Dangerous colors

Other possible titles:

  • Why are humans so slow to learn?
  • How much have artists and scientists sacrificed so that we can learn?
  • This is why we need responsible agencies like the EPA and the Department of Health, run by ethical people.

I liked the narrator’s tone of disbelief when she stresses “the 1970s” as she explains when the white pigment made from lead was finally banned.

Perhaps the people of Ireland and India are feeling a bit defensive after watching this video, though…

Here is the TED-Ed of this video, with accompanying questions and links.

A mile in their shoes

The idiom “to walk a mile in someone’s shoes” means …

Can you guess?

Here’s a short article that will help: about an artist who has depicted various world leaders as refugees: “This Syrian Artist Wants World Leaders to┬áTo Know What It Feels Like To Be Refugees” (from BuzzFeed). Here are three. There are several more in the article, and more pictures and a couple of videos on the artist’s website.

“Vlad”

“Donald”

“The Queue”

If you’d like a detailed definition of the idiom, here’s one with examples, from Grammarist.

Auto Draw and other AI experiments

Have you tried Auto Draw yet? It’s a lot of fun, especially for people who get frustrated at their complete lack of artistic skills.

 

This morning’s attempt:

 

This made me laugh… My awful drawing and some of the things the AI thought I might mean:

I’m really not quite that bad at drawing, but doing it on a mousepad rather than a tablet and stylus — and before my morning coffee — is an excuse.

See some other AI experiments here.

“I have drawn ‘spring’.”

According to this article in the Economist, the average peak-bloom date for cherry blossoms in Kyoto is getting earlier, probably because of climate change.

Here are some ukiyo-e featuring cherry blossoms with explanations in English. This is of a hanami party from the mid-19th century:

Discussion/Writing/Research questions:

  • Did you enjoy a hanami this year? Where do you think are the best places for different types of hanami (walking around type, sitting and eating/drinking type)?
  • How would you explain the word “hanami” to someone who does not speak Japanese, has never been here, and doesn’t know much about Japan?
  • Do you associate cherry blossoms more with entrance ceremonies or graduation ceremonies? If this trend continues and cherry blossoms continue to bloom earlier, what do you think will happen to this tradition?
  • In this excerpt from The Tale of Genji, it says that they celebrated the cherry blossoms in “the second month”. But they followed a different calendar in the Heian Period, didn’t they? What would that be today? Have you read Genji? What do you remember about it?