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

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Innes, Iceberg

The dictionary definition of abstract is "existing in thought but not having a physical existence." It's no wonder then that many people can't find a connection between abstraction and their own experience of reality. "What is it supposed to be?" is often asked.

While not all abstract painting need represent a tangible object (and it doesn't), sometimes you see something that immediately reminds you of an abstract painting. Such was the case when I saw David Burdeny's photograph, Mercators Projection, on Bored Panda.

David Burdeny, Mercators Projection.
Immediately I thought of one of my favorite painters, Callum Innes. And it didn't take long for me to find a Callum Innes painting that looked like a David Burdeny photograph.

Callum Innes, Exposed Painting Blue Lake, 2013.

I'm not suggesting that Innes was painting an iceberg. But next time you are standing in front of an abstraction, try taking it for granted that the scene has a physical counterpart and spend the time thinking about the artist's expression of reality and your perception of it. Rather than a puzzle to be solved, think about the communication of ideas. You might be surprised at what is revealed.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Line into Color, Mesh into CFD

Painter Helen Frankenthaler's work has been on my mind since seeing the exhibition Fluid Expression: The Prints of Helen Frankenthaler at Fort Worth's Amon Carter Museum of American Art earlier this week. While there I also purchased and then read John Elderfield's book on her painting, Line Into Color, Color Into Line. Both left me with a much stronger appreciation for her work.

As often happens to me, certain concepts, ideas, or statements about art trigger analogies to my work in computational fluid dynamics and mesh generation. Such was the case when Frankenthaler was quoted in the book as saying
I felt more and more that the drawing should come from what the shapes of the colors are; rather than, "I am arranging this with lines or confinements or patterns." And I do very much believe in drawing, especially when it doesn't show as drawing... When I talk about drawing, I mean "how are you getting your space," not where the pencil is going.
To put that quote in context, the book's theme was how Frankenthaler exercised three types of lines (drawn lines, the perimeter of regions of color, and the edge of the canvas) to great effect in her paintings that are more typically known for their ethereal washes of color - poured, stained, painted or otherwise.
Helen Frankenthaler, Sesame, 1970. source
But first a bit of background. Within the world of computational fluid dynamics, the mesh is the digitalized version of the object around which you wish to solve the equations of fluid motion - digitalized so the computer can understand it. Think of it as the scaffolding on which the fluid will be simulated. In the illustration below (image source), the mesh lines around a ship's hull define where the computations will be performed.


When the equations of fluid motion are solved on the mesh, the results are often presented as graphical contours of a some property of the fluid like pressure as shown below on the ship's hull (image source). In this picture, red represents high pressure and blue represents low pressure.


The analogy I'm making between Frankenthaler's paintings and computational fluid dynamics is lines are meshes and color is the CFD results. When she says "drawing should come from what the shapes of the colors are" I hear the case for mesh adaptation (closely coupling the mesh to the actual flow of fluid instead of just the geometry). When she says she believes in drawing "especially when it doesn't show as drawing" I hear the case for "invisible" mesh generation (because meshing is not and end unto itself, only a means to an end). Regardless of whether we're talking about lines in terms of mesh or lines in terms of boundaries of the regions of color, it's true that the mesh is how you're getting your space, the space within which the simulation will be performed.

Other than the fluidity with which she applies pigment to canvas, there's little that visually ties her paintings to CFD (the images above make this clear). The drawn lines in Sesame don't look anything like lines in a mesh and the regions of color don't look much like fluid flow. But it's Frankenthaler's process and approach and her way of thinking about the interplay of line and color, mesh and CFD, creating and defining space, that brings art and science, a bit closer, at least in my mind.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mathematics is the art of giving...

Let's start with something that might be hard to get past once you start thinking about it. Is space-time an emergent (i.e. primary) property of the universe or secondary (i.e. evolved from the primary)? If time itself is secondary, might that explain why it's asymmetric (can only run forward)? And if questioning where did time come from isn't enough for this universe, in a multiverse would time in all universes be synchronized?

Helen Frankenthaler, Sure Violet, 1979. Currently part of an exhibition at the Amon Carter Museum, but only for a few days more.
Not enough for you? Scientists have observed something in nothing - quantum fluctuations in a pure vacuum.

Where are the Voyager spacecraft? And where are the last remaining people on earth who still control their mission?

