What it Means to Wear Eyeglasses


“I always think about what it means to wear eyeglasses. When you get used to glasses you don’t know how far you could really see. I think about all the people before eyeglasses were invented. It must have been weird because everyone was seeing in different ways according to how bad their eyes were. Now, eyeglasses standardize everyone’s vision to 20-20. That’s an example of everyone becoming more alike. Everyone could be seeing at different levels if it weren’t for glasses.”

THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol, A Harvest Book, 1977.


Linda Tripp’s Limited Edition Historical White House Ornaments


Linda Tripp’s Limited Edition
‘First in a Series of Historical White House Ornaments’

Price: $85.00

“Large mouth blown and hand painted White House Ornament depicting the First White House Christmas in 1800. This ornament comes with a signed brochure that details the significance of the ornament. The White House Christmas Ornament is the first in an annual series of White House history ornaments designed by Linda Tripp and created by hand in Germany.
In a fanciful way, this ornament depicts the first White House Christmas, when our second President, John Adams, took up residence in what was then called ‘The President’s House’.

When President Adams moved in on November 1, 1800, the White House was not yet fully completed and the President’s house looked somewhat different from what we see today. This ornament was inspired by words John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on his second evening in the damp and yet to be completed President’s House:

‘I pray to Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inahbit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.’

Mouth Blown and Hand painted in Germany, numbering only 100.

Available Exclusively at THE CHRISTMAS SLEIGH, Middleburg, Virginia. Designed by Linda Tripp.”

This Record is Closed



Closed SERETSE KHAMAFor 40 years
Reference: FCO 105/29

Date: 1979 Mar 12 – 1979 Dec 31

Held by: The National Archives, Kew

Legal status: Public Record

Closure status: Closed Or Retained Document, Open Description

Access conditions: Closed For 40 years

FOI decision date: 2010

Exemption: International Relations – prejudice

Record opening date: 01 January 2020

Section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act contains two closely related provisions: an exemption for information whose disclosure would or would be likely to harm UK interests, dealt with in s.27(1), and an exemption for information obtained in confidence from another state or international organisation or court, dealt with in s.27(2) and (3).

a) Prejudice to UK Interests – Section 27(1) S.27(1) focuses on the effects of the disclosure of information and provides for

information to be exempt under section 27(1) if its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice:

•relations between the United Kingdom and any other state

•relations between the United Kingdom and any other international organisation or international court

•the interests of the United Kingdom abroad

•the promotion or protection by the United Kingdom of its interests abroad

Freedom of Information Act Awareness  Guidance No. 14, Information Commissioner’s Office

The Astrology of the INF Treaty


President Ronald Reagan’s ex Chief of Staff Donald Regan revealed his boss’s reliance on astrology in his scorched earth memoir. “Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise.” The May 1988 publication of Regan’s book marked the end of the Reagans’ association with their astrologer Joan Quigley. Two years later “Joan in San Francisco,” published her own memoir, “What Does Joan Say?” Quigley wrote that the Iran-Contra scandal was the result of “horrendous configurations” affecting the president’s chart. “No human being can prevail when the malevolent movements of Uranus and Saturn go against his horoscope.” In early 1988, the First Lady asked for Quigley’s help planning the Moscow summit. The late May date was “a horrendous time astrologically… I was terribly embarrassed to have anyone who knew anything whatsoever about astrology believe for one moment that I had chosen that time.” Quigley was particularly concerned with the timing of  The Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles. Nineteen years after the treaty was ratified, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to withdraw from it unless other countries were included in the provisions. On January 30, 2014, Washington briefed its NATO allies that Russia had been breaching the INF treaty by conducting flight tests of ground-launched cruise missiles since 2008.

“I would like to go on record about something that was done for all the wrong reasons and against my best advice. Before I left for the Mediterranean, I only had the chance to analyze one of the times Nancy submitted to me for the week in Moscow. It was June 1, 2:00 P.M., when the ratification documents for the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty were to be signed.  I told her it was a horrible time. She assured me that the signing was of no importance, just a few insignificant details. But I said, ‘If the paper contains anything of the slightest importance, don’t do it.’

The last advice that I ever gave Nancy was as sound as the Rock of Gibraltar astrologically. I said, ‘Go to Moscow if you will. The time I have chosen will guarantee a safe journey. Enjoy your global photo-opportunity, the hands reaching out, the adulation, but for God’s sake, don’t sign anything of importance at 2:00 P.M. on June 1 in Moscow. I’m warning you, signing anything of importance at that time is Roosevelt at Yalta stuff.’

I knew Ronnie wanted to be remembered always as having cemented the historic arms reduction agreement by appearing in Moscow. It was only human for him to wish to do so. ‘But please, don’t sign anything at that meeting,’ I pleaded with Nancy. ‘Leave something for the next person. Ronnie has done enough. His place in history is already enviable.’

Even now, looking at the chart of the signing in Moscow makes me physically ill. I can only hope what was signed was of minor importance, ‘just insignificant details,’ as Nancy had said during our last formal consultation.”

“What Does Joan Say?” My Seven Years as White House Astrologer to Nancy and Ronald Reagan, Joan Quigley, Carol Publishing Group, 1990.

Ruler’s Feasts

State Dinner Reagan White House, Pete SouzaPresident and Mrs. Reagan’s White House State Dinner in honour of Mikhail Gorbachev (United States, 1987): Columbia River salmon with lobster medallions, loin of veal with wild mushrooms, zucchini boats filled with fresh vegetables, honey ice cream with petits fours and champagne.

Coronation Banquet of Czar Nicholas II (Russia, 1896) Borshch and pepper-pot soup, meat turnovers, steamed fish, whole spring lamb, pheasants in cream sauce, salad, asparagus, sweet fruits in wine, ice cream.

2,500th Anniversary of the Persian Monarchy (Persepolis, Iran, 1971): Food flown in from Maxim’s restaurant in Paris: quail’s eggs stuffed with Imperial Caspian caviar, mousse of crayfish tails with Nantua sauce, roast saddle of lamb with truffles, 50 roast peacocks stuffed with foie gras, glazed oporto ring of fresh figs with cream, raspberry champagne sherbert, Château de Saran, Château Haut-Brion Blanc 1964  Château Lafite Rothschild 1945, Moët &Chandon 1911, Misigny Conte de Vogué 1945, Dom Perignon Rose, 1959, mocha coffee, cognac Prince Eugene.

Fourteen Course Meal for Henry VIII (England, 1509-28) Roasted swan, spit-roasted meat, grilled beavers tails, whale meat, black pudding, boar’s head, marzipan, vegetables, spiced fruitcake, wine, ale.

President and Mrs. Eisenhower’s State Dinner in Honor of King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece (United States, 1955): Shrimp cocktail, cocktail sauce, saltine crackers, sherry, clear consommé, sliced lemon, celery hearts, assorted olives, fairy toast, white fish in cheese sauce, coleslaw, Boston brown bread sandwiches, white wine, crown roast of lamb stuffed with Spanish rice, mint jelly, French peas, braised celery, bread sticks, orange and Roquefort cheese salad bowl, French dressing, toasted Triscuits, champagne, caramel cream mold, burnt caramel sauce, lemon iced diamond shaped cookies, nuts, candies, demitasse.

Robert Mugabe’s Eighty-Sixth Birthday Feast (Zimbabwe, 2010) (Televised) 200lb prawns, 8,000 lobsters, 4,000 helpings of caviar, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Chevas Regal whiskey.

Photograph of the State Dinner for Gorbachev by Pete Souza, 1987.