“You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes.” — Alan Watts, philosopher
Mathematics is a beautiful language that helps us describe nature and her inexorable laws. For the layman (or laywoman in my case) this means a garbled bunch of indecipherable symbols, Greekery and equations, but it need not be the case if you would like to comprehend some concepts intuitively.
One person that I’ve come across who explains it without much fuss — and almost breathlessly, it seems — is YouTuber Vi Hart. Her singsong monologues are entertaining, insightful and best of all, educational, whether it’s explaining the Fibonacci series or mind-blowing hexaflexagons, and usually accomplished with masterful doodles.
Stories of survival are irresistibly captivating. They speak to the strength, courage and resilience of the human spirit, and is something that inspires us to wonder, what would we do in a similar situation.
The story of Agafia Lykov is one such tale. (After a long Canadian winter, I was especially drawn to her story.) Born into a Russian family that was persecuted for their religious beliefs, her father and mother packed up and retreated to a remote mountainside in the taiga, 240 kilometres (150 miles) away from the nearest town. Agafia’s family of six was mostly self-sufficient, though they faced starvation more than once and decades of bitter winters — all without human contact for years. The VICE video above is really worth watching, and here are more details of the Lykov’s incredible ordeals, via the Smithsonian Mag:
As a person who’s spent more than a few hours at the seat of a potter’s wheel I can attest to the strangely soothing act of doodling around with wet clay sludge (called slip) before or after throwing a pot. As fun as it is, it’s still somewhat surprising to see the act elevated to this level of artistry by Michael Gardner Mikhail Sadovnikov who blurs the line between performance and visual art as he creates pattern after pattern on an empty wheel.
I’ve been itching to learn how to create video content, and not knowing where to start. So I was delighted to find a “Digital Storytelling” workshop offered by Studio XX, Montreal’s “bilingual feminist artist-run centre for technological exploration, creation and critique.”
Interestingly, digital storytelling is the modern evolution of traditional oral storytelling, the kind that our ancestors have been engaging in as a means of transmission of knowledge, skills, ideas and values since time immemorial — except that it’s with digital tools, and via a screen, instead of by the fire.
Check out my video: