Shadow and Light

April 30, 2007


The Language of Images

April 29, 2007

Michael Reichmann has a new article up on his site The Luminous Landscape named Learning the Language of our Art which begins by describing a documentary about a remote tribe found on the Amazon.

They had no experience of seeing flat two dimensional representations of realty. Their culture had no experience with painting, and not even drawing existed in their society. So, when shown the film they simply could not figure out what it was they were looking at. It was light and colour and shapes and patterns, but that’s all.

And concludes the following.

What this addresses is that the comprehension of visual images is a form of language, and just like all human language it needs to be learned.

I think the interpretation of the remote tribe’s reaction to the movie projector was wrong. What they had issue with was this strange technology and trying to determine if it posed any kind of new danger. The idea that they had to learn to recognize two-dimensional images is wrong.

I think what we have learned most about our study of remote hunter-gatherer tribes is that the conclusions drawn by the observers is just as whacked as the native’s interpretation of the unknown technology (probably more so).

So is the comprehension of visual images something that has to be learned? No way (in my opinion).

New research claims that Vitamin D is key to preventing cancer.

A four-year clinical trial involving 1,200 women found those taking the vitamin had about a 60-per-cent reduction in cancer incidence, compared with those who didn’t take it, a drop so large — twice the impact on cancer attributed to smoking — it almost looks like a typographical error.

We get some Vitamin D from food but we have the ability to produce large amounts in our skin when it is exposed to sunshine (UV rays).

Statistics Canada released some fantastic news about the two biggest killers of Canadians, cancer and cardiovascular disease but you have to dig through the negative spin to find it:

The age-standardized mortality rate for cardiovascular diseases declined 16% from 2000 to 2004, while cancer mortality rates declined 4% over the same period.

That is awesome.

More Divisadero

April 27, 2007

So far so good…. “Divisadero” is classic Ondaatje. Poetic prose with a non-linear plot that slowly reveals the story.

Those who have an orphan’s sense of history love history. And my voice has become that of an orphan. Perhaps it was the unknown life of my mother, her barely drawn portrait, that made me an archivist, a historian. Because if you do not plunder the past, the absence feeds on you.


April 27, 2007


Random RADThought

April 26, 2007

I added a Random RADThought link to the sidebar. Give it a try.