PBS explores CHINA’S TERRACOTTA WARRIORS

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My Little Man

China’s Terracotta Warrior

Did you see the PBS special on China’s Terracotta Warriors which aired last week? The warriors are a bunch of life sized terracotta sculptures found in the tomb of China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. He was famous for joining all the warring territories into one consolidated China. I saw the exhibit at the High Museum a few years ago, and was properly astounded at the workmanship, and physical size of the warriors, horses, and other entities which were housed in the tomb. (Do you like my post pic? It’s my cheaply purchased homage to the warriors, but I do feel he has some mystical powers of protection for my home.)

The PBS special explored how the sculptures were manufactured, where the clay was found, etc. A little blurb at the end talked about the man-made color “Chinese purple” which they found was composed of barium and lead. When flakes of the color were exposed to a super magnet in a super cooled environment, the color changed properties. Being a lay person, this quantum physics dimensional lesson was totally lost on me. Apparently this is a new scientific finding that may have application in the future for superconductors, and transportation such as high speed trains.
I googled the term Chinese purple and found this link which breaks the finding down into a little simpler explanation. Happy reading!

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ATLANTA MANO A MANO

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So I was sitting in Starbucks minding my own business, trying not to be distracted by the baldish Hari Krishna person dressed in bright orange who may just have been a trendy female with sunglasses perched on top of his/her head, or by the self-important woman talking loudly on her cell, or the discussion of why Kate Middleton’s wedding was making prime time news on all major television channels.  I sat facing the open window enjoying the sun and the blueness of the day, isolated in a crowded Starbucks.
My peripheral vision barely registered a man who entered, and excused himself to talk to a patron who sat nearby.  He mumbled something and I heard her profusely apologize.  I then heard “excuse me” in my air space, and the same man who I barely  noticed, was now trying to get my attention.  He looked scraggly, with dry ashy skin and an unkempt appearance.  I’m just saying he definitely was not the typical Starbucks patron.  I’m not even sure what he asked as I was high off Albuterol from an asthma test I had taken twenty minutes before, but it was something about wanting some help getting food.  I offered to buy him some food from the display case.  I could be wrong, but as he tilted his head, I perceived that he tried to figure out some way not to accept the offer of food, but spin it into some cash (?? just saying).  Maybe the Albuterol glazed look in my eyes made him realize the futility of a cash offering.
I walked with him to the display case and suggested a sandwich.  There were three sandwich containers which all contained turkey and cheese.  He mulled over the three for a long while, and then requested the pound cake.  I shook my head no, and again suggested a sandwich.  He mentioned that he was so hungry and thirsty, and asked the cashier for two pieces of pound cake, like a vague “mano-a-mano” bond was going to override my hard cash.  I suggested he needed protein more than sugar.  Then I had a thought that maybe I was being too controlling but I felt a need to treat him like a child; protein is much more important that sugar, yes?
“What’s your story Mr. Man?” I ask.
“I just got into town, and don’t have a car or a place to stay.”
“Where are you from?”
“Michigan.”
“Oh!  What part of Michigan?”
“Milwaukee.”
“Umm, Milwaukee is in Wisconsin?”
He laughs. “It’s the heat.”
I left that thread alone.  The cashier was in a tug of war when again Mr. Man asked for the pound cake, so I firmly stated that I would not buy sugar since protein was more nutritious. Mr. Man ended up with only two cartons of milk.  In retrospect, a sugar fix is probably what he needed in lieu of a solid pharmaceutical fix (just saying).  He left the store reluctantly. I know Mr. Man was now sorry he targeted me.
I moved outside to escape the too cool a/c ambiance.  Fifteen minutes later I watched as Mr. Man from Milwaukee, Michigan sauntered up and again entered Starbucks.
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Teenage Paparazzo

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Anybody see Adrian Grenier’s HBO special, “Teenage Paparazzo?”  The film dealt with the question of why the world seems so transfixed by celebrity.  Much of Grenier’s limelight has come from playing Vincent on the HBO show, “Entourage.”  In the series, he plays a celebrity  who gets loads of attention from adoring fans.  Grenier is puzzled that because he plays that character, in real life he also enjoys that same attention and adoration.  While he doesn’t eschew the fame, he does note that the adoration is “insidious.”   My take on that is that attention from fans is probably like the best high, and  like a recreational drug, it’s still craved when it’s absent.

Grenier tries to get his answers from the inside out; he focused on a thirteen year old boy Austin, who is a kid  paparazzo, and sprinkled in philosophies from professional educators, and reflections from other mega stars.  The idea I liked best was from Henry Jenkins, Professor of Media Studies , MIT.  Ages ago we lived in small towns and villages where everyone knew everyone.  Gossip was about the town drunk or the village harlot.  Because we have become so global, we can’t talk about the crackhead next door or the idiot down the street because the other person doesn’t know them, so we discuss celebrities.  Essentially it’s not so much about the celebrity,  it’s about coming together to discuss something we have in common.  It’s really about modern day socializing.  Family and friends are no longer nuclear – we live all over the country and the world.   Celebrities are what we have in common; they bring us together.  As Jenkins says, “It’s a vehicle to share values.”

It’s a very intelligent and entertaining exploration – see it if you can.  Let me know what you think.

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CONFESSIONS OF A NEW MILLENNIUM SPINSTER

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I coined this term five years ago and am still claiming club membership:  “New Millennium Spinster.”

It was something the deejay on my car radio said about old women hanging out in the clubs– a thought so startling hit me that I almost rear-ended the car in front of me.   I am a spinster!  I confess that me –  ex-fly girl, ex-trend and bar hopper – am a woman who has remained single beyond the conventional age for marrying. Continue reading

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