“’Charles,’ said Cordelia, ‘Modern Art is all bosh, isn’t it?’
—Brideshead Revisited, (1945) Book 2, Chapter 1.
The Brisbane Times was one of many international newspapers chuckling over an Italian cleaning woman’s natural mistake.
A cleaner at an Italian art gallery has thrown away contemporary artworks valued at $15,000, after mistaking them for a pile of rubbish.
The unnamed cleaner swept up the paper, cardboard and pieces of broken biscuit that had been scattered on the floor of the gallery in the southern town of Bari.
The boss of the cleaning firm said the woman was “just doing her job” and that the company’s insurers would pick up the bill for the damage to the works, which included pieces by Italian artist Nicola Gobbetto and David Jablonowski from Germany. ...
“It is clear the cleaning person did not realise she has thrown away two artworks and their value,” he told local press.
The cleaner’s mistake is just the latest in a series of incidents in which museum staff have confused modern art with rubbish.
In 2001, a cleaner at a west London gallery binned a pile of used ashtrays, newspapers and dirty beer bottles, not realising it was a work by notorious British artist Damien Hirst.
Hirst had arranged the junk the previous night at a launch party in a spontaneous installation.
“I didn’t think for a second that it was a work of art – it didn’t look much like art to me,” cleaner Emmanuel Asare reportedly said at the time. “So I cleared it all into bin bags and dumped it.”
In 1999 an installation by Tracey Emin composed of an unmade bed, used condoms and underwear was ruined after museum attendants tidied it up, believing it to have been vandalised.
And a similarly over-zealous cleaner wrecked an installation called Untitled (Bathtub) by German artist Josef Beuys in 1986. The piece, displayed in Dusseldorf, consisted of a dirty bathtub, which the museum worker scrubbed clean.
A group of Sunni militants attending a suicide bombing training class at a camp north of Baghdad were killed on Monday when their commander unwittingly conducted a demonstration with a belt that was packed with explosives, army and police officials said.
The militants belonged to a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which is fighting the Shiite-dominated army of the Iraqi government, mostly in Anbar Province. But they are also linked to bomb attacks elsewhere and other fighting that has thrown Iraq deeper into sectarian violence.
Twenty-two ISIS members were killed, and 15 were wounded, in the explosion at the camp, which is in a farming area in the northeastern province of Samara, according to the police and army officials.
Donald E. Miller Jr.’s future remains as murky as his past.
The Fostoria man attracted national and international attention this week after a Hancock County judge ruled that Miller is still legally dead, although Miller appeared and testified in court.
In 1994, Probate Judge Allan Davis ruled that Miller was legally dead, about eight years after Miller disappeared from his Arcadia home.
That decision can’t be undone, Davis said this week. Under Ohio law, a death ruling can only be changed within three years, Davis said.
Miller’s Social Security number and driver’s license have been canceled, Miller said.
Miller, 61, is stuck for now in legal limbo with few ways out.
However, a legally dead person could appeal the judge’s decision, said John Martin, professor of law at Ohio Northern University, Ada.
Legal aid services or an enterprising attorney would likely handle the case for free, Martin said.
“Just for the fun of it, somebody should take” the case, Martin said.
Ohio’s missing-person law is necessary to settle some estates and marriages, Martin said. But revising the law to allow a person to have a clean start after a certain period would resolve cases such as Miller’s, he said.
“Why they put ‘three years’ in there is a mystery to me,” Martin said.
Miller’s attorney, Francis Marley of Fostoria, told ABCNews.com that an appeal to a higher court will “probably not” occur.
“We may go another avenue as far as federal something, but we haven’t decided yet,” Marley said. “He’s obviously disappointed. Who wouldn’t be?”
Legal Insurrection commented today on the news report that everyone on the Internet was laughing about yesterday.
A news anchor with television station KTVU in California was duped into reading off the names of several purported pilots from Asiana Flight 214, which crash landed on a San Francisco runway on July 6th, killing three and injuring over 180 passengers.
The “pilot names” were so painfully obviously fake, it’s hard to believe that this segment ever made it to air. I mean, with names like “Captain Sum Ting Wong” and “Ho Lee Fuk” – really?
The worst part about it is that the TV station did at least try to do some legwork and reached out to the National Transportation Safety Board for verification. The NTSB confirmed the names.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued a press release this evening acknowledging that a summer intern had erroneously confirmed four fake Asiana pilot names to Bay Area TV station KTVU. The release corroborates KTVU’s claim that an NTSB official had confirmed that “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Sum Ting Wong,” among others, had been manning Asiana flight 214, which crashed near San Francisco on Saturday.
and indignantly demanded: “if you’ve got any information on the intern behind this shitshow, email us.
Being public-spirited, I naturally forwarded to them this tip, tweeted by Iowahawk:
Chelsea Clinton recently lamented her great grandmother having no opportunity to terminate the unplanned pregnancy leading to her grandmother’s birth.
From the stage at the recent Women Deliver conference, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea revealed that her much-admired maternal grandmother was the child of unwed teenage parents who “did not have access to services that are so crucial that Planned Parenthood helps provide.”
Chelsea’s grandmother was born of an unintended pregnancy. And new research shows that her family is not alone in treasuring a person who – if Planned Parenthood had been successful – would not have been born.
Justin Gillis, in the magisterial New York Times, explains that climate science predictions of dramatic warming were wrong and climate scientists do not know why, but the failures of their theory don’t really matter. “More than a century of research thoroughly” proves that they are right.
It must be “natural variability” and the felicitous intervention of “deep ocean” cooling or the blocking of sunlight by air pollution in China or any of half a dozen explanations recently invented. But the basic science remains certain and established and agreed upon, even if none of its predictions have actually come through. One of these days, Gillis assures us, whatever is stopping the correct theory from working will just stop, and Sha-zam!, we will get: “an extremely rapid warming of the planet.”
Just keep believing.
As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming.
The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.
The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists. True, the basic theory that predicts a warming of the planet in response to human emissions does not suggest that warming should be smooth and continuous. To the contrary, in a climate system still dominated by natural variability, there is every reason to think the warming will proceed in fits and starts.
But given how much is riding on the scientific forecast, the practitioners of climate science would like to understand exactly what is going on. They admit that they do not, even though some potential mechanisms of the slowdown have been suggested. The situation highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system, some of which cannot be closed until we get better measurements from high in space and from deep in the ocean.
As you might imagine, those dismissive of climate-change concerns have made much of this warming plateau. They typically argue that “global warming stopped 15 years ago” or some similar statement, and then assert that this disproves the whole notion that greenhouse gases are causing warming.
Read the whole thing, and hold on to your chair as you laugh.
Projectophile pokes fun at mid-last-century architectural modernism’s dramatic gestures, economies, and built-in lethalities.
The clean lines, the geometric decorative elements, the seamless blending of indoor and outdoor space… I sure do love mid-century modern architecture.
Do you know what I love more? My children. And that is why I will never live in my MCM dream home. Because mid-century modern architecture is designed to KILL YOUR CHILDREN. (Also, moderately clumsy or drunk adults).
Responding to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s invitation to California businesses to move to Texas, where they can find “low taxes, predictable regulations, [a] fair legal system and [a] skilled workforce,” Jerry Brown sneered:
“Everybody with half a brain is coming to California.”
which does basically explain the political situation out there.
David Petraeus wore regularly a lot more awards than Dwight Eisenhower did many years ago.
Marines have long remarked humorously on the proliferation of awards, badges, and decorations worn by members of the US Army. General Petraeus’s resignation as CIA Director recently even provoked comment from left-wing commentators, like Andrew Sullivan, on the questionable taste of contemporary doggie custom.
The Marines, of course, are a lot better qualified to criticize in areas of this kind than are foreign poofter journalists who make professional careers of Dolchstoß-ing those who protect them from big bad sand monkeys who would do them harm.
I was reminded of the criticism of General Petraeus’s uniform’s collection of shiny hardware by a photo of even more heavily be-medalled Chinese officers that has been floating around on Facebook. The original was sufficiently profuse with badges that it provoked some wag to use Photoshop to multiply them, and even to extend the medals to some Chinamen’s trousers. (see below)
The legitimate, original photo of Chinese officers.
Photoshopped parody. There are medals even on the sleeves and trousers.
It is a common form of modesty on the part of students and alumni of certain Ivy League universities, to intentionally try to avoid the inevitable reaction to dropping a big name in response to the question, “Where did (do) you go to school?” and to reply, slightly evasively, New Haven (or Boston). Sophisticated interlocutors recognize the response at once, and everybody else is really better off not knowing.
But the burden of grandeur apparently weighs heavily on the narrow shoulders of some attendees of a certain school in Cambridge.
Harvard is consequently offering today counseling on how to cope with being so special.
Home from Harvard for the Holidays: Revisiting Relationships with Family and Friends
Wednesday, December 5, 1:00-2:30pm
5 Linden Street
How do I talk about Harvard at home? Will my friends and family think I’ve changed? Will I still fit in? This workshop provides an opportunity to describe and explore your experiences and questions as you anticipate going home. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
———————————— Acculturated found the therapeutic approach to the Harvard identity pretty funny.
Is Harvard acknowledging that its students, upon being admitted into the hallowed crimson kingdom, become so socially inept that they require workshop assistance to socialize with their non-Harvard friends and family? Or is this event a tacit endorsement of the assumption, which embarrasses Harvard students and alumni so, that they really are better than and different from the rest of us? Either way, the elitism that underlies this event is just hilarious, given its stilted effort to be empathic to what the University probably considers the unanointed hoi polloi.
Attention, bitter clingers leading out-of-it lives in fly-over states, It’s not too late! Vogue editrix-in-chief Anna Wintour is descending from Olympus to offer you a (very, very small) chance to rub elbows with her and other prominent fashionistas at an Obama Campaign fundraising dinner being held at Sarah Jessica Parker’s Manhattan manse. All you have to do is donate $15 (or more) to the 2012 Obama Re-election Campaign.
Alas! The economy is so bad that you probably don’t have $15 to spare. You probably don’t read Vogue. And many of you hopeless hillbillies out there may not even have heard of Anna Wintour.
This trailer for the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada,” in which Meryl Streep plays a slightly fictionalized version of La Wintour, will serve as a quick introduction.