The Modern Synthesis 

(so go out and buy some of them. right this second.)

1. The Alchemist, Paulo Coehlo

2. Ishmael, Daniel Quinn

3. 100 Years of Solitude (Cien Años de Soledad), Gabriel García Márquez

4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, J. D. Salinger

5. Night, Elie Weisel

6. The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins

7. Silent Spring, Rachel Carson

8. Varieties of Scientific Experience, Carl Sagan

9. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey

10. The Other Side of Eden, Bill Bryson

I also recommend the Tao Te Ching (by Lao Tze), or the Upadeshans and Vyākaranas from the Buddhavacana (the Word of the Buddha).

And just think of all the time you WON'T spend watching brain-rotting, mind-numbing, inane trash-TV (also known as a CRACK BOX) and playing subliminally-manipulating, soldier-mentality games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.




So, I went to the Atkins-Nelson Museum of Art in Kansas City today. It was, quite frankly, FRICKIN SWEET.

I went with a bunch of Art Historian friends, and the funniest thing about us is that we would all get excited, each exploding into squeals of delight, over nearly every other painting. A bit excessive, I realize; you must understand that this is what I spend a large part of my week immersed in looking at on a projector screen. To see many of this in real life--and for free, might I add--is a rare privilege.

You see, something is lost in looking a work of art second-hand. The effect is diminished. The aura of the work is completely absent in a textbook, on a screen, or in a picture; the appreciation of truly impressive art is magnified a thousandfold by face-to-face experience.

We spent the most time in the Contemporary, African, Photography, and Native American sections (Check out these and other galleries by clicking the link above!). de Kooning, Warhol, Meybridge, Rothco, Pollock, Rodin--it was definitely an anthropologist/art historian's wet dream.

There was also a beautiful sculpture park, complete with gigantic shuttlecocks. That's right: SHUTTLECOCKS.


Quote of the Day:

Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.

- Samuel Johnson


Thankfully, there has been a slew of worthwhile news lately! Ready? Here goes.

Besides the passing of legislation begin much-awaited Healthcare Reform (YAY!), the Palin, oops, Tea Party ousting (R) Senator Harry Reid as chief white supremacist, and Derrik Martin being allowed to take his boyfriend to prom in a small Georgia town, here's what I've got that has me feeling hopeful for a change:


States Seek to Tax Services, From Head to Toe

via NYTimes

Which makes a whole lot of sense, really, considering we've been a tertiary--essentially, service-based--economy (as opposed to a manufacturing economy based on the flow of goods) for some time. Sure, it made sense for states to tax goods in the 30s. But not so much in 2010.

With revenues in many states reaching all-time lows (like in my own native Missouri), many states--including Maine, Nebraska, Michigan, and Pennsylvania--are searching for new strategies to cope with empty coffers.

A handful of states, including Delaware, Hawaii, New Mexico, South Dakota and Washington, already tax all sorts of services. Most states tax at least some services, particularly items like utilities.

With No Jobs, Plenty of Time for Tea Party

via NYTimes

This article is probably not meant to be intentionally funny, but all of the people the article mentions who preach about the necessity of smaller government are demanding that the government fix the economy and restore their lost jobs. Did I mention that most were on welfare, Medicare, or Social Security?

They also argue that the U.S.'s economy tanked because the country has allowed free trade since 1980. Ha. Free trade. Sure. It certainly couldn't have anything to do with two international (and entirely unnecessary) wars during Bush-family presidencies, corrupt drug and oil companies, and head-up-ass Republican foreign policy, could it?

So if you're in the mood for something both pathetic and amusing, check this out.

Official: Pediatrician in line to head Medicare, Medicaid


President Obama is expected to nominate a Massachussetts pediatrician and Harvard University professor to oversee Medicare and Medicaid, a senior administration official told CNN on Saturday. 
The official stressed that the nomination of Donald Berwick "has not been made yet."
Berwick is the president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, described on its Web site as "one of the nation's leading authorities on health care quality and improvement."
He is also listed as a clinical professor of pediatrics and health care policy at Harvard Medical School.
YAY! And for those bitching about the 14 other upcoming appointments bypassing the Senate, well, that clearly falls under the President of the United States' jurisdiction. At least, according to every civics class I ever took. I think the Senate has bigger fish to fry at the moment.


So that's about it for today. Any questions?



A few things to distract you from the brutish wintry clutches of... mid-March. Springtime, my ass.


You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
- Mary Oliver

Artist of the Day: Craig Dongoski

Craig, on his artwork:

    My most recent body of work entitled Durations, begun in 2007, represents a break from my technological-rooted work Drawing Voices, which set out to explore, catalogue and use the aural artifact made by inscription as a viable tool for communicative expression. Durations is a return to basic drawing approaches using basic materials. The rate of the execution of these drawings is exceptionally slow. They mimic visually and conceptually the building of stratification over geological time and the sound waves as seen in oscilloscopes and spectrograms. One could think of my method being inverted in that rather than responding to a sound that yields a pictorial result [e.g. Drawing Voices], I am responding to a visual [line] that yields the appearance of a spectrographic result. I also see these works as internal expressions. The slow and obsessive nature of the process literally places me within the work through the meditative [sic] produced through its creation.

Additionally, I would like to mention that my work has always been primarily focused on exploring process. The mission and motivation of my work continues to strive to be immersed in an ever-changing method. I re-invigorate my process through a heartened effort to remain curious. Another source of satisfaction motivating my desire to continue evolving my methods are potential outcomes and possibilities to converse with other artists, thinkers and the community.

visit Craig's website, here!


Single Ladies, via XKCD


Today's beautiful man: Korean model Choi Ho Jin

yum. :D


And last, but not least: A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE FLOW-CHART!
For every professional zombie slayer out there who handles a shotgun like he were Jimmi Hendrix at Woodstock, there are at least two dozen Moe, Larry,and Curly’s running amock either getting eaten by zombies or getting in the way of buckshot.
Of course, every single person who is reading this site is definitely a professional otherwise, you’d be thumbing through a glamor magazine right now or watching reruns of American Idol. But, when the zombies do start stumbling down the street, I’ll bet you cold hard cash that if you aren’t near a Moe or Larry or Curly, there would probably be a Shemp just beyond your peripheral vision. These people will act as zombie magnets, and they latch onto you the moment you start showing the slightest bit of rational thought.
How do you get rid of them? Give them this wonderfully handy flowchart that details a variety of different zombie situations and how to deal with them. Then run. As fast as your legs will move. Chances are, they’ll get eaten as they read it, but at least you won’t be around.

That's it.   : )

Night Watch


via XKCD


via my hard drive
A person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.

via Duke Leto Atreides, from Dune (1984)





Bienvenido, Primavera

Today's Featured Artist: Benjamin Anderson

About the "Just Add Water" series:

In a series of 14 paintings that blend themes of beauty, war and materialism, Anderson uses water as his visual vehicle. Diluting and distorting the lines of perception and beauty, the artist utilizes both realism and abstraction in his vision to relegate the importance of the material world to simple forms and shapes. Finding beauty in the ugly and ugly in the beautiful, the concept of Just Add Water takes on a new meaning in these paintings.

visit Ben's site, here.


In Related News:


 I am loving the music in this video of a hummingbird:
via Pharyngula

and a quote...

Living is a form of not being sure. Not knowing what's next or how. The more you know, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.

- Agnes Demille

 'Ao': Blue by Paul Binnie

and a boy...
a beautiful, exotic magic brown man named Lavrenti Lopes:



welcome to March!