Fun stage dioramas at Paper Theatre Festival!

An example of a elaborate paper toy theater, a source of family entertainment in the 19th century.
An example of an elaborate paper toy theater, a source of family entertainment in the 19th century.

Today, just for fun, I headed up to the Paper Theatre Festival, which is held every year at UC San Diego.

Upon entering the Seuss Room at the Geisel Library, I couldn’t help smiling. Scattered about the room was a large collection of Victorian stage dioramas, character cut-outs, books and ephemera from the 19th century when paper toy theatre was a popular family entertainment.

All of the colorful artwork exhibited at the festival is part of an immense paper theatre collection assembled over the course of eighteen years by Scott Paulson. I listened to him talk to visitors young and old about his collection, and tried to absorb a bit of this unique art form’s history. I learned how in that bygone age, families would construct these paper theaters from kits, then act out plays with the included scripts and paper doll actors. The entertaining hobby encouraged people to learn about the operation of a real theater, including set design and stage lighting effects.

Walking about the Seuss Room, I bent over to peer into many highly ornate 3-dimensional dioramas. Slots at intervals on the stages allow different paper backdrops–scenery sheets–to be inserted, as you can see from my photos. Paper characters, which are often mounted at the ends of sticks, can be moved about on a stage as a dramatic performance demands.

The festival is geared toward kids, who are encouraged to handle these fun paper playhouses, learn about their history and create their own small dramas. The event continues Sunday and Monday. Click here to learn more!

Paper Theater - It's the smallest show on Earth! Historical amusements are on display at the Paper Theatre Festival at the UC San Diego Library.
Paper Theater – It’s the smallest show on Earth! Historical amusements are on display at the Paper Theatre Festival at the UC San Diego Library.
Objects on display include books, posters and materials to craft paper theaters.
Objects on display include books, posters and materials to create paper theaters.
A mirthful dance of magical characters!
A mirthful dance of magical characters!
A variety of paper toy theaters and related items are on display at the festival.
A variety of paper toy theaters and related items are on display at the annual festival.
A scenery sheet depicting a London street to be used in a play of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.
A scenery sheet depicting a London street to be used in a play of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.
Detail from one highly ornate paper stage.
Detail from one ornate paper stage.
These cut-out paper actors include dragons, knights and other fantastic characters.
These cut-out paper actors include dragons, knights and other fantastic characters.
Mr. Jackson's Elizabethan Theatre includes the characters and text for Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Mr. Jackson’s Elizabethan Theatre includes the characters and text for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
An example of a French paper theatre kit.
An example of a French paper theatre kit.
The exhibition includes a crazy MOV-I-GRAFF card. The outline of the face is a fine chain. The face's shape can be altered with a jiggle.
The exhibition includes a crazy MOV-I-GRAFF card. The outline of the face is a fine chain. The face’s shape can be altered with a jiggle.
This stage features a troupe of ballet dancers!
This stage features a troupe of dancers!
Edward Gorey's Dracula, a toy theatre!
Edward Gorey’s Dracula. Classic horror and toy theatre!
Teatro de Mexico. A folk art toy theater.
Teatro de Mexico. A folk art toy theater.
Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop. Hansel and Gretel. A model to cut out and make.
Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop. Hansel and Gretel. A model to cut out and make.
A fun Hansel and Gretel scene made of paper!
A fun, very colorful Hansel and Gretel scene made of paper!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

How to create 3D printed intertidal organisms!

Sign inside Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument describes the fascinating 3D Cabrillo project.
Sign inside Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument describes the fascinating 3D Cabrillo project.

The Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument has a cool exhibit of 3D printed intertidal organisms. An explanation is provided of how the tide pool animal models were created, and shows how the general public and interested educators can easily access essential resources via a dedicated website!

Student curriculum, simple instructions and the 3D Cabrillo biomodel .STL files library (and a link to raw Autodesk files) are all found here.

For 3D Cabrillo and the particular models seen in this exhibit, free imaging software and an iPad were used to capture images of intertidal organisms preserved by La Jolla’s world-renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography. After models were edited on a computer using design software, they were sent to a 3D printer at the San Diego Central Library’s Innovation Lab.

This program was adapted from the Scan Our Seas project created by Dr. Andrew D. Thaler.

Do you know of any school students who’d like to learn more about marine biology, the environment and technology? This is definitely a very cool (and fun) project!

