Archive for March, 2011

Thomas Eisner

March 31, 2011

In today’s NYT, an obit (by Kenneth Chang) for Cornell professor of chemistry Thomas Eisner, who with his colleague Jerrold Meinwald founded the field of chemical ecology, together exploring how insects use complex chemistry “to repel predators, attract mates and protect their young” — in particular, how they use chemical signals to communicate (not what you usually think of when you think of animal communication).

(more…)

First there were celebutantes …

March 31, 2011

… and now there are Bravolebrities or Bravo-lebrities (as Victor Steinbok has reported to me from his tv watching): Bravo celebrities, that is, celebrities on the Bravo Channel. (On celebutante and other celeb- words, see Ben Zimmer, here.)

(more…)

partners

March 31, 2011

From the NYT obit for actor Farley Granger (written by Neil Genzlinger):

[Alfred Hitchcock, who directed Granger in Rope and Strangers on a Train] “could make the phone book sound intriguing,” Mr. Granger said in his 2007 autobiography, “Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway,” written with his longtime romantic partner Robert Calhoun.

Yes, longtime romantic partner.

(more…)

George Tooker

March 31, 2011

By chance, just after I posted on magic realism (in literature and art), there came the news of George Tooker’s death (“George Tooker, Painter Capturing Modern Anxieties, Dies at 90″ on-line on the 29th, “George Tooker Dies at 90; Painter of Modern Anxiety” in my print copy on the 30th; story by William Grimes). Tooker’s uncanny, often disturbing, paintings have been labeled as magic realist (and social realist), though he didn’t like the label himself. Grimes on definitions:

“Symbolism can be limiting and dangerous, but I don’t care for art without it, Mr. Tooker told the cultural critic Selden Rodman in 1957.

… At the same time, he fended off attempts to define him as a surrealist or magic realist. “I am after reality — painting impressed on the mind so hard that it recurs as a dream,” he said, “but I am not after dreams as such, or fantasy.”

(more…)

Male vanity

March 30, 2011

[Nothing of redeeming social value here, though some will find it entertaining. Not for the kiddies.]

Back in 2009, I looked at “Hybrid underwear” for men (here), noting that

In still another set of variants, the underwear can be designed so as to exaggerate the wearer’s equipment, in “shock jocks” and “enhancement briefs” and the like (one step above stuffing a sock in your underwear, and roughly analogous to push-up bras).

Then came January 2011 and the introduction of the Andrew Christian Shock Jock Flirt Brief (here).

(more…)

A hundred words or less

March 30, 2011

From Susanne Gahl, a link to this piece of silliness:

Language lessons with Fabio Capello

England manager Fabio Capello recently defended his limited grasp of English, saying he needed not more than “100 words maximum” to communicate with his players. Here are some other professions where 100 words of English might suffice.

(more…)

Annals of advertising

March 29, 2011

Put together male photography and the current zombie craze, add high fashion and total-body tattooing, and you have the latest advertising campaign from fashion designer Thierry Mugler, featuring model Rick Genest, as photographed by Mariano Vivanco. I came across the campaign in the pages of OUT magazine for April 2011, where I was stopped in my tracks by this image of Genest as Zombie Boy:

(more…)

What animals hear

March 29, 2011

A recent Wondermark cartoon on what animals (in particular, cocker spaniels) hear, in the vein of the famous Far Side cartoon (with “blah-blah-blah Ginger”):

(Hat tip to Bruce Webster.)

(more…)

Greetings

March 29, 2011

One more from the “Metropolitan Diary” in yesterday’s NYT: a letter from Susan Rosenfeld illustrating some cross-cultural differences:

(more…)

Low vowels

March 29, 2011

More from the “Metropolitan Diary” in yesterday’s NYT, a letter from Kevin J. Farrelly with a puzzle in the production and perception of vowels:

(more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 236 other followers