9,600 people have started learning Esperanto in two days

[This is my translation of an article in Esperanto, 9.600 homoj eklernis Esperanton en du tagoj, from the website Libera Folio. (Unfortunately that article has since been removed.)] Two days after the launch of an Esperanto course at the popular language learning site Duolingo, the course has already gained almost ten thousand participants. The number […]

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Unwrapping art: the basics

Enjoy art, but not sure how to approach it? Like an artwork but not sure why, or if there’s more to it? Come along to my short introductory course at the Art Gallery of NSW, Unwrapping art: the basics, over 4 Saturdays, 16 May – 6 June 2015. While art from many different times and […]

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The dangers of assumption

Many years ago, when I worked for the Art Gallery of New South Wales, I ran a travelling art service called “Onsight”*. I took art exhibitions to people for whom a visit to the Gallery would be difficult or impossible, for example, to prisons, hospitals and nursing homes. One day, I visited a nursing home […]

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Three short talks for “Art on screen”

Over the next few months I will be introducing three art-related films at Avoca Beach Picture Theatre with three different 20-minute talks on art appreciation: Monday, 2 March, 11.30am: A girl with a pearl earring and other treasures from the Mauritshuis Museum Netherlands My talk will focus on the paintings of Vermeer and other artists […]

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An open letter to Gaston Dorren, the author of “Lingo”

A book called Lingo: A language spotter’s guide to Europe has recently been published. Chapter 51 is titled “The no-hoper: Esperanto”. As has already been reported, it has received some flak from Esperantists. Here is my open letter to its author, Gaston Dorren: Dear Mr Dorren, I know you have received a number of messages […]

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A beautiful song in Esperanto: La Nuboj (The Clouds)

By Jhomart and Natasha Here is a literal translation of the lyrics: (See the lyrics as sung, in Esperanto) On this earth grasses murmur In the sky the clouds gather I am a tiny cloud, too Me too… (x 3) And I don’t strive anywhere I no longer need anything Just to see my family […]

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Typing Esperanto characters in Mac OS X

In recent versions of Mac OS (at least since 10.5), you can type the accented letters of Esperanto very easily, without downloading anything or using a website, as long as the language of your system is English. To prepare your computer (required only once): 1. Open “System Preferences…” from the Apple menu. 2. Click on […]

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What makes art, ‘art’: a family tour

I create a work of ‘art’ by tipping a box of junk upside-down in an art museum. If I left it there and came back a day later, do you think it’d still be there? Why not? Who would have taken it away? No, not the director, nor the curators… but the cleaners! The cleaners […]

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The ink-painter: a story

Narrator: Once upon a time in China there was a skilful painter in ink, especially famous for his depictions of flowers, which were sold for very high prices. He had a friend. One day the artist and his friend were talking. Painter: You’ve been a great friend to me for many years. I‘m going to […]

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