That sentence is the best thing I read all day.
John Oliver hates April Fools' Day. I agree with him. I propose we turn April 1 into "April Friendly Day," and delight friends and strangers with wonderful things.
John Stump's 1980 composition Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz (from 'A Tribute to Zdenko G. Fibich') is a parody of a composition and not intended to be played -- but someone did! Read the rest
You will need a knife, a non-toxic marker, and some math.
Anything from a crooked cinder block to an ephemeral beam of light falling across the street can inspire a playful interactive scene by French street artist OakOak, making passersby stop and smile. Whether by temporary paper cut-outs or more permanent graffiti, the artist transforms ordinary urban settings in fun and unexpected ways.
OakOak wanders the streets seeing creative possibilities in virtually every quirk and imperfection, turning what could be seen by others as urban blight into playful works of art that might only stick around for a day or so, but still manage to brighten people’s day.
Little Bruce Lee figures bend metal poles or break through concrete and trapeze artists prepare to tightrope across chains. A stain on a wall might become a stream of genie-producing smoke emitted from a magic lamp, or a sewer grate could become a snail shell.
Says OakOak of his hometown of St. Etienne, “I like this city, her atmosphere, and I wanted it to look nicer. It was an industrial city with many coal mines; now it’s in regeneration and still quite poor. But it’s easily travelled by foot with awkward aspects ideal for art. I saw shapes everywhere, and wanted to realize them.”
From the College Humor guys, a look at what life would be like if Google were a real person.
And the subjunctive never existed.
A kitten aboard a floating Victoria water lily pad in the Philippines, 1935.Photograph by Alfred T. Palmer, National Geographic Creative
(Source + merci à Robin pour la suggestion)
"Found at Gallery at Ice in Windsor, UK painted by Brian Weavers."
In 1984, only 13 states are labeled Ashley; by 1992, 30 states are. But it turns out that in 1984, a female baby born in the United States was actually 8 percent more likely to be named Ashley than in 1992.
Ashley was still the most popular girls’ name in 1991 and 1992. But its newfound dominance of the map is not the result of its growing popularity. Ashley was on the decline by the early ’90s—but other names were declining even faster. The original maps don’t actually say that Ashley was increasing in popularity in the early ’90s, but the way the information is presented, that misunderstanding is almost unavoidable. …
Again, this doesn’t mean the baby-name maps are wrong. They don’t purport to show anything except the most commonly given name in each state. In fact, these particular maps are well-designed and informative, if you have time to wade through the implications of the data. But it’s easy to see false trends here. Behind each map is data for hundreds of names across 50 states that would need to be examined closely to find the real trends. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a viral Excel sheet.
But then he makes amends with an interactive feature displaying some maps of his own:
A reader writes:
I’m enjoying the discussion about atheists and morality. Unlike some of your other atheist readers, I’m not particularly offended that we’re often seen as immoral. It’s fairly obvious that the reason we’re viewed that way by the faithful is that they haven’t had much real-life contact with good, moral atheists. It reminds me very much of how conservatives who haven’t interacted with a real gay person often call that community immoral. It’s simply fear of the unknown. My own experience speaks to this.
I grew up a Christian in the Bible Belt, surrounded by a conservative peer group. In my Christian elementary school, atheism was literally unthinkable – it didn’t even occur to me that people didn’t believe in God. In high school, I met my first atheist, and he was one of the warmest, kindest people I’ve ever met. He was super nerdy like me, and we bonded over our similarities. The fact that someone could be so kind and also not believe in God was somewhat shocking to me at the time.
As I slowly deconverted to atheism during college, I would always think back to him as my model of a truly good atheist.
My own view of morality slowly evolved away from needing a God and towards a naturalistic explanation. We are social animals in a harsh world. To survive, we needed to establish rules of conduct that allow us to work together against the elements – a moral code. No God needed. I do hope that, eventually, this will become the prevailing view.
In order for this to happen, we need more people like my high school friend. We need more atheists who are soft-spoken and genuinely good, loving people who can demonstrate by example that atheists aren’t frightening anarchists. Conversion doesn’t happen in debates or through legislation – evangelicals have known this for a long time. Conversion occurs through many personal interactions over years.
I dislike the approach of the New Atheists not because I disagree with their views, but because their methods push the faithful away from atheism. It’s insanely counterproductive. Who wants to be friends with the self-righteous bully? As much as I love Hitchens’ passion, clear-mindedness, and brutally logical arguments, I think my high school friend was a much better advocate for atheism than Hitchens. And don’t get me started on Dawkins. What a fucking asshole. In the same way that the gay community slowly won the argument by being out and showing that they’re just like the rest of us, we atheists need to be out and demonstrate kindness and love to our neighbors.
By the way, the fact that I’m not completely out tears me apart. My mother is a very devout Christian with an anxiety disorder. I fear that telling her about my true beliefs would cause her enormous emotional strife. She might truly believe I’m going to Hell. Who could put that sort of burden on his mother? I hope that, eventually, our religions will evolve to a more accepting view of atheists, so that people like me won’t have to be in the closet.
Spanning multiple feet in each direction, these giant-sized photo prints transform the light and color of ordinary sunset scenes, reflecting them through a chaotic lens of unpredictable distortions.
Titled Broken Mirror /Evening Sky, the set represents a break from his black-and-white work of the past decade, dealing with issues of “depth of field, scale, surface and materiality” and of course: color.
The result is a disjointed set of overlapping refractions and out-of-focus subjects that our mind then works to piece back together, and which compels us to consider the color before completely comprehending the composition.
About the artist: “Bing Wright was born in Seattle in 1958 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Columbia University, New York. His work been shown in exhibitions at the New Museum, New York; White Columns, New York; the Queens Museum of Art, New York; and the Tang Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, among others.”