A Classic Video of Pablo Picasso Marking Art, Set to the Song, “Pablo Picasso,” by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers

Before the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, there were the Modern Lovers, the Boston proto-punk band helmed by lead singer Jonathan Richman. Their sound owed a lot to the Velvet Underground, a band the teenaged Richman idolized, following them to New York City and ingratiating himself to such a degree that their manager allowed him to […]

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Leonardo da Vinci’s Earliest Notebooks Now Digitized and Made Free Online: Explore His Ingenious Drawings, Diagrams, Mirror Writing & More

Do a search on the word “polymath” and you will see an image or reference to Leonardo da Vinci in nearly every result. Many historical figures—not all of them world famous, not all Europeans, men, or from the Italian Renaissance—fit the description. But few such recorded individuals were as feverishly active, restlessly inventive, and astonishingly prolific as Leonardo, who left riddles enough for scholars to solve for many lifetimes.

Leonardo himself, though world-renowned for his talents in the fine arts, spent more of his time conceiving scientific studies and engineering projects. “When he wrote in the early 1480s to Ludovico Sforza, then ruler of Milan, to offer him his services,” remarks Catherine Yvard, Special Collections curator at the Victoria and Albert National Art Library, “he advertised himself as a military engineer, only briefly mentioning his artistic skills at the end of the list.”

But since so few of his projects were, or could be, realized in his lifetime, we can only experience them through his mostly inaccessible, and generally indecipherable, notebooks, which he began keeping after the Duke accepted his application. “None of Leonardo’s predecessors, contemporaries or successors used paper quite like he did,” notes the Victoria and Albert Museum site, “a single sheet contains an unpredictable pattern of ideas and inventions—the workings of both a designer and a scientist.”

Part of the difficulty of piecing his legacy together stems from the fact that his hundreds of pages of notes have been distributed across several institutions and private collections, not all of them accessible to researchers. But ambitious digitization projects are erasing those barriers. We recently featured one, a joint effort of the British Library and Microsoft that brought 570 pages from the Codex Arundel collection to the web. As The Art Newspaper reports, the Victoria and Albert has now launched a similar endeavor, digitizing the Codex Forster notebooks, so named because they came from the private collection of John Forster in 1876.

This collection includes some of Leonardo’s earliest notebooks. Codex Forster I, now online, contains the earliest notebook the V&A holds, dating from about 1487, and the latest, from 1505. “Written in Leonardo’s famous ‘mirror-writing,’” the V&A notes, “the subjects explored within range from hydraulic engineering to a treatise on measuring solids.” Forster II and III should come online soon. “We are planning to make these two other volumes also fully accessible online in 2019 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death,” says Yvard.

The most innovative aspect of this particular project is the use of IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework), a technology that “has enabled us to present the codex in a new way,” remarks Kati Price, V&A’s head of digital media. “We’ve used deep-zoom functionality… to present some of the most spectacular and detailed items in our collection.” Scholars and laypeople alike can take a very close-up look at the many schematics and technical diagrams in the notebooks and see Leonardo’s mind and hand at work.

But while all of us can marvel at the sight of his engineering genius, when it comes to reading his handwriting, we’ll have to rely on experts. Let’s hope the museum will someday supply translations for nonspecialists. In the meantime, explore the digitized manuscripts here.

Related Content:

Leonardo da Vinci’s Visionary Notebooks Now Online: Browse 570 Digitized Pages

Download the Sublime Anatomy Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci: Available Online, or in a Great iPad App

Leonardo Da Vinci’s To Do List (Circa 1490) Is Much Cooler Than Yours

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Leonardo da Vinci’s Earliest Notebooks Now Digitized and Made Free Online: Explore His Ingenious Drawings, Diagrams, Mirror Writing & More is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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Best of Our Blogs: August 31, 2018

What do you when you come to a fork in the road and you’re not sure what to do next?

You created a pros and cons list, sought advice from friends and family, but you’re no closer to knowing what to do next.

I often think that when we don’t have an answer, we don’t have enough information yet. You might need to spend more time in the unknown, do more research or go somewhere quiet to reflect.

This week’s post may help you make that decision by reading about a common issue-unhealthy relationships.

