linear shapes

Herb of the Week-Jasmine

Common names

Catalonian Jasmine
Common Jasmine
Common White Jasmine
Italian Jasmine
Jasmini Flos
Mo Li Hua
Poet’s Jasmine
Royal Jasmine
Spanish Jasmine

Jasmine belongs to the olive family, also known as Oleaceae. This shrub and vine genus comprises about 200 species that are indigenous to the warm temperate and tropical regions of Asia, Europe and Africa. Plants belonging to this genus are cultivated extensively for the typical aroma of their flowers.

Jasmines may be evergreen (having green leaves throughout the year) or deciduous (shedding their leaves in autumn). In addition, plants belonging to this genus may be of various types - erect, climbing shrubs, spreading or even vines. The leaves of these plants appear alternately or opposite to one another on the stem. In addition, the leaves of jasmine may be simple, pinnate or trifoliate. Usually, the flowers of jasmine measure about 2.5 cm (0.98 inch) across and their color may either be white or yellow. Although rare, in some cases jasmine flowers may even be somewhat reddish. The flowers appear in clusters and each cluster contains no less than three blooms. However, on many instances, solitary flowers can also appear at the terminal of the small branches.

Each jasmine flower comprises anything between four and nine petals, one to four ovules and generally two locules. Every flower contains two stamens having very small filaments. The bracts of the flowers are either ovate or linear, while the shape of the calyx is akin to that of a bell. Generally, the calyx is extremely aromatic. Jasmine bears berry-like fruits whose color changes to black when they mature.

Parts used

Oil, flowers.


Jasmine flowers and the essential oil obtained from them have numerous uses. While they are frequently used in perfumes and to flavour foods, a tea prepared from the flowers is taken internally for therapeutic purposes.

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Plant of the Day
Wednesday 11 May 2016

Oceans of Camassia leichtlinii subsp. suksdorfii at Marks Hall Arboretum, Essex and at RHS Wisley Garden, Surrey. This clump-forming bulbous perennial has long, linear leaves and star-shaped blue flowers in late spring. It will grow in moist but well-drained, fertile soil and will tolerate winter flooding. It can be naturalised in lawns or used in borders.

Jill Raggett

No Future / No Past: “Tomorrow” Turns Towards the Present

Anna Valdez, Laptop with Landscape, 2014

Though it may only have ever been an illusion, the hermetically-sealed white cube once proved a singularly-authoritative curator. Temporalities traced lineages through its empty space, an art-world riff on the adage that past performance predicts future success. Even after legions of “outsider artists” began to expand the traditional art-space, the gallery continued to offer a singular site in which to consider art, outside of the entropy of time, paradoxically detached from and enmeshed in its histories.

It fell to the iPhone to tear these fantasies apart. No single work of institutional critique, neither a Michael Asher nor a Rirkrit Tiravanija, could so wholly destabilize the premise of the gallery as an internet connection. It is not only that creation now happens continuously throughout the showing of a work, or that that creation is democratized, or that it can occur at the hands of third-parties who have never once stepped foot in the gallery. It is that the internet is better at playing the gallery than the gallery is, that it offers us all possible futurities, founded on every conceivable point of reference, simultaneously.

How then does an exhibition take the internet as its subject matter and, further, elevate its artists over the multitude of content-creators we encounter in the digital age? “Tomorrow”, the in-quotations title of Hashimoto Contemporary’s new group painting show, tackles these dual conceits with a certain irony. In the same breath, we consider the manner in which the digital world increasingly compresses the timescale of lived experience into a “forever-present”—an aesthetic of the sleep mode, our constant half-awareness of all things, always—alongside the young artists who play to the art-world’s foundational entrancement with the avant-garde.

While at first glance the show may evoke memories of Forever Now, the Museum of Modern Art’s widely-panned contemporary painting survey that opened nearly a year prior, closer inspection reveals a crucial difference: curator Jessica Ross’ aims, though unstated, succeed on precisely the same grounds on which Laura Hoptman’s (curator of the MOMA show) failed. In Hoptman’s introduction, she elaborated a theme of atemporality, the “new and strange state of the world in which, courtesy of the Internet, all eras seem to exist at once.”

Where Hoptman followed that premise to exhibit inarticulate works whose meanings decayed rapidly in the now-unsealed museum space, Ross delivers works that move fluidly into and out of the digital realm. Hoptman’s determination to show Art failed in a grand, Modernist sense—the loss of the thesis; in effecting a more rhizomatic survey, Ross apprehends a multitude of stories without the assumed burden of assembling a narrative.

