Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rasputina~ Wish You Were Here

Apocalyptica - Romance

Daft Punk - Technologic (Uppermost Remix)

Daft Punk - Technologic (Uppermost Remix)

Markus Richter Photography - Work

Markus Richter Photography - Work

:: Sexy Art Gallery :: La Galerie Provocatrice ::


Sexy Art Gallery exhibits, promotes and sells sexy art. Sexy art encompasses a broad range of artistic genres, namely, Fine-art, Pop surrealism, Fetish art, Erotica, Pop art, Gothic art, Pin-up, Glamour, Street art and Kitsch.

Sexy Art Gallery focuses on representing both emerging and recognized artists and priding itself on exposing cutting-edge sexy art.

The art being shown maintains a provoking and provocative stance, with an unapologetic and non compromising approach to the expression of sophisticated sexuality.

Visit us at Sexy Art Gallery at the Erotic Museum (3rd floor) in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 54. is intended to be user - friendly and is divided into three levels; the Entrance level, Level I and Level II.

Sexy Art Gallery welcomes you to come and explore the brilliant talent of our artists.

Please visit the about section to learn more about us. Take the time & Enjoy...

With Love,

:: Sexy Art Gallery :: La Galerie Provocatrice ::

If not Ansel Adams, then who took garage-sale photos? -

By Alan Duke CNN July 30, 2010

Miriam Walton says her uncle, Earl Brooks, took the photo on the right. She says she believes the photo on the left was also taken on the same day by him -- not Ansel Adams.

Miriam Walton says her uncle, Earl Brooks, took the photo on the right. She says she believes the photo on the left was also taken on the same day by him -- not Ansel Adams.
  • Miriam Walton thinks her "Uncle Earl" took the photos
  • An art expert finds "Uncle Earl" photo is similar to Norsigian photo
  • Norsigian's lawyer suggests "Uncle Earl" print is by Ansel Adams
  • "Pop Laval" could be an "interesting wrinkle" in photo mystery

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- The mystery is deepening over who created 65 glass photographic plates bought at a California garage sale for $45 by a man who believes they were created by famed nature photographer Ansel Adams.

A fortune could ride on the answer, since an art appraiser estimated the negatives could be worth $200 million if they were Adams' work.

But "Uncle Earl" or "Pop Laval" -- not Ansel Adams -- may have taken the photos that Rick Norsigian discovered 10 years ago, according to relatives of those California photographers.

Nature photographer Ian Shive said the list of photographers who could have taken the pictures is short. "There were only a few people doing that kind of work at that time," Shive said.

Adams' grandson and the managing trustee of his photographs both dispute Norsigian's claim that Adams made the negatives.

"Uncle Earl"

An 87-year-old Oakland, California, woman was drawn into the debate when she saw the photos in a TV news report Tuesday night.


"I'm looking at the picture that's hanging on my wall and I knew that Ansel Adams didn't take them," Miriam Walton said. "I knew my Uncle Earl took them."

Her uncle was Earl Brooks, an amateur photographer who lived in the Fresno, California, area in the 1920s, the decade experts said the photos were taken.

The image that made Walton sit up was of Jeffrey Pine, a much-photographed tree on top of Sentinel Dome at Yosemite, California.

Walton made some phone calls and the next day she was visited by Scott Nichols, who owns a fine-art photography gallery in San Francisco.

Nichols studied Walton's print and concluded it could have been taken at the same time as the negative Norsigian claims was created by Adams. "The shadows are almost identical," he said.

Nichols tends to agree with Walton that her uncle, not Adams, was the photographer.

"I betcha two cents that the case," Walton said.

"A lot of people photographed Yosemite and did a nice job," Nichols said. "But when you look at an Ansel Adams, it says, 'I'm Ansel Adams.'"

Shive, who reviewed 17 of the images from Norsigian's collection, agreed that they do not show "the emotion and nature-as-art interpretive style" that marked Adams' later work.

"But all artists grow and their styles change, becoming more defined and perhaps their origins becoming unrecognizable when compared to their final destinations," Shive said. "That could easily be the case here."

Arnold Peter, the Beverly Hills lawyer who led Norsigian's effort to authenticate his negatives, said the fact that Walton has a similar print proves nothing.

Her relatives could have purchased it from a Yosemite souvenir shop where Adams peddled prints early in his career, Peter said. Or it could have been one of many Adams gave away as gifts.

There may be no way know if Walton's print is an Adams -- not an Uncle Earl -- photo, since thousands of Adams' Yosemite negatives were destroyed in a darkroom fire in 1937, Peter said.

"Uncle Earl may have taken them," he said. "Ansel Adams may have taken them or someone else may have taken them."

It's been about 70 years since Walton last saw Uncle Earl, who she described as "an early hippie." She inherited the photos when her father died in 1981.

She traces the photos to Earl Brooks because "Uncle Earl" is handwritten on the print, she said. She believes it was her father's writing.

"My father would not have had anything from anyone else," Walton said. "He wouldn't have had Ansel Adams."

If it is proven her uncle did create Norsigian's photos, Walton said she does not want them.

"I'm getting to the age now that I don't want stuff," she said. "I'm trying to get rid of stuff."

"Pop Laval"

Another photographer on the short list of those who might have made the negatives is Pop Laval, a commercial photographer in the Fresno area from 1910 until 1965.

William Turnage, the managing trustee of the Ansel Adams Trust, said it was an "interesting wrinkle" in the mystery of the negatives.