5 Unhealthy Relationship Patterns Childhood Trauma Sets for Us
(Psychology of Self) – There’s a surprising connection between your behavior and relationship problems.

Toxic Behaviors: 12 Examples of Unhealthy Boundaries
(Caregivers, Family & Friends) – He or she drives you crazy. It’s likely they’re pushing your boundaries by doing this.

Four Reasons You Wake Up with a Bad Attitude
(NLP Discoveries) – Wake up on the wrong side of your bed? There could be biological reasons causing your grumpy mood.

Put Your Camera Away! 6 Things to Consider Before You Take Any More Pictures
(Sorting Out Your Life) – See what you’re in danger of when you snap that photo.

How to Reclaim Your Self-Confidence in Codependent Relationships
(Happily Imperfect) – It’s the self-care that’s needed when your worth is dependent on someone else. Read how you can finally begin to release yourself from the chains of codependency.

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Watch the New Trailer for Orson Welles’ Lost Film, The Other Side of the Wind: A Glimpse of Footage from the Finally Completed Film

Orson Welles died more than 30 years ago, and his last feature film F for Fake came out fifteen years before that. But we’ll now have to revise our notions of where his filmography ends, since his long-unfinished project The Other Side of the Wind just debuted at the Venice Film Festival in advance of its November 2nd […]

Watch the New Trailer for Orson Welles’ Lost Film, <i>The Other Side of the Wind</i>: A Glimpse of Footage from the Finally Completed Film is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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Are You Happy Being Miserable?

Everyone knows a few people who almost constantly moan and groan, complain and whine. They blame circumstances and concurrent emotions on others and take little responsibility for how they view the world or their role in their own unhappiness. You might live or work with such a person — or even be one.

In a recent conversation with a long-married woman, she divulged that her husband is a chronic complainer — generally finding the dark cloud surrounding the symbolic silver lining. She chalks it up to a childhood in which emotional literacy was discouraged. He comes from a long line of pessimists. It is a challenge for her to maintain her own generally cheerful demeanor as she searches for ways to do an end-run around the roadblocks to his satisfaction with how his life is unfolding.

I recall a sign in one of my places of employment that had a red circle with a line down the middle and the word “whining” in the center to indicate that this was a “no whining zone.”  I do my best to make my mind that type of place as well.

People complain for a few reasons. “We use complaints as icebreakers,” said Clemson University psychology professor Robin Kowalski, PhD, in speaking to WebMD. “We start a conversation with a negative observation because we know that will get us a bigger response than saying something positive would.”

I wonder how that came to be, since I prefer feeling good to feeling disgruntled. It takes its toll on my vitality and ability to function at peak capacity.

One need look no further than social media or the television screen, which are lively platforms where complaints find comforting homes. Complaints can be the glue that bonds people as in cases when groups might come together over a political stance or a needed change, such as repairing a road filled with potholes. If we see others as sharing our views, we are validated and continue our downward spiral. Misery loves company, indeed. Complaining allows us to vent frustration and anger in safe, socially acceptable ways. It’s good to unload rather than lug these feelings around. But complaining can become habitual — or even addictive.

As someone who ‘shows up, stands up and speaks out,’ when I witness injustice being done, I prefer to focus on ways of making positive change rather than demonizing what I don’t like. When I attend vigils and rallies that are pro-peace, I see signs that put down the opposition. As clever as they are, I choose not to focus on that mindset.

Pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day. What’s the first thing that runs through your mind when you wake up: Is it gratitude or worry? Do you imagine what could go wrong? Do you complain about the other people in your life? Before I roll out of bed, I set an intention (the same one I have had for decades) to ‘have an extraordinary day and connect with amazing people.’ Each day I do just that.

Last year, I experience an ocular impediment in the form of a sty in my left eye. Besides being unsightly (no pun intended) with a swollen appearance, it impaired my vision. I have come to accept that physical symptoms are reflective of internal conditions. Instead of bemoaning it, I took the necessary steps to remedy it. Once I could see more clearly psychologically, I could see more clearly physically. Imagine that!

I also don’t want to see myself as limited in any way. In the past few years, a series of health challenges have had me slowing down even as I resist that necessity. I still work out at the gym and did a 5k in September 2017 and in the midst, felt the fear that my breathing would slow me down as it does when I am on the treadmill or walking fast paced uphill. I tend to minimize my challenges since I reason that others have far more severe impediments in their way.

