Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'm not stupid...

Everything you need to know about man can be learned by studying Apes. One part may explain teh interwebs: anonymity favors competition, transparency favors cooperation.

A World of Apps - An interactive world map comprised of over 6,800 app logos.
This huge collection of photos from the '07 Nellis AFB Aviation Nation show is one of the best I've seen.
Judge for yourself when you read Inc. magazine's list of 8 core beliefs of extraordinary Bosses.

For my Beer-swilling friends, store 30 cases and 4 kegs in this walk-in beer cooler.
I know someone who might actually like this pancake and Bacon bedspread.

Jack Charles is the new fragrance from Royal Lifestyle for creepy old perverts like me. (Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.) I had been told by a real female person that Acqua di Gio was the one the ladies couldn't resist. Now there are two.

It's easy to do the little unimportant things we know how to do instead of important things we're not so sure about. Or so says John Cleese in his 5 factors for creativity: Space, Time, Time, Confidence, and a 22 inch waist. I love what he says about the difference between seriousness and solemnity.

You too may be incredulous. "This is the first time anyone has measured stratified towers of bird Droppings." Digging through this poo could prove to be a research goldmine - and therefore, I shan't wash my car.

If you don't like people watching while you surf the web you probably shouldn't click on Aye Eyes.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a video of a terrible way to remember the periodic table of the Elements. This three year old doesn't need it - she sings the whole thing.

If you like both the movie The Fifth Element (and who doesn't) and a nice beer you need to buy this t-shirt for Five Elements Amber Ale - "Brewed by the Mondoshawans since time began."

Watching this video makes me think the inventor of the Football helmet was nuts.

No clue: Grow a Face.

Sweden is the most gender-equal country in the world. (applause) But they've jumped the shark with the creation of a Gender-neutral pronoun hen (as opposed to han (he) or hon (she)). 

You can't buy the box set anymore (the edition of 500 is sold out) but you can still buy the download of In a Place of Such Graceful Shapes from 12k records. (Hardcore fans of ambient only, please.)

DARPA's Hypersonic Technology Vehicle HTV-2 crashed into the ocean because when you're flying at 13,000 mph the vehicle's skin gets really hot, so hot that parts of it started to burn away making continued flight unstable.

The saddest thing about the World Happiness Report (yes, the U.N. commissioned such a thing) is that it's virtually indecipherable.

Information is Beautiful Awards 2012 offers a $30,000 prize pool for outstanding information visualization. If the money isn't enough to get you to enter, Brian Eno is one of the judges.

One in ten men would prefer a new iPad over a girl. A new low.

Installator is an excellent use of Tumblr. It's a photo blog of artworks being installed.
A moderately interesting poster of 50 years of James Bond is for sale.

Back in 1982 Atari was thinking about an Intelligent Encyclopedia (sounds quaint). They had Disney animator Glen Keane sketch their ideas about how it might be used.

It's no secret that I can't photograph my way out of a dark room. But perhaps this new "light field" camera called Lytro can help. They claim you can focus after the fact. I wonder if you can put back in all the heads I chop off?

As I sit here listening to Marconi Union's CD Distance, what are the odds I'd be reading this article about how Marconi Union's song Weightless is the most relaxing song ever? Be sure to check out the list of the top 10 most relaxing songs.

Motley Fool shares 50 "amazing" numbers about the economy. #21. Netflix is now responsible for about one third of all internet bandwidth. All you jerks downloading Dude, Where's My Car? are the reason teh interwebs are so slow!

If life gives you melons, you may be dyslexic.

Proving there's a website for everything,

I didn't know Lake Erie was so shallow, relatively speaking, as illustrated in this cartoon of lake and ocean depths.
Instead of the oceans themselves, you might be more interested in this visualization of ocean shipping.

Or x-rays of creatures from the ocean.

You've heard of the book Freakonomics, well here's Pooponomics - the economy of poop. Did you know the average American uses 40 rolls of toilet paper each year?

Another excellent use of Tumblr is this collection of out-of-context drawings from patents

Two excellent Prometheus teasers. First is a video advertisement for David, Weyland Industries' latest humanoid robot. Second is a TEDtalk from Weyland Industries' founder who gives off a creepy Steve Jobs vibe.

What you need are some Super Mario Quilts.

