July 20 th 1969 : Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11. Neil Armstrong became the first to actually step onto the moon six hours after landing on July 21 1969.
Q: Girls are discouraged? That sounds so 1970s.
A: There was a 2001 study that showed in fourth grade, 68% of boys and 66% of girls like science. Starting in sixth, seventh and eighth grade, we lose girls and boys, but we lose more girls and for different reasons: lingering stereotypes, societal pressures. It’s well known that many girls have a tendency to dumb down when they’re in middle school. Just last week, I was talking to senior executives, and a woman told me that she was the best biology student in high school and had the highest exam scores. At the end of the semester, a teacher told her: “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to give the award in biology to a boy, because it’s more important to him.” Almost every time that I give a speech or meet with a group of women, I’ll hear such stories.
Q: Boys earn 70% of the D’s and F’s in school and account for 80% of dropouts. Shouldn’t we fear more for their future?
A: It’s a big problem. Women earn the majority of undergraduate degrees in the U.S. and last year earned more Ph.D.s than men. But keeping girls in the science and math pipeline is a separate problem with different causes. It’s important we address both. You don’t stop research on breast cancer just because heart disease is also deadly. You work on both.
Q: Suppose you were an executive of a corporation that needs engineers. You meet a girl in high school. She scored in the 99th percentile in math on her SATs, yet says she wants to major in psychology or go to law school, because those careers sound more interesting. What do you tell her?
A: I’d introduce her to the coolest female engineer in the company. Girls tend to have a stereotype of engineers being 65-year-old guys who wear lab coats and pocket protectors and look like Einstein. Try to make it personal to them and show them some of the cool things that they can do in engineering.
Q: Let’s talk Lawrence Summers. The Harvard president recently resigned after giving a controversial speech a year ago suggesting that men might simply be predisposed to be better at math and science. Is there at least a grain of truth in what he said?
A: (Laughs). Suppose you came across a woman lying on the street with an elephant sitting on her chest. You notice she is short of breath. Shortness of breath can be a symptom of heart problems. In her case, the much more likely cause is the elephant on her chest.
For a long time, society put obstacles in the way of women who wanted to enter the sciences. That is the elephant. Until the playing field has been leveled and lingering stereotypes are gone, you can’t even ask the question.
Q: I will anyway. There are many obvious biological differences between men and women. This can’t be one?
A: There are obvious differences, but until you eliminate the more obvious cause, it’s difficult to get at the question scientifically. Look at law, medicine and business. In 1970 — that’s not ancient history — law school was 5% female, med school was 8% and business school was 4%. You could have taken a look at those numbers and concluded that women don’t make good lawyers or doctors. The statistics might have supported you. But today, all of those fields are about 50-50."
Smart page with string
These pages from a late-16th-century scientific manuscript share a most unusual feature: they contain a string that runs through a pierced hole. Dozens of them are found in this book. The pages contain diagrams that accompany astronomical tracts. They show such things as the working of the astrolabe (Pic 1), the position of the stars (Pic 4), and the movement of the sun (Pic 6). The book was written and copied by the cartographer Jean du Temps of Blois (born 1555), about whom little appears to be known. The book contains a number of volvelles or wheel charts: revolving disks that the reader would turn to execute calculations. The strings seen in these images are another example of the “hands-on” kind of reading the book facilitates. Pulling the string tight and moving it from left to right, or all the way around, would connect different bits of data, like a modern computer: the string drew a temporary line between two or more values, highlighting their relationship. The tiny addition made the physical page as smart as its contents.
Melbourne Writer’s Festival Salman Rushdie tickets booked. Bless you, Apple calendar reminder alerts.
Just had one of those irrational, obsessive printmaker moments.
I got angry that my boyfriend has been gouging the peanut butter.
Take that, stickers. Haha.
Edit: there were stickers on all four sides, @gizo. So nyah.
Operation let’s make a desk from art store packing materials has begun. Zinc crate and Hahnemühle paper plywood. Why so many stickers???
A couple of my artworks have been selected recently as finalists in art prizes, so I had them professionally photographed today. What a difference it makes. Photo credits to Tim Gresham. I couldn’t be happier.
The top etching, Taurus, 4.9h, +15°, NQ1, 17th (Leonie Connellan, 2013, etching and letterpress on paper, text from The Odyssey by Homer), is a finalist in the 2014 Flanagan Art Exhibition at St Patrick’s College in my home town, Ballarat.
The second image, Leo, 11h, +15°, NQ2, 12th (Leonie Connellan, 2013, etching and letterpress on paper, text from The Sea Wolf by Jack London), is a finalist in the Fremantle Print Prize in Perth, one of the biggest print prizes in Australia.
An addition to my last post, here’s a piece of video art I made back in 2008 when dismantling one of my knitted galaxies. It’s called Let Me Make Them Well, in reference to an R.E.M. song that I can’t remember the name of and am pretty sure I misremembered the lyrics to (these are my mistakes, let me make them well…)
We visit Fritz Haeg at his home and studio in Los Angeles and receive the assignment to make a rag rug! But not just any rag rug—one that you make over time and do something on. Find more detailed instruction here.
EPISODE 10 INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Gather old textiles (clothes, bed sheets, etc.)
2. Make a rug
3. Share your journey of making the rug and what you do on it
4. Upload it using #theartassignment
5. Fame and glory (your work might be in a future episode)
Learn more about Fritz Haeg.
