Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution

Cover art by Martha Rosler

Not sure that I’ve ever featured an exhibit catalogue on the BDR before. If I haven’t, this is a heck of a way to start.


Check out the page maintained by LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art for a spirited discussion of this cover (or tell us what you think here). About the art on the cover itself, someone on the MOCA site quotes the catalogue:

“In one series of thirty-one works, ‘Body Beautiful’, or ‘Beauty Knows No Pain’, Rosler interrupted magazine…
Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution

Apparently atheists aren't American

“Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government.” Mitt Romney, 12/6/2007

Does this mean I get to stop paying taxes?  Since my citizenship has just been revoked….

“Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me.”

So you can only believe in religious freedom if you have “knelt in prayer” to his god?  Otherwise you’re an enemy?  How can someone smart enough (theoretically) to be where he…
Apparently atheists aren’t American

Done, done, and done

For the last month, just as I thought I was nearing the finish line or reaching a milestone where I could catch my breath, another deadline or commitment loomed, both at work and at school. I spent last weekend binge-grading grant projects submitted by other teams in my Digital Preservation and Archiving class, reading an article, drafting a critique of said article, and drafting a research proposal. The grant info was due Monday, the critique due Wednesday, the proposal due Friday. Ho ho, thought I, can I turn in the proposal on Wednesday and avoid a commute to campus on Friday?

Well, no. The grant stuff and critique got done, but the proposal was a disaster. I just finished it tonight, printed it out, and after tomorrow morning, Christmas shopping can finally begin.

But here are lessons learned on the proposal:

  • Start early. Crucial to me, since I had to junk my entire first draft and start over from scratch.
  • Get a fellow student to read your paper and critique it for you. I’d read about this idea in other blogs, but this was the first time I’d done it. She was supportive but put her finger on a key weakness that I couldn’t write or think around. She also knew what he liked to see in papers and student work and provided good advice. Hence, my need to scrap it and start over.
  • Go back and read the professor’s directions. The weakness she pointed out was clearly delineated in his instructions for the proposal, had I but re-read them. Be a lawyer and read the fine print.
  • Don’t research forever–timebox it. The danger here is that I had left myself so little time that I barely skimmed the articles I found. No time for fancy research techniques; scan, skim, ingest. But the earlier you can do this, the more facts you can feed your brain so it can go to work in the background.
  • I started to feel panic a second time as I started over on the writing. Classic fear response. I relaxed and fell back on my ol’ NaNoWriMo skills and tips: Write a vomit draft. Don’t edit. Lower my standards. Think quantity, not quality. The more you write, the more you can write. Just keep your fingers flying. If you just don’t know what to write, the trick here is to write about your inability to write. Describe the frustration. Describe what you want to be able to say. Lo and behold, this always seems to unjam the blockage for me. (It’s all going to be deleted anyway, no one’s going to see it, so go crazy.)
  • I used InstantBoss (freeware), set for the standard 10 + 2 * 5 routine. By focusing for just that 10 minutes on writing and not diverting myself with editing, I got a good two pages done my first night. Tonight, I worked about 45 minutes total to finish it.
  • The key is not to finish the paper; the key is to keep starting. Eventually, you’ll reach the end.
  • I also decided that it’s OK to relax and do B-level work on this proposal. My class participation and other work have been more than up to the mark. No need to torque myself into a perfectionist knot.
  • It’s OK to feel like the slow kid in class. Three of my fellow students had finished their proposals early and I was disappointed that I couldn’t be a member of their club. Oh well–next time.

Links for 6-Dec-07

Get Productive to Groove Salad [Music]

GrooveSaladBox.jpg Just in time for finals week, the HackCollege blog recommends studying to a continuous ambient music stream from SomaFM called Groove Salad. If you can’t stand the drop-dead silence of the library but also can’t concentrate with lyrics, ambient music’s the ticket. Groove Salad, “a nicely chilled plate of ambient beats and grooves,” will stream directly to your music player for free. Been tapping keys to it myself as I rewrite the Lifehacker book. Here are more good study music…


Get Productive to Groove Salad [Music]

infosthetics shopping guide for the data-addicted

“confess. if you read this blog, you are addicted to data. this means you do not like Christmas presents. in fact, you hate those information-less presents your friends buy you each year. even after patiently telling them ‘any present should self-update at least each 30 seconds’, last year’s Christmas was still a disaster, despite that wireless weather station from your wife that is now measuring the temperature & humidity of those boxes on your attic.

starting from $15, here are infosthetics’…


infosthetics shopping guide for the data-addicted

Gods in color



Archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann makes color reconstructions of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. His work is on display at Harvard University’s Sackler Museum. From the Wall Street Journal:

