Just as misconceptions among Syrians failed to predict the intifada, international discourse around the revolution has failed, perhaps willfully, to understand it and respond properly.Sadik J. Al-Azm on Syria in Revolt (via bostonreview)
MEXICANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT ESTABLISHED LOS ANGELES ON THIS DAY IN 1781
The Los Angeles Pobladores, or “townspeople,” were a group of 44 settlers and four soldiers from Mexico who established the famed city on this day in 1781 in what is now California. The settlers came from various Spanish castes, with over half of the group being of African descent.
Black people, kickstarting everything since, you know, people
9/11: The Falling Man | 2006 | dir. Henry Singer
One striking feature of the digital-self-help literature is that it treats distraction, overload, and frazzlement almost entirely as personal challenges. If you’re stressed out and unable to concentrate, you’re not enlightened enough. Meditate harder.David Roberts spent 12 hours in front of a screen everyday, frequently hit the daily tweet limit, and saw “every sunset as a potential Instagram.” So he decided to quit the internet for a year and lived to tell the tale for Outside. Yet disconnecting isn’t as easy as signing off Twitter. Pair with: What’s it like to be from the last generation to remember life before the internet and our own Edan Lepucki’s (slightly shorter) social media detox. (via millionsmillions)
But social media traps us in a tautological loop, in which we express ourselves to be ourselves to express ourselves, trying to claim better attention shares from the people we are ostensibly “connecting” with. Once we are trying to “win” the game of selfhood on the scoreboard of attention, any pretense of expressing an “inner truth” (which probably doesn’t exist anyway) about ourselves becomes lost in the rush to churn out content.Internal exile (via socio-logic)
Jervis McEntee, Autumn in the Catskills, 1873
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Jervis McEntee (July 14, 1828 – January 27, 1891) was an American painter of the Hudson River School. He is a somewhat lesser-known figure of the 19th-century American art world, but was the close friend and traveling companion of several of the important Hudson River School artists. Aside from his paintings, McEntee’s journals are an enduring legacy, documenting the life of a New York painter during and after the Gilded Age.
McEntee was born in Rondout, New York on July 14, 1828. Little is known of his childhood. From approximately 1844-1846, he attended the Clinton Liberal Institute in Clinton, New York.
He exhibited his first painting at the National Academy of Design in New York City in 1850. The following year he apprenticed with Frederic Edwin Church, who was then regarded as a rising star in the American art world. Church and McEntee remained lifelong friends, though McEntee never approached Church’s fame and fortune. After studying with Church, McEntee attempted a career as a businessman in Rondout, but did not experience much success. After three years gave up business and devoted himself wholly to his art, becoming one of the charter residents of Richard Morris Hunt’s Tenth Street Studio Building in 1857. Since many of the building’s other occupants were bachelors or commuters, McEntee and his wife (who was known as a lively, sympathetic hostess) became the center of a spontaneous salon frequented by some of the best-known artists, writers, and actors of the era. After his wife died in 1878, McEntee stayed on at the building, an increasingly lonely widower, until his death in 1891.
McEntee was a particularly close friend of Hudson River School artists Sanford Robinson Gifford, Worthington Whittredge, John Ferguson Weir, as well as figurative painter Eastman Johnson. He was made an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1860, and a full academician in 1861. In 1869 he visited Europe, painting much in Italy. He died on January 27, 1891 of Bright’s disease and is buried in Montrepose Cemetery in Kingston, New York.
While working as an electrician at Windows on the World, in 2001, Konstantin Petrov documented the banalities of the World Trade Center. Nick Paumgarten writes:
“Inadvertently or not, he left behind a ghostly record, apparently the only one, of this strange twentieth-century aerie, as though he’d been sent here for this purpose alone.”
All photographs by Konstantin Petrov
Don Quixote and Sancho Pansa ~ Honore Daumier
"In the United States today the Declaration of Independence hangs on schoolroom walls but foreign policy follows Machiavelli." ~ (Howard Zinn)
Kingdom of the Little People - "In a land far, far away, love flourishes in a kingdom quite unlike any other. In mushroom-shaped homes and old dormitories, a community of dwarfs—all less than 51 inches tall—can be found singing, dancing, and performing on a daily basis for visiting tourists."
People who are obese may be more susceptible to environmental food cues than their lean counterparts due to differences in brain chemistry that make eating more habitual and less rewarding, according to a National Institutes of Health study published in Molecular Psychiatry.
Researchers at the NIH Clinical Center found that, when examining 43 men and women with varying amounts of body fat, obese participants tended to have greater dopamine activity in the habit-forming region of the brain than lean counterparts, and less activity in the region controlling reward. Those differences could potentially make the obese people more drawn to overeat in response to food triggers and simultaneously making food less rewarding to them. A chemical messenger in the brain, dopamine influences reward, motivation and habit formation.
"While we cannot say whether obesity is a cause or an effect of these patterns of dopamine activity, eating based on unconscious habits rather than conscious choices could make it harder to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, especially when appetizing food cues are practically everywhere," said Kevin D. Hall, Ph.D., lead author and a senior investigator at National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of NIH. "This means that triggers such as the smell of popcorn at a movie theater or a commercial for a favorite food may have a stronger pull for an obese person – and a stronger reaction from their brain chemistry – than for a lean person exposed to the same trigger."
Study participants followed the same eating, sleeping and activity schedule. Tendency to overeat in response to triggers in the environment was determined from a detailed questionnaire. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans evaluated the sites in the brain where dopamine was able to act.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.
"These findings point to the complexity of obesity and contribute to our understanding of how people with varying amounts of body fat process information about food," said NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D. "Accounting for differences in brain activity and related behaviors has the potential to inform the design of effective weight-loss programs."
The study did not demonstrate cause and effect among habit formation, reward, dopamine activity, eating behavior and obesity. Future research will examine dopamine activity and eating behavior in people over time as they change their diets, physical activity, and their weight.