The end

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Make a great impression with chinese tea

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the-impression

Difficile de ne pas aimer ce thé de Chine…

A definite crowd pleaser.

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Language : The "totally like whatever you know" speech genre

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http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3829682&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=00ADEF&fullscreen=1

SPOT ON !

This video by film student Ronnie Bruce is an efficient visual take on Taylor Mali‘s poem “Totally Like Whatever You Know“.

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Art from Cologne, Germany: Michelle Christensen and Florian Conradi

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Great works by Michelle Christensen and Florian Conradi, a design partnership based in Cologne Germany.

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It’s not common to see a Social Scientist teaming up with a Designer to create art. And yet, that’s exactly the way creative ventures should be : a concept expert alongside a form expert. That’s what Christensen and Conradi do.

Form follows function, said the Modernists, and the function of this team is to bring critical discourse within the Visual Arts field, an area in which form mostly tends to follow fashion. Christensen and Conradi’s work demonstrates a powerful formula : interesting research-grounded views + cleverly designed artworks  = a smart way to convey alternative outlooks well beyond the boundaries of the tiny and nerdy intellectual world.

It works because many people can understand an idea through an image and a short text, but not so many are curious and motivated enough to read a long article or dissertation on the same subject.

Here is what they have to say about their work :

“Thinking, doing, re-assessing, re-doing, re-considering, and then finally attempting to bring into being something that grasps the multiple realities encountered in the process of creating, and then aiming to situate the result within a transdisciplinary contextualized setting, in which the intimation and implication of design can be questioned and renegotiated as a socially responsive and critically aware act”.

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And here how they describe the project presented in this post:

Re/Production

“Poster series that deals with the challenge of how two, at the same time opposing and cyclically reacting perspectives, can be hosted within the same words and physical space of a single poster. Both perspectives receive the same space and attention, and only the active word on the poster remains visible at all times, emphasizing the reproductive nature of the two statements. By viewing the poster from the right, and then from the left, the two different perspectives appear. The content of the claims is inspired by some of the universal conflicts that seem to be produced and reproduced through their action-reactionary nature”.

Check their website for more !

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In the press : Stone Age Symbolism

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texier-eggshells

The following is an abstract published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS) :

A HOWIESONS POORT TRADITION OF ENGRAVING OSTRICH EGGSHELL CONTAINERS DATED TO 60,000 YEARS AGO AT DIEPKLOOF ROCK SHELTER, SOUTH AFRICA – BY TEXIER, PIERRE-JEAN ET AL

Ongoing debates about the emergence of modern human behavior, however defined, regularly incorporate observations from the later part of the southern African Middle Stone Age and emphasize the early appearance of artifacts thought to reflect symbolic practice. Here we report a large sample of 270 fragments of intentionally marked ostrich eggshell from the Howiesons Poort at Diepkloof Rock Shelter, Western Cape, South Africa. Dating from ≈60,000 years ago, these pieces attest to an engraving tradition that is the earliest reliable evidence of what is a widespread modern practice. These abstract linear depictions were made on functional items (eggshell containers), which were curated and involved in daily hunter-gatherer life. The standardized production of repetitive patterns, including a hatched band motif, suggests a system of symbolic representation in which collective identities and individual expressions are clearly communicated, suggesting social, cultural, and cognitive underpinnings that overlap with those of modern people.

Read more on the PNAS website (Note : the full article is not currently on open access)

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BBC News also published a story about it  :

INSCRIBED OSTRICH SHELL FRAGMENTS FOUND IN SOUTH AFRICA ARE AMONG THE EARLIEST EXAMPLES OF THE USE OF SYMBOLISM BY MODERN HUMANS, SCIENTISTS SAY

The etched shells from Diepkloof Rock Shelter in Western Cape have been dated to about 60,000 years ago. The researchers, who have investigated the material since 1999, argue that the markings are almost certainly a form of messaging – of graphic communication.

“The motif is two parallel lines, which we suppose were circular, but we do not have a complete refit of the eggs,” explained Dr Pierre-Jean Texier from the University of Bordeaux, Talence, France. “The lines are crossed at right angles or oblique angles by hatching. By the repetition of this motif, early humans were trying to communicate something. Perhaps they were trying to express the identity of the individual or the group,” he told BBC News.

“What is extraordinary at Diepkloof is that we have close to 300 pieces of such engravings, which is why we are speaking of a system of symbolic representation,” Dr Texier said.

Read the full article here

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Anthropology: a strange burning sensation

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More anthropological fun !  (relevant to many other scientists really)

being-watched

(cc) Creative Commons – Original image from Neuroscience Resources for Kids, with the added wit of Paul from the Neuroanthropology blog.


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Photos : Mass Tourism – And you thought your job sucked ?

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I am sometimes filled with intense admiration at the sight of a fellow human being at work ; admittedly often because I’ve done the job in question at one point or other and know for a fact how hard it is. Now this particular job (which I’ve never done, just to be clear…) involves standing still throughout your shift without moving even if tourists try and trick you into flipping, wearing the same uniform come frost or heat, having people scream in your hears in every possible language yet seldom coming across the words please or thank you, having people fight over who’s turn it is to stand next to you for photographic purposes, obviously having your photo taken without permission approximately a million times per day and possibly being extremely appalled by the rest of the world.

All right, I know there is most probably a lot more to this profession than what I just described and it must have its satisfying sides as well but that particular part of the job seems testing to say the least. I can only applaud these guard’s patience and commitment.

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What the typical shot probably looks like

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The typical shot being taken

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People queuing for a chance to take their very own typical shot

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It’s a big crowd pleaser

All photos are from the Prague Castle in the Czech Republic.

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