News 08.19.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 08.19.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 08.19.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 08.19.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The roll of scientists born in the 19th century is as impressive as any century in history. Names such as Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, George Washington Carver, Alfred North Whitehead, Louis Agassiz, Benjamin Peirce, Leo Szilard, Edwin Hubble, Katharine Blodgett, Thomas Edison, Gerty Cori, Maria Mitchell, Annie Jump Cannon and Norbert Wiener created a legacy of knowledge and scientific method that fuels our modern lives. Which of these, though, was ‘the best’?

Remarkably, in the brilliant light of these names, there was in fact a scientist who surpassed all others in sheer intellectual virtuosity. Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), pronounced ‘purse’, was a solitary eccentric working in the town of Milford, Pennsylvania, isolated from any intellectual centre. Although many of his contemporaries shared the view that Peirce was a genius of historic proportions, he is little-known today. His current obscurity belies the prediction of the German mathematician Ernst Schröder, who said that Peirce’s ‘fame [will] shine like that of Leibniz or Aristotle into all the thousands of years to come’.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon

News 08.19.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 08.19.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

She was an heiress without a cause — an indifferent student, an unhappy young bride, a miscast socialite. Her most enduring passion was for birds.

But Cordelia Scaife May eventually found her life’s purpose: curbing what she perceived as the lethal threat of overpopulation by trying to shut America’s doors to immigrants.

She believed that the United States was “being invaded on all fronts” by foreigners, who “breed like hamsters” and exhaust natural resources. She thought that the border with Mexico should be sealed and that abortions on demand would contain the swelling masses in developing countries.

An heiress to the Mellon banking and industrial fortune with a half-billion dollars at her disposal, Mrs. May helped create what would become the modern anti-immigration movement. She bankrolled the founding and operation of the nation’s three largest restrictionist groups — the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies — as well as dozens of smaller ones, including some that have promulgated white nationalist views.

From 2005 to 2017, the Colcom Foundation gave millions to anti-immigration and population-control groups, some with close ties to the Trump administration.

Mrs. May’s story helps explain the ascendance of once-fringe views in the debate over immigration in America, including exaggerated claims of criminality, disease or dependency on public benefits among migrants. Though their methods radically diverged, Mrs. May and the killer in the recent mass shooting in El Paso applied the same language, both warning of an immigrant “invasion,” an idea also promoted by Mr. Trump.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

Tuscany Tote | Belgrave Crescent

Shop the Tuscany Tote at Belgrave Crescent

Keanu Reeves, Explained

It started in the pub, as all the best research does: Media studies professors Renee Middlemost (University of Wollongong) and Sarah Thomas (University of Liverpool) found themselves wondering where all the stars had gone. In 2019, in an age of fractured media landscapes and niche celebrities everywhere, does anyone in Hollywood have truly universal name recognition and appeal? Does there still exist a public figure whose persona can unite and speak to fragmented audiences without excluding or alienating anyone?

Tom Hanks, they asked? Nah, too rooted in nostalgia. Leonardo DiCaprio? Or Denzel Washington? Maybe, but can you see either of them playing to a crowd of people steeped in video games or YouTube culture? Will Smith or Samuel L. Jackson? While their careers span decades, neither of them seem to have the current cultural staying power they once did.

But what about Keanu?

Read the rest of this article at: Vox

News 08.19.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Arthur Jafa in Bloom

News 08.19.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Sought after by Spike Lee, Stanley Kubrick, and Solange Knowles alike, the visual artist is changing representations of blackness in museums and beyond.

Arthur Jafa photographed at his studio in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles on May 21, 2019. Success has come late for the artist, 58, who has had a long career in commercial film — but it has also come all at once. Last spring, Jafa was awarded the Golden Lion for best participant at the Venice Art Biennale.CreditCreditWayne Lawrence

