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October 24, 2018

Did a child paint this?


One of the two paintings pictured here is by the famous abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann.

The other is by four-year-old Jack Pezanosky.


Can you tell which is which?

The answers are in the Wall Street Journal story excerpted below.


"... there can be a striking similarity between works of abstract expressionism and paintings by children — or even by chimps, monkeys, and elephants.

Paintings by chimpanzees were once sneaked into a museum and mistaken for art that belonged there.

No wonder that even highly educated people sometimes deride abstract art as requiring no skill at all, saying, "My kid could have done that!"

But could a child really?

Is there no perceptible difference between abstract paintings made by a professional artist and the daubs of children or animals?

To test this proposition, my research group, the Arts and Mind Lab at Boston College, designed a series of experiments testing the response of people with no art background.

We wanted to find out whether people with no special knowledge of abstract art could tell the difference.

In a... study... we told participants that in each pair one painting was by a famous abstract artist and the other by a child or animal.

Their job was to pick the one by the artist.

Guessing at random would yield a rate of 50% correct answers.

As it turned out, the average score was 63%.

Of course, whether you consider this a vindication of abstract art or a blow to its pretensions depends on the beholder.

While people could tell the difference between professional and child- or animal-made art at a rate significantly higher than guessing, they did still confuse them about a third of the time.

When we presented these findings to a group of art historians, we were surprised at their irritation.

They showed a kind of religious view, treating works by master artists as so sacrosanct that one should not even raise the possibility that they might be confused with the paintings of children and animals.

They seemed to think that by pairing these works, we were deriding the works by artists.

But our intention was just the opposite: We hoped to show, and actually did show, that when people untrained in visual art gaze at an abstract expressionist painting and claim that their child could have made it, they are wrong.

We may find it amusing to think that people are paying millions of dollars for works indistinguishable from the scribbling of a 4-year-old.

But the truth is that people untutored in modern art see more in abstract expressionism than they think they see.

The traces left by artists differ from those left by children and animals: We are able to see the mind behind the art.

October 24, 2018 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

BehindTheMedspeak: 10 things an anesthesiologist should know


 1. The first thing to do upon arriving at a Code Blue is to take your own pulse.

 2.  Blind nasotracheal intubation.

 3.  Use the smallest size endotracheal tube possible.

 3.  Put the IV in the patient's non-dominant arm whenever possible.

 4.  Put the IV in the hand — not the antecubital fossa — whenever possible.

 5.  A 20-gauge IV catheter is plenty large enough for an adult for non-emergency surgery.

 7.  Telling the surgeon you've just given more muscle relaxant — whether or not you did — always results in her saying "that's better."

 8.  Don't argue with the surgeon even if you're right and she's wrong.

 9.  Orient the spinal or epidural needle bevel parallel to the spinal column.

10. Men with beards are always more difficult to mask ventilate — intubate them instead.

October 24, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alien Server


Created by Cliff Pickover,


force of nature.


Every time you visit, you get a new alien.

Fair warning: there goes your UFO.

October 24, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

World's most technical iPhone XS case

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 2.07.08 PM

It costs more — a lot more — than the phone.

From the Verge:



Ultra-premium case manufacturer Gray has turned its attention to the recently announced iPhone XS with a new lineup of titanium phone cases that cost significantly more than the handset itself.

The cases range from the grey Alter Ego Titanium which you can get for $1,450, and stretch right through to the pearlescent Alter Ego Aurora which retails for $2,768 — almost double the price of the most expensive 512GB iPhone XS Max.

Although Gray advertises that the case "turns your phone into an object of mystery and power," in more practical terms the case has an X-shaped design that attaches to the rear of the device, and mainly protects the phone's four corners.

For an extra $36, Gray will even engrave your name into the case, which will one day serve to memorialize your questionable life choices.

The iPhone protector even comes with an accessory all its own: a fancy box that you can use to exhibit the Alter Ego when it's not in use.

Sadly, the box is "only" made out of aluminum, says its maker, although it's apparently "aerospace grade" if you're into that sort of thing.

Gray hasn't announced whether its ultra-expensive iPhone XS case will be receiving a protective sheath of its own, but after spending this much money you wouldn't want to risk dropping it.


From $1,450.

October 24, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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