Dizzy Swallows

Meet Tippi

February 22nd, 2013 2 Comments

As a child, how many of us dreamed of living with animals? Certainly, Mowgli and Tarzan have inspired the imagination of countless children.

Meet Tippi, who grew up in a world not entirely unlike that of Rudyard Kipling’s young hero. Born in Windhoek, Namibia in 1990, Tippi Degre lived with her French parents, wildlife photographers Sylvie Robert and Alain Degre. The three of them travelled extensively through the African bush from Tippi’s infancy until she was 10.

Sylvie, Tippi’s mother, explains: “She was in the mindset of these animals. She believed the animals were her size and her friends. She was using her imagination to live in these different conditions.”

Tippi had unusually strong bonds with many creatures, including a 28 year old African elephant, lion cubs, a leopard, an ostrich, mongroose, meerkats, a crocodile, a baby zebra, giraffes, a cheetah, and many more.

“I speak to them with my … Continue reading

Little Bits for a Monday

July 11th, 2011

My dears, this morning I have a stunner for you from Warpaint. This new video was directed by Ted Newsome and creates a Technicolor parallel universe, underwater. The four women of Warpaint — Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg and Stella Mozgawa — step into alter egos and gather for an Alice in Wonderland style tea party. The magical underwater world is so enthralling, you’d never guess it’s just a public pool in Echo Park. See how you think it compares to the last Warpaint video featured on Little Bits.


Image and video via Warpaint

As the summer months progress, my thoughts turn towards flats of fresh berries. Preferably stretching out like a multicolored carpet across my counter-top. One of my favorite U-pick blueberry farms recently closed, so I have been perusing the incredibly useful site (though packaged in a woefully dated design), Pick Your Own. It … Continue reading

The Emotional Lives of Animals

July 8th, 2011

I firmly believe in the sentient nature of animals. Jacob often remarks that I am more likely to empathize with them than humans. He’s probably right. The idea of animal emotion is a hotbed for scientific debate and everyday contention. But should our inability to quantify such phenomena justify the argument that animals experience no emotion? Animal activist Jonathan Balcombe sets out to disprove such a claim in his book The Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasure. Illustrated with images by many leading wildlife photographers, the book is at once heavily scientific and immensely affectionate, entreating a reexamination of our relationship with other living beings. Have a peak at some of the images below, and read an excerpt from the book over at Wired.


“In humans, feelings of love are accompanied by changes in the brain’s chemistry. As people fall in love, the brain begins to … Continue reading

Bookworm Porn

January 12th, 2011 4 Comments

I was raised with a healthy respect and deep love of books. There is nothing in this world quite like the earthy smell of a book, the weighty physicality in your hands, or the soft whisk of a turning page. As a child, I devoured books the way kids today devour iTunes gift cards. Many of my most precious memories revolve around a good book and a bowl of popcorn, preferably enjoyed in my favorite haunt tucked up on a blanket between our raspberry rows (for impromptu foraging and all that).

In more recent memory, I have rarely been without a book somewhere at hand, perhaps tucked into my purse, on the coffee table, or even part of a teetering stack near the bed. It is the most simple and, in my humble opinion, healthiest modes of escape.

Naturally, bookshops and libraries of every breed are among my favorite locales … Continue reading