Saturday, 28 April 2012
INTERESTING STUFF – 28 April 2012
A SUNDAY AT 105
This 13-minute film follows Aldéa Pellerin-Cormier through one day from early morning until time for bed. Made by her great-grandson, Daniel Leger, Ms. Pellerin-Cormier's comments are in French with English subtitles. There is more information at the website. (Hat tip to doctafil of Jive Chalkin')
THE POWER OF X
TEDx refers to independent, local TEDtalks events. At a recent TEDxSummit in Doha, this astonishing video opened the gathering and was meant to celebrate the power of x. (Hat tip to TGB reader, laura)
You might think that video was made with all kinds of fakery, CGI and fancy editing. Not so. It is a real kaleidoscope; everything happened inside the camera.
As amazing it is, the making-of video will make you appreciate it even more.
THE BATHROOM MUSE
Past poet laureate, Charles Simic, has written a charming piece at The New York Review of Books website about bathroom reading material:
”Has there ever been any survey conducted among those who lock themselves in the bathroom inquiring how they spend their time? Do they read, smoke, talk to themselves, think things over, say their prayers, or just stare into space? If not, how come?
“All those lights burning in bathrooms late at night in large and small cities must indicate someone is doing much more in them than just answering the call of nature.”
”As a guest in homes of strangers, I have discovered bathroom libraries that took my breath away by their size and intellectual pretensions.
“It was unclear to me whether Plato’s dialogues in original Greek, together with Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, Thomas Pynchon’s latest novel were there to impress the visitor, or in the case of another fellow who had a pile of memoirs by ex-presidents going back to Reagan, to make him laugh.”
I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy reading the whole thing. In the bathroom?
THE MIMIC OCTOPUS
I have known about the ability of octopuses (octopi?) to camouflage themselves by changing color, but I had no idea they could so dramatically change shape.
Apparently, there are other kinds of mimic octopi and you can find video of many of them at youtube - just query “mimic octopus”.
NOT UP FOR DEBATE CAMPAIGN
Just because political attacks on women's health issues have died down a bit in the media doesn't mean anything has gotten better. Nothing has changed and there are a growing number of states where pharmacists may refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control based on their personal beliefs.
This short video asks a startling question: What if pharmacists denied other medications for the same reason they deny contraceptives?
You can learn more and sign the petition here.
THE MAKING OF 3-D STREET ART
I have always had a passion for optical illusions and once gave up an entire weekend to make an overnight visit to Washington, D.C. for no other reason than to attend a major trompe l'oeil exhibit at the National Gallery.
I was lucky that this painting from 1874, titled Escaping Criticism (heh, heh) by Pere Borrel del Caso, was included in the show:
Trompe l'oeil (“deceive the eye”) has been around since ancient times. Wikipedia retells this story I first read many decades ago:
”A version of an oft-told ancient Greek story concerns a contest between two renowned painters. Zeuxis (born around 464 BC) produced a still life painting so convincing, that birds flew down from the sky to peck at the painted grapes.
“He then asked his rival, Parrhasius, to pull back a pair of very tattered curtains in order to judge the painting behind them. Parrhasius won the contest, as his painting was of the curtains themselves.”
Don'tcha love it?
Photographs of 3D street paintings that fool the eye are all over the web, but this is the first video I've seen of one being made. “The Crevasse” is by acknowledged master, Edgar Muller.
THE DALAI LAMA ON AGING
The Dalai Lama leads a life of complexity and contradiction juggling ancient devotions, quietly intense political activism and high levels of modern technology. Last week I ran across this note from him on Google+:
”Every one of us is getting older, which is a natural process. Time is constantly moving on, second by second. Nothing can stop it, but what we can do is use our time properly; that is in our hands.
“Whether we believe in a spiritual tradition or not, we need to use our time meaningfully. If over days, weeks, months and years, we have used our time in a meaningful way – when our last day comes, we'll be happy, we'll have no regrets.”
THE DAILY MAIL SONG
If you are unfamiliar with the British newspaper, The Daily Mail, just think any Rupert Murdoch paper (although he doesn't own this one) such as The New York Post.
Two fellows from Britain, Dan and Dan, perform The Daily Mail Song. It gave me a giggle – maybe you too.
Thanks to Nikki of From Where I Sit and Nancy Leitz, we have the video story of Henri (oh my, a lot of French going on in this post today), a black cat whose demeanor is as dark as his fur:
The video was made by Will Braden who posts other kinds of videos here. And this is Part 2, Henri, Paw de Deux.
A SATURDAY EXTRA
This happened last Tuesday and you have probably seen it by now but what the hell - I really, really like it: President Barack Obama slow-jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon and his house band, The Roots.
Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.
You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” in the upper left corner of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I probably won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog if you have one.