Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nuclear meltdowns, war photography, aesthetics, and more: The week in review

Spring is in the air in this corner of the world. This week has been filled with reminders that it's getting close to the season for strawberry rhubarb pie, probably the best pie in the history of pies. Let the others eat cake. I'll have a slice of pie instead.

Anyway, things gleaned from this past week are featured below the cut.

- News about Japan has been all over the place, especially concerning the nuclear reactors. With so many sources, it's difficult to know for sure which stories are legitimate and which are over-blown. The Atlantic featured one of the better reads, called What the Media Doesn't Get About Meltdowns. Boing Boing also featured a brief explanation of nuclear energy called Nuclear Energy 101: Inside the "black box" of power plants. It's worth reading, especially because it'd be good to believe that the situation in Japan won't get worse. The videos of flooding and general devastation have been hard to watch, so I can't even imagine what the displaced citizens must feel like.

- We've all regretted some things we've posted online, right? That's what happens when we post first and think later. I would like to give these individuals the benefit of the doubt, and say that perhaps they are ignorant of being totally ignorant.

- You know what I'm curious about? I'm curious about the nuclear plant in Pickering, not too far from the fair city of Toronto. We felt a very, very minor earthquake here last year. Is it at all possible that future tectonic rumblings could destabilize anything? Safety first, fellas.

- This isn't recent, but you should see the World Press Photo winners gallery for 2011. You can see some of the best work from photojournalists around the world. I think that's all I really need to say about that.
On a similar note, I've been told to watch a documentary called War Photographer. It's about James Nachtwey. His work is fantastic and harrowing. Emphasis on the harrowing. If anyone has seen this doc and would like to weigh in on it, please do.

- In much, much lighter photographic fare... I have never seen Basset Hounds running like this. Their expressions are priceless.

- Are you a fan of Dr. Who? Are you a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Put them together, and the TV intro might look something like this.

- If you like fantasy art, the Spectrum 18 award winners were announced this week. I was already a fan of artists such as Dan Dos Santos, Sam Weber, and Kekai Kotaki. There's room for a new favourite, Joao Ruass, aka the guy who does the Fables covers now that James Jean has moved on to other projects.

- I'm curious about what makes something beautiful. That's why I really enjoy a couple of sites that are devoted to the complexities of beauty. One is called Ideas of Order, and the other is Pleasing Aesthetics. Both are worth scrolling through.

- So much for continuing my re-read of A Song of Ice and Fire. The one and only Leigh Butler at has decided to focus some of her attention and humour on reading and recapping George R.R. Martin's series. The first post is up.

- This might be a bit of a tangent, but at the end of the latest comic by Kate Beaton, she includes a link to a new comic by a friend of hers. That comic is an illustration of the Táin Bó Cúailnge, a fantastic Irish epic (THE Irish epic?). So far, Chapter 1 is up at About A Bull. I'm going to keep an eye on that one because I enjoyed the story as a kid.

- Music choice of the week: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, getting down and dirty with rock and roll. You might want to turn this up.

And for a bit of fun, this is from the BBC: "Thom Yorke may feel like dancing about Radiohead's latest release, but it drove this fan into therapy. Is he a weirdo, or is he just thinking what everyone else is thinking?" (Disclaimer: I love Radiohead.)

That's all for now. If you'll excuse me, I have brunch to get to, followed by some apartment-hunting, followed by a couple of photo shoots. Have a great weekend!

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