“VIBES,” SAYS ARTHUR JAFA, clicking through images on a screen in his Los Angeles studio, all part of an extended mood board for a future project — photographs from the Harlem Renaissance, glamorous black-and-whites of vintage cars and fashion, work by Roy DeCarava — “more vibes.” It’s the morning after Jafa’s 58th birthday, and the polymathic artist, cinematographer and theorist of black culture threw himself a party the night before in this space in the West Adams neighborhood, not far from his home in Ladera Heights. The spotless studio is now empty save for a suite of computers and a large-scale photographic printer the size of a refrigerator. On one wall, there’s a sculpture: a seated man, his horrifically fissured back turned to the viewer. The work was inspired by an 1863 abolitionist photograph of a former slave identified as Gordon — it is at once abject and regal and, in Jafa’s 2017 rendition, creepily mesmerizing. The space is new, a place to test out ideas before placing them in a gallery, and late in the day, he shows me a prototype that didn’t work out, tucked in the back: an adult-size oblong of industrial-grade plastic. It takes a few moments of mounting dread to understand that I’m looking at the bundled shape of a lynched woman, meant to be part of a series called “Hang Time.” “Now I have a $60,000 hat stand,” he says dryly.

Success has come late and all at once for Jafa — he still mostly goes by A.J. — but his influence was everywhere long before we knew his name, before he won the Golden Lion for best artist at the Venice Art Biennale last spring. He shot Spike Lee’s 1994 “Crooklyn” and did second-unit cinematography for Stanley Kubrick’s 1999 “Eyes Wide Shut.” He co-directed the haunting video for Jay-Z’s 2017 “4:44,” which collages together images of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy and a pair of dancers, Okwui Okpokwasili and Storyboard P, locked in a pas de deux of sorrow and repentance. He shot Solange’s 2016 videos “Don’t Touch My Hair” and “Cranes in the Sky,” and his influence is evident in Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” the film co-directed by his friend Kahlil Joseph and based on the 2016 album of the same name. Its aesthetics were inspired by Julie Dash’s landmark 1991 film, “Daughters of the Dust,” about an early 20th-century Gullah family’s migration from the Georgia Sea Islands to the mainland. The lushly gorgeous “Daughters,” a touchstone in black filmmaking from the moment it was released, was shot by Jafa — who also produced the film with Dash, then his wife — after their cinematographer took another job. Its distinctive look merges Dash’s concept with Jafa’s intuitive visual instincts. (The celebrated painter Kerry James Marshall served as production designer.) Jafa had never worked with a 35-millimeter camera before, but the film earned him the cinematography award at Sundance.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

“A Stunning Coup”: The Almost Unsolvable Harry Winston Diamond Heists

News 08.19.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Despite his grittiness, Allou created an oddly literary impression in the courtroom. “He was like someone out of an old gangster movie, in the way he talked,” Carvajal says. “He took responsibility [for his part], but wouldn’t rat on the brains.”

On the stand, Allou spoke of how he’d changed since the heists, and not for the better. Harry Winston had been at a different time for him, he said. “It was an era when I believed in friendship more than anything else. Now I don’t have a friend anymore. I am alone.”

“Why do you say that?” asked the prosecution.

“I used to have one friend,” he clarified, “but it was unrequited. He mocked me to my face.”

Allou and Doudou had nearly come to blows after Allou was caught speeding with the 40,000 euros. Doudou couldn’t believe how careless he’d been and was merciless in his contempt. Still, he helped find someone who vouched for the cash, providing customs letters outlining the provenance of the funds from abroad. Prosecutors encouraged Allou to condemn his former best friend, but he refused, speaking only of their relationship as terminated. Of his many ailments, he seemed more brokenhearted than anything else.

The inside man, Mouloud Djennad, cracked completely. In the lead-up to the trial, he revealed to investigators that he’d deactivated the alarm sensors in the stairwell the night before the first robbery, allowing the robbers to spend the night inside, undetected. “If I hadn’t been fired,” he added, “I think there could have been three or four more robberies.”

Unlike Allou or Doudou, he expressed sincere regret for his actions, telling the court that he was “ashamed every day, but I cannot undo what I’ve done.” He’d been cornered, he said, unable to say no. Genuinely remorseful, he started crying on the stand, head in hands, after an ex-colleague came to testify about the trauma of what happened. “She wouldn’t even look at him; she just walked right by him,” Carvajal says. “He’d ruined his life for 50,000 euros.”

Djennad’s five-year sentence (three of them suspended) ended up being lighter than the 15 years given to Doudou, who’d been eligible for a life sentence. Allou, who received 10 years, didn’t seem too fazed. He testified that he had by then “stopped thinking,” that he no longer thinks at all.

Read the rest of this article at: Vanity Fair

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