How the Designer Behind the Original Mac Comes Up With New Ideas

Most people can’t really innovate, says Hartmut Esslinger, founder of frog design. He and his company (now celebrating fifty years in business) helped design Apple’s portable computers, Sony’s Walkman, and many websites, apps, gadgets, and high-end medical and dental equipment. These are his principles of innovation.Read more...
Tags: Creativity, Design, Career, Innovation, Frog Design, Designers, Industrial Design, Apple, Sony

Can Computers Really Learn How To Understand What They Read?

Maybe. They’re doing a lot better at reading comprehension exams, for instance. On a new “benchmark designed to measure machines’ real understanding of natural language — or to expose their lack thereof — the machines had jumped from a D-plus to a B-minus in just six months. ‘That was definitely the ‘oh, crap’ moment,’ Bowman recalled.” – Quanta
Tags: IDEAS, 10.19.19

The Coded Emotional Appeal Of ‘The Matrix’

Seriously, why would anyone go to the movie in theatres 11 times? Sometimes you need distance to figure something like that out. “In The Matrix, I realized, I had found a message about my own life, the life of a closeted gay Mormon boy. It was something I had strained all those times to hear, and now it shot across the screen in letters lit by retrospect: You too will be free.” – The Atlantic
Tags: IDEAS, 10.20.19

Extinction Rebellion Protesters Cover Their Half-Naked Bodies In Fake Oil In London’s National Portrait Gallery

The protest was held at the end of a show sponsored by BP (British Petroleum) to protest the museum’s ties to the company. One, a 19-year-old named Eden, said, “Who will there be left to see, who will there be left to paint, if we have no earth and no people? … We cannot be artists on a dead planet. Oil means the end, but art means the beginning.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: VISUAL, 10.20.19

Klaus Friedeberger, Abstract Painter Who Found Inspiration In The Australian Outback, Has Died At 97

Friedeberger was inspired by his time as a European refugee in Australia during WWII. “Whereas many abstract painters of the 60s were working on a large scale with fields of unmodulated colour that emphasised the flatness of the surface of the painting, Friedeberger eventually eschewed colour altogether. Working unfashionably on an easel, he made small, modest monochromatic paintings of abstracted forms that advanced, receded or hovered in space within the confines of a square canvas, never qui...
Tags: PEOPLE, 10.20.19

Julie Andrews’ Biggest Regret Is Losing Her Singing Voice

We regret it an awful lot as well, Dame Julie. But oh, the stories she’s accumulated, this one quite early: “I had forgotten to pack my dress shoes, so my mother painted white ballet slippers over my socks with what they used to call ‘wet white.’ But my socks were still wet and I left little white footprints all over the stage”. – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, People, 10.19.19

Horror Writers See Climate Change As The Ultimate Fear

The thing about horror is that it has always been about amplifying regular fear. The genre “works against false comfort, complacency and euphemism, against attempts to repress or sanitize that which disturbs us. Inevitably, the climate crisis has given rise to a burgeoning horror subgenre: eco-horror.” – The New York Times
Tags: WORDS, 10.19.19


Finished the landscape in gouache.  Next lesson, we paint a human eye.  I'll get out my new set of gouache paints for some variety in the colors and try it.    [Author: RH Carpenter]
Tags: RH Carpenter

Why Is The Kids’ Movie ‘Abominable’ Being Banned In Countries In Asia?

Well, it’s because of a brief scene with a map, you see. “It’s not every day that a largely forgettable Dreamworks yeti movie can come under fire from multiple national governments for violating a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.” That’s some map, right? Indeed. – A.V. Club
Tags: Art, Issues, 10.19.19

Thousands Of People Stand In Line To See The Revamped MoMA

The revamped MoMA invited people to visit for free on Sunday, before the official opening. Nearly 10,000 people took the museum up on its offer, and they needed to create new mental maps. “As they entered the new expanded lobby, many gravitated toward the electronic information sign — with columns labeled ‘West,’ ‘North’ and ‘South’ — to decide which way to go. Staff members wearing neck lanyards and carrying maps approached visitors with friendly ‘Welcome to MoMA’ greetings and offered to help...
Tags: VISUAL, 10.20.19

