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Friday, October 26, 2012

#Obama on #Trump from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

It all goes back to when we were growing up....

ha Ha!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Billionaire Paulson Donates $100 Million for Central Park - Bloomberg

Billionaire Paulson Donates $100 Million for Central Park

Billionaire John Paulson and the Paulson Family Foundation are donating $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy, the largest parks donation ever.
Paulson, 56, is founder of Paulson & Co., a New York-based hedge fund that manages $21 billion across 10 funds. Paulson was worth $11.8 billion yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. His contribution will help renovate and maintain park facilities and pay for recreation programs, said Doug Blonsky, president of the conservancy, which is responsible for its maintenance and operations. Half will bolster the park’s endowment, which now stands at $144 million, Blonsky said.
John A. Paulson, president of Paulson & Co. Photographer: Rick Maiman/Bloomberg
“The Conservancy is responsible for transforming and sustaining Central Park as the celebration of culture, nature and democracy that it is today,” Paulson said in a statement. “It is my hope that today’s contribution will help it endure and flourish.”
The park’s 843 acres (341 hectares) stretch from 59th Street to 110th Street in Manhattan and make up a leafy oasis on an island of concrete. Conservancy crews care for 250 acres of lawns, 24,000 trees, 150 acres of lakes and streams and 130 acres of woodlands, according to its website.
“Central Park is a paradise unlike anywhere else in the world today,” said Paulson, whose Fifth Avenue apartment faces the park’s east side and overlooks its reservoir. “I wanted the amount to make a difference.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Very Best Time To Book Airline Tickets, According To Kayak #Travel

The Very Best Time To Book Airline Tickets, According To Kayak
A new survey of more than a billion airfare searches has revealed the very best time to book your flight, says a spokeswoman for Kayak.
Sifting through an average of 100 million queries per month from January to December 2011, the search site says fliers looking for the best prices should book exactly 21 days prior to departure.
Book in that sweet spot, Kayak says, and you'll pay the domestic average of $342 a ticket -- versus the $370 you'd pay on average for a ticket booked six months out.
For international trips, that prime booking window shifts to 34 days prior to departure, with average prices at $977 instead of $1,016 for travelers planning six months ahead.
The number crunching also proved what many frequent fliers already know: Those who wait until the last minute will almost certainly pay more for their fare.

The Very Best Time To Book Airline Tickets, According To Kayak

Saturday, October 20, 2012

#LVMH faces dilemma of success

Even the chinese are getting tired of Louis Vuitton it seems...  thats what happens when you seem to have become a mass chan rather than an exclusive brand. 

LVMH faces dilemma of success
Financial Times, 8:14pm Friday October 19th, 2012
By Scheherazade Daneshkhu in Paris
Analysts say Louis Vuitton may be facing structural issues related to its size – total sales last year were €6.5bn – and its brand image

Read the full article at:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Black Magic in #Picasso’s Parlor of Prostitutes - Bloomberg #Art

