Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Met's "Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara and Lattice Detour"

Like Harry Lesser, we're museumgoers; so, when The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) re-opened recently, we (mistakenly) took the downtown D to the eastbound M86 to see Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara and Lattice Detour.

Pectoral (The Rao Pectoral) and Five Gold Beads (12th-13th century)
Megalith (8th-9th century)

Per The Met's website: 

Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara is the first exhibition of its kind to trace the legacy of those mighty states [i.e., Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger] and what they produced in the visual arts.

Reclining Figure (12th-14th century)

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Can Flowers Help You Become a Better Writer?

It turns out that having having houseplants or flowers may increase your concentration (i.e., make you a better writer). 

Per Scientific American: In a study to be published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, researchers show that the mere presence of plants in an office setting boosts one’s ability to maintain attention.

And Bio Advanced posted: A study at The Royal College of Agriculture in Circencester, England, found that students demonstrate 70% greater attentiveness when they're taught in rooms containing plants.

However, unlike Nabokov, we suck at identifying flowers; so, we did a post on Reddit's r/whatsthisplant and discovered that, from left to right, we have a vase from Trader Joe's of dianthus', statices and baby's breaths. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Public Art: Sam Falls' UNTITLED (FOUR ARCHES) | High Line

Sam Falls' Untitled (Four Arches) | High Line
[Photo: @afemeinnyc)]

Due to you know what, the High Line is reservations only. Thus, I got an Eventbrite ticket for today at noon to see Sam Falls' Untitled (Four Arches), which is part of the High Lines' En Plein Air group exhibition that "examines and expands the tradition of outdoor painting."

Sam Falls' Untitled (Four Arches) | Embedded (High Line) Plants in Ceramic
[Photo: @matteetglossy]

Here's a description of the pieces from the High Line:

"For the High Line, Falls creates four ceramic archways supported by the steel rail tracks from the High Line’s original railway; each archway is dedicated to a different season in the park. For one year, Falls collected plants from the High Line, embedded them in ceramic, and fossilized them with colorful pigments." Nice.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

THE APE (2005): Writer's Block

The Ape (2005): Writer's Block

Initially, Harry Walker (James Franco) didn't follow Sylvia Plath's advice, which is: "Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and [use] the imagination to improvise."

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Putting "Low" Amazon Books Sales into Perspective

Photo credit: Markinblog

Like Roxie and Velma, I have three best friends and one of them has written seven books, he has published four, but he has sold approximately a thousand, which compared to, say, Nabokov that may not seem like a lot; however, when put into certain perspectives, a thousand books sold can be impressive. 

For example, imagine that Amazon is a brick and mortar bookstore. Now imagine getting an email from Amazon and a bookseller informing you, "[insert author's name]. Good news. We've sold one-thousand copies of your book(s)!"

I would imagine that most authors would be pleased with that email. 

That email is no different from my friend getting his historical sales report from his (very small) publisher informing him that he has sold (close to) a thousand books. 

Even an email to inform an author that he or she has sold ten books is good news. 
"[insert author's name]. Good news. We've sold ten copies of your book(s)!"

I've posted before that another way to put book sales into perspective is to consider each book a work of art. Most artists (i.e., writers) would be overjoyed to sell one thousand pieces of art - or even ten for that matter. 


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

"Chronicle of a Summer" (1961) [French: "Chronique d'un été"] French Bohemians

Chronicle of a Summer (1961) [French: Chronique d'un été], a cinéma vérité film, features some French bohemians who shared some highlights from their lifestyles:

"Hard work is really a waste of time. Especially, just to earn money."
"Painting's the way I learn. I love it."
"We stayed in bed most mornings reading. In the afternoons we painted."
"We rented a studio in an old house in the Camargue [...] I painted names on boats. Anything. We lived well on two hours of work a day."
"We lay about in the sun [and] did some painting."
"We haven't much money [...] [but] books [...] we do."
"When we sell a painting, we buy something to make life richer (e.g., more books)"

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

CAPITAL (2019): The Negative Consequences of Privilege (i.e. Classism)

Paul Piff, a psychologist at the University of California at Irvine, did a study where Monopoly players were divided randomly by flipping a coin into rich and poor players. 

The rich players were given two-times as much money as the poor players, the rich players got to roll both dice instead of one; therefore, the rich players got to move around the board a lot quicker, and when they passed GO, they collected $200 while the poor and slower players only collected $100.

Consequently, the rich players became more dominant, significantly ruder (e.g., The rich players belittled the poor players.), the rich players were less compassionate, and despite their initial advantage in the game, the rich players acted as if they deserved to win (i.e., The rich players didn't acknowledge that they had a significant advantage in the game.)

Piff related Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2019): 

"When you watch patterns of human interactions, people who feel entitled and deserving of their own success, are more willing to privilege their own interests above the interests of other people and often engage in ways that undermines other people's welfare; so, that they can get ahead."

"We translate perceptions and experiences of being better off than others - materially, to being better than others."