Back in 2008, the final year of my undergrad degree, my major project involved spinning yarn, knitting it into pi-based galaxies, printing with that yarn, unravelling it, re-dyeing it using a set of random rules and a 20-sided die, then crocheting a Lorenz manifold. I was going to use the actual manifold as my final piece, but I ended up photographing it at a point when I’d run out of yarn and using those photographs to create a number of print and textile based wall works and artists books instead. Here’s a few photos from the process, more can be found here:
A recent episode of Radiolab really hit home with me; the one about things and memory and objects acting as time machines. I’m with Robert on this one. I get that. For me also, the act of making works in the same way. Every stitch I make takes is imbued with a place and time. My Lorenz manifold — my crocheted chaos — has so many memories in each stitch. 2008 was a very difficult year. The making of that object helped me through, and while I finished the project, I never finished the crochet pattern. I didn’t need to, as the books and wall works brought a conclusion to the project, but I never knew what to do with the actual crochet. I didn’t want to throw it out, so it’s been sitting in a plastic box for six years, with a vague thought that I’d spin some more yarn and finish it at some point.
Today I began undoing every stitch. It’s time to let go. The new Art Assignment project calls for old t-shirts or things from around the house to be made into a rug, but I’ll be making mine from this fine, fragile, handmade wool that has seen me at my worst and my best.
Most of you probably know this is one of the Angel’s from Hellboy. But did you know that this is actually a more accurate protrayel of what angels are apparently supposed to look like according to The Bible? Although, and correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I remember they had 6 wings, covered with eyes on the wings. And had two eyes on their face, but used 2 wings to cover their face at all times, because if a mortal ever saw their face they would die. Angels from the bible are fucking terrifying honestly. :P
Yes they are.
So when Mary was visited by the angel….she was probably shrieking her head off.
Woah, this rules. The Old Testament is so creepy and gnarly.
boring personal tidbit/rambling: When I was a kid I used compulsive behaviors to control my extreme anxiety. I was also raised Southern Pentecostal which focuses a lot on Old Testament scripture. We were told about what angels really looked like in Sunday School when I was 6 or so. The bible mentions multiple faces, being covered in eyeballs, constant singing, lion heads, etc. This spawned an extreme fear of angels and they became the butt of my anxieties (“If I open and close this door 10 times I won’t see an angel”). I use to pray to never see an angel, and I had recurring nightmares that my sister locked me in a room with cement angel statues that came to life and approached me while screaming. Then they would skin me and sacrifice me.
If you think about it, angels are kind of horrifying. Besides being described as beasts and monsters, they’re practically brainless drones. Heavenly angels are only one step removed from demons. The only difference is demons fell from heaven because they chose to follow Lucifer… who was an angel (angel of music and one of god’s favorites). So they are these eyeball covered animal mashed up monsters who were only created to worship for eternity (part of humanities creation was so that something would choose to love god, not just worship him because they were created to). Angels fall into a lot of new age and conspiracy beliefs too which my church believed and taught. We were taught that the supernatural realms went in the order of Heaven, Hell, then Earth. So when the angels fell from heaven with Lucifer, some fell through hell and landed on Earth. We were taught they intermarried with early humans and created giants (Goliath’s origins) and taught witch craft to women (make-up, sluttiness, etc.) Imagine learning all of that nonsense as a 5 year old kid.
HEY!! haha, this is EXACTLY the concept amy & I are messing around with in the angel project. Angels are such creepy and interesting beings when you examine the source material. We’re also playing with the fact that technically, angels have made their only moral choice, and so experience morality only in theory, which is fun
our designs for our angel characters are based on the non-humanoid or vaguely humanoid “canon” angels, which can be anything from a ball of wings covered in eyes to a huge, living wheel to animals on fire
I love it when people actually know Angels are not winged bishies that sparkle and love mankind. They’re abominations, they’re alien, they’re beyond us. They’re creatures that biology as we know it does not apply to. Often they do not love mankind, they love God and God alone.
Really, Neon Genesis Evangeleon had a better idea of what Angels should really look and behave like (mindlessly subservient and driven towards their goal) than any other work of fiction I’ve seen so far. Though I’ve heard some tidbits from Supernatural at least, which has angels taking on human form but describing just what they look like when they’re not wearing their skin.
Leo, 11h, +15°, NQ2, 12th
Etching and letterpress on paper
Text from The Sea-Wolf, Jack London
Leo is a zodiac constellation of the northern skies. We share a name (almost: mine is the feminine version), so I’ve always had a soft spot for the lion. Leo is an autumn/winter constellation in Australia, visible across a large swathe of sky to the north. His most prominent star is Regulus, which is actually two pairs of stars that make up a four-star system that sits at his heart and means “little king” or “prince”. It’s followed in brightness by the young Denebola, “the lions’s tail”.
Leo represents the Nemean lion, who was the first victim of the twelve labours of Heracles (Hercules). The lion couldn’t be killed with arrows, so Heracles trapped him in his cave before wrestling him to death. He then used the lion’s own claws to cut off its pelt.
For a long time I would glance at this text, forgetting where it was from, and assuming it was Moby Dick. It’s not, but the description reminds me of Ahab. Instead, it’s Jack London again, this time with The Sea-Wolf.
Next morning No. 3 boat and Johnson and Leach were missing. The water-breakers and grub boxes from all the other boats were likewise missing, as were the beds and sea bags of the two men. Wolf Larsen was furious. He set sail and bore away into the west-northwest, two hunters constantly at the mastheads and sweeping the sea with glasses, himself pacing the deck like an angry lion. He knew too well my sympathy for the runaways to send me aloft as lookout.
The wind was fair but fitful, and it was like looking for a needle in a haystack to raise that tiny boat out of the blue immensity. But he put the Ghost through her best paces so as to get between the deserters and the land. This accomplished, he cruised back and forth across what he knew must be their course.