Saturday, November 11, 2017

Hope is...

Scientists have found a "big void" inside the Great Pyramid.

Eyvind Earle, As Far As I Could See. I feel kinda silly having only just discovered a gallery devoted to the work of one-time Disney artist Eyvind Earle. Gallery 21.
We know Houston's Rothko Chapel, but there's also Morton Feldman's musical work, Rothko Chapel.

Formation flight of 25 stealth fighters.
I wish I had something interesting to put here.

A map of the U.S. showing, among other things, the ages of the geological formations.
A text link would be perfect here.

Today's must-watch video. Beyond
How to be a CEO. For example, "You sacrifice and you’re a victim, or you sacrifice because it’s the right thing to do and you have pride in it. Huge difference. Simple thing. Huge difference.”

Let's kill two birds with one stone: Disney and modern art. Roy Lichtenstein, Look Mickey, 1961. As seen during a recent visit to the National Gallery of Art.
The oldest restaurant in Fort Worth is Carshon's Deli. (And a good one too. Damn, I want a Reuben now.)

A tree font by Katie Holden. source
Hey NASA. The earth has tilted say the Inuit people.

I can only imagine the patience required by photographer Stefan Draschan for his series of photographs of people matching artworks.
Twenty questions to improve your conversational intelligence. #16 "I'd love to know what criterion you used to make your decision."

Have you found your ikigai, your reason for being?
This apartment is filled with the most fabulous collection of modern art.

B-52 nose art indicating it participated in the D-21 program. What's that? Read here.
Fans of country French cuisine take note: St. Emilion is moving to W 7th Street where Le Cep used to be.

...patience with the lamp lit. ~Tertullian

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Air Travel Rant

I like to think I've got a pretty good imagination, yet I find it hard to imagine a respected, profitable business that can operate the way air travel currently operates in the U.S. Let's take this morning's experience as an example.

Literally half of American Airlines' check-in kiosks were out of service, some for something as simple as being out of paper to print bag tags. A frazzled attendant, attempting to service one broken kiosk and a customer at a working kiosk blamed how busy they were this morning. No, sorry. Your lack of preparedness is the source of the problem. How hard is it to service those machines overnight?

When dropping my tagged bag at the check-in desk, I couldn't help but notice the conveyor wasn't operating and a long line of at least 20 bags was set to the side, mine included, hopefully waiting for the conveyor to begin operating and carry them away to their waiting aircraft. One agent commented to another agent about how "they" had better get that started soon. I'd like to think so too.

As is often the case, there was no TSA precheck line at the security gate and the regular line extended about 20 yards down the passageway. So it was a 20-gate walk to a security entrance with a TSA line. Of course, that TSA line extended beyond the labrynth of blue tape into the ticketing area. Fortunately, the TSA agents finally welcomed each of us to the front of the line with a surly reminder to have boarding passes and ID out and ready to expedite the process, as though their lack of capacity was our problem.

And of course there weren't any bins available on the x-ray conveyor for jackets, packages, etc.

At least they didn't find it necessary to give me my free TSA freedom massage this moring.

The airlines say their primary goal is our safety, passing the buck to the feds. The feds say they're protecting us from terrorists when the risk of that is astronomically lower than the risk of getting killed in a car accident driving to the airport. No one asked for perfect safety, as if such a thing was achievable.

What other business could survive if this is how they welcome their customers, how they create that first impression, that first touch-point, for the flying public?

Sorry for the rant. Waking up at 4am makes me a bit cranky. At least I have something really good to look forward to later today and for the remainder of the week.

Until my return flight.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hope is not the condition or cause of action...

My bookmarks folder has a backlog of work-related stuff (The Big Issues in Engineering Simulation, Content Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2018, etc.) and artist websites (Julie Mehretu, Katie Holten, etc.). But there's enough gibberish to post while I have the chance so here it goes.

Soon
You can download (and read) all 51 volumes of the Harvard Classics in ebook form.

I don't recall who recommended that I listen to Alex Haas' music but I'm doing so now. (Was it Eraldo Bernocchi with a statement about Alex's ability to create atmosphere?)

While making the case for mindfulness (aka meditation), this article cites modern research in psychology and neuroscience making the case that the self is actually multiple selves which can explain inconsistent behavior. And those voices in your head.

A Google map of U.S. nuclear weapon design, manufacture, and testing.
Science finally found about half of the universe's (up to now) missing matter in gas filaments strung between galaxies. Now, who's got the other half?

Isn't Shakespeare in modern English kinda like the Mona Lisa as a GIF?

And there's a new album from Centrozoon.

And you can watch a video of J. Peter Schwalm performing The Beauty of Disaster live.

Looking for Japanese recipes? Check out Otaku Food, a blog written by a friend's daughter.

More from friends: Blue Hope, the second novel builds on Red Hope and man's quest for all things Martian.

If jazz is your thing, check out Pete Levin's new album Mobius.

Fred's won the 2017 Burger Battle here in Fort Worth. I'd link to the article in the Star-Telegram but it's behind a paywall.

Everything I know about drawing (which admittedly isn't much) comes from Don Martin in Mad Magazine.

I can't do more than quote directly from the Newsweek article. "Security experts warn sex toys connected to the internet are vulnerable to hacking." (If your sex toy is connected to the internet, you're doing it wrong.)

...Hope is the consquence of action. ~Cornel West and Roberto Unger

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The two most powerful warriors...

