Archive for May, 2014

Is It Really Possible To Design Your Life?

Good Life Project® founder, Jonathan Fields, interviews branding expert, teacher, designer, author and Design Matters founder, Debbie Millman

http://www.goodlifeproject.com

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Paper to Plants: Behind the Scenes

Peek at the making of Kelli Anderson’s stop-motion film, inspired by Marie Caudry’s original artwork for Plants.

Over months of night-owl shoots—6,000 photographs!—Kelli and her partner, Daniel Dunnam, cut and fashioned a forest entirely out of paper: 400 tiny leaves, 500 blades of grass, and 25 squirrels.

Plants is the second app in Tinybop’s Explorer’s Library, a series for curious kids ages 4+.

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Have the Homeless Become Invisible?

People Disguised As Homeless Ignored By Loved Ones On Street In Stunning Social Experiment

http://MakeThemVisible.com

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Alex Dang – “What Kind of Asian Are You?”

Man Breaks It Down Once And For All Why You Shouldn’t Ask People ‘What Kind Of Asian’ They Are

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The Benjamin Franklin Effect | The Science of Love

When you do nice things for your significant other, it actually makes you like them more.

It’s an idea rooted in “The Benjamin Franklin Effect” — a psychological phenomenon, discovered by the founding father himself, that suggests we grow to like people for whom we do nice things.

Benjamin Franklin’s theory is the more time, effort, or work you put towards a person, the more you’re personally investing in them and the more you want it to work out.

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Kurt Vonnegut Urges Young People to Make Art and “Make Your Soul Grow”

The Quirky Philosophical Drawings of Jean-Paul Sartre
in Art, Letters, Philosophy | April 21st, 2014
SartreDrawings1

We’ve established something of a tradition here of featuring drawings by famous authors. It seems, unsurprisingly, that skill with the pen often goes hand-in-glove with a keen visual sense, though admittedly some writers are more talented draftsmen than others. William Faulkner, for example, created some very fine pen-and-ink illustrations for his college newspaper during his brief time at Ole Miss. Franz Kafka’s expressionistic sketches are quite striking, despite his anguished protestations to the contrary. And Jorge Luis Borges’ doodles are as quirky and playful as the author himself. Today we bring you the sketches of that great French existentialist philosopher, novelist, and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre—a collection of six rough, childlike caricatures that are, shall we say, rather less than accomplished. It’s certainly for the best—as the cliché goes—that Sartre never quit his day job for an art career.

SartreDrawings2

But there is a certain wicked charm in Sartre’s visual satires of human moral failings, which he calls a “series de ‘douze vices sans allusion’”—roughly, “a series of twelve vices without reference.” Either Sartre only completed half the series, or—more likely—half have been lost, since the author assures the recipient of his handiwork, a Mademoiselle Suzanne Guille, that he presents to her a “série complete.” Who was Suzanne Guille? Your guess is as good as mine. Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which houses these sketches, gives us no indication. Perhaps she was a relative, perhaps the spouse, of Pierre Guille, Simon de Beauvoir’s last lover? Given the many complicated liaisons pursued by both Sartre and his partner, the possibilities are indeed intriguing. As for the drawings? Their subjects hold more interest than their execution, providing us with keys to Sartre’s moral universe.

SartreDrawings3

The first caricature, at the top, is titled “Le Contentment de soi”—“Self-Satisfaction”—and the character’s pompous expression says as much. Below it, the curious little fellow with the curlicue nose is called “L’Esprit Critique”—“The Spirit of Criticism.” And above we have “Le respect de la consigne et de la jurée”—“Keeping a Sworn Oath.” You can see the remaining three drawings, and read Sartre’s letter (in French, of course) to Mademoiselle Guille in pdf form here.

