Showing posts from December, 2014

The Spirit of Sauntering: Thoreau on the Art of Walking and the Perils of a Sedentary Lifestyle

brain picking

The Spirit of Sauntering: Thoreau on the Art of Walking and the Perils of a Sedentary Lifestyleby 
Why “every walk is a sort of crusade.” “Go out and walk. That is the glory of life,” Maira Kalman exhorted in her glorious visual memoir. A century and a half earlier, another remarkable mind made a beautiful and timeless case for that basic, infinitely rewarding, yet presently endangered human activity. Henry David Thoreau was a man of extraordinary wisdom on everything fromoptimism to the true meaning of “success” tothe creative benefits of keeping a diary to the greatest gift of growing old. In his 1861 treatiseWalking (free ebook | public library | IndieBound), penned seven years after Walden, he sets out to remind us of how that primal act of mobility connects us with our essential wildness, that spring of spiritual vitality methodically dried up by our sedentary civilization. Illustration by D. B. Johnso…

The Secret Museum: Van Gogh’s Never-Before-Seen Sketchbooks

brain pickings

The Secret Museum: Van Gogh’s Never-Before-Seen Sketchbooksby 
A bittersweet record of artistic genius and unlived dreams. Given my soft spot for the sketchbooks of famous artists and private notebooks of great creators, I was delighted to discover that, unbeknownst to most, Vincent van Gogh kept one. In an 1882 letter to his brother Theo, he wrote: “My sketchbook shows that I try to catch things ‘in the act.’” This private record of the artist’s genius, however, has remained obscured from public view. Thankfully, Molly Oldfield brings this hidden gem to light in The Secret Museum(public library) — the same magnificent tome that gave us the surprisingly dark story of how the Nobel Prize was born — which culls sixty never-before-seen “treasures too precious to display” from the archives and secret storage locations of some of the world’s top cultural institutions. At Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, Oldfield finds the artist’s seven surviving sketchbooks, only four…

A morte como tabu

com ciencia - labjor

A morte como tabuPor José Carlos Rodrigues
10/11/2014A angústia que sentimos diante da morte faz bastante sentido se considerarmos os modos de vida que acompanham o capitalismo. Nossos costumes e concepções acerca da morte situam-se entre os muitos passos que foram dados na direção do individualismo. A partir do Renascimento, tudo, desde a arquitetura residencial até os mobiliários domésticos, das regras de polidez e higiene aos modos de vestir, das concepções sobre saúde e educação das crianças até as teorias econômicas e políticas – absolutamente tudo no Ocidente foi submetido a um profundo processo de individualização. Trata-se de transformações muito lentas nas mentalidades e sensibilidades, que apenas o decorrer dos séculos pôde tornar visíveis: mudanças perfeitamente compatíveis com o sistema econômico que se constituía e que se desenvolvia tendo por base as ideias de propriedade privad…