October 4, 2014

Weekend Miscellany 1

From the Art of Manliness, How to Gird Up Your Loins, an illustrated guide.

Deep Into Green by Michael Gorra, a review of Green: The History of a Color by Michel Pastoureau in the New York Review of Books

 Van Eyck Wedding Green
Jan Van Eyck: The Arnolfini Wedding, circa 1435

Trained as a medievalist, Pastoureau argues that the history of color is an “altogether more vast” subject than the history of painting, and this book’s concerns range from Latin etymologies to the green neon crosses that hang outside modern French pharmacies.
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Pastoureau writes many pages further on, that trash cans are often green, a bit of sympathetic magic against decay, for “green cleans, green refreshes, green purifies.” It means health, and it did so long before it became the name of a political party, “no longer so much a color as an ideology.” Yet growth implies change, change betokens instability, and green is in fact “an uncertain color,” ambiguous and at times even forked in its significance.

Those pharmacy signs suggest illness as much as health, and green has often functioned as the color of poison and disease; think of the pustular figures on the Isenheim Altarpiece, and even of that work’s dead Christ. We speak of certain greens as sickly in a way that has no parallel in talking of blue or red or black, and for that there might be a reason in the very chemistry of the color itself.

In the Renaissance the color’s chemical instability made it seem “false” and even treacherous, a “deceptive color, simultaneously appealing and disappointing.” As such, it became associated with games of chance or hazard; think of the green baize with which tables for cards or craps or pool are covered even now. The color here carries a symbolic charge that is inseparable from its use—gambling means green. It connotes luck, the ups and downs of a player’s fortunes, and it also suggests avarice.

The death of the first star in the Universe: Incredible image could shed new light on how solar systems formed

Researchers say the death throes of these early stars were unique as they exploded as supernovae and burned completely, leaving no black hole behind, but instead spewing out chemical elements into space that eventually formed our Universe.

 Death-Of-A-Star+Brain

Two Blind Sisters See for the First Time  YouTube link

Sonia and Anita, two sisters living in India, have been blind since birth, but a simple eye operation makes it possible for them to see their mom for the first time. The nonprofit organization 20/20/20 provides free operations to these sisters--as well as thousands of other people in developing countries. These procedures empower people in impoverished communities to create better futures. In this short film, Blue Chalk Media shares the sisters’ poignant story and captures their initial experiences after the bandages come off.
Posted by Jill Fallon at October 4, 2014 3:15 AM | Permalink