Davy Mellado

Anointing the Dead | Sarah Aziza

Sarah Aziza , May 23, 2022 Remembering Shireen Abu Akleh Shireen Abu Akleh loved handbags. In life, a mere detail. Intimate and unremarkable. Where does this fact go, in death? This is my first obituary.But then, this isn’t really an obituary. Obituary: notice of a death, especially in a newspaper. By now, the whole world has been given notice of her death. Within hours of the killing, the facts had been published, and, just as quickly, clouded by denial and spin, transforming Abu Akleh into something more, and less, than she was in life. In the clash of competing “narratives,” she became an emblem. An argument.   Here’s where it began: on May 11, 2022, the fifty-one-year-old journalist, widely known and beloved for her twenty-five-plus years of covering Palestine, was fatally shot in the head. The death occurred in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, where she had arrived early that morning to cover a raid by Israeli occupying forces. According to colleague Shatha Hanaysha, she, Abu Akleh, and producer Ali Samoudi had made their presence as journalists known to a cadre of Israeli soldiers, then proceeded down a quiet street. Residents of the neighborhood had pointed them toward this route, advising them that this area had thus far been free of any Israeli or resistance activity. “In that area, things seemed almost normal,” Hanaysha recalled. A moment later, a bullet struck Samoudi in the back. “Ali’s been hit! Ali’s been hit!” Abu Akleh cried out. She and Hanaysha scrambled for cover. A moment later, Abu Akleh lay face down on the ground, motionless beneath the bulk of her blue PRESS jacket. Of course, her death was never going to be a strictly private affair. Presumably, even if Abu Akleh had lived deep into old age, her passing would have been marked by her many devoted fans. For audiences in the Arab world, her name and face have been synonymous with the Palestinian experience for years. She rose to prominence during the Second Intifada, known for her courageous coverage on the frontlines. Clips from her oeuvre include shots of her in the West Bank scuttling out of the way of tear gas canisters and picking her way through the debris of homes demolished by Israeli artillery. In others, Abu Akleh is dressed in a flak jacket and helmet marked PRESS—the same outfit she was wearing when she was shot—military vehicles or plumes of smoke filling the background. Our very title—Palestinian—acts too often like a spell, one we don’t control. So it was only natural that, in the hours after her death, tributes flooded the web, lauding her as an icon for Palestinians and a hero for generations of Arab journalists, particularly women. “Her voice gathered families around their televisions, and inspired an entire generation of journalists,” said journalist and podcaster Tala el-Issa in one tribute. Others echoed this sentiment, praising Abu Akleh’s commitment to covering injustices both large and small, and citing her now-famous quote: “I chose journalism to be close to the people. It might not be easy to change the reality, but at least I could bring their voice to the world.”  But she was also a woman who loved shopping. I learned this while speaking to one of Abu Akleh’s grieving friends, Dalia Hatuqa. A fellow Palestinian journalist, Hatuqa met Abu Akleh when the two were both stationed in Washington, D.C. The two hit it off, recalls Hatuqa, whose nerves about meeting the veteran reporter melted in Abu Akleh’s warmth. “She was so different off camera. On the job, she was very professional and serious, but she was actually very funny. I mean hilarious.” And she enjoyed the finer things. “She loved music, and novels,” recalled Hatuqa, “and she was the life of the party, for sure.” On trips to the mall, Hatuqa learned of Abu Akleh’s affinity for handbags. Is there room for handbags in an obituary? Search how to write an obituary and discover conflicting advice. To include the deceased’s exact age, or no? (See above.) Ex-spouses—do they go in? (She never married.) Children? (No. Or yes? She had two nieces and a nephew with whom she was close.) But it seems important, to me, to write of the handbags. To place down this small detail in the record as it swirls and morphs around her name. To ensure that a woman who is undoubtedly a hero remains, at the same time, human. Within arm’s length.It is not easy for any Palestinian to be this simple thing. Our very title—Palestinian—acts too often like a spell, one we don’t control. Sometimes it renders us invisible, negating our literal existence. In other moments, it inflates us, ascribing us dark powers that far outpace our abilities. We are cast as irrepressible and violent, anti-Semitic enemies of peace. Speak the word again, and it may conjure pity. We are unwashed Gazan children, lamenting mothers, worshippers bludgeoned over their prayer rugs. In our deaths, we become statistics. Infographics. Or, sometimes, shaheed. The word, meaning martyr, anoints the dead with honor. It hugs them like a shroud. It speaks, perhaps, to a force of spirit that transcends the breath of lungs.But in other places, women are still shopping at malls. Handbags are being sold. They are being carried home. “I couldn’t—Shireen couldn’t—we couldn’t comprehend that they were actually shooting at us,” recalled Hanaysha. Even as the bullets rained down, “I don’t know how to put it . . . we couldn’t absorb the fact that they were actually shooting at us. We were turning around, looking around, like, what should we do? That was when she fell.”Abu Akleh most likely died in confusion, in disbelief.Those who know Palestinians only from afar might assume the journalist moved through the world expecting violence at every turn. After all, that is how most of the world is used to consuming us—through stories in which death, “clashes,” and “conflict” comprise the lede. We are objects of violence, or its perpetrators. Even as we survive, it is imagined we do so without songs or dreams. To believe this is to forget what one knows about humanity. How improbable and indomitable it can be. It takes something truly monstrous to sever a soul from its innate faith in life. Something like a massive military machine, one that relies on the total dehumanization of those it seeks to oppress. The kind of system that circumscribes, and attempts to define, all Palestinians living on occupied land. The kind that so degrades the imagination it renders children with stones as threats, and women in PRESS jackets disposable. Israeli authorities immediately tried to throw the cause of Abu Akleh’s death into doubt. The authorities first blamed an unspecified Palestinian source for the lethal fire, disseminating a video allegedly supporting this claim. When the video was investigated and debunked by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, Israel began to use the Palestinian rejection of a joint investigation as evidence of guilt. Instead, the Palestinians have called for an international investigation, promising to take the case to the International Criminal Court—a body the Israeli government refuses to recognize. The emblem of a female Palestinian body raised in the streets was more than the machine could bear.  In this way, Abu Akleh’s death was quickly and predictably engulfed in what mainstream media earnestly calls “controversy.” Those who knew and loved her—personally, and through decades of her presence on their television screens—are denied a simple grief. As with all things Palestinian, their pain is politicized. Nowhere was that more obvious than in the heinous attack on Abu Akleh’s funeral.  One of the largest Palestinian funerals in recent history, crowds of thousands amassed to bid farewell to the cherished journalist. Her body emerged from an East Jerusalem hospital held aloft by a group of pallbearers. Abruptly, a phalanx of heavily armed riot police launched on the procession, beating the mourners with batons and their bare fists. As the blows descended on the pallbearers, the men struggled to stay on their feet. The coffin nearly tumbled to the ground. Although the Israeli authorities offered weak excuses for the assault—that rioters had seized the coffin; that three plastic bottles had allegedly been tossed in the direction of police—the real reason was, of course, symbolic. East Jerusalem, which is majority Palestinian, has been declared annexed by Israel, which considers it part of its capital. Any displays of Palestinian national pride—such as the presence of the flag or anything bearing the colors red, white, green, and black—are frequently and brutally quashed. The emblem of a civilian, female, Palestinian body raised in the streets was more than the machine could bear.  Abu Akleh did not have to be in Jenin on that day. Her friend Mohammed Daraghmeh, a fellow veteran journalist, told her not to bother—the raids she wanted to cover have long since become routine. Hatuqa echoed this. “A much more junior reporter could have gone. But she wanted to be there. No story was too small for her—everyone remembers this about her.” What will be done with her handbags now? Will they be given away? Left untouched? “All that the world knows of Jerusalem is the power of the symbol,” wrote Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti in 1997. “The Jerusalem of religions, the Jerusalem of politics, the Jerusalem of conflict is the Jerusalem of the world. But the world does not care for our Jerusalem, the Jerusalem of the people. The Jerusalem of houses and cobbled streets and spice markets . . . The Jerusalem of houseplants, cobbled alleys, and narrow covered lanes. The Jerusalem of clotheslines. This is the city of our senses, our bodies, and our childhood. The Jerusalem that we walk in without much noticing its ‘sacredness,’ because we are in it, because it is us. . . . This is the ordinary Jerusalem. The city of our little moments that we forget quickly because we will not need to remember.” There is a universe to the Palestinian experience that no one, not even Abu Akleh, can render in an article or screen. It is more precious than any symbol. More ordinary than language itself. Woven of the innumerable, peculiar details that make up a human and a life. The sort of things that go unnoticed until they are taken away. It was this experience that she lived, and that was taken from her.

Anointing the Dead | Sarah Aziza

Sony Semiconductor Solutions CEO: “the image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024”

The President and CEO of Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS) Terushi Shimizu gave this outlook for smartphone-equipped cameras: The image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024, and Sony G will show the prospect “We expect that still images will exceed the image quality of single-lens reflex cameras within the next few years.” How is what possible? I had the same question, but the CEO did not provide any details. This is the only relevant text I found in the Nikkei article: In the future, in addition to increasing the diameter, by combining the new pixel structure “two-layer transistor pixel” technology and artificial intelligence (AI) processing technology that can double the shooting performance of bright places, “for still images, a single-lens camera The image quality can be exceeded “(the company). Furthermore, it is said that background blurring using 8K video shooting / high-speed readout and ToF (distance measuring) sensor will be realized toward 30 years. If that’s true, there is no reason for Sony to continue to make cameras after 2024. Like the Sony logo says: “make.believe”… Via SonyAddict The post Sony Semiconductor Solutions CEO: “the image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024” appeared first on Photo Rumors. Related posts: Sony develops the world’s first stacked CMOS image sensor technology with 2-layer transistor pixel Announced: Tokina 400mm f/8 mirror/reflex lens in eight different DSLR and mirrorless mounts Topaz Labs Image Quality Bundle is now $124 off

Sony Semiconductor Solutions CEO: “the image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024”

A Bicultural Jesus Celebrates Asian American Identity

Tyrus Wong, “Chinese Jesus” (photo by Mark Gibson, courtesy the Walt Disney Family Museum) SAN FRANCISCO — “It’s a knockout!” gasped Stanford University art historian and Museum of Art curator Marci Kwon, as the cardboard cover was moved aside to reveal Tyrus Wong’s “Chinese Jesus” painting. The six-foot-tall image of Christ with both Chinese and European features had languished unseen for decades, and despite two brief public exhibitions less than a decade ago the painting still remained in storage. Last December, however, Kwon and two other museum representatives were in San Francisco’s Chinatown to consider the artwork for possible conservation and acquisition. Their interest in the painting is a measure of the growing understanding of Wong’s legacy, as well as the groundswell of attention to Asian American art over the past two years. Today Tyrus Wong is best known for styling Disney’s beloved 1942 animated film, Bambi, but he made the “Chinese Jesus” painting before he began working in Hollywood. In the mid-1930s Wong was a founding member of the Oriental Artists Group, a circle of California-based Chinese and Japanese American artists who garnered attention for their balance of traditional Asian and contemporary Euro-American aesthetics. “Chinese Jesus,” for example, has almond eyes along with an aquiline nose and red hair, and floats on clouds whose vivid hues and stylized shapes recall both Chinese opera backdrops and the rhythmic hues of contemporary Synchromism. (Wong knew Synchromism co-founder Stanton Macdonald-Wright through the WPA and the Los Angeles Art Students League.) According to Wong, the Chinese church in Los Angeles that had originally commissioned the painting rejected it because of its unconventional features. “Well, how do you know what Jesus looks like?!,” was his typically insouciant response.  The painting probably landed in San Francisco when the clergyman for the Los Angeles church was transferred north to the Bay area; there, it was hung in the Chinese United Methodist Church. By the late 1950s Wong had become one of the nation’s leading Christmas card artists, known for a style that melded traditional Chinese brushwork with Christian iconography and other Euro-American holiday imagery. None of this was known to young David Lei, who grew up gazing at the painting when his family attended services at the church. At some point “Chinese Jesus” disappeared from public view. In 2013 Lei — now an influential philanthropist dedicated to preserving Chinese American cultural heritage — learned through a congregation member that just such a painting still existed in the church’s broom closet.  San Francisco State art historian and curator Mark Johnson, who in 1995 co-curated at the university gallery one of the first major retrospectives of Asian American art, reached out to Wong. Then-103-year-old Wong’s reunion with this masterpiece from his early career occurred just in time for the painting to be briefly exhibited during a 2013 Disney Family Museum feature on the artist, as well as in 2016 for the Center for Asian American Media film festival, which opened with an award-winning documentary about him. Despite the flurry of publicity upon its rediscovery and exhibition, however, no institutions showed any interest in putting “Chinese Jesus” on permanent display. This was due partly to the painting’s size and fragile state, its shellac yellowing and its frame held together by the canvas. It also reflects the challenge of contextualizing Wong’s art, which traversed the fine and commercial art spheres, gaining acclaim in the latter. Of course, Wong’s career also cannot be disentangled from the systemic and social challenges that faced Chinese immigrants in the United States. When he painted “Chinese Jesus,” he was still prevented by the Chinese Exclusion Act, a federal law that severely restricted Chinese immigration, from becoming a US citizen. Throughout his career, critical reception of his works often stressed his ethnic heritage, ignoring the bicultural influences of someone who had been in the US since childhood, and who had studied both traditional Chinese calligraphy and European and American art history and media.  Tyrus Wong greeting his “Chinese Jesus” painting, for the first time in over 70 years (photo courtesy David Lei) In recent years, however, growing awareness of Asian American history as well as contemporary cultural developments have fostered a very different climate for Asian and Asian American art. As veteran activists and philanthropists like David Lei work to preserve Asian American heritage and cultural history, established museums and institutions eager to access relatively untapped sectors of donors have started to invest in previously neglected fields. Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice movements have endowed this work with a new urgency. In the earliest months of the pandemic, Asian American artists and cultural figures were prominent in denouncing anti-Asian hate. When racial justice protests erupted in summer 2020, arts-specific movements like #ChangeTheMuseum helped expose the micro- and macro-aggression pervading establishment culture. The progress wrought by these recent changes is substantial. In the past two years, prices have spiked for a few well-known Asian American artists. Last September, a Martin Wong painting sold at auction for $1.1 million, and before that “skyrocketing” sales in celebrated San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa’s work totaled more than $16 million. This price increase is particularly astonishing when contrasted with the relative lack of interest in the recent past. For years, major pieces by world-renowned ink painter Chiura Obata could be purchased for $1000. When pathbreaking dealer and collector Michael D. Brown, who held one of the country’s leading Asian American art collections, passed away in 2019, his vast estate was valued at less than a quarter million dollars. “It’s depressing,” says Marci Kwon, acknowledging how little the mainstream art establishment previously valued Asian American art.  Now, however, this all seems to be changing. As Mark Johnson speculates, reflecting on two prominent Bay Area museums who declined “Chinese Jesus” when it was offered less than 10 years ago, “I think if you went back to them today, they might say something different.” Both Kwon and Johnson credit the Asian American community for fueling this new attention to Asian American art and art history. According to Kwon, in the past few years “community members started coming out the woodwork, wanting to share and find a home for things their family members had left behind.” In Los Angeles, local architect Richard Liu worked with Art Salon Chinatown founder and first art curator of the Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles, Sonia Mak, to restore the private office of pioneering immigration rights attorney Y.C. Hong, in which traditional Chinese stylings merge with Streamline Moderne design. (Tyrus Wong’s “Confucius as a Justice” watercolor graces the office mantel.) In New York, despite a potentially devastating 2020 fire that threatened nearly 85% of its collection, the Museum of Chinese in America reopened to the public this past fall, aided by a $3 million Ford Foundation grant and $5 million from Mackenzie Scott, as well as an outpouring of public support. Some of that community support appears as art images contributed to the museum’s ongoing OneWorld COVID-19 special collection about resisting pandemic-related anti-Asian hate. So what does this all portend for “Chinese Jesus,” a work that Mark Johnson says “makes you rethink everything”? With its titular blend of western culture and Asian ethnicity, the painting embodies Asian American identity. Originating in the 1930s, “Chinese Jesus” is a monumental example of Wong’s early fine arts career, which both prefigures the bicultural aesthetics of his later bestselling Christmas cards and expands understandings of his career beyond Bambi. Amy Poster, Curator Emerita of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, calls the work “iconic” for its religious subject matter and its representation of Wong’s unique style.  But as a masterpiece of Asian American art “Chinese Jesus” also belongs to American art history. The current interest in conserving “Chinese Jesus” is a gratifying indicator of the newfound recognition of Asian American art’s place in American art history. As Mark Johnson notes, for its “scale and ambition, [the painting] is unlike any other religious painting in California at its time, by any artist of any race or ethnicity.” 

A Bicultural Jesus Celebrates Asian American Identity

Existentialism & Nihilism: What’s the Difference?

  Since the beginning of time, humans have come up with various philosophies and ideologies concerning the true purpose of our existence. Although we won’t know the blatant truth until our time has come, it’s still enjoyable to ponder all of the theories in the meantime. Two philosophies that stand out amongst the others are Existentialism and Nihilism. From afar they might appear similar, but you’ll soon realize how different they really are.   Before moving forward I’d like to address that there are many different branches of both Existentialism and Nihilism. In this article, I will be discussing Jean-Paul Sartre’s take on Existentialism and Existential Nihilism.   What Is Existentialism? Jean-Paul Satre with Simone de Beauvoir in Beijing, via Delo.si   Existentialism is a philosophy that originated in Europe and became extremely popular after the devastating events of WWII. One of the first people to describe themselves as an existentialist was a man by the name of Jean-Paul Sartre. The basis of his thought can be summed up as follows: “What all existentialists have in common is the fundamental doctrine that existence precedes essence.” To put this in simpler terms– we as human beings have no predefined box that we must fit into.   We create meaning for our lives by the decisions we make and the paths we decide to go down. This does not mean we can do whatever we want without consequence, as the actions we take define who we are. So, if you say “I am a kind person”– but then proceed to viciously insult people, an existentialist will look at you and determine that you are in fact very mean, despite what you claim to be. This is because you are being judged based on the actions you take, and not by what you think you are. You are held fully accountable for your behavior and this shapes your reality moving forward.   The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise by Benjamin West, 1791, via National Gallery of Art   According to Satre, one day a student of his walked up and asked for advice about a moral dilemma he was facing. The boy could either join the military and become a small part of a large movement, or he could stay home and take care of his mother– making him the focal point of her entire life as she could barely take care of herself. Satre told him that there was no right answer. It was up to the boy to decide what he deemed to be more important, thus giving him free will to decide his path. Existentialism tells us that we are the artists of our lives, and we are free to create our own destinies– we have no ineluctable fate. There are millions of different paths to choose from and we are not bound to a singular timeline. What a freeing thought indeed!   Having an Existential Crisis?  The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893, via the National Gallery of Norway   Alas, on the downside of such freedom, many people may face something called existential dread. This means that they are overwhelmed by the amount of uncertainties life has to offer. For example– imagine being alive in the olden days, completely fine with following your religion because that is all you have ever known, until one afternoon a philosopher announces: “Actually… we come from nothing! Nevermind about that whole worshiping God ordeal!”. You would likely be taken on a roller coaster of emotions, as you begin to have an existential crisis. Without religion or a set of rules to follow, one might become anxious at the idea of “not knowing”. Not knowing what’s next, not knowing why we’re here, and not knowing what the grand purpose is to life.   Ironically, that is the beauty of existentialism– we create our grand purpose in life without any preconceived ideas getting in the way. Life does not give us meaning, but we give meaning to life.   What Is Nihilism? Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche by Edvard Munch, 1906, via Thielska Galleriet   “If we believe in nothing, if nothing has any meaning, and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance.” Albert Camus   Nihilism is another European philosophy that arose during the 19th century when people started to become tired of the local governments and wondered what made people in power more important than your average joe. The masses also started to question religion, after philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche claimed that “God is dead”. Well, if God is dead… what has been the point of all the worship and dedication to serving said “God”? The rise of this thought process alone led many people to question the purpose of everything if we came from nothing.   The word itself comes from the Latin term, nihil, which means “nothing”. What makes someone a better candidate to rule a nation, if everyone was born from nothingness? If there was no real point to anything, why do some people get to be treated better than others? These are a few questions that a Nihilist would ask you.   To get into the mind of the Nihilist and fully understand the philosophy better, ask yourself why you believe what you believe. Where did the idea come from and why was it presented to you? Who created your belief system and why? If you keep digging deeper, you will get to a point where there is no longer a definitive answer. Regardless of religion or science, the question “why” or “what is the point” will never have a direct answer. This is where Nihilism comes into play. The conclusion to them is that there is no purpose or answer. We are here merely to just survive and someday die. Nothing we do truly matters, as we do not know the tangible source of where we were before life and where we will go after.   Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich, 1817, via Hamburg Kunsthalle.   Nihilists quite literally believe in nothingness. They do not believe there is good in the world, nor do they believe there is bad. It is the idea that our world simply exists, as it did before humans came around. Our planet did not give us a tangible list of rules to follow, therefore humans created the ideology of morality themselves. A nihilist would ask– “well, what human was deemed important enough to create such morality laws?”. No answer could possibly satisfy the nihilist mind.   Nihilism claims that there is no grand idea or purpose, so therefore there is no meaning to life. Life is what you make it, but don’t become too attached, because we all have the same fate: death. How uplifting! Although, it can feel liberating to accept this mindset. If nothing matters, why not have fun and do whatever you please?   The Difference Between Existentialism and Nihilism Illustration by Jake Foreman, Via The Atlantic   “Why do we argue? Life’s so fragile, a successful virus clinging to a speck of mud, suspended in endless nothing.” Alan Moore   The questions that arise with Nihilism are answered with the ideologies of Existentialism. Nihilism says nothing matters because we came from nothingness, so do whatever you want because who cares about anything! They claim there is no objective meaning to life, therefore there is no purpose.   Existentialism comes in and says that you give meaning to your life. Regardless if we came from nothing– you are here now and that is what matters. As long as you are alive at this very moment, you can decide your fate and nobody can take that power away from you. Your grand purpose is to create a life you believe is worth living. Live as your most authentic self, without the opinions of others swaying you in different directions. When we take away the restrictions of religion or the limitations of social structures, we are only left with ourselves. Who are you when nobody’s looking? Who are you if you were born into a white box, hidden far away from the teachings of others– it’s just you and your own ideas, who are you then?   A Nihilist would answer that question and say you are “nothing” and “it wouldn’t matter”. An Existentialist would say you are “anything you’d like to be” as you create your reality. And that is the grand difference between the two– one decides that if there’s no God or source, there’s no point. The other says perhaps you are a God, as your life’s destiny is in your own hands based on the choices you make.   Via Unsplash by Zac Durant   Of course, there is no right or wrong answer here– it’s all a matter of preference on how you would like to view your life. That’s the beauty of philosophy, you won’t be condemned to an eternity of hellfire if you decide that this mindset is not for you. The key takeaway from both of these philosophies is to do what makes you happy in the short time we are alive on this planet.

Existentialism & Nihilism: What’s the Difference?

You’ve Heard of Wordle, But Have You Tried “Artle”?

Gather ’round, friends, as we ponder today’s Artle! Gerrit van Honthorst, “The Concert” (1623), oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Patrons’ Permanent Fund and Florian Carr Fund (image via National Gallery of Art) POV: You want to get in on the Wordle craze but you just hate letters. Visual learners and those hoping to put their art history degree to some kind of use, rejoice! A new game, Artle, launched by the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, DC, invites art lovers to guess the artist in four attempts using visual prompts from their oeuvre. Like Wordle, Artle offers you one chance a day to prove how smart you are, and then gloat to your social media followers via the same sort of blind-share format that shows results without spoilers. That’s more or less where the similarities end. Unlike Wordle, guessing in Artle is not progressive, so if you typed in “Edvard Munch,” you won’t get partial credit toward “Édouard Manet.” Guesses cue prompts from a drop-down menu, so it also inhibits the tendency to guess something that isn’t part of the NGA canon — but with more than 155,000 artworks in the NGA’s collection, by some 15,000 different artists, that’s not a hugely limiting factor (though the same biases displayed by most institutions still apply.) Can you guess this Artle? (screenshot Valentina Di Liscia/Hyperallergic) In fact, Artle is a lot harder than Wordle, since there are roughly 9,000 five-letter words in the English language for the daily draw versus 15,000 possible artists. So while it’s a great way to show off how much you know about art, it’s also a resource to learn about art that you don’t already know. I learned about the fascinating and sometimes disturbing oeuvre of Odilon Redon, a French artist who produced odd, Surrealist works around the turn of the 19th century. Not only does failing out reveal the artist of the day and link to their work in the NGA database, but each of the four image prompts are cited, so you can follow them up to learn more. There might be a limited number of people who can flaunt their art pedigree, but an infinite number who could benefit from using Artle as a portal into the NGA’s vast and easily searchable online holdings. And of course, all curators and docents should plan to include their Artle stats on future résumés. Happy guessing!

You’ve Heard of Wordle, But Have You Tried “Artle”?

