Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide






Image above: Vik Muniz

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.

Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.

“Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.

In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.


DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!

IMPORTANT NOTICE OF NON COMMERCIAL & EDUCATIONAL CONTENT Unless otherwise stated, we do not own copyrights to any of the visual or audio content that might be included on this blog. Dog Star is for criticism, commentary, reporting and educational purposes under the FAIR USE ACT: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. If you own the copyright to any images and object to them being included in this blog, please advise and the content will be removed. No attempt is made for material gain from this blog's content.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Whale Encounter

FREE! New City Park Honors F.D.R. & His Famous Speech "Four Freedoms"

Dog Star admires F.D.R. and knows he is an important man during the Great Depression and at the start of World War II.  He is also the former governor of New York State.  His family's estate north of New York City - Hyde Park - is open to the public and a great way to spend a Summer or Autumn Saturday with your family.  Of course, F.D.R.'s wife - Eleanor Roosevelt - is also an important figure and she had a huge role in drafting the Universal Human Rights delivered at the United Nations.

It's been 40 years since New York has been planning a memorial park for 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the east end of Roosevelt island. Originally designed by Louis Kahn in 1974, New York's almost bankrupt economy put the project on hold until the release of the documentary "My Architect" when enough support was fostered to fund the completion of the project carried out by local firm Mitchell Giurgola Architects.  

The triangular site of the 'FDR Four Freedoms Park' funnels visitors along a white granite plinth lined in linden trees to an open-air courtyard, at the entrance to which is thick block with a 28-inch bronze bust of FDR's head, sculpted by Jo Davidson, facing the united nations headquarters only 300 meters away. On the backside, the four freedoms speech is engraved as a symbol of the president's legacy to the building blocks of contemporary democratic principles. The project is planned to expand in the future, transforming a 19th-century small pox hospital to an auxiliary visitor center. The park is now open to the public.

Read more about F.D.R. here.

Go here for directions to the Four Freedoms Park!

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is an enduring tribute to the life and work of President Roosevelt. In the late 1960s, during a period of national urban renewal, New York City Mayor John Lindsay proposed to reinvent Roosevelt Island (then called Welfare Island) into a vibrant, residential community. The New York Times championed renaming the island for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and constructing a memorial to him, remarking: "It has long seemed to us that an ideal place for a memorial to FDR would be on Welfare Island, which...could be easily renamed in his honor... It would face the sea he loved, the Atlantic he bridged, the Europe he helped to save, the United Nations he inspired."

FDR's Famous Speech on The Four Freedoms On January 6, 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a speech that shaped this nation, now known as the Four Freedoms speech. He looked forward to a world founded on four human freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.  Today, by building Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, we have the opportunity to honor this man and these essential freedoms.

Words to Live By

Complex: The 50 Most Influential People In Sneaker History

Dog Star knows quite a few sneakerheads - the fans and collectors with hundreds, if not thousands, of sneakers.  Marc Ecko's Complex magazine has a list of the 50 most influential people in sneaker history.

CLOSING SOON - GO THIS WEEKEND Warhol & Friends @ Met Museum - Bring YOUR friends!

Dog Star is excited about this giant Warhol exhibition now open at the Metropolitan Museum.  Called "Regarding Warhol," it investigates the premise that Warhol has influenced younger artists.  From the museum website:  Commentators on contemporary art have often claimed that Warhol is the most influential artist of the last half-century. No exhibition, however, has truly examined that assertion in depth. The exhibition is built around five broad themes ranging from vernacular subject matter to celebrity portraiture to issues of sexual identity. The presentation will include approximately 150 works of art in a broad range of media across five decades. A quarter of the selected works are by Warhol, and they will be juxtaposed with key examples by some sixty leading contemporary artists. The show will be arranged as a series of thematic vignettes, not simply to demonstrate Warhol's overt influence, but to suggest how artists both worked in parallel modes and developed his model in dynamic new directions.

What's most interesting about this exhibition is that they will display Warhol's work alongside the artwork of other artists to show connections and influences. It will be a great opportunity to add to your art education by seeing these works together for the first time.

The Metropolitan Museum is EASY TO REACH at 82nd Street & Fifth Avenue and is ALWAYS $1 FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS - Easy directions:  take 4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street & Lexington Avenue and walk west to Fifth Avenue.  Walk up the cashier desk, hand a one dollar bill and say, "One, please."  You will be given a metal button to put on your shirt or jacket to wear while inside the museum.  On view until December 31, 2012.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Damien Hirst’s latest ‘masterpiece’

Dog Star finds this "public sculpture" to be offensive.  Not because of the subject matter - a pregnant woman yielding a sword standing on top of law books - but that the artist Damien Hirst finds it an amusing thing to "loan" it to a seaside town.  Here is the news story:

No stranger to controversy, British artist Damien Hirst has a particular knack of creating a scene. His latest ‘scene’ is a gigantic 20-metre tall bronze statue called Verity that now towers over a sleepy English seaside town. With her pregnant womb exposed, the skeletal, sword-wielding Verity has not surprisingly ruffled feathers, with residents in the north Devon town of Ilfracombe not exactly welcoming Hirst’s 20-year loan ‘gift’.  Go here for more great pics!

Words to Live By


“It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.” ― Nicholas Sparks

Getting Over on the Rich Guys: Selling Forgeries to Art Collectors

Dog Star thinks it is hilarious that art forgeries are successful.  One reason forgeries are successful is because the BUYERS want to believe - even against common sense - that they are buying a real work of art by a long-dead painter.  In the art world there is a concept called "provenance."  Provenance is the resume for an artwork:  the complete list of who has owned it beginning with the artist and first buyer and any later buyers.  The provenance will show how the painting changed hands, when it changed hands and between which parties.  For example, a Picasso painting called "Nude Female, Blue" from 1912 will have a provenance that states, Picasso, 1912, Paul Guillaume (Picasso's dealer), 1913, sold at auction 1935 to Dr. Barnes.  Buyers are shown false provenances that convince them the painting is the real thing.