Scientific American's Math Rules column isn't taking the subject of equations that changed the world too seriously.

As this article says, "a lot of fans are disgusted by the idea of a new [Three Stooges] movie." Count me among them. Learning that when a new film was first proposed 15 years ago the starring roles might have been played by Sean Penn, Benicio del Toro, and Jim Carrey doesn't help. (Jim Carrey is the same guy who did a disservice to the Grinch.) But you can still enjoy a brief history of the Three Stooges and later we can share favorites. (Shemp vs. Curly anyone?)

Some of you are going to get lost for hours in this high resolution interactive photo of the Space Shuttle Discovery's cockpit.
There are lots of ways to die. But having your Testicles squeezed isn't one of the better ones. 

The lack of  American-made premium men's Underwear is so obvious that a Kickstarter project has already received pledges totaling over $100,000 versus a goal of only $30,000. "Luxuriously rugged yet refined."

The Visualizing Data blog brings us the best of the visualization web for March 2012, Part 1 and Part 2.

A spinning rope creates wave motions and sounds interactively with the audience in Waves, and art installation by Daniel Palacios.

This is disgusting. $5.99 for soap?! source
There's a government procedure for everything, including Obliterating Animal Carcasses with Explosives.

Your Infinite Painting is neither infinite nor painting. But try it anyway.

Time to relax. Zzzzzzz.

...I'm just incredibly unlucky when it comes to thinking.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Animation is the Greatest Art Form - Glen Keane

Glen Keane didn't waste any time before offering a personal statement that defused the often debated merits of the transition from traditional, hand drawn animation to computer generated imagery. "The computer has forced me to become a better artist."

In town to add the Tex Avery Award to his trophy case (he was awarded an Annie in 1992 and the Winsor McCay lifetime achievement award in 2007) Glen spent the evening of 19 April 2012 giving a presentation, taking audience questions, and tirelessly participating in a fan meet-and-greet at the Dallas offices of Reel FX for an estimated 200-300 people.

How has the computer forced him to become a better artist? First, use of the computer has made possible levels of animation detail that previously would have been impractical to do by hand. Therefore, heretofore untried effects have to be first drawn by hand. Second, because computers are still rather finicky when it comes to animation (as demonstrated by a blooper reel he showed) it's important to properly train and demonstrate hand-drawn works to the computer jockeys (i.e. you only truly understand something when you can teach it.)

Glen surprised the animation world recently with his retirement from Disney after 37 years during which he animated for The Rescuers, Pete's Dragon, The Fox and the Hound, Oliver & Company, The Little Mermaid, and The Rescuers Down Under. As supervising animator he contributed to Aladdin, Beauty and The Beast, Pocahontas, Tarzan, Treasure Planet, and Tangled.

I inferred from something he said that a particular segment of animation of the Colors of the Wind sequence from Pocahontas was part of the motivation for parting ways with Disney. Glen said that it was the only time in his career that he animated a scene with charcoals instead of ink and paint and he found the results not only perfect for the scene but an energizing break with Disney's traditional way of animating. In his retirement letter he said that animation had "endless new territories to explore" and I thought this must be one of them. Glen called it "a new vision for hand drawn animation" and it freed him from being bound to the Disney tradition of animation.

Screen grab of a frame from the Colors of the Wind sequence from Pocohontas.
I didn't take that statement about Disney to be damning. He said that he felt Disney's approach to animation had "Once upon a time..." at its core. On the other hand, he felt that Pixar's core premise was "Wouldn't it be cool if..."

Glen seems to be a perfectly delightful, humorous, family-oriented man. He comes from an artistic family - his father, Bill Keane, drew the Family Circus cartoon for decades. (Interesting side note: Bill Keane insisted vehemently that he was a cartoonist, not an artist. But he deemed his son a true artist.) Just as father drew inspiration from son for his work, Glen readily admits to using his own family members as inspiration for his characters. While in one breath he cites his wife's "girl next door" looks as inspiration for Ariel from The Little Mermaid, he impishly cites her feet as inspiration for Tarzan's. Tangled's Rapunsel was based on his daughter who is now an artist herself.

