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Archive of posts filed under the Art category.

Plaig! (non-Wegman edition)

Mark Vallen writes (link from here): What initially disturbed me about the art of Shepard Fairey is that it displays none of the line, modeling and other idiosyncrasies that reveal an artist’s unique personal style. His imagery appears as though it’s xeroxed or run through some computer graphics program; that is to say, it is […]

Why couldn’t Breaking Bad find Mexican Mexicans?

Watching “Breaking Bad” . . . I’m told on good authority that may of the actors playing Mexicans are not actually Mexican; some of them can barely speak Spanish at all. Whassup with that? How hard is it to find a Mexican actor in LA or Albuquerque??

Lauryn’s back!

Really, no snark here. She’s got some excellent tracks on the new Nina Simone tribute album. The best part’s the sample from the classic Nina song. But that’s often the case. They wouldn’t sample something if it was no good. P.S. Let me clarify: I prefer Lauryn’s version to Nina’s original. The best parts of […]

Wikipedia is the best

“It is not readily apparent whether Boo-Boo is a juvenile bear with a precocious intellect or simply an adult bear who is short of stature.”

Statistical significance, practical significance, and interactions

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: interaction is one of the key underrated topics in statistics. I thought about this today (OK, a couple months ago, what with our delay) when reading a post by Dan Kopf on the exaggeration of small truths. Or, to put it another way, statistically significant but […]

Some art so far

In response to my request #1 (“Gone Fishing” T-shirt), Ed Witt sent in this: I thanked Ed and asked if it would be possible to take the image and add to it so it’s clear that the “.05” is being drawn from a sea of other numbers, also with a little bucket next to the […]

Artist needed!

We have some great ideas but none of us can draw. We need your help with designs and art for any or all of these projects: 1. “Gone Fishing” T-shirt A person is standing in a boat, fishing. The lake is full, not of fish but of little numbers: “.14”, “.31”, “.08”, etc etc. And […]

Wow—this is much more impressive than anything Frank Flynn ever did!

This is what I call a rogue sociologist.

My short career as a Freud expert

I received the following email the other day (well, actually it was the other month, as we’re still on blog-delay): Dear Prof. Andrew Gelman, The ** Broadcasting Authority, together with ** – a well-established production company, are producing a documentary about Freud. The documentary presents different points of view regarding Freud’s personality and theories. At […]

What happened to the world we knew?

I was unlocking my bike, with music turned on low, and a couple of high school kids were lounging around nearby. One of them walked over and asked, « Qui est-ce qui chante? ». I responded, “Stevie Wonder” (not trying any accent on this one). The kid said, « Ees good ».

Peabody here.

I saw the trailer for the new Mr. Peabody movie and it looked terrible. They used that weird animation where everything looks round, also the voice had none of the intonations of the “real” Peabody (for some reason, the trailer had the original English voices, maybe they didn’t get their act together to make a […]

Objects of the class “Objects of the class”

Objects of the class “Foghorn Leghorn”: parodies that are more famous than the original. (“It would be as if everybody were familiar with Duchamp’s Mona-Lisa-with-a-moustache while never having heard of Leonardo’s version.”) Objects of the class “Whoopi Goldberg”: actors who are undeniably talented but are almost always in bad movies, or at least movies that […]

Data visualizations gone beautifully wrong

Jeremy Fox points us to this compilation of data visualizations in R that went wrong, in a way that ended up making them look like art. They are indeed wonderful.

Give me a ticket for an aeroplane

How long are songs? Gabriel Rossman discusses the two peaks, one at just under 3 minutes and one at just under 4 minutes. He quotes musician Jacob Slichter: In anticipation of “crossing over” the single to radio formats . . . Each mix had to be edited down to under four minutes, an important limit […]

“How big is your chance of dying in an ordinary play?”

At first glance, that’s what I thought Tyler Cowen was asking. I assumed he was asking about the characters, not the audience, as watching a play seems like a pretty safe activity (A. Lincoln excepted). Characters in plays die all the time. I wonder what the chance is? Something between 5% and 10%, I’d guess. […]

“Proposition and experiment”

Anna Lena Phillips writes: I. Many people will not, of their own accord, look at a poem. II. Millions of people will, of their own accord, spend lots and lots of time looking at photographs of cats. III. Therefore, earlier this year, I concluded that the best strategy for increasing the number of viewers for […]

So much artistic talent

I saw this excellent art show the other day, and it reminded me how much artistic talent is out there. I really have no idea whassup with those all-black canvases and the other stuff you see at modern art museums, given that there’s so much interesting new stuff being created every year. I see a […]

Back when fifty years was a long time ago

New Year’s Day is an excellent time to look back at changes, not just in the past year, but in the past half-century. Mark Palko has an interesting post on the pace of changes in everyday life. We’ve been hearing a lot in the past few decades about how things are changing faster and faster. […]

Confusing headline and capitalization leads to hopes raised, then dashed

I read the following under the headline, Behind a Flop, a Play(wright) Within a Play”: A stroll down West 45th Street in the theater district is all it takes to understand the contradictory fortunes facing David Mamet, for years the heavyweight of bare-knuckled American playwrights, as well as the producers who believe that loyalty to […]

Art/math

This seems like the sort of thing I would like: Drawing from My Mind’s Eye: Dorothea Rockburne in Conversation with David Cohen Introduced by Nina Samuel Thursday, November 29 6 pm BGC, 38 West 86th Street Benoît Mandelbrot, unusual among mathematicians of the twentieth century, harnessed the power of visual images to express his theories […]