Han van Meegeren is known as the Man Who Made Vermeers.  Han van Meegeren was a 20th-century Dutch painter who worked in the classical tradition. Motivated by a blend of aesthetic and financial reasons, van Meegeren became a master forger, creating and selling many new 'Vermeers' before being caught and tried.  Jan Vermeer is a Dutch painter (1632-1675) who achieved some success in his lifetime but is now considered to be among the 25 greatest painters in Western art.  Only about 30 Vermeers are known to exist - and these are very rarely available to buy - a small painting ( 16" x 20") would cost over $25 million.  Here are two van Meergren forgeries:

Han van Meegeren, The Lace Maker - Vermeer forgery sold to Andrew Mellon in 1928.  Now in The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Han van Meegeren, The Smiling Girl, Vermeer forgery sold to Andrew Mellon in 1926.

In New York City devoted Dog Star readers may see REAL Vermeers at the Frick Museum and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

100 Notable Books of 2012

Dog Star re-posts this from The New York Times - because you are either looking for something new to read or you want to give a book as a holiday gift!

100 Notable Books of 2012

The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.
ALIF THE UNSEEN. By G. Willow Wilson. (Grove, $25.) A young hacker on the run in the Mideast is the protagonist of this imaginative first novel.
ALMOST NEVER. By Daniel Sada. Translated by Katherine Silver. (Graywolf, paper, $16.) In this glorious satire of machismo, a Mexican agronomist simultaneously pursues a prostitute and an upright woman.
AN AMERICAN SPY. By Olen Steinhauer. (Minotaur, $25.99.) In a novel vividly evoking the multilayered world of espionage, Steinhauer’s hero fights back when his C.I.A. unit is nearly destroyed.
ARCADIA. By Lauren Groff. (Voice/Hyperion, $25.99.) Groff’s lush and visual second novel begins at a rural commune, and links that utopian past to a dystopian, post-global-warming future.
AT LAST. By Edward St. Aubyn. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) The final and most meditative of St. Aubyn’s brilliant Patrick Melrose novels is full of precise observations and glistening turns of phrase.
BEAUTIFUL RUINS. By Jess Walter. (Harper/HarperCollins, $25.99.) Walter’s witty sixth novel, set largely in Hollywood, reveals an American landscape of vice, addiction, loss and disappointed hopes.
BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK. By Ben Fountain. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $25.99.) The survivors of a fierce firefight in Iraq are whisked stateside for a brief victory tour in this satirical novel.
BLASPHEMY. By Sherman Alexie. (Grove, $27.) The best stories in Alexie’s collection of new and selected works are moving and funny, bringing together the embittered critic and the yearning dreamer.
THE BOOK OF MISCHIEF: New and Selected Stories. By Steve Stern. (Graywolf, $26.) Jewish immigrant lives observed with effusive nostalgia.
BRING UP THE BODIES. By Hilary Mantel. (Macrae/Holt, $28.) Mantel’s sequel to “Wolf Hall” traces the fall of Anne Boleyn, and makes the familiar story fascinating and suspenseful again.
BUILDING STORIES. By Chris Ware. (Pantheon, $50.) A big, sturdy box containing hard-bound volumes, pamphlets and a tabloid houses Ware’s demanding, melancholy and magnificent graphic novel about the inhabitants of a Chicago building.
BY BLOOD. By Ellen Ullman. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) This smart, slippery novel is a narrative striptease, as a professor listens in on the sessions between the therapist next door and her patients.
CANADA. By Richard Ford. (Ecco/Har­perCollins, $27.99.) A boy whose parents rob a bank in Montana in 1960 takes refuge across the border in this mesmerizing novel, driven by fully realized characters and an accomplished prose style.
CARRY THE ONE. By Carol Anshaw. (Simon & Schuster, $25.) Anshaw pays close attention to the lives of a group of friends bound together by a fatal accident in this wry, humane novel, her fourth.
CITY OF BOHANE. By Kevin Barry. (Graywolf, $25.) Somewhere in Ireland in 2053, people are haunted by a “lost time,” when something calamitous happened, and hope to reclaim the past. Barry’s extraordinary, exuberant first novel is full of inventive language.
COLLECTED POEMS. By Jack Gilbert. (Knopf, $35.) In orderly free verse constructions, Gilbert deals plainly with grief, love, marriage, betrayal and lust.
DEAR LIFE: Stories. By Alice Munro. (Knopf, $26.95.) This volume offers further proof of Munro’s mastery, and shows her striking out in the direction of a new, late style that sums up her whole career.
THE DEVIL IN SILVER. By Victor LaValle. (Spiegel & Grau, $27.) LaValle’s culturally observant third novel is set in a shabby urban mental hospital.
ENCHANTMENTS. By Kathryn Harrison. (Random House, $27.) Harrison’s splendid and surprising novel of late imperial Russia centers on Rasputin’s daughter Masha and the hemophiliac ­czarevitch Alyosha.
FLIGHT BEHAVIOR. By Barbara Kingsolver. (Harper/HarperCollins, $28.99.) An Appalachian woman becomes involved in an effort to save monarch butterflies in this brave and majestic novel.
FOBBIT. By David Abrams. (Black Cat/Grove/Atlantic, paper, $15.) Clerks, cooks and lawyers at a forward operating base in Iraq populate this first novel.
THE FORGETTING TREE. By Tatjana Soli. (St. Martin’s, $25.99.) In Soli’s haunting second novel, a mysterious Caribbean woman cares for a cancer patient on an isolated California ranch.
GATHERING OF WATERS. By Bernice L. McFadden. (Akashic, $24.95.) Three generations of black women confront floods and murder in Mississippi.
GODS WITHOUT MEN. By Hari Kunzru. (Knopf, $26.95.) Related stories, spanning centuries and continents, and all tethered to a desert rock formation, emphasize interconnectivity across time and space in Kunzru’s relentlessly modern fourth novel.
HHhH. By Laurent Binet. Translated by Sam Taylor. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) This gripping novel examines both the killing of an SS general in Prague in 1942 and Binet’s experience in writing about it.
A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING. By Dave Eggers. (McSweeney’s, $25.) Eg­gers’s novel is a haunting and supremely readable parable of America in the global economy, a nostalgic lament for a time when life had stakes and people worked with their hands.
HOME. By Toni Morrison. (Knopf, $24.) A black Korean War veteran, discharged from an integrated Army into a segregated homeland, makes a reluctant journey back to Georgia in a novel engaged with themes that have long haunted Morrison.
HOPE: A TRAGEDY. By Shalom Auslander. (Riverhead, $26.95.) Hilarity alternates with pain in this novel about a Jewish man seeking peace in upstate New York who discovers Anne Frank in his ­attic.
HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? By Sheila Heti. (Holt, $25.) The narrator (also named Sheila) and her friends try to answer the question in this novel’s title.
IN ONE PERSON. By John Irving. (Simon & Schuster, $28.) Irving’s funny, risky new novel about an aspiring writer struggling with his sexuality examines what happens when we face our desires honestly.
