- Reader B: “Love the foof-a-quotes.”
- A different Reader B. re: Beryl Markham’s West with the Night — “One of my absolutely favorite books.”
- Reader M. writes in re: statements like ‘Today in 1501, in the early morning hours…’ — “I always wonder about the actual nature of ‘today’ and the shift of 11 days when the Gregorian calendar was initially adopted in 1582 (and eventually more widely so) .. hence my cognitive dissonance with the phrase, ‘today in’ any date on or prior to October 4, 1582, anywhere, and any date somewhere else after that without also providing the Julianness or the Gregorianness of the calendar. ¶ Anyhow, this is my dissonance, most perfectly illustrated by the fact that Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same date in the same year, but Cervantes died 11 days earlier than Shakespeare.” — Believe it or not, this came up in the first few months of this newsletter and I finally decided I liked the style of the construction more than the literal accuracy. Plus, what’s 11 days between friends (and more than 400 years :)?
- Reader S.: “Thanks for the link to the Miranda July article, you and I have talked before about our shared adoration. But…her Dad is Richard Grossinger ??? ¶ Explains a LOT. — I knew of Sacred Hearts Books, but not Grossinger. It does indeed explain a lot about July’s beautiful weirdness.
I suppose, if there were a part of the world in which mastodon still lived, somebody would design a new gun, and men, in their eternal impudence, would hunt mastodon as they now hunt elephant. Impudence seems to be the word. At least David and Goliath were of the same species, but, to an elephant, a man can only be a midge with a deathly sting.—Beryl Markham
—found in West with the Night (1942)
foofaraw · /ˈfu:fəˌrɔ:/ · /FOO-fə-rah/. noun. Originally fussy, vain or tawdry. Now: frivolous trappings, trinkets, or a great fuss or excessive amount of attention. From two languages: French fanfaron (boastful), Spanish fanfarrón (vain, ostentations, braggart). See also: brouhaha, commotion, fracas, hubbub, furore.[Read more…]
- A Weapon for Extortion Long Ignored in Alabama Prisons: Cellphones · These prisoners show how to turn pain and monotony of lockdown into art
- The Unfinished Story of Emmett Till’s Final Journey
- Resurrecting the art of China’s dragon scale bookbinding (includes somewhat erratic video). ※ The technique resembles fore-edge painting, featured here before: ▸ Fore-edge Painting 1947 – Unusual Occupations Series · Fore-edge Paintings at the Lilly Library · ▸ A Hidden Art Form You’ll Flip For
- Enter Planet Miranda July, where a curly haired creative goddess does just about everything, always in her own inimitable way. As the story says at the beginning, “Welcome to Planet Miranda July. Population: one, or maybe 5 million, depending on how you count souls.”
- Astronaut, which shows an endless stream of YouTube videos with zero views—against the back drop of a Earth viewed from close orbit—is strangely compelling. ※ At the opposite end of the film spectrum, ScreenplaySubs lets you watch movies with the screenplay, synced to the video, on the side. Fascinating.
- This week’s curiosity cluster, a condition I have a hard time, umm, picturing: Wikipedia: Aphantasia. The aphantasic are unable to conjure images in their mind’s eye. · Imagine a dog. Got it? I don’t. Here’s what it’s like to be unable to visualize anything. · When the Mind’s Eye Is Blind · Aphantasia: More people are blind inside then you’d think · Of course there’s a subreddit for that: r/aphantasia
- Thought-terminating clichés. They are what they are (and you use them too). ※ And while avoiding these, remember: when asked to explain, we become less partisan. I’m feeling doubly seen.
- Beside the point? Punctuation is dead, long live punctuation
- Eye Candy! → Fabio Viale’s marble sculptures + tattoos · Pareidolia Sand Faces (in single grains of sand!) · Faig Ahmed’s trippy carpet art (scroll down) · Congolese dandies: Meet the stylish men and women of Brazzaville — in pictures · The surreal art of ‘unnatural lighting’ · Tobias Hägg’s aerial photography · 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography Award finalists Thanks, Reader M.!
- Today in 1501, in the early morning hours, Michelangelo begins work on his sculpture of David, which he would finish a little less than three years later. Standing seventeen feet tall (until very recently, I assumed the statue was life-size…seeing it on video with people next to it blew my mind and continues to make me question my perceptions) and weighing more than six tons, plans to place the statute on the roof of the Florence Cathedral were scrapped in favor of a public square. Michelangelo carved this sculptural, cultural icon from a single block of marble that had laid abandoned for decades after two earlier sculptors had failed at trying to work the dense, Carrara marble, leaving it damaged and supposedly unusable. A bit of David trivia: his right hand is significantly larger than the left, possibly an homage to the Biblical David (whose name means “strong of hand”)…but there are no good explanations why, as was only discovered in the 90s, David is cockeyed: his left eye looks forward while his right looks out into the distance to his left.
▸ WAP in ASL. This may be better than the official video. And you’ll learn a few signs.
Fires (because 2021 is a literal dumpster fire) ☡ 9/11 anything (because nearly 200k dead from Covid) ☡ 9/11 again (because no increase in unity, only racism) ☡ Florida felons (not) voting (because venality) ☡ Peter Thiel (because Peter Principle) ☡ Sturgis (because bikers for virus?)