On If

If – from the Old English gif

If – mainly a conjunction; sometimes a noun

If – an introduction to a conditional clause

If – a statement around a condition; a presumption, supposition, provision, precondition, proviso, requirement, specification, stipulation, or restriction

If – an assumption leading to an event or outcome

If – delivering a possibility, request, or opinion

If – an implied reservation

If – as in although, yet, despite being, even though, or but – many times serving as an excuse

If – noun as uncertainty, doubt

If – a function in programing to make a decision

If – a 1910 poem by Rudyard Kipling

If – a 1968 movie starring Malcolm McDowell

If – a BBC drama-documentary series

“If” – a 2010 episode of Desperate Housewives

If – a magazine subtitled “Worlds of Science Fiction”

If – a political comic strip appearing The Guardian (a UK newspaper)

If (band), 1970s British progressive jazz-rock band, and the name of their album

If – songs by Bananarama, Bread, Janet Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd, Perry Como, Destiny’s Child, Rivermaya, Davido, and more.

If – what if I had answered my own challenge with in a way other than my own.

NOTE: I encourage readers to follow the pingback links in the Comments to other posts about If that answer the If Challenge.

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On BLINK with Harper

Charlie Harper is an American artist known for his unique use of geometrics in his wildlife drawings. Because he is regarded as a local treasure, ArtWorks honored him featuring his work on a mural (seen below). Readers may recall my post featuring the two bluebirds titled Homecoming.

 

For BLINK, We Have Become Vikings (a local multimedia company) transformed this mural into their own tribute to Charlie Harper by projecting other Harper creations onto the mural. Enjoy Our Own Homecoming.

To see other posts about BLINK, click here.

On BLINK with Ruthven

John Ruthven is an American artist known for painting wildlife in the style of James Audubon. Awarded a National Medal of Arts in 2004 and an area resident, ArtWorks honored him by featuring one of his paintings as a mural (Seen below). I also posted about this mural – Martha: The Last Passenger Pigeon.

For BLINK, Foster & Flux (a local animation studio) transformed the mural into a vivid and beautiful story. Enjoy the video showing For the Birds.

To see other posts about BLINK, click here.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 351

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Challenge Update: I will publish my post on Tuesday 6 February at 9 PM (Eastern US) … challenge participants publish after that and link to that post.

On the early morning of this week’s Super Blue Moon’s eclipse, Cincinnati had many clouds. A friend of mine (who is south for the winter) told me that he watched the shadowed moon fade away behind the horizon, then turned around to watch the sunrise over the opposite horizon only several minutes later.

Cincinnati has a unique food battle going on – a Burger Battle of the Boy Bands. In short, Nick Lachey (98 Degrees), is a Cincinnatian, plus he and his brother (Drew) have a restaurant. A few blocks away is Wahlburgers, owned by the Wahlbergs (Donnie was in New Kids on the Block). Here’s an article about the battle.

This weekend is the Super Bowl – big deal. We’ll probably have the game on, but without any festivities. Personally, I hope the Eagles win.

PS: More BLINK posts this weekend.

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I knew before making the decision that I would be missing the most unbelievable, the greatest, the most-watched ever State of the Union (SOTU) speech – but I continued my streak of avoiding the occasion because I hate watching the behaviors of our elected officials. Stay seated and remain quiet during the speech seems like such a small, yet reasonable request.

The SOTU is the US President delivering an annual Constitutional obligation. Although I don’t watch, I support it. On the other hand, I despise the fact opposing party have a rebuttal. The record clearly shows I also didn’t support the Republicans rebuttal after President Obama’s SOTU – and yep – I don’t support the Democrats doing the same. SOTU is the President’s address to Congress and the nation … PERIOD.

If I would have watched the SOTU, these bingo cards would have made the event more fun.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides an infographic about the myths and facts about Dreamers and the Dream Act.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Woman apologizes to therapist for monopolizing conversation
New acne-free treatment ships teens to remote island for remainder of puberty
Perfect girlfriend blames self for everything
Flustered mathematician unable to recommend good number
Brad Pitt stumbles across old cardboard box with Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in it

Interesting Reads
Europe’s earliest written language?
Dark money and politics
About the Cincinnati murals
The contradictions of Gaudi
Demographics, America, and the future
Anti-evolution in India
(Graphic) World’s most nutritious foods
(Photos) National Geographic’s Best Adventure Photos of 2017

To send you into the weekend, here’s one of my favorites by John Mellencamp. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On the Common Good

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Common good is at the center of any and all relationships involving two or more people. Although organizations embrace common good when developing a mission statement, putting it into action is easier said than done.