Laval created more than 100,000 negatives, including many mountain images at Yosemite in a style similar to Adams. He also photographed the same San Francisco landmarks seen in the Norsigian photos.

His son, Jerry Laval, interned with Ansel Adams, according to great-granddaughter Elizabeth Laval, who manages the Pop Laval Foundation.

Laval said she when she first saw the numbering system on the manila envelopes that contained Norsigian's glass plates she thought "Oh, my god, these are Pop's."

"Surprisingly, the envelopes look exactly like Pop's envelopes," she said.

Like Adams, Pop Laval was meticulous in numbering envelopes to keep track of his thousands of negatives, she said.

Professional photographers in the pre-computer days also kept ledgers to note shoot locations and dates, she said.

But the theory that Laval authored Norsigian's photos hit a snag when she opened his ledger. His numbers that correspond to the Norsigian plates show he would have been shooting elsewhere on those dates.

"I have to assume they were not his," Laval said.

Bitter debate

When Ansel Adams died in 1984, he left his 40,000 known negatives in a trust managed by William Turnage, who reacted with anger when Norsigian and his lawyer, Arnold Peter, claimed at a news conference Tuesday that their negatives were Adams' work.

Turnage called them "a bunch of crooks" who "are pulling a big con job."

Peter called Turnage's attack "a shameful and pointless disparagement of the professional reputations of some of the top leaders in their respective fields."

He said that based on the overwhelming evidence gathered by a team of experts, "no reasonable person would have any doubt that these, in fact, were the long-lost images of Ansel Adams."

Adams' grandson, Matthew Adams, is also unconvinced. "I don't think that they've proven that they are authentic ... And I don't know that you could ever prove that they are."

Adams, who reviewed Norsigian's evidence last year, said he wanted more scientific tests, including carbon-dating, to prove beyond a doubt that the work was that of his grandfather.

He cited "a number of inconsistencies," including the conclusion by two handwriting analysts that notations on manila envelopes containing the plates were made by Ansel Adams' wife, Virginia Adams.

The envelopes had five misspellings of well-known Yosemite National Park landmarks, he said. "Bridal Veil Falls" is misspelled twice as "Bridal Vail Falls" and "Happy Isles" is misspelled "Happy Iles," Matthew Adams said.

Virginia Adams -- who spent most of her life in that area of California -- would have spelled those names correctly, he said.

The art dealer who placed their eventual value at more than $200 million said that the controversy is increasing their value by "driving the market to them."

"They're making them so desirable," said David W. Streets. "People all over the world are seeing this and saying 'I want one of each.' "

If not Ansel Adams, then who took garage-sale photos? -

New GEICO Commercial - Piggy

I just love this one!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

YouTube - William S. Burroughs - Is Everybody In?

YouTube - William S. Burroughs - Is Everybody In?

Civilization by Marco Brambilla on Vimeo

Civilization by Marco Brambilla from CRUSH on Vimeo.

Civilization by Marco Brambilla on Vimeo

Mackay: Teamwork key in today's business world

by Harvey Mackay - Jul. 26, 2010 12:00 AM

A reader recently wrote to me about a column I penned several years ago: the ABCs of selling. She told me how often she used it and shared it with her colleagues.

Then she challenged me to come up with the ABCs of team-building, a topic that seems particularly popular in this era of reorganizations, layoffs and downsizing. The following concepts are what I consider the fundamentals of team-building:

A is for action. No team can function without a plan of action, even when the final outcome is to take no action at all.

B is for brainpower. If two heads are better than one, I would submit that a cohesive, well-assembled team should have enough brainpower to attack any project.

C is for cooperation and communication. Team members need to cooperate, even if they don't necessarily agree. Clear communication is the roadmap to cooperation.

D is for dedication. As members of a team, you must be dedicated to the goals of the team, or you are on the wrong team.

E is for ears. Use your ears more than your mouth because listening skills are critical for team success.

F is for fun. Work should be fun, and working together is usually a lot more fun than working alone.

G is for the group effort. The motto needs to be "all for one and one for all" in order to be a real team.

H is for help. Ask for it if you need it, and offer it if someone else needs yours.

I is for the ideas that come from brainstorming and picking each others' brains. Let the ideas flow and then choose those that hold the most potential.

J is for juggling. Combining all the company's needs and desired results will often require a juggling act, but a competent team will be able to achieve that balance.

K is for kinetic - energetic, dynamic team members keep things moving.

L is for leadership. Every team needs a leader, and every leader needs to be able to depend on the team.

M is for motivation. Nothing motivates a team like trust placed in them by management to solve a problem.

N is for negotiate. Give and take is as important within a team as it is with outside clients.

O is for open mind. Team members need to be open to options they may not have considered and willing to expand their perspectives to find the best answers.

P is for planning. A plan doesn't need to be rigid to be effective, but it must provide enough direction to keep the team on course.

Q is for questions. Asking questions is the best path to finding solutions. Don't be afraid of asking any question. If you don't understand something, chances are others don't either.

R is for results. The whole point of forming a team is to achieve results. The only variation on that theme is that the results may not be what had been originally anticipated.

S is for solutions, which differ from results in that there may be more than one solution to any given problem. Then the team can implement the best choice.

T is for time management. A well-managed team uses their meeting and planning time efficiently, and understands when it is time to finish the project.

U is for unity. Once a decision is made, the team needs to be unified to implement the plans. If the team can't act as a unit, then it may be necessary to reconfigure the team.

