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FedEx Shipping Damage Creates Fractured Artworks

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Walead Beshty's FedEx artworks

Walead Beshty's FedEx artworks

Walead Beshty's FedEx artworks

Walead Beshty's FedEx artworks

Since 2007, artist Walead Beshty has been cleverly using FedEx’s shipping infrastructure to create a series of artworks. He constructs glass objects that fit exactly into FedEx’s shipping boxes and then ships them to galleries and museums without any protection against damage. Any cracks or breaks in the glass became part of the work upon display at its destination. According this interview, part of what interested Beshty about doing this project related to the proprietary sizes of FedEx’s boxes:

As for the corporate dimension, I was aware that standard FedEx boxes are SSCC coded (serial shipping container code), a code that is held by FedEx and excludes other shippers from registering a box with the same dimensions. In other words, the size of an official FedEx box, not just its design, is proprietary; it is a volume of space which is a property exclusive to FedEx. When thinking about the work, its scale and so on, it made sense to adhere to that proprietary volume, because, as a modular, it had a real and preexisting significance in daily life, it was common, specific, and immediately familiar. That is, it had an iconic resonance that a more arbitrary form or shape wouldn’t have.

And each time the work is shipped — say from one gallery to another — it’s unwittingly altered further by a system created by a massive multinational corporation:

Rather than thinking in terms of the Duchampian readymade, which is most often understood as operating iconically — as in the appropriation and repositioning of a static thing — I was thinking of readymade systems of production, of using pre-existing active systems to produce a work. No object is truly static anyway, so this opened up broader questions I had about the tradition of appropriation, the way it froze cultural signifiers and reapplied them to other contexts, treated images as dead, static things… The object isn’t treated differently than other FedEx packages, I simply used FedEx to transport an object that registers how the system treated it in aesthetic terms. The result is that the object is constantly changing. Every time the work is shipped it goes through a material transformation.

Tags: art   FedEx   Walead Beshty


Source: FedEx Shipping Damage Creates Fractured Artworks

The Swiss Cheese Covid-19 Defense

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The Swiss cheese respiratory virus pandemic defense

The Swiss cheese model of accident causation is a framework for thinking about how to layer security measures to minimize risk and prevent failure. The idea is that when several layers of interventions, despite their weaknesses, are properly stacked up between a hazard and a potentially bad outcome, they are able to cumulatively prevent that outcome because there’s no single point of failure. During the pandemic, health care workers and public health officials have been using the Swiss cheese model to visualize how various measures can work together to help keep people safe.

Virologist Dr. Ian Mackay has visualized the Swiss cheese Covid-19 defense in a wonderful way (pictured above). Each layer of cheese represents a personal or shared intervention — like mask wearing, limiting your time indoors w/ crowds, proper ventilation, quarantine, vaccines — and the holes are imperfections. Applied together, these imperfect measures work like a filter and can vastly improve chances of success.1 He even added a “misinformation mouse” chewing through one of the cheese slices to represent how deceptive information can weaken these defenses.

Mackay has released this graphic under a Creative Commons license (free to share and adapt w/ attribution) and is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Korean, and several other languages. (via @EricTopol)

  1. It’s interesting that the Swiss cheese model is physically how masks work to stop aerosols and droplets — like layered filters and not sieves.

Tags: COVID-19   food   Ian Mackay   infoviz   science


Source: The Swiss Cheese Covid-19 Defense

The Death of Rice

Oh god, I needed this video in my life this morning. Watch as Uncle Roger (a character created by comedian Nigel Ng) hilariously critiques a BBC Food video about how to cook fried rice. Spoiler alert: the cook drains the rice in a colander and then rinses it with water. Oh, and no MSG.

If you sad in life, use MSG. If you happy in life, use MSG. Put MSG in everything, it’ll turn it better. You just get a baby? Put MSG on baby, it’ll be better baby, smarter.

On Instagram, Uncle Roger shared how to cook rice properly.

Uncle Roger have many white friend tell me they use saucepan. Saucepan? Haiyaaa. World War II is over, use technology. Proper Asian use rice cooker.

(via @jennyyangtv <— this thread is an entertaining read as well)

Tags: food   how to   Nigel Ng   video


Source: The Death of Rice

Someone made a dance to the “Nations of the World” song from Animaniacs to show which countries Britain invaded

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Here’s the original “Nations of the World” song, in case you aren’t familiar with the seminally insane 90s kids cartoon Animaniacs.

Whatever TikTok user came up with this dance to the song has done a better job of teaching British history than most school systems do:

replace the entire British curriculum with this TikTok pic.twitter.com/z9xgKwUm5B

— Róisín Lanigan (@rosielanners) June 29, 2020

I’m genuinely surprised by how educational this was. Like Britain invading Iceland during World War II? And here I thought they were loosening their grip by then!

 


Source: Someone made a dance to the “Nations of the World” song from Animaniacs to show which countries Britain invaded

Moist

“Ugh, God, could you not say that?”

Enjoy this irriguous parody of Terence Malick, Christopher Nolan, etc., written and directed by Eli & Andrew Rousso.


Source: Moist

How to diversify your workplace when you’re stuck working at home

My friends John J. King and Ramona Rose King have spent their quarantine creating a new weekly web series called Home Office. Riffing on the confessional style of the original Office, each 5-ish-minute episode details the trials and tribulations of a newly married couple trying to learn how to turn their tiny apartment into a shared office space (While John and Ramona are both playing caricatures of themselves, I  personally feel it’s a little too-close to my own life). Even the Boston Globe has celebrated its delightfulness.

In the episode above, the Kings tackle the very important topic of workplace diversity. Maybe their experience can help you bring some new perspectives to your own home office.

With Home Office, a Boston couple concocts a workplace comedy from their tiny apartment [Terry Byrne / The Boston Globe]


Source: How to diversify your workplace when you’re stuck working at home

The sexy medical researcher in this bestselling 1991 romance novel was based on Anthony Fauci

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Journalist and novelist Sally Quinn’s bestselling 1991 novel of romance and intrigue, Happy Endings, is about fictional presidential widow Sadie Grey who falls for a sexy medical researcher working for the National Institutes of Health on a new AIDS treatment. Yes, the alluring government scientist with the “low, melodious, sexy, almost hypnotic” voice, as Quinn described the character, is none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci. From Benjamin Wofford’s article in Washingtonian:

Part searing romance, part roman à clef, “Happy Endings” made the bestseller list during a year when HIV-related deaths were then the highest ever recorded in the United States. By then, Fauci was the government scientist best known for combatting the virus’s spread as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

It was around this time that Quinn first encountered the real-life Fauci, at a Washington function where the two were paired as dinner partners. With his tie askew and from behind enormous glasses, Fauci left an impression of earnest brilliance, enough to inspire the main character of Quinn’s upcoming novel.

“I just fell in love with him,” Quinn told me recently, recalling their evening together. “Usually those dinners, you make polite conversation, and that’s it. But we had this intense conversation, personal conversation. I though, ‘Wow, this guy is amazing.’”

[…]

“He was so different from most Washington people, because he’s so self-effacing. He’s not in it for the glory or the name recognition,” Quinn recalled. She decided to have Grey “fall in love with this doctor who does this amazing work, and doesn’t get a lot of publicity.”

Sally Quinn Modeled the Erotic Hero of Her 1991 Bestseller on…Anthony Fauci(Washingtonian)


Source: The sexy medical researcher in this bestselling 1991 romance novel was based on Anthony Fauci