Though the paintings in Ross’ show vary widely, engaging with repetition and patterning, analogue accumulations and digital artifacts, the space between reality and the rendering of the computer screen, they carry forward a common conceptual through line. It is an opposition to definition, the paradox of circumscribing the infinite, that lends the digital world its depth as a sociological and artistic concern, and, in its breadth, “Tomorrow” develops itself as that world’s appropriate analogue.

Anna Valdez’s two paintings offer a particularly engaging introduction to these themes. Stack depicts eight art books stacked atop one another in a domestic scene, covers obscured but for the top book. That book features a crop of Paul Gauguin’s Spirit of the Dead Watching; the leftmost half, including the spirit, is omitted, leaving the viewer to take up the absent gaze of the reclining woman and occupy the (abandoned) phantasmic space of consumption. Gauguin once commented that his painting could either depict the spirit imagining or being imagined: viewing Valdez’s work, the viewer wonders if he creates the world through watching or if it is through watching that he himself is created.

Valdez encourages both claims, empowering us as authors as well as viewers. Read together, the books present an encyclopedia of indexicality, references made inaccessible. As we read the titles and recognize the names of artists (which Valdez leaves legible, even as other identifying ephemera on the spines devolve into marks), we access the unknowable complexity of our minds, adorning the names with images and details they have accrued through our particular experiences. Resting on a tree stump, the stack executes a further trick: where the leaves of the tree might have sprouted, we find the exotic floral print of Valdez’s facsimile of Gauguin’s bedspread, referring us to the leaves of the potted shrubs. Spliced onto the trunk of the tree, the painting books become a (re-)domesticated knowledge, taking root in our lived experience.

Similarly, Valdez’s Laptop With Landscape offers representation in place of representation, toying with the circularity of the digital as well as its ability to bridge modes and mechanisms of experience. Here, Valdez is more forceful, losing the viewer in a labyrinth of repetitions without signposts. To start, the laptop denies any true functionality—the screen lacks icons, the keyboard lacks inscription. As the eye moves through the composition, it becomes lost, as so often happens, in the seeming infinitude of the screen, whose figuration destabilizes into perspectival blobs, unable to return to the (figurative) “reality” that circumscribes it.

The yucca plants and grasses that reiterate one another into abstraction on the computer screen find mimics both in the imperfectly repeated patterns of the fabrics as well as in the more literal repetition between the potted cactus and its mirror, the yucca-like form of the lavender that spreads from the vase. The vase, in turn, is adorned with the decoration of yet another spreading flower, leading us back down through to the floral print on which the laptop sits. We cede our autonomy as viewers, led forth by the painting’s directive: like so many stitches in a blanket, our separate selves recede increasingly into the background of a world in which we have all lost ourselves.

Moving through the gallery, we find these ideas taken up repeatedly, though with less precision than in Valdez’s paintings. Valdez’s concern with fabric and the imprint of the human finds itself literalized in Amir H. Fallah’s series of covered forms, molded hoods standing in for heads. Personages disappear behind patterns, limbs become color fields, action and object become identity (his titles: Hold On, Necklace, Internal Expressionist). Though there is an enticingly exotic aspect to the veilings, Fallah directs us back upon ourselves, showing in the absence of his figures the reductive tendencies of our gazes. In the discourse of the larger show, we see anonymous bodies give way to words and images which, once collected, manifest our digital personalities.

The language of patterning appears effectively in the work of Matthew Craven and Sarah Bowser as well. Like Fallah’s paintings, Craven’s Portrait (TOTEM) brings to mind a particular decorative lineage, namely the geometries and color palette of the indigenous Southwest, the Hopi, the Navajo. His appropriated portrait recalls a bearded hipster or, less flatteringly, an Urban Outfitters graphic, but the context of the show makes his irony more legible. Sarah Bowser, in turn, offers a masterfully executed screen print—or perhaps it is a “screen” print—“stamped” linear and abstract shapes invoking the early Microsoft program Kid Pix. The technical proficiency of Bowser and Craven’s works on paper accent the flat dimensionality of their renderings, drawing out engaging compositions from combinations of simplified forms.

These lead easily into the compositional echoes between two of Michelle Fleck’s paintings across the room—Trees That Bloom Outside The Window, which depicts an “X” (one leg aerosolized, the other painted precisely in acrylic) behind a cluster of branches spreading out before it, and Black Cars, which offers a still life with two branches that form the selfsame “X” atop a perspectivally impossible table. Hung one above the other, the paintings speak to the interaction of the organic and the inorganic, the invented realities of the artist and the “objective” reality of experience, and dialogue nicely with Valdez’s own plants.

