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Blow my mind.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by suapyg, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. suapyg

    suapyg
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    I got into a conversation today about the greatest examples of creativity throughout history, and all the things they share in common. It was really fun to bounce from Sphinxes and pyramids to Pollock to Mozart to Shakespeare to Hendrix to Oscar Wilde, DaVinci, Michael Jackson, Cezanne, Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey, Antoni Gaudi and Johnny Cash.

    FOCUS: No limit, no specific medium, no specific time period - give an example of one of the greatest things humans have ever left behind. Link it, explain it, justify it. This isn't a thread to tell us you think Death Cab for Cutie is an awesome band - let's keep it to things that are historically great.
     
  2. DrFrylock

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    Swappy-Gee is always complaining that we only complain about things that are awesome, like people that are obsessed with LARPing, rather than celebrating their passion and exuberance. So let's blow his mind and talk about all kinds of awesome achievements of humanity.

    A guy I know worked on Cassini and got to sign something that went inside the probe. He is pretty proud of this, for obvious reasons. What was more impressive though, is how he phrased it. He said that someday he will be dead and gone, and his kids will be dead and gone, and everyone that knows him or knew him will be gone, and maybe even all of humanity will be gone, but his signature will be sitting out there on Titan. I thought that was pretty cool.

    In a more terrestrial sense, I like all the cool wonders of the world, but I would put Randy Newman, Tom Waits, and Mark Knopfler above some of them on the list of humanity's greatest achievements.
     
  3. Kubla Kahn

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    [​IMG]


    Every time l look at the Pieta by Michelangelo I realize how insignificant anything I'll ever do will be. To think a rock could be shaped, carved, and polished to look more life like than life. Something I consider an absolute. An absolute masterpiece.
     
  4. Supertramp

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    I was tempted to post all about how awe inspiring the Roman Empire was/is but I haven't really studied the classics since I abandoned my Liberal Arts studies and I don't feel like I'm qualified. Let's just say that the discovery of 2000 year old batteries in Parthia is one of my favorite historical facts.

    In the vein of Kubla Kahn, Picasso's adaptation of Las Meninas - a seminal Baroque work - is one of my favorite collections of art of all time. Just one image won't do it justice though, he did over 40 different ones all off of one source.

    Inside the Vatican, with the gold embroidered latin on the ceilings, I felt insignificant for only the second time in my life. Obviously this is the intent, the Church wants you to feel tiny and worthless, but damn it... St. Peter's is one amazing building.

    [​IMG]

    In terms of creativity that isn't strictly "art" how about Leibnez and Newton co-defining calculus? It takes a ton of intelligence and creativity to do what they did. I'm studying differentials again, after a three year break, and it's stunning how advanced yet applicable it is. The fact that they both did worked with the fundamentals that were already in place but added so much to the theory and concept is mind-boggling.
     
  5. JoeCanada

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    I was reading a book about the history of guitar music, and this one quote fucking jumped off the page at me:

    "At its best, it represents the human voice in an almost anonymous, spiritual way, bypassing the intellect and coming straight from the heart." -Clapton

    I've never really been able to put into words how my favourite songs affected me; when Hendrix starts his solo in All Along the Watchtower, it just speaks to me, even though I can't put my finger on exactly what it's saying. Same with Stairway to Heaven, etc., etc. That always kind of bothered me in a way, but I think Clapton explains it perfectly. Words are just sounds that represent things, and music speaks to us on a whole different level.

    The fact that human beings can create music like that, music that speaks straight to the soul, is beautiful.


    P.S. Awesome thread idea.
     
  6. LessTalk MoreStab

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    For the first time in human history an explanation as to how we got here based upon supportable evidence and common sense. It’s a bit special.
     

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  7. Aetius

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    e^(ix) = cos(x) + isin(x)

    Think about it long enough and your brain will explode. Won't make it any less true.

    Perhaps even trippier is if you make x = pi:

    e^(i*pi) = -1
     
  8. Kittie

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    Shakespeare. Pure and simple, and many thousands of dollars paid by my parents and me....Fucking Shakespeare. Genius to never be equated and I won't bother to quote because he is the standard. (So I lied.)

