Empathy

19 Feb

Saturday is the worst day to blog, simply because I tend not to be thinking about anything in particular.  I’d like to say I’m one of those people who keeps their mind sharp no matter what day it is, but I tend to spend the better part of weekends doing nothing but sitting and dicking around on the internet.

While certainly not all of my peers are the same way, a good portion of them are.  This begs the question, which CNN so conveniently attempted to answer, as to what kind of an effect the internet is having on our generation.  Studies are finding that people between the ages of 17 and 23 are increasingly beginning to show a difficulty in registering empathy.  Having been exposed to countless of videos of people getting hurt on YouTube, not to mention the 2 Girls 1 Cup type shock sites that abound on the tubes has created a generation of people who cannot easily sense emotion in other people.

In a 2007 study of 197 students age 17 to 23 years, participants were asked to quickly identify the emotional expression of a face as it rapidly morphed from neutral to an angry or happy face. Happy faces were identified faster than angry faces, but when the volunteers played a violent video game before the facial recognition task, they were much slower to recognize the happy facial expression.

These kinds of results raise important issues about the merits of technology vs. the necessity of the human experience and emotions, and what the inevitable increase in reliance on technology means for us as human beings.

I haven’t got the answers, but I hope someone does.

full article here

-Bryan

currently playing: selfish whales – “platforms”

J.R.R. Tolkien: Wordsmith

17 Feb

Some people claim that reknowned Lord of the Rings author, J.R.R. Tolkien has invented more words than any man in recent history.  An entire Elven language, Dwarven language and many other things.  But…he also added onto our own English language.

Did you know that J.R.R. Tolkien invited the plural form of dwarf?  Dwarves.  Yep, it is normally just dwarfs, but according to an appendix in LOTR:

It may be observed that in this book as in The Hobbit the form dwarves is used, although the dictionaries tell us that the plural of dwarf is dwarfs. It should be dwarrows (or dwerrows), if singular and plural had each gone its own way down the years, as have man and men, or goose and geese. But we no longer speak of a dwarf as often as we do of a man, or even of a goose, and memories have not been fresh enough among Men to keep hold of a special plural for a race now abandoned to folk-tales, where at least a shadow of truth is preserved, or at last to nonsense-stories in which they have become mere figures of fun. But in the Third Age something of their old character and power is still glimpsed, if already a little dimmed: these are the descendants of the Naugrim of the Elder Days, in whose hearts still burns the ancient fire of Aule the Smith, and the embers smoulder of their long grudge against the Elves; in in whose hands still lives the skill in works of stone that none have surpassed.

Another weird fact:  Tolkien did record himself reading his works.  Even better?  Recordings of him singing elvish verses.  Tolkien.  Singing. (Click Here To Read More & Listen)

And now you know.  Aren’t you glad you learned that?  And I know what you’re thinking.  No, I did not have a date on Valentine’s Day.

http://uploads.neatorama.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/tolkien-150×212.jpg

Capturing the Already Captured

16 Feb

A German photographer, Michael Wolf, was praised for his work at the World Press Photo Contest this year. His “Series of Unfortunate Events,” basically consisted of him finding interesting/disturbing/funny/weird images from Google Street view, and then taking a picture…of the picture.  Like this:

Laying on sidewalk, manhole

Or this:

Pigeon in flight

His series is categorized as photojournalism, but some critics are skeptical.  He claims that “it doesn’t belong to Google, because I’m interpreting Google; I’m appropriating Google. If you look at the history of art, there’s a long history of appropriation.”

I think it’s an interesting concept, he’s making art out of something functional that was already there.

You can see more of his work, at http://www.photomichaelwolf.com/intro/index.html

Plugging, Shamelessly

16 Feb

I am going to pluglessly shame (this is where my mind is right now) and shamelessly plug one of my most FAVorite blogs of all time…www.harmondrive.com

Some gems from the site are:

Rooftop Session/Phosphorescent

http://vimeo.com/16050922

Dirty Gold/California Sunrise

Band of Horses/The Great Salt Lake

 

Enjoy these gems and for the love of all things Tuesday support Harmon Drive!

 

Also, our ice cream social is tomorrow night, 8:30-10:00pm in the PSU, join our facebook group and come get some free icecream!!

 

KP

Short, sweet, and simple

14 Feb

Sometimes all you need in life are the simple things. Today is one of those days for me.

One Man’s Trash

14 Feb

If you’ve ever felt that your artwork is just, kind of, junk, take a moment to step back and consider that this might not necessarily be a bad thing. The Artist in Residence program at the San Francisco Recycling Dump puts a whole new spin on the concept of recycling and reusing discarded materials.

Before

After

Here, local artists are provided with access to a vast array of, well, trash. They are encouraged to consider the nature of waste and discarded goods while transforming them into art. The results are really rather inspiring. Click here to take a tour through this alternative to traditional sculpting- it just might inspire you to do a bit of dumpster diving of your own.

I AM SO BUSY

12 Feb

Dear world,

Today is the most inconvenient day for me to blog, because I’ve spent all day helping run the Appalachian State Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention and Luthier’s Gathering on campus today, and I’ve got to leave to go to work in less than five minutes, so today’s post will be very short.  Actually, I’ll just leave you with an example of what my day sounded like, and if I find the time to, I’ll come back and add something later tonight.

 

-Bryan