Archive for August 15th, 2011

August 15, 2011

Smiley

lili

A smiley, or happy face, is a stylized representation of a smiling human face. It is commonly represented as a yellow circle with two black dots representing eyes and a black arc representing the mouth. ‘Smiley’ is also sometimes used as a generic term for any emoticon (a facial expression pictorially represented by punctuation and letters, usually to express a writer’s mood).

The first unhappy face recorded on film can be seen in Ingmar Bergman’s 1948 film ‘Hamnstad.’ Later on, in 1953 and 1958, the happy face was used in promotional campaigns for motion pictures ‘Lili’ and ‘Gigi’, respectively.

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August 15, 2011

Josh Keyes

home lifted by josh keyes

Josh Keyes (b. 1969) is an American contemporary artist who works with painting, drawing, and installation art. He currently works out of Portland, Oregon. His work has been described as ‘a satirical look at the impact urban sprawl has on the environment and surmises, with the aid of scientific slices and core samples, what could happen if we continue to infiltrate and encroach on our rural surroundings.’

Josh’s work brings to mind the detail and complexity of natural history dioramas, and the color and diagrammatic complexity one might find in cross section illustrations from a vintage science textbook. His work has developed over the past years into a complex personal vocabulary of imagery that creates a mysterious and sometimes unsettling juxtaposition between the natural world and the man made landscape.

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August 15, 2011

Oniomania

Shopaholic

Oniomania [oh-nee-uh-mey-nee-uh] (Greek: onios ‘for sale’ and mania ‘insanity’) is the technical term for the compulsive desire to shop, more commonly referred to as compulsive shopping, shopping addiction, shopaholism, compulsive buying or CB. All of these are considered to be either clinical addictions or impulse control disorders, depending on the clinical source. ‘Originally termed oniomania by Kraepelin (1915) and Bleuler (1924), CB has been described for over 100 years’; but though included among other pathological and reactive impulses, CB went largely ignored for the middle quarters of the twentieth century, and even today ‘Compulsive Shopping is a painful yet virtually unknown mental illness.’

‘Some psychiatrists believe compulsive buying is more indicative of an impulse control disorder, others think it is more indicative of an obsessive-compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder’ or even an addiction. It has been accepted as a disorder by the Deutsche Gesellschaft Zwangserkrankungen (German organization for obsessive-compulsive disorders), for several years; but in the United States, ‘an Impulse control disorder not otherwise specified…is the diagnostic category usually accorded to compulsive buying.’

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August 15, 2011

Twin-Lens Reflex Camera

rolleiflex

A twin-lens reflex camera (TLR) is a type of camera with two objective lenses of the same focal length. One of the lenses is the photographic objective or ‘taking lens,’ while the other is used for the viewfinder system, which is usually viewed from above at waist level. In addition to the objective, the viewfinder consists of a 45-degree mirror (the reason for the word reflex in the name), a matte focusing screen at the top of the camera, and a pop-up hood surrounding it. The two objectives are connected, so that the focus shown on the focusing screen will be exactly the same as on the film.

However, many inexpensive TLRs are fixed-focus models. Most TLRs use leaf shutters with shutter speeds up to 1/500th sec with a B setting. For practical purposes, all TLRs are film cameras, most often using 120 film, although there are many examples which used other formats. No general-purpose digital TLRs exist, since their heyday ended long prior to the digital era. The main exception is the collector-oriented Rollei Mini-Digi, introduced as a rather expensive ‘toy’ in 2004.

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August 15, 2011

Kopi Luwak

civet

Kopi luwak, or civet coffee, is one of the world’s most expensive and low-production varieties of coffee. It is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet, then passed through its digestive tract. A civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In its stomach, enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet’s intestines the beans are then defecated, keeping their shape. After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness, widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world.

Since the flavor of coffee owes much to its proteins, there is a hypothesis that this shift in the numbers and kinds of proteins in beans after being swallowed by civets brings forth their unique flavor. The proteins are also involved in non-enzymatic Maillard browning reactions brought about later by roasting. Moreover, while inside a civet the beans begin to germinate by malting which also lowers their bitterness. Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago, and also in the Philippines, and also in East Timor. Weasel coffee is a loose English translation of its name cà phê Chồn in Vietnam, where popular, chemically simulated versions are also produced.