Being in the presence of a great artist did not make me a better photographer.
Glen's presentation mixed video clips of his work (completed scenes, test shots of works in progress, and behind the scenes video that revealed, among other things, that he made embarrassingly funny faces while drawing), drawings, funny stories, live drawing of Ariel, the Beast, and Tarzan, and insights into his way of animating.
  • Be vulnerable. When you express yourself honestly and fully through your characters it makes you vulnerable and exposes you the world. But it makes the characters real.
  • Sharing is important. Learn from others, but pass that information along to still others. Benefits will return to you tenfold.
  • Animation is sculptural drawing. His inspiration for the Beast came from a visit to a sculpture gallery at a local museum where finally all the animal studies he'd been working on came together in his mind.
  • Don't worry about complexity. There's no such thing as complexity, just truth.
  • Your characters must believe that the impossible is possible. That belief enhances the credibility of the story. (This reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut's advice to writers which says that every character should want something.)
One thing that was also clear in his talk was the influence that Ollie Johnson, the legendary animator and one of Disney's "Nine Old Men," had on Glen's career. Ollie's was the one name that kept coming up and Glen even included a photo of the last note (a sticky note) that Ollie sent him. I found this notable because I expected to hear something of Marc Davis, another Disney legend who masterfully animated classic female characters such as Cinderella, Alice, Tinkerbell, Maleficent, and Cruella de Vil. (I suppose that instead of expectation it was just hope - hope that I'd hear about influence or at least a comparison of Davis' and Keane's female characters.)

When asked to name his favorite character, Glen revealed it to be Tarzan. As a boy Glen had either wanted to be an artist or play football. As an artist, he loved Tarzan's masculinity and his athletic prowess as he moved through the jungle. Glen was living in Paris while working on Tarzan. His isolation and frustration at learning a new language helped him understand the problems Tarzan faced by trying to bridge two cultures.

Glen referred several times to a quote of Michaelangelos' about drawing, sometimes substituting the word "animation" for drawing. After reading it I'm certain you see why Glen Keane believes that animation is the greatest art form.

"The science of design, or of line-drawing, if you like to use this term, is the source and very essence of painting, sculpture, architecture... Sometimes... it seems to me that... all the works of the human brain and hand are either design itself or a branch of that art." ~Michaelangelo

Added 18 May 2012: Here's a link to the event announcement on Reel FX's website: An Evening with Glen Keane

Saturday, April 21, 2012

In case you were wondering...

An empty horse bit.
Today's horse bit is empty because your jockey of teh interwebs was volunteering at the North Texas Warrior Dash as a fundraiser for his son's high school marching band.

Two muddy contestants (foreground), pile of muddy shoes  (background). Shoes were being collected post-race to be cleaned and donated to charity.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A man growing old...

The pursuit of happiness or the happiness of pursuit? Read a bit about making sense of the mind and its role in making us happy.

Speaking of minds, or the lack thereof, did I mention that Ze Frank has A Show? (Of course I did.) Have you watched yet? "Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes but he's a little bit of an asshole and nobody invites him to their pool parties."

Like Hemingway? Like stop-motion animation? Like simple pen on paper drawing? Then watch this video of Old Man and The Sea being sketched. (The background music is distracting so I turned it off.)

Here's a 1971 video from Canadia showing how computers were used to do keyframe animation. Even if you're not a fan of animation, computer geeks should enjoy seeing these vintage graphics. "...a handheld positioner called a mouse."

And finally, I Know That Voice is an upcoming documentary about voice actors in animated films. June Foray, who did Rocky the Flying Squirrel, is included.

Fractal Mondrian via the Truchet pattern. (Yes, I've posted this before.)
Not to dwell on tornadoes but with the 17 here in DFW a couple weeks ago and the potential for more across the country's midsection today, here's a interactive map of U.S. tornadoes from 1950 to 2011. I tried to authenticate a childhood memory of a July 4, 1969 tornado in Cleveland but came up empty.

Something good out of Cleveland. Enterprising undergraduates won a contest for creating reusable pothole filler out of a non-Newtonian fluid. (Flows like a liquid under no stress, rigid like a solid when stressed - i.e. when a car runs over it.) 

The biggest hailstones I've seen here in Texas were about 2.5 or 3.0 inches in diameter. But that's nothing compared to an accumulated 4 feet of hail like happened in Amarillo earlier this week. Yes, piles of hailstones four feet high. So high it closed highways.