V is for voice. Every team member has to have a voice in the proceedings, and it is up to the team leader to ensure that all voices are heard.

W is for work ethic. Each member needs to complete the given assignments and should have confidence that others will demonstrate the same commitment.

X is the X factor - the chemistry that makes a team productive because all members are committed to the same goal.

Y is for yes - say it as often as you can. "Yes, I can help. Yes, that's a good idea. Yes, let's move ahead. Yes, we did it!"

Z is for zeal. Passion, eagerness and enthusiasm are contagious; share your zeal with the rest of your team.

Mackay's Moral: The team you build will determine the business you build.

Mackay: Teamwork key in today's business world

Comic-Con revenue reaches superhero status - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

by CBS 8 July 7, 2010

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - It's another reason to keep Comic-Con here in San Diego. A new report finds the annual convention is expected to bring in nearly $163 million this summer.

The new estimate of how much Comic-Con brings in to San Diego may be on the low end, because the report only took into account those coming to Comic-Con who stayed in hotels. But there's no doubt about it -- Comic-Con has a superhuman effect on our local economy, and there's now a battle brewing to keep it here in San Diego.

Part of the $163 million revenue includes over $25 million pumped into local hotels, where more than half of the 134,000 attendees stayed.

"We weren't really surprised. We always felt we had a bigger impact economically than people really think," Comic-Con spokesperson David Glanzer said.

But could Comic-Con -- which started in San Diego in 1970 -- be flying the coop? Its contract with the city ends after next year.

"We're working very hard to keep Comic-Con," Mayor Jerry Sanders said.

But Anaheim and Los Angeles, both of which have larger convention centers, are also working hard to lure the convention away. Comic-Con's board of directors has yet to decide where it will set up shop after 2012.

"There are wonderful plusses for every city, and there are some drawbacks for every city as well," Glanzer said.

While San Diego may have the hometown advantage, there is something it's lacking.

"In terms of San Diego, we don't have enough space. Hotels are an issue sometimes as well," Glanzer said.

Mayor Sanders says expanding the convention center to keep Comic-Con and to attract other high-profile conventions, is a top priority.

"The convention center is a huge economic generator, but it could literally double that economic generation once we expand it," Sanders said.

"We'd love to stay in San Diego, this is where we were born. If we can work everything out it would be great, but we have to make the decision that's best for the attendees and not just for the show," Glanzer said.

A decision on where Comic-Con will be held after the convention's current contract ends should be made before this year's Comic-Con gets under way in about four weeks. As it stands now, the convention will be here at least through next year.

A plan has been proposed to expand San Diego's convention center, which would give it 815,000 square feet of exhibition space -- the same as Anaheim's center. if approved, the larger center could potentially open by 2015.

Comic-Con revenue reaches superhero status - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mika Rottenberg's Squeeze uses real people to imagine unreal worlds

By Jonathan Curiel SF Weekly Arts July 21 2010

In Squeeze, worlds — and butts —collide.

Feminist art" is what SFMOMA calls Mika Rottenberg's work. Here's another label: "Chick flicks for thinking men and women." She uses people she finds in public or via the Internet to act out scenes of odd behavior. How odd? How about a woman who grows red fingernails that are turned into maraschino cherries (Mary's Cherries, 2003); sisters with floor-length hair who milk their locks to make food (Cheese, 2007); or a bodybuilder who flexes tightly to spill his own sweat onto a boiling pan (Fried Sweat, 2008)?

Rottenberg's humor has always had a serious edge, but in her latest short film, Squeeze, reality and absurdity collide in a 20-minute narrative that screens on a continuous loop at SFMOMA. With no opening title or ending credits, Squeeze becomes interpretive art — a film that asks viewers to leave when they think it's over.

Instead of an entire reel of acted-out performances (Rottenberg's usual motif), in Squeeze we get documentary film of outdoor labor in India and Arizona, integrated with acted footage from both locations (the workers there were "totally happy" to abide by Rottenberg's direction, she says), integrated with video of scripted doings in New York.

The story centers on a fictional underground factory in New York City that makes a block of art from lettuce, rubber, and blush. Squeeze imagines the facility is connected via aboveground holes ("portals," as Rottenberg calls them) to a real lettuce farm in Arizona and an actual rubber plantation in India. Through the openings, a row of women in New York massages the hands of the workers in Arizona and India.

The Southwestern laborers (many of whom are women) stoop in the field, hacking at freshly picked lettuce and hurriedly putting the bunches on a conveyer belt. At the plantation, workers (again, many of them women) extract white goo from trees and rework it into big pieces that resemble mattresses of taffy. The blush in New York is produced from the face of a blonde who — perched above the Asian masseuses — subjects her body to pushing and prodding. Adding to the atmosphere, the walls feature a series of naked women's butts and a fleshy, writhing tongue that emerges from a hole.

The people in Rottenberg's movies communicate mostly through shared tasks, not words. Finding themselves in the same factory or confined space, they try to make the best of it, despite the strange and seemingly Sisyphean exercise at hand.

For her videos, Rottenberg frequently hires atypical women — including those who are unusually tall, overweight, or muscled — to portray characters who push themselves to extremes for compensation (or, as she says, women who "sell their bodies or use their body as a way to make a living"). In Squeeze, the blush source (the blond woman, dressed in an alluring outfit) is literally squeezed by walls for profit. Meanwhile, a nozzle from the wall of bare asses sprays water, and an obese woman spins on a circular floor — all to ensure that the priceless block of lettuce-rubber-blush is made to perfection.

