I recently sent my son-in-law this link to a New York Times article about the possibility that everything on our planet (perhaps in our universe) is merely the computer simulation of an advanced civilization with all its implications of Intelligent Design.
Our Lives, Controlled From Some Guy’s Couch
By John Tierney August 14, 2007
Until I talked to Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at Oxford University, it never occurred to me that our universe might be somebody else’s hobby. I hadn’t imagined that the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the heavens and earth could be an advanced version of a guy who spends his weekends building model railroads or overseeing video-game worlds like the Sims.
Rusty Reno (aka R.R. Reno) is a Christian theologian, author and Features Editor of First Things, a Catholic intellectual journal. (His wife, my daugher, is a seriously conservative almost Orthodox Jew!)
Rusty responded to the article by saying: "Thanks for the article. This is the most plausible explanation I've had to date about the behavior of our teenagers, Jesse and Rachel."
Rusty gave me a great laugh and, more importantly, an excuse to publish pictures of Rachel and Jesse, 18 and 16 respectively.
Hunter's Point has been a huge artists' studio site for years. Built on a former naval installation, it has recently been condemned for toxicity and the fate of the artists has been up in the air for years. A former studio artist, who moved away to avoid the toxicity, just received this email (sic) from "The Point."
I'd love to do an artists gatherine but I should point out that we are not suppposed to eat outdoors at the Point anymore according toe Arc Econoloy at one of the meetings I went to. There is a certain amount of ytoxic dust around and it's one thing to breathe it in and anothe to actually inbgest it.
p-ardon my misspellings...something is wrong with this comp0uter
Hunter's Point Drydock. Photo by Randy Reddig
Hunter's Point. Photo by Randy Reddig
Sausalito Artist Laura Lengyel of the ICB Building unveiled her delicious bronze sculpture “Tilted Tomato” in Pittston, PA at the 25th Annual Pittston Tomato Festival Anniversary Ball on August 16. The work was commissioned by Pittston’s previous Mayor Michael Lombardo as a tribute to this former coal-mining town in Northeastern PA now known as the “Quality Tomato Capital of the World” on the scenic Susquehanna River. Lengyel’s stunning sculpture of a giant ”Heirloom Variety” tomato with its bright ruby red patina weighs 350 pounds and measures 32” high x 29” x 27.” If you're planning a great dinner party “Tilted Tomato” is available and may be ordered as a limited edition multiple by contacting the artist.
Suzie Bucholz and Frances Galli in Suzie's Studio
On November 5th friends at the ICB Building in Sausalito helped Frances Galli celebrate her 90th birthday. Her husband of 67 years joined us and many women spoke of Francis as their inspiration, mentor and role model. Frances has always been an artist with over twenty years in her Sausalito studio. She met her husband when they were both working for Patterson and Hall, an art agency in San Francisco that handled work for the high profile advertising agencies of the day.
Frances and Stan spent twenty five summers in Italy and two full years in Rome and all of this "Italian" is reflected in the colors and subject matter of her paintings. But these are only the facts. Here's the real story:
Frances, at ninety, still drives from her home in Kentfield to Saualito almost every morning to work for several hours in her studio. She's sharp and she's amazingly beautiful. She participates in all our Open Studios and has a bunch of new paintings each season. Frances is sweet, funny and helpful. We all want her for our best friend. But most important to me is that she has added twenty-five years (at least) to my painting life. I could never find a role model when I was young. The women painters in New York were still married to male artists and they served their husbands. Only later did the Helen Frankenthalers and Lee Krasners become known and successful on their own. What a relief for me, The Oldest Woman on the Web, to finally want to emulate this older woman committed to painting all her life! We love Frances and celebrate her life!
Sixty years. Affairs like this don't end after sixty years. These love affairs are usually marriages that end with death, regardless of what the survivor does after the death of the beloved. This is different. Sixty years without even a marriage. More passionate for the whole duration than I can explain to you. More intense; more fantasies; more realities; nitty gritty and sublime in one dose, in the same block, in the same hour. Could anyone without this same passion ever understand?
