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July 15, 2013

"The Art of Handwriting" — A look at artists' letters


Below, excerpts from Lavanya Ramanathan's July 11, 2013 Washington Post story.


Schools across the country have slowly been phasing out the traditional requirement that students learn cursive, leaving some wondering what will happen to handwriting.

Does anyone still pine for the haughty art of penmanship? Did e-mail kill letter-writing, and did the text message close the coffin?


"The Art of Handwriting," a new exhibition mounted by the Archives of American Art, may not answer those questions, but it does make one nostalgic for letters and the way a script can belong only to its writer, much like a fingerprint.

The small show, which opened last week in the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, unearths a trove of more than 40 letters between legendary artists and their loved ones and patrons. The exhibit looks not at what they wrote but how they wrote it.


For "The Art of Handwriting," the museum asked scholars to view the letters and search for meaning in the artists' chicken scratch, doodles and perfectly curved John Hancocks. Frequently, their work seems to echo in the graceful swoops (or erratic scratch) of their penmanship; sometimes it doesn't at all.

The late light artist Dan Flavin, a master of spartan installations, had a surprisingly florid hand. Painter Georgia O’Keeffe's strengths, it turns out, did not include spelling or grammar. And it's almost impossible not to choke up at the subtly pining parenthetical in a letter from painter Lee Krasner to her estranged husband, Jackson Pollock, days before his death in a car accident in 1956.



Photo gallery from the exhibit here.

Letters pictured above (top down) by George Catlin (1834); Mary Cassatt (1905); Marcel Duchamp (1916); and Dan Flavin (1979).

July 15, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bacon Wrapping Paper


From The Green Head:


You can wrap just about anything in bacon to make it better — including gifts.

No matter how beautiful and elegantly wrapped other gifts may be, anything wrapped in this mouth-wateringly cool new Bacon Wrapping Paper instantly stands out and becomes the open-me-NOW gift.

Even if the gift inside is horrendous, it's the thought of at least wrapping it in bacon that counts.  



Two 20" x 30" sheets: $3.19.

July 15, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BREAKING: Corpse Flower (titan arum) — world's largest flower —about to bloom in Washington, D.C.

Photo copy 2

"The rare phallus-like flower that springs from the plant only survives about 72 hours and is expected to bloom in Washington, D.C."

Cancel my appointments for the rest of week, Mabel: I'm heading for D.C. now.

From Adrian Higgins's story in today's Washington Post: "While the rest of the world awaits the arrival of the royal baby, it's the emergence of the titan arum flower at the U.S. Botanic Garden that has Washington holding its collective breath — literally."

"Known informally as the corpse flower, the unusual bloom has an odor that falls somewhere between putrid and 'very dead elephant.' In addition to its stench, the titan arum is the world's largest flower; it could bloom at any moment, and the Botanic Garden has extended hours until 8 p.m. tonight for olfactory thrill seekers who want a whiff during the flower's brief 24-to-48-hour appearance.

Can you believe "phallus-like" made it into the Charlottesville Daily Progress this morning?

Videre (top) est credere.

Corpse Flower live webcam below.


Note added 5:19 p.m. today: Titan Arum just opened a Twitter account 33 mintues ago: follow it here.


July 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Cherry Blossom Dipping Dish


By Japanese design studio Age Design.



Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 4.50.12 PM

[via 1 Design Per Day]

July 15, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Catme13/GlassEffect10: A visit to Ben & Jerry's through Google Glass

This past Saturday night around 8:30 p.m. I finally got my fat lazy butt out of the house for a run.

At the two-mile mark I had an epiphany: why not stop by Ben & Jerry's in the Barracks Road Shopping Center for a cup of icy cold sorbet instead of my default Gatorade at 7-Eleven?

Live large, joe!

So I turned on Glass and filmed the whole episode — well, until the battery finally called it a day.

But don't beat on Google: my Glass, which started doing its thing around 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning after charging overnight, was able to crank out about 65 videos — yes, you read right, sixty-five, each and every one uploaded to my Google+ page in a good faith attempt to get people to delete me from their Circles (full disclosure: it's working! But I digress...) — along with tweets incoming and outgoing, emails, surfing the Web, phone calls, Google+ hangouts/video calls, you name it I did it all day long, for over 13 hours, before finally calling it a night.

Impressive tech indeed.

July 15, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Arcade Coin Drop Belt Buckle — "PUSH TO REJECT"


From ThisIsWhyImBroke: "Honor your glory days of arcade gaming with this recycled arcade coin drop belt buckle. This wearable piece of arcade machinery will remind you of a simpler time when all games were designed intentionally difficult so you'd dump dozens of quarters in to beat the game."


"This belt buckle is made from genuine recycled arcade parts."



July 15, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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