For web design geeks only - a sortable color name chart.
There are good memory tricks and there are bad ones. From the latter, here's the periodic table set to music

A lot happens behind the scenes before software gets released. (Trust me, you don't want to see the sausage being made.) Facebook's release process, as described in this article from ars technica, poses some very interesting challenges. Notable: the release team maintains a fully stocked bar at the office, the team leader has a 30 inch monitor (OK, not notable, just envy), and developers are given a karma score based on their job performance. "Reverting is for losers."

Rare and unpublished photos from the funeral of John F. Kennedy
HAH! I've been retrained to never put a comma before the "and" at the end of a list. The so-called Oxford Comma plays an important role as demonstrated by JFK, Stalin, and a couple of strippers.

Music lovers: take the tone deaf test to see just how well you can tell whether two passages of music are the same or not. I scored 75% placing me in the 46th percentile of over 60,000 test subjects. Frankly, I was very disappointed with that score.

Seems like a new internet theme is to post writing tips from famous authors. Here are 8 from Kurt Vonnegut. My favorite is #5: Start as close to the end as possible.

Texas Tech students: Lubbock's Fantasy Maid Service offers nude maid services.

For the recently-hired new graduate, 8 steps to succeeding in corporate America. #3 Master Outlook (or whatever your system is for email, contacts, calendar).

Double Tap - .45 ACP Pocket Pistol. 2 rounds loaded, 2 in the grip for quick reloading. 12 oz. in aluminum. 5/8 inch thick.
Science answers the questions that matter. Why do humans have sex? This journal article was published in 2007. WHY AM I ONLY HEARING ABOUT THIS NOW? While "efforts to reduce sexual motivation to a small number of factors are doomed to fail," this particular study produced a taxonomy of reasons in four categories: physical, goal attainment, insecurity (self-esteem boost, duty/pressure, mate guarding), and emotional. The section on gender differences is enlightening.

Web Equation is truly amazing. Write an equation using the mouse and the equivalent markup is produced in MathML or LaTeX or the equation is solved in WolframAlpha. Like I said, amazing. (Truly so if you've ever tried to format equations using MathML by hand.)

The youngest B-52 is 50 years old. Story, images, and video after the link.
The F-16 Living Legacy. "This airplane is really that good." Spend 4:28 with this video.

Recruiters will look at your resume for 6 seconds. So it's important to add the information they want to see in a format that lets them find it. (Best resume joke - Two people are reviewing a stack of resumes. One guy takes half of the pile and throws it in the trash. "Why'd you do that?" asks the other guy. "I don't want to hire anyone who's unlucky.")

What cut of beef is the infographic?

What cut of the beard is the infographic? (huh?)

It's wacky Tumblr time: Spock Is Not Impressed.

55 beers with a minimum alcohol content of 10% ABV. Surprisingly, a Sam Adams brew is at the top of the list. While Stone's Double Bastard is included, notably absent is Rogue's Double Dead Guy.

This article got my attention right away. "Children are, in fact, one of the reasons American food got so bad." (Mini rant - Why can't some parents keep their spawn quiet and seated during a meal?) Back on track - what does an economist know about dining out? Apparently a lot.

Now watch the Imax trailer for Ridley Scott's Alien prequel Prometheus. Looks good enough to get me into the theater. But probably not. I'll wait for VOD.

This may be one of the funniest memes I've seen on teh interwebs. source
DO NOT CLICK THIS. (Image of tasteless tattoo referring to the female anatomy. Worst of all - a spelling error.)

When it comes to bodily fluids, pee-pee gets all the notoriety. But there are others as delineated on this list of 12 underappreciated bodily fluids. #10 Female ejaculate. (tee hee)

Not to be outdone, you can do some interesting things with poop as this list shows. (paper?)

...becomes a child again. ~Sophocles

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is...

These damn penguins won't stop following me. Fortunately, this bunch isn't leaving a trail of poo that's visible from space.

A great aviation milestone was celebrated in Fort Worth this past week when Lockheed Martin celebrated the 4,500th F-16 to be built in the 40 years since the contract was awarded to then General Dynamics. Aircraft #4,500 was built for Morocco. The 34 photographs included with the article are worth seeing even if you don't read any of the words. For more on the F-16 go to And here's a copy of the program from the YF-16 roll out ceremony on 13 Dec 1973.