How about 570 scans from da Vinci's The Codex Arundel?
This article on how famous artists overcame creative blocks ends with a quote from Chuck Close: "Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just show up and get to work."

The USS Indianapolis has been found at a depth of 18,000 feet in the Pacific Ocean. This wreck is historically significant. The ship was returning to the U.S. after delivering the atomic bomb to Tinian Island. After it was sunk, the surviving crew was butchered by sharks. (The story told in Jaws is real.)

Just one of many vintage advertisements that hasn't aged well.
"It was a dark and stormy night" is the inspiration for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest which seeks the opening line to the worst novel. The 2017 winner is a gem about elves and flowers. If I could summon the motivation, I might enter. Someday.

The oldest known photo of a U.S. president from 1843. Do you know who it is?
The BBC compiled a list of the 100 greatest comedies. I've only seen 21 of them.

Literally the first U.S. coin ever minted. Worth an estimated $10 million. 
An artist on Pandora would need 1.2 million plays to earn minimum wage. A lot of people are getting paid on these streaming platforms, but what they pay content creators is a appalling.

According to this video explainer, Led Zeppelin's John Bonham's drumming excellence was due to the fact that he played more along with the lead guitar than the bass.

The Great 78 Project is digitizing music from vintage 78 rpm records. I'm not going to even try to explain that to young-uns. There's a 1951 recording of Yosemite Sam singing (i.e. Mel Blanc).

Screen grab of Divisional Articulations, an animation by Max Hattler. You know me and black and white animation.
Anyone who's had to deal with used needles (i.e. diabetics) can appreciate a needle grinder that produces non-toxic waste that can be sent to the landfill in your regular trash.

Total sperm count in Western men decreased 59% between 1973 and 2011 and continues to do so, likely due to chemical exposure, stress, obesity, smoking, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise.

A map showing the literal origin of U.S. state names. Texas = Friend.

I had no idea there was a Microsoft Office World Championship.

The Ta-Ta Towel (a cross between a terry cloth towel, a scarf, and a bra) is apparently a thing. And enough of a thing that it's sold out. "Keep them high, keep them dry." 
Lest a woman's other body parts feel unaccesorized, a Japanese company has introduced crotch charms, jewelry that dangles from the crotch region of a swimming suit.

Aside from sharp blades near your junk, shaving your pubes is riskier than you think - it leads to a significant increase in the risk for a sexually transmitted infection.

Double-Stuff Oreos only have 1.86 times the cream filling of a regular Oreo. And Mega-Stuff has 2.68 times the cream. Science has spoken.

Eighteen (18?) foods that make you poop. #3 Almonds. #10 Coffee (duh).

And this guy collects poo. At least after its been fossilized.

...the same name to different things. ~Henry Poincare

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Berlin Project by Gregory Benford

What if the U.S. developed the atomic bomb a year earlier, in 1944?

This is the teaser for Gregory Benford's The Berlin Project, a thriller that ticked three of my boxes: nuclear weapons, espionage/military thriller, and alternate history.

Rather than a flight of fancy, Benford crafted this tale around his father-in-law's actual experiences back in the 1930s and 1940s working with and around Leslie Groves, Albert Einstein, Oppenhiemer, Bohr, and the entire cast of real-life Manhattan Project characters.

But back to the premise. Assume that science (and the politics of science) had turned out a bit differently back in the day such that the bomb was ready in '44 instead of '45. How might the Allies have put it to use, if at all? The difference in the science may seem small (and entirely plausible), but the results in wartime - maybe not so much.

The characters (perhaps because they are real) are so vivid and Benford's story is so believable (due to his research and work pulling it all together) that the resulting book is totally enjoyable. And while I could put it down, I couldn't wait to pick it up and finish it.

I highly recommend Gregory Benford's The Berlin Project.

You can read more about Benford at his publisher's website.

"Nothing can be said about writing except when it's bad. When it is good, one can only read and be grateful."

I received no compenstation of any kind for this review.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

In ethics, there is a humility...

Read this. Pause. Read again. Think. Chinese scientists have teleported a photon from earth to an orbiting satellite.

Fans of ambient music, rejoice! It's 12k's 40% off summer sale.

Or download (free) this great ambient mix of Glacial Movements' catalog.

Or how about the 2017 remastering of the Blade Runner soundtrack?