Letter of Recommendation: Get a Vasectomy

Men in the US typically do not talk about or worry about birth control that much, to the detriment of the health and safety of women. In the spirit of trying to change that a little, I’m going to talk to you about my experience. About a decade ago, knowing that I did not want to have any more children, I had a vasectomy. And let me tell you, it’s been great. Quickly, here’s what a vasectomy is, via the Mayo Clinic: Vasectomy is a form of male birth control that cuts the supply of sperm to your semen. It’s done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm. Vasectomy has a low risk of problems and can usually be performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. Whether you’re in a committed relationship or a more casual one, knowing that you’re rolling up to sexual encounters with the birth control handled is a really good feeling for everyone concerned.1 Women have typically (and unfairly) had to be the responsible ones about birth control, in large part because it’s ultimately their body, health, and well-being that’s on the line if a sexual act results in pregnancy, but there are benefits of birth control that accrue to both parties (and to society) and taking over that important responsibility from your sexual partner is way more than equitable. (Here’s the part where I need to come clean: getting a vasectomy was not my idea. I had to be talked into it. It seemed scary and birth control was not something I thought about as much as I should have. I’m ashamed of this; I wish I’d been more proactive and taken more responsibility about it. Guys, we should be talking about and thinking about this shit just as much as women do! I hope you’ve figured this out earlier than I did. Ok, back to the matter at hand.) Vasectomies are often covered by health insurance and are (somewhat) reversible. These issues can be legitimate dealbreakers for some people. Some folks cannot afford the cost of the procedure or can’t take the necessary time off of work to recover (heavy lifting is verboten for a few days afterwards). And if you get a vasectomy in your 20s for the purpose of 10-15 years of birth control before deciding to start a family, the lack of guarantee around reversal might be unappealing. Talk to your doctor, insurance company, and place of employment about these concerns! Does the procedure hurt? This is a concern that many men have and the answer is yes: it hurts a little bit during and for a few days afterwards. For most people, you’re in and out in an hour or two, you ice your crotch, pop some Advil, take it easy for a few days, and you’re good to go.1 It’s a small price to pay and honestly if you don’t want to get a vasectomy because you’re worried about your balls aching for 48 hours, I’m going to suggest that you are a whiny little baby — and I’m telling you this as someone who is quite uncomfortable and sometimes faints during even routine medical procedures. So, if you’re a sperm-producing person who has sex with people who can get pregnant and do not wish for pregnancy to occur, you should consider getting a vasectomy. It’s a minor procedure with few side effects that results in an almost iron-clad guarantee against unwanted pregnancy. At the very least, know that this is an option you have and that you can talk to your partner and doctor about it. Good luck! Just to be clear, you still have to worry about sexually transmitted infections — a vasectomy obviously does not provide any protection against that.↩ There also is a follow-up about 6-12 weeks later to make sure the procedure worked. You masturbate into a cup and they check to see that there’s no sperm in the sample. Part of this follow-up, if my experience is any guide, includes checking that the doctor’s office bathroom door is locked about 50 times while watching very outdated porn on a small TV mounted up in the corner of the tiny room. It’s fine though! And you have a fun story to tell later.↩ Tags: medicine

Letter of Recommendation: Get a Vasectomy

Elizabeth Olsen

Ms. Olsen, would you say that you grow as an actor with every project? I do feel that way. Especially right before I did WandaVision, I was filming a second season of a show I made called Sorry for Your Loss. It was my first time doing television and it was such a different muscle, I had to reorganize how I worked because your brain really does need to work harder when you do television. It’s just a harder situation. I felt like everything was tightened a bit, and like I knew what I was doing. So yes, I do feel like there’s a bit of a change in growth and process every year. I also think there’s something to be said about making the choice to commit and invest more. I think I realized that maybe I was a bit lazy on some jobs in the past. Lazy in what ways? Just in terms of how much you let your job take up space in your life. And I’ve always been someone whose work life and home life, they are separate things to me, I don’t want them to be the same thing. But I also realized I can still keep it separate, but commit more of myself to my job. From a prepping standpoint, from getting involved from the beginning with the writing, with conversation, with asking more questions, instead of just saying, “Oh, I’m just an actor. I just come in and someone else makes the thing and I leave.” Now I want to be invested more curious about all the steps and stages. In the last four years, I’ve just become a lot more committed to my job. “I honestly think I could be happy doing any job that’s collaborative with lots of people.” It sounds like that commitment has also deepened your love of the job. It feels more personal and more fulfilling. It’s so funny, I finished a job recently — that was a seven month job, and I still miss it. I feel still attached to that whole experience! I really love being a part of a team. And I honestly think I could be happy doing any job that’s collaborative with lots of people. There are people skills that you develop, there’s a lot of empathy you build, there’s a lot of putting yourself in other people’s shoes. And what you put in is what you receive! There’s just so much that you get from working with a group of people intimately, and that’s one of my favorite aspects of the job. What else has been important in terms of really loving your job? I care a lot about how I create the energy of a set, I care a lot about the people enjoying their job, and feeling respected. I care about people treating each other with kindness. And I also care about people being prepared to do their job. I think you can do that without making anyone ever feel bad. You can do that just by leading by example. I do think that helps in hard times when things get a little bit physically uncomfortable, when you’re outside and it’s raining and everyone’s in wet gear… We’re all  in this together. If you’ve created a healthy morale, it makes the job feel much more enjoyable. But that’s all been in the last four or five years for me, I think it was because I produced Sorry for Your Loss and was an actor in it. And I just had to step it up. Did working as a producer give you insight into what you need as an actor? Yeah, and now I pretend like I’m a producer on everything and it’s so annoying! (Laughs) What I try and do is I want to make sure that all the actors have what they need. Usually you have leaders who are capable of that but sometimes things fall through, so I like being able to be present for everyone. Does that kind of personal involvement in a film also mean you’re getting more attached to the characters you play? Well, my theater training in college was all about walking away and leaving it all out on the field. But I think as I’ve gotten older, I realized that I’m more attached to the characters than I think I am! Especially when it comes to a character like Wanda Maximoff, who I’ve played over several Avengers films, the WandaVision TV series, and now also in my new film Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness… I mean, it’s been quite a journey. I feel like as she’s grown, I’ve grown. It made me have a deeper love for Wanda and really excited to do something different with Dr. Strange, where she has a lot of clarity. It’s a different growth for her in this film. They’ve done a great job giving me an arc and something real to play. “There’s something to be said about a certain amount of hours spent doing anything, practicing anything… That does affect growth.” It must also be exciting to bring that character to a totally different style of project, like WandaVision, which is a sitcom. WandaVision taught me a lot! It also freed up my body. There’s this thing that happens when you do too much modern stuff, you start acting only with your upper body. Whereas with WandaVision, which is influenced by old fifties and sixties television series, you have to remember to move your entire body through space and tell a story physically. That was an amazing reminder for someone coming from the theater and not having done theater in such a long time: it makes me want to do theater again, I need it in my life. But I also know I need breaks… That’s another thing I learned about myself, I need definite breaks when I can feel myself getting tired. It seems like you’ve really found your stride as an actor. I mean, I feel better about doing my job than I did eight years ago! I feel more capable. And I do think there’s something to be said about a certain amount of hours spent doing anything, practicing anything or doing any kind of job that you learn from. I think the amount of hours that you rack up, that does affect growth. I just hope that continues. Do you think you’ll ever reach a point where you feel totally at ease, or will that mean that you’ve stayed too long in your comfort zone? I don’t know! I don’t know if anyone feels that way. It’s really vulnerable. And it’s scary, like, starting a job is always horrifying. It’s like the first day of school, it feels terrible every time. But I hope that it continues to feel that way because I like new experiences. And this job really allows you to meet lots of interesting people and have lots of new experiences. And I’m really enjoying it.The post Elizabeth Olsen appeared first on The Talks.

Elizabeth Olsen

How to Boost Brain BDNF Levels for Depression Treatment

Fasting and exercise can raise BDNF levels in our brain (which plays a critical role in depression treatment), but this can also be achieved by eating and avoiding certain foods. What does the latest research on Vitamin D say? Subscribe to NutritionFacts.org’s free newsletter to receive an infographic summary of the main takeaways and Dr. Greger’s recommendations: https://nutritionfacts.org/subscribe/ If you missed the video where I introduced BDNF, see Fasting to Treat Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fasting-to-treat-depression). What else can we do to help with depression? See: • Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/anti-inflammatory-diet-for-depression) • Plant-Based Diets for Improved Mood and Productivity (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-based-diets-for-improved-mood-and-productivity) • Fish Consumption and Suicide (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fish-consumption-and-suicide) • Antioxidants and Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/antioxidants-and-depression/) • Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work? (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-antidepressant-drugs-really-work/) • Exercise vs. Drugs for Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/exercise-vs-drugs-for-depression) • Aspartame and the Brain (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/aspartame-and-the-brain/) • Gut Feelings: Probiotics and Mental Health (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/gut-feelings-probiotics-and-mental-health/) • Fighting the Blues with Greens? (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fighting-the-blues-with-greens-mao-inhibitors-in-plants/) • Best Food for Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/Best-Food-for-Antidepressant-induced-Sexual-Dysfunction) Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-boost-brain-bdnf-levels-for-depression-treatment and someone on the NutritionFacts.org team will try to answer it. Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-boost-brain-bdnf-levels-for-depression-treatment. You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics. Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution! -Michael Greger, MD FACLM Captions for this video are available in several languages; you can find yours in the video settings. https://NutritionFacts.org • Subscribe: https://nutritionfacts.org/subscribe • Donate: https://nutritionfacts.org/donate • Podcast : https://nutritionfacts.org/audio • Facebook: www.facebook.com/NutritionFacts.org • Twitter: www.twitter.com/nutrition_facts • Instagram: www.instagram.com/nutrition_facts_org • Books (including the NEW How Not to Diet Cookbook): https://nutritionfacts.org/books • Shop: https://drgreger.org

How to Boost Brain BDNF Levels for Depression Treatment

Scientists successfully revive animal frozen 30 years ago

Scientists have succeeded in bringing a frozen animal back to life after 30 years, it has been reported.Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research says that their scientists have succeeded in reviving the ‘tardigrade’ animal which they had collected in Antarctica.The creatures, which are known as 'water bears' or 'moss piglets' are miniscule, water dwelling “extremophiles” measuring less than 1mm in length and dwelling in extreme and hostile conditions.They are capable of slowing down or shutting down their metabolic activities for considerable periods of time.According to the research, which was published in Cryobiology magazine, the tardigrades were found among moss plants in the Antarctica in 1983. They were removed and stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius. They were successfully unfrozen in May 2014.Pluto has a 'beating heart' of frozen nitrogen that is doing strange things to its surface, Nasa has found. The mysterious core seems to be the cause of features on its surface that have fascinated scientists since they were spotted by Nasa's New Horizons mission. "Before New Horizons, everyone thought Pluto was going to be a netball - completely flat, almost no diversity," said Tanguy Bertrand, an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center and the lead author on the new study. "But it's completely different. It has a lot of different landscapes and we are trying to understand what's going on there."GettyThe ancient invertabrate worm-like species rhenopyrgus viviani (pictured) is one of over 400 species previously unknown to science that were discovered by experts at the Natural History Museum this yearPAJackdaws can identify “dangerous” humans from listening to each other’s warning calls, scientists say. The highly social birds will also remember that person if they come near their nests again, according to researchers from the University of Exeter. In the study, a person unknown to the wild jackdaws approached their nest. At the same time scientists played a recording of a warning call (threatening) or “contact calls” (non-threatening). The next time jackdaws saw this same person, the birds that had previously heard the warning call were defensive and returned to their nests more than twice as quickly on average.GettyThe sex of the turtle is determined by the temperatures at which they are incubated. Warm temperatures favour females. But by wiggling around the egg, embryos can find the “Goldilocks Zone” which means they are able to shield themselves against extreme thermal conditions and produce a balanced sex ratio, according to the new study published in Current Biology journalYe et al/Current BiologyAfrican elephant poaching rates have dropped by 60 per cent in six years, an international study has found. It is thought the decline could be associated with the ivory trade ban introduced in China in 2017. ReutersScientists have identified a four-legged creature with webbed feet to be an ancestor of the whale. Fossils unearthed in Peru have led scientists to conclude that the enormous creatures that traverse the planet’s oceans today are descended from small hoofed ancestors that lived in south Asia 50 million years agoA. GennariA scientist has stumbled upon a creature with a “transient anus” that appears only when it is needed, before vanishing completely. Dr Sidney Tamm of the Marine Biological Laboratory could not initially find any trace of an anus on the species. However, as the animal gets full, a pore opens up to dispose of wasteSteven G Johnson Feared extinct, the Wallace's Giant bee has been spotted for the first time in nearly 40 years. An international team of conservationists spotted the bee, that is four times the size of a typical honeybee, on an expedition to a group of Indonesian IslandsClay BoltFossilised bones digested by crocodiles have revealed the existence of three new mammal species that roamed the Cayman Islands 300 years ago. The bones belonged to two large rodent species and a small shrew-like animalNew Mexico Museum of Natural HistoryScientists at the University of Maryland have created a fabric that adapts to heat, expanding to allow more heat to escape the body when warm and compacting to retain more heat when coldFaye Levine, University of MarylandA study from the University of Tokyo has found that the tears of baby mice cause female mice to be less interested in the sexual advances of malesGettyThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a report which projects the impact of a rise in global temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius and warns against a higher increaseGettyThe nobel prize for chemistry has been awarded to three chemists working with evolution. Frances Smith is being awarded the prize for her work on directing the evolution of enzymes, while Gregory Winter and George Smith take the prize for their work on phage display of peptides and antibodiesGetty/AFPThe nobel prize for physics has been awarded to three physicists working with lasers. Arthur Ashkin (L) was awarded for his "optical tweezers" which use lasers to grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells. Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou were jointly awarded the prize for developing chirped-pulse amplification of lasersReuters/APThe Ledumahadi Mafube roamed around 200 million years ago in what is now South Africa. Recently discovered by a team of international scientists, it was the largest land animal of its time, weighing 12 tons and standing at 13 feet. In Sesotho, the South African language of the region in which the dinosaur was discovered, its name means "a giant thunderclap at dawn"Viktor Radermacher / SWNSScientists have witnessed the birth of a planet for the first time ever. This spectacular image from the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope is the first clear image of a planet caught in the very act of formation around the dwarf star PDS 70. The planet stands clearly out, visible as a bright point to the right of the center of the image, which is blacked out by the coronagraph mask used to block the blinding light of the central star.ESO/A. Müller et alLayers long thought to be dense, connective tissue are actually a series of fluid-filled compartments researchers have termed the “interstitium”. These compartments are found beneath the skin, as well as lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels and muscles, and join together to form a network supported by a mesh of strong, flexible proteinsGettyWorking in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, a team led by archaeologists at the University of Exeter unearthed hundreds of villages hidden in the depths of the rainforest. These excavations included evidence of fortifications and mysterious earthworks called geoglyphsJosé IriarteMore than one in 10 people were found to have traces of class A drugs on their fingers by scientists developing a new fingerprint-based drug test. Using sensitive analysis of the chemical composition of sweat, researchers were able to tell the difference between those who had been directly exposed to heroin and cocaine, and those who had encountered it indirectly.GettyThe storm bigger than the Earth, has been swhirling for 350 years. The image's colours have been enhanced after it was sent back to Earth.Pictures by: Tom MomaryAn egg and a living animal were revived. The latter began moving and consuming food after a fortnight. The egg laid a total of 19 eggs, of which 14 successfully hatched. No defects or anomalies were reported amongst the hatched newborns.Previously, tardigrades had been successfully revived after nine years, but this is thought to be the first ever instance of successful revival after 30 years.Writing in the research publication, the authors noted: “The present study extends the known length of long-term survival in tardigrade species considerably… Further more detailed studies using quantitative analysis with greater replication under a range of controlled conditions will improve understanding of mechanisms and conditions underlying the long-term preservation and survival of animals.”Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalismBy registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalistsAlready have an account? sign inThe minute animal had been collected from moss in Antartica in 1983, before being unfrozen in 2014Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in

Scientists successfully revive animal frozen 30 years ago

Tucked Deep in Rural Utah, an Arts Center Reaches Out to the World 

Most of Utah’s natural and timeless landmarks are valued for the recreation they offer. However, there is a county in Utah where solitude, luscious scenery, and peaceful lifestyle attract the more creatively minded. Perhaps unsuspectingly, Sanpete County — specifically the town of Ephraim — is known for its rich history of traditional artists and, at one point, boasted the highest number of artists in the state. Today, it is home to Granary Arts, an organization bringing contemporary art, international discourse, and a different lens into a traditional landscape.  Established in the fall of 2012, Granary Arts began as a passion project between Amy Jorgensen and Kelly Brooks, both professors at the nearby Snow College. The general goal was to create a nonprofit art center at the heart of Ephraim and its eclectic community, but it expanded into being so much more. Today, Granary Arts offers Sanpete County, as well as the greater country, experiences that reach beyond their contemporary exhibitions. The organization’s mission is centered on being a creative and educational hub for all through extensive programming that includes events, workshops, community projects, and its own publications.  Interior of Granary Arts’s Main Gallery during Richard Gate’s Anthology reception Executive Director and Chief Curator Amy Jorgensen’s extensive background in the arts has contributed immensely to the vision and success of Granary Arts. Jorgensen has immersed herself in the arts as an educator, facilitator, and artist who has curated over 50 exhibitions. “Having this multi-tool set to pull from has been totally critical to the success of Granary Arts — but also its programming approach and its ability to thrive in a rural place,” Jorgensen says. “When you are in an urban area, you have everything at your fingertips. In a rural space, you usually have to create those resources yourself.” Granary Arts exhibits works by local artists as well as those from around the world. For example, the organization hosted LAND + PLACE + PERFORMANCE in 2015, comprising six contemporary artists (including some locals) who explored and investigated landscapes through photographs, installations, drawings, sculpture, and video. In 2017, Granary hosted Alejandro Durån’s Washed Up, an installation and photography exhibition featuring the debris washing up on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. The most recent show, on view through May 6, is Tomiko Jones’s Hatsubon, a memorial exhibition for Jones’s father. Granary Arts’s Co-founder, Executive Director, and Chief Curator Amy Jorgensen “Everything we do and that we program is not only meant for a local artist community but also for our international artist community,” says Jorgensen. “It is important that we recognize that all places are relevant regardless of whether you’re in a thriving art, urban mecca space, or in a beautiful remote valley.” The Granary Arts programming is integral to its mission to recognize voices from all over the world. For example, the Film Feast program features films from both international and local filmmakers to bridge the gap between regional issues through documentaries and experimental films. While the integration of global voices is a large part of their programming, their calling still includes enriching and fostering their local community. “I think Granary Arts and its mission and its vision is very much in line with the concept of working on behalf of our place and working on behalf of our community,” Jorgensen says. “We think of the community very broadly … artists, creatives, researchers, our patrons, our audience, our neighbors, and who is on the other side of the planet doing similar work.” Granary’s Fellows Program supports selected local creatives by offering them resources, such as time and space; this is not limited to visual artists but includes musicians, critics, and creative collectives. Granary Arts Fellow Darren Jones (center) leads the discussion during the program Critical Ground The organization’s penchant for collaboration and, even more so, conversation is evident in the community-based events they execute, such as the Spring Summit they co-hosted with Epicenter this year. The summit took place in the visually striking town of Green River and brought together artists, architects, curators, and community organizers for a three-day retreat featuring peer-run workshops, conversations, and interactive group experiences. Another program putting conversation at the forefront is Critical Ground, “an initiative to expand the dialogue when it comes to art criticism and to democratize art criticism,” says Jorgensen. Throughout this last decade, Granary Arts has fulfilled its goal to develop the role that art and community play in Ephraim and beyond. “I love the idea that this structure came from a robust community of women working on behalf of their community,” says Jorgensen about the Granary Arts building built in 1876 by Relief Society, the Mormon religious community’s women’s organization. “It is almost like the building has this kind of spirit that draws a type of work to it.” Brought back to life by a group of artists in 1990 with renovation efforts led by Kathleen Peterson, the Granary Arts building has always fostered a space for female-driven community building.  Interior of Granary Arts’s Upper Gallery during the exhibition of Sara Lynne Lindsay’s Inherited Ground installation

Tucked Deep in Rural Utah, an Arts Center Reaches Out to the World 

Public Art Decreases Traffic Accidents by 17%, Report Finds

Painted by Jade Warrick in Troy, New York (photo by Brittainy Newman; all images courtesy Bloomberg Philanthropies) A study conducted by Bloomberg Philanthropies examined 17 sites over two years, before and after they were painted with “asphalt art” (art on surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and underpasses). It found a 17% decrease in total crashes and a decrease in severity of the crashes that did occur: There were 37% fewer crashes that resulted in injury and 50% fewer crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists. “The art itself is often also intended to improve safety by increasing visibility of pedestrian spaces and crosswalks, promoting a more walkable public realm, and encouraging drivers to slow down and be more alert for pedestrians and cyclists, the most vulnerable users of the road,” the study reads. The sites, spread across five states, were intersections or mid-block crosswalks. Around half of the sites were considered “urban core,” defined as areas with a high population density (including two in New York City), a quarter were neighborhood zones, and the last quarter were suburban. Artist Chris Visions painted this intersection in Richmond, Virgina. (photo by Justin Holmes) Artist Chris Visions working with students to create the intersection mural (photo by Matt Eich) In addition to reporting the actual crash rate for these sites, the study also tracked the behavior of drivers and pedestrians, noting that both groups performed less risky behavior in areas with artworks — such as pedestrians crossing without the “walk” sign and drivers not yielding to pedestrians until the last moment. (Drivers were 27% more likely to yield to pedestrians when there was art on the road.) Artists Cory Robinson and Shamira Wilson painted this intersection in Columbus, Indiana. (photo by James Brosher) As of now, asphalt art is not allowed under the Federal Highway Association’s rules on road signs and signals, a lengthy set of guidelines that dictate the colors required for painting crosswalks, curbs, and lines. The decision to install asphalt art requires local officials to make exceptions. Bloomberg Philanthropies’s report urges for the adoption of asphalt art into the federal road painting specifications and provides further justification for its project “Asphalt Art Initiative,” which has granted money to cities in the United States and Europe to create 42 roadway art pieces. The discovery of asphalt art’s safety benefits compliments the notion that it can help to build community. “Why not use projects like this to actually let people be involved, create a sense that public space belongs to everyone?” said Kate D. Levin, a former commissioner of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs who now oversees arts programs for Bloomberg Philanthropies, in an interview with the New York Times last year. The city of New York has also implemented asphalt arts programs in the past. However, rather than using them for traffic safety, many of the projects have been designated to pedestrian areas, such as the busy Doyers Street in Chinatown.

Public Art Decreases Traffic Accidents by 17%, Report Finds

Kodak is bringing back to life the popular Gold 200 color negative film in 120 format

Kodak is bringing back to life the popular Gold 200 color negative film in 120 format: “Kodak Professional Gold 200 is a medium-speed daylight-balanced color negative film offering a versatile combination of vivid color saturation, fine grain, and high image sharpness. It has a nominal sensitivity of ISO 200/24° along with a wide exposure latitude for exposing up to two stops under or three stops over to enable working in a wide variety of lighting conditions. Additionally, due to the fine grain structure, this film is well-suited for scanning or enlarging your photographs.” B&H is already taking pre-orders. Press release: Kodak Moments Announces New 120 Format Gold 200 Film ROCHESTER, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kodak Moments, a division of Kodak Alaris, continues the expansion of its color film portfolio with the launch of Kodak Professional Gold 200 film in a new 120 format 5-roll pro-pack for medium format cameras to satisfy consumer demand. “The 120 film format was introduced back in 1901 for the Brownie No. 2 camera,” said Thomas Mooney, Manager Film Capture Products, Kodak Moments Division. “Although it’s been around for 120 years, it’s still one of the most popular film formats in use today. One main reason for its popularity is that the larger film negative can be enlarged significantly without losing image quality. This is a great opportunity for aspiring photographers looking to make the jump from 35mm to medium format photography.” The new 120 format Kodak Professional Gold 200 is an affordable, entry-level color film featuring an ideal combination of warm saturated color, fine grain, and high sharpness. It is designed for photographers shooting at any level for daylight and flash capture. Starting today, the 120 format Gold 200 Film is available for dealers, retailers, and distributors around the world and is intended to be priced 25 percent lower than the comparable PORTRA and EKTAR offerings. The post Kodak is bringing back to life the popular Gold 200 color negative film in 120 format appeared first on Photo Rumors. Related posts: Negative Supply teaseling a new light meter The latest film news from Fujifilm: Acros II on sale, 160NS discontinued, Instax Wide Black now in stock Kodak rumored to release a new mirrorless camera

Kodak is bringing back to life the popular Gold 200 color negative film in 120 format

Hong Kong Painter Wesley Tongson and the Lineage of Chinese Landscape Art

BERKELEY, CA — Wesley Tongson, who died in 2012, was a contemporary Hong Kong painter, but his calligraphy, landscapes, and splash paintings were tied to tradition. In the show at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), Spiritual Mountains: The Art of Wesley Tongson, Tongson’s paintings, including 11 his family recently donated to the museum, hang alongside works from the museum’s collection of traditional Chinese ink paintings of the Qing dynasty and early 20th century. Julia M. White, BAMPFA’s senior curator for Asian Art who curated this show, first saw Tongson’s work at an exhibition at San Francisco’s Chinese Culture Center in 2018, and its dynamism and wide range impressed her. “I was flummoxed by the way he moved from one type of painting to the next,” she said. “His splash paintings are so ethereal and beautiful.” White met Tongson’s sister, Cynthia Tongson, at that show, and invited her for a meeting at the museum with White and Lawrence Rinder, then BAMPFA’s director. They both hoped to expand the range of the collection, which has a wealth of Chinese classical work, but less modern ink art. Cynthia Tongson had decided to donate some of her brother’s art after the response she got to a show of his work, Ink Explorations: A Wesley Tongson Retrospective, which she organized in 2014, after his death. Installation view, Spiritual Mountains: The Art of Wesley Tongson at BAMPFA (courtesy Impart Photography) “I wanted people to know how Wesley had progressed as an artist,” she said about the show. “Even in Hong Kong no one knew how he’d progressed into finger painting. Everyone kept telling me how it was something they’d never seen before, and I realized I needed to share the work.” Because of its collection of historical Chinese painting, as well as its ties to the University of California, Berkeley, Cynthia Tongson decided to donate Tongson’s paintings to Berkeley. White says she organized Spiritual Mountains with an eye to showing Tongson’s connection to the past. “I wanted to focus on putting him in the context of greater Chinese historical perspective,” she said. “He learned from his mentors and there’s a respect and a linkage.” Some of Tongson’s teachers are included in the show, such as Hong Kong artist Harold Wong, known for his landscape painting, and Liu Guosong, a Taiwanese artist who taught a workshop in Hong Kong, and who was called “the father of modern Chinese ink painting.” Tongson’s “Spiritual Mountains 6” (2012) echoes Wong’s 1993 “Sound of the Waterfall,” with both landscapes invented. “We know it’s a mountain, and we know it’s a waterfall, but they clearly are imaginary,” White said. Wesley Tongson (image courtesy the Tongson family) Tongson’s monochromatic “Untitled” (1997) shows the influence of Shitao, the Qing-era master that Cynthia Tongson says her brother most respected. The show has his scroll of a lotus from 1704 and “Reminiscences of Nanking,” from the same year. Both artists look for the essence of the natural world, but don’t try to replicate it; White observed how Tongson’s mountains are only lightly defined by their shape. Tongson studied at the Ontario College of Art for a few years and became fond of Cubism. Pablo Picasso was his favorite Western artist, and you can see his influence in “Untitled” as well. BAMPFA’s Picasso etching, “L’Homme à la guitare” (1915), hangs in the exhibit. The show also has examples of Tongson’s calligraphy, done using his hands and fingers rather than a brush. This has precedence in traditional Chinese painting, as with Gao Qipei, whose 18th-century “Zhong Kui, the Demon Queller” hangs in the show. Tongson was bold and prolific, drawing on techniques of masters of Chinese painting to make his large-scale landscapes and intricate examinations of nature his own. “I think he had an open mind to a lot of different techniques,” White said. “He started painting with fingers and hands and gave up the intermediary that the brush provided and became almost a part of the work of art. Wesley was courageous in his willingness to experiment. In the way he expresses the natural world, for example, you see what Wesley did pushing the limits of ink and paper.” Wesley Tongson, “Untitled,” from the Spiritual Mountains series (2012), ink and paper, 96 x 49 inches (gift of Lilia and Kenneth Tongson) Spiritual Mountains: The Art of Wesley Tongson continues at BAMPFA (2155 Center St, Berkeley, Calif.) through June 12.

