Archive for August, 2013

August 21, 2013

Evan Penny

Nude Man

Evan Penny (b. 1953) is a South African-Canadian artist currently living and working in Toronto (he completed a postgraduate degree from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1978). He makes sculptures of human forms out of silicone, pigment, hair and aluminium.

His pieces range from the almost precisely lifelike, to the blurred or stretched. Penny says one of his interests ‘is to situate the sculptures perceptually between the way we might see each other in real time and space and the way we imagine our equivalent in a photographic representation.’ Though his creations are lifelike, Penny believes that ‘the real can’t be represented or symbolized,’ leaving everything to be a representation.

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August 20, 2013

The dose makes the poison

The dose makes the poison, a principle of toxicology, was first expressed by German-Swiss Renaissance physician Paracelsus. It means that a substance can produce the harmful effect associated with its toxic properties only if it reaches a susceptible biological system within the body in a high enough concentration (dose).

The principle relies on the finding that all chemicals—even water and oxygen—can be toxic if too much is eaten, drunk, or absorbed. ‘The toxicity of any particular chemical depends on many factors, including the extent to which it enters an individual’s body.’ This finding provides also the basis for public health standards, which specify maximum acceptable concentrations of various contaminants in food, public drinking water, and the environment.

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August 19, 2013

More popular than Jesus

john lennon by Sebastian Kruger

More popular than Jesus‘ was a controversial remark made by musician John Lennon of the Beatles in 1966: Lennon said that Christianity was in decline and that the Beatles had become more popular than Jesus Christ.

When the quote appeared in the American teen magazine ‘Datebook,’ angry reactions flared up from Christian communities. Lennon had originally made the remark in March 1966 during interviews with Maureen Cleave on the lifestyles of the four individual Beatles. When Lennon’s words were first published, in the ‘London Evening Standard’ in the United Kingdom, they had provoked no public reaction.

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August 18, 2013

Yellow Arrow

Yellow Arrow is a public art project that was active from 2004-2006 and was created by Christopher Allen, Brian House, and Jesse Shapins, collectively known as Counts Media. The project was an important example of locative media and mobile phone art and draws concepts from psychogeography (emphasizing playfulness and ‘drifting’ around urban environments).

Yellow Arrow stickers were obtained from the project website and placed anywhere in the public realm. When encountering a sticker on the street, individuals could send the unique code printed on it as a text message to the project phone number. Moments later a message would be received that was left by the person who placed the sticker.

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August 18, 2013

Muscle Worship

buff jesus by Boris Vallejo

Muscle worship is a social behavior, usually with a sexual aspect (a form of body worship), in which a participant, the worshiper, touches the muscles of another participant, the dominator, in sexually arousing ways, which can include rubbing, massaging, kissing, licking, ‘lift and carry,’ and various wrestling holds. The dominator is almost always either a bodybuilder, a fitness competitor, or wrestler—an individual with a large body size and a high degree of visible muscle mass. The worshiper is often, but not always, skinnier, smaller, and more out of shape.

Muscle worship can include participants of both sexes and all sexual orientations, however, it is a widespread practice amongst many gay men that view bodybuilders as sexual objects (bodybuilding is common in the gay community).

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August 18, 2013

Bigorexia

Muscle dysmorphia (or more informally bigorexia) is a disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with the idea that he or she is not muscular enough. Those who suffer from muscle dysmorphia tend to hold delusions that they are ‘skinny’ or ‘too small’ but are often above average in musculature.

Sometimes referred to as reverse anorexia nervosa, or the Adonis Complex, muscle dysmorphia is strictly connected with selective attention: individuals selectively focus their attention on perceived defect (too skinny body, underweight etc.). They are hypervigilant to even small deviations from perceived ideal and they ignore information that their body image is not consistent with reality.

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August 17, 2013

Just watch me

Pierre Trudeau

Just watch me‘ is a phrase made famous by Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on October 13, 1970, during the October Crisis (two kidnappings of government officials by Québécois separatists). The term is still regularly used in Canadian political discussion. Trudeau, who had in previous years been a strong proponent of civil liberties, spoke of the need for drastic action to restore order in Quebec.

When questioned by CBC reporter Tim Ralfe on how far he would go in the suspension of civil liberties to maintain order, Trudeau replied ‘Well, just watch me.’ Three days later he invoked the ‘War Measures Act,’ which led to police action against many Quebec dissidents and great public controversy.

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August 17, 2013

Sodastream

SodaStream is the maker of a consumer home carbonation product based on the principles of making a carbonated drink as originally invented by Guy Gilbey in 1903. The device allows users to take ordinary tap water and carbonate it to create soda water (or carbonated water) to drink.

With the addition of one of over 100 different types of concentrated syrups and flavorings produced by Sodastream, owners can create carbonated beverages. After the company merged with Soda-Club in 1998, it was relaunched with an emphasis on healthier drinks. It went public on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2010. Sodastream is currently headquartered in Israel, and has 13 production plants.

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August 17, 2013

Flowbee

Hair clipper

The Flowbee is an electrically powered vacuum cleaner attachment made for cutting hair. It was invented in 1988 by Rick Hunt, a San Diego carpenter. Hunt initially sold the Flowbees out of his garage before finding success with live demonstrations at a county fair. The product was advertised as being capable of performing ‘hundreds of precision layered haircuts’ in frequently aired late-night television infomercials. By 2000, two million Flowbees had been sold.

The Flowbee can also be used to groom dogs with long hair such as Maltese or Bichon Frisé with a special pet grooming attachment which is sold separately. The Flowbee is still being manufactured and sold via their factory (in Corpus Christi, Texas) direct website and various outlets across the Internet.

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August 16, 2013

Brené Brown

brene brown

Brené Brown Ph.D. LMSW is an American scholar, author, and public speaker, who is currently a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.

Over the last ten years she has been involved in research on topics ranging from vulnerability, courage, and authenticity, to empathy and shame. She has written notable books such as ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ (2010) and ‘Daring Greatly’ (2012). She is also the author of ‘Connections,’ a psychoeducational shame resilience curriculum.

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August 16, 2013

Happy Ending

A happy ending is an ending of the plot of a work of fiction in which almost everything turns out for the best for the protagonists, their sidekicks, and almost everyone except the villains. 

In storylines where the protagonists are in physical danger, a happy ending would mainly consist in their surviving and successfully concluding their quest or mission; where there is no physical danger, a happy ending is often defined as lovers consummating their love despite various factors which may have thwarted it; and a considerable number of storylines combine both factors.

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August 15, 2013

Quackery

Works Progress Administration

Quackery [kwak-uh-ree] is the promotion of unproven or fraudulent medical practices. Random House Dictionary describes a ‘quack’ as a ‘fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill’ or ‘a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or she does not possess; a charlatan.’ The word ‘quack’ derives from the archaic word ‘quacksalver,’ of Dutch origin, literally meaning ‘hawker of salve.’ In the Middle Ages the word ‘quack’ meant ‘shouting.’ The quacksalvers sold their wares on the market shouting in a loud voice.

‘Health fraud’ is often used as a synonym for quackery, but quackery’s salient characteristic is aggressive promotion (‘quacks quack!’) rather than fraud, greed or misinformation. ‘Pseudo-medicine’ is a term for treatments known to be ineffective, regardless of whether their advocates themselves believe in their effectiveness.

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