More? vMashup does a side-by-side synch of two videos. Be mesmerized by JumpReich: kids jumping rope vs. Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians.

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Carribean Sea, Jamaica, 1980. He claimed Rothko's late, dark paintings were more realistic than his photographs.
Mark Rothko, Untitled (Black on Gray), 1969.
Film from 1935 of daily life in Hiroshima.

Live webcam from the St. Louis Arch.

Relief! A hospital has set up an intensive care unit exclusively for the treatment of male patients suffering from coughs, colds, or even both.

Craft pr0n: making a wooden wheel.

Water permeable concrete. What kind of magic is this?
Considered one of the greatest animations of all time, here's a video about the making of What's Opera, Doc?

You really need to check out the videos from Oats Studios, a Neal Blomkamp project.

This is what happens when you send Rothko's Black on Gray (above) to Simplify.ThatSh.it
Here's what you get when you send a Clyfford Still to Simplify.ThatSh.it. The results are interesting yet uncompelling.
Gizmodrome is the new band featuring Adrien Belew, Stewart Copeland, Mark King and Vittorio Cosma. This 4 minute teaser video gives me a Zappa vibe.

Equation numbering in Word.

How well can you draw all 50 states? Not very.

This might be a good question for sparking conversations at work (or during an interview as proposed in the article): What's something that happens here but wouldn't happen anywhere else?

You've probably already seen this but - a photo suggests Amelia Earhart might have survived her plane crash.

The Seabin seems like a good idea for removing trash from waterways and harbors but the animated graphic at the top of their website makes it real hard to want to read more.

...moralists are usually righteous. ~John Berger

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Blue oblivion, largely lit,

It's July. Do you know where the first half of 2017 went?

David Kollar's new album Notes from the Underground has been released. I listened to it a lot this past week and am really enjoying it. Several tracks can be streamed from the Bandcamp I linked to.

Know any nerds who'd like a LEGO Saturn V?

Applying science (neuroscience to be specific) to art (exhibition design to be specific).

On Ellsworth Kelly's greatness: “All of a sudden you begin to understand that if you dissociate narrative ideas, how strong the visual impulse is in every human being.”

Ellsworth Kelly, Blue on White, 1969. source
Our friends at TSA (Taking Scissors Away) will rummage through your luggage, play with it, and post selfies with it. But yet somehow their job remains important.

I post a lot of rude and naughty stuff here. But it's BS like this that should offend us all: anti-science in Florida.

...smiled and smiled at me. ~William Rose Benet

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Science is organized knowledge.

It's time to clean out the bookmarks. So here we go.

Gaudi's latest CD, Magnetic, arrived in the mail this week and I've been thoroughly enjoying it. Another album of his, Dub Qawwali, has been recommended to me so I'm streaming it now.

The first CD from the duo of Eraldo Bernocchi and Netherworld, Himuro, also arrived this week. You can stream it online before purchasing, which I recommend you do if you're a fan of ambient music.

And I'm still waiting for the arrival of David Kollar's latest, Notes from the Underground. A second track has been released for you to preview, Thirst of Life.

Finally, here's a teaser video for Marco Minneman's new album, Borrego.

For Steve Hackett and Genesis fans who can get to Australia, the former will be performing a special show on 06 August in Melbourne featuring songs from the classic Genesis album Wind and Wuthering. (Having written that, I may have to put that CD into the player tomorrow.)

Juno. source (including hi-res image)
A solar eclipse is coming on 21 August. Are you ready?

The Greatest Sales Deck I've Ever Seen (who still calls a presentation a "slide deck?") is actually not bad. It's a good framework for your story.

Five ways to educate your customers through content. #4 Teach them a practical skill.
The periodic table of SEO success factors.
Vonlane is a high-end bus transportation company ("private jet on wheels") servicing DFW, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. From DFW to Austin will run you $100. Plus you'll avoid the TSA freedom massage.

A brief article about Mark Bradford at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. And if you're in Denver before 16 July, I highly recommend a visit to the Denver Art Museum to see Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford.

Where the Russians will nuke us? This map and article are a bit simplistic IMO. And they ignore the really fund part - fallout.
A nearly 100 million year old baby bird was found in amber in Burma. (I've got an "amberized" bug in my collection.)

Lot's of data on marketing here with the concluding statement "The future of marketing is having more science in our art and more art in our science.”

