Monthly Archives: January 2014

Does A 400-year-old Manuscript Prove That Australia Was Discovered By The Portuguese?

Manuscript KangarooThe Les Enluminures Gallery in New York recently purchased a 16th century manuscript from a rare book dealer in Portugal. The manuscript, dated between 1580 and 1620, features both text and music for a liturgical procession. The manuscript changed hand for the sum of $15,000.

When Laura Light, a researcher at the gallery, closely examined the content, she made an interesting discovery. She came across the image that looks closely resembles a kangaroo. She also found an image of two half-naked men wearing crowns of leaves.

Both images could prove that the Portuguese landed in Australia before the first recorded European landing by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606. If true, the find would rewrite Australia’s history.

Australia’s The Age newspaper wrote that  “a kangaroo or wallaby in a manuscript this early is proof that the artist of this manuscript had either been in Australia, or even more interestingly, that travelers’ reports and drawings of the interesting animals found in this new world were already available in Portugal.”

Not everybody is convinced. Dr. Martin Woods of the National Library of Australia stated: “it could be another animal in south-east Asia, like any number of deer species, some of which stand up on their hind legs to feed of high branches“.

Other researchers argue that the manuscript may have been created a few years after Janszoon’s arrival in Australia, or could be the result of a 1526 Portuguese voyage to Papua.

Time (and a lot of research hours) will tell…

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Shia LaBeouf’s Weird Plagiarism Case

Howard CantourOn December 17, 2014 Shia LaBeouf released his short film Howard Cantour.com. It did not take long for sharp eyes to detect the uncanny resemblance to a comic strip by famous creatorDaniel Clowes.

LaBeouf took to Twitter to apologize for the mishap. Funny enough, even his mea culpa tweet seems to be plagiarized!

LaBeouf obviously does not know how to apologize. His tweet “[getting] lost in the creative process” doesn’t justify ripping off Daniel Clowes, especially considering the amount of time and work Clowes put into it.LeBeouf also answered numerous questions about the origins of the short movie without pointing out that he adapted it from the comic strip,Funny enough, even his apology about his plagiarism seems to be plagiarized! Andrew Hake noticed on Twitter that LaBeouf has already been caught once before in plagiarizing an apology. It seems that LaBeouf prefers trolling the Internet to find “his” apology instead of writing it himself.

According to Andrew S. Allen “We were led to believe by Shia and the filmmaking team that the story and script for HowardCantour.com was completely original,. There is a global outcry about the uncredited use of Daniel Clowes’ work. That didn’t come until it hit online. If it wasn’t for the legions of online Clowes fans, this may never have come to light.

As curators of a powerful but under-appreciated medium like short film where filmmakers spend years of work to make little or no money, the recognition you get from your work, and therefore attribution, is often all you have, so we take it seriously. Until Clowes grants permission and is credited in the work, we’ve pulled the film offline.”

Meanwhile on Twitter, users came together with the tongue-in-cheek hashtag #shialaboeuffilms to offer some suggestions for future projects LaBoeuf could create that would also be “inspired by someone else’s idea”:

Shia LaBeouf tried to close the unpleasant incident by stating that his behavior, tweets, plagiarism and public apologies were all part of his “performance art” for a project called #stopcreating. Guess what? He got the idea from Joaquin Phoenix.

Curious minds want to know – was that LaBoeuf’s final act of plagiarism?

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Biographer Claims That Norman Rockwell Had “Gay” Tendencies To Boost Her Book Sales

therunaway.jpgArt critic Deborah Solomon penned a biography of Norman Rockwell, the popular painter and illustrator who passed away in 1978.

Her “American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell” was published in November 2013. In it, she claims that Rockwell had homosexual tendencies, and included sexual innuendo in some of his paintings.

Close friends and neighbors of Rockwell are livid. Jim Edgerton Jr. is one of four generations of Edgertons who modeled for Rockwell since the 1950s. He wrote an op-ed for the Berkshire Eagle criticizing Solomon’s biography.

He wrote: “My [family] completely refute the sexual allegations made by . . . [Solomon] . . . If my grandparents and [Aunt] Edith were still alive, they would say the same. As a close neighbor, they would know. The claim that he was a pedophile or had homosexual tendencies is baseless.”

Edgerton’s father, James “Buddy” Edgerton, and Nan O’Brien wrote a biography in 2009 with the title: “The Unknown Rockwell: A Portrait of Two American Families”. This biography was written with cooperation from the Rockwell family, in contrast to Solomon’s biography.

Solomon and her representatives were not available for comment.  A spokesperson of  Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Solomon’s publisher) stated that Edgerton’s piece “misrepresents what Solomon says about Rockwell’s sexuality in the book.” Really?

My personal take? Solomon wants to sell her unauthorized biography by shocking potential readers.

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