A dried-up riverbed at Huangyangchuan reservoir in Lanzhou, China. Sign up for Take Action Now and get three actions in your inbox every week.
First, put a 1 pound package of Mueller's spaghetti in a large pot of rapidly boiling water. Allow to cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until most of the water has evaporated.
Add half a bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup, and a half pound of Velveeta cheese. Continue cooking until all the contents have amalgamated.
Allow to cool and de-mold from the pot. Divide into 1 inch slices and fry in chicken-fat. When I was in my early teens, I went to a neighborhood Italian restaurant in the Bronx, and ordered spaghetti. The waiter brought me a bowl of strange-looking stringy things covered with tomato sauce.
What has happened to our field since our first conference 20 years ago cannot be considered without examining the more troubling question of how the world has changed—since I have less than 15 minutes, I will not attempt to objectively summarize that question, but say that speaking subjectively, the world seems more fragile and imperiled than it did in the mid eighties.
Perhaps the world always seems at risk. The political exploitation of the fear of terrorism is as alarming as terrorism itself.
Our dog in this fight may be human survival. My personal response to this condition has lead me to become more active in civic life. It seemed to reflect what all of us were experiencing after the tragedy. Of course, the design problem, in the case of personal interventions, is how to become visible Objectify the audience, understand their desires—appeal to their interests, eliminate the extraneous and presto "effective communication.
I've always loved the painting and have been looking at it for over a half-century beginning with a penny print I bought in kindergarten.
It was in terrible shape, covered with mold and dirt and darkened by centuries of wear and bad restoration — Nevertheless the genius that Leonardo had invested in the work showed through and could not be denied.
I had occasion to visit Milan frequently because I was doing a lot of work for Olivetti, at that time one of the most progressive of all European industrial concerns.
In the eighties they initiated a complete restoration of the painting.
Sadly, Olivetti is no longer an extraordinary example of how a corporation could be a good citizen as well as a profitable business, in fact it no longer exists. On one of my visits to Italy, they arranged for me to visit the painting in the process of being restored. An attractive middle aged matron in a brown business suit was concentrating her attention on the face of Christ, high above the floor on a scaffold that had been constructed next to the painting.
I say painting instead of fresco because, as many of you know, the Last Supper was an experiment in using untested pigments and binders that Leonardo was interested in. This is one of the reasons the work has fared so badly since it was first created.
Pinin Brambilla Barcillon, who had the incredible responsibility of restoring the work single handedly, motioned me up the scaffold alongside her, inches away from the head of Christ, the centerpiece of the painting towards which all forms converged — I cannot describe my emotions as I realized the privilege of seeing Leonardo's work from a vantage point that few will ever have.
The head was a pointillist composition of tiny dots and fragments of color that dissolved into an abstraction as you got closer. Brambilla sat behind an optical instrument that illuminated one square inch of the painting's surface at a time a day's work as she looked through a magnifying lens — Her primary tools were a scalpel, a cotton swab, soap and water.
Layer by layer she was cleaning away the dirt, waxes, varnish and over-painting of centuries. I tried to imagine what might be going through her mind, considering that if she took one extra swipe with her swab, the world's most precious patch of paint could be irreversibly gone.
As it was, only half the original pigment of Christ's face existed once the various retouchings had been carefully removed. After revealing the real Leonardo fragment Dr.
Brambilla would float in a thin neutral film of watercolor around it to unify the image. As I looked at it, I realized that re-creating the image in the mind, out of the bits and pieces that remain, makes the work even more evocative than it might have been originally, a point I want to get to a bit later.
I've returned to re-visit the sublime masterpiece at ground level many time since then and I urge all of you to do the same since the painting and the space it defines are unreproducible. The first thing you'll observe is that your preconceptions about Leonardo's style are challenged—it is not dark and defined by dramatic chiaroscuro: Despite all of this I never understood why the work was so compelling until I read Leo Steinberg's remarkable book.
At this point some of you must be asking "Am I at the right keynote?Included: narrative essay content. Preview text: My watched ticked PM as I waited outside the restaurant for my dinner party to arrive.
It was a particularly chilly summer evening in Silicon Valley, yet it had a warm feeling to it. The bright lights of the restaurant illuminated the busy stree.
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