A Star Architect Who Recycles And Rebuilds For Those In Need

Shigeru Ban, a designer of houses and visitors’ centers and condominiums and towers, is perhaps more famous as a designer of emergency shelters, for people suffering from earthquakes and floods, for people escaping violence and genocide. For them, he has employed a signature material — recycled paper tubes of variable length and thickness. – The New York Times
Tags: VISUAL, 10.20.19

How to Come Up With New Ideas According to Hartmut Esslinger, founder of Frog Design

Most people can’t really innovate, says Hartmut Esslinger, founder of frog design. He and his company (now celebrating fifty years in business) helped design Apple’s portable computers, Sony’s Walkman, and many websites, apps, gadgets, and high-end medical and dental equipment. These are his principles of innovation.Read more...
Tags: Creativity, Design, Career, Innovation, Frog Design, Designers, Industrial Design, Apple, Sony

The Artistically Fruitful Friendship Of Mary Cassatt And Edgar Degas

The elegant young American artist and the surly older French Impressionist inspired each other – and, because both destroyed or left little information about their friendship, a lot of art about them. A new play claims that “they were kindred spirits lucky enough to find each other in Paris.” – The New York Times
Tags: VISUAL, 10.19.19

Central Park Took Their Land, And Now, At Long Last, They’re Getting A Monument

The Lyons family of New York were a vital part of New York’s Seneca Village. They “were Seneca Village property owners, educators and dedicated abolitionists, running a boardinghouse for black sailors that doubled as a stop on the Underground Railroad.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Visual, 10.20.19

The Short, Dreamy Film That Goes In Search Of David Hockney’s House

The narration begins, “You were too young to lose your mum, and we were too young to organize a funeral. So because we were in Yorkshire, with nowhere else we wanted to be and nothing else we wanted to be doing, we decided to go and look for David Hockney.” – Aeon
Tags: Art, Media, 10.17.19

Mark Morris: Without Bullies, How Would I Know I Was A Sissy?

The choreographer has a new memoir out. In an interview, he describes “the sissy tests” of middle school – and turning those humiliating, degrading moments into dance. – NPR
Tags: Art, People, 10.19.19


Third drawing in the Val Webb online course using carbon pencils and 9XXB graphite - a delicate tulip.  Her's was delicate.  Mine, not so much.   I'm not unhappy with it - it just doesn't look as light and airy as her demo did.  And I didn't get the white boxes to get the 3D look, either.  But I'm okay with this as it is.   [Author: RH Carpenter]
Tags: Carbon Pencil Drawings in Val Webb Course, RH Carpenter

Malaysia Is The Latest Country To Ban ‘Abominable’ Over Map Scene

The basic problem? A dashed line (one that violates international law as decided by a court at The Hague in 2016). “Malaysia’s censorship board initially agreed to permit Abominable to premiere on November 7, if the image of the map was removed from the version screening in their country. However, Universal Studios, which is distributing the film everywhere but China (Pearl Studio is Abominable’s Chinese distributor) has refused to make the cut.” – Vulture

Backup Dancers Are Leaping To The Forefront With The Power Of Smart Social Media

Backup dancers aren’t very “backup” anymore; instead, like the 16-year-old who began touring with Janet Jackson at age 12 and is now a major social media influencer, they’re at the center of the conversation. That’s thanks to Instagram. “Internet popularity can be a dancer’s entree to choreographing and starring in her own viral videos, traveling the world as a guest artist and teacher, and inking lucrative brand deals and endorsements.” – The Washington Post
Tags: Art, Dance, Audience, 10.18.19

In Europe, TV Producers Debate How To Handle Streaming

Group up? Spend more money on new, fresh content? Somehow find, and fund, top talent? Everything is up in the air with all kinds of streaming services debuting and European producers wondering what, exactly, to do. – Variety
Tags: AUDIENCE, MEDIA, 10.19.19

