The Bauhaus Museum In Weimar: A Collection Of Things Or A Movement That Changed The World?

The disappointing exposition of the new Bauhaus Museum in Weimar which led to an obsession in me to find better concepts and to explain a little bit …

The Bauhaus Museum In Weimar: A Collection Of Things Or A Movement That Changed The World?

This post first appeared on one of the blogs I follow. I love how the writer talks not only about art (and one of the coolest art movements ever) but also about history, politics, UX (obliquely), and ordinary life. I hope you enjoy it, too!

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The Flicker Show (or, putting the garbage out)

That’s what they used to call  movies: the “flicker show.” Tonight I was putting our garbage and recycling carts on the other side of our gate so they could be wheeled down to the curb for collection tomorrow. It was late, and in the darkness the garage light cast stripes of light through the slats of the gate onto a garden hose lying coiled on the driveway. I loved the way it looked. Really striking.

When I turned around  to close up again, I decided the gate itself looked kind of cool hanging open, so I took two more pictures, each from a slightly different angle.

I like the way they look here on the screen stacked atop each other. Kind of like a zipper.

And then, finally, as I pushed the gate shut, I noticed that those stripes of light on the hose started to move in sort of a psychedelic, discotheque-y manner. Cool, right?

I just now previewed the video with sound for the first time. My phone is always set on “silent,” so I never hear anything when I look at video I’ve just shot. I didn’t realize it at the time, but in addition to the gate clunking as I pushed it, there is a distant siren in the background. It kind of fits as a spooky soundtrack 🙂

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Field trip!

We try to take our dog on a field trip once a week, just to give her some new sights and smells and not to mention a thrilling opportunity to ride in the car!

Today my daughter and I went over to the field near the middle school and local cemetery. I loved the way the trees in the cemetery undulated in the breeze, so I hung back and shot this video with my phone. That’s Coco at the bottom, about one-third of the way in from the left, checking things out along the fence.

This is the last Friday of summer, which always makes me sad. I’ve been a teacher for many years now (starting as a TA in grad school). I often wonder if I’d notice the change of season or feel the loss of summer quite so acutely if I weren’t tied to the academic calendar. Maybe I’ll find out someday when I retire.

However, it occurs to me that if it turns out I’m no longer sad about the end of summer once I’m retired, I’ll probably start feeling nostalgic instead for the way I used to feel sad about it when I was working! 😂

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Conduits

I started writing an actual post last Friday, which I hope to get back to eventually. But I had some frustrating issues with my new laptop for work and spent the weekend losing way too much time to that situation. The problem seems to be resolved now, which is lucky since I have loads to do before school starts next week!

Anyway, tonight while searching through my iPhone camera roll to find a photo for my daughter, I came upon these pictures I took last February of some electrical conduits in the basement parking garage of MSOE’s Campus Center. (At least, I assume that’s what they are; I’m just an interested layperson😄)

Just as the rest of the Campus Center even today retains much of its beautiful, curved Streamline Moderne styling (from its 1940s-era beginnings as the Blatz Brewing Bottle House), these conduits and others running along the basement ceiling are almost a work of art and a reminder that true quality extends beyond the obvious surface details.

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Back after a long absence (blamed entirely on the pandemic!)

This is my first post since February, so hello! The details behind my long absence don’t really matter, because, really,  haven’t we all been dealing with the same troubles for months now?

But basically, long story short: I teach college, and as soon as the coronavirus started to be a thing (ugly, accursed thing; we collectively spit on you!), my teaching and administrative responsibilities exploded. It has been grueling and nonstop since then. But finally . . . a breather. I just finished teaching my summer class and I start up again in two weeks with a pre-academic year program and then will ease back into the fall term, at which point I hope that somehow things will be slightly more under control. We’re changing from Blackboard to Canvas, and I think faculty are also due to get new computers, which is always a little disruptive. But I’ve now learned how to use Microsoft Teams and Vidgrid and have become familiar with many other new skills and platforms that I wasn’t good at when this whole online teaching thing began. So at least I feel fairly well prepared to handle my classes this fall.

