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Great minds thinking alike? The power of the zeitgeist? The herd instinct at work?… Browse through Twin Movies (uncomfortably-similar films released in the same year) to decide for yourself.
As we head for the art house, we might recall that it was on this date in 1906 that a perky Norwegian nurse greeted her charge with “Our patient is feeling much better today.” Playwright Henrik Ibsen ( Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, and The Master Builder, among others) replied “On the contrary!” and passed away.
Montreal-based Peter Gibson started painting on the streets as a form of activism (for more bike paths); he remains engaged, but his commitment to the pavement has become more embracing. He’s changed his name to “Roadsworth” (“where Wordsworth is a poet of words, Roadsworth is a poet of roads”), and redoubled his allegiance to asphalt.
As my personal artistic process evolved, political concerns were eclipsed by artistic ones and I often felt more inspired by the process than I did by the message I was trying to convey. Marshall Mcluhan’s famous quote ‘the medium is the message’ is significant in this regard. The ubiquitousness of the asphalt road and the utilitarian sterility of the ‘language’ of road markings provided fertile ground for a form of subversion that I found irresistible. I was provoked by a desire to jolt the driver from his impassive and linear gaze and give the more slow-moving pedestrian pause for reflection. The humourlessness of the language of the road not to mention what I consider an absurd reverence for the road and ‘car culture’ in general made for an easy form of satire.
* Pablo Picasso
As we look both ways, we might send elegantly-composed birthday greetings to Mary Cassatt; she was born on this date in 1844. An American printmaker and painter, she moved to Paris as an adult, where she developed a friendship with Edgar Degas and became, as Gustave Geffroy wrote in 1894, one of “les trois grandes dames” of Impressionism (with Marie Bracquemond and Berthe Morisot).
Readers struggling with an appropriate response to the U.N.’s recent suggestion that all of us in the developed world should be getting much more of our protein from eating insects will be relieved to know of the brainchild of four London-based graduate students, the Ento Box…
What began as a graduate project has matured over the past two years, with a series of caterings and pop-up restaurants introducing insect-based dishes to new audiences around the U.K. Just before Easter, the founders of Ento (which is a portmanteau of bento box and entomology) served buffalo caterpillars at the Edinburgh Science Festival, the largest event they’ve participated in so far. They want Ento to grow organically–with more supper clubs this year and a restaurant in about 18 months. Slow growth allows them to see firsthand how the food is received, to understand their customers, and to build up good will en route to hitting supermarket shelves in a few years. Before mass consumption of insects can become a first-world reality, you need to fix the perception problem. With a nod to the aesthetics of sushi presentation, that’s precisely what Ento does…
“Sushi was a very inspiring story for us,” says cofounder Julene Aguirre-Bielschowsky, who met her cofounders at the Innovation Design Engineering MA/MSc double masters course at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. Aguirre-Bielschowski, who is German but is originally from Mexico, says she and her colleagues were initially met with skepticism from advisors, but she says they found inspiration in a 30-year-old Japanese travel book that advised tourists to beware of “strange Japanese restaurants that serve raw fish.”
If sushi could make fans out of skeptics in just three decades, then why not bugs?…
Read all of the appetizing tale at CoExist.
As we struggle with our chop sticks, we might recall that it was on this date in 1955 that George B. Hansburg of Walker Valley, N.Y. was issued a U.S. patent for his invention of an improved pogo stick (No. 2,793,036). In the event, while the design was a step forward over earlier incarnation, Hansburg’s 1955 version posed something of a risk to the user’s chin. He went back to the drawing board and two years later patented something much more like the pogo stick we’ve come to know and love.
There’s a boxing ring planted in the middle of a London nightclub.
So far, nothing too out of the ordinary. But there’s also a folding table in the center of the ring, and on it, a chessboard. And rather than gloving up to start sparring, the two boxers, hands wrapped, sit down to square off over the board. Because this isn’t regular boxing—it’s chessboxing.
Chessboxing is a hybrid sport that is exactly what it sounds like: Chess plus boxing, or, more specifically, a round of chess followed by a round of boxing, repeated until someone comes out the victor. As Tim Woolgar, founder of London Chessboxing, says, “If you know how to play chess and you know how to box, you know how to chessbox”…
Get the dope at “TKO By Checkmate: Inside the World of Chessboxing.”
As we roll on the ropes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1926 that Thomas Alva Edison opined that “Americans prefer silent movies over talkies.”
As readers ready themselves for the Indy 500, a stroll down memory lane…
Auto racing was born in France in 1887; it came to the U.S. 1895. These earliest contests were road races, from one town to another on public streets and highways. Soon enough, safety concerns drove more and more racers onto enclosed tracks– often repurposed horse-racing tracks.
For reasons not altogether understood, Iowa was a leader in dirt-track auto racing. The Hawkeye State boasts the oldest auto track in America, Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa (a repurposed horse track where the first cars raced in 1901), and became sufficiently famous for its State Fair races, at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, to attract the National Geographic photographer who shot the photo above.
As we rev our engines, we might recall that it was on this date in 1911, in New York City, that Caesar Cella (a burglary suspect) became the first person to be convicted of a crime in U.S. courts on the basis of fingerprint evidence. (The first known case solved by fingerprint matching was in Tokyo in 1880, though the uniqueness of an individual’s fingerprints has been acknowledged since ancient Roman times.)