beaux-arts

In recent years, the number of studies examining mind wandering has increased considerably, and research on the topic has spread widely across various domains of psychological research. Athough the term “mind wandering” has been used to refer to various cognitive states, researchers typically operationalize mind wandering in terms of “task-unrelated thought” (TUT).

31.jpg

Stendhal syndrome, Stendhal’s syndrome or Florence syndrome is a psychosomatic condition involving rapid heartbeat, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations, allegedly occurring when individuals become exposed to objects or phenomena of great beauty.

Although psychologists have long debated whether Stendhal’s syndrome exists, the apparent effects on some individuals are severe enough to warrant medical attention.

Though there are numerous accounts of people fainting while taking in Florentine art, dating from the early 19th century on, the syndrome was only named in 1979; when it was described by Italian psychiatrist Graziella Magherini, who observed over a hundred similar cases among tourists in Florence.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west

44.jpg

Physicists have long struggled with a perplexing conundrum: How do we reconcile what we see in the quantum world with what we don’t in the classical world? In a phenomenon called quantum superposition, particles have been shown to shift between particle-like and wave-like states, meaning they’re in two places at once.

But this phenomenon hasn’t been observed with more massive objects—it’s only been seen in the smallest particles, such as atoms, photons, and electrons. That’s beginning to change. […]

Physicist Markus Arndt of the University of Vienna and an international team of researchers have demonstrated quantum superposition in molecules, the largest particles ever tested.

{ Popular Mechanics | Continue reading }

photo { Andy Warhol: Elvis Paintings, Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, 1963 }

a jungle of love and debts and jangled through a jumble of life in doubts

42.jpg

{ Overnight, Gem Spa was transformed into SchitiBank | more | ThanksTim }

‘The formula of our happiness: a Yea, a Nay, a straight line, a goal.’ –Nietzsche

4.jpg

When faced with a personal problem people typically give better advice to others than to themselves. This has been termed ‘Solomon’s Paradox’, named after the biblical King Solomon who was wise for others, but not so when it came to making decisions that would have an impact on his own standing.

Suppose that instead of imagining a problem from the perspective of another you were actually able to have a conversation with yourself about it, but from the embodied perspective of another.

A previous study showed how it is possible to enact internal dialogue in virtual reality (VR) through participants alternately occupying two different virtual bodies – one representing themselves and the other Sigmund Freud. They could maintain a self-conversation by explaining their problem to the virtual Freud and then from the embodied perspective of Freud see and hear the explanation by their virtual doppelganger, and then give some advice. Alternating between the two bodies they could maintain a self-dialogue, as if between two different people.

Here we show that the process of alternating between their own and the Freud body is important for successful psychological outcomes. An experiment was carried out with 58 people, 29 in the body swapping Self-Conversation condition and 29 in a condition where they only spoke to a Scripted Freud character. The results showed that the Self-Conversation method results in a greater perception of change and help compared to the Scripted. We compare this method with the distancing paradigm where participants imagine resolving a problem from a first or third person perspective.

We consider the method as a possible strategy for self-counselling.

{ Nature | Continue reading }

synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas { Andy Warhol, Are You “Different?” (Positive), 1985 }

and then at once focuss his whole unbalanced attention upon the next octagonist who managed to catch a listener’s

22.jpg

The scrotum in humans is asymmetric, the right testicle being visibly higher than the left in most men. Paradoxically, it is also the case that the right testicle is somewhat larger, rather than smaller, as might be expected. […]

The cause of this asymmetry is not clear. We may however reject a simple mechanical explanation which would say that the heavier of the two organs is pulled to the lower position by the action of gravity, for in both adults and foetuses it is clear that the right testicle is both the heavier and also the greater in volume; that is the larger and heavier is also the higher. Such a relationship is counter-intuitive, and we may expect that it would present difficulties to artists, and to sculptors in particular. […]

Greek classical and pre-classical art, which took great care in its attention to anatomical detail, correctly portrayed the right testicle as the higher, but then incorrectly portrayed the left testicle as visibly larger.

{ Laterality | Continue reading | previously }

The human technologies of utopia

31.jpg

New York may be a notoriously difficult place to build, but for cathedrals everywhere, delays are par for the course. In The Gothic Enterprise, author Robert Scott conducted a survey of project timelines. Construction at Canterbury Cathedral lasted 343 years. Construction at French cathedrals Amiens, Beauvais, Bourges, Evreux, Lyon, and Rouen each lasted more than three centuries. Bristol Cathedral started in 1218 and was not finished until 1905 – 688 years. Across 217 church and abbey projects in England, construction took an average of 250–300 years. And St. John the Divine is not alone among the ranks of unfinished cathedrals. Perhaps most famously, Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882. […]

Why do cathedrals take so long to build? […]

Cathedrals are distinct from typical megaprojects in a very important way: an unfinished Cathedral is by no means a failure. […] Because the finish line is besides the point. Cathedrals are so compelling because they make visible the continued commitment that every building, city, and institution requires of their participants if they are to survive. Cathedral building ritualizes construction; they are compelling because they are never finished.

