Friday, January 23, 2015

Connections in My World

Necklace with many connections!






Connections have always fascinated me.  People meeting people, learning how materials can be made to work together, finding the same shapes over and over in nature, using the same information in many contexts and - cold connections in jewelry, connection of notes in music!  Connections are everywhere!




I thought I’d share a few things that have helped me see connections in history and look at my world a little differently.



One of the books that has caught my interest and become a favorite is The Brilliant History of Color in Art by Victoria Finlay.  Not only does the cover with all the stacks of colors catch my attention but the author’s method of using one or two pages to tell the fascinating history of a color works well for me.
I can pick up the book, read about ‘Greek White’ and learn the historical facts that I’ve previously overlooked. 

For instance, I knew early Greek and Roman sculptors and builders used bright colors on marble that faded with time.  What I did not know was that in the 15th century forward, dealers of antiquity would use scalpels to scrape off any remaining color or wash the items in an acid bath.  It seems that wealthy patrons wanted their classical sculptures to be ‘Greek White’.

Each color has such fascinating history that I had not known about.   And interesting questions like “Where do pirates go when they retire?”  This is a terrific book with great pictures and stories and I’m so glad I bought it.

It reminded me of the PBS series ‘Connections’ that kind of does the same thing.  The series would start with a scene and then connect many different topics to explain how we got from point A to point B. 


The Pinball Effect by James Burke is another book I love to pick up and read because it can be read in many ways. http://www.amazon.com/The-Pinball-Effect-Renaissance-Carburetor/dp/0316116106

I can start at the beginning and go to the end (which I never do in this book). Or I can start with a page and watch for a ‘gateway’ (coordinates next to a word) and go to that place in the book.  There are so many ways to read this book and get information and a different experience.  On page 245, Chapter 18 ‘Bright Ideas’ talks about the fizz in fizzy water that Priestly invented in 1777 and how it was good for every infirmity- even tuberculosis and cholera.  At that point I can skip to page 14 and read about Rowland Hill (a teacher in Priestly’s Sunday school) who set up a new kind of academy with a science laboratory.  These two seemingly unconnected events really were). The book is based on the idea that we all live on a web of change and we are linked to each other and everything in the past.


Maybe the reason I like these books and programs is that my mind kind of works along the same lines.  I’m interested in many things and often one thing leads to another and another.  I used to think I just had a short attention span.  Now I realize there are so many things to learn and so many interconnections.  There are so many ways I can transfer knowledge and techniques from one thing to another.  Everything I have learned in the past can be used if I am open to the connections and can remember to let them flow!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Connections in My World

Necklace with many connections!






Connections have always fascinated me.  People meeting people, learning how materials can be made to work together, finding the same shapes over and over in nature, using the same information in many contexts and - cold connections in jewelry, connection of notes in music!  Connections are everywhere!




I thought I’d share a few things that have helped me see connections in history and look at my world a little differently.



One of the books that has caught my interest and become a favorite is The Brilliant History of Color in Art by Victoria Finlay.  Not only does the cover with all the stacks of colors catch my attention but the author’s method of using one or two pages to tell the fascinating history of a color works well for me.
I can pick up the book, read about ‘Greek White’ and learn the historical facts that I’ve previously overlooked. 

For instance, I knew early Greek and Roman sculptors and builders used bright colors on marble that faded with time.  What I did not know was that in the 15th century forward, dealers of antiquity would use scalpels to scrape off any remaining color or wash the items in an acid bath.  It seems that wealthy patrons wanted their classical sculptures to be ‘Greek White’.

Each color has such fascinating history that I had not known about.   And interesting questions like “Where do pirates go when they retire?”  This is a terrific book with great pictures and stories and I’m so glad I bought it.

It reminded me of the PBS series ‘Connections’ that kind of does the same thing.  The series would start with a scene and then connect many different topics to explain how we got from point A to point B. 


The Pinball Effect by James Burke is another book I love to pick up and read because it can be read in many ways. http://www.amazon.com/The-Pinball-Effect-Renaissance-Carburetor/dp/0316116106

I can start at the beginning and go to the end (which I never do in this book). Or I can start with a page and watch for a ‘gateway’ (coordinates next to a word) and go to that place in the book.  There are so many ways to read this book and get information and a different experience.  On page 245, Chapter 18 ‘Bright Ideas’ talks about the fizz in fizzy water that Priestly invented in 1777 and how it was good for every infirmity- even tuberculosis and cholera.  At that point I can skip to page 14 and read about Rowland Hill (a teacher in Priestly’s Sunday school) who set up a new kind of academy with a science laboratory.  These two seemingly unconnected events really were). The book is based on the idea that we all live on a web of change and we are linked to each other and everything in the past.


Maybe the reason I like these books and programs is that my mind kind of works along the same lines.  I’m interested in many things and often one thing leads to another and another.  I used to think I just had a short attention span.  Now I realize there are so many things to learn and so many interconnections.  There are so many ways I can transfer knowledge and techniques from one thing to another.  Everything I have learned in the past can be used if I am open to the connections and can remember to let them flow!

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