Tag: Art

As If You Needed a Reason not to Fly Delta

Very disappointed in @Delta here. I assume they will change their attitude towards unions soon, or I’ll do my flights through (international) airlines that do not ridicule worker rights and respect workers’ voices. pic.twitter.com/W2OGKWD2qA

— Cas Mudde 🗣️ (@CasMudde) May 9, 2019

Delta’s contemptible anti-union posters

— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) May 10, 2019

The thoroughly appropriate response

Delta has been virulently anti-union throughout its history, but its latest anti-union poster has engendered a particularly trenchant response:

Two posters made by Delta as part of an effort to dissuade thousands of its workers from joining a union drew a torrent of criticism after they were posted on social media Thursday.

The posters included messages targeting the price of the dues that company workers would be paying if the union formed.

“Union dues cost around $700 a year,” one noted. “A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun. Put your money towards that instead of paying dues to the union.”

The other, with a picture of a football, was framed similarly.


In the charged world of social media, in which talk about socialism and the evils of unfettered capitalism percolates in the conversations of an invigorated left, the posters fell with a thud.


James Carlson, a coordinator with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers, the union which has been working to organize the workers, said he did not know where the poster was distributed but said an employee had sent it to him earlier. He said that Delta has been papering its employee break rooms with anti-union fliers.

“Some are like what you saw today — a stupid, insulting message to spend your money on a video game system instead of union dues,” he said. “They try to interfere with the employees’ exercise of freedom of association. And that’s not allowed.”

I happen to agree with Occupy Wallstreet’s response, extolling the cost benefit ratio of guillotines, to be wonderfully cheeky.

My Life is a Lie

I just read that the death metal band Hatebeak, has released its 4th album in 12 years.

That doesn’t make my life a lie.

Neither does the fact that the lead singer is, “Waldo, a 21-year-old African grey parrot.”

What makes my life a lie is the fact that they are a, “Baltimore-based three-man studio project”, involving drummer Blake Harrison, guitarist Mark Sloan, and the aforementioned Waldo.

I have been living in the greater Baltimore area for 18 years, and I have never heard of Hatebeak.

Seriously, here is a a bit of Baltimore performance art that makes John Waters look like Pat Boone, and I was completely unaware.

What is wrong with me?

I could have had these guys play at Natalie’s or Charlie’s B’nei Mitzvah, if I had only known.

Banksey is a F%$#ing Genius


A Banksy painting sold at Sotheby’s for over £1 million.

Once the auction was completed, Banksey, or someone affiliated with him, triggered the shredder built into the picture frame:

Banksy has released a video showing how he secretly built a shredder into one of his paintings that self-destructed after it was sold for more than £1m.

The framed Girl With Balloon, one of the artist’s best known works, was auctioned by Sotheby’s in London.

Moments after the piece was sold, the canvas of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped balloon shredded itself.

Quoting Picasso on his Instagram, Banksy wrote: “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge – Picasso.”

The clip starts with a caption, saying: “A few years ago, I secretly built a shredder into a painting.”

The video then shows someone in a hoodie installing the device, before another caption, saying: “In case it was ever put up for auction.”

The video then shows the moment the painting shredded itself at the auction house on Friday, captured on a mobile phone.

It is unclear how the shredder was activated.

Moments before, the 2006 stencilled spray-painting had sold for £1.042m.

“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe.

I’ve got to believe that Banksy is the secret love child of Eugène Ionesco, spiritually, if not genetically.

Some Fact Checking Please

For once, the title, “This Porcelain Is Tougher Than It Looks,” is correct, but the article gets the basics wrong:

Wallace Chan, the Hong Kong jeweler behind some of the world’s most exclusive gems, sat in a sunny Manhattan hotel room a few weeks ago, talking about his latest creations.

He displayed one, a large blue ring topped with a diamond — and began whacking it aggressively against the wooden coffee table.

Bang! Mr. Chan, 62, just smiled. Then he rapped it again.

