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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XVIII

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30 April 2017

gratuitous image

No. 2,803 (cartoon)

I’m speaking from my heart.

You’re certainly not speaking from a brain.

1 May 2017

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Rhonda informed me that today is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, and asked me what I was doing to mark the occasion.

“I’m ignoring it like I always do,” I replied. “Photos of pinholes are of almost no aesthetic interest to me.”

I’ve made more than my share of boring, repetitious images—and yours too—but photographing pinholes is even too tedious for me.

2 May 2017

English Political Repartee

It’s election time in England, and the public servants are rising to the occasion.

Boris Johnson recently accused Jeremy Corbyn of being “a mutton-headed old mugwump.”

Tom Watson, a political associate of Corbyn, reorted that Johnson “is a caggie-handed, cheese-headed, fopdoodle, with a talent for slummocking about.”

And so on.

That’s the level of learned debate over there; too bad our political discourse isn’t as erudite, elegant, and sophisticated.

3 May 2017

Your First Five Trillion Photographs

A couple of weeks ago, I noted Henri Cartier-Bresson’s remark, “Your first ten thousand photographs are your worst.” I figured that no longer applied in the digital age, if it ever did.

And now I’m certain.

Swedish scientists and engineers have built the world’s fastest camera; it shoots five trillion frames per second. If it uses thirty-five-millimeter film, that’s a hundred and eighty thousand kilometers of it, enough to go to the moon and back four hundred and seventy times. (I didn’t review the technical specifications, but I’m fairly sure it uses another medium.)

What a technical marvel! With this kind of improvement, anyone can take thousands of billions of photographs almost instantly and they’ll all be equally mediocre. That’s progress!

4 May 2017

Brain Scanning Economics

Brian was in a nasty bike accident that may or may not have resulted in a broken ankle. He told me that when went to the hospital for an exam, the doctor ordered an x-ray of his foot as well as a brain scan.

“I told them I felt fine except for my ankle,” he reported, “so why would they give me a brain scan?”

I told him he was being naîve, then went on to explain how modern medicine works. Everyone who goes to that hospital gets a brain scan, even if they’re only there for an ingrown toenail. The machine used for brain scans cost over two million dollars, so the medical center’s policy is to use it for every patient because that’s the only way to make a profit on the contraption.

Brian told me my explanation made his head hurt; perhaps he did need that brain scan after all.

5 May 2017

Cinco de Mayo

Today is Cinco de Mayo, which this year falls on the fifth day in May. Contrary to what many of my fellow gringos believe, this is not Mexican Independence Day: that’s Diez y Seis de Septiembre, but who can spell Diez y Seis de Septiembre?

Nope, today we celebrate the victory of the Mexican army under General Ignacio Zaragoza over the French in the Battle of Puebla one hundred and fifty-five years ago. Whether you’re celebrating Mexican culture and heritage and/or need an excuse to drink beer and margaritas and/or just want to revel in the defeat of the French, this is one of those rare holidays that has something for everyone.

6 May 2017

gratuitous image

Twenty-Three Leftover Dinner Rolls

I left a big dinner a few days ago with a full stomach and a large bag of rolls; leftovers are a staple in my diet. As I reached for a roll to make another sandwich, I noticed that each one was a bit different. I chose the title Twenty-Three Leftover Dinner Rolls because that’s how many I had left when I made the discovery.

Stare.

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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart

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