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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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20 February 2016

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No. 8,740 (cartoon)

Sixty is the new forty.

Twenty is the new embryo.

21 February 2016

An Obvious Password

Jerry asked me to help his daughter Megan fix her computer. I like Megan so I agreed; once you work on someone’s computer s/he’ll call you regularly forever.

In order to install new software, I asked me to give me her password. Here’s what she wrote: Snow-White_and_the_7_Dwarves.

“How did you come up with that?” I asked.

“It said I had to use a password that was eight characters long,” she explained, “and had to have an upper case letter, a lower case letter, a numeral, and punctuation. That was the shortest one I could think of.”

That made perfect sense. I wonder why everyone doesn’t have the same password? Perhaps most people do; that would explain the rampant computer crime.

22 February 2016

Prime Number Déjà Vu

I rely on Suzette for all of my numerical news; she’s the most brilliant mathematician I know, albeit the only one. She told me that her colleagues at the University of Central Missouri have discovered the largest prime number to date, 274,207,281-1.

For some reason, the news sounded familiar. I have a terrible memory, but my computer doesn’t. I asked my machine—a Cray XK7—if I’d ever mentioned “central Missouri” in the last twenty years. I had indeed. On 11 February 2013, I wrote that researchers at the University of Central Missouri had discovered the largest prime number to date.

When I asked Suzette about this coincidence, she told me that it wasn’t a coincidence at all. Academics from around the world travel to the central Missouri cultural wilderness to discover huge prime numbers. She explained that it’s like being in a huge isolation chamber; there’s nothing more interesting within a hundred kilometers than prime numbers.

23 February 2016

No Lessons Learned

Juanita told me that Samantha was flirting outrageously with her wasband at her party last night.

“What’s the problem,” I asked, “since you two are amicably divorced?”

“It just makes me sad,” she answered.

“I would have thought you’d have been happy to see him move on with his life,” I replied.

“I’m fine with that,” she continued, “I’m just sad for Juanita; she obviously learned nothing from my mistakes.”

24 February 2016

Identically Unique

Ever since the first humans visited Yosemite Valley, and for millennia before that, every year around this time the warm light from the setting sun hits the water cascading down Horsetail Falls. The dramatic lighting almost makes it appear that lava is flowing down El Capitan’s shoulder.

The first people to witness this phenomenon saw an amazing site. The people who’ve seen it in the last decades, especially in photographs, have seen an amazing visual cliché.

Yosemite National Park is huge, it’s over three thousand square kilometers. But right now, dozens of photographers are crowded jowl-to-jowl and tripod-to-tripod into a clearing smaller than my front yard in order to make almost the exact same photograph of the same backlit waterfall at the same moment using almost identical cameras and lenses.

The gaggle of unimaginative photographers, each trying to replicate the same photograph that’s been made thousands of times before, has to be the most amazing sight in the entire park. I find their virtually complete lack of ambition, imagination, and creativity more amazing today than the same sunlight that’s been hitting the same wall for eons.

25 February 2016

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Artist-Approved Point of Interest (sketch)

I love being an artist for so many reasons, most of which involve laziness, idleness, indolence, and slothfulness—and that’s only going four words deep into my thesaurus. Like Randy Bachman, I love to work at nothing all day.

There’s nothing objective about art. You can’t prove that what I make ain’t art and I cain’t prove that it is. That’s fine with me. I don’t care if others like what I do; I usually prefer it when they don’t.

That was the impetus behind my sketch for a new project, Artist-Approved Points of Interest. It simply involves making labels with a stylized target with Artist-Approved Point of Interest printed at the bottom. All I need to do is slap a label on something of which I approve, sign it to prevent forgeries, then document it with my camera.

Et voilà! I said it’s art, and now it is!

What could be easier? As soon as I can answer that question, I’ll have a new project in gestation.


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©2016 David Glenn Rinehart