A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME. By Wiley Cash. (Morrow/HarperCollins, $24.99.) An evil pastor dominates Cash’s mesmerizing first novel.
MARRIED LOVE: And Other Stories. By Tessa Hadley. (Harper Perennial, paper, $14.99.) Hadley’s understatedly beautiful collection is filled with exquisitely calibrated gradations and expressions of class.
NW. By Zadie Smith. (Penguin Press, $26.95.) The lives of two friends who grew up in a northwest London housing project diverge, illuminating questions of race, class, sexual identity and personal choice, in Smith’s energetic modernist novel.
ON THE SPECTRUM OF POSSIBLE DEATHS. By Lucia Perillo. (Copper Canyon, $22.) Taut, lucid poems filled with complex emotional reflection.
PURE. By Julianna Baggott. (Grand Central, $25.99.) Children battle for the planet’s redemption in this precisely written postapocalyptic adventure story.
THE RIGHT-HAND SHORE. By Christopher Tilghman. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) A dark, magisterial novel set on a Chesapeake Bay estate.
THE ROUND HOUSE. By Louise Erdrich. (Harper/HarperCollins, $27.99.) In this novel, an American Indian family faces the ramifications of a vicious crime.
SALVAGE THE BONES. By Jesmyn Ward. (Bloomsbury, $24.) A pregnant 15-year-old and her family await Hurricane Katrina in this lushly written novel.
SAN MIGUEL. By T. Coraghessan Boyle. (Viking, $27.95.) Two utopians from different eras establish private idylls on California’s desolate Channel Islands; this novel preserves their tantalizing dreams.
SHINE SHINE SHINE. By Lydia Netzer. (St. Martin’s, $24.99.) This thought-provoking debut novel presents a geeky astronaut and his pregnant wife.
SHOUT HER LOVELY NAME. By Natalie Serber. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24.) The stories in Serber’s first collection are smart and nuanced.
SILENT HOUSE. By Orhan Pamuk. Translated by Robert Finn. (Knopf, $26.95.) A family is a microcosm of a country on the verge of a coup in this intense, foreboding novel, first published in Turkey in 1983.
THE STARBOARD SEA. By Amber Dermont. (St. Martin’s, $24.99.) Dermont’s captivating debut novel, whose narrator is a boarding school student and a sailor, takes pleasure in the sea and in the exhilarating freedom of being young.
SWEET TOOTH. By Ian McEwan. (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $26.95.) The true subject of this smart and tricky novel, set inside a cold war espionage operation, is the border between make-believe and reality.
SWIMMING HOME. By Deborah Levy. (Bloomsbury, paper, $14.) In this spare, disturbing and frequently funny novel, a troubled young woman tests the marriages of two couples.
TELEGRAPH AVENUE. By Michael Chabon. (Harper/HarperCollins, $27.99.) Chabon’s rich comic novel about fathers and sons in Berkeley and Oakland, Calif., juggles multiple plots and mounds of pop culture references in astonishing prose.
THE TESTAMENT OF MARY. By Colm Toibin. (Scribner, $19.99.) This beautiful work takes power from the surprises of its language and its almost shocking characterization of Mary, mother of Jesus.
THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER. By Junot Díaz. (Riverhead, $26.95.) The stories in this collection are about love, but they’re also about the undertow of family history and cultural mores, presented in Díaz’s exciting, irresistible and entertaining prose.
THREE STRONG WOMEN. By Marie NDiaye. Translated by John Fletcher. (Knopf, $25.95.) In loosely linked narratives, three women from Senegal struggle with fathers and husbands in France. This subtle, hypnotic novel won the Prix Goncourt in 2009.
TOBY’S ROOM. By Pat Barker. (Doubleday, $25.95.) This novel, a sequel to “Life Class,” delves further into the lives of an English family torn apart by World War I.
WATERGATE. By Thomas Mallon. (Pantheon, $26.95.) This novelistic re­imagining of the “third-rate burglary” proposes surprising motives for the break-in and the 18-minute gap, and has a sympathetic Nixon.
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ANNE FRANK: Stories. By Nathan Englander. (Knopf, $24.95.) Englander tackles large questions of morality and history in a masterly collection that manages to be both insightful and ­uproarious.
THE YELLOW BIRDS. By Kevin Powers. (Little, Brown, $24.99.) A young private and his platoon struggle through the war in Iraq but find no peace at home in this powerful and moving first novel about the frailty of man and the brutality of war.
ALL WE KNOW: Three Lives. By Lisa Cohen. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30.) The vanished world of midcentury upper-class lesbians is portrayed as beguiling, its inhabitants members of a stylish club.
AMERICAN TAPESTRY: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama. By Rachel L. Swarns. (Amistad/HarperCollins, $27.99.) A Times reporter’s deeply researched chronicle of several generations of Mrs. Obama’s family.
AMERICAN TRIUMVIRATE: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and the Modern Age of Golf. By James Dodson. (Knopf, $28.95.) The author evokes an era when the game was more vivid and less corporate than it seems now.
ARE YOU MY MOTHER? A Comic Drama. By Alison Bechdel. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22.) Bechdel’s engaging, original graphic memoir explores her troubled relationship with her distant mother.
BARACK OBAMA: The Story. By David Maraniss. (Simon & Schuster, $32.50.) This huge and absorbing new biography, full of previously unexplored detail, shows that Obama’s saga is more surprising and gripping than the version we’re familiar with.
BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. By Katherine Boo. (Random House, $27.) This extraordinary moral inquiry into life in an Indian slum shows the human costs exacted by a brutal social Darwinism.
BELZONI: The Giant Archaeologists Love to Hate. By Ivor Noël Hume. (University of Virginia, $34.95.) The fascinating tale of the 19th-century Italian monk, a “notorious tomb robber,” who gathered archaeological treasures in Egypt while crunching bones underfoot.
THE BLACK COUNT: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. By Tom Reiss. (Crown, $27.) The first Alexandre Dumas, a mixed-race general of the French Revolution, is the subject of this imaginative biography.
BREASTS: A Natural and Unnatural History. By Florence Williams. (Norton, $25.95.) Williams’s environmental call to arms deplores chemicals in breast milk and the vogue for silicone implants.
COMING APART: The State of White America, 1960-2010. By Charles Murray. (Crown Forum, $27.) The author of “The Bell Curve” warns that the white working class has abandoned the “founding virtues.”
DARWIN’S GHOSTS: The Secret History of Evolution. By Rebecca Stott. (Spiegel & Grau, $27.) Stott’s lively, original history of evolutionary ideas flows easily across continents and centuries.
FAR FROM THE TREE: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. By Andrew Solomon. (Scribner, $37.50.) This passionate and affecting work about what it means to be a parent is based on interviews with families of “exceptional” children.
FLAGRANT CONDUCT. The Story of Lawrence v. Texas: How a Bedroom Arrest Decriminalized Gay Americans. By Dale Carpenter. (Norton, $29.95.) Carpenter stirringly describes the 2003 Supreme Court decision that overturned the Texas sodomy law.