Black Magic in Picasso’s Parlor of Prostitutes
“The most important painting of the twentieth century.” This was said of Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” before the century was even half over. It remains one of the most original and disturbing works in the history of art.
At eight feet high, “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” is an intimidating presence. Reproductions in books shrink its power.
The painting was executed over three months in 1907 in Picasso’s jammed, squalid one-room studio apartment in bohemian Montmartre in Paris. Its fleshy pinks are a survival from the artist’s Rose Period but with a stunning change of tone. There is no longer any humor or pleasure. On the contrary, we seem to have wandered into a torture den. It’s the reception room of a brothel, where bored women lounge with their hair down as they wait for customers -- a scene frequently drawn by Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. Picasso had painted prostitutes in Paris cafés, where they were dancing or flirting with one another. In Les Demoiselles, however, each of the women seems locked in her own severe, remote consciousness. They are like Fates, frigid masters of man’s destiny.
When this painting finally became known to the world after its acquisition by New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1939, commentary focused on its formal properties as a prefiguration of cubism, co-created by Picasso and Georges Braque before World War I. Because so many of Picasso’s preparatory sketches were preserved, studies of the painting’s genesis are extensive, but little or no attention has been paid to a variety of later details. Its demurely ambiguous title, “The Maidens of Avignon,” has proved an irritant: Picasso did not coin it, and he disliked it. He simply called the painting “mon bordel” (my brothel).
Living Picture
It is staged like a tableau vivant. The woman standing at left lifts a heavy curtain, while her opposite bursts like a wind into the tent-like space. On a stool at lower right, a nude sits with legs brazenly spread. The two apparently upright central figures are actually reclining with arms behind their heads, a white sheet draping their legs.
Picasso’s startling conflation of two points of view was revolutionary. Ever since the Renaissance, perspective had been based on the spectator’s fixed position, reproducing where the painter had set his easel. Here, however, we stand on the brothel floor and also hover near the ceiling -- a duality not seen since Byzantine art.
Multiple perspective, soon to be a hallmark of cubism, also applies to the spiderlike sitter: We view her legs and bare buttocks from behind, but her torso demonically twists to make her head and arms face forward. She rests her menacingly boomeranglike chin on her fist. The reclining ladies are also hybrid: Their eyes and faces are frontal, while their noses are profiled. Picasso’s disjunctive method is partly derived from Cézanne, whose sloping country tabletops are imitated here in the giddily angled coffee table.
But Picasso had also studied Egyptian art, with its anatomical contortions. His left-hand lady, hand clenched at her side and one foot forward, is based on pharaoh sculptures and the Greek athlete statues (kouroi) that they inspired. Furthermore, as the sole clothed (or semi-clothed) demoiselle, she evokes the Winged Victory of Samothrace, plastered with wet drapery as she lands on a ship’s prow, a monumental ancient sculpture that Picasso saw dominating the magnificent Daru Staircase at the Louvre.
Meanwhile, the reclining demoiselles allude to the Venetian tradition of lazy, opulent nudes, who reappeared as hookah- smoking Turkish or Algerian odalisques in nineteenth-century French paintings. Picasso based the two women’s domed heads and large ears on pre-Roman Iberian sculptures found near his hometown of Malaga in Andalusia. Their raised elbows come from a homoerotic statue that always fascinated him -- Michelangelo’s neoplatonic Dying Slave, a life-sized plaster copy of which can be seen in photographs of Picasso’s studio after his death.
Time Line
Thus “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” densely embodies a procession of styles in Western art, read from left to right: antiquity through the Renaissance to modernity, which Picasso shows transformed by the abrupt arrival of non-Western cultures, represented by scarified tribal masks from Africa and Oceania.
Although he later tried to minimize it, Picasso also had an intense spiritual experience at the Trocadero ethnographic museum just as he was formulating “Les Demoiselles.” Sixteen years earlier, Gauguin had abandoned Paris for Tahiti. Picasso saw Gauguin’s South Seas paintings at two posthumous retrospectives; their influence can be detected in the dusky complexion of the left-hand demoiselle, who resembles Oceanic ancestor spirits like the stone sentinels of Easter Island.
But how tranquil Gauguin’s Tahitian pictures seem compared with Picasso’s visceral adaptation of what was then called “primitivism.” Picasso zeroes in on the violence of ancient nature cults, with their rituals of blood sacrifice. Sex as portrayed in “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” is a gateway to an impersonal world of pure biologic force where man is nothing and where woman, a mother goddess splitting into her weird sisters, is everything.
The little table has been seen as a phallically thrusting prow (in early sketches, a sailor sat at stage center). But it can also be viewed as a ruined altar laden with ashy forbidden fruits -- a melon slice resembling a scythe-like crescent moon, a mottled pear and apple looking like hacked meat.
Has castration already occurred? The meat motif is blatant in the left-hand figure, whose floor-length pink peignoir gives her a third leg, like a slab of well-marbled beef. French argot for a working-class brothel was “slaughterhouse” (maison d’abattage; compare “abattoir”). Yes, whores are meat on the rack. But the bladelike leg resting on the floor suggests it is the lady’s clients who have been butchered, their blood washing down onto her sturdy, mannish foot.
Sleepless Eyes
There are no welcoming smiles in this cabal of urban nymphs. Their snakelike lidless eyes are fixed and blank or at mismatched angles or missing altogether. They are sleepless watchmen of the heaven-hell of sex, where the price of momentary ecstasy may be disease or obliteration of identity. The jewellike, geometric facets of cubism are anticipated in Picasso’s transformation of round breasts into aggressive squares with razor points (combined with unsettlingly reversed underarm hair).
The colors of “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” paint an elemental drama from earth brown to sky blue. These fierce women enact what the Bible credits to Jehovah -- the division of land from ocean and the creation of the firmament with sun and moon. The cosmic birth process is literalized in a splash of blood ringing the splayed demoiselle. Her squat stool is a bordello bidet but also a low birthing chair, basic to old rural societies all over the world. In Picasso’s first sketches, a male medical student or city health inspector holding a book locks eyes with the crouching demoiselle: The gruesome mystery of procreation can be observed but not explained by science.
Picasso called this work “my first exorcism painting.” It was an experiment in black magic. With its graceful, chalky outlines yet jagged fractures and distortions, it weds beauty to ugliness.
These statuesque demoiselles, crowding the flat picture plane, are Picasso’s carnal Muses, patrons of his genius and titanic productivity. (He left 50,000 works in a vast range of genres and materials.) In this, his greatest painting until his political protest mural, Guernica, 30 years later, he confronts the mothers of his creative vision. Mutating through many faces, they are the models for the restlessly mercurial styles of his long career. He cannot conquer them, but their intense gaze conveys that they are choosing him, and only him.
(Camille Paglia, university professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, is the author of “Sexual Personae,” “Sex, Art and American Culture” and “Vamps & Tramps,” among other books. This is the third in a series of four excerpts from her new book, “Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars,” which will be published by Pantheon Books on Oct. 16. The opinions expressed are her own. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 4.)
To contact the writer of this article: Camille Paglia at
To contact the editor responsible for this article: Mary Duenwald at

Read the whole piece here:  Black Magic in Picasso’s Parlor of Prostitutes - Bloomberg

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Map of the Day: New York's Geography of Complaining

Finally, statistical confirmation of what we always knew: Manhattan is loud, the Bronx is the world's graffiti capital, and the other three boroughs are covered in garbage.

At least those seem to be the obvious conclusions from this map, by Dietmar Offenhuber, based off two years of 311 complaints. Green corresponds to noise complaints, blue to litter complaints, and magenta to graffiti.
But there are some more subtle conclusions. The Manhattan-priced neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo and Park Slope all fade to green, indicating that their residents are concerned with noise rather than with garbage, like their Manhattan compatriots.
Chinatown, Bushwick, and Corona (particularly Corona, wow) struggle with graffiti more than elsewhere in their boroughs. Harlem residents complain about trash more than other Manhattan residents. Battery Park City is LOUD! Graffiti in deep Brooklyn seems to follow the paths of the subway lines down from Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery. And people on 5th Avenue along Central Park, judging by the dully shaded blocks, either don't have much to complain about at all, or perhaps, don't know what 311 is.

See the image here:

Map of the Day: New York's Geography of Complaining


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