OpenCulture: The Wisdom of Alan Watts in Four Thought-Provoking Animations.
Fun, but he conflates Zen and Taoism, as many in the West do. The story of the farmer is straight from Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi). Better to get it from the original, from one of my favorite books. [Caveat: Published by the Princeton University Press, when my best friend was an editor there.]
Yahoo News/AP Exclusive: Letter that inspired Kerouac found.
Written by Neal Cassady. “The letter is so good, and you see why these guys loved him. [snip] The writing, it just breathes off the page.” I think we all want to take a gander at this one.
The Believer/Logger: How Writers Read (Vol. 1).
Hmmm. Off on a bit of a tangent, I was just commenting the other day how modern fiction is filthy with description. Classics are spare; they rely on imagination or reader-knowledge of the situations and locations of which they speak. Today, novelists give us painfully detailed description of things that have no bearing on the plot. I’m not sure if it is pointing to a lack of imagination in the reading public, or simply the plethora of bad ‘how to write’ books. Nevertheless, I keep turning from the modern to the ancient for my reading materials. Top of mind, after my latest library run ...
Telegraph.UK: Neil Gaiman - Why Disney’s Sleeping Beauty doesn’t work.
“The point about Snow White is that you can keep fighting. The point about Snow White is that even when those who are meant to love you put you in an intolerable situation, you can run away, you can make friends, you can cope. And that message [he says with a smile of satisfaction] that even when all is at its darkest, you can think your way out of trouble – is huge.”
Fubiz: Leather Belt Home Covering.
Cool idea. Problem is, once this gets on the ‘net (and meta-linked on Pinterest), I’ll go to the local thrift stores and old belts will jack up in price - or be completely gone.
io9: This 2000-Year-Old Pigment Can Eliminate The Third Dimension.
So cool. The Chinese had ‘flat UI’ before we did.
Home Designing: Breathtaking Stone Mosaics Turn Nature Into Art.
ArtDaily: O’Keeffe painting sells for more than 3x the previous world auction record ...
... for any female artist. Here: “Seven bidders competed for Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1, but it was a prolonged battle between two determined bidders that drove the price to this record height – nearly tripling the work’s high estimate of $15 million.”
Italian Ways: The paradox of the Ducati RR 3404.1 ”breadbox”.
Not a motorcycle. A tube radio.
zenhabits: Writer as Coder - The Iterative Way to Write a Book.
Feedback as you go. Not a bad idea.
ArtDaily: The microphones the Beatles sang into at Liverpool’s Cavern Club at auction.
Lennon-spit! McCartney snozz! Step right up ...
The Paris Review: Shelby Foote on the Tools of the Trade.
“You have to communicate sensation, [snip] the belief in what life is, what it’s about, and you do it through learning how to handle a pen. That’s the reason why I have always felt comfortable with the pen in my hand and extremely uncomfortable having some piece of machinery between me and the paper — even a typewriter let alone a word computer, which just gives me the horrors.” Foote always embodied the soft-spoken style of Southern gentry, an archetype that is disappearing very swiftly. Erudite, intelligent and yet distinctly Southern.
ArtDaily: French photographer and Pablo Picasso confidant, Lucien Clergue, dies aged 80.
“The best-known works from Clergue were his nude images and landscapes, which led to him being the first photographer to be admitted to the elite Academie Francaise, the guardian of the French language. ” His daughter has a portfolio up, here [NSFW; tasteful nudity]. RIP, good sir - often copied, rarely referenced, never equalled.
Guardian.UK: Why must the ‘best new writers’ always be under 40?
Atlas: A new ‘craft and curio’ magazine.
NY Times: A Review of ‘From Heart to Hand: African-American Quilts’ at the Montclair Art
Lovely, warm ways of recycling existing fabric.
BBC: Napoleon’s hat expected to fetch 500,000 euros at auction.
Wow. Allegedly worn at the Battle of Marengo. Never thought I’d actually see one of Nappy’s hats. The internet still manages to amaze me from time to time.
ArtDaily: Navajo first phase chief’s blanket on offer at Bonhams Saan Francisco this December.
PU Press: The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm - The Complete First Edition.
All the original blood and guts, sans censorship. Should be great. I think I’ll put the hardcover on my Xmas list. One endorsement: “Hate, spite, love, magic, all self-evident, heartbreaking, delightful.”
Slate: “Crappy Gabor paper” - Overly honest citation slips into peer-reviewed journal Ethology.
“Typos and editing mistakes are common on blogs and even in print newspapers, where reporters and editors are working on tight deadlines. But academics typically have weeks or even months to edit a paper before the journal goes to press, and the peer review process means that it has to go through close reads by multiple experts in the relevant field.” Time is no barrier to bad editing or poor proofreading. “Meticulous care” is a trait that is neither respected nor fairly compensated these days. So it’s never taken.
ArtDaily: Original ink drawing of Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet to auction.
Have your Monets and Van Goghs; I’d pay a pretty penny for this. Iconic.
ArtDaily: World’s rarest stamp, 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, to land at National Postal Mus
“Printed in black ink on magenta paper, it bears the image of a three-masted ship and the colony’s motto in Latin: ‘we give and expect in return.’” Huh? This looks like a well-used beer coaster. I can’t, for the life of me, see a ship.
The Atlantic: The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling.
“Gilgamesh has all the trappings of a modern story: a protagonist who goes on an arduous journey, a romance with a seductive woman, a redemptive arc, and a full cast of supporting characters.” Stories don’t have to be “hero’s journey” arcs to be worthy.
Colossal: The Ingenuity and Beauty of Creative Parchment Repair in Medieval Books.
Intricate. Never imagined crocheting holes.
ArtDaily: San Ildefonso polychrome plate may bring $20,000+ at Heritage Auctions.
“That this plate is a polychrome example, rather than the usual black-on-black, sends the value soaring.” Anything Maria Martinez commands amazing prices; anything non-black? Stratosphere.