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Posts Tagged ‘andrew sullivan’

I followed the consummate eclectic blogger Andrew Sullivan from 2004 until a couple weeks ago, when he closed up shop. I can’t begin to say what a loss it is, but at least he decided to leave up all his previous posts. I had planned to link to this one some time ago. It’s a good example of the kind of story I probably would have missed but for Andrew and his team.

In the post, we are directed to a Wired story about a series of Fabrice Fouillet photographs featuring giant statues. Zachary Slobig wrote, “Enormous statues have been erected around the globe for centuries, omnipresent memorials to historical figures and events. Fabrice Fouillet’s series Colosses—a collection of photographs of the world’s most imposing monuments—makes these familiar sights downright strange through a simple shift in perspective. It’s not the size and scale that interests him, but their place in the surrounding landscape. The result can be dizzying and disorienting. …

“ ‘It was important to me to extract the monument from its formal touristic and religious surroundings,’ said Fouillet. ‘It is not about a description of monumental symbol but more to observe how and where it takes place.’ ”

The Andrew Sullivan post, Face of the Day, is still available here. Photographer Fouillet’s website is here.

Image: Fabrice Fouillet
Grand Byakue. Takazaki, Japan

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Once again, Andrew Sullivan provides me with a thought to chew on. I had heard of building tunnels under highways to let wildlife maintain their historic routes, but  an Orion magazine article on the topic includes an overpass.

Andrew Blechman wrote the article. “When the Montana Department of Transportation approached the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes about widening the portion of U.S. Highway 93 that bisects the Flathead Indian Reservation, the tribes resisted. They first wanted assurances that any highway expansion would address the spirit that defines this region of prime wildlife habitat and natural wonders. The primary goal for the tribes was to mitigate the impact of the road on wildlife.

“While people view highways as a means of getting from one place to another, to wildlife they are just the opposite: a barrier….

“Collaboration between the tribes and highway engineers, with help from Montana State University and Defenders of Wildlife, led to the creation of the most progressive and extensive wildlife-oriented road design program in the country.

“The 56-mile segment of Highway 93 now contains 41 fish and wildlife underpasses and overpasses, as well as other protective measures to avoid fatalities. As creatures become accustomed to the crossings, usage is increasing—at last count, the number was in the tens of thousands. Motion cameras have captured does teaching their young to run back and forth through the crossings, much like human mothers teach their children to safely cross a street.” More at Orion.

See the overpass below.

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Adele Peters writes at FastCoExist that some schools, “like Ward Elementary in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are starting to fill classrooms with exercise bikes, so students can work out while they learn.

“The Read and Ride program at Ward began five years ago. One classroom is equipped with enough exercise bikes for a full class of students, and teachers bring students throughout the day to use them. As they ride, they read. The combination burns calories, but it turns out that it also helps students learn better. As the elementary school analyzed testing data at the end of school year, they found that students who had spent the most time in the program achieved an 83% proficiency in reading, while those who spent the least time in the program had failing scores–only 41% proficiency.” More here.

The concept, which I learned about at Andrew Sullivan’s blog, is interesting. I hope most such efforts are in addition to recess, not instead of, but I know from experience that physical motion can helping with learning. And if the kids like it, so much the better.

Photo: Read and Ride

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According to the website Days of the Year, today was Custodial Worker Day. I learned this by following a link at an Andrew Sullivan post.

Andrew quotes Megan Garber at the Atlantic, who writes, “Micro-holidays, which teeter somewhere in the center of the continuum between universality and irrelevancy, are political. They do what all holidays will, in the end: convene our attention around a cause. But they are different from official holidays in one crucial way: They are opt-in. …

“They’re about finding communities of like minds within the social chaos of the Internet. Every year, people will discover delightfully nerdy new ways to celebrate National Grammar Day – and they will do that in part because they are self-identified grammar nerds. Who are sharing a thing with other self-identified grammar nerds. … It says something, also, about what they want to share as people.”

By the way, Friday is Boyfriends Day, Virus Appreciation Day, and two other special days. Saturday has six micro-holidays, including World Card Making Day, Ship in a Bottle Day, and Taco Day.

You can sign up here to be notified about what each new day brings to celebrate.

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Some posts at Andrew Sullivan I only need to glance at briefly and bells go off: for example, this entry about an artist who works with coral.

Andrew quotes Amelia Urry writing about Courtney Mattison, who became enamored of coral while studying conservation biology at Brown University and moonlighting at the Rhode Island School of Design.

“Mattison’s newest piece, Our Changing Seas III,” says Urry at Grist, “depicts a hurricane-spiral of bleached corals coalescing to a bright center. You can read it as a message of hope or one of impending doom, depending on your disposition …

At the heart of Mattison’s artwork is her desire to inspire real-life changes in how people view and treat the world’s oceans and environments. Similar to the Our Changing Seas series, Courtney Mattison’s Hope Spots collection comprises 18 vignettes, each of which represents a vital marine ecosystem in its ideal form (that is, protected from various threats such as global warming or pollution).” Read more at Grist, here.

Art: Courtney Mattison
“Our Changing Seas III,” a ceramic coral reef

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Photo of Lugano: Wikimedia Commons

Before Suzanne met Erik, she lived for a few years in Lugano, Switzerland. When I visited her, I took in the art museum and remember being exposed to the work of Austrian painter Egon Schiele for the first time.

Today Andrew Sullivan had a post about Museo d’Arte di Lugano, and naturally I zeroed in.

Andrew quotes Andy Cush on the museum’s latest exhibit: “36 ventilators, 4.7m3 packing chips, a new installation from the Swiss artist Zimoun … The artist filled a space inside Switzerland’s Museo d’Arte di Lugano with lots and lots of polystyrene packing peanuts, and uses 36 fans to whip them into a stormy frenzy.”

Watch the video of crashing packing-popcorn waves at Andrew Sullivan’s blog, here.

Lugano is a charming, Italian-speaking city. I passed through there as a teenager, with no premonition of my future connection to the place, just astonishment at palm trees in snow-capped Switzerland. Funny how things turn out.

 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou never know what you’ll find at Andrew Sullivan’s blog.

Today he notes research on the memory of toddlers. A new study has demonstrated that three-year-olds have memories of  seeing someone once, back when they were one.

Danish researcher Osman “Kingo and his team first renewed contact with parents and their children who’d taken part in an earlier study when the children were age one. That earlier research involved the infant children interacting with one of two researchers for 45 minutes – either a Scandinavian-Caucasian man or a Scandinavian-African man.

“Now two years on, 50 of these parents and children – the latter now aged three – were invited back to the exact same lab (hopefully cueing their earlier memories). Here the children were shown two simultaneous 45-second videos side by side. One video was a recording of the researcher – either the Scandinavian-Caucasian or Scandinavian-African man – interacting with them two years earlier; the other video showed the other researcher (the one they hadn’t met) interacting with a different child in the exact same way. …

“The children spent significantly more time looking at the video that featured the researcher they’d never met. … This result provides strong evidence that the children had some recognition of the researcher they’d met, and were drawn more strongly to look at the unfamiliar researcher.”

More at Andrew Sullivan, here, and at Research Digest at the British Psychological Society, here.

I am especially delighted that there’s a bit of proof for what I have long insisted was true. (No one ever believes that I remember taking my first steps.)

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