A Week of Reading: 14-20 October 2012

From Keyonna Hayes, Zeteo Assistant Editor

14 October 2012                                                                                                        

Here is a quote from Kahlil Gibran, one of my favorite authors:

I am happy now because I have probed outside my little world into the mystery of the Universe . . . something which you have not yet done. I could have overlooked Greed, whose nature is higher than mine, but as I hearkened to the silence of the night, I heard the heavenly world talking to this earthly world, saying “Ambition beyond existence is the essential purpose of our being.”

The above quote is from Gibran’s book, The Kahlil Gibran Reader

15 October 2012

On the second day of this Week of Reading, I share with you a website that is like a gift that keeps on giving. Everyday, there is something new to read, knowledge to gain. Take a look and see for yourself, Refdesk. Today in Refdesk’s Thought of the Day section, there was this from Eric Hoffer:

Rudeness is the weak’s man imitation of strength.

What is the meaning of strength for you? Do you think rudeness is a defensive mechanism to demonstrate a person’s strength?

16 October 2012

Today, I read a message from a fortune cookie, it states that

Failure is opportunity in disguise.

In addition, I read an eye-opening blog post today from the Psychology Today website by Dr. Regina Barreca who is an English professor at the University of Connecticut. Her interests are gender, power, politics, popular culture and humor. For her post on the Psychology Today website, she presented six life-changing ideas. Here is one:

To change, to become different, you must need to change; you must have sought change for a very long time. A whim, a stretch of bad luck, a passing desire, is not enough. You have to know precisely what you need to change. And you must also know what you’re willing to give —or give up — for it.  Gina Barreca

Click here to read the full post.

17 October 2012

Today, I read an article from The New York Times written by Roderick Conway Morris about the life of an Italian artist, Marco Tirelli, known for his large canvases with geometric objects and with contrasts of lightness and darkness. Tirelli’s works can be seen in museums in Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Japan and the United States.  Morris went to visit the artist to learn about his life and his artwork.

Tirelli explained the purpose of his work through the verses of a nineteenth century Italian-poet, Giacomo Leopardi’s L’Infinito (Infinity). Morris quoted these words in his article:

endless spaces beyond.

One interesting fact about Tirelli,  as an artist who creates paintings: he did not study painting when he was younger; he studied set design at the Fine Arts Academy in Rome, and he is an admirer of Adolphe Appia, a Swiss theatrical designer. Tirelli stated that

Ideas are important to me and I think the technique should derive from those ideas as the method of representing them. In stage design the construction of the scene should be the clearest possible expression of the essence of the drama. And that is what I am trying constantly to do in my paintings: to concentrate, to reduce, to distill every element down its vital essence. Marco Tirelli

Click here to view Tirelli’s works and access the full article.

18 October 2012

Do you think dolphins can go without sleep for two weeks? I read a blog post today by Charles Choi, a Live Science contributor who believed that they can and explained how they do it.

Choi quoted the words of Brian Branstetter, a marine biologist at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego about dolphins.

After being awake for many hours or days, humans and other animals are forced to stop all activity and sleep. Dolphins do not have this restriction, and if they did, they would probably drown or become easy prey. Brian Branstetter

Dolphins use only half of their brains to sleep. at least for two weeks. The findings of the experiment was only for two weeks. However Branstetter reiterated that:

Dolphins can continue to swim and think for days without rest or sleep, possibly indefinitely. — Brian Branstetter

Click here to read the full article.

19 October 2012

Today, I read a quote by Dorothea Brande from Refdesk’s Thought of the Day section that related to scenes that I saw from the movie trailer of Cloud Atlas.

Act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aid. — Dorothea Brande

In addition, Jorge Luis Borges’ quote that I read today reminded me about the movie as well.

Music, feelings of happiness, mythology, faces worn by time, certain twilights and certain places, want to tell us something, or they told us something that we should not have missed, or they are about to tell us something; this imminence of a revelation that is not produced is, perhaps, “the aesthetic event'”. — Jorge Luis Borges

The movie is based on a novel, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. The movie will premiere in theaters next week on October 26.

20 October 2012

Have you ever heard or read about of “Rooftopping Photography”? If you haven’t, I will show you that it exists. It is amazing to see what a photographer can do with a camera. Today, I read Michael Zhang’s article about Tom Ryabol, who is a Toronto-based photographer that takes photographs at the top of skyscrapers from high altitudes. Ryabol is known as one of the godfathers of Rooftopping Photography. The video footage and pictures from the video are amazing.

Some of the difficulties with Rooftopping Photography that Ryabol mentioned are motion control gear, camera settings, aperture flicker and walking up many staircases from the buildings where he took his pictures.

Here is Ryabol’s perspective about shooting a time lapse:

One thing that shooting a time lapse forces you to do is to look inside; after setting up your shot, there’s often not much you can do for hours, but sit up and ponder. The relationship between the cold glass, steel and concrete coupled with the often majestic clouds, sky, and sun/moon never ceases to be a source of wonder. The purpose of what you’re doing becomes a frequent question in your mind”.- Tom Ryabol 

Click here to view more of Tom Ryabol’s pictures.

Thank you for reading, everyone. I enjoyed sharing what I read throughout the week with you.

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