"This piece, which is trying to collapse these geographically distant places into one space, is a natural step for me," Rottenberg says. "It's about using your body and being alienated from your body, objectifying your body and using it almost like a factory that can produce stuff. I feel like that's very feminine. I'm interested in how selling one's body can be empowering."

Rottenberg was born in Argentina and raised in Israel, and now lives in New York City. Her work has received international acclaim. In 2006, she won the Cartier Award, which brings an emerging artist of prominence to work and exhibit in London; in 2008, she was invited to New York's Whitney Biennial. Her videos have been collected by the Guggenheim Museum, New York's Museum of Modern Art, and the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo.

Rottenberg takes risks with her art. Sometimes she succeeds, sometimes she fails. For her 2004 film, Tropical Breeze, which spotlights two women who make tissues from perspiration, she created a real box of sweat-soaked tissues and listed it for $500 on eBay. No one bid. For Squeeze, she has SFMOMA visitors view the movie in a chamber that requires walking around it first. She wants to ensure that audiences leave with some kind of reaction. "I don't know if film and art can change the world — slowly, maybe," she tells me. "It's about creating consciousness.

Mika Rottenberg's Squeez uses real people to imagin unreal worlds

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lady Gaga : Photos

Lady Gaga : Photos

Sales jobs likely to grow in next decade

by Austen Sherman The Arizona Republic Jul. 24, 2010 08:18 PM

Sales is a profession that is as diverse as any. But that's especially true in today's economy, where it seems as though just about anything is for sale. As the economy rebounds and spending increases, sales jobs should become more available.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates sales positions should see up to a 10 percent growth over the next 10 years. The positions often do not require direct supervision, allowing a company headquartered across the country to employ sales representatives at a satellite office or from their homes.

A quick search online for sales positions in Arizona reveals a number of opportunities from businesses throughout the nation.

Offeretti Inc. is an Internet startup based in Richmond, Va., that reaches out to local businesses to provide its users with daily coupons or special offers for services in their areas.

Timo Selvaraj, co-founder of Offeretti, helped launch the company about eight months ago and has been spending time on the phone trying to "recruit folks."

"We are looking for at least five people in every major town or city," Selvaraj said. "We are looking for local businesses to get the ideas out and have daily offers."

The startup is looking for those with sales or advertising experience and is offering a 40 percent commission. Those interested should visit and follow the prompts under the "contact us" link.

"We want people in every community," Selvaraj said.

Paycom Inc. is also a national brand, providing online payroll services and human-resource management. The company has an office based in Phoenix that currently has multiple sales positions available.

Zach Miller, Paycom's Arizona sales manager, said his office seeks to add three more representatives to its current roster of seven staff members.

The payroll company offers full benefits to its employees, including medical and dental, and depending on success offers some of its employees pre-initial public-offering equity grants. Employees are paid a base salary supplemented by a commission from sales, Miller said.

"The drive to succeed is the most important thing. It's intangible, but you need that fire in your belly," he said. "Sales can be a difficult gig when dealing with rejection, you have to have that overpowering drive."

Paycom's sales positions do require a bachelor's degree, and while experience isn't necessary it is preferred.

Interested parties should visit to apply. Those who make the cut online will be contacted by the corporate recruiting office and pre-screened before being referred to regional managers for a local interview.

Open positions are not only available online. Placement agencies have seen a recent increase in sales-representative jobs.

"Sales positions have started to come back again. For a while there, we saw hardly anything moving," said Sonja Cotton, president of Sonja Cotton and Associates in Phoenix.

But while the positions are out there, it is important to keep in mind that sales jobs are not for everyone.

Kim Ruggiero, a professor of practice at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business, teaches a professional sales- and strategic-account management class and has been involved in sales for more than 30 years at AT&T and Verizon.

"It definitely isn't for everyone," she said. "But it could be. It just depends on what kind of sales work they want to do."

Ruggiero said there are probably 40 traits that are of high value for sales positions, with ethics and integrity among the most important.

However, she said the most important characteristic is a positive attitude and enthusiasm.

"You can train someone to be a communicator, you can teach them the products, but you can't teach them to have a positive attitude," Ruggiero said.

Jim Kaiser, president and CEO of Kaiser Companies LLC in Phoenix, started his sales-consulting firm about four years ago.

According to Kaiser, while many positions may be available, it is common knowledge within the industry that 80 percent of the work is done by 20 percent of the people. Kaiser believes it is because of misconceptions about working in sales.

"Salespeople are viewed as the guys and gals that go play golf, go to dinners, have big expense accounts," he said. "That view is absolutely skewed. Good salespeople are one of the hardest-working people in the organization."

Ruggiero said sales representatives who are always "trying to sell" often fail, because you can't sell until you're aware of a client's needs.

"People used to spend so much time talking about 'closing,' " Ruggiero said. "It is about solving problems and showing clients what the future can look like."

According to Ruggiero, a recent study said 66 percent of college graduates go into sales positions, justifying the creation of the almost 4-year-old Professional Sales and Relationship Management Initiative, specifically designed for students who wish to pursue a career in professional sales.

Kaiser has worked to help educate those interested in sales, having previously taught sales at ASU through the school of communications and creating an online sales program for Rio Salado College in Phoenix.

However, not everyone agrees that a sales education in the classroom automatically translates to success in the field.

"It is one of the only professions you don't need an advanced degree to (potentially) make hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Paycom's Miller.

