A Hero For The Arts And Sciences: Upcoming Marvel Covers Promote STEAM Fields
The five covers feature the company's heroes — including Spiderman, Iron Man, and the Hulk — all engaging in activities educators have been trying to promote.

Last week, the publisher unveiled the last of five special covers featuring disciplines that guide school curricula nationwide — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, also known as STEAM. It’s part of an effort, the company says, to encourage young readers to double-down on their studies and explore fields said to lead to better jobs.

“We plan to continue to motivate our fans to explore their passions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math and present these disciplines through some of our favorite young heroes who are doing just that — following their dreams and preparing for the challenges that await them ahead,” David Gabriel, Senior VP for Sales & Marketing of Marvel Comics said in a statement.

Dalibor Martinis. Osoba na slici: nije/može biti/je = Person in photo: is not/could be/is Dalibor Martinis. Zagreb: Podroom, 1976.

In each spread of this artist’s book, Martinis paired a photograph of himself (at left) with a blurred photograph (at right). In the space given, he manually traces part of his profile to deduce whether or not the photographs are a match.

The exhibition “Scenes from Zagreb: Artists’ Publications of the New Art Practice,” organized by David Senior, is on display at MoMA Library through February 17, 2012. 

Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer’s proteins from brain cells

Salk Institute scientists have found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in marijuana can promote the cellular removal of amyloid beta, a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

While these exploratory studies were conducted in neurons grown in the laboratory, they may offer insight into the role of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease and could provide clues to developing novel therapeutics for the disorder.

“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” says Salk Professor David Schubert, the senior author of the paper.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that leads to memory loss and can seriously impair a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks. It affects more than five million Americans according to the National Institutes of Health, and is a leading cause of death. It is also the most common cause of dementia and its incidence is expected to triple during the next 50 years.

It has long been known that amyloid beta accumulates within the nerve cells of the aging brain well before the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and plaques. Amyloid beta is a major component of the plaque deposits that are a hallmark of the disease. But the precise role of amyloid beta and the plaques it forms in the disease process remains unclear.

In a manuscript published in June 2016’s Aging and Mechanisms of Disease, the Salk team studied nerve cells altered to produce high levels of amyloid beta to mimic aspects of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers found that high levels of amyloid beta were associated with cellular inflammation and higher rates of neuron death. They demonstrated that exposing the cells to THC reduced amyloid beta protein levels and eliminated the inflammatory response from the nerve cells caused by the protein, thereby allowing the nerve cells to survive.

“Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” says Antonio Currais, a postdoctoral researcher in Schubert’s laboratory and first author of the paper. “When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became clear that THC-like compounds that the nerve cells make themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying.”

Brain cells have switches known as receptors that can be activated by endocannabinoids, a class of lipid molecules made by the body that are used for intercellular signaling in the brain. The psychoactive effects of marijuana are caused by THC, a molecule similar in activity to endocannabinoids that can activate the same receptors. Physical activity results in the production of endocannabinoids and some studies have shown that exercise may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Schubert emphasized that his team’s findings were conducted in exploratory laboratory models, and that the use of THC-like compounds as a therapy would need to be tested in clinical trials.

In separate but related research, his lab found an Alzheimer’s drug candidate called J147 that also removes amyloid beta from nerve cells and reduces the inflammatory response in both nerve cells and the brain. It was the study of J147 that led the scientists to discover that endocannabinoids are involved in the removal of amyloid beta and the reduction of inflammation.


Opens Tomorrow, Feb 20:

Millennium Magazines

Organized by Rachael Morrison and David Senior

MoMA, 11 W53rd St., NYC
(Mezzanine Cullman Education and Research Building)

This survey of experimental art and design magazines published since 2000 explores the various ways in which contemporary artists and designers utilize the magazine format as an experimental space for the presentation of artworks and text. Throughout the 20th century, international avant-garde activities in the visual arts and design were often codified first in the informal context of a magazine or journal. This exhibition, drawn from the holdings of the MoMA Library, follows the practice into the 21st century. The works on view represent a broad array of international titles within this genre, from community-building newspapers to image-only photography magazines to conceptual design projects. The contents illustrate a diverse range of image-making, editing, design, printing, and distribution practices. There are obvious connections to the past lineage of artists’ magazines and little architecture and design magazines of the 20th century, as well as a clear sense of the application of new techniques of image-editing and printing methods. Assembled together, these contemporary magazines provide a first-hand view into these practices and represents the MoMA Library’s sustained effort to document and collect this medium. -thru May 14

MoMA has produced a perfectly-scaled interactive feature for Please Come to the Show: Invitations and Event Fliers from the MoMA Library, an exhibition organized by David Senior, Bibliographer, MoMA Library and on view in the Mezzanine of the The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building from 8 May—15 July.

