Guest post by Damien James.
I heard all about what made the ancient Romans laugh (an inordinate amount of what were essentially absent-minded professor jokes), where Wittgenstein and Buster Keaton converge, the bathroom habits of insects, and Jewish humor. I heard clips of what is considered to be classic comedy, saw unreal films made and animated by Bob Sabiston, witnessed people actually slapping their knees while experiencing John Hodgmanâ€™s charmingly eloquent bullshit, and others share stories about themselves without the least bit of encouragement simply to pass the time while waiting in line to have a book signed.
It was such a bustling couple of weeks that I really didnâ€™t have much time to do any actual and focused thinking about laughter, though. In hindsight and when I seriously put my mind to it (not necessarily easy for me), I began to consciously appreciate just how loaded laughter is, how there is a laugh for every emotion, how easily and naturally laughter is used to cover embarrassment, anger, self pity, contempt, all of which had passed through my thoughts at various times throughout my life, but had never featured prominently for any appreciable amount of time. [Read more]
Make sure and check out the Chicago Tribune today for an article about Deb Sokolow’s current residency project with Daniel Boone Elementary School, which is part of Chicago Public School’s “Crossroads” program. Sokolow is helping 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students create a wall mural that will become a permanent part of the school’s hallways. As is typical for Sokolow, the wall mural will contain a combination of text and images that tell the story of the school’s 80 year history in an idiosyncratic and detour-laden fashion, including, for example, an account of the 1932 murder of Mabel Chenoweth, a woman who owned a candy shop a block away from the school. [Read more]
Good morning to all of you out there in TV land. I hope you are feeling bloated and a little ashamed, now that the national day of gluttony is done. I wish I could say I have an exciting lineup of shows to get you out into the streets, crawlin’ off those extra calories, but alas, there are but three shows opening this weekend, all tonight. Now, I’m not putting all three on my picks, if you want to know the other two you can find them on my Gallery Crawl. No, dearies, I’m giving you my one pick, from three: The Op Shop.
So, I’m not exactly sure what the story is here. It has something to do with Laura Shaeffer over at Home Gallery, and includes a lot of artists she’s shown: Anders Nilsen, Katrin Asbury, Rachel Tredon, and Albert Stabler, among others. As far as I can tell, it is a new idea for a roaming space, called the Op(portunity) Shop, derived from the Australian term for thrift shops, apparently. Not sure where it’s going next, if anywhere, but hey, if you happen to be in the vicinity of Hyde Park, why not stop by?
The Op Shop is located at 1613 E. 55th. Reception tonight, 6-10pm.
Posting will be slim to none this holiday weekend. Hope everyone has a good time off. See you next week with a new contribution to our series Off Topic and a new blogger.
If you are looking for something to read I would reccomend checking out Dazed’s interview with Marina AbramoviÄ‡.
For as long as pigments have been made and ground up the rule of thumb has been, the farther along the visual spectrum you go the harder and more expensive it gets to create that color.
Blue has had a double hit to it’s reputation in that the best solutions to it’s creation have the after effects of being poisonous (cobalt blue is a possible carcinogen and Prussian blue, another well-known pigment, can leach cyanide) absurdly expensive (the ground up gemstone lapis lazuli is what makes up ultramarine blue) or if done on the cheap using organic materials apt to fade extremely quickly.
That was until recently when researchers at Oregon State University created a new, durable and brilliantly blue pigment by accident. The researchers were trying to force novel electronic properties into compounds like manganese oxide ( Black ) & other chemicals by using extremely high temperatures (2,000+ degrees Fahrenheit) to force crystal structures.
During one series of experiments the Professor of material sciences, Mas Subramanian noticed that the latest sample of manganese ions absorbed red and green wavelengths of light and reflected only blue. When cooled, the manganese-containing oxide remained in this alternate structure. The compound still is not as cheap as they might like due to the use of indium but work is being done to replace the indium oxide with less expensive oxides like aluminum, which possesses similar properties.
More can be read in the latest Journal of the American Chemical Society.