Many colorfully painted 3D printed models of intertidal organisms are on display inside the Visitor Center.
Many colorfully painted 3D printed models of intertidal organisms are on display inside the Visitor Center.
3D printed Starburst Sea Anemone.
3D printed Starburst Sea Anemone.
3D printed Dorid Nudibranch.
3D printed Dorid Nudibranch.
A video explains the 3D printing process, including editing the tidepool animals.
A video shows the 3D printing process, including editing the tidepool animals.
3D printed Wavy Turban Snail.
3D printed Wavy Turban Snail.
3D printed Ochre Sea Star.
3D printed Ochre Sea Star.
Students are encouraged to create nature journals. Writing is fun, too!
Students are encouraged to create nature journals. Writing is fun, too!
3D printed Scallop.
3D printed Scallop.
3D printed Garibaldi.
3D printed Garibaldi.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of interesting photos for you to share and enjoy!

A colorful spring walk around Coronado.

Looking across San Diego Bay toward downtown from Coronado's beautiful Centennial Park.
Looking across San Diego Bay toward downtown.  A spectacular view from Coronado’s beautiful Centennial Park.

Spring will soon become summer. I had to wear shorts for my long walk around Coronado today. A very warm sun was shining and the island was abloom.

Walking west through Centennial Park. Flags line the pathway for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Walking west through Centennial Park. Flags line the pathway for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Gazing from a sheltered area with benches across green grass. The skyline of downtown San Diego rises in the background.
Gazing from a sheltered area with benches across the green grass. The skyline of downtown San Diego rises in the background.
Words on one bench. Don't be afraid to lean into the wind, love the earth in all of its glories, and take care of each other.
Words on one bench. Don’t be afraid to lean into the wind, love the earth in all of its glories, and take care of each other.
Gazing north along the bayside beach toward Navy ships docked at North Island.
Gazing north along the bayside beach toward Navy ships docked at North Island.
Roses bloom near the old ticket booth of the original Coronado ferry.
Roses bloom near the old ticket booth of the original Coronado ferry.
A spring bloom in Coronado.
A spring bloom in Coronado.
Some patriotic art on a wall by the Little Club on Orange Avenue.
Some patriotic art on a wall by the Little Club on Orange Avenue.
Walking west along Orange Avenue. Coronado is pleasant, friendly and inviting wherever you roam.
Walking west along Orange Avenue. Coronado is pleasant, friendly and inviting wherever you roam.
Bench near the front of the Coronado Public Library.
Bench near the front of the Coronado Public Library.
Plaque on the bench. In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
Plaque on the bench. In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
Flowers in front of the stately but welcoming Coronado Public Library.
Flowers in front of the stately but welcoming Coronado Public Library.
The big Torrey Pine on the left of this photograph is a Coronado Heritage Tree.
The big Torrey Pine on the left side of this photograph is a Coronado Heritage Tree.
Flags by the library fly proudly on a spring day.
Flags by the library fly proudly on a spring day.
A plaque on a boulder by the flagpole. The Stockdale Tribute. Vice Admiral Stockdale and his wife Sybil were distinguished Coronado residents.
A plaque on a boulder by the flagpole. The Stockdale Tribute. Vice Admiral Stockdale and his wife Sybil were distinguished Coronado residents.
A shining, kinetic sculpture by the library turns in the breeze.
A shining, kinetic sculpture by the library turns in the breeze.
A flower vendor brightens Orange Avenue.
A flower vendor brightens Orange Avenue.
A life-size Marilyn Monroe by an Orange Avenue shop in her iconic pose. She starred in the classic movie Some Like It Hot, which was filmed at the nearby Hotel del Coronado.
This life-size Marilyn Monroe by an Orange Avenue shop is in her iconic pose. The famous actress starred in the movie Some Like It Hot, which was filmed at the nearby Hotel del Coronado.
Flowers along fence of a pleasant house in affluent Coronado.
Flowers along fence of a pleasant house in affluent Coronado.
Looking out across the wide beach toward Point Loma and the Pacific Ocean.
Looking out across the wide beach toward the Point Loma peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.
On the beachfront, at 1043 Ocean Boulevard, you'll find one of two historic Spreckels Mansions--his "beach house". John D. Spreckels' more impressive "bay-side house" is now the Glorietta Bay Inn, across from the Hotel del Coronado. The successful and very wealthy businessman helped to transform San Diego into a bustling city and center of commerce. One of his business ventures included the world-famous Hotel del Coronado.
A peek at John D. Spreckels’ “beach house” on Coronado.