Yesterday I had a long discussion about a universal computing system. We don't learn to drive every time we change cars. I imagine that within five years computers will finally have their five or six main parts (operating system, motherboard, chips, memory, etc) standardized and compatible with everything else. People from theoretical mathematicians to grandmothers will be able to approach and use the same machine at whatever level they need. It's absurd that after forty years this hasn't happened yet. Imagine if we had twenty different television systems, etc.
I'm visiting Nebraska for two weeks. I post about it because people on the east and west coasts ask the weirdest questions about Nebraska and have no idea that it's here. My daughter Juliana, her husband, her two children and her black miniature dachsund (don't ask) live in a neighborhood called Happy Hollow or Dundee. Warren Buffett has been living about six blocks away for nearly fifty years in his legendary 'normal' house; his daughter lived nearby until recently.
Here is Warren Buffett and his family probably fifty years ago. I never saw a picture of him before as a young man. This is from a book called Dundee, Neb. - A Pictorial History, ©2000 Dundee Memorial Park Association.
Repainting studio; trip to Olympia for Thanksgiving; three day Open Studios; friends from France visiting for a week; too exhausted now to do anything but cook. Friends from Maine coming for dinner tomorrow, December 21st.
So far I made chicken liver pate - sautee chicken livers in chicken fat with pulverized pistachio nuts and some black olives. Add some liquor (I used Russian pepper vodka because I couldn't drink it anyway). Put the stuff in the mini-blender. Then put the mixture in a small baking dish with high sides like a tiny souffle dish and place in tin with water and cook in oven 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. Take out and run a knife around sides; then turn over onto serving dish. Take additional ground pistachios and cover pate with thin sprinkling. Refrigerate for a while. Serve with toast or crackers. I made up this recipe but it's delicious.
Then I cut up four large anjou (dark red) pears into very thin slices. Since they are not quite ripe I made a mixture of pear liqueur and ginger syrup and poured over pears to soak over night. Ginger syrup is my new find - like maple syrup but tastes like ginger. Then tomorrow I'll bake the pears in a pie shell arranged like leaves. I make a mixture of one egg and about 1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream beaten together and maybe add a little cardomon. If I have time I'll buy a second fruit tomorrow like a pomegranite or cranberries or maybe candied ginger and add this to the pie. Place the pears and other fruit in the pie crust (Marie Callendar's frozen crusts are great in supermarket) and pour cream mixture over it. Bake 425 for ten or fifteen minutes then lower to 350 for another 40-45 minutes.
Haven't picked main course yet. Email me with questions or add a comment.
Why isn't Henry Ossawa Tanner a household name? He is a major American artist with an international reputation. Is he relatively unknown here because he is an African American? He has been acclaimed among black leaders including Booker T. Washington, Edward Bannister, and W.E.B. DuBois. Tanner's solid accomplishments in painting and his illustrious family history, together with their relative exclusion from American arts and letters, make a strong argument for multiculturalism - in this case the inclusion of non-white-male artists in the canons of our books and universities.
“The Secretary of State”, 2005, oil on canvas, 18” x 24 ¼ inches Luc Tuymans
The paintings tend to gray and monochromatic but they are still 'painterly.' It is an intellectual body of work that expresses thoughts, historical facts, commentary on public events. It is probably meant to evoke feelings in the viewers related to their responses now, or in the past, to these events. I felt it was interesting but an intellectual experience rather than an emotional one. Although the show didn't interest me a whole lot, I still think Tuymans is an important painter who is taking on the conscience of the Western Colonial and asking us to think about what we've done.In the following days such a lively discussion of the show, its reviews, and the artist followed among us on Facebook. I am not using the names of the speakers because I don't have their permission. They can comment on this blog entry if they wish to be identified.