Hong Kong Painter Wesley Tongson and the Lineage of Chinese Landscape Art

It's Time to Stop Pre-Rinsing Your Dishes

I always pre-rinse my dishes. While I’m no nutcase—I don’t actually wash them before placing them in the dishwasher racks—leaving the remains of a runny egg, clingy sauce, or (gasp) oatmeal on my crockery simply feels wrong.But it turns out there’s good reason to avoid the temptation to rinse away lingering food particles before using your dishwasher. Most appliance and dishwasher soap manufacturers recommend against rinsing every remnant of food off your dishes, saying doing so can actually inhibit proper cleaning. Here’s why.Why your dishes need to be dirty to get cleanPerhaps the reason so many of us pre-rinse is because that’s how our mothers did it. But dishwashers have come a long way from the ones our parents used. According to Consumer Reports, “pre-rinsing isn’t necessary with modern dishwashers because they have sensors that adjust the wash cycle based on how dirty the dishes are.” They don’t need our help, and by pre-rinsing “you could be making matters worse by causing the built-in soil sensor to misread the amount of dirt in the water.”Additionally, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, many Whirlpool dishwashers have a “TargetClean” setting equipped with sensors to determine whether food remains on dishes; as many as 40 focused spray jets are set to attack baked-on food. Skip that step and your dishes won’t wind up as clean.And that’s just how water functions in your appliance. When it comes to detergent, the WSJ reports, “Cascade, made by Procter & Gamble Co., warns against pre-washing, except for removing large pieces of food. Enzymes in Cascade detergent are designed to attach themselves to food particles. Without food, the enzymes have nothing to latch on to.”Pre-rinsing wastes a lot of water (and energy) Consumer Reports estimates we use 2 to 6 gallons of water per minute we rinse our dishes. Cascade estimates pre-rinsing wastes up to 15 gallons of water per load. With the average household running 215 loads of dishes per year, that’s 3,225 gallons of water per year that could be saved.According to CNET, dishwashers built before 1994 use 10 gallons or more of water per cycle, while newer models are far more efficient. “In 2013, new standards were put in place that required dishwashers to use...5 gallons per load.” And an Energy Star certified model can use as little as 3 gallons.Not to mention the energy it takes to heat all those gallons. As CNET reports, “most newer dishwashers have heaters inside that warm up water more efficiently than your water heater. Overall, if it is Energy Star certified, it can use less than half the energy of washing dishes by hand.”In the words of the National Resource Defense Council, “if you have a dishwasher, put down the sponge.” Experts advise we should scrape large food scraps off our dishes rather than rinsing each one before loading.Don’t overload the machine (but make sure it’s full) Of course, getting the best functionality out of your dishwasher is predicated on proper use. All those high-tech sensors and spray jets need adequate space to do their job. After checking your owner’s manual for loading instructions specific to your washer, place cups, glasses, small bowls, and plastic items in the top rack, and plates, serving pieces, and larger bowls in the bottom rack. Make sure cutlery is mixed among the baskets to avoid “nesting.” Leave space for water and soap to flow properly, but be sure your washer is full enough to merit being run. According to the EPA, “Running the dishwasher only when it’s full can eliminate one load of dishes per week and save the average family nearly 320 gallons of water annually.”Of course, there are some more delicate items that should never go in the dishwasher. For these, we have little choice but to hand-wash. For everything else, you can safely stop pre-rinsing and let your dishwasher do the work from here on out.

It's Time to Stop Pre-Rinsing Your Dishes

Exploitation in Ballet History: Prostitution at the Paris Opera Ballet

  As of 2018, 72% of ballet dancers identified as women, yet 72% of artistic directors identified as men. While women vastly outnumber men in ballet, men still hold the majority of positions of power within the field. Why? While this dynamic might feel new, surveying ballet history can provide an explanation for modern day power imbalances. Unequal power dynamics between men and women can be found throughout ballet’s global history—but most notably, in the Paris Opera Ballet’s foyer de la danse.    The foyer de la danse was a backstage room that essentially served as a brothel. While other international ballets at the time had similar practices, the 19th century Paris Opera Ballet is one of the most noted cases of sexual exploitation in ballet history.   Paris was an art hub during this era, and ballerinas were often the centerpieces of Impressionist artwork. Edgar Degas, for example, created artworks that centered on the Paris Opera ballerina. While his work is often viewed as fantastical to a modern audience, a 19th-century audience would have picked up the dark figures looming among the ballerinas. So—what was Degas depicting?   Paris: The Birthplace of Ballet History The Rehearsal of the Ballet Onstage by Edgar Degas, 1874, via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York   France’s own tumultuous history heavily influences ballet history and the history of the Paris Opera Ballet. The Paris Opera Ballet is legendary within ballet history, making its exploitation of ballerinas legendary as well.   In many ways, the decisions and practices of The Paris Opera Ballet ripple throughout ballet history to today; consequently, it is important to understand the historical context around such exploitation.   Le Grand Foyer by Eric Pouhier, via Luther College, Iowa   The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national ballet and arguably the most celebrated. From the 1500s to the early 1900s, the Paris Opera Ballet was the center of the ballet world. Even after Russia became the global ballet center in the 1900s, the Paris Opera Ballet still enjoyed a crucial position in the entire dance industry.   Although ballet originated in Italy, it became uniquely French after Catherine de Medici brought it to the French court. Afterward, ballet became a hallmark artform of French royalty. King Louis XIV himself was one of the most prominent patrons of ballet—so much so that he institutionalized it.   In 1669, Louis XIV founded the Paris Opera ballet, then called the Académie Royale de Danse. During the ornate era of the Sun King, ballet looked very different. Instead of a stage, the ballet was mainly performed in the French court; and very unlike today, it was only performed by men.   It wasn’t until events like the French Revolution and the unstable reign of Napoleon Bonaparte in the 1700s that social barriers started to weaken. During this time, women started to claim more agency in ballet. In the 1800s, Marie Taglioni went en pointe—forever marking the artform as feminine.   Marie Taglioni as Bayadere colored lithograph, 1831, via Victoria and Albert Museum, London   Taglioni also had remarkable agency over her body. Forever revolutionizing ballet fashion, Taglioni was able to shorten her tutu—an act that was scandalous in 19th-century France. However, while the superstars of the Romantic Era enjoyed slight autonomy, it was short-lived.   19th-Century Paris   In the late 19th century, Paris was influenced by rapid industrialization and cultural change. Homelessness and poverty skyrocketed, but at the same time, Paris’ upper class still held onto its many cultural habits. Additionally, the art world and its various artistic forms centered on femininity. To escape poverty and homelessness, many young women turned to ballet: an art form made for and consumed by the upper classes.   The Dance Class by Edgar Degas, 1874, via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York   While the Paris Opera Ballet seemed like it might offer security to young dancers, it was not the case. Instead, the Paris Opera Ballet created a highly competitive and unstable environment, where dancers would need to secure a highly elusive contract—by any means necessary. In the meantime, the women were often used for profit in the foyer de la danse.    The Paris Opera Ballet’s Foyer de la Danse   The foyer de la danse was a lavish room at the Paris Opera Ballet where wealthy patrons could pay to socialize with ballerinas. Because of many social and economic conditions, The Paris Opera Ballet struggled financially throughout the last half of the 19th century. Many thought that most of the ballet’s income in the 19th century came from the foyer de la danse, as men were willing to pay extra to socialize with the ballerinas.   La Répétition au Foyer de la Danse by Edgar Degas, 1870-1872, via the Phillips Collection, Washington DC   Male dancers were not allowed into this room, yet the Paris Opera Ballet encouraged young ballerinas to please the patrons. The Comte De Maugny thought that the foyer de la danse was a microcosm for sexuality in Parisian society. The Paris Opera Ballet dancer was a demi-mondaine—meaning an ambitious courtesan looking to move upwards in society. However, the reality is much bleaker. The women were often exploited by the Paris Opera Ballet, the patrons, and sometimes encouraged to pursue the patrons by their own families.   The Petit Rats   Although the petit rats, young ingenues training to be dancers, are still a part of the Paris Opera Ballet, many of their earlier counterparts faced harsher circumstances throughout ballet history. In the 19th century, the women that were recruited to join the Paris Opera Ballet were often impoverished, vulnerable young women. The dancers at the bottom of the company hierarchy, or the petit rats, were the most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.   After rigorous testing and apprenticeships, the ballerinas might finally be admitted to the company on a good contract. For many petit rats, a good contract never happened, and they were forced to work with continual manipulation and exploitation.   The petit rats were also the subject of many artworks. Most notably, the famous sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen by Degas is modeled after Marie van Goethem. To this day, she remains one of the most famous petit rats. However, little is known about her life after she left the Paris Opera Ballet. Although she is memorialized forever through Degas’ work, she was ultimately seen as disposable by Parisian society.   Marie Van Goethem   Marie van Goethem is an oft-forgotten figure in ballet history but has become the representative for the petit rats of the 19th century. Like many of the other petit rats, Marie lived a life of hardship. Her family lived in a district that was commonly associated with poverty and maisons closes. Her mother encouraged her and her younger sister to pursue ballet in order to escape from their impoverished living conditions. It is also speculated that Marie and her sister became call girls to make ends meet—both inside and outside the Paris Opera Ballet.   Little Dancer Aged Fourteen by Edgar Degas, 1878–81, via The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York   While at the Paris Opera Ballet, Marie worked around 10-12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week under terrible conditions. The petit rats were notoriously malnourished and overworked. After she began art modeling, she could not keep up with the strenuous schedule of the ballet and was consequently fired. Like many other petit rats, Marie Van Goethem never secured a good contract and remained in a life of poverty until her unknown death.   The relationship between Degas and Marie has been the subject of much controversy. At a very young age, she was asked to model nude for Degas. As a result of her financial situation, she was hardly in a position to say no. Naturally, many wonder about the sexual implications of their relationship, but Degas was notoriously disgusted by women.   Regardless of the manner of their relationship, Marie did not benefit from it. Like many of the other petit rats, Marie died in poverty—despite being the centerpiece of one of the most famous artworks of all time. Degas himself has a history with the ballet before and after Marie and would go on to enjoy fame, reputation, and fortune. Later in life, Degas would even become a patron of the ballet himself—or an abonné.   The Abonnés   The Abonnés were a group of wealthy men that subscribed to the Paris Opera Ballet for special privileges. They would frequently harass the ballet dancers in their dressing rooms, in the Opera wings, and in the foyer de la danse. At any given moment, they could seek sexual favors from them.   In the Wings at the Opera House by Jean Beraud, 1889, via Utah University School of Dance, Salt Lake City   When an abonné claimed one girl, they would often sponsor her at the ballet so she might get a contract. In exchange, she was expected to become his mistress. So common was this phenomenon that it became a literary trope. In 1859, a writer for the newspaper Le Figaro stated: “There is not one Parisian novel which does not introduce a banker or man of fashion who keeps a ballet girl of the Opera.”   However, while the men weren’t judged, the women often were depicted as social climbers looking to escape their class. Despite the fact that these women had very little resources or support to say no to the abonnés, they were often held responsible for the power dynamic.   Most importantly, the sexual and labor exploitation they experienced was usually not enough to lift them from poverty. To the abonnés and the Paris Opera Ballet, petit rats were often disposable.   How the Paris Opera Ballet Defined Ballet History   The relationship between the abonnés and the petit rats was one of manipulation and exploitation. However, while it might seem like a long time ago, such a dynamic is a repetitive pattern in ballet history. From The Palais Garnier to the New York City ballet, this dynamic precedes and succeeds the 19th century.   As more public figures like Dusty Button are called out today for sexual exploitation, it is hard to argue that the past is in the past. Degas’ looming figures are very much still with us today. As we look through the lens of ballet history, hopefully, we become more equipped to recognize the present.

Exploitation in Ballet History: Prostitution at the Paris Opera Ballet

As Russia Invades Ukraine, TikTokers Are Documenting the War

If the war in Vietnam was labeled the “first television war” and if the Arab Spring represented the first revolutionary social movement organized on social media, Russia’s aggression into Ukraine is quickly earning its own epithet: the “first TikTok war.” With some 1 billion active users, the platform has rapidly been flooded with documentary eyewitness accounts cataloging the initial impacts of the Russian invasion, broadcasting on-the-ground realities of warfare from urban bomb sirens in Kyiv to long lines outside gas stations as Ukrainians attempt to flee. TikTok, which gained popularity for offering windows into domains of everyday life like cooking, DIY, fitness, and fashion, is providing a bottom-up view of what happens when everyday life is upended by violence and war for a whole nation of people in real time. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky even made a special appeal to TikTokers in a televised address to the Russian people on Wednesday, citing the shared humanity of Russians and Ukrainians despite the divisions that are being stoked. @viceworldnews “All over the city bomb sirens are going off.” @matthewcassel reports from Kyiv. #Ukraine #Russia ♬ original sound – VICE World News Some of the videos feature journalists reporting live using the front-facing camera on their phones, such as one posted by Vice World News recorded by Matthew Cassel. Cassel explains that Russia had bombed several areas in Ukraine starting at 5 am on the morning of February 24, splicing footage of a public square in Kyiv with his account. A bomb siren can be heard blaring in the background. Besides the fact that Cassel is filming himself and using the same unsophisticated post-production editing toolkit that everyone else has available at their fingertips, his video is not dissimilar from reports that wartime foreign correspondents have been making for decades.  More novel, however, are the many videos shot by people with no professional affiliation to news agencies or training in documentary journalism. A TikTok by @martavasyuta shows missiles showering over Kyiv’s skyline at 4:23 am in the morning, accompanied by MGMT’s synth-pop song “Little Dark Age.” “It looks like a firework, until you realize it’s hell on earth,” a commenter wrote, liked by over 10,000 users.  @martavasyuta #Ukraine Spread awareness! ♬ bringing the era back yall – chuuyas gf One TikToker, @moneykristina, whose previous content included videos on investing and crypto predictions, posted a video of herself driving past a single-file line of over 40 cars waiting for gas in the outskirts of Kyiv. In another video, she explained why she was choosing to stay in Ukraine: “It’s because it’s honestly near impossible to leave the city or country at this point. The roads are blocked and so backed up that even if we attempted to leave, it could take us days to get out of the city.” @moneykristina Ukraine update #prayforukraine #essentials #war #invasion #ukraine #kiev ♬ Cornfield Chase – Piano – Dorian Marko Another video is a profile in courage, documenting a woman confronting a Russian soldier in Henychesk in southern Ukraine. “What the fuck are you doing here?” she demands. “Take these seeds and put them in your pockets, so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here,” she says, handing them the seeds. The sunflower is the Ukrainian national flower. @thejfc Don’t mess with Ukrainian #women . #politics #meme #ukraine #russia #micdrop #womenpower #democrat #liberal #leftist #usa #politicalhumor #goat ♬ original sound – The JFC A video posted by a Ukrainian soldier jarringly mashes together TikTok’s most distinctive visual trend — the quirky dances that it’s spawned — with the oncoming war. A group of five soldiers, dressed head-to-toe in military gear and outfitted with spears and assault rifles, jam out to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the teen angst anthem whose opening lyric is “Load up on guns, bring your friends / It’s fun to lose and to pretend.”  These more recent videos follow weeks of documentation of increased troop presence in Ukraine. Through the early weeks of February, eyewitnesses recorded abnormal sightings of armored vehicles, ballistic missile launchers, warplanes, and other weaponry in Ukraine. In one video, a man walking his dog in a Russian town a few hours away from the Ukrainian border captured the transport of missile launchers through his wooded, snowy environment. @aleksandrsmoke ♬ На поле танки грохотали – Чиж & Co Still, viewers should be discerning before sharing videos of sensational developments — a few viral videos have already been flagged for originally being footage from video games, old recordings of attacks on Palestine, and clips of earlier military exercises. These videos give viewers thousands of miles away from the physical site of the conflict a whole new feel of the lived reality of war. But they also serve as potentially highly valuable sources of intelligence. The size and location of Russia’s troops and their equipment can now be assessed from videos posted online. But the ease and speed of sharing content on TikTok also means that Russia, notorious for its deployment of armies of bots and false flag operations, can launch sophisticated campaigns to spread harmful disinformation. For years, Russia has relied on sowing disinformation to create false pretexts for its incursions into Ukraine. During the Munich Security Conference this past weekend, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff said, “It is deeply concerning that pro-Russia disinformation is reported to have more than doubled in the region in recent weeks.”

As Russia Invades Ukraine, TikTokers Are Documenting the War

One of the Most Famous Images of the 20th Century Is Going Up For Auction

Man Ray’s “Le Violon d’Ingres” (1924), one of the most reproduced images of the last century, could also become the most expensive photograph ever sold at auction. The black and white photograph, depicting the nude torso of a woman as a violin, is expected to fetch between $5-7 million in a live sale at Christie’s New York in May. The original print of the photograph is offered as the top lot in a dedicated sale of items from the collection of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs & Melvin Jacobs, two American retail executives and art collectors who had close friendships with Ray and other Surrealist artists. (Later prints of “Le Violon” have previously appeared on the market, such as one dating from the 1950s which sold at Christie’s for $475,000 last year.) Other items in the auction include paintings, posters, jewelry, and ephemera. Born in Philadelphia in 1890 under the name Emmanuel Radnitzky, Ray moved to Paris in 1921, where he lived in Montparnasse among DADA and Surrealist artists including his close collaborator Marcel Duchamp. There he also met Alice Prin, better known as Kiki de Montparnasse, who would become his lover, muse, and the sitter for “Le Violon d’Ingres,” among other works. “The work is striking and, because of some darkroom magic, completely unique,” Darius Himes, Christie’s international head of photographs, told Hyperallergic in an email. “Man Ray printed the portrait of Kiki, as one would, placing the negative in the enlarger, and then, before processing the print, exposed the paper to pure white light through the f-holes which he had cut from thick cardstock,” Himes explained. “The results were inspired and perfectly evoked the kind of playful and sexual innuendo the Surrealists were known for.” Himes went on to quote from Ray’s autobiography, in which the artist mused over his work process with his lover and sitter. “Kiki undressed behind a screen … and came out, modestly holding her hand in front of her, exactly like Ingres’s painting of La Source,” Ray recalled. “Her body would have inspired any academic painter.”  According to Himes, Ray held onto the original print until 1962, when he sold it to the collector couple. Melvin Jacobs, a former chairman and CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue, and his wife Rosalind, a Macy’s executive, first met the artist in 1954 via a mutual acquaintance, artist William Copley. “This fateful meeting would mark not only the beginning of Rosalind’s lifelong journey of collecting, but it would chart her on a new path of artistic discovery, and launch a number of close-knit friendships with artists including Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, and more,” Christie’s said in a statement. The couple’s daughter and estate executor, Peggy Jacobs Bader, added in a statement that the items in the collection represent “unique and intimate” stories and the “joyful spirit” of her parents’ relationships with the artists they’ve collected. Other highlights in the sale include Vija Celmins’ “Mars,” estimated at $1.8-2.5 million, and Marcel Duchamps’ “Feuille de vigne femelle” (1950), priced between $500,000–$800,000. The current record for a photograph sold at auction is held by Andreas Gursky’s “Rhine II” (1990), which sold at Christie’s for $4.3 million in 2011. It may soon be shattered by the sale of Ray’s work, which Himes described as coming close to being “the Mona Lisa of the 20th century.” “As a leading figure in the DADA and Surrealist movements, Man Ray’s inventiveness and deft handling of all manner of materials, including photography, cleared the way for conceptual art practice as it developed during the rest of the 20th century,” the photography expert said. “All subsequent prints and editions are from a copy negative of this work, the Jacobs’ print.” Editor’s note 2/25/22 3pm EST: A previous version of this article misstated the artist’s birth place. The article has been corrected.

One of the Most Famous Images of the 20th Century Is Going Up For Auction

Brain scans on a dying man suggest his life flashed before his eyes, researchers say

A highlight reel of life's memories may flash before your eyes when you die, a first-of-its kind study suggests. The research, published Tuesday in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, describes a man who was connected to brain scans when he suffered a heart attack and died.The scans, which had never been captured on a dying human before, showed the man experienced the types of brain waves associated with memories, meditation , and dreaming right before — and even about 15 seconds after — his heart stopped beating. The findings raise questions about when life really ends, and may provide comfort to loved ones of the deceased, lead study author Dr. Ajmal Zemmar, a neurosurgeon now at the University of Louisville, told Insider.  Researchers captured the dying man's brain activity by rare chanceThe paper traces back to 2016, when an 87-year-old man with bleeding between his skull and brain sought treatment at a Canadian hospital. The doctors, including Zemmar, removed the clot, but three days later, the man developed seizures. As is standard, Zemmar said, the medical team monitored the patient with an electroencephalogram, or EEG, to determine the root of the seizures. But before they could determine the appropriate treatment, the man went into cardiac arrest and died. "This is why it's so rare, because you can't plan this. No healthy human is gonna go and have an EEG before they die, and in no sick patient are we going to know when they're gonna die to record these signals," Zemmar said. The EEG showed that, 15 seconds before the patient's heart stopped beating, he experienced high-frequency brainwaves called gamma oscillations, as well as some slower oscillations including theta, delta, alpha, and beta. These patterns are associated with concentration, dreaming, meditating, memory retrieval, and flashbacks, ZME Science reported.  "And surprisingly, after the heart stops pumping blood into the brain, these oscillations keep going," Zemmar told Insider. "So that was extremely surprising for us to see."  Dr. Ajmal Zemmar Courtesy of the University of Louisville It took his team of colleagues from around the world five and a half years to publish the study in part because they were waiting to see if any other similar cases cropped up. They only found one similar study on rats in which scientists induced cardiac arrest in the animals while measuring their brain activity. "It is very hard to make claims with one case, especially when the case has bleeding, seizures, and swelling," Zemmar said, or other complications that could account for the findings. "But what we can claim is that we have signals just before death and just after the heart stops like those that happen in the healthy human when they dream or memorize or meditate." The findings square with some anecdotal reports of near-death experiences, in which people say life's most intensely emotional moments replay before their eyes. When someone almost dies, Zemmar said, "the brain may still trigger those responses so that these patients perceive that near-death experience with the replay and everything, but then come back." Previous studies found signs of 'heightened consciousness' at the end of lifeDr. Sam Parnia, an associate professor at NYU Langone Health and author of "What Happens When We Die?," told Insider other studies have shown that when people start to die, "they have paradoxical lucidity with heightened consciousness. This includes a meaningful, purposeful review of their entire lives, which encompasses all their actions, intentions and thoughts — in essence their humanity — towards others." "This study appears to confirm this by identifying a potential brain marker of lucidity at the end of life," Parnia, who was not involved in Zemmar's study, added. "It may be that as multiple parts of the brain are shutting down with death, this leads to disinhibition of other areas that help humans gain insights into other dimensions of reality, that are otherwise less accessible." The findings might prompt the medical community to rethink when to declare death When the heart stops beating, clinicians declare death and proceed with arrangements like organ donation. But this study calls those standards into question, Zemmar said. "A matter of 15 seconds may not sound all that much, but in medicine, it's not that little," he said. "So if we declare the patient dead when the heart stops and perform organ donation, then do we do it 15 seconds after to let them replay memories? I don't know. This is a question that our study has opened up."  Zemmar said he's already heard from people around the world taking comfort in the findings, even though there's no way to know if the memories that may be recalled are positive or negative or both. "As a neurosurgeon, we see unfortunately at times, patients that we can't help and we have to be the bearer of bad news to the families, which is very difficult," Zemmar said. "So if I can go and tell them this may be happening in your loved one's brain at this moment, and they're having pleasant memories throughout life with you, that I think is something nice for me personally." 