    LI.

    Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
    Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
    From where thou art why should I haste me
    thence?
    Till I return, of posting is no need.
    O! what excuse will my poor beast then find,
    When swift extremity can seem but slow?
    Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind,
    In winged speed no motion shall I know:
    Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;
    Therefore desire, of perfect'st love being made,
    Shall neigh—no dull flesh—in his fiery race;
    But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade,—
    'Since from thee going he went wilful-slow,
    Towards thee I'll run and give him leave to go.'
     
  9. Crown Royal

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    Here's a long shot I took of Stonehenge two years ago. It's a lot bigger than you might think: Keep in mind the people are standing about 60 feet in front of it. To me Stonehenge is no doubt the most fascinating monument on the planet. The Sarsen Circle is almost 4500 years old, with the henge itself well over 5000, with it originally having wood monuments (I don't know how they know that). The 5000 lb. smaller "Blue Stones" were dragged across the entire country from the west coast of England, and the Sarsen Circle trilithons (the upright stones) reach as high as 25 feet and weigh more than 100,000 pounds. Keep in mind they were dragged to this spot from Marlborough Downs twenty fucking miles away. It boggles the mind. Thinking of the work involved it reminds me of the time when a bunch of college guys and myself dragged an upright piano up 5 flights of stairs so we could see what happened to it when we shoved it off the roof, so I can relate entirely.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Lasersailor

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    The Industrial Revolution. I'm not saying this because it's cool that I'm writing this from a computer possibly across the globe. To realize how difficult and amazing this was, you have to imagine how hard it would be to recreate it from nothing.

    Say you have a knowledge of the inner workings of a car, and for some inexplicable reason you are transported back 500 years. Imagine creating a car from absolute scratch.

    You gotta find the Ore, you gotta find other kinds of Ore, you gotta process the ore into Steel and Aluminum. You gotta shape the metal. Somehow you need to figure out how to shape intricate shapes in metal, often shaping the tooling way before you ever get to the real thing.

    40 years later, you've created one passable piston. Not to mention processing the rubber and plastic the other parts need.


    And god forbid if you want a stereo in the car.
     
  11. Juice

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    [​IMG]

    The transistor. Its the fundamental building block of all electronic components, most importantly computers. Without it, there would be no computers, and consequently no internet. If you dont know, its simply a switch for electrical signals from an On position to an Off position which can be translated into 1's and 0's. Its indirectly responsible for the period of the fastest and greatest advancement in human knowledge and will probably be so for the rest of humanity.
     
  12. TX.

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    Pretty much anything Jiri Kylian has choreographed. He is so ahead of his peers. This is one of my most favorite pieces, Petite Mort. It's not the most technically demanding piece, but the lines and movements are beautiful. I think this is one of those pieces you can rehearse and perform hundreds of times and never grow tired of it. That is very, very rare.

    I know your Uncle Lenny touched you and your mommy didn't love you, but get over the male dancers in this. So many of them are not gay. As in they're married to women and have kids. And, they're just normal people. Plus, they don't give a shit if you think they're gay. They're too busy dancing with half-naked girls all day to care.

    The finale of Petite Mort:

     
    #12 TX., Sep 17, 2010
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  13. suapyg

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    I agree, so I was amazed and excited when a friend and colleague of mine, Bulgarian artist Daniel Bozhkov, made it possible to touch La Pieta. At the 1968 World's Fair in Flushing, Queens, the Vatican brought the actual statue to exhibit. I don't know the story of why they did it, but a cast was made of the original, and the Queens museum was allowed to keep it. From the mold, they cast the statue in plaster.

    So the Queens museum has an exact replica of La Pieta.

    In an installation meant to refer to the way in which we are forced to view the original at the Vatican - in a crowd, 50 feet away and behind glass - Daniel encased the replica in glass blocks, leaving a single block empty. And allowed the viewer to stick their arm into the hole, and literally fondle one of the most incredibly emotional carvings in history.

    I'm not saying that what Bozhkov did was historically great, I'm just bragging that I totally got to feel up the Jeebus.

