Walt Whitman’s Guide to a Thriving Democracy

Filip Peraić America had a mind shaped by its Founders, but the country needed the poet to discover its spirit. by MARK EDMUNDSON Walt whitman, who was born 200 years ago this year, is almost certainly the greatest American poet. In many ways, he is also the most enigmatic. Before 1855, the year that Whitman published Leaves of Grass, he had achieved no distinction whatsoever. He had no formal education—no Oxford, no Cambridge, no Harvard or Yale. His life up to his 35th year had been anything but a success. He’d been a teacher, but he was loose and a bit indolent, … Continue reading Walt Whitman’s Guide to a Thriving Democracy

What Do Buddhism and Game of Thrones Have in Common? More Than You Might Think.

A tour at the Rubin Museum explores the parallels between the HBO series and Himalayan Buddhist art and history. By Matthew Abrahams Of the millions of viewers expected to watch Game of Thrones when it returns for its final season on April 14, few, if any, will be tuning in because they think it is a particularly Buddhist show. Yet a new tour at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City makes the case that the fantasy series and Buddhism have more in common than we might think. Take, for example, this line spoken by the dragon-riding queen Daenerys Targaryen about the noble … Continue reading What Do Buddhism and Game of Thrones Have in Common? More Than You Might Think.

Researchers find how to add more “love hormone” to your relationships

A study looks at the chemistry of couples engaged in different activities. by Paul Ratner 14 February, 2019 Leisure activities can help release more oxytocin, say researchers. Oxytocin is a hormone linked to social and sexual interaction. Couples who took art classes and played board games together released oxytocin. With Valentine’s Day upon us, are you looking for a way to bring more love into your relationship? Take an art class or pick up a new board game to play together. This advice comes courtesy of a new study from Baylor University, which found that the bodies of couples engaged … Continue reading Researchers find how to add more “love hormone” to your relationships

Romanian Philosopher Emil Cioran on the Courage to Disillusion Yourself

Emil Cioran “The man who unmasks his fictions renounces his own resources and, in a sense, himself. Consequently, he will accept other fictions which will deny him, since they will not have cropped up from his own depths.” BY MARIA POPOVA “People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster,” James Baldwin wrote in a staggeringly prescient piece from 1953. And yet shutting our eyes is how we humans have coped, again and again, with our own discomfort … Continue reading Romanian Philosopher Emil Cioran on the Courage to Disillusion Yourself

Powerful Architectural Illustrations Visually Interpret Mental Illnesses

By Jessica Stewart Italian illustrator Federico Babina has turned his attention from movies stars and fairy tale characters to the deep emotions felt by those experiencing mental illness. In his new series Archiatric, Babina’s architectural illustrations demonstrate a deep understanding and empathy for sufferers of psychological disorders.Through 16 drawings, Babina gives visual representation to some of the mental illnesses that affect millions daily. “I don’t want to put a romantic aura around the discomfort and suffering of mental illness,” Babina explains, “but rather to make a reflection on the prejudices and negative stigmas with which the pathologies of the mind are often observed.”With simple lines and a clear message, … Continue reading Powerful Architectural Illustrations Visually Interpret Mental Illnesses

Gustav Klimt in the Brain Lab

YOUR BRAIN ON KLIMT: Our brains assemble Gustav Klimt’s paintings piece by piece, symbol by symbol, tricking us into sensing the beauty of the whole, Eric Kandel says.Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907 Oil, silver, and gold on canvas Neue Galerie New York. Acquired through the generosity of Ronald S. Lauder, the heirs of the Estates of Ferdinand and Adele Bloch-Bauer, and the Estée Lauder Fun What is neuroscience doing to art? BY KEVIN BERGER The neuroscientist was in the art gallery and there were many things to learn. So Eric Kandel excitedly guided me through the bright lobby of … Continue reading Gustav Klimt in the Brain Lab

Finding the Secret Science in Works of Art

Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” is not only one of the world’s most important works of art but also a classic example of the laws of physics at work. Shakespeare, Seurat, and Matisse knew little about physics, but their work is awash in its principles. By Josie Glausiusz When da Vinci completed the 15-by-28-foot masterpiece in 1498, his experimental oil-tempera mix did not adhere well to the damp wall of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, and the mural quickly began to disintegrate. Some 50 years later, da Vinci’s biographer Giorgio Vasari remarked that there was “nothing … Continue reading Finding the Secret Science in Works of Art