GreenasSky A gambol in the goodies by Sloan Nota

Infographic Misdemeanor



from Scientific American, The Most Invasive Species of All. Curtis W. Marean,
Scientific American 313, 32 – 39 (2015) 

This infographic in Scientific American gnawed at me until I went back to study it.  I ask you to look too.  It’s divided into four equal parts in which a circle is centered and an oval superimposed on that. Why four parts instead of three?  The information is separated into Not Territorial, Coastal Resources, Terrestrial African Environments.  Why select a quartered circle to plot these against?

If a scientist used “ain’t” in a report it would leap off the page at you. But ill-conceived graphics? We don’t have enough fluency with them yet. Maybe infographic artists don’t either.

Giotto painted angels who looked like humans with halos and wings. Were they real? They’re real enough for Giotto’s purpose and for his audience lining the pews.

An infographic accompanies scientific data. It is ethically obliged to present that data clearly.  Representing three categories as four obfuscates reality.

Giotto angel

Giotto di Bondone – Scenes from the Life of Christ, Presentation at the Temple (detail). via Wikipedia


You may also enjoy my Pinterest board  Fads in Depicting the Unseeable.

Categories design, science, nature, specific Pinterest boards | Tagged | Leave a comment

Jewelry Raw & Cooked

If you show people two objects and ask which is a bing and which a bong they can often agree.  Theories have been spun to explain this but I prefer to believe they’re all inadequate and I dismiss them.  My last post I Can’t Get There from Here spoke to the same dilemma: that an essential part of human beings knows things and communicates them without words.  We can tell a bing from a bong.

There’s nothing logical here. And it’s delusional to believe that scientific method can investigate the nonlogical. A saw can’t do the work of a napkin. Rather, we must learn to experience our nonlogical gifts. We must use them as tools.

The tusks on a walrus are tools. Varied uses.


French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss wrote about another bing and bong: the raw and the cooked, which he painstakingly defined. My apologies to Levi-Strauss but I’ve repurposed his terms for another use. In today’s world of free-for-all aesthetics and media I find myself wanting new terminology.  Raw and cooked serve well.

Today’s post looks at contemporary jewelry which has jumped outside the velvet-lined box. Jewelers offer both sublime artistry and high tongue-in-cheekiness. Value is no longer just weighed out in carats and karats. A brooch can be made of cement, scrap metal or sea urchin quills. Cache is gained in the palaver a wearer can have about her jewelry.

To wordlessly illustrate raw and cooked in this fast-booming field I offer the work of two women artists, the Norwegian Liv Blåvarp — masterful woodworker, and the Israeli Deganit Stern Schocken who dares to dare.


Cooked: Liv Blåvarp

Blavarp necklace

Liv Blavarp wooden necklace. via 


Raw: Deganit Stern Schocken

Deganit Stern Schocken, Neckpiece

Deganit Stern Schocken, Neckpiece, Heaven on Earth, 2008. Aluminum (smashed drinks cans), silver, gold, diamonds. Photo: ur i grun. via galleryloupe.

Two jewelry designers, poles apart.  I’d wear either of these pieces with wicked delight.


For a wider look at contemporary jewelry see my Pinterest board Advanced Frippery.  Robin Ayers is another vigorous Pinterest figure whose boards on contemporary jewelry are well worth your time.

Categories design, new media, specific Pinterest boards | 1 Comment

I Can’t Get There from Here

Thinking about that which cannot be thought about.  The emerald stashed in the heart of a Japanese temari ball — you’re delighted by the expert working of threads but it’s just a tchotchke.  Think of a hairy barbarian’s embarrassment if his mates caught him with a toy amongst his loot. Only you know the emerald’s inside and maybe the brute has already killed you off.

Or there’s a young dog digging feverishly in a sand pile.  Glee is in his eyes as they disappear into the hole.  But he never finds a thing.

This is the stalled artist trying to think her way back into creativity.  To enter the wordless via reasoning. To listen for silence while clapping both hands.

Japanese temari ball.

Golden temari ball. via Japanese Temari Blog by Barb Suess.




Categories art, Sloan Nota art | Leave a comment

My Big Fat Global July 4th


What could be more American than Fourth of July on Cape Cod?  Let me tell you.

Start with four old friends and an Iranian teenager.  One guy, four females.  Among us is one ex-pat who’s lived decades in Spain.  (She prefers the term ‘gone native’ to ‘ex-pat’.)  One is an American long married to an Iranian.  One is an Iranian 15-year-old who’s only lived in the US for 10 months.  The guy and myself both identify as Americans, un-nuanced.

Miz Spain spends part of the Fourth communicating on Skype with a young Afghan/Pakistani woman, newly a mother and newly in Spain.   Our friend has characteristically taken the frightened Afghan woman under her wing.  The young mother understands Farsi so our 15-year-old meets her on Skype and they talk their talk.  Add next another Iranian teen in the US for the treatment of extensive burns.  She’s happy to meet our Iranian.  Connections are being made.  Visits are planned.

We all set off from Truro for the fireworks in Provincetown.  If you’re unfamiliar with P-town it’s a doozy.  A seaside draw for the LGBT community who enjoy promenading down the main street, showing off purple hair in pigtails, metal bits in tender body parts, and an inventive assortment of other mild transgressions.  Many men are holding hands or snugged up tighter, very buff men bicycle by in form-fitting stars+stripes tshirts.  Fourth of July folks, let’s party.  Our Odd Fivesome makes our way through the crowd, three grayhairs and one dye job, plus an exemplar of the rich luxury of young  hair.

I’ve no idea of the percentage of LGBT humans in the world but it’s nice celebrating America’s release from tyranny amid these still-persecuted people strutting their stuff.  Our restaurant has big rowdy tablesful of men.  Our teenager has questions that us inveterate liberals gladly answer.  When we wandered back to our car at evening’s end the Iranian lass draws a comparison to nighttime Tehran. Eh?

Fireworks, lit gizmos whirling in the crowds, let’s all celebrate liberty for all.


Categories Gaea, history, technology, the Future | 2 Comments

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