Afternoon Art Break

“By The Seashore”
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1883)

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Afternoon Links

Revisiting a novel that inspired J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and George R. R. Martin

“After reading this, it is advisable to take a moment to wonder at the absurdity of life, to offer a quiet prayer of thanks for the fact that any of us is still alive, and then to pursue—yet again, and surely not for the last time—that recurring question of our era: What in the world is the president talking about?”

How Conde Nast put the squeeze on New Yorker cartoonists

Martin Amis on Americans’ lack of wit

The novel that inspired Dune

The legend of Lou Gehrig

On cultural appropriation

“In his rhetorical contempt for free speech, his ignorance of basic constitutional facts, his addiction to drama and ratings, his personalization of every political question and conflict, and his uncanny ability to bring out the same qualities in his biggest detractors, he breathes new life into H. L. Mencken’s definition of democracy as ‘the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.’”

Everyone in this situation, except the victim, should go to jail for a very, very, very long time. Call me a starry-eyed idealist, but I would like to live in an America where you can’t order a state-sponsored murder to someone’s door like a pizza.

The year of lost opportunities

That 2017 has been a year of lost opportunities is an important failure for Republicans, who are likely to accomplish even less in 2018, when the prospect of congressional elections held in the shadow of Trump’s unpopularity will brighten the already visible yellow streak running down the back of Republican Washington. Perhaps things will go differently. But it may very well be the case that 2017 represents all that Republicans will really get out of the Trump phenomenon: a little bit of reform, a lot of noise, and a reputation that may never recover and may not deserve to.

“Why I left Iran to play chess in America”

How idiocy makes the New York subway so expensive

Were some Renaissance painters influenced by hallucinogenic fungi?

Technology in Amish country

 

 

 

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Afternoon Art Break

“Young Woman with Ibis”
Edgar Degas (1860–1862)

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Your Morning Cup of Links

The case of Stephen Greenblatt

A strange museum

What it means to be Cuban

What the Greek myths teach us about anger in troubled times

Jupiter’s auroras defy the laws of earthly physics

Freedom and art at the turn of the century

The mystery of the lost Roman herb

The inept crusades of the Knights Templar

A man who traveled to some of the world’s most violent places to clown around

Bureaucracy and poetry

Monet’s art collection

How the Jeopardy! writers room comes up with all those questions

Sex is cheap...and that’s a problem

Who painted the first abstract painting?

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Music Monday

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Weekend Art Break

“The Adoration of the Christ Child”
Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen and Workshop (c. 1515)

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Weekend Links

Why truckers love NPR

A guide to the plants of Tolkien’s Middle Earth

Should one always obey the wishes of late authors to destroy unpublished work?

A history of tea and how European colonization changed the Western diet

How Buffy The Vampire Slayer redefined TV storytelling

When things go missing

How Instagram is changing restaurant design

What a dumb time to be alive

The fight over women’s basketball in Somalia

The untold story of the Astros’ rainbow uniforms

Why everyone loves blue

A history of Europe’s four winds

The real Gus Grissom

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