As a concept, common good may be easy to define as the benefit of society as a whole, but developing a meaning in today’s complex society would be difficult. After all, common good engages philosophy, morality, economics, culture, politics, religion, and more while having different meanings to different people and different groups. Even the Preamble to the US Constitution states, “… promote the general Welfare and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Is this statement same as common good?

Democracy depends on governance for the common good, but what that entails today may be a complex story in itself. Personally, I don’t have much confidence in elected officials being able to agree on a definition, let alone other aspects that would follow. However, common good is a concept that is so foundational, failure to agree is like trying to construct a building without a strong foundation.

To engage and implement common good, people must agree on the common facts. Even with agreement, disagreement on how to get to the common good is understandable – actually very likely because the different ways exist on achieving the common good. In the US, although Democrats and Republicans may agree on a common good, they may have fundamental differences on how to get there – and that’s fine.

However, declaring and accepting fake news fundamentally prevents agreement on the common facts – so doing for the common good would not only be highly improbable – but probably impossible.

If democracy is about the common good, then democracy must have reasonably well-informed citizens. Unfortunately, society includes those to whom truth is the enemy – the fools and liars who are misinformed and underinformed – let alone those who use a partisan lens to selectively filter the facts.

Life today is about information and fast access to it. The problem isn’t information’s availability or the mainstream media – not even the biased nature of well-known media personalities and outlets who feed red meat to their hungry flock.

A problem is the biased nature of a large slice of the public that selectively determines their preferred news source based on one that provides a message to hear – a message aligning with their predetermined view of the world.

A problem is when listeners determine immediate judgment on a legitimate news report because they have to protect their personal interests.

A problem is that given a fast and open information system, good journalism can give way to favoring expediency over accuracy.

A problem is that too many accept reports from obscure outlets as reliable because the story supports the preferred narrative the person desires.

A problem is that the truth is no longer a high priority.

All of these problems come together to prevent people from agreeing on the common facts – therefore no hope for acting for the common good. Perhaps that’s the greatest dangers to democracy.

On Two Forms of Energy and Grace

Hmmmm …. I wonder what these represent?

 

I still can’t tell what’s going on, but this is whimsical to me.

 

Even though it is difficult for me to apply meaning, I like this abstract design

 

Is this representing a bug or a fish?

 

But it connected to something.

 

Yet it all comes together forming Energy and Grace – after all, energy and momentum are connected.

 

When I first saw the ArtWorks mural, the abstract side of me liked it, but it doesn’t deliver the boldness that I also enjoy. I see fun, but it also bores me relatively quick. Yet, it served as ArtWorks first abstract mural.

Three reasons exist for Energy and Grace:

  1. Saluting the resurgence of the downtown neighborhood known as Over the Rhine (OTR)
  2. Celebrating the Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC), which moved to OTR in 2005
  3. Honoring an internationally acclaimed local artist who is also a faculty member at AAC

ArtWorks and AAC collaborated in 2013 to transform one of Kim Krause’s paintings into this mural located at 16 E. 12th Street in downtown Cincinnati. Energy and Grace’s design displays energy and momentum in a fun and whimsical way.

Not long ago I introduced BLINK Cincinnati to readers. For BLINK, Brace Berlin (a production services company) transformed this mural with projection mapping into their version of Energy and Grace – and it is featured below in this 30-second promo for BLINK. Enjoy.

 

To see more of my posts about the murals of Cincinnati, click here.

To learn more about artist Kim Krause, click here to visit his site.

Thanks to Resa (Toronto’s leading lady) whose posts about street art in Toronto and Winnipeg, got me interested in outdoor art in my area. I invite readers to visit Resa’s blog (but tell her I sent you).

On Introducing BLINK

I was probably like many Cincinnatians who unknowingly wondered about the BLINK event when it was announced and eventually promoted. I was also one of the many Cincinnatians who attended the 4-day event in mid-October that left enthusiastic and in awe. Officials estimate 1 million people attended BLINK.

2017 was the first year for BLINK in Cincinnati. I recall reading that this was the first event of its kind, but I couldn’t confirm it. Nonetheless, BLINK unquestionably shined a light on the city and I’m confident the future will bring BLINK-like lights to other locations.

BLINK was a light and art festival spanning 20-city blocks from near the river through city center into a rejuvenated downtown neighborhood. Because it was a festival of lights, the event didn’t start until dusk.

BLINK was a free event – no admission charge – all people needed were good shoes for walking and a wandering nature to find the featured displays of projection mapping (22), lighted displays (5), light art (35), new murals (10), and music. Interestingly, artists from all over the world provided the displays. Over time, I will do have several posts about BLINK, but wanted to introduce it first.

Here are two short videos delivering snippets of the great show – and I hope you watch both. The first is a 3-minute video posted by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Because I couldn’t embed it, click here. The video below is worth the 2 minutes. Enjoy the glimpses of BLINK.