My father used to guide me with the words, “If that’s the worst thing that happens to you, you’ll be okay.”

Mixed message, that one, since while it seems supportive, I internalized the idea that I had nothing to feel badly about… ever.

Another revelation came courtesy of a friend. After listening to me tell her how lately I have felt overwhelmed with people calling on me for support; some with chronic issues for which they saw no resolution and some who tended to “one up”, as in “my problems are worse than anyone else’s”, she pondered whether I had been taking on the energy until my body reacted by attempting to expel it through my eye. Made sense to me. Once I took in that wisdom, my body complied and cleared out the toxins (not wanting to get too graphic in my description, but suffice it to say that it wasn’t pretty) so that the lump is considerably smaller.

Chronic complaining is also a hazard to your health and is considered contagious. Neuronal mirroring is a factor as well. We see each other as reflections of each other, even if we are not conscious of the connection between us. When we are in the midst of those who are “happy being miserable”, it can be equated to the effect of second-hand smoke. We breathe in toxins even if we are not actually puffing away on the cigarette.

Complaints often focus on our “don’t wants”:

  • “I don’t want to drink or do drugs, but it’s too hard to get clean.”
  • “I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to diet.”
  • “I want to quit smoking, but I’m under too much stress to give it up now.”
  • “I want to be married, but don’t want to change anything in my current lifestyle.”
  • “I want to graduate from college, but don’t really want to do the work involved.”
  • “I want my house to be in order, but I don’t want to clean up after myself.”

I am recalling a dynamic that occurs here in the East Coast region of the United States each winter. As temperatures often plunge below zero and many feet of snow accumulate, folks understandably complain about delays and power outages. Those complaints didn’t stop the snow or the temperatures from falling, nor did they make us any warmer. On the flip side, each summer, people focus on the scorching sun and torrential rain. The truth is, the weather is the weather.

Many people take to social media to complain, knowing they’ll always find those who’ll carp along with them. But eventually complaining becomes ingrained and we see diminishing returns. There are certain things beyond our control, such as the weather, traffic and other people’s choices. What if we could change our focus to what’s working — or better yet, to what we can change?

Try these tips to help break the cycle of chronic complaining and retrain your brain:

  • Focus on what you can control, such as attitude and actions.
  • Evict the invaders in your head that make a mess of your mind.
  • Give yourself a pity party pass. Take time to throw a mini-tantrum. When the “party” is over, leave.
  • List what’s working in your life. Think of your home, family, friends, romantic relationships, work, creative outlets, health, spirituality, and community. Hold an attitude of gratitude.
  • Make a positive change.

In 1981, I spent 10 days hiking, camping and cross-country skiing on an Outward-Bound course. An instructor taught us to be constructive instead of complaining. “If you’re cold, put on a layer of clothes,” he said. “If you’re hot, take off a layer of clothes. If your socks are wet, change them. Out here if your socks freeze, you’ll lose toes.” How often do we stay in “wet socks” when we could put on clean, dry ones?

Finally, remember these wise words from Anthony J. D’Angelo: If you have time to whine and complain about something, then you have the time to do something about it.”

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Enjoy kink? Here's how to handle the 'drop' you may feel after you play

Gay Star News

Susan also says a person experiencing a drop might have a little internalized shame. She said: ‘For some people, the shame of being kinky and having done what you did may be the reason for a drop. We have so much societal disapproval and perhaps what they did conflicts with what their ideas of what a good person does.’ She added: ‘It’s a terrible thing for someone to feel bad about who they are – it’s why community is so important.’

Source: ncsf

John Turturro Introduces America to the World Wide Web in 1999: Watch A Beginner’s Guide To The Internet

There are only two kinds of story, holds a quote often attributed to Leo Tolstoy: a man goes on a journey, or a stranger comes to town. When it set about producing A Beginner’s Guide to the Internet, a “community service video” geared to viewers unfamiliar with the World Wide Web, internet portal company Lycos went with […]

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Both Individual and Group Therapy Shown to Helps Kids with Tics

Involuntary stressful movements or sounds, called tics, can make life difficult for a child. New research finds that both group and individual therapy can be an effective method to overcome tic disorders.