On the beachfront, at 1043 Ocean Boulevard, you’ll find one of two historic Spreckels Mansions: his “beach house”. John D. Spreckels’ more impressive “bay-side house” is now the Glorietta Bay Inn, across from the Hotel del Coronado. The successful and very wealthy businessman helped to transform San Diego into a bustling city and center of commerce. One of his business ventures included the world-famous Hotel del Coronado.

Concrete sidewalk in front of the Spreckels "beach house" is stamped 1898.
Concrete sidewalk in front of the Spreckels “beach house” is stamped 1898.
Heading south along the beach toward the Hotel del Coronado, one of the world's finest, most famous resorts.
Heading south along the beach toward the Hotel del Coronado, one of the world’s finest resorts.
Coronado has one of the best beaches in the United States. It is regularly rated in the nation's top five.
Coronado has one of the best beaches in the United States. It is regularly rated in the nation’s top five.
Hotel guests and visitors enjoy the San Diego sunshine on a broad white beach.
Hotel guests and visitors enjoy the San Diego sunshine on a broad white beach.
This cool sand sculpture was built near the Hotel del Coronado by The Sandcastle Man!
This cool sand sculpture was built near the Hotel del Coronado by The Sandcastle Man!
The Hotel del Coronado is an architectural gem. Numerous world leaders, dignitaries and celebrities have stayed at the resort over the years.
The Hotel del Coronado is an architectural gem. Numerous world leaders, dignitaries and celebrities have stayed at the resort over the years.
Sign by the beach. Hotel del Coronado continues to safeguard this magnificent stretch of Southern California coastline.
Sign by the beach. Hotel del Coronado continues to safeguard this magnificent stretch of Southern California coastline.
This is paradise.
This is paradise.
Biking down toward the Coronado Shores.
Biking down toward the Coronado Shores.
Old and new maps of Coronado Island on a portable restroom.
Old and new maps of Coronado Island on a portable restroom.
The Hotel del Coronado's old boathouse, on Glorietta Bay, built in 1887. It's now home to the Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill.
The Hotel del Coronado’s old boathouse, on Glorietta Bay, built in 1887. It’s now home to the Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill.
Bicyclists ride down Glorietta Boulevard, part of the Bayshore Bikeway around San Diego Bay.
Bicyclists ride down Glorietta Boulevard, part of the Bayshore Bikeway around San Diego Bay.
Golfers enjoy a sunny spring Saturday at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course.
Golfers enjoy a sunny spring Saturday at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course.
Photo taken beneath the San Diego- Coronado Bridge, which opened in 1969. Locals often call it the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Photo taken beneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, which opened in 1969. Locals often call it the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Boats moored between Coronado and the bridge. San Diego's shipyards can be glimpsed on the other side of the bay.
Boats moored between Coronado and the bridge. San Diego’s shipyards can be glimpsed on the other side of the bay.
Colorful boats piled on the sand near Coronado Tidelands Park.
Colorful boats piled on the sand near Coronado Tidelands Park.
A silly bench by the playground at Coronado Tidelands Park, created by sculptor Douglas Snider of Studio 15 in Balboa Park's Spanish Village Art Center.
A silly bench by the playground at Coronado Tidelands Park, created by sculptor Douglas Snider of Studio 15 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.
I believe this fellow down by the water is a great blue heron.
I believe this fellow down by the water is a great blue heron.
My walk will soon come full circle. What a perfect spring day.
My walk will soon come full circle. What a perfect late spring day.

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Valeiras Sculpture Garden at San Diego’s Central Library.

The Valeiras Sculpture Garden includes several works. It's located near the front entrance to the San Diego Central Library's Art Gallery on the Ninth floor.
The Valeiras Sculpture Garden includes several works. It’s located near the front entrance of San Diego Central Library’s Art Gallery on the Ninth floor.

Head up to the Ninth floor of San Diego’s downtown Central Library and you’re likely to see the small Valeiras Sculpture Garden, just outside the Art Gallery. Several lattice-like metal sculptures attract and interest the eye. They were created by local artist Christoper Puzio, who incorporates a variety of geometric patterns into many of his pieces.

Just in case you can’t see them in person, here are a few photos.

