Six Degrees of Separation

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The science of networking is totally fascinating to me. I have always, personally, been interested why things function the way they do, and more specifically why humans function the way they do.

Why does one blush when another says something flattering about them? And why, in relationships, does it seem that people like the chase, but not like being chased?

The understanding of how things are built, or organized, is the basis of understanding why they function in a particular way, from the microscopic to the macro cosmic. For example, if I understand how emotions work within the brain, and then how that relates to blood flow, then my question about blushing is answered. The science of networks addresses this issue of organization. Understanding networks informs us about how things are, and, therefore, why things behave the way they do.

The following documentary is about networks, and how the science of networks is being used today in a variety of ways.

Six Degrees of Separation (BBC)

Documentary unfolding the science behind the idea of six degrees of separation. Originally thought to be an urban myth, it now appears that anyone on the planet can be connected in just a few steps of association. Six degrees of separation is also at the heart of a major scientific breakthrough; that there might be a law which nature uses to organize itself and that now promises to solve some of its deepest mysteries.

recent paintings

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If you have read my about page, then you know I am an art major. I am still a youngin’ when it comes to art, that is I am still in school and don’t have a clear picture of what I want my work to be yet. However, I think I might choose painting as my area of emphasis.

Here are some of my paintings, in chronological order, from the 2 last semesters. Most are assignments, but progress none the less.

Still Life - 2008

Still Life - 2008

Still Life - Detail

Still Life - Detail

Still Life - Detail

Still Life - Detail

Portrait - 2009

Portrait - 2009

Portrait - Detail

Portrait - Detail

Portrait - Detail

Portrait - Detail

Still Life - 2009

Still Life - 2009

Still Life - Detail

Still Life - Detail

Still Life - Detail

Still Life - Detail

Portrait - 2009

Figure - 2009

Figure - Detail

Figure - Detail

The Opposite of North - 2009

The Opposite of North - 2009

The Opposite of North - Detail

The Opposite of North - Detail

The Opposite of North - Detail

The Opposite of North - Detail

The Opposite of North - Detail

The Opposite of North - Detail

setback

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camera1

So, (sigh) I got my first setback of the summer. As I said in an earlier post, one of my goals right now is to take more photographs. Well, today I discovered that my camera is broken, obviously placing a rather large roadblock in the way of my goal.

I was headed outside to take some photographs of my most recent drawings this afternoon, and my camera, despite freshly charged batteries, just wouldn’t turn on. Now, the last camera I had seemed to go downhill in the same manner as this camera seems to have. That is, it was not accidentally dropped or left out in the sun for long periods of time; nothing happened to it. Simply, after a long period of unuse, it wouldn’t turn on. The same is true for this camera: it wasn’t even touched, and just wouldn’t come on (my previous post is evidence of this fact)!

So, now my goal will have to wait, either until my camera decides to wake up from its inconvenient hibernation, or until I can afford a new camera. I am not anticipating either to happen overnight, although I would take it, without question.

(If any reader could clue me into what might be ailing my poor camera, I would be tremendously grateful.)

The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow

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Years ago I heard about the accomplishments of Dr. Temple Grandin with regard to slaughter houses and animal welfare. I was so curious about this woman, who she was, and how she had come to this fundamental understanding of cows, which until then had never been understood. The documentary below explains her story.

The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow (Horizon 2006)

Dr. Temple Grandin has a unique ability to understand the animal mind – and she’s convinced her skill is down to her autistic brain.

Temple believes she experiences life like an animal. Her emotions are much simpler than most people’s and she feels constantly anxious. It’s this struggle with overwhelming anxiety that led her to discover just how much she has in common with animals and, in particular, cows.

Using her ability to observe the world through an animal’s eye, she has been able to make an enormous impact on animal welfare. Her greatest achievement has been in the area of slaughterhouses – she has fundamentally changed the way animals are held and slaughtered.

Today she’s an associate professor of animal science, a best-selling author and the most famous autistic woman on the planet.

television preferences

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Today I was talking with a coworker about TV preferences. Being the self-editing person with no internal monologue that I am, I said aloud, “I hope people don’t judge me for my TV choices. Some of my friends, I know, do.”

So how about you? What do you think about other people’s TV preferences? Do you think people’s TV preferences reveal anything about their character? Do you not take others TV preferences too seriously? Do you watch TV at all? Take the poll and let me know what you think.

“fundraiser”

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As some of you already know, last week I started a new job. While I was happy to have found summer employment, I also had a bit of trepidation about my new position. My new job title is officially “fundraiser”, but practically I am a … wait for it … a … (gulp) … TELEMARKETER!!!

You can probably understand, now, from where my trepidation was coming. By taking this job I am joining the ranks of the most reviled demographic in America (and possibly the world). Telemarketers sit comfortably next to ambulance chasing lawyers, used car salesmen, and paparazzi as some of the most hated people in the world. While I am working for my university, trying to raise money for future programs, scholarships and other academic developments, from the perspective of the answerer, I am no different than any other telemarketer trying to get money from them.

That is the bad part of the job. But, the good part is, I am actually having a great time. The people I am working with so far are so laid back, and while I have only gotten two pledges so far, it isn’t that bad at all. Hopefully my good feelings about my “fundraising” position will maintain, afterall, I am working for my university, as opposed to some marketing scheme, and I’ll work there for a while.

Below is a funny little clip about what it is like to be a tele – I mean, “fundraiser”.