Some very simple stickers I made recently for the upcoming graduate exhibition at my school! Unfortunately these ones are very low in quantity and will be randomly given out…but I might have some more of these bundled with my comic zine at TCAF later on!
Beam me up, jelly! While it looks like a tiny spaceship taking off, this comb jelly’s rainbow lights are produced by diffraction, much like sunlight glancing off a CD. More active than most jellies, Beroe forskalii often folds over itself, earning it the common name of “oven mitt jelly.”
You may be asking yourselves why I’m suddenly spreading the word about Saurian’s kickstarter again. Basically it’s slowed down because this is it’s last week of campaign and I’d like to explain why the VR goal is not ‘a waste’ as many people seem to believe.
What does VR support really do besides let the few players with access to these very costly peripherals immerse themselves in the lives of dinosaurs? Why should it matter to the rest of us?
The answer is MUSEUMS We’ve all seen those photos of impressive exhibits with updated reconstructions, how they make dinosaurs feel alive and inspire people to learn more a view them as real creatures. Now imagine there being VR rooms in these dinosaur exhibits with an HTC Vive hooked in, letting dozens of people a day have a go at playing Saurian right there, immersing themselves in the life of a dinosaur with all the scientific riggor this amazing team has poured into their game. An exhibit compounded by actual Virtual Reality dinosaurs!
I know it’s a hard sell to push for a stretch goal that doesn’t benefit the backer directly, but at least personally I love this project for it’s accuracy, the opportunity to learn and further education about these creatures as what they really were: Living, breathing animals that once trully lived on this planet. I want to help further the reach and spread of this as much as I want them to reach more playable maps and dinosaurs… and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Central Africa’s Kongo civilization is responsible for one of the world’s greatest artistic traditions. This international loan exhibition explores the region’s history and culture through 146 of the most inspired creations of Kongo masters from the late fifteenth through the early twentieth century.
The earliest of these creations were diplomatic missives sent by Kongo sovereigns to their European counterparts during the Age of Exploration; they took the form of delicately carved ivories and finely woven raffia cloths embellished with abstract geometric patterns. Admired as marvels of human ingenuity, such Kongo works were preserved in princely European Kunstkammer, or cabinets of curiosities, alongside other precious and exotic creations from across the globe.
With works drawn from sixty institutional and private lenders across Europe and the United States, Kongo: Power and Majesty relates the objects on view to specific historical developments and challenges misconceptions of Africa’s relationship with the West. In doing so, it offers a radical, new understanding of Kongo art over the last five hundred years.
 Blackjack send support messages backstage at 2NE1’s Kobe concert
2NE1, who have just finished their Kobe concert for their “All or Nothing” world tour, received warm messages of support from Japanese Blackjacks at the backstage of their concert.
The “support message” event was held in advance at “YG Exhibition in Japan” which was held in Osaka, Japan from June 14 to July 17. Blackjack, the official name for 2NE1 fans, wrote their messages for 2NE1 until July 11 in the venue of the exhibition.
As proof that the messages are delivered to the members, the staff of “YG Exhibition in Japan” updated their official blog on July 13.
“The message which you all wrote has already been put inside the backstage of the Kobe concert! All the members were thrilled and has received more power from your message ☆ In addition, not only members, but all dancers and staff were also touched! Thank you!”
The staff also posted a picture of the girls posing in between the message wall, with Sandara Park sending a ‘virtual heart’ and Minzy looking amazed with the messages.
Gifts boxes for the girls. Credit: akaaane_818)
Ever the gracious idols, leader CL thanked fans via her Instagram with an adorable Chaera 4-set.
Thank you Japan for all your love and support #BLACKJACK #GZB
In response, fans have been sending their thanks back for coming to Japan: “ Thank you❤You know we’re happy thanks to you rite??? Always thank you❤,” “Please come back again (*^^*) and thank you for your hardwork!” and “Thank you for coming to Japan ! I love you ❤”.