Jacob's Staff, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015.
Jacob’s Staff, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015.
Morocco, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015. This piece hangs on a wall just inside the Art Gallery's front door.
Morocco, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015. This piece hangs on a wall just inside the Art Gallery’s front door.
Bishop, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015.
Bishop, by artist Christopher Puzio, 2015.
The small Valeiras Sculpture Garden at San Diego's Central Library is located on the Ninth floor, adjacent to the Art Gallery.
The small Valeiras Sculpture Garden at San Diego’s Central Library is located on the Ninth floor, adjacent to the Art Gallery.

Do you like to read? You might enjoy a short story that I’ve written. Final Real Magic is its title.

Make a “lending library” box for your community!

A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody's front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!
A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody’s front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!

Here’s a cool idea that almost anyone can bring to life!

Once in a while, as I walk about, I notice cabinet-like wooden boxes on neighborhood streets that are filled with books. They’re usually placed near a sidewalk–a spot that anybody passing by can easily reach. These community “lending library” boxes are filled with used books, magazines and other reading material that neighbors can freely borrow and return when they please. Anybody can add to the small library. Now that’s very cool!

Here are photos of four boxes I’ve come across. Their designs appear to be rather simple. They can be built however one likes, as long as the inside shelves are visible and waterproof. And they can be painted creatively!

Does your neighborhood have a “lending library” book box? Looks like a fun, inspirational project! It enriches the life of your community and promotes literacy!

A lending library book box built like a cabinet along the Fifth Avenue sidewalk on Bankers Hill. The contents are always changing. Today the shelves were almost empty!
A lending library book box built like a two-door cabinet along a sidewalk in San Diego. The contents are always changing. Today the shelves were almost empty!
This fancy book box has a sliding glass door and sloped roof. You can find this tiny library at the east end of the Quince Street Trestle pedestrian bridge in Bankers Hill.
This fancy book box has a sliding glass door and sloped roof. You can find this tiny library at the east end of the Quince Street Trestle pedestrian bridge in Bankers Hill!
A lending box created by Boy Scouts and the Friends of the Coronado Public Library.
A lending box created by Boy Scouts and the Friends of the Coronado Public Library.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

To read a few short works of fiction that I’ve written, visit my special writing blog Short Stories by Richard!

Wise words inspire readers at the San Diego Library.

We read to know we are not alone. Wise words inscribed in the San Diego Central Library's large, friendly Reading Room.
We read to know we are not alone. Wise words inscribed in the San Diego Central Library’s large, friendly Reading Room.

Many wise words are digested by hungry minds at the San Diego Public Library. At the Central Library in downtown San Diego, wise sayings and phrases are inscribed upon the building itself. One must simply open eyes to find inspiration.

The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a passport, and a library card.
The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a passport, and a library card.
If there's a book you really want to read but hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
If there’s a book you really want to read but hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. A San Diego Trolley passes some wisdom written on the east side of the downtown public library.
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. A San Diego Trolley heads down tracks past some wisdom written on the east side of the downtown public library.
Yo que me figuraba el paraiso bajo la especie de una biblioteca. From Poem of the Gifts, by Jorge Luis Borges . . . I who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library . . .
Yo que me figuraba el paraiso bajo la especie de una biblioteca. From Poem of the Gifts, by Jorge Luis Borges . . . I who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library . . .
It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.
I go into my library and all history unrolls before me.
I go into my library and all history unrolls before me.
Words inscribed on steps leading to the San Diego Central Library. A portion of Maya Angelou's On the Pulse of Morning, a poem read during the 1993 Presidential Inauguration.
Words inscribed on steps leading to the San Diego Central Library. A portion of Maya Angelou’s On the Pulse of Morning, a poem read during the 1993 Presidential Inauguration.

Women, children, men, take it into the palms of your hands, mold it into the shape of your most private need. Sculpt it into the image of your most public self. Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances for new beginning.

A trolley heads down Park Boulevard past a series of wise sayings and phrases concerning books, libraries and the written word.
A trolley heads down Park Boulevard past a series of wise sayings and phrases concerning books, libraries and the written word.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

To read a few short stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Photos of Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibit in San Diego.

Visitors in the San Diego Library's art gallery crowd around a First Folio by William Shakespeare. Nearby costumes were used though the years for productions by the Old Globe Theatre.
Visitors in the San Diego Library’s art gallery crowd around a First Folio by William Shakespeare. Nearby costumes were used though the years for productions by the Old Globe Theatre.