Growth expected in sales jobs

Sales reps2008 2018*Total change% change
Wholesale and manufacturing1,973,2002,116,400143,2006.8%
Technical and scientific products432,900475,00042,1008.9%
Other sales reps1,540,3001,641,400101,1006.2%


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Sales jobs likely to grow in next decade

Mackay: No business can fly with hubris' wings

by Harvey Mackay - July 19, 2010 12:00 AM

In ancient Greece, Alcibiades was telling Pericles how Athens should be governed.

Annoyed by the young man's tone and manner, Pericles said, "Son, when I was your age, I talked just the way you are talking."

Alcibiades looked Pericles in the face and replied, "How I should like to have known you when you were at your best."

Ah, the arrogance of youth. To put the story in context, Pericles is often referred to as "the first citizen of Athens" for his many achievements: promotion of art and literature, championing of democracy and sponsorship of an ambitious building project that included most of the surviving structures on the Acropolis, including the Parthenon.

Alcibiades, on the other hand, was also a statesman and orator, but his encyclopedia entry is only a few lines. And in the dictionary, Alcibiades could define "hubris."

Hubris means extreme haughtiness, exaggerated pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates being out of touch with reality and overestimating one's own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power. Arrogance is one of the deadliest of human failings and can destroy a business or a career. Today's headlines illustrate hubris:

• The disgraced governor of Illinois trying to defend his actions.

• The CEO of BP complaining just days after the oil-rig explosion and resulting massive oil spill that he wanted his life back.

• The teenage "barefoot bandit" who was finally captured three years into a crime spree after he crashed a stolen airplane.

All are examples of losing touch with the real world, of assuming they were above scrutiny and that somehow their actions were acceptable. Because all had enjoyed a measure of success, they assumed people would give them a pass. They had hubris.

What a difficult lesson they all learned. They confused confidence with arrogance. Confidence in one's ability is a critical element in the willingness to take risks while still steering the ship. Arrogance takes risks by assuming everyone will get on board even when the boat has a hole in it.

How do you know when you're getting arrogant? When the only people you care to listen to or deal with are either at your own level or above it. BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg added fuel to the oil-spill fire with his comment that, "We care about the small people."

Whether lost in translation or arrogance personified, his language managed to insult the people he purported to care about.

He could have benefited from advice by the late Sam Walton, Wal-Mart founder: "If we ever get carried away with how important we are because we're a great big $50 billion chain - instead of one store in Blytheville, Ark., or McComb, Miss., or Oak Ridge, Tenn. - then you can probably close the book on us."

As the saying goes, nothing is so hard to do gracefully as getting off your high horse.

Early in the development of flight, the Wright brothers (Orville and Wilbur) were largely dismissed at home in America, and had to go abroad to get proper recognition for their aeronautical achievements.

The French government gave the brothers an opportunity to demonstrate what they had done. But the French were obviously jealous of the two modest Americans. At a banquet in Paris to honor the accomplishments of the two Wright brothers, the chief speaker at the dinner devoted most of his remarks to claiming that France had led the world in aviation exploration and would do so in the future. However, he said very little in praise of the two American guests.

When Wilbur Wright was called upon to speak, he said: "I am no hand at public speaking, and so I must on this occasion content myself with a few words. As I sat here listening to the speaker who preceded me, I heard his comparisons made to the eagle, to the swallow, and to the hawk as typifying skill and speed in mastery of the air. But somehow or other, I could not keep from thinking of the parrot which, of all the ornithological kingdom, is the poorest flier and the best talker."

Clearly, hubris didn't fly with Wilbur Wright.

Mackay's Moral: Hubris is an odd affliction. It makes everyone else sick.

Mackay: No business can fly with hubris' wings

Mickey Mouse, a swastika, and a nude woman's body


'NaziSexyMouse' poster causes stir in Poland.

WARSAW, Poland — A huge outdoor art poster that blends Mickey Mouse's image with that of a swastika and a nude woman's body is causing a stir in Poland, where memories of the suffering inflicted by Nazi Germany remain strong.

The poster, which went up in June in the western city of Poznan just steps from a synagogue, is an Italian artist's take on what he calls the "horrors" of the American lifestyle and is one piece of artwork in a contemporary art exhibition opening in the fall.

But the reaction shows that there is little appetite in Poland for satirical or artistic uses of images linked to Nazi Germany, which invaded Poland in 1939 and built ghettoes and death camps across the country in which millions were murdered.

"This art provocation is a form of violence against the sensitivity of many people," said Norbert Napieraj, a city council member who asked prosecutors to ban the poster.

Prosecutors, however, determined that the poster is art and does not violate the country's laws against glorifying Nazism.

The poster has been vandalized twice since it first went up, and on Tuesday was no longer stretched across a building in the city center. Despite the uproar, gallery director Maria Czarnecka said she plans to put it back up.

"Art should be provocative and controversial," she told The Associated Press, insisting that the poster does not seek to propagate Nazism but instead wants to explore "symbols and how they work."

"The Mickey Mouse head and swastika are on the same level — they don't mean anything and they are both part of the globalized world," Czarnecka said.

Jewish leaders, who have been outraged at the poster, would disagree, saying the swastika still means something very real to many Poles, Jews and non-Jews alike.

The head of Poznan's Jewish community, Alicja Kobus, 64, described being overwhelmed by revulsion when she first saw the poster. She had just been with Jewish visitors from Holland to the synagogue, which the Nazis turned into a swimming pool.

