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« Kimmelman on Libeskind | Main | Shorter Art? »

April 14, 2004


Dear Friedrich --

* Here's a fabuloso Timothy Egan piece for the NYTimes about a pork-grab by the Republican Alaskan Representative Don Young, who's doing his best to snag $200 million -- of our money, of course -- to build a bridge the size of the Golden Gate between a town of 7000 and an island inhabited by 50 people.

* 2Blowhards regular Maureen, who is visiting her beloved Poland, has begun to blog about her adventures here. As ever, Maureen is a perceptive, rhapsodic and brainy writer: Anais Nin, look out. Maureen wrote a Guest Posting for us here about blindness and beauty.

* Thanks to Dave Lull, who forwarded along a NYTimes article warning that Bikram yoga (aka Hot Yoga) -- which I've been doing for the last 6 months and have raved about on the blog -- can be dangerous. The piece is no longer readable without a subscription, but its point was that doing yoga overenthusiastically in a hot studio can lead to injuries. Point well taken. Bikram yoga fans: don't push too hard, and drink lots of water.

* I love visiting one of New York's quirkier and newer museums, the Dahesh, which specializes in French academic art of the 19th century -- the very art that the Impressionists rebelled against, and some of the most reviled-by-modernists of all art. Yet when you see this work in person and through eyes that have shaken off the usual 20th-century training -- wow. It's some of the most accomplished art, like it or not, that's ever been made. Here's the Dahesh's website. Here's an Atlantic Monthly article about the Dahesh Museum, which has an interesting history. (It was founded by a Lebanese Mr. Dahesh.) I encourage visitors to NYC to stop by the Dahesh, which is conveniently located in the IBM building at 57th St and Madison Ave.

* Fenster Moop strikes me as very sensible about schools and "diversity," here.

* We sometimes picture pre-Columbian Native Americans as living in and among raw nature. To what extent is that true, and to what extent a romantic myth? Here's a good Atlantic Unbound q&a with Charles Mann about the impact Native Americans had on their environment.

* Lawrence Lessig argues that in the digital era the term of copyright shouldn't be lengthened, it should be shortened, and hence contribute to what he has called the "Creative Commons." I'm 'way over my head where the legal reasoning is concerned, and for all I know might well qualify as a gullible sap. But I find Lessig's arguments appealing anyway. You can read about them here; and here's a q&a with Lessig. He has just published a new book about copyright, and, exemplifying the spirit he advocates, has made it available as a freebie PDF download here.

* Those with a yen for the hottest new digital SLR might enjoy eyeballing the ecstatic users' comments about this new Nikon, here. The consensus seems to be that the camera is even better than the Canon Digital Rebel EOS. I'll be springing for one myself, at least once the price comes down a thousand bucks.

* I'm late catching up with this Camille Paglia piece, here. Bold, provocative, loud: very Camille. I like it. And I'm amused to see that Paglia has noticed some of the same these-kids-these-days things we Blowhards sometimes write about: the way the media have become all of culture, as far as they're concerned -- "Television is reality for them: nothing exists unless it can be filmed or until it is rehashed onscreen by talking heads," she writes. And the way kids have little exposure to traditional culture: "Young people today are flooded with disconnected images but lack a sympathetic instrument to analyze them as well as a historical frame of reference in which to situate them," Paglia writes. Note: we are not claiming that Camille Paglia follows 2Blowhards. In fact, this Blowhard at least is proud to proclaim that he has learned a lot from Paglia and considers her an intellectual hero.

* Department of Being-An-Author-Stinks: book authors go through many, many different kinds of agonies, from collecting rejection letters to giving readings where no one shows up. This Dinitia Smith article here for the NYTimes is an amusing discussion of "Mortifications," a book by Robin Robertson about authors' travails.

* Steve Sailer doesn't think "The Alamo" is so bad, and takes the opportunity, as Steve Sailer will, to discuss some broader and deeper questions as well, here.

* John Massengale points out a new New-Urbanist blog by Larry Felton Johnson, here. Larry's an enthuastic Atlantan, and is generous with photographs of Atlanta's neighbhoroods. John himself blogs about the wonderfully singular, self-taught Mississippi Classicist Dan Camp here.

* A new issue of City Journal can be read here. I'm looking especially forward to catching up with Theodore Dalrymple's thoughts about Islam (here), and with Kay Hymowitz's reflections about why some social indicators have begun to look better (here). But the issue also contains a rich selection of pieces by such tiptop writers as Victor Davis Hanson, Heather Mac Donald, and Harry Stein.

* The thoughtful and amusing Graham Lester is once again blogging regularly, but at a new address, here.



posted by Michael at April 14, 2004


Wow, thanks for the links, especially the SLR. I have the Canon Ditigal Rebel and I love it. I can send you some photos I took while I was in Arizona if you want and some I took with my old Sony Maciva while I was there last year as a comparison.

Posted by: Kevin on April 15, 2004 7:54 AM

Wow, I'd love to see if you wouldn't mind going to the trouble. Email is I'd post on the blog, but we're only allowed to post super-tiny JPEG files, so no one would be able to discern quality diffs. But I'd love to see personally, many thanks.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 15, 2004 10:18 AM


I sent you two quick emails with some photos. These are the medium size photos. If I get a chance and if you can handle the larger size, I can send some 2 meg ones as well. These photos were without the aid of tripod, but I was able to not move at all. Also, these are taken with mostly auto settings; I am still practing in the manual modes for AWB and exposure. Please email me if you need anymore.


Posted by: Kevin on April 15, 2004 2:57 PM

Thanks, I'm scooting right over to take a look.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 15, 2004 3:31 PM

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