Bouba/kiki effect


Which of these shapes is a bouba, and which is a kiki? And what does this have to do with the evolution of language?
Imagine they were real-world objects and you had to give them a name – one has to be called ‘bouba’, and the other has to be called ‘kiki’. Which name would you assign to which object?
The bouba/kiki effect finds its origins in the work of the German psychologist Wolfgang Köhler in 1929. Köhler showed people shapes similar to the ones above, and asked them which was a ‘takete’ and which was a ‘malumba’.
The visual shape of the object – either round or spiky – is linked to the shape that our lips make when we say that corresponding word – either open and rounded, or narrow and wide. In turn, this is linked to the way that our tongue moves in order to generate the word itself; kiki requires you to make a ‘sharp’ movement of the tongue on your palate, where as bouba involves a more ‘rounded’ movement. These similarities all increase the likelihood that bouba will be linked to the rounded object, and kiki to the sharper, spikier object.


Forgotten accessories. The sleeve garter


Why did men worn sleeve garters?

In the 1930’s men’s shirts did not exist in a wide selection of sizes from which to choose. The shirts came ready made with a single length – extra long sleeve. A sleeve garter is worn on the sleeve of the shirt and pushed up the arm in order to adjust the length of the sleeve. This way men could customize the sleeve length and keep their cuffs from being soiled while working.

Though production techniques improved over time, leading to the variety of shirt sizes available today and eliminating the need for arm garters, there were numerous other practical considerations that helped keep the sleeve garter popular among certain circles. Among news printers, office clerks, and other professionals who worked near ink (in an era where most documents were still produced by hand), arm garters were a way to keep one’s sleeves clean and smudge-free.

Card players around the Old West and elsewhere wore arm garters because it made hiding cards up one’s sleeves difficult. A card player wearing sleeve garters was considered both honest and good enough that he didn’t need to cheat. Arm garters are often worn by card dealers at casinos even today for these reasons, though presently they are regarded more as a decorative part of a traditional uniform than as a safeguard against cheating.

There is also the notion, popularized by depictions in television and film, that gunslingers of the Old West wore sleeve garters to help keep their hands free in the event of a shootout.

There is also a belief that keeping one’s hands free made arm garters popular among guitarists and early jazz musicians, being fashionable and practical.

Silo artworks

The Silo Art Trail is a 200 km journey in Victoria Wimmera/Mallee region and is Australia’s biggest outdoor gallery.


Guido van Helten painted the ‘Farmer Quartet’ in the city of Brim. Located on the Henty Highway and stretching out across all four of the Brim silos, this massive mural was painted in 2015 as a tribute to the drought-stricken farming community.


In Patchewollock the Brisbane-based street artist Fintan Magee, sometimes referred to as ‘Australia’s Banksy’ painted in October 2016 a giant mural depicting local sheep and grain farmer, Nick ‘Noodle’ Hulland.


Melbourne artist Tyrone ‘Rone’ Wright turns his intimate portraiture to giant grain silos, depicting local wheat farmers Geoff and Merrilyn Horman looking out over the rural landscape of the tiny town of Lascelles.


In Rupanyup Russian artist Julia Volchkova painted a monochrome mural on the huge metal grain storage bins, inspired by the local Rupanyup Panthers Football & Netball Club.


In Sheep Hills you can see the huge mural by Adnate – an internationally renowned artist, famous for his work with Aboriginal communities across Australia.

Is it a church?


It is a church when you see it from outside, but it’s really deceiving.

High Pavement Chapel, rebuilt in 1805 and again in 1876 in Gothic Revival style, used as a place of worship for Unitarian Presbyterians in Nottingham until 1982, then converted into the Nottingham Lace Museum, is now the Pitcher & Piano public house and is Grade II listed.

*** Did you know? The East stained glass window was created in 1904 by Morris & Co. to designs by Burne-Jones and JH Dearle.

Demolished cinema

Burnt in 1989, for many years the facade of the Railway Cinema (it was situated near the railway station) remained a beautiful ruin, one of my favourite ones from Bucharest, until a few years ago when it was demolished in order to make place for a financial building or something like that. I took this photo before being demolished and keep it as a reminder of what the city used to be.


Picasso’s linocut



Still Life Under The Lamp (1962) by Pablo Picasso. Courtesy of the artist’s estate

We might know Picasso as a painter, but he expressed himself in a variety of media, from ceramics to plays.

Picasso began experimenting with linocuts in 1939, but only from the mid 1950’s he fully embraced the technique. Traditionally the method involved cutting separate blocks for each colour, but he developed what we call today the reduction method, a way of cutting and printing from the same block. The method saved him a lot of time, but he had to visualise the whole process before beginning to print, because this method doesn’t allow you to correct the mistakes made during the process.