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The Art of Sylvia Plath: Revisit Her Sketches, Self-Portraits, Drawings & Illustrated Letters

Walter Kaufmann’s Classic Lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre (1960)

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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The Origins of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk: Vintage Footage of Cab Calloway, Sammy Davis Jr., Fred Astaire & More
in Dance, Video – Arts & Culture | April 21st, 2014

Michael Jackson took one giant leap for pop history on March 25, 1983 when he gave an adoring public their first taste of his signature moonwalk in honor of Motown Records’ 25th birthday. (See below)

Novelty-wise, it wasn’t quite a Neil Armstrong moment. Like many artists, Jackson had many precedents from which he could and did draw. He can be credited with bringing a certain attitude to the proceedings. The expert practitioners in the video above are more ebullient, tapping, sliding and proto-moonwalking themselves into a state of rapture that feeds off the audience’s pleasure.

The line-up includes artists lucky enough to have left lasting footprints—Cab Calloway, Sammy Davis Jr., Fred Astaire, as well as those we’d do well to rediscover: Rubberneck Holmes, Earl “Snakehips” Tucker, Buck and Bubbles….

Lacking the Internet, however, it does seem unlikely that Jackson would’ve spent much time poring over the footwork of these masters. (He may have taken a sartorial cue from their socks.)

Instead, he invested a lot of time breaking down the street moves, what he referred to in his autobiography as “a ‘popping’ type of thing that black kids had created dancing on the street corners in the ghetto.”

Jackson’s sister, LaToya, identified former Soul Train and Solid Gold dancer Jeffrey Daniel, below, as her brother’s primary tutor in this endeavor. (He went on to co-choreograph Jackson’s videos for “Bad” and “Smooth Criminal“.) As to the story behind his moonwalk, or backslide as he called it before Jackson’s version obliterated the possibility of any other name, Daniel gave props to the same kids Jackson did.

via Metafilter

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Ayun Halliday is the author of seven books, and creator of the award winning East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday

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Sir Patrick Stewart & Sir Ian McKellen Play The Newlywed Game
in Comedy, Random | April 21st, 2014

I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that this is the first time two knighted cultural figures have played The Newlywed Game – a version of that wince (and nostalgia) -inducing game show that ran from the 1960s through the 1990s. Although Stewart and McKellen aren’t married, they know each other plenty well. They’ve worked together on stage (in a production of Waiting for Godot) and in film (they’ll be appearing together in an upcoming X-Men movie.) And suffice it to say, they’ve formed a tight friendship. When Stewart married Sunny Ozell last year, McKellen officiated at the wedding ceremony.

This little bit took place at a BuzzFeed Brews event back in February. You can watch their full 48 minute appearance here. Also find the two in a deeper conversation recorded at the Screen Actors Guild Foundation just last month.

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Painter Paul Gauguin Plays the Harmonium with No Pants or Shoes (Circa 1895)
in Art, Photography | April 20th, 2014
gauguin plays

What do we have here? Painter Paul Gauguin playing a harmonium at the Paris studio of Alphonse Mucha, a Czech Art Nouveau painter, in or around 1895. How this came about — how Gauguin decided to strip off his pants and shoes and start playing that pump organ — we’ll probably never know. But we’re certainly glad that this light moment was saved for posterity.

via @SteveSilberman

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Kurt Vonnegut Urges Young People to Make Art and “Make Your Soul Grow”
in Creativity, K-12, Letters, Literature | April 19th, 2014

Art not only saves lives, it casts ripples, as Kurt Vonnegut surely knew when he replied—at length—to five New York City high school students who’d contacted him as part of a 2006 English assignment. (The identities of the other authors selected for this honor are lost to time, but not one had the courtesy to respond except Vonnegut.)

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

via Open Culture

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How do the media scare us? Russell Brand The Trews Ep38

Russell Brand The Trews Ep 38.
I give you the true news so you don’t have to invest any money in buying newspapers that charge you for the privilege of keeping your consciousness imprisoned in a tiny box of ignorance and lies.

“Philosophy is devotion to an analyzed life…..”

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Rocker Jack White – Serious Jibber-Jabber with Conan O’Brien

Grammy-winning musician and producer Jack White joins Conan for a special episode of Serious Jibber-Jabber — shot entirely on 35mm film.

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