Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Don’t Turn Away From the Art of Life

A man stops and stares at the water for a long time, looking for something. A while later, he walks away. You see him from a distance. You are sitting, watching, you realize, the man watching the water. Did he find what he was looking for? You decide to approach the water to see if you can find it too, some meaning perhaps, some small vision.
When you arrive, are near enough to see the ripples approaching the edge at which you stand, you have your answer, or, really, two possibilities: either he did not find what he was looking for because it was not there, or he did, and he took it away with him.
~ Bathroom Quote

Many happy returns Malchkeon, a decade just flew in milliseconds ... A total solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, while a partial eclipse will be visible from Australia and other parts of Asia and Hawaii from March 8 to 9.
A total solar eclipse - a partial eclipse will be visible from Howell's Garden on eighth of March ...

“‘WARNING: May cause drowsiness and occasional eye-rolling. Go watch the musical instead,’ said one reviewer. A five-star fan, however, said that ‘it was translated by the Gift and Power of God, and is the record of a people who are a branch of the tribe of Israel who had Prophets in their day who preached about Christ. Read it and pray about its contents.'” The Guardian 

What matters is not whether one believes in a higher power, but rather making use of whatever philosophical tools give life meaning and create vectors by which to effect change in the world...
Yann Martel: The Canadian author has made a rather successful career for himself out of just this type of sacred/profane wrangling.He once said that his most famous novel, Life of Pi, could be summarized in three sentences: “1) Life is a story. 2) You can choose your story. 3) A story with God is the better ... The life of meaning on Yann Martels the High Tatra Mountains of Portugal

News from the Profession. Accounting as Performance Art? Sure, Why Not? (Caleb Newquist, Going Concern)

deer_bounding_fence links

  • * “And Hansel and Gretel (children!) kill their captor by baking her in an oven.” — Scalia, J., noting the commonness of violence in youthful entertainment over the centuries, in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (2005), his landmark opinion confirming full First Amendment protection for videogames as works of expression [Jim Copland/City JournalOwen Good/Polygon; contrasting Hillary Clinton position]
  • James Andow (Reading) has been compiling a list of philosophers in fiction, including novels, films, plays, etc. He says: For no reason in particular, I thought it would be nice to have a list of fictional works in which one of the main characters is an academic philosopher. The rules are somewhat arbitrary. I am prepared to be flexible as to what counts as fiction ... Philosophers in fictional works

  • Owner Paul North of J.B. O’Reilly’s, a popular Irish pub in a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, “could face prosecution or hefty fines” Playersnavycutafter Health Department inspectors discovered at his business a display of tobacco advertising, which is now banned there. The advertising in question? “Antique signs and memorabilia, including a number of collectable tobacco signs dating back more than 120 years,” although “most of the brands [are no longer] on the market and J.B. O’Reilly’s [does not sell] any tobacco products.” [Brisbane Times]

    *New York Public Libraries Digital Collections – “Explore 674,208 items digitized from The New York Public Library‘s collections. This site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.” A recent addition is a collection of over 2,000 Turn of the Century Posters. The collection offers a magical tour of diverse styles and periods, and often recognizable images from magazines, print advertisements, magazine and journals covers.

    ** New York Times op-ed:  Don’t Turn Away From the Art of Life, by Arnold Weinstein (Professor of Comparative Literature, Brown):
    Enthusiasm for the Humanities ... is much diminished in today’s educational institutions. Our data-driven culture bears much of the blame: The arts can no longer compete with the prestige and financial payoffs promised by studying the STEM fields — a curriculum integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These are all worthy disciplines that offer precise information on practically everything. But, often and inadvertently, they distort our perceptions; they even shortchange us.
    The regime of information may well sport its specific truths, but it is locked out of the associations — subjective but also moral and philosophical — that bathe all literature. A new technology like GPS provides us with the most efficient and direct route to a destination, but it presupposes we know where we are going. Finding an address is one thing; finding one’s way in life is another. Even our smartest computers or most brilliant statisticians are at a loss when it comes to mapping our psychic landscapes. ...
    “How much do you know about Shakespeare,” I once asked a friend who has committed much of her life to studying the Bard. She replied, “Not as much as he knows about me.” Remember this the next time someone tells you literature is useless.

    Illustration by Mimmo Paladino for a rare edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses

    Bosses Tap Outside Firms to Predict Which Workers Might Get Sick
    Nasdaq, 16/2/16. Employee wellness firms and insurers are working with companies to mine data about the prescription drugs workers use, how they shop, and even whether they vote, to predict their individual health needs and recommend treatments.

    Stuart Sternberg, the principal owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, says a pending move to bar reporters from Major League Baseball locker rooms would be a big mistake. Choking off media access could stem the flow of publicity, he says, both positive and negative. "Be careful what you wish for," Sternberg said. "You've got all these people around writing and caring and covering and photographing and blogging and whatnot. And you wake up one day and nobody's there."  Ban reporters from the locker room bad for sports bad for journalism

    She is the suburban mum of two who made a fortune from a series of books about women who enjoy being tied up and spanked — but not without the Australian Taxation Office inflicting a little pain of its own. New documents released by a district court in Texas suggest that Amanda Hayward, 45, of Dural, in Sydney’s northwest, who was the first publisher of the Fifty Shadesseries ofbooks, has been audited no less than six times as the ATO hunts down its share of $45 million in profits she made from erotica.
    Shades of grey in erotica tax case

    Rightly revered in Australia for wide-ranging fiction and reportage, Pulitzer-winner Brooks has never written a bad book – and more people should read her. Here are five titles everyone should pick up
    Read Geraldine Brooks march Australia pulitzer

    Some of the most revered literary novels that have appeared in recent years will be adapted for televisionJonathon Sturgeon writes forFlavorwire, “What do we call this new relationship between prestige and streaming TV and the literary novel? The two now shape each other in peculiar, formal ways—like lovers who share an apartment, they’ve started speaking and looking alike.” Pair with this Millions piece on literary magazines in film and TV.

    The Bob Dylan Archive highlights the unique artistry and worldwide cultural significance of Bob Dylan. Housed at The University of Tulsa’s Helmerich Center for American Research, the archive includes decades of never-before-seen handwritten manuscripts, notebooks and correspondence; films, videos, photographs and artwork; memorabilia; personal documents; unrecorded song lyrics and chords….

    Frits Gierstberg, European Portrait Photography Since 1990.  Mostly photos, not much text, the artists include Rineke Dijkstra, Jurgen Teller, Thomas Ruff, Nikos Markou, Anders Petersen, and Clare Strand.  This book made a strong impression on me, and I find it to be one of the best meditative tools for thinking about what Europe really is these days.  By the way, the under-representation of Islam (not popular with collectors?) is striking ...