Drawing, Dancing, And Deradicalization

Can a madrasa that teaches children of suicide bombers to draw and dance help them get deprogrammed from hours and hours of militant videos? The school is sure trying, but “when they first arrived from Surabaya, the children shrank from music and refrained from drawing images of living things because they believed it conflicted with Islam, social workers said. They were horrified by dancing and by a Christian social worker who didn’t wear a head scarf.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, 10.18.19

The Nobel Literature Committee Defends Itself For Rewarding A Prize To An Accused Genocide Denier

Sure, Peter Handke spoke at the funeral of Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milošević in 2006, and sure, before that he had compared the fate of Serbia to that of Jewish people during the Holocaust, but Nobel committee members “predicted that in the future, Handke would be considered ‘among the most obvious choices’ for the prize. Writing in the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, [one member] described Handke as an advocate for peace and said he was ‘anti-nationalistic.'” – BBC
Tags: Art, Words, 10.18.19

Activists Crashed The MoMA Party To Demand Prison Divestment

Just days before MoMA was set to reopen after its big renovation and expansion, activists crashed both the outside and inside of a preview cocktail party for VIP guests. “The protesters gathered outside the museum to call on MoMA and its board member Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, to divest themselves from private prison companies.” – Hyperallergic
Tags: VISUAL, 10.19.19

US Army To Create New “Monuments Men” Unit To Try To Save Artifacts

The Army is forming a new unit with a similar mandate to be composed of commissioned officers of the Army Reserves who are museum directors or curators, archivists, conservators and archaeologists in addition to new recruits with those qualifications. They will be based at the Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C. – The New York Times
Tags: VISUAL, 10.21.19

On The Return Of Olive Kitteridge

Why did Elizabeth Strout return to her dour, challenging protagonist – and how the heck did Olive Kitteridge become such a cultural force to begin with, a bestselling book that turned into a fantastic HBO series? Strout: “She just showed up and I saw her nosing her car into the marina; and I thought: Oh man, she’s back.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Words, 10.19.19

These Roadside Markers Have a Futuristic Climate Twist

A New England artist is communicating local impacts of climate change using science, location, and a little bit of hope. Thomas Starr has placed plaques throughout Essex, Massachusetts, and Durham, New Hampshire as part of his new project “Remembrance of Climate Futures” to show the changes that’ll roll through these…
Tags: Climate Art, New England, Art, Thomas Starr

Teens Are Getting Famous Off Of TikTok, And High School Arts Teachers Learn To Adapt

Vine and Instagram did it first (and, let’s be honest, Vine was great, RIP Vine), and now TikTok is the new way for kids to become social media-famous. How the heck is a school supposed to deal with 20 or 30 famous 14-year-olds? Make “drama clubs for the digital age, but with the potential to reach huge audiences.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, 10.19.19

Nick Tosches, Fiery Rock Journalist, 69

Tosches and his fellow music writers Richard Meltzer and Lester Bangs were labeled “the Noise Boys” for their wild, energetic prose, a world away from fan magazines like Tiger Beat and Seventeen. – The New York Times
Tags: PEOPLE, 10.20.19

Theatre’s Front Of House Workers Can Too Easily Get Trapped In Service Roles

The hours are good, the patrons can be terrible, the dreams live … for a while. “A lot of actors, directors and writers work front of house, with most of us spending our days auditioning, writing and on other creative endeavours. FOH is a stepping stone and it fits in with the hours, so we can go from the side of the stage selling ice creams or Aperol Spritzes to on stage performing. But many of us are struggling. We feel stuck.” – The Stage (UK)
Tags: Art, Theatre, 10.17.19

Considering The Legacy Of Legendary Ballerina Alicia Alonso

Neda Ulaby on the woman who shaped the course of ballet in the US and also, famously, in Cuba: “To this day, says American Ballet Theatre’s Kevin McKenzie, young ballet dancers who want to learn extraordinary techniques should do one thing – watch videos of Alicia Alonso.” – NPR
Tags: DANCE, 10.20.19