Yesterday I enjoyed the blockbuster First Folio exhibit at the San Diego Central Library. One of 233 known existing Shakespeare First Folio’s is on display in the ninth floor art gallery, along with other amazing displays, including costumes, props, photos and artwork used over the years by San Diego’s world famous Old Globe Theatre. I will blog about the Old Globe Theatre part of the exhibit later. Right now I will focus on The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare: the First Folio.

This particular First Folio is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library. The rare book contains 36 plays by William Shakespeare–almost all of his work. It was published in 1623, seven years after the famous playwright’s death. The First Folio in the library’s gallery lies safely beneath glass and is open to Hamlet and the page that contains the famous line “To be or not to be…”

Visitors are engaged in a variety of ways, and are encouraged to visit an incredible Shakespeare art and book exhibit in the Hervey Family Rare Book Room, just steps from the gallery. In addition, other Shakespeare-related displays can be found throughout the downtown library, as you will see in my photographs. If you have a chance to go, do so soon. The awesome event ends July 7.

First Folio! is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. I was informed they own about one third of the 233 known existing rare books.
First Folio! is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. I was informed they own about one third of the 233 known existing rare books.
The San Diego Central Library's gift shop is participating in the big event, of course!
The San Diego Central Library’s gift shop is participating in the big event, of course!
One of several displays found on various floors of the downtown public library. This one pays homage to Big Willy and his wide cultural influence.
One of several displays found on various floors of the downtown public library. This one pays homage to Big Willy and his wide cultural influence.
Library patrons are encouraged to take a pic with The Bard and share their personal Shakespeare story on social media.
Library patrons are encouraged to take a pic with The Bard and share their personal Shakespeare story on social media.
Several displays in the Hervey Family Rare Book Room include Imagining Shakespeare, drawings by the Cal State Long Beach Art Department Faculty.
Several displays in the Hervey Family Rare Book Room include Imagining Shakespeare, drawings by the Cal State Long Beach Art Department Faculty.
Othello and Desdemona, by John Lincoln. Graphite.
Othello and Desdemona, by John Lincoln. Graphite.
Rare book illustrations are included in the fine museum quality exhibit.
Rare book illustrations are included in the fine museum quality exhibit.
Visitors entering and leaving the library's art gallery are asked to share how, or in what ways, Shakespeare is or isn't relevant.
Visitors entering and leaving the library’s art gallery are asked to share how, or in what ways, Shakespeare is or isn’t relevant.
Shakespeare teaches us to look honestly at ourselves and motives.
Shakespeare teaches us to look honestly at ourselves and motives.
Shakespeare is awesome! Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
Shakespeare is awesome! Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
He says what's in my heart but that my brain doesn't know how to articulate.
He says what’s in my heart but that my brain doesn’t know how to articulate.
Shakespeare shows us the core of human passion and love is unchanging even as centuries pass by.
Shakespeare shows us the core of human passion and love is unchanging even as centuries pass by.
Our modern language and pop culture landscapes would be barren.
Our modern language and pop culture landscapes would be barren.
On either side of the displayed First Folio are several signs. The first one pictured introduces Shakespeare. His words are your words.
On either side of the displayed First Folio are several signs. The first one pictured introduces Shakespeare. His words are your words. (Click image to enlarge.)
After his death, two of Shakespeare's friends from his acting company put together this history-making book. The First Folio contains 36 of his plays.
After his death, two of Shakespeare’s friends from his acting company put together this history-making book. The First Folio contains 36 of his plays. (Click image to enlarge.)
There are 233 known First Folios of approximately 750 that were originally printed. The Folgers built up a vast collection of Shakespeare art, manuscripts and other books.
There are 233 known First Folios of approximately 750 that were originally printed. The Folgers built up a vast collection of Shakespeare art, manuscripts and other books. (Click image to enlarge.)
Why we turn to Shakespeare. For most people, his appeal has something to do with his brilliant use of language to express subtle, powerful ideas and feelings.
Why we turn to Shakespeare. For most people, his appeal has something to do with his brilliant use of language to express subtle, powerful ideas and feelings. (Click image to enlarge.)
Visitor to art gallery at the downtown San Diego Library looks at a rare Shakespeare First Folio, open to Hamlet. The nearby wall features a mural of 17th century London and the original Globe Theatre.
Visitor to art gallery at the downtown San Diego Library looks at a rare Shakespeare First Folio, open to Hamlet. The nearby wall features a mural of 17th century London and the original Globe Theatre.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

I’m no Shakespeare, but I’ve written some short stories that people seem to enjoy. Many are emotionally powerful. If you’d like to read them, click Short Stories by Richard.