The ring was primarily made of porcelain, a ceramic normally used for rose-strewn tea sets and figurines of pouting milkmaids, and such treatment should have reduced it to a handful of shards on the hotel room carpet.

But this wasn’t just any old porcelain. It was a porcelain seven years in the making, which Mr. Chan invented and which he says is five times harder than steel.

The material — called for the time being, a little unimaginatively, Wallace Chan Porcelain — is made of specially chosen ingredients that Mr. Chan treats like the equivalent of a state secret out of fear of industrial espionage (the jewelry world is, apparently, a paranoid place). But the ingredients are, he said, almost devoid of impurities.

All high fire (vitrified) clays, like porcelain, and most of the low fire clays, are MUCH harder than steel.

Ordinary glass is harder than steel, which you can demonstrate if you (very) carefully try to drill window glass.

On the Mohs Scale, steel is typically in the 4-4½ range, and porcelain is around 7. (Talc is 1 & diamond 10 on the Mohs Scale)

What Mr. Chan has done is create a TOUGHER ceramic, which is important, but VERY different from a HARDER ceramic.

He does this, as the article reveals, by making small (but important) changes in the formulation of porcelain, and firing it at a higher temperature, which further reduces voids in the resulting fired ceramic.

It’s pretty much the same process used by people trying to put ceramics in things like jet turbines, though he seems to have come up with a technique that does not require the elaborate tooling used for those applications.

My guess his recipe is that, “Almost devoid of impurities,” is the most important bit.  

Ceramics yield very little, which means that stresses at any crack tips are very high because there is little local yielding, so the elimination of inclusions are critical to toughness and tensile strength.

Good for Mr. Chan, but someone needs to give the reporter a class in material science 101.

Peter Parker Weeps

Spiderman co-creator Steve Ditko has died at age 90:

New York police confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday that one of Marvel Comics’ legendary staffers, Steve Ditko, was found dead in his apartment this week. Ditko was 90.

The creator of Dr. Strange and the original artist (plus “co-creator,” according to Stan Lee) for Spider-Man had been found days earlier, on June 29, and police told THR that they believed he had been dead for two days when he was found. Reports indicate Ditko left behind no family or survivors.

Ditko’s impact on Marvel Comics may only be rivaled by his reclusive nature in later years. After creating and developing Spider-Man with Lee in 1961, Ditko premiered lasting hero Dr. Strange in 1963, and Ditko would continue to write and draw Dr. Strange stories for Marvel until 1966. Disputes over money and friction with Lee reportedly drove Ditko to leave Marvel in 1966, and Ditko shunned the public spotlight shortly thereafter; he gave his last formal interview in 1968, though he continued contributing comics to other publishers.

Most notably in his later career, he created Squirrel Girl. 

Because, the Cartoon

Normally, I don’t read political articles for the cartoons, though (like everyone) I read the New Yorker for the cartoons, but this article, which argues that today’s “socialists” are more standard New Dealers than he is a doctrinaire Socialists, I read because of the artwork.

It’s a pretty anodyne survey of the new “Millennial Socialists” out there, but the art is really great, at least if you recognize the meme.

Yea, This Russiapohobia Sh%$ Is Getting out of Hand………

It appears that the latest Russian spies prevented from entering the United States include a prima ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet:

Amid roiling relations between the US and Russia, two members of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet — including one of its prima ballerinas — have been refused visas to perform in New York City, Page Six has exclusively learned.

Organizers of a Lincoln Center gala where Olga Smirnova and Jacopo Tissi were due to dance on Monday believe the Department of Homeland Security’s decision may be motivated by the myriad tensions between the superpowers — and say that Smirnova is so revered in Moscow that her treatment could create a Russian backlash.

On Wednesday the department’s site read, “On April 10, 2018, we denied your… petition for a nonimmigrant worker.”

“I don’t understand it,” Linda K. Morse, chair of Youth America Grand Prix — which is hosting the gala — told Page Six. “One interpretation is that it’s political. That’s my knee-jerk reaction, but I can’t figure out why — other than that they’re Russian. But it doesn’t make any sense.”

