The Green Experience

Green is the colour of Kermit the Frog, Mike Wazowski, and two-thirds of Nigeria’s national flag. It’s associated with nature, fertility, tranquillity, money, good luck, health, movement, and ecology. It can also signify illness and envy. Grass is green, the Chicago River is green once a year for St. Patrick’s Day, many political parties are green. Great gardeners have green fingers, inexperienced ones might be greenhorns, and jealous ones might be green-eyed monsters.

Green is my second favourite colour behind red (sorry, blue, you’re in 3rd place now!) thanks to Sporting CP. Green is also a traditional colour in Islam, associated with paradise in the Quran.

A passage from the Quran describes paradise as a place where people “will wear green garments of fine silk.” One hadith, or teaching, says, “When Allah’s Apostle died, he was covered with a Hibra Burd,” which is a green square garment. As a result, you’ll see green used to color the binding of Qurans, the domes of mosques, and, yes, campaign materials.

via Slate

J. Milton Hayes’s “Yellow God” had a green eye (likely an emerald), Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden” said “No white nor red was ever seen / So am’rous as this lovely green.”, and D. H. Lawrence said the dawn was “apple-green”. Aliens are often green, little, and men for some reason.

The green room is where performers wait before they go on stage, there are at least 250 films in Letterboxd with “green” in the title including Green Book, Green Lantern, The Green Hornet, The Green Mile, and 17 films simply called Green.

Green and gold go together perfectly in a room and green Victorian tiles adorn many London Underground corridors (but not Green Park’s for some reason).

Judy Horacek and Mem Fox asked “Where Is The Green Sheep?“, Dr. Seuss wrote about Green Eggs and Ham, and Hemingway talked about the Green Hills of Africa (specifically East Africa). Kermit sang it ain’t easy being green, Tom Jones sang about the green green grass of home and Beyoncé gave us the green light (as did John Legend).

In art, you have Karel Appel’s The Green Cat, Lilian Thomas Burwell’s Greening, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Queen Green, and Jean Gabriel Domergue’s Green Park. There have been 3 green colours chosen as Pantone’s Colour of the Year between 2000 and 2021 (the most recent was emerald in 2014).

There’s a lot of love about green.

Flim: an iconographic search engine

Bespoke search engines are everywhere and as a search engine optimiser (that’s my day job), I love this kind of stuff. Flim follows in the footsteps of Frinkiac and Filmgrab but with a key difference: AI.

FLIM is the answer to the statement: images are everywhere, movies, TV, music-clips, internet. Images are needed at every creative process level. From Fashion to design, via cinema and music video. To meet that need, Dan PEREZ (C.E.O. of Flim) started in 2011 a website « ffffilm.com ». This site collect screenshots from movies. The FLIM’s ancestor had 50 000 monthly users and more than 30 000 screenshots library. This experience is absolutely clear: there is an empty space for iconographic searching.

Flim’s database has over 300,000 screenshots from movies, TV shows, music videos, and loads more. Each one is categorised by media type, director, director of photography, style, and release date but here’s where the AI comes in: it can detect things like clothing, characters, identified colours, and objects. So if you searched for “table”, you’d get screenshots like this:

A search results page for the term “table” on Flim

That’s a lot of tables. I also tried a manual colour search (magenta, although you can search by colour using Flim’s dedicated swatch search feature) and it worked really well.

An immaterial sculpture sells for €15,000

The artist of the empty space is Salvatore Garau from Italy. This is what he said about the expensive void:

The successful outcome of the auction testifies to an irrefutable fact: The void is nothing but a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and nothing remains, according to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle that nothingness has a weight. It, therefore, has an energy that condenses and transforms itself into particles, in short, in us! When I decide to “exhibit” an immaterial sculpture in a given space, that space will concentrate a certain quantity and density of thoughts in a precise point, creating a sculpture that from my title alone will take the most varied forms. After all, don’t we give shape to a God we have never seen?

For more of Garau’s art, check out his Instagram.

Who wants a Darth Vader helmet house for $4.3m?

Known to many as “The Darth Vader House,” this contemporary masterpiece is one not to miss. Over 7,000 sq. ft. of living area, principal bedroom down, open rooms, massive windows, a museum home setting on a prestigious West University street. Custom throughout with ample closets, 4-car garage, versatile living spaces, large lot. Nothing else like it in the area. Come visit us Thursday, 12-2.

I find its lack of taste disturbing.

I’m sure this Loungefly Star Wars Boba Fett Cosplay Mini Backpack would look lovely in this house with a Star Wars TIE Advanced grill in the the back.

Simon Doonan's 'Keith Haring' biography

In case you missed it, Simon Doonan wrote a biography on Keith Haring which came out in February. It’s part of a series of pocket-sized biographies about great artists called Lives of the Artists and examines Haring’s inspiring life and work during the 1980s:

Revolutionary and renegade, Keith Haring was an artist for the people, creating an instantly recognisable repertoire of symbols – barking dogs, space-ships, crawling babies, clambering faceless people – which became synonymous with the volatile culture of 1980s. Like a careening, preening pinball, Keith Haring playfully slammed into all aspects of this decade – hip-hop, new-wave, graffiti, funk, art, style, gay culture – and brought them together.