The fashion for white antiquities dates back to the early 16th century, when the Renaissance began excavating works that had lain buried in the earth for centuries. Color traces still visible to the naked eye, deep in the folds of draped clothing, for instance, went unnoticed. Following what they…

Gods in color

BookGem

bookgem1sm.jpg

Reader-diners know the pain of trying to balance a thick book and a meal without losing your page or spilling food. As a regular lunchtime reader, I went searching online for a tool that would allow for comfortable hands-free reading – and eureka! Cleverly designed, this diminutive device is replete with intelligent features: a little pull-out stand supports the book, two sturdy clips hold the pages in place, a pair of pull-out legs holds the book upright on a table. Best of all,…


BookGem

Kleinert's dress shields

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

I found this advertisement in a manila folder while decluttering a bit in my office today. If an accompanying magazine cover is to be believed, this ad appeared the April 29, 1940 issue of Life.

If Arthur Murray were still living, he’d be 112 years old, and he would no doubt still, in a whisper, insist on Kleinert dress shields, even if the “the positions of the dance” nowadays are likely to reveal much more than underarms.

And lo — Kleinert’s is still making dress shields in Elba,…
Kleinert's dress shields

Soundcheck's Picks of the Week (Soundcheck: Wednesday, 05 December 2007)

Four stand-out new albums, as chosen by the Soundcheck staff.

Glenn Gould: “The Young Maverick” (CBC Records)

This new six-CD box set is drawn from radio broadcasts of the legendary Canadian pianist from the early ‘50s. Gould was a fearless performer, and the medium of live radio only heightens the sense of risk-taking here. –Brian Wise

“The Young Maverick” is available for purchase at Amazon.com

Doveman, “With My Left Hand I Raise the Dead” (Brassland)

This has been a…


Soundcheck’s Picks of the Week (Soundcheck: Wednesday, 05 December 2007)

Musicophilia

Designer names to come

UK cover is first, US cover is below it.



I don’t know that I’m in love with the music notes and staff approach to the text (although it is growing on me), but I do know this: that picture of Sacks on the US cover is creeping me out and it’s making me think of what surely is history’s greatest t-shirt:


Musicophilia

Perfectionists

Have a look at this NYT article Perfectionism before you buy that next self-help book.

I have learned to get along with my slight perfectionism. I find my best work is always done with a sense of effortlessness and enjoyment. Blogging, maybe not my best work, is completely effortless. I sometimes look back on a post and wonder how I did it.

Perhaps the deepest link to eating disorders and an exessive concern with body image is with perfectionism. Most steroid users are ordinary guys…


Perfectionists

The 2008 Compact Calendar Now Available [Featured Download]

compactcal_sm.jpg Designer David Seah has released the 2008 version of his excellent compact calendar spreadsheet template, an entire year represented as a “candy bar o’ time” which prints onto a single piece of paper with lots of room for notes. Fold up the compact calendar to stick in your wallet, or affix it inside a project notebook. The layout makes it easy to block out projects, vacations, and other long-term initiatives. In fact, it looks like a fantastic mini “Don’t Break the Chain” Seinfeldian…


The 2008 Compact Calendar Now Available [Featured Download]

Tie a Tie in Under 10 Seconds [How To]

http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/894133/fastest_way_to_tie_a_tie___a_new_genus_record.swf
We all know how to tie a tie by now, but if you’re bored of the same old routine or you want to speed up your tie-tying chops, web site Instructables steps through how to tie a tie in under 10 seconds. This method will take a bit of learning (much like the world’s fasted shoelace knot), but with a bit of practice you’ll be able to throw that tie around your neck on your way out the door without thinking about it.


Tie a Tie in Under 10 Seconds [How To]

Get Statistics About Your Birthday [Fun]

bdaycake.jpgGet informative statistics about the day you entered the world, such as your age (in number of days, hours, and seconds), your zodiac sign, and more with strangely useful website dayofbirth.co.uk. If you’ve ever wanted to find out how many days it was until your next birthday, you can do so easily without whipping out the calendar and starting to count. The website also takes you to other enlightening sites that teach you more about your date of birth (noteworthy events, names of famous…


Get Statistics About Your Birthday [Fun]

Google Wants to Be the Next God of the Universe

I thought this was too shocking to be true but the other system admins confirmed it - Google officially wants to be the next god of the universe. The datacenter that houses over a hundred of our servers also caters to some of Google’s servers, and apparently Google also owns part of the building or something like that. They decided that they don’t have enough power for their servers, so they are actually demanding that the entire datacenter be stripped of all power for about two hours…


Google Wants to Be the Next God of the Universe