The immigration service’s objection appears to be that the organizers applied for a visa usually granted to groups of entertainers, but since Smirnova and Tissi were planning to perform at the “Stars of Today Meets the Stars of Tomorrow” gala as individuals, rather than alongside the rest of the Bolshoi company, they’re not eligible for it.

But we’re told that YAGP has got the same visa for dancers — including Smirnova — in the past. Morse told us she “definitely” thinks the move could create political resentment in Russia. “Olga is considered the number one ballerina in the world right now,” said Morse, “and to refuse her visa is striking. It’s alarming.”

It’s also very, very, very stupid.

Oh, You Delicate Snowflakes….

This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous! pic.twitter.com/MeYLTy1pqb

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 17, 2018

It appears that comedian Jim Carrey has taken up political cartoons as a hobby, and his latest, which is clearly of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has resulted in Talibaptist Republicans and Fox News completely losing their sh%$.

Seriously Republicans, if you can’t stand up to Ace Ventura, Pet Dick, how can you stand up to ISIS?

I’m not a fan of Carrey’s artistic stylings, but this butt hurt is really just pathetic.

This Is a Truly Sick Burn

Donald Trump contacted the Guggenheim Museum and asked to borrow a Van Goch to hang in the Presidential Residence.

The museum declined his request, but offered a recently closed exhibit:

The emailed response from the Guggenheim’s chief curator to the White House was polite but firm: The museum could not accommodate a request to borrow a painting by Vincent van Gogh for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters.

Instead, wrote the curator, Nancy Spector, another piece was available, one that was nothing like “Landscape With Snow,” the 1888 van Gogh rendering of a man in a black hat walking along a path in Arles, France, with his dog.

The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet — an interactive work titled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country.

For a year, the Guggenheim had exhibited “America” — the creation of contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan — in a public restroom on the museum’s fifth floor for visitors to use.

But the exhibit was over and the toilet was available “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House,” Spector wrote in an email obtained by The Washington Post.


Should Darth Vader Have Warrantless Spying Powers? With Rebel leaders Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi

Cartoonist Matt Bors observes that there is a conflict between opposing Donald Trump, and blithely supporting his ability to spy on US citizens without a warrant.

Somehow, after all the evidence of bad faith by both the US state security apparatus and the Trump Administration, somehow or other, House Minority Leader Pelosi and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Schiff both voted to continue the warrantless surveillance programs for the us intelligence community.

You just know that this authority will be misused.

Click the link for the full cartoon.

Death Wears Fuzzy Bunny Slippers

It turns out that while waiting for the literal end of the world, nuclear crews spend a lot of time waiting ……… and waiting ……… and waiting ……… and waiting ……… and waiting.

Two guys a hundred feet underground for 24+ hours waiting for the call that they hope never comes.

One is watching the dials, and the other one gets comfortable and relaxed so that they will be sharp when his turn comes to watch the dials.

Snuggies and fuzzy bunny slippers are a not infrequent part of the latter regime, hence the most awesome unit patch ever.

Midvale School for the Gifted

I was going to Maariv* at the local Kollel, so that I could say Kaddish for her.

Charlie came with me, because we studied some Gemara before services.

Charlie walked into the study area, and pushed the door open (it swings both ways) despite the large signs taped to it marked “Pull.”

I said, “Midvale School for the Gifted,” and Charlie gave me a blank look.

I had to remind him that it was a Gary Larson cartoon.

*Evening services.
Community religious study center.
A memorial prayer, it is the 41st anniversary of her death.
A companion work of the Mishna, together they constitute the Talmud.

Tweet of the Day

If @MADmagazine‘s political cartoonists and art department don’t win a Pulitzer this year then we, as a society, have failed. pic.twitter.com/TBDZY2z8Zj

— Ian Brown (@igb) September 17, 2017

This is really some remarkably astute political satire, which is not something that I would expect from Mad.

It appears that Trump is good for political commentary.

I particularly like the Norman Rockwell sendup.