2NE1 has been visiting 9 countries so far for their “All or Nothing” world tour concert, including South Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia. They will visit Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam for their next destination on August 10.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum: Memory, Remembrance, and Capitalism
The National September 11 Memorial and Museum opened to visitors one month ago. I’ve been watching the responses, reading the critiques, raising my eyebrows at that one buzzfeed article. It’s been fairly weird for me—not because I had a loved one murdered in the attacks, but because I was a Special Collections Intern at that museum for ten months in 2010. I digitized photographs, wrote profiles for the memorial exhibit, updated metadata, measured and photographed objects in our collection, digitized ephemera, sat in on meetings with victims’ families, and sat in a location which allowed me to eavesdrop on exhibitions meetings. I learned about the narrative they were constructing, and why they were doing it that way. (“We’re just telling the story,” one member of the Exhibitions team told me, “and the story is a complicated one, with parts that many think should not be included in this museum. But we have to include them—it would be dishonest not to.”)
Victims’ families are unhappy with the layout of the museum, the extremely literal nature of some of the pieces on display (the half destroyed ambulance, for instance), and the fact that they were not contacted to approve aspects of the memorial exhibit. And pretty much everyone is unhappy with the gift shop. First I want to address the criticisms regarding the victims’ families and loved ones.
Between the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center attacks, there are approximately 3,000 dead. That is 3,000 people, each with mothers, fathers, spouses, significant others, brothers, sisters, friends, mentors, nieces, nephews, and children. And with each and every one of those people is the remembrance of a life suddenly and tragically cut short. And that, I think, cuts to the core of this issue: remembrance.
Memorial museums are, of course, about memory. They are institutions constructed to capture, maintain, and give narrative to a memory. As a historian, I think the concept of intentionally constructing a historic narrative as national canon is horrifying (I’m a melodramatic academic; I regret nothing), but as a public historian, I understand the necessity of creating that narrative. To have the responsibility of being the people to invent, construct, or cement that memory, that narrative? That’s no easy task, and it’s a task which will always be flawed because history by nature defies a singular narrative. And in my very humble opinion, the September 11 Memorial and Museum is staffed by dedicated, responsible museum professionals and public historians who understand the importance of honesty and clarity, and who understand the gravity of what they are doing; they’re not just creating and opening a museum, but they are constructing a memory.
The memory they’re creating and commemorating will live beyond the memories of those who remember 9/11, and those who intimately remember the people murdered on that day. Therefore, I feel comfortable saying that the criticism—controversy, even—surrounding the set-up, layout, and narrative of the museum is a matter of personal remembrance versus constructed collective memory. I obviously begrudge no one their anger over the manner in which their loved one’s murder is remembered, but I do have to ask: could this base issue of memory vs. remembrance have been avoided at all? Is that even an option in the context of mass commemoration? I’m going to leave this one open ended.
And then, of course, there is the gift shop, not to mention that $24 entry fee (from which victims’ families are exempt). I’ve seen a lot of talk about how sickening it is to walk into this sacred space only to see a gift shop selling expensive jewelry, tchotchkes, and refrigerator magnets. And I agree, it is distasteful, and for a grieving family member already distraught over the nature of the memory constructed by the institution, it’s a slap in the face. However, there is one glaring issue that criticisms of the gift shop continuously neglect to address: the fact that this museum receives no government funding for its operational costs.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum must pay for insurance, maintenance, on-site climate control, off-site storage, off site-storage climate control, the preservation of everything from 13-year-old receipts to damaged steel beams, the JFK storage hangar, staff salaries, the rent for the office space, et cetera, et cetera. In short, the museum has extremely high ongoing costs; former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg estimated that these expenses come to a figure of at least $60 million annually. That money has to come from somewhere, and one of those somewheres, unfortunately, is the gift shop.
While the shop’s wares may be a sickening site to grieving patrons, I would argue that it is more sickening that the American government—which launched an oil war over 9/11—refuses to fund the institution dedicated to its memory.
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