I’ve kept a very tightly-curated personal archive of exhibition fliers and announcements for about fifteen years now, so I’m naturally very interested in the concept and display methodology of this show and others like it.

everyone stop trying to make “funny” posts because nothing will surpass the unadulterated hilarity of “old david senior duchovnys sanctuary”

Nominate No Safe Place on Kindle Scout

Hannah Cole, a young graduate student, and her father David Cole, a senior FBI agent, enjoy a happy life together, until Hannah is kidnapped from their home one night, turning their world upside down. With the force of the FBI behind him, including his best friend Juliet Grayson, trusted partner Chris Tyler, and rookie agent Eli Shaw, David rushes to find his daughter, while Hannah struggles to stay alive, both of them racing against a deadline that could mean the end of Hannah’s life.

Bonus: If No Safe Place is chosen for publication, and your nomination is counted (meaning you left it in your nominations until the end of the campaign), then you’ll get a free copy!

“This font was inspired by Monica Lewinsky” —Paul Chan, “Wht is a book?”, the New Museum, 10 December, 2011

Blogging About Books on Christmas Eve (or, Catching Up on the Backlog While Home for the Holidaze)

+ Paul Chan’s new essay, A Lawless Proposition was published on e-flux following two recent talks at the New Museum, “Wht is Lawlessness?” and “Wht is a Book?”. While I missed the former, I was able to catch the latter, a relaxed, self-effacing account of Chan’s experiences as a newbie publisher that felt less like a lecture than a public conversation with lots of “chiming in” from the audience. Gratifying.

+ The Guggenheim is indeed the first museum to release a digital exhibition catalogue for Maurizio Cattelan: All (along with a slew of titles from its back catalogue). Am I experiencing a moment of good-natured professional jealousy? Why yes, in fact, I am. Related: Do recall the 54th La Biennale di Venezia iPad catalogue (2010) and Badlands Unlimited/Creative Time’s Waiting for Godot in New Orleans: a Field Guide (2011). Also, the Getty Foundation’s OSCI Project.

+ Take This Book is a Kickstarter-fundedseven more days to go—history-in-the-making of the People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street, written by LadyJourno Melissa Gira Grant. A first excerpt from the project was recently published on Rhizome. Back that book up!

+ Bookish Things to See ASAP: At MoMA, Scenes from Zagreb: Artists’ Publications of the New Art Practice, organized by library Bibliographer David Senior (on view through February). Especially looking forward to the publications of Dimitrije Bašičević Mangalos, whose manifestos were some of my favorite works in the 2004-5 Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, in Pittsburgh. (I was the curatorial assistant—the Wrangler of the Checklist never forgets!) The curator of that exhibition, now-MoMA curator Laura Hoptman, wrote a book that I suspect would make an apt companion to Senior’s presentation, Primary Documents: A Sourcebook for Eastern and Central European Art since the 1950s. It was published by MoMA in 2002, just as we began working on the International, and functioned as an English-language introduction to Eastern European practices of the late 20th century. Related: Projects by Grupa O.K. (a.k.a. Julian Myers and Joanna Szupinska)

From things that we gather from some analysis that Disney does on who is buying Marvel as a brand, and from talking to retailers and looking at our titles, we’re probably up to at least 40% female, which eight years ago might have been 10%. And 15 years ago might have been nothing, while they were all buying manga. So there’s really been a shift, which is great, and it even could be even higher than 40%. I’m sure if you go into some retail shops in different parts of the country, that’ll be 50-60% female, and some lower. But that’s about what we’re seeing now. We also get some stats from digital; they’re a little better at knowing who the customer is.
—  David Gabriel, Marvel Senior VP of Print, Sales & Marketing

