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October 2012 (55 posts)
Men! What are they thinking? We can't always answer that, but we'll be posting our favorite glimpses into their world in this space every Thursday.
* Meyers Leonard had an emotional reaction when his brother, U.S. Marine Bailey Leonard, surprised him before a basketball game. After you watch this video, he won't be the only one. (YouTube via Andrew Sullivan)
* Here's a review of the fall collection by The Hill-Side, a men's accessories line, written in GIFs. (Well Spent)
* "Luca Pacioli was a monk, a mathemetician, a magician and possibly, the boyfriend of Leonardo da Vinci." Learn more about him from Planet Money. (NPR)
* Baseball fans are sure to be pleased by Peter Chen's Jumbotron Art—charming prints of the players he grew up admiring, done in a style reminiscent of the era in which they played. (Iconic Ballplayers)
“It is good to cast colde water in the face of him that hath the hiccups.” —Regiment of Lyfe, 1553
“Spend no time in reading, much less Writing.” —Advice to a Son, 1656
“Excitement of the sexual system is a necessary consequence of the...glances lovers bestow upon each other [and is] injurious to the nervous system if [it occurs] frequently.” —The Mother’s Guide and Daughter’s Friend, 1890
“Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say goodnight. Shake hands with them in the morning.” —Psychological Care of Infant and Child, 1928
“Almost anything you like can be rolled in bacon, oven- or pan-broiled, and served on picks.” —500 Tasty Snacks: Ideas for Entertaining, 1949
“Duck and cover.”—1950s safety strategy for nuclear attack
“Don’t appear to...surpass your husband in intelligence....keep him in the dominant position to help him feel needed and adequate as the leader.” —Fascinating Womanhood, 1963
“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” —Love Story, 1970
“The solution to substandard performance is always to excoriate, punish, and shame the child.” —Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, 2011
Baker Street's best known detective has been devilish, charming, slightly manic, and blockbuster-y (thank you, Robert Downey Jr.). Also: young, lean, imperious, and BBC-ish (Benedict Cumberbach, sigh). But until this week, with Jonny Lee Miller's version on Elementary, has anyone ever seen Holmes as...Captain Life Coach?
And yet, at the 18-minute mark, he says this to Watson:
An answer to the the curious incident of the fog in the night, is it not? That unresolved suspicion that something's not quite right in your life. So...the question is: Is it a chore for you to get up in the morning?
Self-reflection is a virtue.
Whenever I misbehaved as a girl, my mother would make me go think about what I'd done. Considering one's actions is essential. I love Yeats's idea: "We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry."
It's okay to lose yourself.
Sometimes I become so focused on my work, I go hours without a break until I realize the shadows are coming in at the windows.
If I could, I'd take the train everywhere.
I'm not as terrified of flying as I once was, but I do frequently dream about planes doing things they should not do.
I will read War and Peace!
I hate confessing this, but I've never gotten through it—though I own two copies, and am named for one of the main characters.
I've got spirit—yes, I do.
I was head cheerleader in college, and when I watch cheerleading on TV I feel compelled to comment on their form. It's a part of my past I have yet to let go of.
It is, indeed, artwork that makes you wonder such strange things: Birds, fairies, storybook characters, flowers, all manners of figures and shapes, perched in the eye of a needle, or on the tip of a pin, or even on the end of an eyelash. Carved out of, sometimes, a single grain of sand. Created by -- get this -- a regular-sized human.
Willard Wigan's artwork is impossible. I know. I don't believe it either. How? And why? Well, I thought I was going to write here about patience, about how Wigan taught himself to concentrate hard enough to create these astoundingly tiny works. And yes, he spoke at TED about how he has to slow down his nervous system to do his work. He works in between his heart beats, in the middle of the night. He has to hold his breath so that he doesn't inhale the sculptures. (Doesn't just hearing that make you squirm?) Sometimes, as he explains, working on this molecular level means your materials (spider webs, fly hairs, plastic fibers, glass shards) get finicky. Learning his Lilliputian craft -- each eensy sculpture takes up to 7 weeks to create -- has surely been a Brobdingnagian process.
And yet, this very TED talk made me realize that Wigan's story isn't just one of patience and concentration: it's a story of transcendent failure. Wigan is dyslexic, and was routinely humiliated at school. He talks about being 5 years old and smarting from the cruel teacher who labeled him a failure. He would hide away in a shed, where he noticed some ants who, in his magical world, indicated to him that they needed a home. Wigan constructed them a tiny apartment out of wood splinters, and an artistic quest was begun. He found the thing he was good at, the thing no one else could own, the world that was his, and he worked it; as his mother told him, “The smaller your work, the bigger your name." He's since been called (unofficially) the 8th Wonder of the World, so there you go.
You must listen to his TED talk -- he's surprisingly funny, mysteriously inspiring, and his message is an important one for anyone who's ever needed to find their own little corner of the world.
Trading Art for Health Care
Learning to Play Viola at 52
How is it that inanimate objects are so often so eloquent? We know they are just things, but we love our things. I know I like to think of myself as too deep and unsuperficial to really care about material things, and yet, when my home almost burned down (I exaggerate slightly) I spent the remainder of the day wandering around in a daze, loving all those dumb things: the sticks my kids collect and the photograph of my grandmother holding baby-me, yes, but also, the rocking chair, the potted plants, the bathroom sink. Maybe those things aren't me, exactly, but those mute hunks of wood and plastic and stone are my life. And though I don't think of myself as having a lot of things, compared to the Chinese farmers photographed by Huang Qingjun my small home becomes a low-rent-version of the British Museum.
According to the BBC, Huang Qingjun has spent the past decade traveling around China's rural areas, photographing people outside their homes with all of their material possessions. (The BBC has a can't-miss slide show of his photographs.) The photographs are haunting portraits of the simple way people still live in the quickly-changing country. But they tell stories, too -- a story of forced change, in the case of a couple posing in front of their house which has been slated for demolition; a story of intentional change, in the case of families proudly displaying their modern DVD players and satellite dishes.
it's impossible to look at these photographs and not think, "That's IT?" I'd like to think I could live so simply as these families, possessing only what I needed to work and make food and little else, but it takes me about twelve seconds to start wondering, but what do they do in their free time? (The answer is, probably, what free time?) Where are the books and games and photographs and all those other things that we think make our homes our homes? And what would my life be, who would I be, in a yurt on the plain?
Read the entire article for more, including the the wonderful history of the "Four Big Things."
What Are Your Chairs Telling You?
The History of the World in 100 Objects
The creations are based on the iconic GJ chair designed by the late Danish furniture designer Grete Jalk, and they are stunning. I particularly love Kelly’s chair (which features pink Swarovski crystals), Aerin Lauder’s (she covers the chair with braided jute) and Christopher Coleman’s (he interjects bold colors into a graphic black-and-white pattern).
The best part? Eighty percent of each sale will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, so you can have a unique work of art and support a worthy cause at the same time. The online auction will run Oct. 1–31 on charitybuzz.com.
Chair designers from top to bottom: Kelly Wearstler, Aerin Lauder, Christopher Coleman
Looks like someone's littering wisdom again!
(Seen this morning on lower Sixth Avenue in New York City)