A 1977 photo of an F-16 and the weapons it can carry. Photo from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The 1940 census. It's gonna take more than just a few minutes to find my relatives in here.

If you've ever had the biscuit, cookie, digestive debate with your British friends, here's a chart that explains the categorization of baked goods in British English, American English, and Chinese. (For example, biscuit, cookie, bing, respectively.)

Here's a guide to not offending your Chinese dinner host. I knew about burping being considered a sign of satisfaction with the meal. But they didn't mention something I thought I knew - you're supposed to leave a small morsel on your plate as a sign of fullness. Otherwise, they'll assume you're still hungry - or worse, that they didn't cook enough.

I wonder how you tell your Chinese host that eggs soaked in the urine of 10 year old boys isn't your cup of tea?

If I were to eat urine soaked eggs outdoors I'd certainly use these picnic pants. Wait. Eat outside? Srsly?
If linguistics in general and the Northern Cities Vowel Shift specifically don't get your elevator to the penthouse maybe this will. Recent trends in mobility and exposure of Americans to a wider variety of regional speech patterns have not homogenized speech accents. In fact, the distinctions between regional accents are becoming more well defined. And it may be due to politics.

All these years I've been playing hangman wrong. I bet you have been too.

Best of the visualization web for February 2012: part 1 and part 2.

One might think I'd like a bacon coffin. But, with all due respect, cemeteries are human landfills. Take whatever organs you want, let med students have their way, cremate the rest, sprinkle over garden.

Do you like a little poetry? Check out So So Poems.

Magical poop-stealing water chair. Now that's poetry! source
Amelia Rose Earhart, a distant relative of the Amelia Earhart, is planning to "retrace and complete" her namesake's global circumnavigating flight in 2016. Right now, she's a student at Mississippi State studying meteorology.

Who hasn't heard about Google's Project Glass, the augmented-reality eyewear prototype?

OMG, Google Map's street view is apparently too slow for some people. Hence, Just start typing your address.

Someone I follow recently tweeted that while there's a lot of new music there's not a lot of new instruments. Check out these strange musical instruments. Reminds me of H.S. when we invented the schwanette: strings stretched between a pigs teeth. You blow through its ass and strum.

The geeky, greedy, and trekky can now get together and compete for the Tricorder X Prize - $10 million to build a handheld device to measure health metrics and diagnose diseases.

A truly unique map of metal bands per capita. What's up in Scandinavia? Metal keeps you warmer? That explains Circus Maximus.
Learn from this, people: hiding in dung never works.

Sometimes I blather here about CFD - computational fluid dynamics. For those of you who are not technical but just a little curious about this arcane field here's a video Mathematics Gives You Wings from a Stanford University professor explaining CFD in a very accessible way. It's 52 minutes long but I think you'll enjoy it.

The reunion tour of progressive rockers UK (the 2nd lineup with Jobson, Wetton, and Bozzio) is coming to a town near you: Chicago, Boston, Philly (sorry, sold out).

Web design joke: Should I use tables for layout?

Aviation pr0n of the week. source
Follow-up: In case you're still incredulous about last week's report about Shitter, the company what will print your tweets on TP, here's a Business Week interview with the company founder. Shit just got real.

For my booze swilling friends, science settles the debate: shaken or stirred. Or consider this Business Week article about how one country's swill is another country's fine import beer. (The Chinese apparently love Pabst Blue Ribbon. Consider that tit-for-tat for the urine eggs.) And here's proof that innovation is not dead in Japan: Frozen. Beer. Foam.

And wait. And wait. And wait. source
Something engineers won't apparently need to read about: Intimacy 2.0 is a line of high-tech fashion made from "smart e-foils" that become transparent based on "personal interactions."

How much porn does the internet hold? Trust me, a lot. Like 800 gigabytes per second which is like 10 DVDs every second. For one site of many. Where does it all go?

Computer science for everyone else.

Just your typical collection of funny sounds.

Touch Effects - mindless play from Microsoft. school an intelligence and make it a soul? ~John Keats

Friday, April 6, 2012

My Rules for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Social Media

I've been thinking about this issue for a while and just thought I'd write it down and get it out of my head. There are some things about social media that should be common sense or at least recommended practices.

Your Twitter avatar (aka the picture in your profile). If you're using the default egg-shaped picture I won't take you seriously.

