Fascinating anatomy art

Anatomy fascinated artists and there are examples of great anatomical drawings done by artists, especially in the Renaissance.

After watching Vanessa Ruiz’s TED talk, The spellbinding art of human anatomy,  I was captured by the contemporary artists who chose to portray anatomical parts in their work. As Vanessa shows in her talk, two are particularly interesting (to me), even though I have almost no interest in the scientific part of anatomy (!).

First, Fernando Vicente’s anatomy drawings.

Vicente is an illustrator and this is his Vanitas painting collection. I love the irony.

Then, there is Michael Reedy’s anatomy series:

A bit darker, perhaps.

Anyhow, a good excuse to show their work.

[Featured image: Paintings from Fernando Vicente’s Vanitas collection]

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Social networks, breakups and memory

it's the worst picture I've ever seen!

[Photo: Tom Simpson it’s the worst picture I’ve ever seen! via photopin (CC license)]

New developments in social networking: breaking up is a complex issue, often burdened with sorrow, anguish, pain and guilt. What to do with the memorabilia produced during the long or short time the couple (or trio, quartet, etc.) stayed together?

Some prefer to delete everything, for amazing that may seem to me. Thus a few apps have come out to help one erase from social networks those media souvenirs of the significant other who is not significant any longer. But, wait… what?? How’s that possible? Why would I want to **erase** those mementos as though they did not happen at all? Just because watching or reading them makes one feel nostalgic or sad or angry?? Do not those mementos precisely and irrevocably point to something and someone that cannot be erased because it happened? Where is one’s own self irony?

Do we really want to erase the past just because it is (now) uncomfortable? And when we’ll end up telling stories to our grandchildren, wouldn’t we perhaps like to have those mementos at hand and just smile? “See, that was my Facebook! How silly of me to take all those selfies with Ms. X!!” It was perhaps silly to take all those selfies, but not necessarily to take pictures, not even the act of writing letters or poems or shopping lists. All such artifacts are but mementos of one’s life, like the posts of this blog.

Is this just a matter of such mementos being public instead than private? Certainly, the fact that social media are public compounds the issue, but here we’re not talking about photos of some drunk nights being taken out. Instead we’re talking photos of a previous story we may feel uncomfortable with now. Yet it is very much related to the recent European courts’ decisions to demand that Google erase some past situation from our… past if it offends us now. Meaning: if it bothers you then it’s ok to erase it from the past. If not, then it existed publicly. It is fertile terrain for huge discussions; I am not even sure I understand it.

Anyhow, I just came across these two websites which are happy to help one erase the un-erasable. They are (1) Breakup Shop and (2) killSwitch. Google them if you will. I am not activating the links (contrary to my policy of linking!) just because I do not need to be pingbacked or tracked by the companies they point to.

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Lists for all


[Flickr Photo: List, by Queenie & the Dew, shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license]

Umberto Eco once wrote that we like lists because they somehow glimpse at immortality. He also wrote The Infinity of Lists: An Illustrated Essay, to pursue this point.

Check this interview from Spiegel: ‘We Like Lists Because We Don’t Want to Die

The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries.

–From: https://www.brainpickings.org/2011/12/22/umberto-eco-on-lists/

Woody Allen was not shy about them. In a highly amusing parody of literary criticism he wrote a review of (invented character) Metterling Laundry Lists (New Yorker, May 10, 1969). Look:

Indeed, the very first Metterling laundry list

List No. 1
6 prs. shorts
4 undershirts
6 prs. blue socks
4 blue shirts
2 white shirts
6 handkerchiefs
No Starch

serves as a perfect, near-total introduction to this troubled genius, known to his contemporaries as the “Prague Weirdo.” The list was dashed off while Metterling was writing Confessions of a Monstrous Cheese, that work of stunning philosophical import in which he proved not only that Kant was wrong about the universe but that he never picked up a check.

–From: http://inclementreality.blogspot.com/2007/02/metterling-lists.html

I love lists in fact. One example is the tab I have earmarked in my browser from The Guardian’s Best Culture 2016. Common to see by a year’s end, best-of lists are everywhere in the media, but this is particularly impressive and worth the inspiration it gives: from films to novels to noirs to philosophy and history.

