Thursday, July 31, 2008

Text Messenging can be Hazardous to Your Health

Hey, all you text messengers-- please read the article below. It's kind of funny, but actually, it is quite serious.

Hey, oblivious texters! Doctors want you to read this message

That edge of technology? You're teetering on it


You see them everywhere: driving, crossing streets, buying groceries or ordering coffee.

Their heads bent over open cell phones as their fingers leap across their keypads, unaware of the world around them.

These "texters," who send and receive messages on their phones, are not just living on the edge of modern technology. They are also safety hazards.

Put moving while texting up there with skating on thin ice and playing with matches.

In an alert issued this week, the American College of Emergency Physicians warns of the danger of more serious accidents involving oblivious texters. These doctors cite rising reports from around the country of injuries involving text-messaging motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, even Rollerbladers. And ER doctors who responded to a recent informal query from the organization reported two deaths, both in California.

A San Francisco woman was killed by a pickup truck earlier this year when she stepped off a curb while texting, and a Bakersfield man was killed last year by a car while crossing the street and texting.

Harborview Medical Center has not knowingly treated anyone injured while texting, said spokeswoman Susan Gregg-Hanson. However, after a driver typing on a BlackBerry caused a five-car pileup on Interstate 5 in December 2006, the Legislature enacted a law that banned texting while driving. This year has seen one accident caused by texting and 18 tickets given to text-messaging drivers, said Freddy Williams, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol.

As ubiquitous as texters are on Seattle's streets, no one seems willing to fess up to texting-related injuries. But they do seem to have friends who have suffered such a fate.

"I'll stop for a second at a stoplight to look around and make sure I don't hit anything," said Katie Castro, 24, who was caught texting while walking Wednesday afternoon on Sixth Avenue at Pine Street. "But I text all the time, while I'm walking, driving, at work. I really don't even talk on the phone that much anymore."

Two other pedestrians, Sarah Polachek, 21, and Emily Crawford, 22, both said their friends walked into poles and swerved their cars while texting, but wouldn't admit to having any accidents themselves. In fact, both condemned continuous texters.

"They think they can sense everything around them while texting, but they're oblivious," Crawford said. "For them, texting takes priority over safety."

Polachek took her disapproval a step further.

"I think texting is impersonal and stupid," she said. "It gets on my nerves."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has no national estimate on how common texting-related injuries are. But among the reports it has received were of a 15-year-old girl who fell off her horse while texting, suffering head and back injuries, and of a 13-year-old girl who received stomach, leg and arm burns after texting her boyfriend while cooking noodles.

Valerie Jarrett, an aide for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, lent the issue some political weight when she fell off a curb in Chicago several weeks ago while typing on her BlackBerry.

"I didn't see the sidewalk and I twisted my ankle," she said. "It was a nice wake-up call for me to be a lot more careful in the future, because I clearly wasn't paying attention and I should have."

Click here for original article.

Monday, June 9, 2008

2008 2D Art Graduating Seniors

Congratulations to all of the graduating seniors in 2D Art!

David Aniol, acrylic, 16" x 20"

Ricardo Balkcom, colored pencil, 16" x 20"

Emily Brush, acrylic, 16" x 20"

Jordan Hildwein, acrylic, 16" x 20"

Dominique Liichow, acrylic, 16" x 20"

Andrew Maslowsky, colored pencil, 12" x 16"

Kellen Miller, acrylic, 16" x 20"

Jeremy Rogers, acrylic with marker, 16" x 20"

London Rose, colored pencil, 16" x 20"

Nick Whateley, graphite pencil, 12" x 16"

It has been a real pleasure to work with these students-- most days, anyway. (Just kidding; they're a great bunch of kids!) I have had many of these students in my class for all four years, and it is amazing to see how they have grown as artists and as individuals.

My sincere best wishes to all of the2008 2D Art graduates!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Abstract Expressionism

I have not been on this page for a while-- it seemed as if nobody was even looking at it (see previous post). Although nobody has left a comment since then, I note that there have been a fair amount of hits on the page. Thusly, I think that I will post a few pictures.

We basically do not do abstract art in my classes, for a variety of reasons that I am not going to go into at the moment. Some of my students may assume that this is because I do not like abstract art. This is not necessarily true. While I find much of it to be questionable at best, I do actually like some of it.

Here are the two most important abstract painters of the mid-twentieth century, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. These two artists (with a handful of others), living and working in New York, basically defined what most people think of when they hear the term "abstract art".

Jackson Pollock is easily the best-known abstract painter to the public at large. This fact is largely due to the feature article that Life magazine ran on him him in 1949, skyrocketing him to fame. More recently, Pollock was the subject of the biopic "Pollock", starring Ed Harris. This is an excellent film, by the way, I highly recommend it.

(click on images below for a larger view)

Pollock, Male and Female, 1942

Pollock, She-wolf, 1943

Pollock, No. 32, 1950

Pollock, Lavender Mist, 1950

Willem de Kooning is less known outside of art circles. Within the art world however, many people feel that he was a better painter than Pollock, and de Kooning has been arguably much more influential to other painters in the last 50-60 years.

de Kooning, The Wave, 1944

de Kooning, Excavation, 1950

de Kooning, Woman V, 1953

de Kooning, Gotham News, 1955

Pollock died tragically behind the wheel in a drunk driving accident in 1956. De Kooning worked through the 1980s, but his work fell off as he suffered increasingly from Alzheimer's disease; he died in 1997, 93 years old.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Is anybody home?

I started this page mainly as a resource for my students. It appears that it is not being used very much. There are a lot of great links here for galleries, museums, art schools, and more. The low number of visitors to this page does not give me much incentive to put a lot of energy into it. However, students, if you express some interest, I will start making some more posts.

Here is a little something for you to look at. There's more where this came from if anyone is interested.

Kehinde Wiley, Portrait of a Venetian Ambassador