THE FOLLY OF FOOLS: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life. By Robert Trivers. (Basic Books, $28.) An intriguing argument that deceit is a beneficial evolutionary “deep feature” of life.
THE GREY ALBUM: On the Blackness of Blackness. By Kevin Young. (Graywolf, paper, $25.) A poet’s lively account of the central place of the trickster figure in black American culture could have been called “How Blacks Invented America.”
HAITI: The Aftershocks of History. By Laurent Dubois. (Metropolitan/Holt, $32.) Foreign meddling, the lack of a democratic tradition, a humiliating American occupation and cold-war support of a brutal dictator all figure in a scholar’s well-written analysis.
HOW CHILDREN SUCCEED: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. By Paul Tough. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27.) Noncognitive skills like persistence and self-control are more crucial to success than sheer brainpower, Tough maintains.
HOW MUSIC WORKS. By David Byrne. (McSweeney’s, $32.) This guidebook also explores the eccentric rock star’s personal and professional experience.
IRON CURTAIN: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956. By Anne Applebaum. (Doubleday, $35.) An overwhelming and convincing account of the Soviet push to colonize Eastern Europe after World War II.
KAYAK MORNING: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boats. By Roger Rosenblatt. (Ecco/HarperCollins, paper, $13.99.) This thoughtful meditation on the evolution of grief over time asks the big questions.
LINCOLN’S CODE: The Laws of War in American History. By John Fabian Witt. (Free Press, $32.) A tension between humanitarianism and righteousness has shaped America’s rules of warfare.
LITTLE AMERICA: The War Within the War for Afghanistan. By Rajiv Chandrasekaran. (Knopf, $27.95.) A beautifully written and deeply reported account of America’s troubled involvement in ­Afghanistan.
MEMOIR OF A DEBULKED WOMAN: Enduring Ovarian Cancer. By Susan Gubar. (Norton, $24.95.) A feminist scholar recounts her experience and criticizes the medical treatment of a frightening disease in a voice that is straightforward and incredibly brave.
MY POETS. By Maureen N. McLane. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) Part memoir and part criticism, this friendly book includes essays on poets canonical and contemporary, as well as lineated poem-games.
THE OBAMAS. By Jodi Kantor. (Little, Brown, $29.99.) Michelle Obama sets the tone and tempo of the current White House, Kantor argues in this admiring account, full of colorful insider anecdotes.
ODDLY NORMAL: One Family’s Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms With His Sexuality. By John Schwartz. (Gotham, $26.) A Times reporter’s deeply affecting account of his son’s coming out also reviews research on the experience of LGBT kids.
ON A FARTHER SHORE: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson. By William Souder. (Crown, $30.) An absorbing biography of the pioneering environmental writer on the 50th anniversary of “Silent Spring.”
ON SAUDI ARABIA: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines — and Future. By Karen Elliott House. (Knopf, $28.95.) A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist unveils this inscrutable country, comparing its calcified regime to the Soviet Union in its final days.
THE ONE: The Life and Music of James Brown. By RJ Smith. (Gotham, $27.50.) Smith argues that Brown was the most significant modern American musician in terms of style, messaging, rhythm and originality.
THE PASSAGE OF POWER: The Years of Lyndon Johnson. By Robert A. Caro. (Knopf, $35.) The fourth volume of Caro’s magisterial work spans the five years that end shortly after Kennedy’s assassination, as Johnson prepares to push for a civil rights act.
THE PATRIARCH: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy. By David Nasaw. (Penguin Press, $40.) This riveting history captures the sweep of Kennedy’s life — as Wall Street speculator, moviemaker, ambassador and dynastic founder.
PEOPLE WHO EAT DARKNESS: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished From the Streets of Tokyo — and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up. By Richard Lloyd Parry. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paper, $16.) An evenhanded investigation of a murder.
RED BRICK, BLACK MOUNTAIN, WHITE CLAY: Reflections on Art, Family, and Survival. By Christopher Benfey. (Penguin Press, $25.95.) Mixing memoir, family saga, travelogue and cultural ­history.
RULE AND RUIN. The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party: From Eisenhower to the Tea Party. By Geoffrey Kabaservice. (Oxford University, $29.95.) Pragmatic Republicanism was hardier than we remember, Kabaservice argues.
SAUL STEINBERG: A Biography. By Deirdre Bair. (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $40.) A gripping and revelatory biography of the eminent cartoonist.
SHOOTING VICTORIA: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy. By Paul Thomas Murphy. (Pegasus, $35.) An uninhibited and learned account of the attempts on the life of Queen Victoria, which only increased her popularity.
SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis. By Timothy Egan. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28.) A deft portrait of the man who made memorable photographs of American ­Indians.
THE SOCIAL CONQUEST OF EARTH. By Edward O. Wilson. (Norton, $27.95.) The evolutionary biologist explores the strange kinship between humans and some insects.
SOMETIMES THERE IS A VOID: Memoirs of an Outsider. By Zakes Mda. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $35.) The South African novelist and playwright absorbingly illuminates his wide, worldly life.
SPILLOVER: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. By David Quammen. (Norton, $28.95.) Quammen’s meaty, sprawling book chronicles his globe-trotting scientific adventures and warns against animal microbes spilling over into people.
THE TASTE OF WAR: World War II and the Battle for Food. By Lizzie Colling­ham. (Penguin Press, $36.) Collingham argues that food needs contributed to the war’s origins, strategy, outcome and aftermath.
THOMAS JEFFERSON: The Art of Power. By Jon Meacham. (Random House, $35.) This readable and well-researched life celebrates Jefferson’s skills as a practical politician, unafraid to wield power even when it conflicted with his small-government views.
VICTORY: The Triumphant Gay Revolution. By Linda Hirshman. (Harper/Har­perCollins, $27.99.) Written with knowing finesse, this expansive history of gay rights from the early 20th century to the present draws on archives and interviews.
WHEN GOD TALKS BACK: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship With God. By T. M. Luhrmann. (Knopf, $28.95.) Evangelicals believe that God speaks to them personally because they hone the skill of prayer, this insightful study argues.
WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL? By Jeanette Winterson. (Grove, $25.) Winterson’s unconventional and winning memoir wrings humor from adversity as it describes her upbringing by a wildly deranged mother.
WHY DOES THE WORLD EXIST? An Existential Detective Story. By Jim Holt. (Liveright/Norton, $27.95.) An elegant and witty writer converses with philosophers and cosmologists who ponder why there is something rather than nothing.

