11 June 2014

In the afterlife...

Movie from: Silly Symphony - The Skeleton Dance - 1929

27 May 2014

If this isn't nice, what is?

Words of wisdom by Kurt Vonnegut:

My Uncle Alex Vonnegut, an insurance salesman who lived at 5033 North Pennsylvania, taught me something very important. He said that when things are going really well we should be sure to notice it. He was talking about very simple occasions, not great victories. Maybe drinking lemonade under a shade tree, or smelling the aroma of a bakery, or fishing, or listening to music coming from a concert hall while standing in the dark outside, or, dar I say, after a kiss. he told me it was important at such times to say out loud, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”  

24 May 2014

The art of persuasion, explained in 59 seconds

It's called "the foot in the door" effect. Amazingly true.

22 May 2014

Assortment

How did the north end up being at the top of the map?  Interestingly, north wasn't always north. A cartographic history of "what's up"


Even the Beatles got bad reviews. I kid you not! Find out what the critics wrote about the Beatles in 1964.



Dear Graduate: don't follow your dreams! Here's the brutal truth: most people can't pay the bills by living their passion. What can we do instead? Apparently: never stop enjoying the wonder of the world, and never lose the curiosity that got you here today. I think that's some great advice.

12 May 2014

Colour me Pantone


271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800-Page Book.

In 1692 an artist known only as “A. Boogert” sat down to write a book in Dutch about mixing watercolors. Not only would he begin the book with a bit about the use of color in painting, but would go on to explain how to create certain hues and change the tone by adding one, two, or three parts of water. The premise sounds simple enough, but the final product is almost unfathomable in its detail and scope.

- (via This is Colossal)










18 March 2014

The Histomap



from Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline by Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton.


10 February 2014

Film & Philosophy


“Film has become such an integral ingredient in our motley recipe of mass art and pop culture entertainment that we often overlook its potential for stimulating serious reflection and speculation. The visual immediacy of cinematic art appeals to our receptive curiosity in the same way that paintings and natural landscapes often captivate our perceptual and emotional attention. However, our intellectual engagement with film has been minimized more and more with the proliferation of movies that cater simply to the passive sensory networks of spectacle-obsessed viewers rather than to the active reflection of thoughtful inquirers.”
- Kevin L Stoehr


05 February 2014

01 February 2014

Aristotle, oh and the shadows

When Aristotle isn't being praised as God himself, he get beaten around a bit.  So does Plato but mainly Aristotle. Here's something interesting that I found when going through my old files:

"If there is a philosophical Atlas who carries the whole of Western civilization on his shoulders, it is Aristotle. He has been opposed, misinterpreted, misrepresented, and—like an axiom—used by his enemies in the very act of denying him. Whatever intellectual progress men have achieved rests on his achievements.

Aristotle may be regarded as the cultural barometer of Western history. Whenever his influence dominated the scene, it paved the way for one of history’s brilliant eras; whenever it fell, so did mankind. The Aristotelian revival of the thirteenth century brought men to the Renaissance. The intellectual counter-revolution turned them back toward the cave of his antipode: Plato.

There is only one fundamental issue in philosophy: the cognitive efficacy of man’s mind. The conflict of Aristotle versus Plato is the conflict of reason versus mysticism. It was Plato who formulated most of philosophy’s basic questions—and doubts. It was Aristotle who laid the foundation for most of the answers. Thereafter, the record of their duel is the record of man’s long struggle to deny and surrender or to uphold and assert the validity of his particular mode of consciousness."

- Review of J.H. Randall’s Aristotle, The Objectivist Newsletter, May 1963, 18

30 January 2014

Musical history tour


Google research has created an amazing history of music timeline.  It's really fun to play around with.

02 August 2013

Woody Allen's Universe

I was feeling a little our of sorts after reading a little too much astrophysics.  It wasn't serious, just a bit of Bill Bryson, which was surprisingly disorientating. Just feeling very small in this gigantic universe(s?).  And then I remembered Woody Allen, of all people, and this cheered me up.

Unfortunately, it won't embed here, but here's the link to YouTube, click it, click it!


24 July 2013

Handy dandy

While doing my danish homework today, we read an online student discussion about their idols.  Along with learning a lot of new words, like "coolest" (which Pete advised me to not use), I also learnt about danish artist Michael Kvium for the first time:


This painting. Is. Hah. I want to own this so much!

22 July 2013

14 May 2013

The seeming and the meaning



"Every American student, is regarded as just someone out to make a lot of money. Really 16% of these students regard it as their main goal and concern in life to make a lot of money. And you know what the top category was among students? … 78% of these American youngsters were concerned as they expressed it themselves, with finding a meaning and purpose in their lives.

… If you take man as he really is, we will make him worse but if we overestimate him, if we seem idealist, overestimating, overrating man, and looking at him that high (pointing upwards), here above, you know what happens? We promote him to what he can really be. So we have to be idealist in a way because then we wind up as the true, the real realists.

And do you know who said this? This was Goethe. He said this verbally and now you will understand why in one of my writings I said that this is the most apt maxim and motto for psychotherapeutic activity.

So if don’t recognise a young man’s way to meaning, a man’s search for meaning, you make him worse. You make him dull. You make him frustrated. You contribute to his frustration, while if you presuppose in this man, this so called criminal or juvenile delinquent or drug abuser, there must be a spark of search for meaning. Let’s recognise this. Let’s presuppose this and then you will elicit this from him and you will make him become what he in principle is capable of becoming.”

NOTE | This video is from a 1972 lecture in Toronto, Canada; this and other full-length recordings of him can be seen: here

Mainly I'm a fan of Goethe.