August 10th, 2019

  1. A Plan


    At once I was but seven years old, an ignorant age, one of great naïveté, yet mirthful despite. I had been happily entertaining myself by a canal, tossing a penny into the air and attempting to catch it with an agility reserved for only the clumsiest of creatures. Due to my inabilities in sport, the penny eventually found its way into the ruddy water, a terrible moment for both the penny and I, though undoubtedly the canal was quite pleased with the entire affair.

    Prior to my penny’s plunge there existed within me an honest disdain for the canal, though now with the penny submerged within it, my dislike for the canal turned even more sour still. And here I was to be found, miserable in the face of it, it having it and all.

    “Such a loathsome canal as this, one having obtained and given nothing in return, the shame of it, indeed,” I said to myself, turning my back on the water and angrily crossing my arms across my chest.

    “Such a rotten child should know better than to play near a penny-pinching canal,” said the canal, much to my own surprise; “for it is widely known that I, as a canal, will surely revel in your misery and be found gleeful at your expense.”

    At once I was but seven years old, an ignorant age, one of great naïveté, yet mirthful despite.

  2. Bright Abstraction


    Casablanca’s Gift to Marrakech and the Birth of Morocco’s Modern Art Movement by Maya Jaggi

    Fifty years ago, in the Atlas mountain city of Marrakech, a group of leading Moroccan artists hung their dazzlingly experimental abstract paintings in the Jemaa el-Fna, the great market square in the oasis city at the crossroads of Saharan trade routes … Their aim was to reach the “average person” in the square, “to awaken his curiosity, his critical spirit, to stimulate him so that he integrates new plastic expressions into the rhythm of his life, into his daily space”—expressions that included forms of geometric abstraction that chimed with both a transnational avant-garde movement and the tradition of popular arts within Morocco.

  3. Exhalation


    Ted Chiang: Realist of a Larger Reality by Jenn Stroud Rossmann

    Chiang’s work acknowledges and honors more than just the technical “hard science” of physics, chemistry, computer science. His “Story of Your Life,” which inspired the film Arrival, made immaterial concepts like determinism and empathy, along with the social science of linguistics, as critical as the technologies that enabled communication between natives of different planets. Chiang’s new collection, Exhalation, is as holistic as that earlier story; it’s a book filled with stories that draw on religion, anthropology, and psychology while exploring what-if technologies.