Brain scans on a dying man suggest his life flashed before his eyes, researchers say

Cancel Culture Is a Moral Panic

Michael Hobbes, late of You’re Wrong About, has made a video essay arguing that “cancel culture” is a moral panic and not some huge new problem in our society. He says you can tell it’s a moral panic because of the shifting definitions of the term, the stories are often exaggerated or untrue, the stakes are often low, and it’s fueling a reactionary backlash. Even if you think that cancel culture really is a nationwide problem, I don’t see why we should focus on random college students and salty Twitter users rather than elected officials and actual legislation. Look, I’m not gonna sit here and pretend there haven’t been genuinely ugly internet pile-ons. Social media makes it easy to gang up on random people and ruin their lives over dumb jokes and honest mistakes. But for two years now, right-wing grifters and the liberal rubes who launder them into the mainstream have cast cancel culture as a problem for the American left and a sign of creeping authoritarianism. They’re wrong. Internet mobs are not a left-wing phenomenon and historically speaking, the threat of authoritarianism usually comes from political parties that try to overturn elections, make it harder to vote, and censor ideas they don’t like. All of this is obvious, but that’s what moral panics do: they distract you from an obvious truth and make you believe in a stupid lie. Back in October, Hobbes wrote a piece on The Methods of Moral Panic Journalism that pairs well with this video. Tags: journalism   language   Michael Hobbes   politics   video

Cancel Culture Is a Moral Panic

How Bosch Experienced his Own Kind of Hell

Around the turn of the 14th century, for reasons still not completely clear, the average annual temperature underwent a precipitous drop for the next half millennia during what scientists have termed a “Little Ice Age.” Planting seasons were reduced throughout France and the Holy Roman Empire; lush vineyards in the Low Countries and England were blighted; the River Thames regularly froze over (until well into the Industrial Revolution). For two years starting in 1315 massive crop failures throughout Europe led to thousands of deaths. A generation later, and a population already sickly from famine was far more at risk from the bubonic plague, which in the infamous pandemic of 1347 (the Black Death) may have killed a third of Europeans. These years of pandemic and climate change were well attested to in later artwork, especially in Germany and the Netherlands. The frozen lake and low winter light in Pieter Brueghel the Elders’ 1565 “The Hunters in the Snow,” the pustule-covered Christ in Mathias Grünewald’s 1523 “Crucifixion,” those grinning and corpuscular demonic skeletons from Hans Holbein’s 1526 “Danse Macabre,” and the eschatological mania of Albrecht Dürer’s 1496 woodcut “The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.” Before all of them, however, was the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, born sometime around 1450, who was at the height of his artistic skill during the decades on either side of 1500, and died in 1516, only a year before all that northern European gothic mania would culminate in Martin Luther’s “95 Theses.” Alice K. Turner described Bosch in The History of Hell as “one of the handful of truly original creators of hell.” I would argue that more than even that, Bosch was both the inventor of the modern Western imagining of the demonic while transcending that very same tradition — all because of bad weather and moldy bread.   Since he was a psychedelic visionary, it’s been hypothesized that the deranged piety of the painter was inspired by ergot poisoning. Claviceps purpurea, the most common variety of the fungus ergot, produces an alkaloid known as ergotamine, which in chemical composition is closely related to lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. Because of the damp growing seasons, ergot rot was endemic throughout northern Europe, and infected rye often found its way into bread. John Waller explains in The Dancing Plague: The Strange, True Story of an Extraordinary Illness that the mold could “induce delusions, twitching, and violent jerking,” mentioning how Alsatian millers had fitted their wooden pipes which transported flour with intricate carvings of distinctly Boschian faces as a reminder of hallucinatory risks.  Art historians have long looked for some explanation of Bosch’s imagery: a shrieking insectoid demon with globular, coal-black eyes wearing a Flemish matron’s chaperon; an avian devil with a chamber pot as a crown stuffing a nude man into its gaping beak; a pig in a nun’s habit forcefully embracing a screaming man. Those are just details from the dense tableaux of his most celebrated work – “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” painted between 1495 and 1505. Jeffrey Burton Russell argues in Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World that part of Bosch’s impact isn’t only because he “introduced a complex and varied symbolism open to interpretation,” but also because he “shifted the focus of evil from the demonic to the human.” Part of what strikes viewers of Bosch’s work is that regardless of how grotesque his demons are, they are also individuals.          Detail view of Hieronymus Bosch, “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (circa 1480–1490) oil on panel, 153.2 x 86.6 inches, located in Madrid, Museo del Prado (image courtesy Wikimedia Commons) Laurinda S. Dixon makes the most connoisseurial case for Bosch’s ergotism in an essay from Art Journal, but ultimately any diagnosis must only be conjecture. We feel the need to explain Bosch’s macabre obsessions in some way, the singular, fantastical, unprecedented nature of his paintings. Bosch can be partially explained by the context of the High Middle Ages: The distinctly Teutonic religious malaise and mania which he shares with Brueghel and Dürer and which reached its apotheosis with the coming Reformation, and the melancholy which marked a region that had gotten colder, sicker, and hungrier. While the Italian Renaissance has its share of demonic imagery, nothing was produced that quite matched Bosch for horrific import. For that matter, nothing else was produced anywhere that quite equaled his hellish vision. Both allusive and illusive, because a central attraction to Bosch has been the sense that he possesses some ability to divine cursed verisimilitude, that if his images seem too remarkable that it’s because he actually knew what hell looked like. I venture such a claim only to emphasize just how otherworldly and sui generis Bosch happens to be, a necromancer who was able to pull hell upward to earth and to preserve it in oil and wood. As Turner argues, Bosch’s “demons and tortures are more varied and imaginative than anything we have seen yet.” No other artist in Western painting has ever captured such an enduring demonic imaginary like Bosch has. He single-handedly perfected the visual idiom of perdition, and the result has been five centuries of nightmares, the progeny of the Netherlandish painter visible in contemporary Satanic imagery from horror movies to heavy metal music. There is an eternal quality about Bosch, not just that he influences modern culture, but that his multitude of horrors somehow exists outside of any simple framework of past, present, and future. He’s endlessly interpretable, and what exactly any occult revelation he presents might evoke or connotate must by necessity shift. In our own years of pandemic and climate change, in my book Pandemonium: A Visual History of Demonology, I return to another segment of “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” describing what looks like, if anything, a “fiery cityscape, collapsed and burning skyscrapers, twisted steel I-beams and crumbling concrete, the haze of nuclear fallout across the skyline of a once-mighty and modern metropolis.” Whether Bosch is in hell or we are remains as unanswered as the origins of his strange and terrible visions. 

How Bosch Experienced his Own Kind of Hell

Art Problems: Is My Art Good Enough?

“I feel like I don’t belong—that my art isn’t good enough, or if it is, I’m fundamentally flawed in some way that will prevent me from ever succeeding. I apply for open calls and residencies but I don’t get many. What can I do?”  —Down and Figuring it Out Let’s begin by establishing what belonging means and why you feel you don’t fit in.   Belonging is community acceptance. In creative fields, this might mean inclusion in shows, press mentions, and invitations to exclusive events — fairly standard markers of success in a marketplace that relies heavily on a model of exclusivity. For all the camaraderie we may feel when we connect to people who share our passion, the industry perpetuates a sense of exclusion amongst most of its members.  In other words, it’s not an accident that you feel like shit. The art industry is literally designed to make you feel that way.  And this isn’t just in the field of fine art or relegated to artists — it applies to curators, dealers, illustrators, designers, commercial photographers, and just about any other creative profession you can name. Almost nobody gets paid what they’re worth, and there’s far more art out there than people to support it. When you don’t get paid for your labor, you begin to think you did something to deserve it. You begin to believe that is your worth.  (And to acknowledge those who will remind me that art’s function exists beyond its monetary value — yes, but it still extracts a cost to produce.)   Needless to say, your question about whether your art and career have value is one of the most common I hear as a coach. But your answer is the only one that matters. I can tell you your art is great, but if you don’t believe it, you won’t believe me either.  Self-doubt is easy to come by, in part, because so much of our success feels subjective and beyond our control. We’re not running a race where fitness and finish time determine the winner. Adept craftsmanship, smart concepts, or any other traditional skills art schools teach, do not amount to merit. Your art’s eloquence in expressing your voice and perspective creates value, and nobody has a metric for that success but you. Most artists spend a lifetime honing their voice to meet that internal logic.  Now, I doubt that telling any artist to buck up because they’re in control of their happiness will impact their state of mind after receiving a sea of rejections. One of the problems with working in the art world is that rejection happens all the time and there aren’t enough ways to feel successful.  But let me ask you this: What would you need to feel a sense of belonging?  For many, the answer will be tactical. You might describe specific shows or awards you want. You have to set goals to achieve them, but only using these types of guideposts won’t clear your emotional cache. For one, if your only goals rely on someone else’s subjective opinion, you’re going to feel bad more often. For another, most of us will update milestones once we know we will achieve them. That’s natural and important, but it often doesn’t allow us to savor success.  I find that arts workers who identify their core beliefs first and set their goals to match often find greater satisfaction in what they do. Your vision of the world and how you participate will endure longer than any short- term goal, allowing you to revisit your successes more often.  So, maybe you didn’t get an award, but you gained visibility for your perspective in the process. Not only does this give you more flexibility in how you view your success, but it gives you more flexibility in your problem solving process.  Unfortunately, self-actualization is not a panacea for self doubt. Most people I talk to describe feeling more anxiety as they gain success, not less. So, how can you feel more confident and less anxious regardless of circumstance? The answer is twofold. One, find supportive communities where people talk about this stuff so you’re not alone. Two, practice.  What happens when you practice making art? You get better.  What happens when you practice doing things you are scared to do? You get better.  What happens when you practice being nice to yourself? You. Get. Better.   This isn’t a sexy answer — but if it works, who cares? Confidence is a muscle you can build, just like any other. It’s not easy, and the art world is not an ideal training environment. But if you work at it, you’ll grow healthier and happier.  * * * Editor’s Note: Paddy Johnson is the founder of VVrkshop, a platform that helps artists get the shows, residencies and grants of their dreams. Paddy will be offering practical advice for the studio, careers, money, and life-work balance. If you have a problem you’d like advice on, send your questions to paddy@vvrkshop.art. Include your name and location, or a request to remain anonymous. Letters may be edited.

Art Problems: Is My Art Good Enough?

Beware, Mosquitoes Are Most Attracted to These 4 Colors

A new study suggests that whether a mosquito bites you might have a lot to do with the colors that you’re wearing. The study, conducted by a team of researchers led by University of Washington biologists Diego Alonso San Alberto and Claire Rusch, examined what colors attract mosquitos the most. Using a wind tunnel, they carefully controlled the visual and olfactory environment that mosquitoes were released into and used 3D tracking technology to monitor their movements in the presence of a color dot. The research findings were published in the journal Nature Communications. The study found that when exposed to carbon dioxide, a gas humans constantly produce via exhalation, yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) developed heightened sensitivity to particular colors like red, orange, black, and cyan — predominantly long-wavelength visual cues. As a result, they flew faster and dwelled longer around those colors. Meanwhile, they remained indifferent to other colors on the spectrum such as green, purple, blue, and white. The mosquitoes’ attraction to longer wavelength colors makes sense from an evolutionary perspective: Human skin of all shades emanates red-orange light, so it benefits mosquitoes to flock to similar visual stimuli. It also seems reasonable that mosquitoes don’t respond to these same visual signals in the absence of carbon dioxide in their immediate atmosphere; no CO2 means no fresh blood to prey on. “Imagine you’re on a sidewalk and you smell pie crust and cinnamon,” Jeffrey Riffell, one of the researchers on the team, told Sci-News. “That’s probably a sign that there’s a bakery nearby, and you might start looking around for it.” Researchers also found that the visual preferences of mosquitoes were genetically coded. Mosquitoes with a mutant copy of a gene that allowed mosquitoes to smell carbon dioxide, along with mosquitoes with a mutant copy of a gene that allowed them to see longer wavelengths of light, expressed muted color preferences. The researchers repeated the experiment with mosquitoes of other species, and found that the same pattern held: In the presence of CO2, they exhibited special attention to certain colors. However, they found that those colors differed between species. While the orange to red range was a consistent hit across all species, violet, a shorter wavelength, proved to also be eye candy to the mosquito species An. stephensi and Cx. quinquefasciatus. The study’s results confirm wisdom clothiers have long abided by. In the early 1900s, khaki pants were urged for tropical environments in part because they were unseductive to mosquitoes, and the US military modified its uniform from dark to light blue dress shirts to lessen the attraction of mosquitoes.

Beware, Mosquitoes Are Most Attracted to These 4 Colors

Why the Word “Forgotten” Isn’t Helping Women Artists

We’re living through an unprecedented age for women, where women artists — both historical and contemporary — are receiving more high profile, mainstream attention than ever before. But if there’s one thing we have to get right when we talk about these historical women artists, it’s that their exclusion from art history is no mistake. Unfortunately, much of the language that surrounds their retroactive inclusion — through museum retrospectives, new biographies, and increasing market interest — makes it seem as if their systematic erasure has been a fluke of history, rather than an intentional sidelining. Few words frustrate me more on this subject than the use of the word “forgotten” when applied to an artist’s legacy, as the word expresses a passivity that obscures the reality of these women’s stories. I prefer the more accurate “erased,” which denotes an effort to rub out what was there. (Robert Rauschenberg’s “Erased De Kooning Drawing” (1953), after all, was a deliberately symbolic action intended to declare the old guard dead.) Over the past five centuries there have been countless women artists who were well known in their moment, only to be erased when it came time to write the history books. One of these is Edmonia Lewis. The recent announcement of a new USPS stamp featuring a portrait of the American sculptor inspired a spate of headlines — from The Guardian to the Oberlin Review — which made use of the term “forgotten” to describe this remarkable artist’s life. So who was Edmonia Lewis? And how did we “forget” her? A half Black, half Ojibwe woman, she built an international reputation as a sculptor in the Neoclassical style. Lewis eventually established herself in Rome after enduring several incidents of racism and discrimination in the United States, particularly while enrolled at Oberlin College. People lined up to see her sculptures, and her studio was a place of pilgrimage for Americans abroad. Edmonia Lewis “The Death of Cleopatra” (1876) marble 63 x 31 1/4 x 46 inches (photograph by Gene Young in 2010, image via Wikimedia Commons) So how could Lewis go from drawing crowds at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial International Exhibition to being buried in an unmarked grave in London 30 years later? Could an internationally recognized artist (whose marble works displaying an exceptional range of human emotion would’ve been hard to ignore), simply be “forgotten” like a footnote someone left out of a historical text? Could it be that after her death her novelty wore off, and the revanchist sociopolitical reality of a post-Reconstruction US had no use for a successful woman of her heritage? Sometimes the public forgets, but at other times institutions use language to distance themselves from the past. I was disappointed to see advertisements for the Museum of Modern Art’s current retrospective of Dadaist Sophie Taeuber-Arp, which entices its audience by calling her “a shapeshifting artist you probably don’t know … yet.” Public advertisement for the Museum of Modern Art’s current exhibition Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction (photo by the author for Hyperallergic) The appeal of this campaign, of course, is the shock that so intriguing an artist could be unknown. The “yet” offers a correction — you don’t know this artist, but we’ll show her to you. “You’re welcome!” it seems to shout. But lurking behind this ad campaign is the role MoMA has played in the public’s ignorance. To understand this fully, we must revisit the museum’s storied first director Alfred H. Barr, famous for his flowcharts of art movements progressing inevitably toward abstraction, which was the museum’s foundational understanding of modern art and, therefore, its own programming. Dada has pride of place in this chart, evidenced by the influential 1936 MoMA show, Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism, which displayed over 700 objects across four floors. Its press release claimed the show would “present in an objective and historical manner the principal movements of modern art.” If Taeuber-Arp is worthy of a retrospective today, then where was she in 1936? The literature on the earlier show is telling: Taeuber-Arp has only two pieces in the catalog and her name is listed in the index as a “member of Zurich Dada group … [who] did murals and decorations … [is the] wife of Hans Arp.” Arp on the other hand is listed as a “founder of Zurich Dada” and cited frequently in the movement’s timeline. He is never mentioned as her husband. Through the lens of MoMA’s early history, its self-congratulatory advertising which corrects an error the institution made 85 years ago, rings hollow. Not unlike a retrospective, a biography is a monumental undertaking, capable of shifting public appreciation of an individual or movement. As there is a paltry number of biographies on women artists and an even smaller number of scholarly books on the work of women artists of color, their addition to the literature of art history fills glaring gaps in the historical record, though the language surrounding these, too, can feel begrudging. For example, Irene Gammel’s 2002 biography of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, the (disputed) inventor of the readymade, received this muted praise from the New York Times’s Holland Cotter: “The Baroness,” he wrote, “could not have asked for a more thoughtful and engaged monument.” I wonder: do the individuals who shape history need to ask to be included in its writing? Leonora Carrington, “How Doth the Little Crocodile” (1998) bronze, located in a pond at Chapultepec Park, Mexico City (photograph by Gary Todd via Flickr) And lest you think language like this is isolated to the early 21st century, Leonora Carrington’s biography, written by her great-niece Joanna Moorhead, elicited an equally condescending blurb in 2017: “She is lucky to have found such a memorialist,” wrote Peter Conrad in The Guardian. Whether in print or a museum text, the message is clear: Women have to ask permission to be a part of art history and are lucky when they are included. Their revival is now met with a pat on the back for certain institutions while the erasure of their legacies is treated like a clerical error. Language like this does nothing to implicate the system that created the current state of affairs. It lets everyone off the hook at a moment when we need to understand how and why we got here. If we don’t, the crimes of the past will undoubtedly be repeated in the present.

Why the Word “Forgotten” Isn’t Helping Women Artists

“Only a God Can Save Us”: Heidegger on Technology

  What does technology become when we stop thinking about it as a means to an end? Heidegger thought that the answer to this question — which, put another way, asks what technology is when we stop thinking about it technologically — explains the essence of technology. Non-technological thinking is at least as important for Heidegger as actually understanding what the essence of technology is.   Heidegger theorized in parts of his work — most explicitly stated in a series of lectures, including “The Question Concerning Technology” — that technology is not just a category that describes certain trains of scientific thought, or types of devices. Technology is also not the exclusive province of modernity. Rather, Heidegger proposed that technology is a “mode of revealing”, a framework in which things reveal themselves in their capacity as instrumental objects — as resources. This process of revealing, for Heidegger, is just as important for twentieth-century technology as it was for the simplest tools from early human history.   There is, however, a significant difference between ancient and modern technology for Heidegger. While the windmill “brings forth” energy from natural phenomena, it is essentially at the mercy of those phenomena: it allows them to reveal their own instrumental potential. By contrast, and here we see the source of Heidegger’s prominence in contemporary ecological thought, Heidegger sees modern technology as challenging nature: demanding “that it supply energy that can be extracted and stored as such”. For Heidegger, the defining behavior of modern technology is extraction, its tendency to challenge the land to reveal itself as a particular kind of useful resource. In Heidegger’s parlance, technology is a mode of revealing things that “sets upon” nature and restructures it according to human demands for resources.   Heidegger and Technology The Heidegger Museum in Meßkirch, via bodensee.eu   Although extraction is certainly a human-directed form of progress, Heidegger is keen to stress that our apparent mastery over technology should not be confused with an escape from an increasingly ubiquitous technological mode of being. Indeed, the very defense which says that technology is only a tool — an instrument for predicting things, for shaping the planet, or for other, pre-existing human purposes — misunderstands the nature of technology. When we speak of instrumentality, of achieving our ends, or of using something to do so, we are already speaking technologically. The difficulty of getting out of this way of speaking is, for Heidegger, indicative of the essentially technological plight of modernity: the impossibility of conceiving of the world apart from as a tool, resource, and energy store.   For Heidegger, poetry is also a mode of revealing. Unlike many other writers on aesthetics, Heidegger conceived of art and poetry as means by which objects divulge things about themselves. Heidegger calls on us to consider the Rhine River in two very different capacities. On the one hand, there is the Rhine of Hölderlin’s hymn Der Rhein, “noblest of all rivers/The free-born Rhine” with its “jubilant” voice. On the other, there is the Rhine which drives the turbines of its hydroelectric plant. The hydroelectric Rhine is only now a site of energetic potential; a potential that can be harnessed, stored, and distributed. To the imaginary objector who says that the landscape-feature Hölderlin was marveling at still flows, Heidegger retorts: “But how? In no other way than as an object on call for inspection by a tour group ordered there by the vacation industry.” (The Question Concerning Technology)   The hydroelectric dam on the Rhine, photo by Maarten Sepp, via Wikimedia Commons   This latter Rhine is not the same river, for Heidegger, as the one that goes “thirstily winding” and “plunges away”. That river — Hölderlin’s river — is a casualty of technology, insofar as technology obscures all that the Rhine might be beyond its capacity to supply energy. The poetic, and perhaps more generally aesthetic, reverie is a mode of revealing at once effaced by technology and potentially able to uncover technology’s essence.   The river’s being is, perhaps unsurprisingly, essential to Heidegger’s account of technology and what it occludes. Heidegger understands technology as a mode of revealing in which we cannot see things as they are — that is, as objects in the truest sense. Giving the example of a plane waiting on a runway, Heidegger suggests that technology reveals things only as a “standing reserve”: a useful action awaiting manifestation. Sure, Heidegger concedes, the plane on the runway is hypothetically an object simply being in a place, but this is not what the plane is for us. “Revealed, it stands on the taxi strip only as standing-reserve, inasmuch as it is ordered to ensure the possibility of transportation.” (The Question Concerning Technology). Technology lets us see things only as these standing reserves — the river as a store of electrical energy or guided tours, the plane as only the possibility of useful transport — but never as things in themselves.   Heidegger and Ecology  View of the Rhine at Reineck, by Herman Saftleven, 1654, oil on canvas, via the Rijksmuseum   Heidegger’s suggestion that humans should begin to reconsider their instrumental attitudes towards objects, and his criticism of the extractive practices which follow from these attitudes, have made him popular among contemporary ecological thinkers. In particular, Heidegger’s interest in inanimate objects and non-human organisms as beings with the capacity to reveal themselves in ways other than those that are purely instrumental has prompted his uptake among proponents of “deep ecology”, a school of thought that argues for the value of non-human organisms, and even objects, as separate from their use-value to humans. Heidegger presents a critique of anthropocentric thinking, a critique that focuses not so much on the specific environmental harm caused by human technology but on the near-ubiquitous structures of thought which robs natural objects of their existential autonomy.   It should be noted that Heidegger does not straightforwardly blame humanity for transforming objects into standing reserves. The origin of this kind of “unconcealment” is more mystical for Heidegger than for most contemporary ecological theorists. Though Heidegger is unambiguous in recommending that we strive against the rapid ascendancy of the technological, human agency is — as in many other parts of Heidegger’s philosophy — called into question as the instigator of instrumental thinking. This gesture, too, serves as a rejection of dominant anthropocentrism: it throws off the presumed primacy of the human will and human power in favor of a world-picture of complex joint agency between people and things. Though humans certainly manufacture tools, mine the earth, and build hydroelectric plants, Heidegger identifies this process with an extra-human temptation, a revelation of the stuff of the world as the means by which to build the world.   Primitivism and Eco-Fascism Plane in Fiji, photograph by John Todd, 1963, the plane on the runway is Heidegger clearest example of how the standing reserve transforms objects, via the British Museum   Heidegger’s legacy today is a fraught one, and not only due to his famous connections to, and advocacy for, Nazism. Mark Blitz’s extensive article on Heidegger and technology unpicks the ways in which — contrary to some strident defenders of the disjunction between Heidegger’s philosophy and his political affiliations — Heidegger’s writing on technology, nature, and “dwelling” dovetail with fascist rhetoric, both historical and contemporary. Blitz notes, for instance, that Nazi ideology’s emphasis on the mystical intermingling of “blood and soil” finds theoretical backing in Heidegger’s thinking, while disavowals of modernity in contrast with a traditional ideal always curry favor among reactionary political movements.   To ask the question, “what useful suggestions can we glean from Heidegger’s writings on technology and nature?” is perhaps to fall into the trap of technological thinking which he warns us of. Nonetheless, Heidegger’s thought contains suggestions for how we should begin to relate to natural resources non-technologically. Understanding these suggestions is difficult in part because of Heidegger’s dense and winding texts, laden with etymologies and looping diversions, but it is also difficult because we are so used to arguments which present themselves instrumentally — that only make suggestions as a means to an end. The problem, in the face of serious environmental problems demanding urgent solutions, is that it is difficult to suspend our disbelief in the idea that anything will get better if we simply stop thinking about the river as a source of electrical energy, or the ore-deposit as a reserve of construction materials.   Photograph of Heidegger, by Digne Meller Marcovicz, 1968, via frieze.com   At best, we can perhaps get on board with the primitivist’s call to renegotiate our relationship with the ease and speed of technological life. There are, however, good reasons to be suspicious of this call, not least because anthropogenic climate change presents us with problems that will not be solved or dissolved by suddenly stopping large-scale extractive practices. The human cost of primitivism is necessarily vast, and with the exception of those who are truly uninvested in their own, and humanity’s general, prospects of survival, few proponents of it imagine that the cost shall be felt by them — that they will starve, or be killed, or fall ill. It is for this reason that the kind of ecological primitivism with which Heidegger has been aligned has also overlapped substantially with fascist thought. There is the disquieting prospect that, lurking behind the imperative to let natural things be, is a belief in naturally justified hierarchies.   Only a God Can Save Us The English translation of Heidegger’s Der Spiegel interview, published a few days after the philosopher’s death, via pdcnet.org   We can, perhaps, envision alternative ways in which to heed Heidegger’s critique of technological thinking, at least as individuals. Questions of policy are necessarily bound up in ideas of means and ends, desirable outcomes, and the expenditure of resources, but as solitary agents, we can opt to escape from the hegemony of the standing reserve. We should, Heidegger seems to suggest, become more like the poet and less like the physicist in our interactions with objects in the world, allowing things to reveal themselves to us according to their essence rather than their place in a rigidly ordered system of forces and potential energies. In the final passages of “The Question Concerning Technology” Heidegger writes the curious declaration: “the essence of technology is nothing technological”. Meaningful reflections upon the essence of technology occur, Heidegger says, in the realm of art.   Heidegger was not, however, optimistic about modernity or the possibility of extricating ourselves as humans from the constrictive structures and blinding technologies we have come to rely on. Speaking of the atom bomb, Heidegger argued that rather than presenting us with a new development which we have the opportunity to direct for good or ill, the atom bomb is merely the culmination of centuries of scientific thought. Indeed, nuclear power affects the most literal manifestation of technology’s tendency to re-order objects as energy; the atomic bomb fractures matter into its potential as an act of destruction.   Model of the ‘Fat Man’ atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945, via the National Museum of the United States Airforce   Humanity also risks confounding itself by using technology to an ever greater extent to solve problems that are themselves exacerbated by instrumental thinking. Heidegger’s famous proclamation that “all distances in time and space are shrinking” refers to the ways in which transport and communication technologies facilitate easier access to images, places, people, objects, cultural artifacts, and so on. “Yet the frantic abolition of all distances brings no nearness; for nearness does not consist in shortness of distance.” (Heidegger, The Thing). What we ignore in the frenzied effort to attain nearness through technological means is that those technological means have obscured things in themselves; they have distanced us further from objects revealed as they are. Being, Heidegger proposes, is overlooked in all its semi-mystical wonder, despite its immediate nearness to us.   In a remark which has been taken both as a plea for forgiveness over his Nazism, and a lamentation of the trap which humanity finds itself entangled in, Heidegger once remarked in an interview — one he gave on the condition it would not be published until after his death — that “only a god can save us”. Divergences in the use of technology are of little concern in Heidegger’s writing — the nuclear bomb and the hydroelectric plant commit the same obfuscation of being. Only a god can save us, but only stripping away the mask of means and ends will allow God to appear.