Grab a copy of the book on Bookshop and let me know what you think in the comments.

J. Wellington Wimpy, the patron saint of hamburglars

I saw this on Twitter today and thought it was hilarious and oddly poignant, from a modern political perspective.

In the panels, Popeye asks Rough House where J. Wellington Wimpy was to which RH replied “I ain’t seen him and I don’t want to see him—he hasn’t been around today.” Popeye calls Wimpy “arful” before showing pity for him, although RH didn’t share the sentiment:

Well, I don’t. Why, say—that fellow would commit a crime for a hamburger.

We then spot Wimpy taking out razor of some kind as he starts cutting through a barred window into a jail where incarcerated people are eating from a plate full of hamburgers. He sits down to their disbelief and says:

Ah, good evening, gentlemen. Pleasant weather, isnt it, we’re having?

Wimpy literally broke into jail, not to free the people incarcerated there, but to get some of his favourite delicacies, thus breaking the law that could have extended his voluntary visit. It reminded me of how we have the power to abolish jails or and attempt to dismantle the system behind it all but only show glimpses of that for moments that benefit us (i.e. how I’ve seen a lot of performative activism since last year’s BLM protests)

I’m probably reaching but so was Wimpy—behind bars, for another hamburger.

(via Popeye Otaku on Twitter)

Arndt Schlaudraff, the LEGO® brutalist

I love LEGO® and I love brutalism so this is a match made in heaven for me.

Arndt Schlaudraff is a self-proclaimed “Berlinist, Brutalist, Modernist, and Legoist” and his Instagram account is filled with wonderful constructions all real and no 3D renderings. His buildings come with beautiful lighting inside and out, creating an atmosphere not often associated with the harshness of brutalism.

Check out his Instagram page for more.

(via Ewan Wilson on Twitter and Boing Boing)

How a clownfish earns their stripes

Charismatic clownfish, the coral reef fish made famous by the film Finding Nemo, are instantly recognizable by their white stripes. These stripes, which scientists call bars, appear as clownfish mature from larvae into adults in a process called metamorphosis, but how these distinctive patterns form has long remained a mystery.

Now, a new study has found that the speed at which these white bars form depends on the species of sea anemone in which the clownfish live. The scientists also discovered that thyroid hormones, which play a key role in metamorphosis, drive how quickly their stripes appear, through changes in the activity of a gene called duox.

Something else I didn’t know about clownfish is how they transition from male to female over time:

Anemonefish are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they develop into males first, and when they mature, they become females. If the female anemonefish is removed from the group, such as by death, one of the largest and most dominant males becomes a female. The remaining males move up a rank in the hierarchy.

I’ve got an idea for a Finding Nemo sequel!

(via SciTechDaily)

Fish related: The ‘vantafish’ that absorbs nearly all light that hits it and how fish skin is used for leather

The Cube Rule of food

Is a hot dog a sandwich? Xavier Woods doesn’t think so but New York State Department of Taxation and Finance does. And then the idea evolved into Twitter conversations and eventually, The Cube Rule of Food Identification:

identify any food purely by the location of structural starch

Compelling arguments are made for a variety of foods including pizza (toast), sushi (also toast), toast (which is actually a sandwich), and hot dogs (which are, apparently, tacos). The logic behind it all would make a philosopher weep with hunger but it’s very interesting to think about *hits blunt*

Volcano pizza is hot, hot, hot!

An enterprising gentleman in Guatemala decided to put a fiery volcano to work for him, and bake his pizza.
It’s an idea that probably shouldn’t be copied, but it sure is adventurous, and if we’re to believe chef David Garcia, the intense heat of the (very active) Pacaya volcano lends the pizza a delicious flavor.

For more on pizzas and volcanos: La Soufrière’s eruption: before and after photos and sexy MFing pizza

Solange turns Saint Heron into a multidisciplinary creative agency

Exciting news for Black and Brown creativity:

Originally launched in 2013 as a digital hub for cultural conversations, Saint Heron’s mission has been to preserve, collect, and uplift stories, works, and archives that amplify Black and brown voices. Now, in its next phase, it will release a dossier of literary and visual retrospectives of Black family and artist lineages through a series of temporary digital exhibitions, viewable on the Saint Heron website. Available for seven to 10 days, they will offer an in-depth look at emerging talent across art, sculpture, photography, design, and artisanship. 

A compendium of interesting words

Marijn van Hoorn of marijn.uk has an ongoing list of really cool words, ranging from semi-common words like ‘zenith’ and ‘iridescent’ to obsolete terms like ‘zenzizenzizenzic’ and ‘psychopomp’.

Some of my favourites:

  • cephalophore (n) – A Christian saint depicted in artworks as carrying their own severed head.
  • eggcorn (n) – A reanalysis of a word or phrase for another that sounds similar and could be taken to have a similar meaning.
  • kakistocracy (n) – Rule by the worst and least qualified people.
  • nychthemeron (n) – A period of 24 hours, a day and a night.