Study tip: never do homework in bed!

Your body and brain work on habit energy, and studying in your bed confuses them. Getting into bed ought to signal to your brain and body that it’s time to go to sleep—and that’s often what happens when you get into bed to study. You can sleep better AND study better if you have a dedicated space for studying.

Phone Operator Haiku

What if the person answering the phone at the art museum is also a poet? The Toast has the answer.

Ukiyo-e, updated

This week in Art History we watched a video on Hokusai's The Great Wave. Here you can find other Hokusia works--turned into gifs. Have fun!

Music: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Rather than get into conversations about "best" or even "favorite" albums, I prefer to think of it in terms of "albums I never get tired of listening to." They don't necessarily expand my way of thinking about the world, and I don't necessarily get more and more out of them with each listen. Some have some sort of emotional connection that places it at a certain time in my life, and others just seem to get along with me really well.

When I think about albums I never get tired of listening to, one of the first to come to mind is always The Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002).

"It's Summertime" and "Do You Realize" are the types of songs that just might make you cry. They're melodic and happy but in no way superficial. But the gem is--of course--the song about Yoshimi. "Her name is Yoshimi. She's a black belt in karate. Working for the city, she has to discipline her body."

Listen to this album for a lush and melodic trip through a fantasy land and your own melancholic emotions. Or don't. But I will, again and again.

Funny Summer Art Stories

Artnet has a run-down of 20 funny stories from the art world this summer. Enjoy!

Study tip: pick some study music

For students who want to increase efficiency or productivity, my first piece of advice is always to choose some study music. It should be instrumental. It should be neither too fast nor too slow. It should have no other emotional associations for you.

Once you choose your study music, stick with it. Play it every time you sit down to study or do homework. Do not listen to other music when studying or doing homework. After a while—it doesn’t take long—habit energy takes over. You’ll no longer actively hear the music, but you won’t be easily distracted by other sounds. Your brain will recognize that it’s homework time when it hears the music (think Pavlov’s Dog) and will calm down. You’ll even be able to put yourself in the mood to do homework if you weren’t before—and who’s ever in the mood to do homework?

If you're looking for recommendations, try Kid Loco's soundtrack to The Graffiti Artist


While this Harvard Business Review post has nothing to do with art, I figure all my readers (like, all four of you) have to deal with giving and/or receiving negative feedback. So why not pass it on?

Kapoor in China?

(photo mine)

The term "Chinese knock-off," which I hadn't heard in a while, has been repeated a lot in the art news this week. That's because a city in China has a public sculpture that looks almost identical to Anish Kapoor's iconic "Cloud Gate," and Kapoor is suing them over it. "Cloud Gate," better known as The Bean, is the large-scale 2006 in Chicago's Millennium Park.

Damien Hirst in The Guardian

Here's a relatively long profile on Damien Hirst from The Guardian this summer. Some days Hirst is a guilty pleasure for me, and some days I straight-up like him. (Not so much the Spin paintings, but still.)

Hooray for the Gorilla Girls!

Here's a piece, including interviews, on their 30th anniversary.

Calatrava and those bridges

Last night I was driving from Globe Life Park (go Rangers!) to my parents' house in Terrell. Which means that I drove right through downtown Dallas and had a chance to talk with my architect Dad about the really weird "Bridge to Nowhere" finished a few years ago, and the under-construction pedestrian bridges that are currently going up. They're really weird, expensive projects that add little (maybe nothing) to the city.

And today I find an essay about how Dallas's Calatrava bridge(s) are a problem for lots of cities, not just my home town.