GET UP & DANCE! Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to International Pop Star Reigen's TRIPPIN ON E

5 Books Every High School Student Should Read Before College

Dog Star saw this on Huffington Post and it STOPPED US IN OUR DIGITAL TRACKS.  Instead of scrolling through to the page or clicking on a link - we were curious.  Which books does she think every high school student should read before college?  Marissa seems to emphasize classic books that reflect the absurdity of high school life (Catcher, Slaughterhouse) or books to zone out and make us laugh (Scott Pilgrim, anything by David Sedaris).

By Marissa Page
Marissa Page is a junior at University of Chicago Lab. She’s a student reporter for The Mash, a weekly teen publication distributed to Chicagoland high schools.

High school is a stressful, tumultuous and, most of all, incredibly formative time. As our work and social lives grow increasingly hectic, it’s important to remind ourselves to slow down and relax. Reading is an excellent way to do this. At this critical age, absorbing good literature will help us understand our world, and developing a love of reading will benefit us no matter where we go to college or what career path we choose in the future.

Here’s my list of five books every high schooler should read, as they’ve taught me, made me laugh or cry and, most of all, made me who I am today.

1. “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
Initially, I found Holden Caulfield, the novel’s teen protagonist, to be obnoxious and irritating. If at first you dislike Salinger’s excessively colloquial tone and bizarre symbolism, try reading some of his other works and then return to this classic. Salinger’s writing, particularly in “The Catcher in the Rye,” is confusing and contradictory. His tone does an amazing job of encapsulating the teenage condition into one character. Every teen has something in common with Holden Caulfield, as he represents the quintessential struggle teenagers face in coming of age.

2. “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World” by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Chock full of puns and music, this six-part graphic novel series is easily the quickest, and possibly the most fun, read I’ve ever encountered. Great for both bookworms and non-readers, the Scott Pilgrim novels (and the movie) are hilarious and, at times, very thought-provoking. The characters make this story—from earnest, sweet Scott, to joke-cracking, flamboyant Wallace Wells, to enigmatic Ramona, Scott’s love interest—they span the personality spectrum, which makes the dialogue intriguing and realistic.

3. "Anything" by David Sedaris
Nothing makes me feel better after a long day of school than laughing my butt off at David Sedaris’ wacky stories. His sense of humor is funny and often outlandish, but almost always tasteful. If you’re new to Sedaris’ work, check out “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and “Holidays on Ice.”

