From the monthly archives:

June 2009

Thomas Jefferson designed his own house, and constantly fiddled with it — and yet his bed was in the wall between his office and bedroom:

Jefferson's Bed (by Maira Kalman)

Jefferson's Bed (by Maira Kalman)

From “Time Wastes Too Fast“, a narrative and series of images by Maira Kalman based on a visit to Monticello.

{ 0 comments }

J. Robert Lennon on what writers really do:

Recently, I timed myself during a typical four-hour “writing” session, in order to determine how many minutes I spend writing. The answer: 33. That’s how long it took to type four pages of narrative and dialogue for my novel-in-progress, much of which will eventually end up discarded.

Read the article for his detailed timeline.

via @CherylStrayed via @BigScotty

{ 0 comments }

George Carlin, remembering his early career:

“I was doing superficial comedy entertaining people who didn’t really
care: Businessmen, people in nightclubs, conservative people. And I
had been doing that for the better part of 10 years when it finally
dawned on me that I was in the wrong place doing the wrong things for
the wrong people…”

{ 0 comments }

“Software options proliferate extremely easily, too easily in fact, because too many options create tools that can’t ever be used intuitively. Intuitive actions confine the detail work to a dedicated part of the brain, leaving the rest of one’s mind free to respond with attention and sensitivity to the changing texture of the moment. With tools, we crave intimacy. This appetite for emotional resonance explains why users – when given a choice – prefer deep rapport over endless options. You can’t have a relationship with a device whose limits are unknown to you, because without limits it keeps becoming something else.”

– Brian Eno, Wired Magazine (January 1999)

{ 0 comments }

Jeff Clark built this shaped word cloud out of 84,000 tweets labeled with #iranelection:

A Visualization of #iranelection Tweets (by Jeff Clark)

A Visualization of #iranelection Tweets (by Jeff Clark)

{ 0 comments }

In a recent edition of BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent:

Even in your own language, it is difficult to catch accurately the words of a song if they are not written down in front of you, and in France, which imports most of its music from the US or UK, there is even a word for the appropriation of lyrics.

It is “yaourt”, or “to yoghurt”.

You start singing confidently… and then trail off into inarticulate “yoghurting” when your lexicon runs dry.

{ 0 comments }

Irrepressible

Irrepressible

By fascists — with batons — this mark was made.
Her smile says: “Our resistance will not fade.”

Wishing the people of Iran all the best in your struggle for your human rights to freely express yourselves and be treated with dignity.

The world admires your courage.

{ 0 comments }

An unhelmeted stormtrooper finds sanctuary:

June 13: On the streets of Tehran

June 13: On the streets of Tehran

via Andrew Sullivan

{ 0 comments }

From the Imagine That! blog at Psychology Today:

“Neophyte means beginner. Neophyte is the opposite of expert. The serial neophyte is one who relishes the prospect of feeling a kid again, embracing the uncertainty of ignorance and discovering new things constantly. The serial neophyte, first cousin to the polymath, purposefully moves from one discipline and one venture to another, transferring thinking skills and problem-solving strategies as he or she goes.”

{ 0 comments }

I feel ambivalent about Banksy. I find some of his work really impressive, while other pieces are either a yawn, or overdone, or a yawn because they’re overdone.

But taking over your hometown’s main museum for the summer, with only a handful of people knowing about it until the day before it opens?

Not bad…

{ 0 comments }

“For a poem to coalesce, for a character or an action to take shape, there has to be an imaginative transformation of reality which is in no way passive. And a certain freedom of the mind is needed — freedom to press on, to enter the currents of your thought like a glider pilot, knowing that your motion can be sustained, that the buoyancy of your attention will not be suddenly snatched away. Moreover, if the imagination is to transcend and transform experience it has to question, to challenge, to conceive of alternatives, perhaps to the very life you are living at that moment. You have to be free to play around with the notion that day might be night, love might be hate; nothing can be too sacred for the imagination to turn into its opposite or to call experimentally by another name. For writing is re-naming.”

– Adrienne Rich, from “When We Dead Awaken”, 1971

{ 0 comments }

David Lynch, on wee media formats:

{ 0 comments }