The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2012 / Available at www.draw-down.com / More than 450 entries completed for recognition in 2012’s competition, a substantial increase from previous years. Undeterred, the jury—David Senior, Sara De Bondt, Christina Reble, Manuel Krebs, and Lex Trüb—sifted through this mass of remarkable work, assessing books based on conception, graphic design and typography, with particular attention to innovation and originality. The jury also considered quality of printing, bookbinding workmanship, and the materiality of the entries. Nineteen exemplary books were selected as finalists, each of which is reviewed in this volume. Also included are short interviews with jury members, an overview of the deliberations, technical data about the books, and an insert with complete texts in German, French and Italian. Design and typesetting: Aude Lehmann. Published by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, 2013 #graphicdesign #typography #MostBeautiful #SwissBooks #swissdesign #bookbinding

Made with Instagram
Forecasters say a hot, dry summer could shorten the window to see fall foliage

TORONTO — The vibrant colours of Ontario’s fall foliage could have a shorter display than expected this year after a hot and dry summer.

Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips said the trees in eastern Canada could soon show the effects of a hotter and drier summer than normal, and they may not hold on to their leaves for very long as fall colours arrive.

“We’ve seen more days above 30 (degrees) this year in some places than the previous three summers. It’s been great beer-drinking weather, but not necessarily great for trees,” he said.

While the trees may not currently show signs of stress, they’ve had a difficult few months, with some parts of Ontario and Quebec getting 50 per cent or less rain than normal. Phillips said the dry conditions combined with hot temperatures are a "double whammy" for the foliage, and the autumn colours this year might have a shorter, less vivid lifespan.

Evidence of the difficult summer could even show itself next year, when the foliage turns green again after the winter, Phillips said.

“We went through those five weeks during the dog days of summer when you normally reach your highest temperatures — we were seeing no rain at all. In many ways, that period when trees and crops are growing feverishly at the peak of their growing season, they were probably under greater stress,” he said.

“The trees are not happy with this kind of stress. They may be crying uncle this fall.”

Phillips said that a few rainy days over the past week may have helped, including significant rainfall in many parts of Ontario on Tuesday. But the long-term lack of moisture, combined with the sustained intensity of the summer’s heat, have already taken a toll.

Phillips added that the Niagara region has been hit especially hard, seeing only about a third of the typical rainfall for the summer, even after taking precipitation from the past week into account.

Eastern Canada will likely see the leaves changing earlier this fall, Phillips said, and if storms with strong winds roll in, they could put a faster end to the season. 

“My sense for people viewing the colour-change season is don’t procrastinate. When (the leaves) do turn in mid-September, late September or early October, don’t think that they’ll be there the next week after that,” he said.

There will likely be good weather for watching the autumn leaves, with forecasters predicting warmer temperatures than normal in September and October. Phillips said it’s too early to tell how much rainfall there might be in the coming months.

Madeline Smith, The Canadian Press

Police hunt 4 unidentified men who dumped crocodiles into Australian school

Australia’s Northern Territory Police have started investigation to find four perpetrators, who dumped three female crocodiles into an Australia school on Sunday (21 August). The three injured saltwater reptiles were set loose in the school by the men. The territory police have also called for public assistance to identify men who were captured in the school’s CCTV camera.

According to reports, four men still to be identified breached into Taminmin College at Humpty Doo on Sunday early morning to loot the place. They dumped the female crocodiles with mouths taped up into the school premises and then entered the building with their heads covered.

“CCTV footage shows three saltwater crocodiles forced into the main office. Police are appealing to the public for information as to the identity of the offenders,” Senior Constable David Gregory said a public statement.

The reptiles were later held with the help of a ranger. “The ranger that turned up was very concerned for them — they had their mouths taped up. They haven’t seen water for a long time and are undernourished,” Gregory said on Monday and added that the largest of the three crocodiles was two meters long.

“Basically skin and bones, not much meat left on them; they were really quiet and easy to catch,” Ranger Luke McLaren said mentioning poor health of the reptiles.

“Really poor skin condition, like they haven’t been kept in water for quite a while, hasn’t been fed, and one of them looked to be blind [as a result of neglect]. We’ll determine what farm they’re from and we’ll try to take them back to that farm but looking at their condition it’s likely they’ll have to be destroyed,” McLaren added.

According to reports, affecting or interfering with saltwater crocodiles — the protected species of the country — is illegal in Australia. Guilty ones snooping into the lives of protected wildlife animals have to pay fines of up to $77,000 (£59,000, €68,000) or a jail term of up to five years.

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