Henri Rousseau is the Great Outsider. An outsider to the Establishment of the Art World, from the Salons to Picasso. Despite rejection and mockery, he persevered and painted and exhibited.
Recently the Guardian featured one of his masterpieces, Tiger in a Tropical Storm (also known as Surprised!). It is seen here. (That National Gallery link provides a nice interface you can use to zoom in and out of.) You can read more about the painting here. I highly recommend you check both of those sites out.
In some way Rousseau surprised his fellow artists. Artists like Picasso were fans but mocked him too. You can read about that here (Le Banquet Rousseau: Picasso and Rousseau’s Friendship) and here (When Henri met Pablo, The Guardian).
Keep Rousseau in mind whenever you are doing something you love with little encouragement and even mockery. You may not be making something great, but you never know. Keep going nonetheless. Surprise them.
And the result, if you are a fan of French wines, is tragic: Of Wine, Hand Sanitizer and Heartbreak – The New York Times.
You can read it straight up, but it’s worth pondering what it tells us about our values right now, and what they were before. Times are tough in the pandemic era, for winemakers in particular as well as all of us in general.
(Image thanks to Sven Wilhelm).
Not for everyone visiting Paris, but if you want to see Paris in a way untypical of most visitors, consider this: Paris on Foot: 35 Miles, 6 Days and One Blistered Toe – The New York Times
So says this article: The rise and fall of French cuisine | Food | The Guardian.
I tend to disagree with the pessimistic assessment, but regardless, I recommend the piece because it really does cover what has happened to food and cooking in the last 50 or so years. For people who love food, it’s a worthwhile read.
I think the decline of French food is relative. So many more cuisines have been discovered and appreciated, from Italian to Vietnamese, that French cuisine has competition for people’s attention. That comes across in this piece: Bon appétit! How I rediscovered the joys of French cuisine | Food | The Guardian.
It’s a good thing we have so many people writing and thinking and preparing food in new ways. French cuisine may no longer be dominant, but it is still great. And if you are going to Paris, then check out this list of David Lebovitz for what he recommends in his city. Or this list, somewhat dated, may still have value:
Top 10 budget restaurants and bistros in Paris | Travel | The Guardian
Not your average marathon, this. For example:
Marathons and footraces are a world of granola bars, blister care, and sugary packages of energy-giving goo. This classic French race through wine country has all that, as well as a party atmosphere and 23 stations that offer wine, cheese, oysters, and foie gras, often set out like a tasting at a picturesque winery. The tone is set the night before, when participants tend to complement the traditional carb-loading pasta dinner with healthy helpings of local wines. Each year’s race has a theme (think “Amusement Park” or “Tales and Legends”), so don’t be surprised to see a runner dressed as Robin Hood vomiting at mile five.
If this sounds like you kind of marathon, get more information here: Marathon du Médoc – Gastro Obscura
Easy! Just follow these three simple steps:
- Apply for one of the 250 permits the museum gives out each year.
- Bring your supplies and stand in front of the painting you want to copy. You can do this most days in the months of September through June from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Start painting.
Ok, it’s not quite that easy. Even if you can perfectly reproduce the work you stand before, the staff of the Louvre take steps to insure no one mistakes your work for the original, as this NYTimes article points out. For example, in this article, they made sure that the copyists used
canvases that were one-fifth smaller or larger than the original, and that the original artists’ signatures were not reproduced on the copies. Then (the staff) stamped the backs of the canvases with a Louvre seal, added (the staff’s) own signature and escorted (the copyists) from the museum.
It’s a fine article highlighting a great tradition of the Louvre: well worth reading.
(Photo by IVAN GUILBERT / COSMOS and linked to in the article)
In France, politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon plans to be in seven places at once using something similar to a hologram. According to Le Parisien:
Strictly speaking, these are not holograms. Jean-Luc Mélenchon will be present in seven different places thanks to … an optical illusion discovered for the first time half a century ago by an Italian physicist
Virtual Mélenchon reminds me of the politician Yance in Philip K Dick’s novel, The Penultimate Truth. We may not be far off where we get virtual candidate that look like people but behind the scenes we have AI or some combination of AI and people.
For more on the technology, see the article in Le Parisien. For more on Dick’s novel, see Wikipedia. Read up now: I think we can expect to see more of this technology in use soon.
Posted in AI, ideas, IT, politics
Tagged AI, France, French, IT, philipkdick, politics, sci-fi, sciencefiction, SF
If you enjoy lamb, this recipe for lamb shanks braised in coffee with ancho chile and other great flavouring sound great. Not too hard to make, either. See this link, Coffee-Braised Lamb Shanks – David Lebovitz, for the recipe. (Check out the other recipes on the site, too. Lots of great things there.)