Sunday, December 18, 2016

"Nuggets From The Net"

"Nuggets From The Net"
Mitch Kapor said, "Getting information off the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant." Too true, Information overload in the extreme. From the deluge, here are a few "nuggets" for your perusal, with my highest recommendation. - CP
"Brain Pickings"

"About: Hey there. My name is Maria Popova and I’m a reader, writer, interestingness hunter-gatherer, and curious mind at large. I’ve previously written for Wired UK, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, among others, and am an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. Brain Pickings is my one-woman labor of love- a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why. Mostly, it’s a record of my own becoming as a person- intellectually, creatively, spiritually- and an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life. Founded in 2006 as a weekly email that went out to seven friends and eventually brought online, the site was included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive in 2012.

The core ethos behind Brain Pickings is that creativity is a combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our mental pool of resources- knowledge, insight, information, inspiration, and all the fragments populating our minds- that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways. In order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces and build new ideas.

I think of it as LEGOs- if the bricks we have are of only one shape, size, and color, we can build things, but there’s a limit to how imaginative and interesting they will be. The richer and more diverse that pool of resources, that mental library of building blocks, the more visionary and compelling our combinatorial ideas can be.

Brain Pickings- which remains ad-free and supported by readers- is a cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology, and more; pieces that enrich our mental pool of resources and empower combinatorial ideas that are stronger, smarter, richer, deeper and more impactful. Above all, it’s about how these different disciplines illuminate one another to glean some insight, directly or indirectly, into that grand question of how to live, and how to live well."
"The Web Gallery of Art"

"The Web Gallery of Art is a virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Realism periods (1100-1850), currently containing over 22,600 reproductions. It was started in 1996 as a topical site of the Renaissance art, originated in the Italian city-states of the 14th century and spread to other countries in the 15th and 16th centuries. Intending to present Renaissance art as comprehensively as possible, the scope of the collection was later extended to show its Medieval roots as well as its evolution to Baroque and Rococo via Mannerism. More recently the periods of Neoclassicism and Romanticism were also included.
The collection has some of the characteristics of a virtual museum. The experience of the visitors is enhanced by guided tours helping to understand the artistic and historical relationship between different works and artists, by period music of choice in the background and a free postcard service. At the same time the collection serves the visitors' need for a site where various information on art, artists and history can be found together with corresponding pictorial illustrations. Although not a conventional one, the collection is a searchable database supplemented by a glossary containing articles on art terms, relevant historical events, personages, cities, museums and churches.

The Web Gallery of Art is intended to be a free resource of art history primarily for students and teachers. It is a private initiative not related to any museums or art institutions, and not supported financially by any state or corporate sponsors. However, we do our utmost, using authentic literature and advice from professionals, to ensure the quality and authenticity of the content.

We are convinced that such a collection of digital reproductions, containing a balanced mixture of interlinked visual and textual information, can serve multiple purposes. On one hand it can simply be a source of artistic enjoyment; a convenient alternative to visiting a distant museum, or an incentive to do just that. On the other hand, it can serve as a tool for public education both in schools and at home."
- http://www.wga.hu/
For those so inclined, this is a treasure trove of material. Enjoy!

"Luminarium"
 by Anniina Jokinen
“This site combines several sites first created in 1996 to provide a starting point for students and enthusiasts of English Literature. Nothing replaces a quality library, but hopefully this site will help fill the needs of those who have not access to one. Many works from Medieval, Renaissance, Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries can be found here.
"The site started in early 1996. I remember looking for essays to spark an idea for a survey class I was taking at the time. It seemed that finding study materials online was prohibitively difficult and time-consuming—there was no all-encompassing site which could have assisted me in my search. I started the site as a public service, because I myself had to waste so much time as a student, trying to find anything useful or interesting. There were only a handful of sites back then (read: Internet Dark Ages) and I could spend hours on search engines, looking for just a few things. I realized I must not be the only one in the predicament and started a simple one-page site of links to Middle English Literature. That page was soon followed by a Renaissance site.

Gradually it became obvious that the number of resources was ungainly for such a simple design. It was then that the multi-page "Medlit" and "Renlit" pages were created, around July 1996. That structure is still the same today. In September 1996, I started creating the "Sevenlit" site, launched in November. I realized the need to somehow unite all three sites, and that led to the creation of Luminarium. I chose the name, which is Latin for "lantern," because I wanted the site to be a beacon of light in the darkness. It was also befitting for a site containing authors considered "luminaries" of English literature.

I wanted the site to be a multimedia experience in the periods. I find it easier to visualize what I am reading when there is a small illustration or a tidbit about the background of the author or his work. The music and art of the period serve to complement one's rational experience of the site with the emotional. There are people who write to me who seem to think that if something has a beautiful wrapping, it cannot possibly have scholarly insides. But I do not see why something scholarly cannot at the same time be attractive. It is that marriage of form and function, so celebrated during the Renaissance, for which my site strives.” 
•••
This is a unique source of endless wonder, a treasure, for those who love the English language. You’ll spend many enjoyable hours here... - CP

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