A backlog of musical bookmarks that needs exploration:
Kandinsky's painting set to Mussorgsky's music. Well worth watching.
The Clyfford Still Museum launched an online database of the artist's works. You could spend hours in here.

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest announced it's 2017 winner for composing the worst opening sentence for a novel. Marvel at this: "The elven city of Losstii faced towering sea cliffs and abutted rolling hills that in the summer were covered with blankets of flowers and in the winter were covered with blankets, because elves wanted to keep the flowers warm and didn't know much at all about gardening."

Speaking of bad writing, marketing. Here are some phrases to ban from your marketing copy beginning with "industry leader."

How about 61 hours of Orson Welles' radio plays including War of the Worlds? In junior high, friends and I would sit around a record player wearing big, old school headphones, listening to War of the Worlds on vinyl. It was/is fantastic.

Here's an infographic tracing the lineage of the world's languages.

Yummy math cakes
Competence is underrated, especially in management. Maybe because everyone's drinking the Steve Jobs or Elon Musk strategic kool-aid and not keeping their eye on operations.

A long but worthy read about identify theft and credit reports. "Mean words cannot hurt a bank. Threats cannot hurt a bank. Paper trails, though, are terrifying to regulated institutions. "

Money magazine named Allen, Texas the 2nd best place to live in America. Bedford, Texas is #23.

I tweeted about this a while back, but science seems to have discovered a brainless animal that sleeps. Like me, you are probably thinking "teenage boy." But no, it's a jellyfish. Why is this relevant? Sleep is thought of as a brain-oriented activity. But this jellyfish suggests sleep is more of a core biological function.

Scientists tracked gravitational waves back to their source: the collision of two black holes.

The engineering of roller coasters and other rides at the state fair. I know this guy.

source
...are patience and time. ~Leo Tolstoy

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Second Train

No one sees the second train coming.

When I was in second grade, the sister of a classmate was killed by a train. She was waiting patiently at the crossing while the train passed. When it cleared the crossing she hopped on her bike and pedaled across.

Unfortunately, she didn't see or hear the second train coming from the opposite direction on the second set of tracks. She was killed instantly.

We all see the first train. But how many of us are looking out for the second?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Work shapes the mind...

The public school system I attended as a wee lad was ranked as the 2nd best in the state of Ohio.

This NYT article on wealth goes against what I was taught was good manners; don't talk about how much you spend on things. The author believes, on the other hand, that not talking about your wealth distracts all of us from considering the moral implications of wealth inequity. Even worse, the author believes that judging wealthy people by their individual behaviors (work ethic, charitable effort, etc.) is just another veil that hides the moral dilemma of income inequity. (In other words, you can be a good person but vilified simply for success.) I'm unable to describe how disturbed I was by this article.

NASA has made available for free the ebook The Saturn System Through the Eyes of Cassini. Highly recommend.
The state of craft beer in Texas.

How about a time lapse video of Sol Lewitt's Wall Drawing #797 being drawn?

If you are an art fan, and Disney art in particular, I highly recommend the PBS American Masters episode on Tyrus Wong, the artist responsible for the design of the film Bambi.

I've mentioned here before the Disney film Four Artists Paint One Tree. Andreas Deja's blog post Four Old Men & One Young Lady introduced me to a Disney TV episode called The Tricks of Our Trade in which animation techniques are demonstrated by animators. There's a Leonard Maltin intro to that film on YouTube.

Josef Albers, Tenayuca, 1943. In an article on IdeelArt.com, the case is made this Albers' work is more personal than it seems and he is quote as saying "Everyone senses his place through his neighbor."
Here's a little insight into "ugly painting" or what I think people also call post-painterly abstraction. Granted, I don't necessarily get all these works either but the inclusion of de Kooning drew me in. "It serves as a reminder that art isn’t a branch of mortuary science, providing faithful replication of lost beauties. It’s a mind-altering drug: It exists to cause trouble, knock things head over heels and show that there are other ways to see."

The new band Gizmodrome (featuring the Police's Stewart Copeland and King Crimson's Adrian Belew) is streaming and commenting on their debut album.

In which we read how Steven Wilson's new album To the Bone is an attempt to emphasize songwriting over concepts.

Alma Woodsey Thomas, Orion, 1973. From an exhibition dedicated to American abstract artists who were also women of color.
Here's a slightly interactive infographic of every U.S. nuclear weapon.

Do not read this before you've had your coffee. I think it says that mathematicians have proved that the infinities of countable and uncountable numbers are the same.

...leisure colors it. ~Rev. James Dolbear

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Simplicity does not precede complexity...

I just discovered piano prodigy Joey Alexander - this kid plays classic jazz piano as though he grew up on the piano bench next to Oscar Peterson.

Other music up for consideration:
  • Lighthouse by Wingfield Reuter Sirkis. Neither jazz nor rock nor improv. If anything deserves the label progressive fusion, this might be it.
  • Loss by Marcus Fischer. Embraces both loss and life, loneliness and companionship.
earth :: an animated, interactive, global map of wind and weather

The periodic table done with haiku. Genius.

It's that time again when we crown the best burger in Fort Worth. Don't read this article unless you plan to eat soon cuz it'll make your mouth water.

OK, so we've had a map and something about food. How about a map about food? Specifically, the food each state hates most. Steak cooked "well done"? Absolutely. 
Here are maps of the U.S. colored as Disney princesses.

When was the first f-bomb dropped? Probably earlier than you think. Like 1310.

Computer issues have cut into today's writing.

...but follows it. ~Alan Perlis