But one other fancy lists I found recently is One Grand’s . This is a bookstore (in Narrowsburg, NY): “Everything that Amazon is not – [a] modern, yet intimate, 550-square-foot space perched above the Delaware River, with a beautiful view of the water..” wrote The New York Times.

They ask people more or less widely known to compile their personal list ot top ten books. You find nice things, there: for instance you discover chef René Redzepi’s (of Noma) suggestion of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs & Steel.

Screenshot of René Redzepi's booklist from One Grand.

Screenshot of René Redzepi’s booklist from One Grand.

Or, you may find that Eric Ripert (another chef) remembers the great poet Jacques Prevert’s Paroles (which prompted me to write the last post in this blog.

You don’ t really care of what Bill Gates recommends, but you find Tilda Swinton.

I ended up making a useful list for myself—I mean, one beyond the tens of lists I already make with Evernote and Instapaper (and diigo): 2016__films. It was great to keep track of the movies I watched (at a cinema), because the less good ones tend to evaporate from memory. So now I’m doing a new list for 2017__films.

Umberto Eco on Lists and Making Infinity Comprehensible



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delicious Zeitgeist 15 Feb 2017

A few delicious Web sites to use or meditate about, from the latest addition to my diigo collection.

Screen Shot from astronaut.io

Screen Shot from astronaut.io

I get my delicious-tagged bookmarks draft-posted automatically from Diigo. on this blog, I edit them and compile a bunch every so often–when the inspiration cometh–. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Sudden remembrance of Jacques Prévert’s poems

Remembering Jacques Prévert’s poems that I loved when youngster.


Quel jour sommes-nous
Nous sommes tous les jours
Mon amie
Nous sommes toute la vie
Mon amour
Nous nous aimons et nous vivons
Nous vivons et nous nous aimons
Et nous ne savons pas ce que c’est que la vie
Et nous ne savons pas ce que c’est que le jour
Et nous ne savons pas ce que c’est que l’amour.


What day are we?
We are every day
My friend
We’re the whole of life
My love
We love and we live
We live and we love
And we don’t really know
What life is
And we don’t really know
What the day is
And we don’t really know
What love is

Poems of Jacques Prévert“, Alastair Campbell. Deep South v.3. n.1. (Autumn 1997)

Of course, a quick glance on the Web fetched quite some nice stuff. For instance this collection of poems from Paroles translated into English by none other than Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Which brings us to a very current one, Pater Noster, which Ferlinghetti took inspiration from for his Last prayer video (below).

Our Father who art in heaven
Stay there
And we’ll stay here on earth
Which is sometimes so pretty
With its mysteries of New York
And its mysteries of Paris
Worth as much as that of the Trinity
With its little canal at Ourcq
Its great wall of China
Its river at Morlaix
Its candy canes
With its Pacific Ocean
And its two basins in the Tuileries
With its good children and bad people
With all the wonders of the world
Which are here
Simply on the earth
Offered to everyone
Strewn about
Wondering at the wonder of themselves
And daring not avow it
As a naked pretty girl dares not show herself
With the world’s outrageous misfortunes
Which are legion
With their legionaries
With their torturers
With the masters of this world
The masters with their priests their traitors and their troops
With the seasons
With the years
With the pretty girls and with the old bastards
With the straw of misery rotting in the steel
of cannons.

— Jacques Prévert, Paroles. Translated by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. City Lights Books, San Francisco 1958, 1990. Available here: http://words-in-lines.tumblr.com/post/10837208157/our-father-who-art-in-heaven-stay-there-and

Ferlinghetti’s own City Light Bookstore in San Francisco posted on Scribd a selection online of poems from Paroles.

Now, Prévert reminds me the French chansonnier Jacques Brel. Here is the famed Les feuilles mortes (Autumn Leaves) sung by the great Yves Montand and then Jacques Brel singing Ne me quitte pas.


[Featured Image: “Riviera” flickr photo by geofroi  shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license]

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