And before I go any further, I should also add how grateful I am to be employed. Truly, with so many people’s livelihoods shattered by this virus and its fallout, I am very aware of how fortunate I am to have a stable job. (Currently, at least. As we’ve seen far too often in the past several months, things can fall apart completely overnight.)

Plus, so far no one in my family or immediate circle of friends has contracted COVID-19. (*superstitiously knocks on wood*)

So here I am again, back to my blog. Without ceremony and practically without explanation. Mostly because once my MS Teams meetings were over today, I went through my email and stumbled across something I ordinarily (pre-COVID-19) would have wanted to share on my blog. This has happened to me often over the past several months. I’ve even taken photos that I intended to share. But I never felt I could justify the half hour of time it would take away from work to write a blog post. And you know how once you’re away from something you feel like you can’t resume it without some sort of explanation? After radio silence for weeks, then months, it felt too awkward popping in here to post a photo as if only a few days had gone by.

Anyway . . .

Today I just found this really cool website, thanks to a daily email I subscribe to, “The Download” from MIT Technology Review. The site is called “WindowSwap.” And it’s nothing more than a series of windows. That is, from the website you can click to open someone else’s window on the world. Literally. Your screen will show the view from someone’s else’s window. I’ve just looked down on an alley in Shanghai, a sunny backyard garden in Germany, a plant-filled balcony/porch strip with two dogs in India, a rainy day in NYC, a cat overlooking a sun-drenched cityscape in Qatar, an enclosed patio with a waterfall in Singapore, a sunset over dusky hillsides in San Francisco, and sloping, green pastures amid mountains in Switzerland.

Don’t like the view? No worries. There’s bound to be something more appealing just a click or two away. How generous people have been to open up this little part of their homes and outside world to us.

You even have the option to share your own window.

The webiste is window-swap.com.

Give it a try!  Here’s screenshot of the view from a window in Switzerland.

WindowSwap is a really perfect momentary distraction—often with the ambient sounds of traffic or breezes and birdsong, and sometimes the sounds of children playing, if the windows are open. Sort of like looking out your own window to experience a brief respite, except you have the added novelty of seeing an entirely different world outside, allowing you to (re)gain perspective in an entirely new way.

For example, after clicking through several windows today, I realized what a tremendous difference flowers made in my feelings toward a view. And once I realized that, I found myself mentally remaking all the unappealing views I encountered to see how they might be redeemed if only some pots of flowers were added to the windowsill or porches or walls. Those imaginary splashes of color completely turned things around. Funny, I’ve always been somewhat indifferent to flowers, like they’re a nice extra but not particularly worthy of attention when money and time are tight.

I’m rethinking that now.

Especially now, when we need uplifting more than ever.

And maybe my best parting words today would be these: Thank you to all the bloggers who kept on posting during the past few months. Some days when my news and social media feeds were bursting with negativity, just opening my WordPress app and seeing you continue to show up every day with your food blogs and art blogs and music blogs and history blogs and your poetry and diaries of ordinary life—all of that normality gave me the positive boost I needed to suck it up and get on with my own daily tasks.

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Trees Like Cotton

Yesterday’s snow was so pretty, laying itself down thick and heavy on the tree branches. Everything was drenched in white. Then today in the sunshine all that snow started falling off in globs, leaving behind these odd clusters of “cotton” on the branches.

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Abstraction in Snowy Branches

I guess we’ll be shoveling later tonight, but meanwhile the snow is beautiful ❤️

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Caterpillars Don’t Become Butterflies!

A blogger I follow published a link to this older post today, which he said has become the most-visited/read post on his blog. I can see why. Number one, I’ve never heard this about caterpillars. And number two, the metaphor for our own lives is pretty deep to ponder. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

With thanks to Mitch Teemley . . .

via Caterpillars Don’t Become Butterflies!

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Brutalism Softened

One of the Juneau Village Towers apartment buildings, photographed in the soft haze of our misty “wintry mix” today.

With their Brutalist looks, the towers of this apartment complex have always reminded me of the old Soviet Bloc style housing. Ugly, utilitarian, and possibly even slightly menacing. But the mist hanging over downtown Milwaukee today softens the concrete structure’s hard edges.

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Snow in Repose

Just a photo I took of a bench outside the Starbucks at Red Arrow Park. Winter can be pretty and even peaceful.

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