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.
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I googled the term Chinese purple and found this link which breaks the finding down into a little simpler explanation. Happy reading!
RedPlum.com publishes grocery coupons – we’ve all seen the colorful sheets that arrive in the mailbox. Continue reading
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.
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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