Archive for October 24th, 2006


Fascinating and poignant article in today’s NYT about an artist who painted self-portraits to document the progression of his Alzheimer’s. Be sure to check out the slideshow; by the end of the sequence he’s barely even recognizable as a person.

The first thing I thought of was the cat art of Louis Wain, and William Kurelek’s incredible, Bosch-like painting, The Maze, two dramatic examples of the profound effect that mental disorders can have on the creative process. And yes, they both were in that Time-Life book on The Mind – what of it?

Anyway, I don’t really have a point, except that I think this sort of thing is really cool, but at the same time I feel kind of ghoulish and guilty for doing so.

3 comments October 24th, 2006 at 09:56pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Science,Weirdness

Random Sick ‘n’ Cranky Blogging

1) Sick. Sick as the sixth sheik’s sixth sheep since Saturday evening. This was when my sinuses responded to some perceived affront by drawing all the mucus and moisture from my throat up into the vicinity of my left nostril. It’s a bit like the process by which pearls are created, but with a considerably less valuable work product.

By Sunday night, the combination of liquefied sinuses and bone-dry throat produced a sensation not unlike simultaneously drowning and inhaling cigarette smoke – after gargling ground glass. There was some kind of awful synergy with my bad ear (too much headphone-wearing in my misspent data-entering youth) too, which just added to the overall soreness and misery. I probably got about four hours of sleep while trying to fight it off, which my subconscious or unconscious attempted to render into terms I could relate to (I’m hazy on the details, but I’m pretty sure I had to go through some kind of approval process to request temporary passageways that I could breathe through).

After that, it wasn’t so bad. I’m a bit lightheaded, and my throat is still kinda sore (not so dry now – I’ve even started coughing), and my nose is still stuffy, and I have to periodically retire to the men’s room to make elephant-graveyard noises. But this too shall pass. If this runs its typical course, I expect that by tomorrow I will feel fine but sound awful.

Well. That was considerably longer than I expected, and was not really intended as a woe-is-me-my-life-is-miserable post; I’ve certainly been through worse. There was probably only about an 8-12 hour period on Sunday night where I was sick enough that I would have had to call off from work (my benchmark for “really really sick”).

2) Disgusting Hypothetical Invention I Would Totally Pay Money For Right Now: “Nostril Vacuum”.

3) One of my favorite Phillip Glass pieces is “Open The Kingdom,” from Songs Of Liquid Days, but it always makes me think “Open The Kingdome.” I suppose “Demolish The Kingdome” would be more apt.

4) The word for “lawyer” in French and possibly Spanish is very similar to “avocado” – is this a coincidence, or did lawyers used to be greener and bumpier in Ye Olden Tymes?

5 comments October 24th, 2006 at 08:12pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Favorites

Wee Backup Camera Photoblogging

Here are some pictures I took with my new shirt-pocket-sized Panasonic Lumix backup camera, which is a pretty decent 6-megapixel camera in its own right:

This was the first picture I took to test out the new camera.

Random hubcap I saw on the way to work.

Yes, the new camera can take pictures in color…

3 comments October 24th, 2006 at 07:50am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

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