{ The Prepared | Continue reading }

wood, steel, and bamboo { Archi-Union Architects, Philip F. Yuan, “In Bamboo” Cultural Exchange Center, Daoming, Sichuan Province, China, 2017 }

How you gonna do it if you really don’t want to dance, by standing on the wall?

41.jpg

Loie Fuller (1862-1928) conquered Paris on her opening night at the Folies-Bergère on November 5, 1892. Manipulating with bamboo sticks an immense skirt made of over a hundred yards of translucent, iridescent silk, the dancer evoked organic forms –butterflies, flowers, and flames–in perpetual metamorphosis through a play of colored lights. Loie Fuller’s innovative lighting effects, some of which she patented, transformed her dances into enthralling syntheses of movement, color, and music, in which the dancer herself all but vanished. […]

Immensely popular, she had her own theater at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, promoted other women dancers including Isadora Duncan, directed experimental movies, and stopped performing only in 1925.

{ The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Continue reading }

The arrival of driverless cars could help us reduce light pollution

6-fire-width.jpg

During the period known as the High Middle Ages, between 1100-1250, the Catholic Church built over 1400 Gothic churches in the Paris Basin alone. […]

This thesis examines the implicit costs of building the Gothic churches of the Paris Basin built between 1100-1250, and attempts to estimate the percentage of the regional economy that was devoted to build them.

I estimate that over this 150-year period, on average, 21.5 percent of the regional economy was devoted to the construction of these Gothic churches, 1.5 percent of which is directly related to the implicit cost of labor.

{ Amy Denning | PDF }

With a taste of roly polony from Blugpuddels after. To bring out the tang of the tay.

3.jpg

mimeograph { La Monte Young, Composition 1960 #4, 1960 }

all our wild dances in all their wild din

41.jpg

Previous research shows conflicting findings for the effect of font readability on comprehension and memory for language. It has been found that - perhaps counterintuitively – a hard to read font can be beneficial for language comprehension, especially for more difficult language.

Here we test how font readability influences the subjective experience of poetry reading. […] We found that participants rated easy poems as less nice when they were presented in a hard to read font, as compared to when presented in an easy to read font. […] we did not observe the predicted opposite effect for more difficult poems.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

photo { Weegee, Untitled [U.S. Hotel at 263 Bowery], 1943­‐45 }

Sea, sea! Here, weir, reach, island, bridge.

4.jpg

Floating bridges do not work in all cases because they are susceptible to harsh weather conditions such as strong waves and currents. This is where the floating tunnels come in. […]

The term “floating” is perhaps misleading. The tunnels are fixed in position with cables — either anchored to the seabed or tethered to pontoons which are spaced far enough apart to allow boats to pass through. Made of concrete, they would function like conventional tunnels. […]

The biggest risks in the project are explosions, fire and overloading. […] Results so far indicate that the constant water pressure that surrounds the floating tunnels reduces the damage caused by explosions. […]

the NPRA team is also investigating how the tunnels would fare if submarines crashed into them.

{ CNN | Continue reading }

still { Akira Kurosawa, Rashomon, 1950 }

Where does the white go when the snow melts?

3.jpg

Salmon sushi was introduced to Japan by the Norwegians in 1986

[…]

You are 44% more likely to die if you have surgery on a Friday (1.44% chance) compared to a Monday (1.00% chance). The likelihood of death jumps 82% compared to Monday if you have surgery on the weekend.

[…]

The State of Wyoming Has 2 Escalators

[…]

When women are ovulating, they are (unknowingly) much less likely to call their dads, and when their dads call them, they end the conversation more quickly. However, they’re more likely to call their moms, and the phone conversations last longer.

[…]

Recent seminal works on human mobility have shown that individuals constantly exploit a small set of repeatedly visited locations. The number of familiar locations an individual visits at any point is a conserved quantity with a typical size of ~25.

[…]

The surface area of human lungs is as big as a tennis court […]

You can say “ding dong” but not “dong ding,” “zig zag” but not “zag zig,” and “flip flop” but not “flop flip.” The same strict word order applies to tick tock, riff raff, ping pong, King Kong, wishy washy, etc. This is the rule of ablaut reduplication: if there are two words, the first is i and the second is either a or o. If there are three words, then the order is i, a, o.

{ 52 Things I Learned in 2018 | Continue reading }

image { a performance/installation Warhol did for the now-defunct Finch College Museum of Art, in New York in February of 1972. The project consisted of Warhol vacuuming the gallery rug and then displaying the vacuum and its signed dust bag in the gallery that he’d cleaned. | Blake Gopnik }