Monday, October 26, 2009

Susan & John


I want to throw a party just so Susan & John can build a room full of paper flowers for me.

Cooooool. Girly. Cute dog, too. (Scroll to bottom of link to their site for pix)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Corner office? Corner this.

I am deeply, mortally offended by this book:

I know where Lois is going with this. Really, I do. I'm sure there's some good information here. I worked in a corporate environment for ten years and I know this goes on. This probably pisses me off because I DID some of this stuff.

She still rubs me the wrong way. If I want to bring doughnuts to a shitty meeting that wastes my time, I'll fill it with heavenly, heavily powdered calories. Lois be damned.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


If the concept of "sass" came in the form of a person, it would be my niece, Emma (center), on the rooftop of Alfred's right before attending the Miley Cyrus concert.

iPhone image courtesy of her mom.


Friday, October 16, 2009


As I was leaving school today, I found a little bird on the ground right outside of the back door to the journalism building. I'm pretty sure it ran into the building; it was jerking in a weird way and couldn't open its eyes half the time. It was so pitiful I scooped it up with a piece of matte board and took it to Central Animal Hospital for a mercy killing (they did confirm at the vet that it was very likely in pain and this was the best option). The little bird was very cute and quite sweet. And the folks at CAH were quite gracious.

Have you ever driven your car with a bird sitting on the dash? No?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cake rage

Cake rage

Several things come to mind when viewing this image:

1. I am not meant to be a baker. Or, in the very least, I will never decorate cakes.

2. It has been demonstrated again and again that folks with multiple personalities have different handwriting styles depending upon who they are at the moment.

3. Road rage, according to Wikipedia, is aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions which result in injuries and even deaths.

I can say that,without a doubt, I experienced cake rage today. I started out all domestic and optimistic with the word "happy" and almost dug out the cake with my bare hands and threw it out the window by the time I got to "George." You can actually track my mood change here.

Take from this what you will.

Oh, and I promise those are neither (1) bleeding hearts nor (2) happy sperm. They are balloons.

Unconventional portraits

I love the fact that someone at the Library of Congress is scanning and uploading some seriously interesting things on Flickr. One of their collections gives us newspaper covers of the New York Tribune from 1909.

I love these portraits. Particularly: John S. Shea for Sheriff and Charles S. Whitman for District Attorney. And doesn't Mr. Mitchel have a smarmy air about him?

Weird portraits

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jules Verne

I'm studying for a history exam right now and came across this photo. I think it's a pretty great one of Jules Verne (1878 by Nadar). He has crinkly Santa Claus eyes!

Jules Verne

Friday, October 2, 2009

Photo Rhetoric

Muybridge's horses

Here's a blurb by John Jones of UT Austin addressing the "truth" of a replicated image and the relationship between photography and science. It is posted on viz, a site dedicated to studying visual culture and rhetoric.

Photography and science

When photography was introduced in the late nineteenth century, many thought it would be a way to exactly reproduce reality. Because of the fact that a camera must have something in front of it to create an image, the photograph was considered to be a scientific presentation of reality. Photography was used as scientific evidence, and photographs like Edward Muybridge's famous motion studies were used to settle questions about the natural world that seemed otherwise unanswerable. The process of photography seemed to guarantee that at the time the shutter was opened a certain reality existed, and the photograph was evidence of that reality frozen in an instant.

For this reason, Roland Barthes has argued that the photograph was intimately related to death, for the snapshot was always a reminder that the particular moment captured on film was dead and could not be retrieved. In Camera Lucida Barthes argued that this relationship to death prompted a feeling of nostalgia in the viewer, and he described this effect with the terms punctum and studium. The punctum is defined as being the one "detail" of the photograph that immediately attracts the eye, is personal to the individual viewer, and, because it is personal, is beyond analysis. The punctum is thus differentiated from the studium, or the standard, symbolic message of the photograph.

From photographic truth to Photoshop

As printing technologies developed it became possible for photographs to be endlessly duplicated. Though this ability to duplicate images was beneficial for mass communication, along with it came the question: what is the “real” image? Mass duplication also allowed for the manipulation of images, which in turn has led to the questioning of the “truth” of images. Techniques like double-exposure and painting on a photograph have served to undermine the claim that photography represents reality.

As digital imaging has become more prevalent, the scientific truth of the image has come increasingly under question. Since the introduction of photography, images have had their truth value challenged because, as Susan Sontag has argued in Regarding the Pain of Others, the form and composition of a photograph are easily altered so as to present false, or manufactured images. The use of digital tools to alter photos has made this concern more apparent because it allows for photorealistic effects to give the appearance of something that does not even exist. This new development in photography—troubling its claim for scientific truth—puts more focus on the way in which a photograph’s meaning is—and has always been—culturally negotiated and deeply rhetorical.



Scientists have announced the discovery of the oldest human ancestor skeleton ever found...predating Lucy by one million years. She is a 110 pound female nicknamed Ardi (taken from her species name Ardipithecus ramidus) found in Ethiopia.

"The fossil puts to rest the notion, popular since Darwin's time, that a chimpanzee-like missing link—resembling something between humans and today's apes—would eventually be found at the root of the human family tree. Indeed, the new evidence suggests that the study of chimpanzee anatomy and behavior—long used to infer the nature of the earliest human ancestors—is largely irrelevant to understanding our beginnings.

Ardi instead shows an unexpected mix of advanced characteristics and of primitive traits seen in much older apes that were unlike chimps or gorillas. As such, the skeleton offers a window on what the last common ancestor of humans and living apes might have been like."

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