4. “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut
This brilliantly written book is simultaneously satirical, fantastical and insightful. Vonnegut’s conversational but thoughtful tone inspires the reader to ask big life questions, such as “What is time?” or “Is my perception of reality totally wrong?” And he does this without burying the answers beneath bizarre, inaccessible metaphors. He writes for any audience, and each time you reread this or any of his other novels, you find entirely new ways to interpret his musings.

5. “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque
This book is both emotionally and intellectually challenging, but so rewarding. The language is gorgeous and fluid, but Remarque usually employs his poetic style to describe harrowing attacks, deaths and illnesses during World War I. This novel places students in the minds of soldiers, who see famous battles as not just another tick in a timeline, but rather, very real, very scary experiences. Centered on a 19-year-old soldier, “All Quiet on the Western Front” makes modern-day teenagers, who are prone to being entirely self-contained, aware of the privileges in their lives.

GO SEE How African Art Influenced Modern Artists - Bring your friends!

African art inspired the 1932 work "Negro Masks" by Malvin Gray Johnson.
Dog Star likes these kinds of exhibitions because they teach us about the real connections between cultures.  In this case, the Met's new exhibition "African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde" shows how African artifacts and objects influenced the ways modern artists made their paintings and sculptures.  We have heard people say "modern artists stole from African art" and "African artists were doing 'modern art' before Picasso and others."  These are misguided statements because they make some faulty assumptions.  Let's take a look at these assumptions and the truths behind them:

African artists were NOT doing 'modern art' before Picasso and others.  Modern art is a term invented by European art critics and art historians.  No artist ever called himself or herself a 'modern artist.'  No African artisan who created masks, sculptures, pottery or totems was ever creating what we call "art."  So it is impossible to label any African art or artisan as "modern art" or as a "modern artist."

It is important to understand that African cultural objects are ALWAYS intended to be used in an active role in a ceremony.  Art objects (paintings, sculptures, tapestries, pottery) are solely intended to be appreciated, studied and admired for their artistic qualities.  So this is an important distinction.  Members of an African tribe were not called "artists" in the way makers of art objects in Europe and America (referred to as "Western") are called artists.  In fact very often it isn't even known who made an object such as a mask because that kind of "authorship" or claim to artistic ownership is a Western concept.  A member of an African tribe was trained and worked his entire life to make masks for certain ceremonies.  He didn't "sign" the back of the mask so others know he takes credit for it.  It is only in the very late 19th century when ethnographers and other colonial "explorers" visited tribes that actual people could be identified as the maker of an African object.

Now, when African OBJECTS began to arrive in Europe and were put on display so that the general public could see them, people began to see artistic qualities to copy in their own art.  Paul Guillaume is a famous Paris art gallery owner who collected an extensive African mask and sculpture collection.  Picasso and all his friends saw Paul's collection, bought objects from him and shared them with visitors and friends.  There IS a direct connection between the directions of modern art and the African influence but it is one of inspiration - or artistic borrowing / stealing - not a failure to credit African tribes for inventing modern art.  If you want to learn more read the article below by Carol Kino (from the New York Times) and definitely make a point of visiting the Met Museum exhibition from November 27-April 14, 2013.

The Metropolitan Museum is EASY TO REACH at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street - Take the 4, 5, or 6 trains to 86th Street & Lexington Avenue, then walk west to Fifth Avenue and then south to the Met Museum on the right hand side.  Access tip:  Walk a bit past the grand staircase in front of the museum to a street level entrance where the lines for entry, coat check and admission are much shorter.  HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS get in FREE with high school I.D. card and get a free Audio Guide - simply ask for it at the Admissions Desk. 

When Artifact ‘Became’ Art 


A SEMINAL moment for America’s avant-garde came in 1913, when the Armory Show opened its doors to an unsuspecting public. An exposition of about 1,300 works, it introduced the New York art audience to movements like Cubism, Fauvism and Futurism, as well as the work of artists like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp, jolting them out of their romance with realism and toward newer, more experimental interests. 

Less heralded, however, is the fact that the Armory Show and its promotion of Modernism also helped create a taste and a market for African art in New York. This is the territory to be explored in “African Art, New York and the Avant-Garde,” which will open at the Metropolitan Museum on Nov. 27 and run through April 14. “The Armory Show is known for awakening America to modern art,” said its curator, Yaëlle Biro. “But it was also very important for African art.” 

The assistant curator of African art at the museum, Ms. Biro will use European and African works, as well as American photographs and ephemera, to illuminate the period between 1914 and 1932, when New York’s artists, dealers and connoisseurs first began to appreciate African wood sculptures as art objects rather than ethnographic artifacts. Her exhibition will include about 40 masks, figurative sculptures and other decorative objects from West and Central Africa; paintings that were once exhibited alongside them by artists like Francis Picabia, Constantín Brancusi and Diego Rivera; and photographs by Alfred Stieglitz and Charles Sheeler, among others, drawn from 18 public and private collections as well as the Metropolitan’s own holdings. 

Previous exhibitions of the period have given African art a supporting role to demonstrate its influence on Modernist artists. By contrast, said Ms. Biro, “I’m examining the context in which African art was exhibited at the time, and how that has influenced the way it is seen today.” 

Although African art had been collected in America since the 19th century, Ms. Biro said, and could be seen in natural history and ethnographic museums, its breakthrough moment is considered to be 1935, when the Museum of Modern Art mounted “African Negro Art,” a survey of work from West Central Africa. “That is usually considered as the moment when African sculptures became seen as works of art in the United States,” Ms. Biro said. “But actually a lot was happening before that, and that’s what this exhibition is about.” (She first explored the topic in a chapter of her Ph.D. dissertation at the Sorbonne, in Paris.) 

