Category Archives: Observations

Baggage

photo via: Richard Carter

Sometimes I find it comforting to know
My problems will follow me wherever I go.

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Thinking about the beauty of old faded VHS tapes

noise video by anil bawa-cavia

photo via: Anil Bawa-Cavia

Bad information is sometimes good information….i.e. there is an aesthetic value to bad information that can exceed the practical value of good information.

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Jaques Lacan interrupted by a young revolutionary.

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The Music of Drawing

Calligraphy by Brody Neuenschwander

Calligraphy often strikes me as one of the most musical of visual arts – the linear rhythms making solid structures for the swooping thinning and thickening lines that form such lovely and compelling visual melodies.  Mr. Neuenschwander’s work seems particularly exuberant in this regard.

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I know what I know and I know where to go

Ask me a question I almost never know but I almost always know where to go to know.

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Epiphany

I understood the moment I understood I wouldn’t understand.

I was happy to have this thought. Because it was true, because it accurately described a moment that I had. An experience. It also had kind of a ring to it. A little bit of poetry.

Whenever I come up with a phrase like this – I call them fragments – I give them a quick Google to see who else has said the same thing. For someone, somewhere has ALWAYS said the same thing.

But this time, nothing.

So, that’s it suckers, you were too late.  I said it first. Give me the credit, put it on my gravestone, quote it in my bio. Google that shit.

 

Oh Shit, I just did it again, said something that Google says was never said before.  I am on a roll.  look out plagiarists and copiers, I am the true OG (ori-ginator)

 

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The Pocket Notebooks of Famous Men

Thomas Jefferson’s notebook via: the art of manliness

As someone who has kept a pocket notebook for almost as long as I can remember (thus leading to my desire for this very blog), and as someone who is rarely accused of having manly habits, I was pleased to see this article in The Art of Manliness blog describing the pocket notebooks of various famous men.

Many were interesting, but I really enjoyed Thomas Jefferson’s (shown above) because it was erasable ivory leaves. He’d go about his day, keeping his notes, and then when he got home, would re-copy them into bigger notebooks, and clean off the ivory leaves to ready them for the next day’s writings. This is the kind of process you could only do prior to the internet.

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A little pool of water called “Hope”

photo via : tofutti break

Heard an interesting story on the radio today about a lab rat study done in the 1950’s by a (possibly sadistic) scientist named Curt Richter.

He took a bunch of rats and put them into a high-sided bucket of circulating water that they couldn’t escape from and timed how long it took for the rats to drown. It wasn’t long – an average of 15 minutes for the rats to give up, stop swimming, and drown.

He then repeated the experiment with a new group of rats and a new twist – in the second instance, he “rescued” the rats just after they had given up swimming, again, at around the 15 minute mark. He let them dry off, he fed them some food, allowed them to recuperate. And then he threw them back in the bucket of water. The amazing result was that these rats were then able to swim for up to 60 hours before giving up and drowning.

Big difference.

Curt Richter attributed the rat’s new found stamina and survival skills to “hope” and felt that he had demonstrated the miraculous achievements possible as long as one has hope.

I see implications for action movies where the hero is about to die in the villains lair, and he is briefly rescued.

What I also find interesting is that this study, which really is completely f’ed up, is cited in on a lot of bibly / sermony / religious websites when you google for it. They love the part about the hope, but they’re kind of missing how the hope part was derived. Maybe the rats that gave up in fifteen minutes were really the smart ones.

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The Sound of Foreign Films

film still from: Let The Right One In

Are you familiar with the trope of the “Ugly American” speaking to a foreigner who can’t understand a word they are saying – so the American begins to shout to make their point more comprehensible?

The thing is, watching foreign films I find myself as the foreigner wanting to understand, wanting to just follow the plot better, but instead of paying closer attention to the subtitles, what do I do? Of course – I turn up the volume on my television set. Because if I can hear the Swedish louder, maybe I’ll finally start to understand it better.

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We may be few, but you will feel our anger

Anonymous graffitti, High Dive bar, Brooklyn

Wherever we see it we will speak up.

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