“Only a God Can Save Us”: Heidegger on Technology

Auction House Sells Glass Negatives As NFTs And Tells Buyers To “Smash” the Originals

“Charles Frederick Goldie at His Easel” by Rupert Farnall Studios (c. 1910-1920), one of two photos sold by the New Zealand auction house Webb’s as NFTs (via Wikimedia Commons) A New Zealand auction house sold two glass plate negatives as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and encouraged the buyers to destroy the originals. Webb’s, headquartered in Auckland, listed two NFTs based on photographs of the polemical artist Charles Goldie, known for his portraits of Māori elders. Each token was accompanied by “a framed contact print of the image and the original glass plate negative” presented in a custom-built pine box. Also included with each lot, according to a description in OpenSea, where the NFTs were minted, was “a small brass hammer.” The tool appears meant to give purchasers of the tokens the option of shattering the glass plates, eradicating the physical object in order to — presumably — elevate the digital asset. “Perhaps you might want to make it permanently digital,” Webb’s Head of Art Charles Ninow told Newshub. “Smash it? Smash it.” The NFTs of “Charles Frederick Goldie at His Easel” and “Charles Frederick Goldie in His Studio” sold this week for $51,250 and $76,250, respectively. The story was tweeted by Molly White of Web3 Is Going Just Great, a blog that she describes as highlighting “only a small number of all the hacks, scams, and bad ideas that are so prevalent in crypto and web3 projects.” Some responded to the auction house’s strange sales pitch with sarcasm, mocking the strategy as a gimmick that exemplifies the ways in which the crypto space profits from controversy. “I suspect the whole thing was a calculated move by the auction house. They knew that offering a hammer and suggesting the buyers smash a historical artifact to make the project ‘permanently digital’ would be provocative and generate interest,” White told Hyperallergic. “They seem to have been successful, too — both auctions closed at prices far above the estimates — but certainly at the cost of being able to claim to be motivated by their love of art rather than money.” Webb’s has not yet responded to Hyperallergic’s request for comment.

Auction House Sells Glass Negatives As NFTs And Tells Buyers To “Smash” the Originals

Anointing the Dead | Sarah Aziza

Sarah Aziza , May 23, 2022 Remembering Shireen Abu Akleh Shireen Abu Akleh loved handbags. In life, a mere detail. Intimate and unremarkable. Where does this fact go, in death? This is my first obituary.But then, this isn’t really an obituary. Obituary: notice of a death, especially in a newspaper. By now, the whole world has been given notice of her death. Within hours of the killing, the facts had been published, and, just as quickly, clouded by denial and spin, transforming Abu Akleh into something more, and less, than she was in life. In the clash of competing “narratives,” she became an emblem. An argument.   Here’s where it began: on May 11, 2022, the fifty-one-year-old journalist, widely known and beloved for her twenty-five-plus years of covering Palestine, was fatally shot in the head. The death occurred in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, where she had arrived early that morning to cover a raid by Israeli occupying forces. According to colleague Shatha Hanaysha, she, Abu Akleh, and producer Ali Samoudi had made their presence as journalists known to a cadre of Israeli soldiers, then proceeded down a quiet street. Residents of the neighborhood had pointed them toward this route, advising them that this area had thus far been free of any Israeli or resistance activity. “In that area, things seemed almost normal,” Hanaysha recalled. A moment later, a bullet struck Samoudi in the back. “Ali’s been hit! Ali’s been hit!” Abu Akleh cried out. She and Hanaysha scrambled for cover. A moment later, Abu Akleh lay face down on the ground, motionless beneath the bulk of her blue PRESS jacket. Of course, her death was never going to be a strictly private affair. Presumably, even if Abu Akleh had lived deep into old age, her passing would have been marked by her many devoted fans. For audiences in the Arab world, her name and face have been synonymous with the Palestinian experience for years. She rose to prominence during the Second Intifada, known for her courageous coverage on the frontlines. Clips from her oeuvre include shots of her in the West Bank scuttling out of the way of tear gas canisters and picking her way through the debris of homes demolished by Israeli artillery. In others, Abu Akleh is dressed in a flak jacket and helmet marked PRESS—the same outfit she was wearing when she was shot—military vehicles or plumes of smoke filling the background. Our very title—Palestinian—acts too often like a spell, one we don’t control. So it was only natural that, in the hours after her death, tributes flooded the web, lauding her as an icon for Palestinians and a hero for generations of Arab journalists, particularly women. “Her voice gathered families around their televisions, and inspired an entire generation of journalists,” said journalist and podcaster Tala el-Issa in one tribute. Others echoed this sentiment, praising Abu Akleh’s commitment to covering injustices both large and small, and citing her now-famous quote: “I chose journalism to be close to the people. It might not be easy to change the reality, but at least I could bring their voice to the world.”  But she was also a woman who loved shopping. I learned this while speaking to one of Abu Akleh’s grieving friends, Dalia Hatuqa. A fellow Palestinian journalist, Hatuqa met Abu Akleh when the two were both stationed in Washington, D.C. The two hit it off, recalls Hatuqa, whose nerves about meeting the veteran reporter melted in Abu Akleh’s warmth. “She was so different off camera. On the job, she was very professional and serious, but she was actually very funny. I mean hilarious.” And she enjoyed the finer things. “She loved music, and novels,” recalled Hatuqa, “and she was the life of the party, for sure.” On trips to the mall, Hatuqa learned of Abu Akleh’s affinity for handbags. Is there room for handbags in an obituary? Search how to write an obituary and discover conflicting advice. To include the deceased’s exact age, or no? (See above.) Ex-spouses—do they go in? (She never married.) Children? (No. Or yes? She had two nieces and a nephew with whom she was close.) But it seems important, to me, to write of the handbags. To place down this small detail in the record as it swirls and morphs around her name. To ensure that a woman who is undoubtedly a hero remains, at the same time, human. Within arm’s length.It is not easy for any Palestinian to be this simple thing. Our very title—Palestinian—acts too often like a spell, one we don’t control. Sometimes it renders us invisible, negating our literal existence. In other moments, it inflates us, ascribing us dark powers that far outpace our abilities. We are cast as irrepressible and violent, anti-Semitic enemies of peace. Speak the word again, and it may conjure pity. We are unwashed Gazan children, lamenting mothers, worshippers bludgeoned over their prayer rugs. In our deaths, we become statistics. Infographics. Or, sometimes, shaheed. The word, meaning martyr, anoints the dead with honor. It hugs them like a shroud. It speaks, perhaps, to a force of spirit that transcends the breath of lungs.But in other places, women are still shopping at malls. Handbags are being sold. They are being carried home. “I couldn’t—Shireen couldn’t—we couldn’t comprehend that they were actually shooting at us,” recalled Hanaysha. Even as the bullets rained down, “I don’t know how to put it . . . we couldn’t absorb the fact that they were actually shooting at us. We were turning around, looking around, like, what should we do? That was when she fell.”Abu Akleh most likely died in confusion, in disbelief.Those who know Palestinians only from afar might assume the journalist moved through the world expecting violence at every turn. After all, that is how most of the world is used to consuming us—through stories in which death, “clashes,” and “conflict” comprise the lede. We are objects of violence, or its perpetrators. Even as we survive, it is imagined we do so without songs or dreams. To believe this is to forget what one knows about humanity. How improbable and indomitable it can be. It takes something truly monstrous to sever a soul from its innate faith in life. Something like a massive military machine, one that relies on the total dehumanization of those it seeks to oppress. The kind of system that circumscribes, and attempts to define, all Palestinians living on occupied land. The kind that so degrades the imagination it renders children with stones as threats, and women in PRESS jackets disposable. Israeli authorities immediately tried to throw the cause of Abu Akleh’s death into doubt. The authorities first blamed an unspecified Palestinian source for the lethal fire, disseminating a video allegedly supporting this claim. When the video was investigated and debunked by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, Israel began to use the Palestinian rejection of a joint investigation as evidence of guilt. Instead, the Palestinians have called for an international investigation, promising to take the case to the International Criminal Court—a body the Israeli government refuses to recognize. The emblem of a female Palestinian body raised in the streets was more than the machine could bear.  In this way, Abu Akleh’s death was quickly and predictably engulfed in what mainstream media earnestly calls “controversy.” Those who knew and loved her—personally, and through decades of her presence on their television screens—are denied a simple grief. As with all things Palestinian, their pain is politicized. Nowhere was that more obvious than in the heinous attack on Abu Akleh’s funeral.  One of the largest Palestinian funerals in recent history, crowds of thousands amassed to bid farewell to the cherished journalist. Her body emerged from an East Jerusalem hospital held aloft by a group of pallbearers. Abruptly, a phalanx of heavily armed riot police launched on the procession, beating the mourners with batons and their bare fists. As the blows descended on the pallbearers, the men struggled to stay on their feet. The coffin nearly tumbled to the ground. Although the Israeli authorities offered weak excuses for the assault—that rioters had seized the coffin; that three plastic bottles had allegedly been tossed in the direction of police—the real reason was, of course, symbolic. East Jerusalem, which is majority Palestinian, has been declared annexed by Israel, which considers it part of its capital. Any displays of Palestinian national pride—such as the presence of the flag or anything bearing the colors red, white, green, and black—are frequently and brutally quashed. The emblem of a civilian, female, Palestinian body raised in the streets was more than the machine could bear.  Abu Akleh did not have to be in Jenin on that day. Her friend Mohammed Daraghmeh, a fellow veteran journalist, told her not to bother—the raids she wanted to cover have long since become routine. Hatuqa echoed this. “A much more junior reporter could have gone. But she wanted to be there. No story was too small for her—everyone remembers this about her.” What will be done with her handbags now? Will they be given away? Left untouched? “All that the world knows of Jerusalem is the power of the symbol,” wrote Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti in 1997. “The Jerusalem of religions, the Jerusalem of politics, the Jerusalem of conflict is the Jerusalem of the world. But the world does not care for our Jerusalem, the Jerusalem of the people. The Jerusalem of houses and cobbled streets and spice markets . . . The Jerusalem of houseplants, cobbled alleys, and narrow covered lanes. The Jerusalem of clotheslines. This is the city of our senses, our bodies, and our childhood. The Jerusalem that we walk in without much noticing its ‘sacredness,’ because we are in it, because it is us. . . . This is the ordinary Jerusalem. The city of our little moments that we forget quickly because we will not need to remember.” There is a universe to the Palestinian experience that no one, not even Abu Akleh, can render in an article or screen. It is more precious than any symbol. More ordinary than language itself. Woven of the innumerable, peculiar details that make up a human and a life. The sort of things that go unnoticed until they are taken away. It was this experience that she lived, and that was taken from her.

Anointing the Dead | Sarah Aziza

Anointing the Dead | Sarah Aziza

Sarah Aziza , May 23, 2022 Remembering Shireen Abu Akleh Shireen Abu Akleh loved handbags. In life, a mere detail. Intimate and unremarkable. Where does this fact go, in death? This is my first obituary.But then, this isn’t really an obituary. Obituary: notice of a death, especially in a newspaper. By now, the whole world has been given notice of her death. Within hours of the killing, the facts had been published, and, just as quickly, clouded by denial and spin, transforming Abu Akleh into something more, and less, than she was in life. In the clash of competing “narratives,” she became an emblem. An argument.   Here’s where it began: on May 11, 2022, the fifty-one-year-old journalist, widely known and beloved for her twenty-five-plus years of covering Palestine, was fatally shot in the head. The death occurred in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, where she had arrived early that morning to cover a raid by Israeli occupying forces. According to colleague Shatha Hanaysha, she, Abu Akleh, and producer Ali Samoudi had made their presence as journalists known to a cadre of Israeli soldiers, then proceeded down a quiet street. Residents of the neighborhood had pointed them toward this route, advising them that this area had thus far been free of any Israeli or resistance activity. “In that area, things seemed almost normal,” Hanaysha recalled. A moment later, a bullet struck Samoudi in the back. “Ali’s been hit! Ali’s been hit!” Abu Akleh cried out. She and Hanaysha scrambled for cover. A moment later, Abu Akleh lay face down on the ground, motionless beneath the bulk of her blue PRESS jacket. Of course, her death was never going to be a strictly private affair. Presumably, even if Abu Akleh had lived deep into old age, her passing would have been marked by her many devoted fans. For audiences in the Arab world, her name and face have been synonymous with the Palestinian experience for years. She rose to prominence during the Second Intifada, known for her courageous coverage on the frontlines. Clips from her oeuvre include shots of her in the West Bank scuttling out of the way of tear gas canisters and picking her way through the debris of homes demolished by Israeli artillery. In others, Abu Akleh is dressed in a flak jacket and helmet marked PRESS—the same outfit she was wearing when she was shot—military vehicles or plumes of smoke filling the background. Our very title—Palestinian—acts too often like a spell, one we don’t control. So it was only natural that, in the hours after her death, tributes flooded the web, lauding her as an icon for Palestinians and a hero for generations of Arab journalists, particularly women. “Her voice gathered families around their televisions, and inspired an entire generation of journalists,” said journalist and podcaster Tala el-Issa in one tribute. Others echoed this sentiment, praising Abu Akleh’s commitment to covering injustices both large and small, and citing her now-famous quote: “I chose journalism to be close to the people. It might not be easy to change the reality, but at least I could bring their voice to the world.”  But she was also a woman who loved shopping. I learned this while speaking to one of Abu Akleh’s grieving friends, Dalia Hatuqa. A fellow Palestinian journalist, Hatuqa met Abu Akleh when the two were both stationed in Washington, D.C. The two hit it off, recalls Hatuqa, whose nerves about meeting the veteran reporter melted in Abu Akleh’s warmth. “She was so different off camera. On the job, she was very professional and serious, but she was actually very funny. I mean hilarious.” And she enjoyed the finer things. “She loved music, and novels,” recalled Hatuqa, “and she was the life of the party, for sure.” On trips to the mall, Hatuqa learned of Abu Akleh’s affinity for handbags. Is there room for handbags in an obituary? Search how to write an obituary and discover conflicting advice. To include the deceased’s exact age, or no? (See above.) Ex-spouses—do they go in? (She never married.) Children? (No. Or yes? She had two nieces and a nephew with whom she was close.) But it seems important, to me, to write of the handbags. To place down this small detail in the record as it swirls and morphs around her name. To ensure that a woman who is undoubtedly a hero remains, at the same time, human. Within arm’s length.It is not easy for any Palestinian to be this simple thing. Our very title—Palestinian—acts too often like a spell, one we don’t control. Sometimes it renders us invisible, negating our literal existence. In other moments, it inflates us, ascribing us dark powers that far outpace our abilities. We are cast as irrepressible and violent, anti-Semitic enemies of peace. Speak the word again, and it may conjure pity. We are unwashed Gazan children, lamenting mothers, worshippers bludgeoned over their prayer rugs. In our deaths, we become statistics. Infographics. Or, sometimes, shaheed. The word, meaning martyr, anoints the dead with honor. It hugs them like a shroud. It speaks, perhaps, to a force of spirit that transcends the breath of lungs.But in other places, women are still shopping at malls. Handbags are being sold. They are being carried home. “I couldn’t—Shireen couldn’t—we couldn’t comprehend that they were actually shooting at us,” recalled Hanaysha. Even as the bullets rained down, “I don’t know how to put it . . . we couldn’t absorb the fact that they were actually shooting at us. We were turning around, looking around, like, what should we do? That was when she fell.”Abu Akleh most likely died in confusion, in disbelief.Those who know Palestinians only from afar might assume the journalist moved through the world expecting violence at every turn. After all, that is how most of the world is used to consuming us—through stories in which death, “clashes,” and “conflict” comprise the lede. We are objects of violence, or its perpetrators. Even as we survive, it is imagined we do so without songs or dreams. To believe this is to forget what one knows about humanity. How improbable and indomitable it can be. It takes something truly monstrous to sever a soul from its innate faith in life. Something like a massive military machine, one that relies on the total dehumanization of those it seeks to oppress. The kind of system that circumscribes, and attempts to define, all Palestinians living on occupied land. The kind that so degrades the imagination it renders children with stones as threats, and women in PRESS jackets disposable. Israeli authorities immediately tried to throw the cause of Abu Akleh’s death into doubt. The authorities first blamed an unspecified Palestinian source for the lethal fire, disseminating a video allegedly supporting this claim. When the video was investigated and debunked by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, Israel began to use the Palestinian rejection of a joint investigation as evidence of guilt. Instead, the Palestinians have called for an international investigation, promising to take the case to the International Criminal Court—a body the Israeli government refuses to recognize. The emblem of a female Palestinian body raised in the streets was more than the machine could bear.  In this way, Abu Akleh’s death was quickly and predictably engulfed in what mainstream media earnestly calls “controversy.” Those who knew and loved her—personally, and through decades of her presence on their television screens—are denied a simple grief. As with all things Palestinian, their pain is politicized. Nowhere was that more obvious than in the heinous attack on Abu Akleh’s funeral.  One of the largest Palestinian funerals in recent history, crowds of thousands amassed to bid farewell to the cherished journalist. Her body emerged from an East Jerusalem hospital held aloft by a group of pallbearers. Abruptly, a phalanx of heavily armed riot police launched on the procession, beating the mourners with batons and their bare fists. As the blows descended on the pallbearers, the men struggled to stay on their feet. The coffin nearly tumbled to the ground. Although the Israeli authorities offered weak excuses for the assault—that rioters had seized the coffin; that three plastic bottles had allegedly been tossed in the direction of police—the real reason was, of course, symbolic. East Jerusalem, which is majority Palestinian, has been declared annexed by Israel, which considers it part of its capital. Any displays of Palestinian national pride—such as the presence of the flag or anything bearing the colors red, white, green, and black—are frequently and brutally quashed. The emblem of a civilian, female, Palestinian body raised in the streets was more than the machine could bear.  Abu Akleh did not have to be in Jenin on that day. Her friend Mohammed Daraghmeh, a fellow veteran journalist, told her not to bother—the raids she wanted to cover have long since become routine. Hatuqa echoed this. “A much more junior reporter could have gone. But she wanted to be there. No story was too small for her—everyone remembers this about her.” What will be done with her handbags now? Will they be given away? Left untouched? “All that the world knows of Jerusalem is the power of the symbol,” wrote Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti in 1997. “The Jerusalem of religions, the Jerusalem of politics, the Jerusalem of conflict is the Jerusalem of the world. But the world does not care for our Jerusalem, the Jerusalem of the people. The Jerusalem of houses and cobbled streets and spice markets . . . The Jerusalem of houseplants, cobbled alleys, and narrow covered lanes. The Jerusalem of clotheslines. This is the city of our senses, our bodies, and our childhood. The Jerusalem that we walk in without much noticing its ‘sacredness,’ because we are in it, because it is us. . . . This is the ordinary Jerusalem. The city of our little moments that we forget quickly because we will not need to remember.” There is a universe to the Palestinian experience that no one, not even Abu Akleh, can render in an article or screen. It is more precious than any symbol. More ordinary than language itself. Woven of the innumerable, peculiar details that make up a human and a life. The sort of things that go unnoticed until they are taken away. It was this experience that she lived, and that was taken from her.

Anointing the Dead | Sarah Aziza

Sony Semiconductor Solutions CEO: “the image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024”

The President and CEO of Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS) Terushi Shimizu gave this outlook for smartphone-equipped cameras: The image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024, and Sony G will show the prospect “We expect that still images will exceed the image quality of single-lens reflex cameras within the next few years.” How is what possible? I had the same question, but the CEO did not provide any details. This is the only relevant text I found in the Nikkei article: In the future, in addition to increasing the diameter, by combining the new pixel structure “two-layer transistor pixel” technology and artificial intelligence (AI) processing technology that can double the shooting performance of bright places, “for still images, a single-lens camera The image quality can be exceeded “(the company). Furthermore, it is said that background blurring using 8K video shooting / high-speed readout and ToF (distance measuring) sensor will be realized toward 30 years. If that’s true, there is no reason for Sony to continue to make cameras after 2024. Like the Sony logo says: “make.believe”… Via SonyAddict The post Sony Semiconductor Solutions CEO: “the image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024” appeared first on Photo Rumors. Related posts: Sony develops the world’s first stacked CMOS image sensor technology with 2-layer transistor pixel Announced: Tokina 400mm f/8 mirror/reflex lens in eight different DSLR and mirrorless mounts Topaz Labs Image Quality Bundle is now $124 off

Sony Semiconductor Solutions CEO: “the image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024”

Sony Semiconductor Solutions CEO: “the image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024”

The President and CEO of Sony Semiconductor Solutions (SSS) Terushi Shimizu gave this outlook for smartphone-equipped cameras: The image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024, and Sony G will show the prospect “We expect that still images will exceed the image quality of single-lens reflex cameras within the next few years.” How is what possible? I had the same question, but the CEO did not provide any details. This is the only relevant text I found in the Nikkei article: In the future, in addition to increasing the diameter, by combining the new pixel structure “two-layer transistor pixel” technology and artificial intelligence (AI) processing technology that can double the shooting performance of bright places, “for still images, a single-lens camera The image quality can be exceeded “(the company). Furthermore, it is said that background blurring using 8K video shooting / high-speed readout and ToF (distance measuring) sensor will be realized toward 30 years. If that’s true, there is no reason for Sony to continue to make cameras after 2024. Like the Sony logo says: “make.believe”… Via SonyAddict The post Sony Semiconductor Solutions CEO: “the image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024” appeared first on Photo Rumors. Related posts: Sony develops the world’s first stacked CMOS image sensor technology with 2-layer transistor pixel Announced: Tokina 400mm f/8 mirror/reflex lens in eight different DSLR and mirrorless mounts Topaz Labs Image Quality Bundle is now $124 off

Sony Semiconductor Solutions CEO: “the image quality of smartphones will exceed that of single-lens reflex cameras in 2024”

A Bicultural Jesus Celebrates Asian American Identity

Tyrus Wong, “Chinese Jesus” (photo by Mark Gibson, courtesy the Walt Disney Family Museum) SAN FRANCISCO — “It’s a knockout!” gasped Stanford University art historian and Museum of Art curator Marci Kwon, as the cardboard cover was moved aside to reveal Tyrus Wong’s “Chinese Jesus” painting. The six-foot-tall image of Christ with both Chinese and European features had languished unseen for decades, and despite two brief public exhibitions less than a decade ago the painting still remained in storage. Last December, however, Kwon and two other museum representatives were in San Francisco’s Chinatown to consider the artwork for possible conservation and acquisition. Their interest in the painting is a measure of the growing understanding of Wong’s legacy, as well as the groundswell of attention to Asian American art over the past two years. Today Tyrus Wong is best known for styling Disney’s beloved 1942 animated film, Bambi, but he made the “Chinese Jesus” painting before he began working in Hollywood. In the mid-1930s Wong was a founding member of the Oriental Artists Group, a circle of California-based Chinese and Japanese American artists who garnered attention for their balance of traditional Asian and contemporary Euro-American aesthetics. “Chinese Jesus,” for example, has almond eyes along with an aquiline nose and red hair, and floats on clouds whose vivid hues and stylized shapes recall both Chinese opera backdrops and the rhythmic hues of contemporary Synchromism. (Wong knew Synchromism co-founder Stanton Macdonald-Wright through the WPA and the Los Angeles Art Students League.) According to Wong, the Chinese church in Los Angeles that had originally commissioned the painting rejected it because of its unconventional features. “Well, how do you know what Jesus looks like?!,” was his typically insouciant response.  The painting probably landed in San Francisco when the clergyman for the Los Angeles church was transferred north to the Bay area; there, it was hung in the Chinese United Methodist Church. By the late 1950s Wong had become one of the nation’s leading Christmas card artists, known for a style that melded traditional Chinese brushwork with Christian iconography and other Euro-American holiday imagery. None of this was known to young David Lei, who grew up gazing at the painting when his family attended services at the church. At some point “Chinese Jesus” disappeared from public view. In 2013 Lei — now an influential philanthropist dedicated to preserving Chinese American cultural heritage — learned through a congregation member that just such a painting still existed in the church’s broom closet.  San Francisco State art historian and curator Mark Johnson, who in 1995 co-curated at the university gallery one of the first major retrospectives of Asian American art, reached out to Wong. Then-103-year-old Wong’s reunion with this masterpiece from his early career occurred just in time for the painting to be briefly exhibited during a 2013 Disney Family Museum feature on the artist, as well as in 2016 for the Center for Asian American Media film festival, which opened with an award-winning documentary about him. Despite the flurry of publicity upon its rediscovery and exhibition, however, no institutions showed any interest in putting “Chinese Jesus” on permanent display. This was due partly to the painting’s size and fragile state, its shellac yellowing and its frame held together by the canvas. It also reflects the challenge of contextualizing Wong’s art, which traversed the fine and commercial art spheres, gaining acclaim in the latter. Of course, Wong’s career also cannot be disentangled from the systemic and social challenges that faced Chinese immigrants in the United States. When he painted “Chinese Jesus,” he was still prevented by the Chinese Exclusion Act, a federal law that severely restricted Chinese immigration, from becoming a US citizen. Throughout his career, critical reception of his works often stressed his ethnic heritage, ignoring the bicultural influences of someone who had been in the US since childhood, and who had studied both traditional Chinese calligraphy and European and American art history and media.  Tyrus Wong greeting his “Chinese Jesus” painting, for the first time in over 70 years (photo courtesy David Lei) In recent years, however, growing awareness of Asian American history as well as contemporary cultural developments have fostered a very different climate for Asian and Asian American art. As veteran activists and philanthropists like David Lei work to preserve Asian American heritage and cultural history, established museums and institutions eager to access relatively untapped sectors of donors have started to invest in previously neglected fields. Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice movements have endowed this work with a new urgency. In the earliest months of the pandemic, Asian American artists and cultural figures were prominent in denouncing anti-Asian hate. When racial justice protests erupted in summer 2020, arts-specific movements like #ChangeTheMuseum helped expose the micro- and macro-aggression pervading establishment culture. The progress wrought by these recent changes is substantial. In the past two years, prices have spiked for a few well-known Asian American artists. Last September, a Martin Wong painting sold at auction for $1.1 million, and before that “skyrocketing” sales in celebrated San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa’s work totaled more than $16 million. This price increase is particularly astonishing when contrasted with the relative lack of interest in the recent past. For years, major pieces by world-renowned ink painter Chiura Obata could be purchased for $1000. When pathbreaking dealer and collector Michael D. Brown, who held one of the country’s leading Asian American art collections, passed away in 2019, his vast estate was valued at less than a quarter million dollars. “It’s depressing,” says Marci Kwon, acknowledging how little the mainstream art establishment previously valued Asian American art.  Now, however, this all seems to be changing. As Mark Johnson speculates, reflecting on two prominent Bay Area museums who declined “Chinese Jesus” when it was offered less than 10 years ago, “I think if you went back to them today, they might say something different.” Both Kwon and Johnson credit the Asian American community for fueling this new attention to Asian American art and art history. According to Kwon, in the past few years “community members started coming out the woodwork, wanting to share and find a home for things their family members had left behind.” In Los Angeles, local architect Richard Liu worked with Art Salon Chinatown founder and first art curator of the Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles, Sonia Mak, to restore the private office of pioneering immigration rights attorney Y.C. Hong, in which traditional Chinese stylings merge with Streamline Moderne design. (Tyrus Wong’s “Confucius as a Justice” watercolor graces the office mantel.) In New York, despite a potentially devastating 2020 fire that threatened nearly 85% of its collection, the Museum of Chinese in America reopened to the public this past fall, aided by a $3 million Ford Foundation grant and $5 million from Mackenzie Scott, as well as an outpouring of public support. Some of that community support appears as art images contributed to the museum’s ongoing OneWorld COVID-19 special collection about resisting pandemic-related anti-Asian hate. So what does this all portend for “Chinese Jesus,” a work that Mark Johnson says “makes you rethink everything”? With its titular blend of western culture and Asian ethnicity, the painting embodies Asian American identity. Originating in the 1930s, “Chinese Jesus” is a monumental example of Wong’s early fine arts career, which both prefigures the bicultural aesthetics of his later bestselling Christmas cards and expands understandings of his career beyond Bambi. Amy Poster, Curator Emerita of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, calls the work “iconic” for its religious subject matter and its representation of Wong’s unique style.  But as a masterpiece of Asian American art “Chinese Jesus” also belongs to American art history. The current interest in conserving “Chinese Jesus” is a gratifying indicator of the newfound recognition of Asian American art’s place in American art history. As Mark Johnson notes, for its “scale and ambition, [the painting] is unlike any other religious painting in California at its time, by any artist of any race or ethnicity.” 