The show opens in 1914, the year that the avant-garde tastemaker Stieglitz mounted the world’s first dedicated display of African art objects at 291, his gallery on Fifth Avenue. Called “Statuary in Wood by African Savages: The Root of Modern Art,” the show comprised works from the holdings of the French art dealer Paul Guillaume, then the primary source for New York dealers. Many were figures and masks acquired from Gabon and the Ivory Coast, both French colonies at the time. The sculptures’ elongated features, lustrous surfaces and streamlined forms epitomized the aesthetics already admired by Europeans. 

Ms. Biro has managed to track down six sculptures from Stieglitz’s exhibition, including a male figure from a reliquary and a mask with geometric features. Also included is an issue of Stieglitz’s journal Camera Work that reproduces his photographs of the show, as well as a photograph that juxtaposed drawings by Picasso and Braque with a different reliquary sculpture. 

Stieglitz’s photographs also demonstrate another lure of African art for 20th-century New Yorkers, particularly a 1918 picture that shows his partner, Georgia O’Keeffe, cradling an anthropomorphic Ivory Coast spoon in her hand. She is nude and the position of the spoon makes it look surprisingly phallic, so it resonates as an erotic object. “Many layers of interpretation were added to African art after it left Africa,” Ms. Biro said. “Some saw the works as an open door to the exotic, and some admired them for their pure aesthetic qualities, while others saw them in a more erotic vein.”
Another segment is devoted to the influence of the Mexican caricaturist and dealer Marius de Zayas, who started out as Stieglitz’s scout in Europe and ended up as New York’s foremost promoter of African art. He was introduced to it in Paris by the poet and collector Guillaume Apollinaire, and became fascinated by its relationship to Cubism after meeting Picasso.

Back in New York, de Zayas persuaded Stieglitz to mount the African art survey. In 1915, de Zayas opened his own gallery, where he built the collections of the Dada salonistes Walter and Louise Arensberg; the lawyer John Quinn, a major backer of the Armory Show; and Agnes E. and Eugene Meyer, who had previously been Stieglitz’s patrons.

De Zayas went on to curate exhibitions for Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney at the Whitney Studio Club, the precursor to the Whitney Museum, the first of which was “Recent Paintings by Pablo Picasso and Negro Sculpture” in 1923. 

Work from all three collections, together with de Zayas’s own holdings and the Whitney show, were photographed by the painter Charles Sheeler, who was a photographer early in his career. Many of his photographs will be shown here, along with several pieces that once passed through de Zayas’s hands. The grouping will also include seven sculptures once owned by Quinn, who by 1922 had assembled America’s pre-eminent African art collection. He was also an avid collector of Modernist masters, including Georges Seurat and Henri Rousseau. 

Quinn’s acquisitions were sold after his death in 1924 at age 54, and little was known of the African work until Ms. Biro tracked it down. (“John Quinn is one of the great discoveries of my dissertation,” she said.) Her research shows that Quinn was acquiring work from British colonial Nigeria and the Belgian Congo, which suggests that by this point dealers in New York had access to a broader range of work. 

The final segment of the Met exhibition covers the powerful influence that these sculptures, despite the fact that they had been procured through Europe’s colonization of Africa, exerted on forward-thinking African-American artists and intellectuals. 

By 1925, the literary critic and philosopher Alain Locke, often referred to as the father of the Harlem Renaissance, was calling for a new art based on African identity and heritage. The next year, on a trip to Europe, Dr. Locke purchased a collection of African art primarily from the Belgian Congo with the dream of using it to found a museum in Harlem. Throughout 1927, the collection was exhibited in New York and toured to the Art Institute of Chicago. Sadly, however, the Depression dashed Dr. Locke’s institutional dreams and the collection was dispersed, but not before the work had considerably inspired African-American artists. A case in point is offered by a 1932 painting of two masks (SHOWN AT THE TOP OF THIS POST), one from Congo and the other from Nigeria, by the African-American painter Malvin Gray Johnson. All three objects will be shown at the Met. 

For the Met, of course, the show also represents something of a watershed moment. According to Alisa LaGamma, the museum’s curator of African art, it is the first time that Modernist work has been shown in the Rockefeller wing, which since its opening in 1982 has been devoted to the department of the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. And more shows that cross such departmental boundaries are likely to happen in the future throughout the museum. 

Ms. LaGamma has already organized shows that situate Africa’s classical art traditions in a broader art historical context. A 2008 exhibition juxtaposed classical African textile masterpieces with work by contemporary artists working within that vernacular, including Yinka Shonibare, El Anatsui, and Malick Sidibé. In 2011, another show brought together work by artists inspired by iconic African masks, including Lynda Benglis and Man Ray. 

“It’s part of the vision of our director,” Ms. LaGamma said, “that these departmental entities are artificial frontiers that we must all strive to break out of.” 

“If visitors to the museum have one thing they know about African art,” she added, it’s that “it had an impact on Modernism.” For this reason, her department is “addressing that very powerful narrative that Modernism has written for African art, and we’re trying to expand it.”

Words to Live By

Dog Star Selects Ernst Haas: New York City in the 1960s

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Columbia Professor and GZA Aim to Help Teach Science Through Hip-Hop

Dog Star re-posts this from The New York Times (more pics and video):

A Hip-Hop Experiment

They are an unlikely team of educational reformers. 

Christopher Emdin is a Columbia University professor who likes to declaim Newton’s laws in rhyme. GZA is a member of the Wu-Tang Clan who left school in 10th grade. When the two men met this summer, at a radio show hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium, they started talking about science and education — particularly, why science classrooms were failing to engage many African-American and Latino students, who together make up 70 percent of New York City’s student body. Only 4 percent of African-American seniors nationally were proficient in sciences, compared with 27 percent of whites, according to the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress

GZA, 46, who was born Gary Grice, had just finished an extraordinary round of meetings with physicists at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, culling ideas for a coming solo album about the cosmos. Dr. Emdin, 34, an assistant professor of science education at Teachers College, was a lifelong hip-hop fan. 

