two weeks ago I finally replaced my morning coffee with a decaf one, I was a bit concerned about my well-being. Because when you cut on caffeine, you get quite nasty withdrawal symptoms which can last for weeks or even months. And I would be getting now the least amount of caffeine in quarter century.

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But thanks God, it has not been that bad. The very first week was the most challenging. Most of time I felt really tired, with an occasional mild headache and a weak feeling of annoyance. In the second week I am still a bit tired but my over well-being is better than a week ago. Perhaps it is thanks to a very deep sleep I have been getting now – I guess my body is now recovering from all those years of stimulation!

An advice

If you are thinking of eliminating or limiting amount of caffeine in your life, don’t go cold turkey. It might be too much to handle and you will quickly revert back to your habit just to avoid all the nasty symptoms.

A better approach is step by step cut on caffeine. In my case I split the detox into three stages which I spread over five months:

  • replaced half of my black teas with caffeine-free beverages like fruit or herbal teas
  • replaced the outstanding black teas with caffeine-free beverages
  • replaced my morning coffee with a decaf one

It simply makes the whole process much easier to handle as you can read in my previous posts (first stage summary and second stage summary). But if you want to go or you went cold turkey, share your experience in the comments. I would love to know about it!

Amigurumi dress me bunny

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To develop my crochet skills, I decide to make a stuffed toy. It was a bit challenging because of working in rounds most of time, but the final effect is very rewarding. Have a look yourself!

Bare in mind it is the very first toy I have ever made. And as far as I know single crochet stitch, I have never used it this way.

If you want to make a similar one, the pattern comes from amigurumitogo.com blog. You will need yarn, safety eyes, snap closures, a needle and a hook.

Good luck!

Fun with art: the gold age of pee

The best paintings are not the ones that are well-known but the ones that are hidden in dark corners of art galleries. They look very similar to hundreds of other art pieces but if you inspect them very carefully, you will spot that thing that makes them special.

Few years back I found one of them in The Cinquecento Corridor of Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Rather small and shy, the painting looks just as you would expect it – plenty of naked figures in a lovely garden with some swans, flowers and fruits. It just makes you think it is nothing special so you walk by quickly.

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But if you are a bit more patient and you look at the bottom section of the painting, you will see two children, a boy and a girl, happily peeing into a pond.

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The artist, Jacopo Zucchi, used actually golden paint to mark both streams so they are very bright and shiny. And I still wonder if the title, The Age of Gold, has anything to do with it.