A Bicultural Jesus Celebrates Asian American Identity

A Bicultural Jesus Celebrates Asian American Identity

Tyrus Wong, “Chinese Jesus” (photo by Mark Gibson, courtesy the Walt Disney Family Museum) SAN FRANCISCO — “It’s a knockout!” gasped Stanford University art historian and Museum of Art curator Marci Kwon, as the cardboard cover was moved aside to reveal Tyrus Wong’s “Chinese Jesus” painting. The six-foot-tall image of Christ with both Chinese and European features had languished unseen for decades, and despite two brief public exhibitions less than a decade ago the painting still remained in storage. Last December, however, Kwon and two other museum representatives were in San Francisco’s Chinatown to consider the artwork for possible conservation and acquisition. Their interest in the painting is a measure of the growing understanding of Wong’s legacy, as well as the groundswell of attention to Asian American art over the past two years. Today Tyrus Wong is best known for styling Disney’s beloved 1942 animated film, Bambi, but he made the “Chinese Jesus” painting before he began working in Hollywood. In the mid-1930s Wong was a founding member of the Oriental Artists Group, a circle of California-based Chinese and Japanese American artists who garnered attention for their balance of traditional Asian and contemporary Euro-American aesthetics. “Chinese Jesus,” for example, has almond eyes along with an aquiline nose and red hair, and floats on clouds whose vivid hues and stylized shapes recall both Chinese opera backdrops and the rhythmic hues of contemporary Synchromism. (Wong knew Synchromism co-founder Stanton Macdonald-Wright through the WPA and the Los Angeles Art Students League.) According to Wong, the Chinese church in Los Angeles that had originally commissioned the painting rejected it because of its unconventional features. “Well, how do you know what Jesus looks like?!,” was his typically insouciant response.  The painting probably landed in San Francisco when the clergyman for the Los Angeles church was transferred north to the Bay area; there, it was hung in the Chinese United Methodist Church. By the late 1950s Wong had become one of the nation’s leading Christmas card artists, known for a style that melded traditional Chinese brushwork with Christian iconography and other Euro-American holiday imagery. None of this was known to young David Lei, who grew up gazing at the painting when his family attended services at the church. At some point “Chinese Jesus” disappeared from public view. In 2013 Lei — now an influential philanthropist dedicated to preserving Chinese American cultural heritage — learned through a congregation member that just such a painting still existed in the church’s broom closet.  San Francisco State art historian and curator Mark Johnson, who in 1995 co-curated at the university gallery one of the first major retrospectives of Asian American art, reached out to Wong. Then-103-year-old Wong’s reunion with this masterpiece from his early career occurred just in time for the painting to be briefly exhibited during a 2013 Disney Family Museum feature on the artist, as well as in 2016 for the Center for Asian American Media film festival, which opened with an award-winning documentary about him. Despite the flurry of publicity upon its rediscovery and exhibition, however, no institutions showed any interest in putting “Chinese Jesus” on permanent display. This was due partly to the painting’s size and fragile state, its shellac yellowing and its frame held together by the canvas. It also reflects the challenge of contextualizing Wong’s art, which traversed the fine and commercial art spheres, gaining acclaim in the latter. Of course, Wong’s career also cannot be disentangled from the systemic and social challenges that faced Chinese immigrants in the United States. When he painted “Chinese Jesus,” he was still prevented by the Chinese Exclusion Act, a federal law that severely restricted Chinese immigration, from becoming a US citizen. Throughout his career, critical reception of his works often stressed his ethnic heritage, ignoring the bicultural influences of someone who had been in the US since childhood, and who had studied both traditional Chinese calligraphy and European and American art history and media.  Tyrus Wong greeting his “Chinese Jesus” painting, for the first time in over 70 years (photo courtesy David Lei) In recent years, however, growing awareness of Asian American history as well as contemporary cultural developments have fostered a very different climate for Asian and Asian American art. As veteran activists and philanthropists like David Lei work to preserve Asian American heritage and cultural history, established museums and institutions eager to access relatively untapped sectors of donors have started to invest in previously neglected fields. Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice movements have endowed this work with a new urgency. In the earliest months of the pandemic, Asian American artists and cultural figures were prominent in denouncing anti-Asian hate. When racial justice protests erupted in summer 2020, arts-specific movements like #ChangeTheMuseum helped expose the micro- and macro-aggression pervading establishment culture. The progress wrought by these recent changes is substantial. In the past two years, prices have spiked for a few well-known Asian American artists. Last September, a Martin Wong painting sold at auction for $1.1 million, and before that “skyrocketing” sales in celebrated San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa’s work totaled more than $16 million. This price increase is particularly astonishing when contrasted with the relative lack of interest in the recent past. For years, major pieces by world-renowned ink painter Chiura Obata could be purchased for $1000. When pathbreaking dealer and collector Michael D. Brown, who held one of the country’s leading Asian American art collections, passed away in 2019, his vast estate was valued at less than a quarter million dollars. “It’s depressing,” says Marci Kwon, acknowledging how little the mainstream art establishment previously valued Asian American art.  Now, however, this all seems to be changing. As Mark Johnson speculates, reflecting on two prominent Bay Area museums who declined “Chinese Jesus” when it was offered less than 10 years ago, “I think if you went back to them today, they might say something different.” Both Kwon and Johnson credit the Asian American community for fueling this new attention to Asian American art and art history. According to Kwon, in the past few years “community members started coming out the woodwork, wanting to share and find a home for things their family members had left behind.” In Los Angeles, local architect Richard Liu worked with Art Salon Chinatown founder and first art curator of the Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles, Sonia Mak, to restore the private office of pioneering immigration rights attorney Y.C. Hong, in which traditional Chinese stylings merge with Streamline Moderne design. (Tyrus Wong’s “Confucius as a Justice” watercolor graces the office mantel.) In New York, despite a potentially devastating 2020 fire that threatened nearly 85% of its collection, the Museum of Chinese in America reopened to the public this past fall, aided by a $3 million Ford Foundation grant and $5 million from Mackenzie Scott, as well as an outpouring of public support. Some of that community support appears as art images contributed to the museum’s ongoing OneWorld COVID-19 special collection about resisting pandemic-related anti-Asian hate. So what does this all portend for “Chinese Jesus,” a work that Mark Johnson says “makes you rethink everything”? With its titular blend of western culture and Asian ethnicity, the painting embodies Asian American identity. Originating in the 1930s, “Chinese Jesus” is a monumental example of Wong’s early fine arts career, which both prefigures the bicultural aesthetics of his later bestselling Christmas cards and expands understandings of his career beyond Bambi. Amy Poster, Curator Emerita of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, calls the work “iconic” for its religious subject matter and its representation of Wong’s unique style.  But as a masterpiece of Asian American art “Chinese Jesus” also belongs to American art history. The current interest in conserving “Chinese Jesus” is a gratifying indicator of the newfound recognition of Asian American art’s place in American art history. As Mark Johnson notes, for its “scale and ambition, [the painting] is unlike any other religious painting in California at its time, by any artist of any race or ethnicity.” 

A Bicultural Jesus Celebrates Asian American Identity

Existentialism & Nihilism: What’s the Difference?

  Since the beginning of time, humans have come up with various philosophies and ideologies concerning the true purpose of our existence. Although we won’t know the blatant truth until our time has come, it’s still enjoyable to ponder all of the theories in the meantime. Two philosophies that stand out amongst the others are Existentialism and Nihilism. From afar they might appear similar, but you’ll soon realize how different they really are.   Before moving forward I’d like to address that there are many different branches of both Existentialism and Nihilism. In this article, I will be discussing Jean-Paul Sartre’s take on Existentialism and Existential Nihilism.   What Is Existentialism? Jean-Paul Satre with Simone de Beauvoir in Beijing, via Delo.si   Existentialism is a philosophy that originated in Europe and became extremely popular after the devastating events of WWII. One of the first people to describe themselves as an existentialist was a man by the name of Jean-Paul Sartre. The basis of his thought can be summed up as follows: “What all existentialists have in common is the fundamental doctrine that existence precedes essence.” To put this in simpler terms– we as human beings have no predefined box that we must fit into.   We create meaning for our lives by the decisions we make and the paths we decide to go down. This does not mean we can do whatever we want without consequence, as the actions we take define who we are. So, if you say “I am a kind person”– but then proceed to viciously insult people, an existentialist will look at you and determine that you are in fact very mean, despite what you claim to be. This is because you are being judged based on the actions you take, and not by what you think you are. You are held fully accountable for your behavior and this shapes your reality moving forward.   The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise by Benjamin West, 1791, via National Gallery of Art   According to Satre, one day a student of his walked up and asked for advice about a moral dilemma he was facing. The boy could either join the military and become a small part of a large movement, or he could stay home and take care of his mother– making him the focal point of her entire life as she could barely take care of herself. Satre told him that there was no right answer. It was up to the boy to decide what he deemed to be more important, thus giving him free will to decide his path. Existentialism tells us that we are the artists of our lives, and we are free to create our own destinies– we have no ineluctable fate. There are millions of different paths to choose from and we are not bound to a singular timeline. What a freeing thought indeed!   Having an Existential Crisis?  The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893, via the National Gallery of Norway   Alas, on the downside of such freedom, many people may face something called existential dread. This means that they are overwhelmed by the amount of uncertainties life has to offer. For example– imagine being alive in the olden days, completely fine with following your religion because that is all you have ever known, until one afternoon a philosopher announces: “Actually… we come from nothing! Nevermind about that whole worshiping God ordeal!”. You would likely be taken on a roller coaster of emotions, as you begin to have an existential crisis. Without religion or a set of rules to follow, one might become anxious at the idea of “not knowing”. Not knowing what’s next, not knowing why we’re here, and not knowing what the grand purpose is to life.   Ironically, that is the beauty of existentialism– we create our grand purpose in life without any preconceived ideas getting in the way. Life does not give us meaning, but we give meaning to life.   What Is Nihilism? Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche by Edvard Munch, 1906, via Thielska Galleriet   “If we believe in nothing, if nothing has any meaning, and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance.” Albert Camus   Nihilism is another European philosophy that arose during the 19th century when people started to become tired of the local governments and wondered what made people in power more important than your average joe. The masses also started to question religion, after philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche claimed that “God is dead”. Well, if God is dead… what has been the point of all the worship and dedication to serving said “God”? The rise of this thought process alone led many people to question the purpose of everything if we came from nothing.   The word itself comes from the Latin term, nihil, which means “nothing”. What makes someone a better candidate to rule a nation, if everyone was born from nothingness? If there was no real point to anything, why do some people get to be treated better than others? These are a few questions that a Nihilist would ask you.   To get into the mind of the Nihilist and fully understand the philosophy better, ask yourself why you believe what you believe. Where did the idea come from and why was it presented to you? Who created your belief system and why? If you keep digging deeper, you will get to a point where there is no longer a definitive answer. Regardless of religion or science, the question “why” or “what is the point” will never have a direct answer. This is where Nihilism comes into play. The conclusion to them is that there is no purpose or answer. We are here merely to just survive and someday die. Nothing we do truly matters, as we do not know the tangible source of where we were before life and where we will go after.   Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich, 1817, via Hamburg Kunsthalle.   Nihilists quite literally believe in nothingness. They do not believe there is good in the world, nor do they believe there is bad. It is the idea that our world simply exists, as it did before humans came around. Our planet did not give us a tangible list of rules to follow, therefore humans created the ideology of morality themselves. A nihilist would ask– “well, what human was deemed important enough to create such morality laws?”. No answer could possibly satisfy the nihilist mind.   Nihilism claims that there is no grand idea or purpose, so therefore there is no meaning to life. Life is what you make it, but don’t become too attached, because we all have the same fate: death. How uplifting! Although, it can feel liberating to accept this mindset. If nothing matters, why not have fun and do whatever you please?   The Difference Between Existentialism and Nihilism Illustration by Jake Foreman, Via The Atlantic   “Why do we argue? Life’s so fragile, a successful virus clinging to a speck of mud, suspended in endless nothing.” Alan Moore   The questions that arise with Nihilism are answered with the ideologies of Existentialism. Nihilism says nothing matters because we came from nothingness, so do whatever you want because who cares about anything! They claim there is no objective meaning to life, therefore there is no purpose.   Existentialism comes in and says that you give meaning to your life. Regardless if we came from nothing– you are here now and that is what matters. As long as you are alive at this very moment, you can decide your fate and nobody can take that power away from you. Your grand purpose is to create a life you believe is worth living. Live as your most authentic self, without the opinions of others swaying you in different directions. When we take away the restrictions of religion or the limitations of social structures, we are only left with ourselves. Who are you when nobody’s looking? Who are you if you were born into a white box, hidden far away from the teachings of others– it’s just you and your own ideas, who are you then?   A Nihilist would answer that question and say you are “nothing” and “it wouldn’t matter”. An Existentialist would say you are “anything you’d like to be” as you create your reality. And that is the grand difference between the two– one decides that if there’s no God or source, there’s no point. The other says perhaps you are a God, as your life’s destiny is in your own hands based on the choices you make.   Via Unsplash by Zac Durant   Of course, there is no right or wrong answer here– it’s all a matter of preference on how you would like to view your life. That’s the beauty of philosophy, you won’t be condemned to an eternity of hellfire if you decide that this mindset is not for you. The key takeaway from both of these philosophies is to do what makes you happy in the short time we are alive on this planet.

Existentialism & Nihilism: What’s the Difference?

Existentialism & Nihilism: What’s the Difference?

  Since the beginning of time, humans have come up with various philosophies and ideologies concerning the true purpose of our existence. Although we won’t know the blatant truth until our time has come, it’s still enjoyable to ponder all of the theories in the meantime. Two philosophies that stand out amongst the others are Existentialism and Nihilism. From afar they might appear similar, but you’ll soon realize how different they really are.   Before moving forward I’d like to address that there are many different branches of both Existentialism and Nihilism. In this article, I will be discussing Jean-Paul Sartre’s take on Existentialism and Existential Nihilism.   What Is Existentialism? Jean-Paul Satre with Simone de Beauvoir in Beijing, via Delo.si   Existentialism is a philosophy that originated in Europe and became extremely popular after the devastating events of WWII. One of the first people to describe themselves as an existentialist was a man by the name of Jean-Paul Sartre. The basis of his thought can be summed up as follows: “What all existentialists have in common is the fundamental doctrine that existence precedes essence.” To put this in simpler terms– we as human beings have no predefined box that we must fit into.   We create meaning for our lives by the decisions we make and the paths we decide to go down. This does not mean we can do whatever we want without consequence, as the actions we take define who we are. So, if you say “I am a kind person”– but then proceed to viciously insult people, an existentialist will look at you and determine that you are in fact very mean, despite what you claim to be. This is because you are being judged based on the actions you take, and not by what you think you are. You are held fully accountable for your behavior and this shapes your reality moving forward.   The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise by Benjamin West, 1791, via National Gallery of Art   According to Satre, one day a student of his walked up and asked for advice about a moral dilemma he was facing. The boy could either join the military and become a small part of a large movement, or he could stay home and take care of his mother– making him the focal point of her entire life as she could barely take care of herself. Satre told him that there was no right answer. It was up to the boy to decide what he deemed to be more important, thus giving him free will to decide his path. Existentialism tells us that we are the artists of our lives, and we are free to create our own destinies– we have no ineluctable fate. There are millions of different paths to choose from and we are not bound to a singular timeline. What a freeing thought indeed!   Having an Existential Crisis?  The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893, via the National Gallery of Norway   Alas, on the downside of such freedom, many people may face something called existential dread. This means that they are overwhelmed by the amount of uncertainties life has to offer. For example– imagine being alive in the olden days, completely fine with following your religion because that is all you have ever known, until one afternoon a philosopher announces: “Actually… we come from nothing! Nevermind about that whole worshiping God ordeal!”. You would likely be taken on a roller coaster of emotions, as you begin to have an existential crisis. Without religion or a set of rules to follow, one might become anxious at the idea of “not knowing”. Not knowing what’s next, not knowing why we’re here, and not knowing what the grand purpose is to life.   Ironically, that is the beauty of existentialism– we create our grand purpose in life without any preconceived ideas getting in the way. Life does not give us meaning, but we give meaning to life.   What Is Nihilism? Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche by Edvard Munch, 1906, via Thielska Galleriet   “If we believe in nothing, if nothing has any meaning, and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance.” Albert Camus   Nihilism is another European philosophy that arose during the 19th century when people started to become tired of the local governments and wondered what made people in power more important than your average joe. The masses also started to question religion, after philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche claimed that “God is dead”. Well, if God is dead… what has been the point of all the worship and dedication to serving said “God”? The rise of this thought process alone led many people to question the purpose of everything if we came from nothing.   The word itself comes from the Latin term, nihil, which means “nothing”. What makes someone a better candidate to rule a nation, if everyone was born from nothingness? If there was no real point to anything, why do some people get to be treated better than others? These are a few questions that a Nihilist would ask you.   To get into the mind of the Nihilist and fully understand the philosophy better, ask yourself why you believe what you believe. Where did the idea come from and why was it presented to you? Who created your belief system and why? If you keep digging deeper, you will get to a point where there is no longer a definitive answer. Regardless of religion or science, the question “why” or “what is the point” will never have a direct answer. This is where Nihilism comes into play. The conclusion to them is that there is no purpose or answer. We are here merely to just survive and someday die. Nothing we do truly matters, as we do not know the tangible source of where we were before life and where we will go after.   Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich, 1817, via Hamburg Kunsthalle.   Nihilists quite literally believe in nothingness. They do not believe there is good in the world, nor do they believe there is bad. It is the idea that our world simply exists, as it did before humans came around. Our planet did not give us a tangible list of rules to follow, therefore humans created the ideology of morality themselves. A nihilist would ask– “well, what human was deemed important enough to create such morality laws?”. No answer could possibly satisfy the nihilist mind.   Nihilism claims that there is no grand idea or purpose, so therefore there is no meaning to life. Life is what you make it, but don’t become too attached, because we all have the same fate: death. How uplifting! Although, it can feel liberating to accept this mindset. If nothing matters, why not have fun and do whatever you please?   The Difference Between Existentialism and Nihilism Illustration by Jake Foreman, Via The Atlantic   “Why do we argue? Life’s so fragile, a successful virus clinging to a speck of mud, suspended in endless nothing.” Alan Moore   The questions that arise with Nihilism are answered with the ideologies of Existentialism. Nihilism says nothing matters because we came from nothingness, so do whatever you want because who cares about anything! They claim there is no objective meaning to life, therefore there is no purpose.   Existentialism comes in and says that you give meaning to your life. Regardless if we came from nothing– you are here now and that is what matters. As long as you are alive at this very moment, you can decide your fate and nobody can take that power away from you. Your grand purpose is to create a life you believe is worth living. Live as your most authentic self, without the opinions of others swaying you in different directions. When we take away the restrictions of religion or the limitations of social structures, we are only left with ourselves. Who are you when nobody’s looking? Who are you if you were born into a white box, hidden far away from the teachings of others– it’s just you and your own ideas, who are you then?   A Nihilist would answer that question and say you are “nothing” and “it wouldn’t matter”. An Existentialist would say you are “anything you’d like to be” as you create your reality. And that is the grand difference between the two– one decides that if there’s no God or source, there’s no point. The other says perhaps you are a God, as your life’s destiny is in your own hands based on the choices you make.   Via Unsplash by Zac Durant   Of course, there is no right or wrong answer here– it’s all a matter of preference on how you would like to view your life. That’s the beauty of philosophy, you won’t be condemned to an eternity of hellfire if you decide that this mindset is not for you. The key takeaway from both of these philosophies is to do what makes you happy in the short time we are alive on this planet.

Existentialism & Nihilism: What’s the Difference?

You’ve Heard of Wordle, But Have You Tried “Artle”?

Gather ’round, friends, as we ponder today’s Artle! Gerrit van Honthorst, “The Concert” (1623), oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Patrons’ Permanent Fund and Florian Carr Fund (image via National Gallery of Art) POV: You want to get in on the Wordle craze but you just hate letters. Visual learners and those hoping to put their art history degree to some kind of use, rejoice! A new game, Artle, launched by the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, DC, invites art lovers to guess the artist in four attempts using visual prompts from their oeuvre. Like Wordle, Artle offers you one chance a day to prove how smart you are, and then gloat to your social media followers via the same sort of blind-share format that shows results without spoilers. That’s more or less where the similarities end. Unlike Wordle, guessing in Artle is not progressive, so if you typed in “Edvard Munch,” you won’t get partial credit toward “Édouard Manet.” Guesses cue prompts from a drop-down menu, so it also inhibits the tendency to guess something that isn’t part of the NGA canon — but with more than 155,000 artworks in the NGA’s collection, by some 15,000 different artists, that’s not a hugely limiting factor (though the same biases displayed by most institutions still apply.) Can you guess this Artle? (screenshot Valentina Di Liscia/Hyperallergic) In fact, Artle is a lot harder than Wordle, since there are roughly 9,000 five-letter words in the English language for the daily draw versus 15,000 possible artists. So while it’s a great way to show off how much you know about art, it’s also a resource to learn about art that you don’t already know. I learned about the fascinating and sometimes disturbing oeuvre of Odilon Redon, a French artist who produced odd, Surrealist works around the turn of the 19th century. Not only does failing out reveal the artist of the day and link to their work in the NGA database, but each of the four image prompts are cited, so you can follow them up to learn more. There might be a limited number of people who can flaunt their art pedigree, but an infinite number who could benefit from using Artle as a portal into the NGA’s vast and easily searchable online holdings. And of course, all curators and docents should plan to include their Artle stats on future résumés. Happy guessing!

You’ve Heard of Wordle, But Have You Tried “Artle”?

You’ve Heard of Wordle, But Have You Tried “Artle”?

Gather ’round, friends, as we ponder today’s Artle! Gerrit van Honthorst, “The Concert” (1623), oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Patrons’ Permanent Fund and Florian Carr Fund (image via National Gallery of Art) POV: You want to get in on the Wordle craze but you just hate letters. Visual learners and those hoping to put their art history degree to some kind of use, rejoice! A new game, Artle, launched by the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, DC, invites art lovers to guess the artist in four attempts using visual prompts from their oeuvre. Like Wordle, Artle offers you one chance a day to prove how smart you are, and then gloat to your social media followers via the same sort of blind-share format that shows results without spoilers. That’s more or less where the similarities end. Unlike Wordle, guessing in Artle is not progressive, so if you typed in “Edvard Munch,” you won’t get partial credit toward “Édouard Manet.” Guesses cue prompts from a drop-down menu, so it also inhibits the tendency to guess something that isn’t part of the NGA canon — but with more than 155,000 artworks in the NGA’s collection, by some 15,000 different artists, that’s not a hugely limiting factor (though the same biases displayed by most institutions still apply.) Can you guess this Artle? (screenshot Valentina Di Liscia/Hyperallergic) In fact, Artle is a lot harder than Wordle, since there are roughly 9,000 five-letter words in the English language for the daily draw versus 15,000 possible artists. So while it’s a great way to show off how much you know about art, it’s also a resource to learn about art that you don’t already know. I learned about the fascinating and sometimes disturbing oeuvre of Odilon Redon, a French artist who produced odd, Surrealist works around the turn of the 19th century. Not only does failing out reveal the artist of the day and link to their work in the NGA database, but each of the four image prompts are cited, so you can follow them up to learn more. There might be a limited number of people who can flaunt their art pedigree, but an infinite number who could benefit from using Artle as a portal into the NGA’s vast and easily searchable online holdings. And of course, all curators and docents should plan to include their Artle stats on future résumés. Happy guessing!

You’ve Heard of Wordle, But Have You Tried “Artle”?