Your Twitter bio. Leaving your Twitter bio blank is a sin. I can find you and follow you if you put interesting keywords in your bio. For example, CFD is one thing I look for. Also, when you follow me I'll be able to decide whether to follow you back.

There's no guarantee I'll follow you back. There's an unwarranted assumption in the Twitterverse that if you follow me I'm obliged to follow you back. That just ain't gonna happen. Maybe after I figure out who you are and see what you Tweet about.

Tweets with just a link. If I don't know you and you Tweet with just my handle and a link I won't click on the link. I'd have to be stupid to click on that link. I'd have to be doubly stupid to click on one of these links from someone with the egg-head avatar.

Do I look stupid?
Twitter followers who are a business. I wonder sometimes why some businesses follow me. This is where the bio comes into play. For example, I'm being followed by a Chevrolet dealership. I'm not actively looking for a car and although my first car was a Chevy Cavalier that I liked another Chevy isn't at the top of my list when I'll go looking again. But possibly, just maybe, the person who who Tweets for the car dealer is truly interested in following me instead of just shoving an ad in my face. Without a bio how am I supposed to know?

I'm not looking for a Chevy. And running? Hah! Should I block them?

Unqualified LinkedIn connection requests. If you want to connect with me (friend, like, join, follow or whatever term LinkedIn uses) please take a minute and add a comment to the request that tells me who you are. Because LinkedIn is for professional stuff I'm a bit pickier about who's in my network relative to Twitter, for example. So if I don't know who you are, I'm not likely to agree to the connection. Just say "we met at conference X" or "I saw you at university Y" or whatever that will jog my memory. If we haven't met say "I'm interested in CFD too" or something.

I don't think I'm asking too much. Do you?

Monday, April 2, 2012

How to Read a Modern Painting by Jon Thompson

On a recent trip to central New York State I finished my airplane reading before the return flight. Standing in the gift shop at Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery I scanned for something to read on the flight home. Considering that I was in an art museum the book's subject matter was set. My other criteria was size - I wanted something that was small enough to read and carry comfortably through the airport. Obviously not the best criterion for a good book.

The book I found was Jon Thompson's How to Read a Modern Painting: Lessons from the Modern Masters.

At the time of purchase, sharing my thoughts here was never part of the plan. But this blind squirrel found an acorn and scored big on both accounts. Thompson's book was enjoyable, fact-filled, and helped me learn more about modern art. It was also a comfortable 10" x 7" x 1" in size.

How to Read a Modern Painting consists of 370 pages where every pair of odd and even pages was a self-contained essay on a single significant painting. The essays include a brief biography of the artist and an analysis of the painting including a full-color plate of the work. In some cases another painting or two, by the same or related artists, were shown in smaller size for comparison. Artist or critic quotes were included in the analysis.

For example, Agnes Martin's Morning 1965 is featured on pages 302 and 303. The essay begins with her Canadian youth and her move to Manhattan in the 1950s. Barnett Newman advocated for her first show in 1958. At first glance her work might appear to be American Geometric Minimalist but its actually too contemplative to fit that genre. Her paintings appear "empty and formless but capable of yielding up all forms." Simply constructed, they are not simply apprehended with their shifting and wavelike movements.

Agnes Martin, Morning, 1965
The book proceeds chronologically from Gustave Corbet's The Artist's Studio, 1855 to Andy Warhol's Camouflage Self Portrait, 1986. Because prefer more recent works I read book backwards. The book covered all the usual suspects and it was nice to see artists and works that I enjoy. But the real joy was finding common influences among artists that never were apparent (to me). You could see who knew whom, what paintings share common elements and techniques, and how certain themes snaked there way forward through history. More interestingly, it was fun to find contradictory ideas about painting. For example, Willem de Kooning felt every artist operated within the history of painting whereas Clyfford Still said his paintings weren't influenced by anything that came before.

This book was perfect for casual reading since you only had to read two pages at a time. But at the same time, the number of paintings and the insights of the essays allowed you to learn by comparing and contrasting. What I still don't understand are all the names of the various schools of painting - cubism, dadaism, expressionism, minimalism. All the boundaries seem to blur together. However, there was another book on the shelf about -isms in art. Maybe I'll get that one on my next trip to Buffalo.