They discovered a shared interest in merging their two worlds: GZA by bringing science into hip-hop; Dr. Emdin by bringing hip-hop into the science classroom.
Next month, the two men, along with the popular hip-hop lyrics Web site Rap Genius, will announce a pilot project to use hip-hop to teach science in 10 New York City public schools. The pilot is small, but its architects’ goals are not modest. Dr. Emdin, who has written a book called “Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation,” hopes to change the way city teachers relate to minority students, drawing not just on hip-hop’s rhymes, but also on its social practices and values. 

Rap Genius, which recently received a $15 million investment from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, hopes to expand its site, where users annotate lyrics, into education. And GZA saw a potential hit: “You never know,” he said of their collaboration. “This could turn into something in the future as big as the spelling bee.” 

On a recent afternoon in his office at Teachers College, Dr. Emdin likened the skills required for success in science to those of a good rapper: curiosity, keen observation, an ability to use metaphor and draw connections. Moreover, he said, the medium itself provided a model that could be more effective than traditional science instruction, in which teachers stand in front of classes delivering information, then judge students by their ability to repeat it on tests. 

By contrast, in what is known as a hip-hop “cypher,” participants stand in a circle and take turns rapping, often supporting or playing off one another’s rhymes. 

“A hip-hop cypher is the perfect pedagogical moment, where someone’s at the helm of a conversation, and then one person stops and another picks up,” Dr. Emdin said, his checked bow tie bobbing under his chin. “There’s equal turns at talking. When somebody has a great line, the whole audience makes a ‘whoo,’ which is positive reinforcement.” 

He added, “All of those things that are happening in the hip-hop cypher are what should happen in an ideal classroom.” 

Starting in January, the 10 schools, with support from Dr. Emdin and his graduate students, will experiment with cyphers and rhymes to teach basic science concepts — one class per school, one day per week. The students will write rhymes in lieu of papers; the best rhymes, as judged by GZA, will appear on Rap Genius, beside the lyrics of popular hits. The program fits into a broader educational movement to use students’ outside interests to engage them in class work. 

When GZA (pronounced JIZ-ah, a play on “genius”) heard Dr. Emdin’s spiel, it resonated with his own school experiences. Growing up in the Park Hill Houses on Staten Island, he was curious about the physical world but bored with school. Hip-hop became his outlet for showing off intellectually.
“It was always about crafting the best rhyme in the most articulate, witty or smart way,” he said. “For us, it was always about educating the listener.” 

It took him more than two decades to develop his curiosity about science into “Dark Matter,” an album now in the writing stage, which he hopes will bring his fans to astrophysics, starting with the Big Bang. 

David Kaiser, a physicist at M.I.T. who met with GZA in December and again this spring, said he was impressed. “He’s read a lot of books and asked really well-informed questions,” said Dr. Kaiser, 41, who is not a fan of rap. “It was fun to see how excited he was about science.” 

More than that, Dr. Kaiser said, GZA might attract African-American and Latino students to the sciences, where they are strongly underrepresented. 

“It’s a topic of steady attention at M.I.T. and around the country,” he said. “When I see someone like GZA, who is excited and has a voice and is looked up to, I’m delighted that he wants to communicate that excitement to people who might not be pursuing it.” 

Dr. Emdin, too, is hoping that GZA’s presence — appearing in a video for students, possibly visiting a few classrooms, judging the students’ raps — will undercut the students’ fear of science, or the stereotype that scientists are all white people. 

During a lunch hour counseling session at the Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts in Harlem last week, Ian Levy, 23, one of Dr. Emdin’s graduate students, led nine high-school students in a hip-hop cypher designed to further their emotional development. The students stood in a circle and took turns reciting rhymes about their lives. 

Unique Clay rapped about hearing gunshots while he wrote his rhymes; Michael Johnson rapped about an abused 6-year-old; Cai Moore punned on the name Peter Piper, but fizzled after a few lines; Anna Zivian, a teacher, rapped about having three mothers. Mr. Levy rapped as well. 

Dr. Emdin, who was visiting, liked what he saw: the eye contact, the effort behind the writing, the peer support. 

“Kids relate best when they’re standing up,” he said. “The teacher can measure engagement by the hand gestures and head bobs. And when the last kid couldn’t finish his verse, everybody gave him encouragement. In a traditional school, he’d have failed. We need to expand the notion of what success is.” 

For schools adopting the program, though, Dr. Emdin’s approach is as yet unproven. And Rap Genius has recently drawn criticism for racist comments posted in a chat forum by two of its editors. 

Rodney Fisher, the principal at the Marie Curie School for Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions in the Bronx, where Dr. Emdin developed his methods as a young high school teacher, spoke highly of Dr. Emdin’s classroom record. He had improved his students’ assessments, pass rates and attendance levels, Mr. Fisher said, though he added that this might simply be because Dr. Emdin was a good, passionate teacher. 

“Science and math are the hardest to get students interested in,” Mr. Fisher, 44, said. “His students became invested in physics, able to identify terminology or vocabulary, and also able to use that to apply scientific formulas.” 

Dr. Tyson, the planetarium director, said he saw a thread of science geekery lurking in hip-hop, where delivering knowledge is called “dropping science.” A few songs — by PiGPEN, among others — even mention Dr. Tyson by name. GZA compared this latent interest in science to interest in chess — an early Wu-Tang obsession that has recently flourished in city schools. 

If that proves to be the case, Dr. Tyson said, Dr. Emdin’s experiment might have broader implications.
“It’s clear that Chris has a vision and energy level,” Dr. Tyson said. “To the extent it’s transplantable, that can make what he’s up to quite fertile and important.”

Words to Live By