"It is a shock for people who still scarred by the hell of the Holocaust," she said.

The work — "NaziSexyMouse" by Italian artist Max Papeschi — is part of a series works that blend iconic American cartoon figures with images of warfare or destruction.

Papeschi explains on his website that the series — which he dubs "Politically-Incorrect" — is meant as commentary on the United States, revealing "all the horror of this lifestyle."

His images — Mickey Mouse as a Nazi or Ronald McDonald as a machine-gun bearing soldier in Iraq — lose "their reassuring effect and change into a collective nightmare," Papeschi said.

"NaziSexyMouse" also went on show this week in Berlin as part of an exhibition at a sister gallery. But the image has not been displayed publicly there and has sparked no outcry.

A Berlin art gallery manager said older people often do not understand that the combination of pop culture icons like Mickey Mouse and historical symbols like the swastika are meant to be satirical.

"For the younger generation, this painting is just a joke; older people sometimes don't like it or don't find it funny, but nobody has taken any offense so far," said Agnes Kaplon, manager of the Abnormals Gallery in Berlin.

A Russian art exhibition that also used Mickey Mouse's image has also been at the center of a legal case in Russia. Two Russian curators who angered the Russian Orthodox Church with an exhibition that included images of Jesus Christ portrayed as Mickey Mouse and Vladimir Lenin were convicted Monday of inciting religious hatred and fined, but not sentenced to prison.

Mickey Mouse, a swastika, and a nude woman's body

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Comet-chaser catches up to asteroid

by Verena Schmitt-Roschmann Associated Press Jul. 11, 2010 12:00 AM

The European Space Agency has taken the closest look yet at asteroid Lutetia in an extraordinary quest some 280 million miles in outer space between Mars and Jupiter.

The comet-chaser Rosetta transmitted its first pictures from the largest asteroid ever visited by a satellite Saturday night after it flew by Lutetia as close as 1,900 miles, ESA said in Darmstadt, Germany.

"These are fantastic and exciting pictures," space agency scientist Rita Schulz said in a webcast presentation. She said it would take several weeks before all 400 pictures and all data from the high-precision instruments aboard Rosetta would come through to Earth.

"I am a very happy man," ESA manager David Southwood said. "It is a great day for European Science and for world science."

Though Lutetia was discovered 150 years ago, for a long time it was little more than a point of light to those on Earth. Only recent high-resolution ground-based imaging has given a vague view of the asteroid, the agency said.

"At the moment we know very little about it," Schulz said.

Lutetia is believed to be 83.3 miles in diameter with a "pronounced elongation," but scientists have been puzzled as to what type of asteroid it is - a "primitive" one containing carbon compounds or a metallic asteroid.

"We are now going to get the details of this asteroid, which is very important," Schulz said. "There will be a lot of science coming from that mission."

Scientists hope to find in the information and images gathered by Rosetta clues to the history of comets and asteroids and of the solar system, Schulz said.

For Rosetta, examining Lutetia and other asteroids is only a side event on its long journey to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - the mission's destination, project manager Gerhard Schwehm said.

Rosetta was launched in 2004 and is expected to reach its target in 2014.

Comet-chaser catches up to asteroid

Vampire Movies, From Lugosi to Cage, Deliver Bloody Delights -

by Peter Rainer July 6, 2010

Popular culture is in the grip of vampire mania. With “ The Vampire Diaries ,” “ True Blood ” and “ The Gates ” on television and the latest chapter of “The Twilight Saga” in movie theaters, it’s a wonder there’s enough hemoglobin to go around.

But what about the great vampire movies, the ones you can really sink your teeth into?

Perhaps the greatest and most lyrical of vampire movies is “ Vampyr ” (1932), which Criterion brought out a while back on DVD in a marvelous restoration.

Made four years after his masterpiece “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” it was the first sound film by the great Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. The imagery is thick with specters, shadows and ravenous revenants. Ingmar Bergman was greatly influenced by this film. The famous shot of the hero looking at himself in a coffin was lifted directly by Bergman for the early dream sequence in “Wild Strawberries.”

Dreyer was only able to get the film financed with the assistance of the Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, a Russian- Brazilian-Polish cinephile who also plays the lead under the pseudonym Julian West. The Baron, playing an innocent voyager in the creepy countryside, looks even more zonked than the living dead. There’s also a mad doctor who looks like a cross between Mark Twain and Professor Irwin Corey.

Lugosi’s ‘Dracula’

But absurdities such as these are not uncommon in great horror films. Sometimes, they’re actually the reason we have such affection for them.

Tod Browning’s “ Dracula ” (1931) with Bela Lugosi is probably the most famous Hollywood movie featuring the Fanged One. As his career wore on Lugosi became a camp caricature, but in this film he’s startlingly scary. You may want to laugh him off but, like Boris Karloff in “The Mummy,” this guy gets into your dreams.

F. W. Murnau’s wonderful “ Nosferatu ” (1922) boasts perhaps the creepiest of all bloodsuckers. He’s played by the perfectly named Max Schreck (schreck means fright or terror in German.) His Count Orlok is more rat than bat. His bald pate, pointed ears and splayed, elongated fingers are the stuff nightmares are made of. When Orlok says to the poor soul who has ventured into his castle, “Your wife has a beautiful neck,” you may reach up to cover up your own.

