Reads of the Week: October 26, 2012

Just scanning this collection of 99 creative life hacks will make you feel clever. This weekend you will find me wandering around the house peering at wood with walnut in hand.

Fellow liberal arts majors: no regrets! Yes, I know all kinds of very important people go on and on about STEM, but now, a STEM to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and humanities, and mathematics) movement is emerging. In A Tech Geek on Why We Need the Humanities, Jason Got says, “Our ability to design machines that improve our lives depends upon our ability to understand what humans are, where we’ve been, and where we’re headed. That’s the domain of Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Bob Dylan, and Radiohead – whether they come to us through word of mouth, parchment, iPod, or Twitter.”

When I search for something, I hate seeing the results dominated by content mill links – vacuous text created by offshore labor making a dollar a post. Jim Hornthal calls this waste-of-my-time “faux content” in a GigaOm article, Creating Order from Digital Chaos. But there’s hope: “Fortunately, there is a growing band of innovators who have taken up the challenge and are tackling those issues — with startlingly similar approaches. Their universal mission is to employ relevant, expert-based pattern recognition to generate a useful consumer outcome.”

Mitch Joel jumped onto one of my regular topics – the fall of Lance Armstrong. I swear I’m not someone who enjoys personal tragedy, but Armstrong has been the most arrogant bullying asshole in cycling for the last dozen or so years. He had it coming. Before the USADA published the tell-all affidavits of his ex-teammates, Lance used Twitter to scoff at his accusers and brag about his accomplishments. Now, all is quiet. Mitch says, “When things are good, social media was Armstrong’s best friend, but went things went south, it suddenly became the bane of his existence. It is both his silence mixed with a very vocal public…that is defining his brand (whether he likes it or not).”

My favorite art read of the week posed an interesting theory for the selection of artworks stolen recently in Rotterdam: it was the work of a rogue Symbolist collector. Morgan Meis at The Smart Set came up with this idea based on the one painting in the stolen bunch that didn’t seem to fit. His article includes a good explanation of symbolism as well as photos of all the stolen paintings. If you want to learn more about symbolist art, the Met has a good introduction. Then, check out the symbolist collection in the Google Art Project.

Like I needed another rabbit hole of art to explore with the Google Art Project only a click away, but here’s another one: The New York Times led me to this new productivity-killer that operates on the Pandora principle: “With 275 galleries and 50 museums and institutions as partners, has already digitized 20,000 images into its reference system, which it calls the Art Genome Project.” Their Twitter account is fun to follow, you never know where you’ll end up and what you’ll see.

Happy Friday!

Harlequin Head by Picasso – one of the paintings from the Triton Foundation collection that was stolen in Rotterdam

Author: deirdrereid

Deirdre is a freelance writer for companies serving the association market, who after more than 20 years in the association and restaurant industries, is enjoying the good life as a ghostblogger and content marketing writer. Away from her laptop, you can find her walking in the woods, doing yoga, going to shows, journaling, cooking, or relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book and a glass of something tasty in hand.

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