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Archive for June, 2013

NPR: Making Art from Art: 5 Summer Nonfiction Reads

An elaborate cake exactingly modeled from the work of a Dutch minimalist painter. A piece of literary criticism as interesting and expansive as its subject. A photograph of an eerie, antlered hat sculpted from feathers and tulle. Art criticism, written with a novelist’s eye. Here are five books that traverse genre and medium, while keeping the same aim: to analyze, celebrate and re-imagine beautiful works of art.

Each book is a work of radical reinterpretation: Each looks at art through the lens of another art. Painting is explicated through pastry, millinery through photography, and painting and writing through extraordinary criticism. These are books by five master craftsmen, who take their crafts, whatever they may be, to their very limits.

 

See the description of the following 5 Nonfiction Reads at Making Art from Art – NPR:

Always Looking by John Updike

Modern Art Desserts by Caitlin Freeman

The Virtues of Poetry by James Longenbach

Philip Treacy by Kevin Davies

Waiting for the Barbarians by  Daniel Mendelsohn

 

 

 

 

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Why Chimps Don’t Play Baseball

According to a group of scientists who offer new evidence that the classic overhand throw used by baseball players at all positions, and by snowball, rock and tomato hurlers of all ages, is an evolutionary adaptation dependent on several changes in anatomy. They first appeared, the researchers say, around 1.8 million years ago, when humans were most likely beginning to hunt big game and needed to throw sharp objects hard and fast.

No other primate throws with anything comparable to human force. Chimpanzees, who are much, much stronger, pound for pound, than human beings, can throw, as any zoo visitor knows. But the best an adult male can do is about 20 miles per hour. A 12-year-old human pitcher can easily throw three times that fast.

Clearly, the reason is not muscle strength, according to Neil Roach of George Washington University, first author of a report in the journal Nature released on Wednesday. Using motion-capture video, Dr. Roach and his colleagues analyzed the throwing motion of 20 college athletes, who hurled baseballs at a target about 100 feet away, with and without a brace that restricted shoulder motion.

“You’re storing energy in your shoulder,” Dr. Roach said, speaking from Africa, where he was heading to Lake Turkana to look at fossil footprints of human ancestors about a million and a half years old. The storage occurs in the cocking motion, when a thrower brings hand and ball back, preparing to throw. “It works just like a slingshot would. You’re actually stretching the ligaments.

 

Read the complete article at Why Apes Can’t Pitch – Solving a Riddle of Evolution – NYTimes.com

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Jimmy Fallon’s We Are the World of Warcraft

It’s Video Game Week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and that made it totally appropriate for Jimmy and friends to sing the stirring anthem “We Are the World of Warcraft.” Friends? Well, there’s our own Chris Hardwick, and there’s Felicia Day, too. And just wait until you hear the greatest growl for LeeRoy Jenkins (go to 1:56 if you want to just loop that part). It’ll all bring a tear to your ear… eye. Your eye.

 

Source: Nerdist News

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