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Pittsburgh great Honus Wagner selects a bat
in front of the Pirates dugout, c. 1915.

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…to decompress, get in some road time, visit some galleries and bookstores, and take in the upstate cultural cuisine…

Rhymes with Orange, 8/14/17, by Hilary Price
[click on image for more…]

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I listen to radio that is considered both right and left wing. I do believe that there is always reason to listen to opposing sides. There are things to be learned as well as sense and nonsense. Yet on a conservative radio show the other day, while discussing the events in Charlottesville, I heard the moderator say that “the Jews” should stop using the Holocaust as an excuse. That it’s over and we should stop “whining” about it and continuing to use it using it as justification to complain. I was stunned.

I remember growing up in Brooklyn in a group of four six story buildings filled with middle class Jews that included those that survived the holocaust, their children, and grandchildren. Surrounding, a different culture and different religion. Every Halloween, they would come “Jew hunting.” Which meant that we had to disappear or face fists and rocks and anything else that might be thrown or used against us.

I remember in one of those annual confrontations, it being yelled “Hitler should have made more lampshades out of you!”

Just a few years ago, I was sitting in a conference room with a number of my co-workers when the head of the company, one who constantly referred to himself as the CEO and President, was boasting about buying an item at a discount. “I didn’t even have to Jew him down,” he said.

This all was brought home even more by an op-ed piece I just read – a partial excerpt from What Jewish Children Learned from Charlottesville:

This dirty Jew remembers every penny thrown at him.

The ones thrown from above, as we waited to be picked up from the public pool in my hometown on Long Island, our yarmulkes pinned to wet hair. By then, I was big enough to feel shame for the younger kids, who knew no better than to scurry around, as our local anti-Semites laughed.

I remember walking home from synagogue at my father’s side, in our suits and ties, and seeing a neighbor boy crawling on his hands and knees, surrounded by bullies, this time picking up pennies by force. I remember my father rushing in and righting the boy, and sending those kids scattering.

I’ll never forget the shame of it. Nor any of the other affronts, from the swastika shaving-creamed on our front door on Halloween to the kid on his bike yelling, “Hitler should have finished you all.”

There is the trauma of those assaulted by Nazis on American soil and the tragedy that is Heather Heyer’s murder that belongs to her and her family alone. And then there is what all the rest of us share — the pain and violence and the lessons we draw from them. Because the children who witness a day like that, and a president like this, will not forget the fear and disrespect tailored to the black child, the Muslim child, the Jewish child.

Saturday in Charlottesville was just one day, but think of that one day multiplied by all of us, across this great country. Think of the size of that setback, the assault on empathy, the divisiveness and tiki-torched terror multiplied by every single citizen of this nation. It may as well be millions of years of dignity, of civility, of progress lost.

Just from that one day.

There are no “fine people” that march with neo-Nazis, KKK, or white supremacists. None at all. No defense of them can be made. Ever. By anyone.

This has to be said. And remembered.

The Economist Cover, August 19th-25th Issue
Jon Berkely, illustrator
[click on image for the back story…]

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The Painter in his Workshop
Adriaen van Ostade, 1663
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From New Atlas’ Can Learning Like a Child Combat Cognitive Aging:

Rachel Wu, a psychology professor at University of California, Riverside has proposed that we can dramatically increase our cognitive health as adults if we continue to learn new skills the way we did as children.

In Wu’s paper, recently published in the journal, Human Development, it is argued that as we age our cognitive health declines because we are not embracing the same learning strategies as we do in early ages.

“We argue that across your lifespan, you go from ‘broad learning’ (learning many skills as an infant or child) to ‘specialized learning,’ (becoming an expert in a specific area) when you begin working,” Wu explains.

Wu defines “board learning” across six different factors: (a) open-minded input-driven learning or learning new skills outside of one’s comfort zone, (b) individualized scaffolding or learning under the direction of a teacher or mentor, (c) growth mindset, understanding that ability takes effort and practice, (d) operating in a forgiving environment, (e) serious commitment to learning, and (f) learning multiple skills simultaneously.

The theory proposes that as we get older we move into what is termed “specialized learning.” This encompasses familiar routines, no access to teachers, consequences for failing, belief that ability is inborn not learned, lack of commitment to learning and limited variety in new skill acquisitions.

“When you look across the lifespan from infancy, it seems likely that the decline of broad learning has a causal role in cognitive aging. But, if adults were to engage in broad learning via the six factors that we provide (similar to those from early childhood experiences), aging adults could expand cognitive functioning beyond currently known limits,” Wu said.

Using chalk, pastels, and crayons
Seen at Riverhead LI street painting festival, May 2017

photo © Jeff Kopito

 

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…just one more cup away…


Consume your hot or cold beverages here

“If your house is on fire, you don’t comfort yourself with the thought that houses have been catching fire for thousands of years. You don’t sit idly back and think, ‘Oh well, that is the way of nature.’ You get going, immediately. And you don’t spring into action because of an idealistic notion that houses deserve to be saved. You do it because if you don’t, you won’t have a place to live.”

– excerpted from Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World
by William Sanford (Bill) Nye

From an interview with artist etc. Duane Michals:

Q. You’re in your eighties now and still full of vitality. You’re eager to make art, to publish books, and to try new things. Do your ideas get more focused as you grow older?

A. Yes, they do. What poetry is all about is paying attention to subtle details. Great art is paying attention to the things that are lost. When you are young, emotions are much broader; there’s that “anywhere you go, I will go with you” mentality. As you get older, it becomes more like tea that steeps for a long time and gets richer. That’s the sublime quality of life.

“I am an expressionist and by that I mean I’m not
a photographer or a writer or a painter or a tap dancer,
but rather someone who expresses himself according to his needs.”
– Duane Michals

…choices to be made…

outside art installations
Michael Pederson aka Miguel Marquez

via City Lab:

“I think we travel through urban space without really seeing it most of the time,” says Michael Pederson, a Sydney-based street artist whose work plays on the official signage that mutely surrounds city life. “I like the idea of interfering with the overly familiar background blur … Ideally with something a passerby might see out of the corner of an eye.”

 

 

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[via Incidental Comics…]

© Bill Israel

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