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August 15, 2011

Global Orgasm

Global Orgasm, also known as GORG, was an action originally scheduled for December 22, 2006 to coincide with the end of solstice. The idea was for participants throughout the world to have an orgasm during this one day while thinking about peace in order to emit positive energy to Earth. The Second Annual Synchronized Global Orgasm for Peace occurred at 6:08 (GMT) on December 22, 2007, the actual moment of the Solstice.

In 2009 Ani Sinclair took over the cause (and website) of Global Orgasm. She encourages everyone to practice conscious dedication of orgasmic energy to world peace. The Solstice on December 21st is the day to culminate the practice for the year and then to begin again, practicing for the next year. She would like to help change the perception about sexuality from ‘original sin’ to ‘original blessing,’ honoring and empowering women.Studies have found increases in the hormone oxytocin at orgasm in both men and women. Oxytocin’s role in increasing trust, pair bonding and reducing anxiety has meant it is sometimes referred to as the ‘love and trust’ hormone.

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August 15, 2011

FFF

fff

Fuck for forest, or FFF, is a non-profit environmental organization founded in Norway by Leona Johansson and Tommy Hol Ellingsen, which raises money for rescuing the world’s rainforests by producing pornographic material or having sex in public. They are the world’s first eco-porn organization. However, their unorthodox methods have made it difficult to distribute monies. The Norwegian chapter of the Rainforest Foundation Fund as well as the WWF both in the Netherlands and in Norway have refused to accept donations from FFF. As a result, Fuck for Forest is working on a project to work directly with indigenous communities in Costa Rica and the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.

The group gained notoriety when its two members had sexual intercourse on stage during a 2004 Quart Festival concert featuring Norwegian singer Kristopher Schau and his band The Cumshots, after delivering a brief talk on the impact humans have on forests. The group then faced legal action as a result (including a fine imposed on the group after its male member dropped his pants in a courtroom), and consequently moved its headquarters to Berlin, Germany.

August 15, 2011

Chillwave

PAL198X

com truise

Chillwave, sometimes also referred to as Glo-Fi, is a genre of music where artists are often characterized by their heavy use of effects processing, synthesizers, looping, sampling, and heavily filtered vocals with simple melodic lines.

The genre combines the larger 2000s trends towards 80s retro music and (in indie music) use of ambient sound, with modern pop. The term is said to have been originated on the Hipster Runoff blog.

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August 15, 2011

Bed-In

bed peace

During the Vietnam War, in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held two week-long Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam and Montreal, which were their non-violent ways of protesting wars and promoting peace. The idea is derived from a ‘sit-in,’ in which a group of protesters remains seated in front of an establishment until they are evicted, arrested, or their demands are met.

Knowing their March 20, 1969 marriage would be a huge press event, John and Yoko decided to use the publicity to promote world peace. They spent their honeymoon in the presidential suite (Room 702 at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel for a week between March 25 and 31, inviting the world’s press into their hotel room every day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. After their other stunts, such as the nude cover of the ‘Two Virgins’ album, the press were expecting them to be having sex, but instead the couple were sitting in bed—in John’s words ‘like angels’—talking about peace with signs over their bed reading ‘Hair Peace’ and ‘Bed Peace.’

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August 15, 2011

Number Sense

kim peek

In mathematics education, number sense can refer to ‘an intuitive understanding of numbers, their magnitude, relationships, and how they are affected by operations.’ Some definitions emphasize an ability to work outside of the traditionally taught algorithms, e.g., ‘a well organized conceptual framework of number information that enables a person to understand numbers and number relationships and to solve mathematical problems that are not bound by traditional algorithms.’

There are also some differences in how number sense is defined in the field of mathematical cognition. For example, Gersten and Chard say number sense ‘refers to a child’s fluidity and flexibility with numbers, the sense of what numbers mean and an ability to perform mental mathematics and to look at the world and make comparisons.’ Researchers consider number sense to be of prime importance for children in early elementary education, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has made number sense a focus area of pre-K through 2nd grade mathematics education. An active area of research is to create and test teaching strategies to develop children’s number sense.