Porcelain Neck

Werner Herzog ’s “ Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night ” (1979) stars bug-eyed Klaus Kinski, who often looked like a vampire even when he wasn’t playing one. His performance, as is also true of the movie, celebrates Murnau and Schreck. But it has its own terrors, including the moment when Nosferatu applies his dental work to the porcelain-smooth neck of the luscious heroine played by Isabelle Adjani . Herzog’s film, more than any other, mines the everpresent carnality of the genre.

Vampire movies used to be suggestively scary but, for the past couple of decades, the horrors are much more up front. Kathryn Bigelow ’s first mainstream film, “ Near Dark ” (1987), is a prime example of how blood-soaked these movies can get. Her scurvy, van-riding outlaws are perpetually thirsty.

Mercifully, a few good vampire movies are funny-scary rather than scary-funny or scary-scary. George Hamilton never showed off his tan to better advantage than in “ Love at First Bite ” (1979). His Count has to leave Transylvania because the Romanian government has converted his castle into a gymnastic clinic.

In “ Vampire’s Kiss ” (1988), Nicolas Cage plays a New York literary agent -- a modern-day vampire. It’s the most over-the- top performance Cage has ever given, which is saying something. He even gets to eat a live cockroach.

I’d like to see the “Twilight” wimps try that.

Vampire Movies, From Lugosi to Cage, Deliver Bloody Delights

Barrett-Jackson's California Auction Was Good For First Time Buyers June 30, 2010

Last weekend Barrett-Jackson's inaugural Collector Car Auction at the Orange County Fairgrounds only reached sales of over $15 million for nearly 400 customs, classics, hot rods and original model cars. Their Palm Beach auction last April brought in more than $20 million for the same number of cars.

The top sellers include a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 Convertible, which went for $253,000, followed by a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Custom Coupe, selling for $250,000. Jesse James' personal 1936 Ford custom five window coupe, built at West Coast Choppers, sold for $165,000, and it seemed only a few others sold for top dollar.

Overall, we thought some great bargains were being snatched up by bidders, of which the company reported 58% of them were first-time buyers. A few examples include:

$9,900 -1984 15th Anniversary Edition Firebird Trans Am

$3740 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Convertible

$9350 - 1958 Austin FX3 London Taxi Cab

$18,700 - 1980 Clenet Series II Cabriolet

$4620 - 1963 Thunderbird 2 Door Hardtop

There was also a1981 Delorean Gullwing that sold for a respectable $24,200 even though it previously took $49,500 at the Barrett-Jackson 2010 Scottsdale event...ouch!

The entire Orange County Auction results can be found on the company's website.

Barrett-Jackson's California Auction Was Good For First Time Buyers

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mackay: Learn to see possibilities all around you

by Harvey Mackay - Jul. 5, 2010 12:00 AM

Imagine if you could turn on creativity like a car: Rev the engine, cruise in the fast lane and park it until you need it again.

Unfortunately, you can't wait for inspiration to strike. The real pros get up and go to work. They understand that you are not born with creativity ... and you have to cultivate it. Here are some ideas:

• Keep a journal. Record ideas as soon as they come to you by keeping a notebook close at hand all the time. A real notebook, not a digital one, is best, allowing you to make sketches and drawings, but anything that lets you capture your thoughts will work. When you need to charge up your creativity, search your notebook for ideas and examples.

• Search your environment for inspiration. Artists find inspiration in unlikely places. If looking at the same four walls every day limits your perspective, add some elements that help you see things in a new way - pictures, plants, books, even toys.

• Question everything. Ask "why?" and "how?" to determine if there's a better way to solve a problem. Another favorite question of mine: "What's missing?"

• Turn problems around. Switch gears by looking for the opposite of what you want. Exploring how you could make a bad situation worse can sometimes tell you what not to do. Looking for a bad idea may lead you to a good one.

• Combine random elements. Try this exercise: Look at two items on your desk and figure out a way to put them together. A clock radio and a coffee mug, for instance, could be turned into a coffee mug with a clock on it, maybe at the bottom. This won't necessarily generate a useful idea, but it will train your mind to see different possibilities.

• Recruit a partner. Bounce ideas off another person - someone you're comfortable with, but someone who will challenge you when necessary. With another person involved, you're not limited to your own experience and perspective.

• Read something totally different than usual. Too often, we find ourselves looking at the same newspapers, trade publications, blogs and the like. Pick up a murder mystery, a gardening book, a volume of Shakespeare or anything that will teach you something you didn't know anything about.

• Tolerate failure. Expect to make some mistakes when you try new and different approaches. Sometimes colossal failures lead to spectacular successes.

• Listen to your "inner child." Ever notice how kids are unafraid to take gigantic risks or make outlandish statements when confronted with a problem? They haven't been trained yet to take the safe approach. Even if their ideas aren't fully developed, their dreams are big enough to take chances.

• Relax your mind. Give your subconscious a chance to work by turning your brain off from time to time. Don't focus on work or solving problems constantly. Take time to exercise and relax, and give yourself permission to think about other things. A tired mind won't generate fresh ideas.

Mackay's Moral: To get what you've never had, you must do what you've never done.

Mackay: Learn to see possibilities all around you

Monday, July 5, 2010

Chuck Redux: Fun Facts About Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner

Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner are two of the world’s most beloved cartoon foes. This dueling duet made their cinematic debut in Fast and Furry-ous on September 16, 1949. It was almost three years before the next Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner film, Beep, Beep would appear.

Over a span of fourteen years, their creator Chuck Jones, would direct a total of twenty three short films (1949 – 1963), showing that the food chain isn’t what it’s cracked up to be…at least not for this bewildered coyote. The cartoon Beep Prepared was nominated for an Academy Award(tm) in 1961.

Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese created Fast and Furry-ous as a parody of chase movies that CJXCEL-82 copy were popular at the time. Unwittingly, their chase parody was better than the rest and they became the chase films of the 20th century.

In his book Chuck Amuck, Jones writes: “I first became interested in the coyote while devouring Mark Twain’s Roughing It at the age of seven. I had heard of the coyote only in passing references from passing adults and thought of it – if I thought of it at all – as a sort of dissolute collie. As it turns out, that is just about what a coyote is; and no one saw it more clearly than Mark Twain.

Jones also writes: “The author’s (Mark Twain) description of a coyote went like this: 'The coyote is a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton with a grey wolf skin stretched over it…he is a living, breathing allegory of want. Who could resist such an enchanting creature?’"

As for the Road Runner’s trademark sound, “it came from a background artist named Paul Julian,” says Chuck. “One day he was coming down the hall carrying a lot of background paintings and couldn’t see where he was going, so he just went ‘Beep, Beep’. When I heard it, I realized that’s the sound the Road Runner should make."

In animation, it’s important to maintain a consistency with each character. For the Coyote-Road Runner series, Jones and his staff were always cognizant of the following rules:

RULE 1. The Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going “Beep-Beep!”

RULE 2. No outside force can harm the Coyote - only his own ineptitude or the failure of ACME products.

RULE 3. The Coyote could stop anytime - if he were not a fanatic. “A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim” – George Santayana.

RULE 4. No dialog ever except “Beep-Beep!”

RULE 5. The Road Runner must stay on the road – otherwise, logically, he would not be called a Road Runner.

RULE 6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters – the Southwest American desert.

RULE 7. All materials, tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the ACME Corporation.

RULE 8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote’s greatest enemy.

RULE 9. The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.

Chuck Redux: Fun Facts About Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Apple iPad art: Artist uses gadget to create modern finger-paintings | Mail Online

By Daily Mail Reporter July 2, 2010

Masterful: David Kassan created this portrait of model Henry William Oelkers on his iPad

They combine the bright vivid colours of photography with the stylish flourishes of an accomplished painter.

But at closer inspection theses remarkable images are fact finger paintings drawn directly onto the screen of Apple's iPad.

Like a modern Etch-a-Sketch, the paintings are the creation of prominent New York artist David Kassan, 33, each painting of life models is drawn directly onto the iPad screen using his fingers.

Continuing Mr Kassan's work with hyper-realistic paintings, his iPad art is shaped by running your finger along the nine-inch by seven-inch screen of the £429 revolutionary device.

Using a simple £5 'app' called Brushes, Mr Kassan has moved his elegant and expressive painting skills onto the very definition of 21st century technology.

The app allows the user to re-create accurately a paintbrush stroke and even creates bristly lines and broader touches to match an artist's use of a canvas.

And now Mr Kassan has begun travelling into Manhattan's crowded Washington Square Park to paint random strangers pictures on his iPad.

'I was the fifth person at my SoHo store in Manhattan to purchase the iPad,' explained Mr Kassan, who lives in Brooklyn.

'I was initially going to use the iPad as a demonstration tool for my previous work, which is detailed painted examinations of people.

'I wanted to showcase to potential collectors how my work was created and the processes I go through to create it.

A new Ipad portrait of model Steven Kassan by artist David A new Ipad portrait of model Brice Foster by artist David Kassan  in

David Kassan's portrait of his father Stephen, left, and Brice Foster, right, in a park in Manhattan

David Hockney image created on an iPad David Hockney at table with art created on his iphone .

David Hockney, one of Britain's most influential artists, has taken to creating artworks with the new Apple iPad (left) and the iPhone (right)

Kassan paints on his iPad in Manhattan's Washington Square Park

Kassan paints on his iPad in Manhattan's Washington Square Park

'You see, from a distance my non iPad work can be mistaken for a photograph.'

However, with the iPad in his hands, Mr Kassan saw the impressive screen resolution on the device might allow for more detailed and expressive work with the Brushes app.

'I had used Brushes on the iPhone, but this is a different ball game altogether,' said Mr Kassan.

'This seems to be more about sculpting the painting and it gives the artist more of a feel for the subject matter and composition.

'So for the past few weeks this program has really allowed me to become far more inventive with my art.'

Travelling the subway, sitting in parks or placing the iPad on an artists easel, Mr Kassan has produced some intimate portraits that bear comparison with the hyper realistic work he is famous for.

'The larger screen obviously helps, in that it is more intuitive as to what I,' explained Mr Kassan. 'As an artist want to achieve with my painting.

'The options for colour correction and control are far improved from the iPhone.

'Working in the New York summer sunlight with subjects like Brice here, is like an artist out in the open with his canvas and paints.

'Brushes is a great app to work with.' Taking a minimum of three hours to create his images, Mr Kassan has painted people as diverse as Carmen Santander an 86-year old lady and Steven, his 67 year old father.

Now Apple-fan Stephen Fry has done wonders for Mr Kassan's art by linking to his work via Twitter.

'It is a wonderful thing that Stephen Fry has got involved and pointed out my painting on Youtube through his Twitter account,' said Mr Kassan

'I know he is into his Apple products and it would be great to meet up one day and to paint his picture on my iPad.'

Apple iPad art: Artist uses gadget to create modern finger-paintings | Mail Online

Featured Artists


Recent Comments

My Blips