Daily Archives: September 6, 2008

Where you can find more about Damien Hirst?

You can find out more about Hirst, including this work:


What Damien Hirst is up to

I’ve written about others taking jabs at Damien Hirst lately. While others are taking pokes at him, he is busy.

According to TIME:

“On September 15 and 16, Damien Hirst, 43, already one of the world’s richest artists, will take 223 new works directly to auction at Sotheby’s in London, in a sale that could bring $230 million or more. / The auction marks the first time an artist has sold a sizable amount of work directly from his own studio, bypassing the galleries and dealers who have traditionally operated as the art world’s middlemen.”

That’s a staggering amount of money. And likely not something that will endear him to others in the art world. Nor will bypassing the art world’s middlemen win him many friends.

It also says that he is going to go back to painting works by hand. As TIME says, “plenty of people are waiting for him to fall on his face”. Perhaps. One thing for sure: if he does fall on his face, he has alot of money to cushion the blow.

(The photo is from an excellent photo essay in TIME that you can find here. In the photo above, Hirst “stands beside “The Kingdom”, a smaller scale reprise of the shark-in-formaldehyde piece that first made him famous, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.” “)

Listeria, Maple Leaf Foods, and the design of meat slicers

According to the globeandmail.com, Maple Leaf’s CEO says likely source of listeria found:

“Listeria contamination deep within two meat slicing machines at a Toronto food-processing plant was the likely cause of the recent outbreak of the bacteria that has killed at least 13 people.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. CEO Michael McCain said at a press conference in Toronto Friday evening that the Formax 180 slicers, on lines 8 and 9 of the company’s Toronto plant, were regularly cleaned but that listeria was found in parts of the machinery “well beyond the [manufacturer’s] recommended sanitation process.”

The slicers, which are about three metres long and two-and-a-half metres tall, have been completely disassembled, and Mr. McCain said that similar measures would be taken with all of the company’s slicing equipment.

He added that despite the discovery of listeria deep inside the machinery, “it’s not reasonable to expect that each piece of equipment has to be disassembled completely prior to use.””

I put the last part of the quote in bold, because I think that is relevant.

I went over to FORMAX site to see if I could get more information on the Formax 180. Given that there is no mention of the particular model on their site, I am assuming that a) it is an older model they no longer support b) it is similar to the newer models.

If I look at some of their new slicing models, like this one, I can see why the CEO of Maple Leaf would say it is “not reasonable to expect that each piece of equipment has to be disassembled completely prior to use”. They look like complex machinery. And I am assuming that complexity allows them to produce sliced meat at a very fast rate.

So, we have machines that are explicitly designed to be highly productive and implicitly designed to be hard to thoroughly clean.

My personal opinion is that I would like the machines to first and foremost be very easy to clean and then be highly productive.

In the meantime, I think I may cut back on my use of processed meat. I’ve already stopped using Maple Leaf Foods meats, but this is not likely a problem associated with just Maple Leaf Foods. I am assuming everyone in this business is using such machines, and all of them have the challenge of being able to clean them.

I also think Maple Leaf Foods and others need to rethink this problem, for their own sakes, as well as that of their customers.


Without hope life is not worth living…..

is the voiceover in this trailer for this upcoming film by Gus Van Sant about Harvey Milk.

Sean Penn. Gus Van Sant. In a film about Harvey Milk. It will be good.

(tip from andrewsullivan.com)