In the new study, a group of Danish researchers compared the effect of different types of therapy to relieve tics. Their positive findings suggest that intervention by therapists can result in a better course of treatment for those children who experience a very difficult life with tics.

One of the researchers behind the study, Dr. Judith Becker Nissen, an associate professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University, said tics can be effectively treated with either group or individual therapy. “This means that many more children and young people can be offered relevant treatment, which is very welcome news for the affected families.”

The research has been published in the scientific journal European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Around 15 percent of all children have tics, and up to one percent of these children have tics that are classified as chronic. When tics continue for more than a year and include both vocal and motoric tics, the disorder is called Tourette’s syndrome.

This disorder can be debilitating for a child, Nissen said.

“Some children suffer from tics to such an extent that they must be given pain relief. They can find it difficult to concentrate, for example because they struggle to keep the tics in check so they don’t disturb their classmates, or because their blinking tics make it difficult to focus.

“In addition, a child who makes strange noises or sudden movements can suffer bullying. We therefore need to help these children get treatment, even though we know that tics often decrease as the brain matures. But the early years are so crucial for a child’s development, thus everything that may reduce tics intensity and frequency needs to be done,”  Nissen said.

According to Nissen, it is particularly important to know of the good effect of group therapy.

“Some parents are concerned that in group therapy their child will copy the other children’s tics and end up with more of them. On the contrary, the children in group therapy are given a selection of exercises that can support them in developing strategies which they and their parents can use if new tics turn up later in their lives.”

Together with her colleagues, Nissen has compiled experience and data from the work with children and parents. These experiences are now gathered in the first Danish manual. The manual is available for therapists and affected families to use.

“It has the advantage of both describing individual and group therapy and of combining multiple methods, so the children are given a broad repertoire of methods and strategies,” Nissen said.

“Previously we’ve relied on American and other guidelines, but cultural differences and experience may play a role for treatment outcome, so it is valuable that Danish children and their parents contribute to the manual.”

Source: Aarhus University/EurekAlert

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Depressed Kids Far More Likely to Have Social, Academic Deficits

Children with severe symptoms of depression in second and third grade are six times more likely to have skill deficits, such as problems with social skills or academics, compared to non-depressed children, according to a new study at the University of Missouri (MU).

And while depressive symptoms may not always be obvious to parents or teachers, identifying academic or social deficits may help detect either current or future depression in the child.

“The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves,” said Dr. Keith Herman, professor in the MU College of Education.

“However, even if a child doesn’t say they feel depressed, certain outward behaviors might provide clues to the state of the child’s mental health. It’s important for teachers and parents to catch these behaviors early to prevent long-term problems that occur with depression.”

It is also important to note that parents and teachers may be seeing different sides of the same coin, and that both may be correct.

“When you ask teachers and parents to rate a child’s level of depression, there is usually only about 5-10 percent overlap in their ratings. For example, the teacher might report that a child has difficulties making friends in class, but the parent might not notice this issue at home,” said Herman.

“Some people would view that overlap as the truth about a child’s well-being and areas of disagreement as errors, but we need to explore the possibility that they each are seeing different aspects of children’s behavior and mental health.”

For the study, Herman and education professor Dr. Wendy Reinke observed 643 children in early elementary school to investigate how patterns between student, teacher and parent reporting can be used to gain a holistic picture of a child’s mental health.

They discovered that even though 30 percent of the children reported feeling mildly to severely depressed, parents and teachers often failed to recognize the child as depressed. However, teachers and parents were better at identifying other symptoms that might predict long-term risk for depression, such as social problems, inattention and skill deficits.

This could be crucial, as Herman found that the children showing severe signs of depression were six times more likely to have skill deficits than their peers.

Herman said mental health workers can help teachers and parents identify depressive symptoms early by including self-reports from children in mental health evaluations. Screenings also should consider social difficulties, inattention and skill deficits as this might help provide support to at-risk children before they develop further symptoms of depression.

The study is published in the Journal of School Psychology.

As many as 2 to 3 percent of children ages 6-12 might have major depressive disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Source: University of Missouri-Columbia

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