In form and content, the show repeatedly conjures the internet-age sentiment of aesthetic assemblage, the totalizing impulse that attempts to collate everything in one place and at one moment. Casey Gray’s twin corkboards, Trompe l’oeil with Head Shot and Trompe l’oeil with Mixed Feelings, achieve a simple and compelling iteration of this theme through collages of personal and cultural references rendered in a hyperreal aerosol acrylic. Gray’s work highlights the manner in which specific collections of mass objects often stand in for genuine individuality: think of the collaged quality of a Twitter page where tweets (themselves often commentary on events external to the user) and retweets intermingle or, quite literally, a Pinterest page.

It is no longer the role of a painting survey to singlehandedly recreate a culture, as MOMA’s earlier show, “The New American Painting,” did in 1958. And yet, “Tomorrow” argues compellingly for painting’s place in the increasingly diffracted arsenal of social criticism. Though the prospect of a more considered reaction to media may seem inconsequential to an age of present shocks and hyperobjects, that stance assumes the logic of Hoptman’s earlier fallacy.

We face grand problems, it is true. But it is precisely their scope that precludes grand solutions. Only by defining their periphery, by collecting and assembling all manner of counterarguments, at the smallest of scales, can one hope to expose their weaknesses. There is still a place for us to live and act and paint—here, now.

“Tomorrow” runs through December 19th at Hashimoto Contemporary, 804 Sutter St., San Francisco

There’s a fic I could never write because it’s just so cliched and overdone in every possible way, and could only get worse as I wrote it, but the idea keeps coming back to me - Steve and Bucky are touch telepaths. 

With normal people they get a vague sense of what they’re thinking when they have skin contact. They’re kids, and they’ve not yet worked out that not everyone has this when they meet each other. Bucky saves Steve from a beating, and once the other kids have been chased away, he offers his hand as introduction.

It’s so intense that they’re later not sure how they didn’t collapse right there in the alley. They’re literally inside each other’s heads, they can see each other’s thoughts, feel the sensations the other is feeling, see out of each other’s eyes. They end up stood stock still, hands clasped together, for minutes, because they’re so confused about where one of them starts and the other begins that they can’t work out how to unclasp their hands. 

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Dior Homme Men's RTW Spring 2015

Fashion’s rush to sporty and lounge-y styles for spring could leave the businessman feeling high and dry. Dior Homme’s Kris Van Assche proposed a solution, parading linear yet loose shapes aimed at all kinds of Dior’s men, mashed up with cheerful nautical sportswear.

He opened the show with a trio of deep blue tuxedos, announcing the collection’s tailored focus and nautical theme. There were three principal suit shapes, described backstage as classic, straight and “fashion,” the latter boasting tapered pants and a cropped jacket that closed with a toggle. The straight-lined silhouette, neat and slightly boxy, prevailed in various guises: classic or shadow pinstripes, micro houndstooth or plain dove gray.

Scoopnecked tank tops in bold sailor stripes, reminiscent of Victorian swimwear, were the third element of the suit, adding a graphic punch and a youthful edge.
There were horizontal lines on dress shirts, too, and handwritten script — lifted from a Fifties letter penned by Christian Dior himself — that approximated stripes or waves. The latter ticked a trend box — the return to logos — in a discreet and classy way.

A secondary street-art theme, expressed as crayon squiggles on pale denim and white shirts, seemed a forgettable sidetrack.

Van Assche did a naval collection only two years ago, but it’s clear he had more to say. Sailing coats in waxed yellow jersey or papery navy leather were immaculate and chic enough to wear on Wall Street.




So I’ve seen some posts about people being confused about this portrait and the idealization of Mrs. Agreste and I’m going to try and break it down!

When I saw the episode, I immediately recognized the style to be very similar to Gustav Klimt’s in The Kiss, which is a core piece for my Art History class. Upon further research, it turns out that this painting is basically a replica of the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. 

The piece was actually commissioned by this woman’s husband, who was extremely rich. He always favored the arts, especially Klimt’s, so he commissioned him. Obviously, this connects to Mr. Agreste being extremely wealthy and having the money to commission an artist to do a piece like this.

Also, literal gold paint was used for the original, so it would have been an extremely expensive piece to make. I’m sure Gabriel would have wanted gold paint to be used in his version as well.

This piece would have been considered part of the Art Nouveau style, as well. This style focuses on organic shapes, linear designs, and flowing curves based on natural form. It is NOT uncommon for people to be shown in an idealized form in artwork. It is also possible that this portrait was done when Mrs. Agreste was younger, therefore she looks more “perfect”.

Maybe Mr. and Mrs. Agreste saw this painting at a museum (it’s currently in a gallery in NYC and has been there since 2006) and Mr. Agreste loved it so much that he wanted a version with his wife? I’m not sure if this is suppoed to mean anything but either way, it’s super neat that this show includes actual art!!