You can book a flight with ZERO-G to experience weightlessness (as in NASA's "Vomit Comet").

A video about how to speak so people want to listen. (Yes, it's a TED Talk but don't pre-judge.)

The Walt Disney Family Museum is currently exhibiting Awakening Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle
I don't know what the hell is wrong with politicians. "Missouri’s Senate is considering legislation that would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions." No, this is not The Onion.

A Fifth Element remix.

Neill Blomkamp is posting videos from his Oats Studios of works in progress including a film called Rakka.

And a "making of" video about Blade Runner 2049.

Flags of Valor is a veteran-owned and operated company that makes nice looking U.S. flags crafted from wood.

Sleep with someone who snores? Maybe you should consider Nora, a device that listens for snoring and when detected it gently moves the snorer's pillow so they stop.

Remember when putt-putt golf was competitive and televised? Vimeo does and they've got the videos to prove it.
Craft breweries by state. source
Practice is the art of finding a process for repetition without boredom.

More science in art - or in this case, cellular automata in architecture.

A bit of architectural commentary on the Clyfford Still Museum and others.

Two black holes collided and merged, spinning off two solar masses of gravitational waves. Ouchy.

The easiest way to bust enhancement is this 3D illusion t-shirt.

More proof that stupidity will be the end of us all. Over 16 million U.S. adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

This article involves a "tainted buffet" at a "strip club." Not for the squeamish, not for the genteel, not for work. Not for anyone really. Do not click the link. You've been warned.

Dead. Butt. Syndrome.

Wisdom is organized life. ~Immanuel Kant

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Seriousness in True Joy

During my business trip to Denver earlier this month, I toured - for the second time - the Clyfford Still Museum. And, and is my compulsion, I bought a book. But not just any book: a vintage copy of the catalog that accompanied Still's donation of 28 of his paintings to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1976.

Toward the end of the book, a 1963 quote of Still's is included that I'll quote directly here:
"I'm not interested in illustrating my time. A man's 'time' limits him, it does not truly liberate him. Our age - it is of science - of mechanism - of power and death. I see no virtue in adding to its mammoth arrogance the compliment of graphic homage."
Flipping a few pages back in the book brought me to PH-261 (see below), a painting completed about the same time as Still made that statement. Certainly, this painting exudes timelessness and is without mechanism. It is essentially human.

Clyfford Still, PH-261, 1962. source
Still also is quoted in the book as saying "I am a serious man about those things I consider important. Perhaps there is a seriousness in true joy." There is no better word than joy to describe my reaction to Clyfford Still's work.

Reference: Clyfford Still at the SFMOMA.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The time at our disposal each day is elastic...

New music to be previewed and ordered:

  • David Kollar, Notes from the Underground, to be released 30 June.
  • Brand X, But Wait... There's More (double, live CD), to begin shipping 14 July (Note: the link is to their store at Burning Shed for UK and other orders. It appears US customers have to order through Facebook which is a new one for me.)
  • Stick Men ft. Mel Collins, Roppongi - Live in Tokyo, Show 1 and Show 2 (to be released 21 July)

In this interview with musician and composer J. Peter Schwalm we read about how the artist's intent doesn't necessarily have to be deduced by the listener. "I really want listeners to feel something when they are listening to my music; In an ideal situation, they would feel the same as me."

Mark Bradford, Realness, 2016. Soon.
This calls for some research. Cousin's BBQ has switched to all-natural, Creekstone Farms briskets which taste better than their previous briskets. On a related note, the top 50 BBQ joints in Texas.

Five of the top 10 U.S. cities in population growth are in Texas with Fort Worth coming in at #7. On a related note, Forbes ranked Fort Worth as the 6th fastest growing city.

The Modern posted a video playlist called Modern Collections in which a staff member takes 3-4 minutes to talk about one specific work. Of the five videos currently available, my favorite is about Clyfford Still's 1956-J No. 1 Untitled.

Not just no, HELL NO. TSA planning to make the traveling public "declutter" their baggage. How about we declutter airports by kicking TSA to the curb?

The strapless, adhesive Bliss Bra (gives you +2 cup sizes) is currently on sale for 50% off.

How does Facebook police nudity? It's harder than you think.

Clyfford Still, PH-929, 1974. Very soon.
The Texas state legislature (which seems to be more interested in chasing high profile but relatively useless legislation - i.e. bathroom bill) is on the verge of requiring "breweries making more than 225,000 barrels annually to repurchase their own product from wholesalers in order to continue selling beer for on-premise consumption at their taprooms."

