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The Month Of Poems That You Used To Know By Heart

It’s April, it’s spring, and it’s National Poetry Month in the U.S. This is a good occasion to scan the web for poetry. We found some gems to brighten up our lifes, hypnotize our minds and remind us of our forgetfulness.

Animated Poetry

Animated poetry can be a mesmerizing way to rediscover and enjoy poems. One of our favourites is Julian Grey’s animation of Billy Collins’ poem “Forgetfulness”. The animation underlines the intelligent humor and insight, Billy Collins’ poems are loved for.

Forgetfulness

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Spoken Word Poetry @TED

Sarah Kay is one of the founders of Project V.O.I.C.E, a lovely project that aims to use poetry as a way to entertain and educate. Sarah’s TED Talk “If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B … “ recently inspired standing ovations. Enjoy!

PDF Poetry For The Busy

The Academy of American Poets, spin doctor of the National Poetry Month, aims to bring poetry to everyday life. The Academy wants to get even the busiest people involved. Take for example these pocket-sized poem PDFs. You can click a pocket and share the attached poems with others. Download, print, and enjoy!

iPhone Poetry

The App Store wouldn’t be the App Store if there wasn’t a handy app that brings poetry to our touchscreens. “Poem Flow” delivers a new poem each day in order to create an invisible community of simultaneous readers. Join the flow!

By the way, which poems do you (still) know by heart?

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H.

Happy Birthday, Dear Vincent!

Vincent van Gogh was born 158 years ago on 30 March 1853 in Groot-Zundert, a village in the southern Netherlands. He died, largely unknown, at the age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the most important contributors to the foundation of modern art.

For his birthday we found this gem of digital artist Philip Scott Johnson who has morphed Vincent van Gogh’s self portraits into this great video.

Meanwhile swiss comedian and cabaret artist Ursus Wehrli has tidyed up the artist’s bedroom and has given a very entertaining TED Talk about his project Tidying Up Art.

However, due to time and self inflicted gun shots, visiting van Gogh today should bring you to Auvers-sur-Oise next time you come to France. Happy Birthday, Vincent van Gogh!

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M.

Malcolm Gladwell: The Power Of Generalizations To Impress The Bored

malcolm-gladwell-book-generator-tipping-point
Click on the image to generate a new best seller!

Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker‘s bestselling pop-sociologist, is a phenomenon. Using anecdotal evidence to jump to sweeping generalizations he is able to produce a continuous row of bestsellers.

  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000): Gladwell received a US$1.5 million advance for The Tipping Point, which sold 1.7 million copies by 2006.
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005): Popular science on the adaptive unconscious; mental processes that work rapidly and automatically from relatively little information.
  • Outliers: The Story of Success (2008): Could be described as a form of autobiography, as Gladwell mixes in elements from his own life.
  • What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009): A compilation of 19 articles by Malcolm Gladwell that were originally published in The New Yorker

Cory Bortnicker and Brett Molé had enough of waiting any longer for the next title to come out and produced a Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator adding more and more shallow best sellers to the list. One by one, click by click, give it a try. It’s hilarious!

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S.

Staring at the Wall

YouTube

Youtube (Staring at the Wall) by Helmut Smits
Youtube (Staring at the Wall) by Helmut Smits

Year: 2010
Materials: nails in different sizes, wall
Dimensions: 3 x 3 cm

Apple

Candlelight by Helmut Smits
Candlelight by Helmut Smits

Year: unknown
Materials: Tape, MacBook Pro
Dimensions: 15″

Google Earth

Dead Pixel in Google Earth by Helmut Smits
Dead Pixel in Google Earth by Helmut Smits

Year: 2008-2010
Materials: burned square, grassland
Dimensions: 82 x 82 cm

Make sure you check out all the inspiring ideas by Helmut Smits at his web site or in his book “123 Ideas by Helmut Smits”:

123 Ideas by Helmut Smits

And if you are lucky one of them flies by…

Title: Pamphlet
Year: 2006
Materials: computer, software, printer
People could type a message on the laptop. By pressing ‘send’ a pamphlet was printed and dropped from the 10th floor.

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T.

The History Of The Two-Party Presidential Vote Mapped

Cloropleths vs Isarithmic: Voting within or without boundaries

There have been two major ways to understand populations and their territorial distribution. In one kind, typified by choropleth maps, the density or degree of a feature is mapped in pre-given political units.*

Cloropleths Map of the Presidential Vote 2008
Cloropleths Map (c) David B. Sparks

As second kind of map, known as isarithmic mapping (…), shows change varying continiously over space.*

isarithmic map of the presidential vote 2008
Isarithmic mapping (c) David B. Sparks

Where chloropleths maps produce a sense of populations as contained within boundaries, isarithmic mapping emphasizes continual variation and gradual change without clear differentiations.*

References

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