    More on topic - most, if not all of you have seen the work of Alphonse Mucha, whether you knew it or not. He was definitely among the most important painters at the turn of the 20th century and his work is still everywhere in our culture. (click the link on his name, you'll say, "oh, yeah - that guy.")

    But less widely known is the project Mucha took on late in his life, the Slav Epic. Twenty paintings, 24 feet x 30 feet each, it took him 18 years to complete them all. Having been started as that particular moment in art history was winding down, they essentially put a cap on any last remaining elements of Art Nouveau painting in 1928.
     
  14. Rush-O-Matic

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    I am always impressed by massive scale construction, when thinking about the individual minds that conceived it, and the individual hands that put together stone, steel, etc. Things like the Hoover Dam, the pyramids, and the like. The Great Wall of China is a winner for me, in that area. Portions were built, rebuilt and maintained since the 5th Century BC. The actual wall is about 4000 miles long, but is connected to natural barriers and trenches and such to extend its length to almost 9000 miles. For perspective, if you drove from Boston to San Diego, then turned around and drove to Amarillo, you'd have gone about 4000 miles.
     

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  15. E. Tuffmen

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    Love all the choices so far, and they are all awesome, especially Shakespeare because I was just talking about him with my wife yesterday, but for some reason this picture is the first thing that popped into my head. This picture is in fact time travel. You are looking back billions of year to the near beginning of everything. When I was a kid and just learning about cosmological stuff, I wanted to be an astronomer and I always wondered how powerful telescopes would get and how far back we would be able to see. Then this picture came along and I was blown away by it. This is image represents only one tiny little patch of sky this view is everywhere around us. Amazing
     

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  16. CharlesJohnson

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    What Michelangelo did for marble, Caravaggio did for paint. Ironically Caravaggio's name was Michelangelo as well. His mastery of light is astonishing. The figures, which are probably the apex of painting the human form in drama and poise and motion and emotion, are encapsulated in this play between the light source bleeding into the inky dark. He's able to make oil paints breathe and glow with human warmth and softness of flesh. My personal favorite painter.

    The Calling of St. Matthew:
    [​IMG]

    Taking of Christ:
    [​IMG]

    Judith and Holofernes:
    [​IMG]

    His life was intense as well. Great documentary on him (Power of Art, BBC) if you have 45 minutes to blow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNi2MWBL2-M
     
  17. Elset

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    When I had my membership to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI I stumbled a upon certain fact that absolutely blows my mind.

    In 1903 the Wright Brothers made the first manned flight of a heavier than air flying machine that lasted something like 12 seconds. A mere 66 years later, the Americans had put men on the moon. SIXTY-SIX YEARS. Unbelievable. Humans went tens (hundreds?) of thousands years without being able to fly, and then in 66 we had landed on the moon. Amazing.
     
  18. Frank

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    Along the same lines I was blown away when I took my first astronomy class, talk about putting the insignificance of your problems in perspective.

    [​IMG]

    Still not sure if I regret not getting my degree in astrophysics.
     
  19. theillest

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    The so-called "famous alto break". An I believe it's 4 bar break at the start of Charlie Parker's solo on the original recording of "A Night in Tunisia" with Dizzy Gillespie. It's all 32nd notes and not just easy ones. If you slow it down it's actually incredibly melodic. Just an incredible display of musicality, inventiveness, and dexterity. Blows my mind every time I hear it.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/audio/2009/sep/22/charlie-parker-famous-alto-break
     
  20. Super

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    I'll do my part and contribute to the greatness:

    [​IMG]

    The Pyramid of Khufu. The largest of the three Pyramids of Giza. It took 23 years to build (2589-2566 BCE)...twenty three years. The pyramid is 481' tall. How the hell did these people manage to control over 2 million stones to create this giant? It remained the largest man made structure until the Eiffel Tower was assembled (1889). Each side is 751' long and stretches across 13 acres. Christ, just imagine the amount of trial and error to perfect the angle.

    Also, along with the whole Egyptian theme:
    [​IMG]

    King Tut's solid gold tomb. If I remember correctly there was three tombs and this was the one where his body was placed. I don't believe the outer tomb was solid gold though. Just look at the detail and think about how these people accomplished this during that time.