Letter of Recommendation: Get a Vasectomy

Men in the US typically do not talk about or worry about birth control that much, to the detriment of the health and safety of women. In the spirit of trying to change that a little, I’m going to talk to you about my experience. About a decade ago, knowing that I did not want to have any more children, I had a vasectomy. And let me tell you, it’s been great. Quickly, here’s what a vasectomy is, via the Mayo Clinic: Vasectomy is a form of male birth control that cuts the supply of sperm to your semen. It’s done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm. Vasectomy has a low risk of problems and can usually be performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. Whether you’re in a committed relationship or a more casual one, knowing that you’re rolling up to sexual encounters with the birth control handled is a really good feeling for everyone concerned.1 Women have typically (and unfairly) had to be the responsible ones about birth control, in large part because it’s ultimately their body, health, and well-being that’s on the line if a sexual act results in pregnancy, but there are benefits of birth control that accrue to both parties (and to society) and taking over that important responsibility from your sexual partner is way more than equitable. (Here’s the part where I need to come clean: getting a vasectomy was not my idea. I had to be talked into it. It seemed scary and birth control was not something I thought about as much as I should have. I’m ashamed of this; I wish I’d been more proactive and taken more responsibility about it. Guys, we should be talking about and thinking about this shit just as much as women do! I hope you’ve figured this out earlier than I did. Ok, back to the matter at hand.) Vasectomies are often covered by health insurance and are (somewhat) reversible. These issues can be legitimate dealbreakers for some people. Some folks cannot afford the cost of the procedure or can’t take the necessary time off of work to recover (heavy lifting is verboten for a few days afterwards). And if you get a vasectomy in your 20s for the purpose of 10-15 years of birth control before deciding to start a family, the lack of guarantee around reversal might be unappealing. Talk to your doctor, insurance company, and place of employment about these concerns! Does the procedure hurt? This is a concern that many men have and the answer is yes: it hurts a little bit during and for a few days afterwards. For most people, you’re in and out in an hour or two, you ice your crotch, pop some Advil, take it easy for a few days, and you’re good to go.1 It’s a small price to pay and honestly if you don’t want to get a vasectomy because you’re worried about your balls aching for 48 hours, I’m going to suggest that you are a whiny little baby — and I’m telling you this as someone who is quite uncomfortable and sometimes faints during even routine medical procedures. So, if you’re a sperm-producing person who has sex with people who can get pregnant and do not wish for pregnancy to occur, you should consider getting a vasectomy. It’s a minor procedure with few side effects that results in an almost iron-clad guarantee against unwanted pregnancy. At the very least, know that this is an option you have and that you can talk to your partner and doctor about it. Good luck! Just to be clear, you still have to worry about sexually transmitted infections — a vasectomy obviously does not provide any protection against that.↩ There also is a follow-up about 6-12 weeks later to make sure the procedure worked. You masturbate into a cup and they check to see that there’s no sperm in the sample. Part of this follow-up, if my experience is any guide, includes checking that the doctor’s office bathroom door is locked about 50 times while watching very outdated porn on a small TV mounted up in the corner of the tiny room. It’s fine though! And you have a fun story to tell later.↩ Tags: medicine

Letter of Recommendation: Get a Vasectomy

Letter of Recommendation: Get a Vasectomy

Men in the US typically do not talk about or worry about birth control that much, to the detriment of the health and safety of women. In the spirit of trying to change that a little, I’m going to talk to you about my experience. About a decade ago, knowing that I did not want to have any more children, I had a vasectomy. And let me tell you, it’s been great. Quickly, here’s what a vasectomy is, via the Mayo Clinic: Vasectomy is a form of male birth control that cuts the supply of sperm to your semen. It’s done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm. Vasectomy has a low risk of problems and can usually be performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. Whether you’re in a committed relationship or a more casual one, knowing that you’re rolling up to sexual encounters with the birth control handled is a really good feeling for everyone concerned.1 Women have typically (and unfairly) had to be the responsible ones about birth control, in large part because it’s ultimately their body, health, and well-being that’s on the line if a sexual act results in pregnancy, but there are benefits of birth control that accrue to both parties (and to society) and taking over that important responsibility from your sexual partner is way more than equitable. (Here’s the part where I need to come clean: getting a vasectomy was not my idea. I had to be talked into it. It seemed scary and birth control was not something I thought about as much as I should have. I’m ashamed of this; I wish I’d been more proactive and taken more responsibility about it. Guys, we should be talking about and thinking about this shit just as much as women do! I hope you’ve figured this out earlier than I did. Ok, back to the matter at hand.) Vasectomies are often covered by health insurance and are (somewhat) reversible. These issues can be legitimate dealbreakers for some people. Some folks cannot afford the cost of the procedure or can’t take the necessary time off of work to recover (heavy lifting is verboten for a few days afterwards). And if you get a vasectomy in your 20s for the purpose of 10-15 years of birth control before deciding to start a family, the lack of guarantee around reversal might be unappealing. Talk to your doctor, insurance company, and place of employment about these concerns! Does the procedure hurt? This is a concern that many men have and the answer is yes: it hurts a little bit during and for a few days afterwards. For most people, you’re in and out in an hour or two, you ice your crotch, pop some Advil, take it easy for a few days, and you’re good to go.1 It’s a small price to pay and honestly if you don’t want to get a vasectomy because you’re worried about your balls aching for 48 hours, I’m going to suggest that you are a whiny little baby — and I’m telling you this as someone who is quite uncomfortable and sometimes faints during even routine medical procedures. So, if you’re a sperm-producing person who has sex with people who can get pregnant and do not wish for pregnancy to occur, you should consider getting a vasectomy. It’s a minor procedure with few side effects that results in an almost iron-clad guarantee against unwanted pregnancy. At the very least, know that this is an option you have and that you can talk to your partner and doctor about it. Good luck! Just to be clear, you still have to worry about sexually transmitted infections — a vasectomy obviously does not provide any protection against that.↩ There also is a follow-up about 6-12 weeks later to make sure the procedure worked. You masturbate into a cup and they check to see that there’s no sperm in the sample. Part of this follow-up, if my experience is any guide, includes checking that the doctor’s office bathroom door is locked about 50 times while watching very outdated porn on a small TV mounted up in the corner of the tiny room. It’s fine though! And you have a fun story to tell later.↩ Tags: medicine

Letter of Recommendation: Get a Vasectomy

Elizabeth Olsen

Ms. Olsen, would you say that you grow as an actor with every project? I do feel that way. Especially right before I did WandaVision, I was filming a second season of a show I made called Sorry for Your Loss. It was my first time doing television and it was such a different muscle, I had to reorganize how I worked because your brain really does need to work harder when you do television. It’s just a harder situation. I felt like everything was tightened a bit, and like I knew what I was doing. So yes, I do feel like there’s a bit of a change in growth and process every year. I also think there’s something to be said about making the choice to commit and invest more. I think I realized that maybe I was a bit lazy on some jobs in the past. Lazy in what ways? Just in terms of how much you let your job take up space in your life. And I’ve always been someone whose work life and home life, they are separate things to me, I don’t want them to be the same thing. But I also realized I can still keep it separate, but commit more of myself to my job. From a prepping standpoint, from getting involved from the beginning with the writing, with conversation, with asking more questions, instead of just saying, “Oh, I’m just an actor. I just come in and someone else makes the thing and I leave.” Now I want to be invested more curious about all the steps and stages. In the last four years, I’ve just become a lot more committed to my job. “I honestly think I could be happy doing any job that’s collaborative with lots of people.” It sounds like that commitment has also deepened your love of the job. It feels more personal and more fulfilling. It’s so funny, I finished a job recently — that was a seven month job, and I still miss it. I feel still attached to that whole experience! I really love being a part of a team. And I honestly think I could be happy doing any job that’s collaborative with lots of people. There are people skills that you develop, there’s a lot of empathy you build, there’s a lot of putting yourself in other people’s shoes. And what you put in is what you receive! There’s just so much that you get from working with a group of people intimately, and that’s one of my favorite aspects of the job. What else has been important in terms of really loving your job? I care a lot about how I create the energy of a set, I care a lot about the people enjoying their job, and feeling respected. I care about people treating each other with kindness. And I also care about people being prepared to do their job. I think you can do that without making anyone ever feel bad. You can do that just by leading by example. I do think that helps in hard times when things get a little bit physically uncomfortable, when you’re outside and it’s raining and everyone’s in wet gear… We’re all  in this together. If you’ve created a healthy morale, it makes the job feel much more enjoyable. But that’s all been in the last four or five years for me, I think it was because I produced Sorry for Your Loss and was an actor in it. And I just had to step it up. Did working as a producer give you insight into what you need as an actor? Yeah, and now I pretend like I’m a producer on everything and it’s so annoying! (Laughs) What I try and do is I want to make sure that all the actors have what they need. Usually you have leaders who are capable of that but sometimes things fall through, so I like being able to be present for everyone. Does that kind of personal involvement in a film also mean you’re getting more attached to the characters you play? Well, my theater training in college was all about walking away and leaving it all out on the field. But I think as I’ve gotten older, I realized that I’m more attached to the characters than I think I am! Especially when it comes to a character like Wanda Maximoff, who I’ve played over several Avengers films, the WandaVision TV series, and now also in my new film Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness… I mean, it’s been quite a journey. I feel like as she’s grown, I’ve grown. It made me have a deeper love for Wanda and really excited to do something different with Dr. Strange, where she has a lot of clarity. It’s a different growth for her in this film. They’ve done a great job giving me an arc and something real to play. “There’s something to be said about a certain amount of hours spent doing anything, practicing anything… That does affect growth.” It must also be exciting to bring that character to a totally different style of project, like WandaVision, which is a sitcom. WandaVision taught me a lot! It also freed up my body. There’s this thing that happens when you do too much modern stuff, you start acting only with your upper body. Whereas with WandaVision, which is influenced by old fifties and sixties television series, you have to remember to move your entire body through space and tell a story physically. That was an amazing reminder for someone coming from the theater and not having done theater in such a long time: it makes me want to do theater again, I need it in my life. But I also know I need breaks… That’s another thing I learned about myself, I need definite breaks when I can feel myself getting tired. It seems like you’ve really found your stride as an actor. I mean, I feel better about doing my job than I did eight years ago! I feel more capable. And I do think there’s something to be said about a certain amount of hours spent doing anything, practicing anything or doing any kind of job that you learn from. I think the amount of hours that you rack up, that does affect growth. I just hope that continues. Do you think you’ll ever reach a point where you feel totally at ease, or will that mean that you’ve stayed too long in your comfort zone? I don’t know! I don’t know if anyone feels that way. It’s really vulnerable. And it’s scary, like, starting a job is always horrifying. It’s like the first day of school, it feels terrible every time. But I hope that it continues to feel that way because I like new experiences. And this job really allows you to meet lots of interesting people and have lots of new experiences. And I’m really enjoying it.The post Elizabeth Olsen appeared first on The Talks.

Elizabeth Olsen

Elizabeth Olsen

Ms. Olsen, would you say that you grow as an actor with every project? I do feel that way. Especially right before I did WandaVision, I was filming a second season of a show I made called Sorry for Your Loss. It was my first time doing television and it was such a different muscle, I had to reorganize how I worked because your brain really does need to work harder when you do television. It’s just a harder situation. I felt like everything was tightened a bit, and like I knew what I was doing. So yes, I do feel like there’s a bit of a change in growth and process every year. I also think there’s something to be said about making the choice to commit and invest more. I think I realized that maybe I was a bit lazy on some jobs in the past. Lazy in what ways? Just in terms of how much you let your job take up space in your life. And I’ve always been someone whose work life and home life, they are separate things to me, I don’t want them to be the same thing. But I also realized I can still keep it separate, but commit more of myself to my job. From a prepping standpoint, from getting involved from the beginning with the writing, with conversation, with asking more questions, instead of just saying, “Oh, I’m just an actor. I just come in and someone else makes the thing and I leave.” Now I want to be invested more curious about all the steps and stages. In the last four years, I’ve just become a lot more committed to my job. “I honestly think I could be happy doing any job that’s collaborative with lots of people.” It sounds like that commitment has also deepened your love of the job. It feels more personal and more fulfilling. It’s so funny, I finished a job recently — that was a seven month job, and I still miss it. I feel still attached to that whole experience! I really love being a part of a team. And I honestly think I could be happy doing any job that’s collaborative with lots of people. There are people skills that you develop, there’s a lot of empathy you build, there’s a lot of putting yourself in other people’s shoes. And what you put in is what you receive! There’s just so much that you get from working with a group of people intimately, and that’s one of my favorite aspects of the job. What else has been important in terms of really loving your job? I care a lot about how I create the energy of a set, I care a lot about the people enjoying their job, and feeling respected. I care about people treating each other with kindness. And I also care about people being prepared to do their job. I think you can do that without making anyone ever feel bad. You can do that just by leading by example. I do think that helps in hard times when things get a little bit physically uncomfortable, when you’re outside and it’s raining and everyone’s in wet gear… We’re all  in this together. If you’ve created a healthy morale, it makes the job feel much more enjoyable. But that’s all been in the last four or five years for me, I think it was because I produced Sorry for Your Loss and was an actor in it. And I just had to step it up. Did working as a producer give you insight into what you need as an actor? Yeah, and now I pretend like I’m a producer on everything and it’s so annoying! (Laughs) What I try and do is I want to make sure that all the actors have what they need. Usually you have leaders who are capable of that but sometimes things fall through, so I like being able to be present for everyone. Does that kind of personal involvement in a film also mean you’re getting more attached to the characters you play? Well, my theater training in college was all about walking away and leaving it all out on the field. But I think as I’ve gotten older, I realized that I’m more attached to the characters than I think I am! Especially when it comes to a character like Wanda Maximoff, who I’ve played over several Avengers films, the WandaVision TV series, and now also in my new film Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness… I mean, it’s been quite a journey. I feel like as she’s grown, I’ve grown. It made me have a deeper love for Wanda and really excited to do something different with Dr. Strange, where she has a lot of clarity. It’s a different growth for her in this film. They’ve done a great job giving me an arc and something real to play. “There’s something to be said about a certain amount of hours spent doing anything, practicing anything… That does affect growth.” It must also be exciting to bring that character to a totally different style of project, like WandaVision, which is a sitcom. WandaVision taught me a lot! It also freed up my body. There’s this thing that happens when you do too much modern stuff, you start acting only with your upper body. Whereas with WandaVision, which is influenced by old fifties and sixties television series, you have to remember to move your entire body through space and tell a story physically. That was an amazing reminder for someone coming from the theater and not having done theater in such a long time: it makes me want to do theater again, I need it in my life. But I also know I need breaks… That’s another thing I learned about myself, I need definite breaks when I can feel myself getting tired. It seems like you’ve really found your stride as an actor. I mean, I feel better about doing my job than I did eight years ago! I feel more capable. And I do think there’s something to be said about a certain amount of hours spent doing anything, practicing anything or doing any kind of job that you learn from. I think the amount of hours that you rack up, that does affect growth. I just hope that continues. Do you think you’ll ever reach a point where you feel totally at ease, or will that mean that you’ve stayed too long in your comfort zone? I don’t know! I don’t know if anyone feels that way. It’s really vulnerable. And it’s scary, like, starting a job is always horrifying. It’s like the first day of school, it feels terrible every time. But I hope that it continues to feel that way because I like new experiences. And this job really allows you to meet lots of interesting people and have lots of new experiences. And I’m really enjoying it.The post Elizabeth Olsen appeared first on The Talks.

Elizabeth Olsen

(PDF) Fasting and exercise differentially regulate BDNF mRNA expression in human skeletal muscle

March 2022McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering is seeking outstanding researchers for consideration as Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) nominees. The successful applicant must demonstrate a compelling vision for both continuing and further developing McMaster Engineering’s longstanding...View postNovember 2021We’re looking for innovative educators who self-identify as Black to join McMaster Engineering. A top-ranked engineering program based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, McMaster Engineering is a leading destination for experiential teaching and research to inspire global citizens.View postNovember 2020We’re looking for innovative educators to join our growing faculty at McMaster Engineering. A top-ranked engineering program based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, McMaster Engineering is a leading destination for experiential teaching and research to inspire global citizens.View postMarch 2020Doug Oliver's first experience in health care came in his 20s. He was volunteering at a nursing home, helping older, isolated men shave, playing piano for them, and spending time with them. “Even though I didn’t have any medical training at the time, I felt the power of what spending time with...View postJune 2012 Timothy J ColstonView full-text

(PDF) Fasting and exercise differentially regulate BDNF mRNA expression in human skeletal muscle

(PDF) Fasting and exercise differentially regulate BDNF mRNA expression in human skeletal muscle

March 2022McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering is seeking outstanding researchers for consideration as Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) nominees. The successful applicant must demonstrate a compelling vision for both continuing and further developing McMaster Engineering’s longstanding...View postNovember 2021We’re looking for innovative educators who self-identify as Black to join McMaster Engineering. A top-ranked engineering program based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, McMaster Engineering is a leading destination for experiential teaching and research to inspire global citizens.View postNovember 2020We’re looking for innovative educators to join our growing faculty at McMaster Engineering. A top-ranked engineering program based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, McMaster Engineering is a leading destination for experiential teaching and research to inspire global citizens.View postMarch 2020Doug Oliver's first experience in health care came in his 20s. He was volunteering at a nursing home, helping older, isolated men shave, playing piano for them, and spending time with them. “Even though I didn’t have any medical training at the time, I felt the power of what spending time with...View postJune 2012 Timothy J ColstonView full-text

(PDF) Fasting and exercise differentially regulate BDNF mRNA expression in human skeletal muscle

How to Boost Brain BDNF Levels for Depression Treatment

Fasting and exercise can raise BDNF levels in our brain (which plays a critical role in depression treatment), but this can also be achieved by eating and avoiding certain foods. What does the latest research on Vitamin D say? Subscribe to NutritionFacts.org’s free newsletter to receive an infographic summary of the main takeaways and Dr. Greger’s recommendations: https://nutritionfacts.org/subscribe/ If you missed the video where I introduced BDNF, see Fasting to Treat Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fasting-to-treat-depression). What else can we do to help with depression? See: • Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/anti-inflammatory-diet-for-depression) • Plant-Based Diets for Improved Mood and Productivity (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-based-diets-for-improved-mood-and-productivity) • Fish Consumption and Suicide (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fish-consumption-and-suicide) • Antioxidants and Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/antioxidants-and-depression/) • Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work? (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-antidepressant-drugs-really-work/) • Exercise vs. Drugs for Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/exercise-vs-drugs-for-depression) • Aspartame and the Brain (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/aspartame-and-the-brain/) • Gut Feelings: Probiotics and Mental Health (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/gut-feelings-probiotics-and-mental-health/) • Fighting the Blues with Greens? (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fighting-the-blues-with-greens-mao-inhibitors-in-plants/) • Best Food for Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/Best-Food-for-Antidepressant-induced-Sexual-Dysfunction) Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-boost-brain-bdnf-levels-for-depression-treatment and someone on the NutritionFacts.org team will try to answer it. Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-boost-brain-bdnf-levels-for-depression-treatment. You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics. Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution! -Michael Greger, MD FACLM Captions for this video are available in several languages; you can find yours in the video settings. https://NutritionFacts.org • Subscribe: https://nutritionfacts.org/subscribe • Donate: https://nutritionfacts.org/donate • Podcast : https://nutritionfacts.org/audio • Facebook: www.facebook.com/NutritionFacts.org • Twitter: www.twitter.com/nutrition_facts • Instagram: www.instagram.com/nutrition_facts_org • Books (including the NEW How Not to Diet Cookbook): https://nutritionfacts.org/books • Shop: https://drgreger.org

How to Boost Brain BDNF Levels for Depression Treatment

How to Boost Brain BDNF Levels for Depression Treatment

Fasting and exercise can raise BDNF levels in our brain (which plays a critical role in depression treatment), but this can also be achieved by eating and avoiding certain foods. What does the latest research on Vitamin D say? Subscribe to NutritionFacts.org’s free newsletter to receive an infographic summary of the main takeaways and Dr. Greger’s recommendations: https://nutritionfacts.org/subscribe/ If you missed the video where I introduced BDNF, see Fasting to Treat Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fasting-to-treat-depression). What else can we do to help with depression? See: • Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/anti-inflammatory-diet-for-depression) • Plant-Based Diets for Improved Mood and Productivity (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-based-diets-for-improved-mood-and-productivity) • Fish Consumption and Suicide (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fish-consumption-and-suicide) • Antioxidants and Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/antioxidants-and-depression/) • Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work? (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-antidepressant-drugs-really-work/) • Exercise vs. Drugs for Depression (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/exercise-vs-drugs-for-depression) • Aspartame and the Brain (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/aspartame-and-the-brain/) • Gut Feelings: Probiotics and Mental Health (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/gut-feelings-probiotics-and-mental-health/) • Fighting the Blues with Greens? (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fighting-the-blues-with-greens-mao-inhibitors-in-plants/) • Best Food for Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/Best-Food-for-Antidepressant-induced-Sexual-Dysfunction) Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-boost-brain-bdnf-levels-for-depression-treatment and someone on the NutritionFacts.org team will try to answer it. Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-boost-brain-bdnf-levels-for-depression-treatment. You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics. Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution! -Michael Greger, MD FACLM Captions for this video are available in several languages; you can find yours in the video settings. https://NutritionFacts.org • Subscribe: https://nutritionfacts.org/subscribe • Donate: https://nutritionfacts.org/donate • Podcast : https://nutritionfacts.org/audio • Facebook: www.facebook.com/NutritionFacts.org • Twitter: www.twitter.com/nutrition_facts • Instagram: www.instagram.com/nutrition_facts_org • Books (including the NEW How Not to Diet Cookbook): https://nutritionfacts.org/books • Shop: https://drgreger.org

How to Boost Brain BDNF Levels for Depression Treatment

Scientists successfully revive animal frozen 30 years ago

Scientists have succeeded in bringing a frozen animal back to life after 30 years, it has been reported.Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research says that their scientists have succeeded in reviving the ‘tardigrade’ animal which they had collected in Antarctica.The creatures, which are known as 'water bears' or 'moss piglets' are miniscule, water dwelling “extremophiles” measuring less than 1mm in length and dwelling in extreme and hostile conditions.They are capable of slowing down or shutting down their metabolic activities for considerable periods of time.According to the research, which was published in Cryobiology magazine, the tardigrades were found among moss plants in the Antarctica in 1983. They were removed and stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius. They were successfully unfrozen in May 2014.Pluto has a 'beating heart' of frozen nitrogen that is doing strange things to its surface, Nasa has found. The mysterious core seems to be the cause of features on its surface that have fascinated scientists since they were spotted by Nasa's New Horizons mission. "Before New Horizons, everyone thought Pluto was going to be a netball - completely flat, almost no diversity," said Tanguy Bertrand, an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center and the lead author on the new study. "But it's completely different. It has a lot of different landscapes and we are trying to understand what's going on there."GettyThe ancient invertabrate worm-like species rhenopyrgus viviani (pictured) is one of over 400 species previously unknown to science that were discovered by experts at the Natural History Museum this yearPAJackdaws can identify “dangerous” humans from listening to each other’s warning calls, scientists say. The highly social birds will also remember that person if they come near their nests again, according to researchers from the University of Exeter. In the study, a person unknown to the wild jackdaws approached their nest. At the same time scientists played a recording of a warning call (threatening) or “contact calls” (non-threatening). The next time jackdaws saw this same person, the birds that had previously heard the warning call were defensive and returned to their nests more than twice as quickly on average.GettyThe sex of the turtle is determined by the temperatures at which they are incubated. Warm temperatures favour females. But by wiggling around the egg, embryos can find the “Goldilocks Zone” which means they are able to shield themselves against extreme thermal conditions and produce a balanced sex ratio, according to the new study published in Current Biology journalYe et al/Current BiologyAfrican elephant poaching rates have dropped by 60 per cent in six years, an international study has found. It is thought the decline could be associated with the ivory trade ban introduced in China in 2017. ReutersScientists have identified a four-legged creature with webbed feet to be an ancestor of the whale. Fossils unearthed in Peru have led scientists to conclude that the enormous creatures that traverse the planet’s oceans today are descended from small hoofed ancestors that lived in south Asia 50 million years agoA. GennariA scientist has stumbled upon a creature with a “transient anus” that appears only when it is needed, before vanishing completely. Dr Sidney Tamm of the Marine Biological Laboratory could not initially find any trace of an anus on the species. However, as the animal gets full, a pore opens up to dispose of wasteSteven G Johnson Feared extinct, the Wallace's Giant bee has been spotted for the first time in nearly 40 years. An international team of conservationists spotted the bee, that is four times the size of a typical honeybee, on an expedition to a group of Indonesian IslandsClay BoltFossilised bones digested by crocodiles have revealed the existence of three new mammal species that roamed the Cayman Islands 300 years ago. The bones belonged to two large rodent species and a small shrew-like animalNew Mexico Museum of Natural HistoryScientists at the University of Maryland have created a fabric that adapts to heat, expanding to allow more heat to escape the body when warm and compacting to retain more heat when coldFaye Levine, University of MarylandA study from the University of Tokyo has found that the tears of baby mice cause female mice to be less interested in the sexual advances of malesGettyThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a report which projects the impact of a rise in global temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius and warns against a higher increaseGettyThe nobel prize for chemistry has been awarded to three chemists working with evolution. Frances Smith is being awarded the prize for her work on directing the evolution of enzymes, while Gregory Winter and George Smith take the prize for their work on phage display of peptides and antibodiesGetty/AFPThe nobel prize for physics has been awarded to three physicists working with lasers. Arthur Ashkin (L) was awarded for his "optical tweezers" which use lasers to grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells. Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou were jointly awarded the prize for developing chirped-pulse amplification of lasersReuters/APThe Ledumahadi Mafube roamed around 200 million years ago in what is now South Africa. Recently discovered by a team of international scientists, it was the largest land animal of its time, weighing 12 tons and standing at 13 feet. In Sesotho, the South African language of the region in which the dinosaur was discovered, its name means "a giant thunderclap at dawn"Viktor Radermacher / SWNSScientists have witnessed the birth of a planet for the first time ever. This spectacular image from the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope is the first clear image of a planet caught in the very act of formation around the dwarf star PDS 70. The planet stands clearly out, visible as a bright point to the right of the center of the image, which is blacked out by the coronagraph mask used to block the blinding light of the central star.ESO/A. Müller et alLayers long thought to be dense, connective tissue are actually a series of fluid-filled compartments researchers have termed the “interstitium”. These compartments are found beneath the skin, as well as lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels and muscles, and join together to form a network supported by a mesh of strong, flexible proteinsGettyWorking in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, a team led by archaeologists at the University of Exeter unearthed hundreds of villages hidden in the depths of the rainforest. These excavations included evidence of fortifications and mysterious earthworks called geoglyphsJosé IriarteMore than one in 10 people were found to have traces of class A drugs on their fingers by scientists developing a new fingerprint-based drug test. Using sensitive analysis of the chemical composition of sweat, researchers were able to tell the difference between those who had been directly exposed to heroin and cocaine, and those who had encountered it indirectly.GettyThe storm bigger than the Earth, has been swhirling for 350 years. The image's colours have been enhanced after it was sent back to Earth.Pictures by: Tom MomaryAn egg and a living animal were revived. The latter began moving and consuming food after a fortnight. The egg laid a total of 19 eggs, of which 14 successfully hatched. No defects or anomalies were reported amongst the hatched newborns.Previously, tardigrades had been successfully revived after nine years, but this is thought to be the first ever instance of successful revival after 30 years.Writing in the research publication, the authors noted: “The present study extends the known length of long-term survival in tardigrade species considerably… Further more detailed studies using quantitative analysis with greater replication under a range of controlled conditions will improve understanding of mechanisms and conditions underlying the long-term preservation and survival of animals.”Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalismBy registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalistsAlready have an account? sign inThe minute animal had been collected from moss in Antartica in 1983, before being unfrozen in 2014Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in