Winds of Fate - Manakarna Part III

Part III took a little longer than expected, sorry about that. I’ll be covering both easy and hard modes for Beritra, these are the main differences between the modes:

Easy Mode

- Beritra remains in human form throughout
- No time limit

Hard Mode

- Better rewards, Mythic tier drops only from hard mode
- Beritra will transform into dragon form
- There’s a 8 minutes time limit to kill Beritra once he enters dragon mode, he just disappears if you fail to kill him within the allocated time (and no rewards)
- Beritra’s has new skills while in dragon form

Beritra has three buffs when the fight starts, whoever kills the seal guardians has to explode a special buff onto Beritra to remove his buffs. By the last debuff removal, he starts to enter dragon form.

Easy Mode

Once you port into Beritra’s chambers, the fight starts immediately. If you like, have the main tanker get on Beritra for a few moments first before everyone starts DPS-ing. Have everyone to start unloading everything.

You will notice in addition to the main circle, there are six platforms (three on each side) scattered around. Beritra’s seal guardians will spawn here throughout the fight. If you have done Infinity Shard, these mobs function like a resonator, except unlike your passive resonators, these can fight back and hit hard (but they are rather squishy). It’s recommended that you send one solid DPS (preferably assassin/songweaver) to pick them off rather than sending a couple of people (time is essence). But in case your DPS isn’t capable of taking blows, send a pocket healer after them.

The entire fight is basically DPS-ing Beritra down, while ensuring his seal guardians die.

Hard Mode

If you’re having problems with Hard Mode, you may want to start off with Easy Mode first and have everyone familiarizing themselves with the fight. Hard Mode, in essence is basically a stage built off Easy Mode’s foundations.

Beritra takes roughly about 4-5 minutes to enter his Dragon Form, you have to get into position before he paralyzes everyone during his transformation cutscene. As with Stage 1, you might want to leave the melees on the left and casters on the right. Both groups will be exactly next to/under his two front claws once he assumes complete transformation.

Vital Notes

- While the guides recommend bringing consumables such as self-ress stones and Fine Bracing Water, I would not recommend relying on the latter as Korea has since patched Fine Bracing Water to be non-usable inside instances
- The huge circle in Gelkmaros is actually good practice for positioning, I’m not sure of the elyos equivalent (pretty sure Inggison has one somewhere)
- Pop your DP and whatever you need to at the last phase of the fight, and not the beginning
- Beritra’s dragon form has a shield phase when you lowered his HP past 50%, don’t tank unnecessary attacks. Have the entire alliance jump over the fence to the secondary platforms to wait it out

Beritra Skills

As with Orissan, I am unsure of what they will be called in the English translation. Some of his skills do typical direct damage, but you should watch out for these in particular:

Shadow Grasp/Shadow Explosion - AOE pull that sucks in any target within affected radius, immediately follows up with an AOE attack

Shade Beckoning - Transforms 3-4 closest targets into red names, player damage skills can be inflicted on affected targets (cannot be dispelled), they are unable to be healed during the skill’s duration, it lasts for 15 seconds

Corruption - A devastating AOE attack that covers both halves of the platform in a consecutive phase. Positioning is important as this can be dodged (or at least not take both attacks)

Shadow Split* - Teleports to the middle and unleashes a Y-shaped pattern linear attack, can be dodged (once again, positioning is important)

*in dragon form, he just breathes fire in the same unique pattern

Aerial Flame - Widespread AOE attack, has a flashy animation (of his dragon form breathing flames)

While in human form, he moves around very quickly (like a gliding nun, teehee) and may randomly target other members at whim.

Most of Beritra’s dragon form skills won’t matter much if you’re positioned below his claws (same concept as Tiamat’s fight). He summons three types of adds, and these can be pulled away (or ignored to a certain extent). They will wander around, and as long you maintain your positions, not all of them will stray to the DPS-ers.

Add List

Green - In addition to direct damage, these adds will explode for a chunk of your HP and leave a DoT
Blue - They do direct damage and slow your movement speed
Purple - Range direct damage, not really sure what their follow-up effects are

There are a few strategies adopted for dealing with the adds, you either place your trust in the healer/main tank or everybody does their part. The solo tank mission is recommended only if you have no faith in your alliance’s DPS.

With effort (and some luck), you should be able to wear Beritra down quickly in no time. KR/JP/CN are already farming this instance for mythics effortlessly.

Final Notes: I’m not sure what else I left out, I only hope this helps to give people a brief understanding of what they are in for when attempting this instance. I’ll try to link a list of successful video runs when I have the time.