I had no idea that JFK gave the commencement address at my alma mater, Syracuse University, back in 1957.

Confused about what is a sandwich and what isn't? Thank you, lawyers.

NASA loses track of a bag of moon dust from Apollo 11, woman buys it from USG for $1,000, NASA takes it back, woman sues and wins back a priceless piece of history and science.

...the passions we feel dilate it, those that inspire us shrink it, and habit fills it. ~Marcel Proust

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Either write something worth reading...

Why are there 3 big animation auctions in June?
Music du jour:
Agne Gintalaite, Beauty Remains. source. The article makes a comparison to Rothko but when I see an array like this the immediate comparison is Gerhard Richter.
Very soon I will see Shade, the Mark Bradford & Clyfford Still exhibit.

Those interested in Soviet-era history will no doubt enjoy the Manhoff Archive, a trove of color photos and videos from 1950s Soviet Union.

Going a bit further back in time, the Paleobiology Database is an interactive map of fossil finds.

Make your own Sankey diagrams with SankeyMATIC.

25 things about Cleveland. MR HERO IS THE BOMB.

Quarterbacks ranked by career record. Yes, Brady is #1. But who's #2?

Flip Myers-Briggs on its head by defining hell for each personality type. Mine: "An incredibly impractical person is put in charge of all of your major life decisions. You have to do whatever they say and are powerless to argue or reason with them." (Maybe Satre's definition was simpler: Hell is other people.)

...or do something worth writing. ~Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The trouble is...

Ryuichi Sakamoto (whom you might remember from the soundtrack of the 1983 film Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence) has released async, his first album in many years. You can stream it here. I purchased the album and have been playing it a lot recently and really like it. Read a review on Pitchfork and another on Fader. Or just go to Sakamoto's website.

Recording artist Taylor Deupree also runs the 12k label of experimental and ambient music. In this interview, among many other insights, we learn that the USPS increased international shipping rates for a single CD by a factor of 8 which, no surprise, resulted in a vast decrease in orders. (Who's gonna pay shipping costs that are the same as the CD cost?)

American Scholar recently reminded me of composer and musician (and Houstonian) Paulina Oliveros whose mantra was "listen to everything all the time and remind yourself when you are not listening." Take some time for Deep Listening.

The Cassini spacecraft flew through Saturn's rings and took photographs that are simply amazeballs. 
MuscleWiki: click on a muscle, see exercises for it. (I couldn't help notice that nothing happens when you click on the brain.)

Piggybacking on a NASA high-altitude balloon, an experimental sensor package recorded infrasound, low frequency earth noise like crashing waves and grinding mantle. Listen here.

Carey Nieuwhof shares leadership advice for people just starting their careers. The one that jumped out at me is #20 Work twice as hard on your character as you do on your competency.

And then there's this: joking at work can make you seem more competent.

Joan Miro, Passage of the Divine Bird, 1941 (left). Alexander Calder, Constellation, 1941 (right). "Works that mutually resonate with power."
Syracuse friends, you have 1 more day to see the Bradley Walker Tomlin exhibit at the Everson Museum. And unfortunately, their exhibit of late 20th century abstraction, More Real, More a Dream, has already closed. I was lucky to see them both and they are more than worth the price of admission.

Don't have the money to buy fine art? You can rent it. See Fine Art Staging.

You can read about art in 200 books made freely available from the Guggenheim Museum. I had to stop downloading the PDFs because there are so many I'd never read them all.

What's the 11th best public high school in northeast Ohio (and #43 in the entire state)? Rocky River High School, my alma mater.

And Grapevine High School, my boys' alma mater, was ranked #71 in Texas.

When it comes to sandwiches, where are you on the structure and ingredient scales? I must admit to being a purist on both. source
McDonald's continues their fun with utensils by introduction the Frork or "fry fork." (But I'm still sad they didn't send me their CFD-designed STRAW.)

Here's the trailer for Blade Runner 2049. (Please don't screw this up.)

Have you ever taken a survey with responses strongly disagree, disagree, don't know, agree, strongly agree or something like that. Did you know that has a name? The Likert Scale.

Napercise. Did napping really need an up-sell?

...you think you have time. ~Buddha