Scientists successfully revive animal frozen 30 years ago

Scientists successfully revive animal frozen 30 years ago

Scientists have succeeded in bringing a frozen animal back to life after 30 years, it has been reported.Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research says that their scientists have succeeded in reviving the ‘tardigrade’ animal which they had collected in Antarctica.The creatures, which are known as 'water bears' or 'moss piglets' are miniscule, water dwelling “extremophiles” measuring less than 1mm in length and dwelling in extreme and hostile conditions.They are capable of slowing down or shutting down their metabolic activities for considerable periods of time.According to the research, which was published in Cryobiology magazine, the tardigrades were found among moss plants in the Antarctica in 1983. They were removed and stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius. They were successfully unfrozen in May 2014.Pluto has a 'beating heart' of frozen nitrogen that is doing strange things to its surface, Nasa has found. The mysterious core seems to be the cause of features on its surface that have fascinated scientists since they were spotted by Nasa's New Horizons mission. "Before New Horizons, everyone thought Pluto was going to be a netball - completely flat, almost no diversity," said Tanguy Bertrand, an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center and the lead author on the new study. "But it's completely different. It has a lot of different landscapes and we are trying to understand what's going on there."GettyThe ancient invertabrate worm-like species rhenopyrgus viviani (pictured) is one of over 400 species previously unknown to science that were discovered by experts at the Natural History Museum this yearPAJackdaws can identify “dangerous” humans from listening to each other’s warning calls, scientists say. The highly social birds will also remember that person if they come near their nests again, according to researchers from the University of Exeter. In the study, a person unknown to the wild jackdaws approached their nest. At the same time scientists played a recording of a warning call (threatening) or “contact calls” (non-threatening). The next time jackdaws saw this same person, the birds that had previously heard the warning call were defensive and returned to their nests more than twice as quickly on average.GettyThe sex of the turtle is determined by the temperatures at which they are incubated. Warm temperatures favour females. But by wiggling around the egg, embryos can find the “Goldilocks Zone” which means they are able to shield themselves against extreme thermal conditions and produce a balanced sex ratio, according to the new study published in Current Biology journalYe et al/Current BiologyAfrican elephant poaching rates have dropped by 60 per cent in six years, an international study has found. It is thought the decline could be associated with the ivory trade ban introduced in China in 2017. ReutersScientists have identified a four-legged creature with webbed feet to be an ancestor of the whale. Fossils unearthed in Peru have led scientists to conclude that the enormous creatures that traverse the planet’s oceans today are descended from small hoofed ancestors that lived in south Asia 50 million years agoA. GennariA scientist has stumbled upon a creature with a “transient anus” that appears only when it is needed, before vanishing completely. Dr Sidney Tamm of the Marine Biological Laboratory could not initially find any trace of an anus on the species. However, as the animal gets full, a pore opens up to dispose of wasteSteven G Johnson Feared extinct, the Wallace's Giant bee has been spotted for the first time in nearly 40 years. An international team of conservationists spotted the bee, that is four times the size of a typical honeybee, on an expedition to a group of Indonesian IslandsClay BoltFossilised bones digested by crocodiles have revealed the existence of three new mammal species that roamed the Cayman Islands 300 years ago. The bones belonged to two large rodent species and a small shrew-like animalNew Mexico Museum of Natural HistoryScientists at the University of Maryland have created a fabric that adapts to heat, expanding to allow more heat to escape the body when warm and compacting to retain more heat when coldFaye Levine, University of MarylandA study from the University of Tokyo has found that the tears of baby mice cause female mice to be less interested in the sexual advances of malesGettyThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a report which projects the impact of a rise in global temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius and warns against a higher increaseGettyThe nobel prize for chemistry has been awarded to three chemists working with evolution. Frances Smith is being awarded the prize for her work on directing the evolution of enzymes, while Gregory Winter and George Smith take the prize for their work on phage display of peptides and antibodiesGetty/AFPThe nobel prize for physics has been awarded to three physicists working with lasers. Arthur Ashkin (L) was awarded for his "optical tweezers" which use lasers to grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells. Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou were jointly awarded the prize for developing chirped-pulse amplification of lasersReuters/APThe Ledumahadi Mafube roamed around 200 million years ago in what is now South Africa. Recently discovered by a team of international scientists, it was the largest land animal of its time, weighing 12 tons and standing at 13 feet. In Sesotho, the South African language of the region in which the dinosaur was discovered, its name means "a giant thunderclap at dawn"Viktor Radermacher / SWNSScientists have witnessed the birth of a planet for the first time ever. This spectacular image from the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope is the first clear image of a planet caught in the very act of formation around the dwarf star PDS 70. The planet stands clearly out, visible as a bright point to the right of the center of the image, which is blacked out by the coronagraph mask used to block the blinding light of the central star.ESO/A. Müller et alLayers long thought to be dense, connective tissue are actually a series of fluid-filled compartments researchers have termed the “interstitium”. These compartments are found beneath the skin, as well as lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels and muscles, and join together to form a network supported by a mesh of strong, flexible proteinsGettyWorking in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, a team led by archaeologists at the University of Exeter unearthed hundreds of villages hidden in the depths of the rainforest. These excavations included evidence of fortifications and mysterious earthworks called geoglyphsJosé IriarteMore than one in 10 people were found to have traces of class A drugs on their fingers by scientists developing a new fingerprint-based drug test. Using sensitive analysis of the chemical composition of sweat, researchers were able to tell the difference between those who had been directly exposed to heroin and cocaine, and those who had encountered it indirectly.GettyThe storm bigger than the Earth, has been swhirling for 350 years. The image's colours have been enhanced after it was sent back to Earth.Pictures by: Tom MomaryAn egg and a living animal were revived. The latter began moving and consuming food after a fortnight. The egg laid a total of 19 eggs, of which 14 successfully hatched. No defects or anomalies were reported amongst the hatched newborns.Previously, tardigrades had been successfully revived after nine years, but this is thought to be the first ever instance of successful revival after 30 years.Writing in the research publication, the authors noted: “The present study extends the known length of long-term survival in tardigrade species considerably… Further more detailed studies using quantitative analysis with greater replication under a range of controlled conditions will improve understanding of mechanisms and conditions underlying the long-term preservation and survival of animals.”Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalismBy registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalistsAlready have an account? sign inThe minute animal had been collected from moss in Antartica in 1983, before being unfrozen in 2014Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in

Scientists successfully revive animal frozen 30 years ago

From Artificial Intelligence to Artificial Consciousness | Joscha Bach | TEDxBeaconStreet

Artificial Intelligence is our best bet to understand the nature of our mind, and how it can exist in this universe. Joscha Bach, Ph.D. is an AI researcher who worked and published about cognitive architectures, mental representation, emotion, social modeling, and multi-agent systems. He earned his Ph.D. in cognitive science from the University of Osnabrück, Germany. He is especially interested in the philosophy of AI, and in using computational models and conceptual tools to understand our minds and what makes us human. Joscha has taught computer science, AI, and cognitive science at the Humboldt-University of Berlin, the Institute for Cognitive Science at Osnabrück, and the MIT Media Lab, and authored the book “Principles of Synthetic Intelligence” (Oxford University Press). This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

From Artificial Intelligence to Artificial Consciousness | Joscha Bach | TEDxBeaconStreet

From Artificial Intelligence to Artificial Consciousness | Joscha Bach | TEDxBeaconStreet

Artificial Intelligence is our best bet to understand the nature of our mind, and how it can exist in this universe. Joscha Bach, Ph.D. is an AI researcher who worked and published about cognitive architectures, mental representation, emotion, social modeling, and multi-agent systems. He earned his Ph.D. in cognitive science from the University of Osnabrück, Germany. He is especially interested in the philosophy of AI, and in using computational models and conceptual tools to understand our minds and what makes us human. Joscha has taught computer science, AI, and cognitive science at the Humboldt-University of Berlin, the Institute for Cognitive Science at Osnabrück, and the MIT Media Lab, and authored the book “Principles of Synthetic Intelligence” (Oxford University Press). This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

From Artificial Intelligence to Artificial Consciousness | Joscha Bach | TEDxBeaconStreet

Ronny Chieng Roasts All Things Money in America: WTF? | The Daily Show

Ronny Chieng roasts tax season, tipping practices, and America’s lack of variation in physical currency in the latest edition of America: WTF? #DailyShow Subscribe to The Daily Show: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwWhs_6x42TyRM4Wstoq8HA/?sub_confirmation=1 Follow The Daily Show: Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheDailyShow Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedailyshow Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedailyshow Stream full episodes of The Daily Show on Paramount+: http://www.paramountplus.com/?ftag=PPM-05-10aei0b Follow Comedy Central: Twitter: https://twitter.com/ComedyCentral Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ComedyCentral Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/comedycentral About The Daily Show: Trevor Noah and The Daily Show correspondents tackle the biggest stories in news, politics and pop culture. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah airs weeknights at 11/10c on Comedy Central.

Ronny Chieng Roasts All Things Money in America: WTF? | The Daily Show

Ronny Chieng Roasts All Things Money in America: WTF? | The Daily Show

Ronny Chieng roasts tax season, tipping practices, and America’s lack of variation in physical currency in the latest edition of America: WTF? #DailyShow Subscribe to The Daily Show: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwWhs_6x42TyRM4Wstoq8HA/?sub_confirmation=1 Follow The Daily Show: Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheDailyShow Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedailyshow Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedailyshow Stream full episodes of The Daily Show on Paramount+: http://www.paramountplus.com/?ftag=PPM-05-10aei0b Follow Comedy Central: Twitter: https://twitter.com/ComedyCentral Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ComedyCentral Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/comedycentral About The Daily Show: Trevor Noah and The Daily Show correspondents tackle the biggest stories in news, politics and pop culture. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah airs weeknights at 11/10c on Comedy Central.

Ronny Chieng Roasts All Things Money in America: WTF? | The Daily Show

A History of Birth Control

From Lindsay Holiday, an engaging history of birth control, covering the ineffective and often dangerous methods used in the ancient world, the rhythm method, proto-condoms, actual condoms, Lysol (!!), and of course one of the modern world’s most impactful inventions, the hormonal birth control pill. Through most of history pregnancy and childbirth were a very dangerous undertaking for women. In medieval Europe 1 in 3 women died in their child-bearing years and 1 in 4 children did not live to see their first birthday. Even when both mother and child survived the ordeal of birth women were not always able to provide for a child. And in most cultures pregnancy outside of wedlock was considered a great sin and often resulted in the shunning of the woman and child while the man often got away scot-free. It is no surprise therefore that women throughout history have been trying a wide variety of methods to prevent conception. (via open culture) Tags: Lindsay Holiday   medicine   video

A History of Birth Control

A History of Birth Control

From Lindsay Holiday, an engaging history of birth control, covering the ineffective and often dangerous methods used in the ancient world, the rhythm method, proto-condoms, actual condoms, Lysol (!!), and of course one of the modern world’s most impactful inventions, the hormonal birth control pill. Through most of history pregnancy and childbirth were a very dangerous undertaking for women. In medieval Europe 1 in 3 women died in their child-bearing years and 1 in 4 children did not live to see their first birthday. Even when both mother and child survived the ordeal of birth women were not always able to provide for a child. And in most cultures pregnancy outside of wedlock was considered a great sin and often resulted in the shunning of the woman and child while the man often got away scot-free. It is no surprise therefore that women throughout history have been trying a wide variety of methods to prevent conception. (via open culture) Tags: Lindsay Holiday   medicine   video

A History of Birth Control

Tucked Deep in Rural Utah, an Arts Center Reaches Out to the World 

Most of Utah’s natural and timeless landmarks are valued for the recreation they offer. However, there is a county in Utah where solitude, luscious scenery, and peaceful lifestyle attract the more creatively minded. Perhaps unsuspectingly, Sanpete County — specifically the town of Ephraim — is known for its rich history of traditional artists and, at one point, boasted the highest number of artists in the state. Today, it is home to Granary Arts, an organization bringing contemporary art, international discourse, and a different lens into a traditional landscape.  Established in the fall of 2012, Granary Arts began as a passion project between Amy Jorgensen and Kelly Brooks, both professors at the nearby Snow College. The general goal was to create a nonprofit art center at the heart of Ephraim and its eclectic community, but it expanded into being so much more. Today, Granary Arts offers Sanpete County, as well as the greater country, experiences that reach beyond their contemporary exhibitions. The organization’s mission is centered on being a creative and educational hub for all through extensive programming that includes events, workshops, community projects, and its own publications.  Interior of Granary Arts’s Main Gallery during Richard Gate’s Anthology reception Executive Director and Chief Curator Amy Jorgensen’s extensive background in the arts has contributed immensely to the vision and success of Granary Arts. Jorgensen has immersed herself in the arts as an educator, facilitator, and artist who has curated over 50 exhibitions. “Having this multi-tool set to pull from has been totally critical to the success of Granary Arts — but also its programming approach and its ability to thrive in a rural place,” Jorgensen says. “When you are in an urban area, you have everything at your fingertips. In a rural space, you usually have to create those resources yourself.” Granary Arts exhibits works by local artists as well as those from around the world. For example, the organization hosted LAND + PLACE + PERFORMANCE in 2015, comprising six contemporary artists (including some locals) who explored and investigated landscapes through photographs, installations, drawings, sculpture, and video. In 2017, Granary hosted Alejandro Durån’s Washed Up, an installation and photography exhibition featuring the debris washing up on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. The most recent show, on view through May 6, is Tomiko Jones’s Hatsubon, a memorial exhibition for Jones’s father. Granary Arts’s Co-founder, Executive Director, and Chief Curator Amy Jorgensen “Everything we do and that we program is not only meant for a local artist community but also for our international artist community,” says Jorgensen. “It is important that we recognize that all places are relevant regardless of whether you’re in a thriving art, urban mecca space, or in a beautiful remote valley.” The Granary Arts programming is integral to its mission to recognize voices from all over the world. For example, the Film Feast program features films from both international and local filmmakers to bridge the gap between regional issues through documentaries and experimental films. While the integration of global voices is a large part of their programming, their calling still includes enriching and fostering their local community. “I think Granary Arts and its mission and its vision is very much in line with the concept of working on behalf of our place and working on behalf of our community,” Jorgensen says. “We think of the community very broadly … artists, creatives, researchers, our patrons, our audience, our neighbors, and who is on the other side of the planet doing similar work.” Granary’s Fellows Program supports selected local creatives by offering them resources, such as time and space; this is not limited to visual artists but includes musicians, critics, and creative collectives. Granary Arts Fellow Darren Jones (center) leads the discussion during the program Critical Ground The organization’s penchant for collaboration and, even more so, conversation is evident in the community-based events they execute, such as the Spring Summit they co-hosted with Epicenter this year. The summit took place in the visually striking town of Green River and brought together artists, architects, curators, and community organizers for a three-day retreat featuring peer-run workshops, conversations, and interactive group experiences. Another program putting conversation at the forefront is Critical Ground, “an initiative to expand the dialogue when it comes to art criticism and to democratize art criticism,” says Jorgensen. Throughout this last decade, Granary Arts has fulfilled its goal to develop the role that art and community play in Ephraim and beyond. “I love the idea that this structure came from a robust community of women working on behalf of their community,” says Jorgensen about the Granary Arts building built in 1876 by Relief Society, the Mormon religious community’s women’s organization. “It is almost like the building has this kind of spirit that draws a type of work to it.” Brought back to life by a group of artists in 1990 with renovation efforts led by Kathleen Peterson, the Granary Arts building has always fostered a space for female-driven community building.  Interior of Granary Arts’s Upper Gallery during the exhibition of Sara Lynne Lindsay’s Inherited Ground installation

Tucked Deep in Rural Utah, an Arts Center Reaches Out to the World 

Tucked Deep in Rural Utah, an Arts Center Reaches Out to the World 

Most of Utah’s natural and timeless landmarks are valued for the recreation they offer. However, there is a county in Utah where solitude, luscious scenery, and peaceful lifestyle attract the more creatively minded. Perhaps unsuspectingly, Sanpete County — specifically the town of Ephraim — is known for its rich history of traditional artists and, at one point, boasted the highest number of artists in the state. Today, it is home to Granary Arts, an organization bringing contemporary art, international discourse, and a different lens into a traditional landscape.  Established in the fall of 2012, Granary Arts began as a passion project between Amy Jorgensen and Kelly Brooks, both professors at the nearby Snow College. The general goal was to create a nonprofit art center at the heart of Ephraim and its eclectic community, but it expanded into being so much more. Today, Granary Arts offers Sanpete County, as well as the greater country, experiences that reach beyond their contemporary exhibitions. The organization’s mission is centered on being a creative and educational hub for all through extensive programming that includes events, workshops, community projects, and its own publications.  Interior of Granary Arts’s Main Gallery during Richard Gate’s Anthology reception Executive Director and Chief Curator Amy Jorgensen’s extensive background in the arts has contributed immensely to the vision and success of Granary Arts. Jorgensen has immersed herself in the arts as an educator, facilitator, and artist who has curated over 50 exhibitions. “Having this multi-tool set to pull from has been totally critical to the success of Granary Arts — but also its programming approach and its ability to thrive in a rural place,” Jorgensen says. “When you are in an urban area, you have everything at your fingertips. In a rural space, you usually have to create those resources yourself.” Granary Arts exhibits works by local artists as well as those from around the world. For example, the organization hosted LAND + PLACE + PERFORMANCE in 2015, comprising six contemporary artists (including some locals) who explored and investigated landscapes through photographs, installations, drawings, sculpture, and video. In 2017, Granary hosted Alejandro Durån’s Washed Up, an installation and photography exhibition featuring the debris washing up on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. The most recent show, on view through May 6, is Tomiko Jones’s Hatsubon, a memorial exhibition for Jones’s father. Granary Arts’s Co-founder, Executive Director, and Chief Curator Amy Jorgensen “Everything we do and that we program is not only meant for a local artist community but also for our international artist community,” says Jorgensen. “It is important that we recognize that all places are relevant regardless of whether you’re in a thriving art, urban mecca space, or in a beautiful remote valley.” The Granary Arts programming is integral to its mission to recognize voices from all over the world. For example, the Film Feast program features films from both international and local filmmakers to bridge the gap between regional issues through documentaries and experimental films. While the integration of global voices is a large part of their programming, their calling still includes enriching and fostering their local community. “I think Granary Arts and its mission and its vision is very much in line with the concept of working on behalf of our place and working on behalf of our community,” Jorgensen says. “We think of the community very broadly … artists, creatives, researchers, our patrons, our audience, our neighbors, and who is on the other side of the planet doing similar work.” Granary’s Fellows Program supports selected local creatives by offering them resources, such as time and space; this is not limited to visual artists but includes musicians, critics, and creative collectives. Granary Arts Fellow Darren Jones (center) leads the discussion during the program Critical Ground The organization’s penchant for collaboration and, even more so, conversation is evident in the community-based events they execute, such as the Spring Summit they co-hosted with Epicenter this year. The summit took place in the visually striking town of Green River and brought together artists, architects, curators, and community organizers for a three-day retreat featuring peer-run workshops, conversations, and interactive group experiences. Another program putting conversation at the forefront is Critical Ground, “an initiative to expand the dialogue when it comes to art criticism and to democratize art criticism,” says Jorgensen. Throughout this last decade, Granary Arts has fulfilled its goal to develop the role that art and community play in Ephraim and beyond. “I love the idea that this structure came from a robust community of women working on behalf of their community,” says Jorgensen about the Granary Arts building built in 1876 by Relief Society, the Mormon religious community’s women’s organization. “It is almost like the building has this kind of spirit that draws a type of work to it.” Brought back to life by a group of artists in 1990 with renovation efforts led by Kathleen Peterson, the Granary Arts building has always fostered a space for female-driven community building.  Interior of Granary Arts’s Upper Gallery during the exhibition of Sara Lynne Lindsay’s Inherited Ground installation

Tucked Deep in Rural Utah, an Arts Center Reaches Out to the World 

Public Art Decreases Traffic Accidents by 17%, Report Finds

Painted by Jade Warrick in Troy, New York (photo by Brittainy Newman; all images courtesy Bloomberg Philanthropies) A study conducted by Bloomberg Philanthropies examined 17 sites over two years, before and after they were painted with “asphalt art” (art on surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and underpasses). It found a 17% decrease in total crashes and a decrease in severity of the crashes that did occur: There were 37% fewer crashes that resulted in injury and 50% fewer crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists. “The art itself is often also intended to improve safety by increasing visibility of pedestrian spaces and crosswalks, promoting a more walkable public realm, and encouraging drivers to slow down and be more alert for pedestrians and cyclists, the most vulnerable users of the road,” the study reads. The sites, spread across five states, were intersections or mid-block crosswalks. Around half of the sites were considered “urban core,” defined as areas with a high population density (including two in New York City), a quarter were neighborhood zones, and the last quarter were suburban. Artist Chris Visions painted this intersection in Richmond, Virgina. (photo by Justin Holmes) Artist Chris Visions working with students to create the intersection mural (photo by Matt Eich) In addition to reporting the actual crash rate for these sites, the study also tracked the behavior of drivers and pedestrians, noting that both groups performed less risky behavior in areas with artworks — such as pedestrians crossing without the “walk” sign and drivers not yielding to pedestrians until the last moment. (Drivers were 27% more likely to yield to pedestrians when there was art on the road.) Artists Cory Robinson and Shamira Wilson painted this intersection in Columbus, Indiana. (photo by James Brosher) As of now, asphalt art is not allowed under the Federal Highway Association’s rules on road signs and signals, a lengthy set of guidelines that dictate the colors required for painting crosswalks, curbs, and lines. The decision to install asphalt art requires local officials to make exceptions. Bloomberg Philanthropies’s report urges for the adoption of asphalt art into the federal road painting specifications and provides further justification for its project “Asphalt Art Initiative,” which has granted money to cities in the United States and Europe to create 42 roadway art pieces. The discovery of asphalt art’s safety benefits compliments the notion that it can help to build community. “Why not use projects like this to actually let people be involved, create a sense that public space belongs to everyone?” said Kate D. Levin, a former commissioner of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs who now oversees arts programs for Bloomberg Philanthropies, in an interview with the New York Times last year. The city of New York has also implemented asphalt arts programs in the past. However, rather than using them for traffic safety, many of the projects have been designated to pedestrian areas, such as the busy Doyers Street in Chinatown.

Public Art Decreases Traffic Accidents by 17%, Report Finds

Public Art Decreases Traffic Accidents by 17%, Report Finds

Painted by Jade Warrick in Troy, New York (photo by Brittainy Newman; all images courtesy Bloomberg Philanthropies) A study conducted by Bloomberg Philanthropies examined 17 sites over two years, before and after they were painted with “asphalt art” (art on surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and underpasses). It found a 17% decrease in total crashes and a decrease in severity of the crashes that did occur: There were 37% fewer crashes that resulted in injury and 50% fewer crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists. “The art itself is often also intended to improve safety by increasing visibility of pedestrian spaces and crosswalks, promoting a more walkable public realm, and encouraging drivers to slow down and be more alert for pedestrians and cyclists, the most vulnerable users of the road,” the study reads. The sites, spread across five states, were intersections or mid-block crosswalks. Around half of the sites were considered “urban core,” defined as areas with a high population density (including two in New York City), a quarter were neighborhood zones, and the last quarter were suburban. Artist Chris Visions painted this intersection in Richmond, Virgina. (photo by Justin Holmes) Artist Chris Visions working with students to create the intersection mural (photo by Matt Eich) In addition to reporting the actual crash rate for these sites, the study also tracked the behavior of drivers and pedestrians, noting that both groups performed less risky behavior in areas with artworks — such as pedestrians crossing without the “walk” sign and drivers not yielding to pedestrians until the last moment. (Drivers were 27% more likely to yield to pedestrians when there was art on the road.) Artists Cory Robinson and Shamira Wilson painted this intersection in Columbus, Indiana. (photo by James Brosher) As of now, asphalt art is not allowed under the Federal Highway Association’s rules on road signs and signals, a lengthy set of guidelines that dictate the colors required for painting crosswalks, curbs, and lines. The decision to install asphalt art requires local officials to make exceptions. Bloomberg Philanthropies’s report urges for the adoption of asphalt art into the federal road painting specifications and provides further justification for its project “Asphalt Art Initiative,” which has granted money to cities in the United States and Europe to create 42 roadway art pieces. The discovery of asphalt art’s safety benefits compliments the notion that it can help to build community. “Why not use projects like this to actually let people be involved, create a sense that public space belongs to everyone?” said Kate D. Levin, a former commissioner of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs who now oversees arts programs for Bloomberg Philanthropies, in an interview with the New York Times last year. The city of New York has also implemented asphalt arts programs in the past. However, rather than using them for traffic safety, many of the projects have been designated to pedestrian areas, such as the busy Doyers Street in Chinatown.

Public Art Decreases Traffic Accidents by 17%, Report Finds
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