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    Funny Icelandic Street Names

         Here are some pictures of street signs in Reykjavik.  I suppose they're not funny if you can speak Icelandic, which sounds like this.  I suppose this isn't art either, but as Johannes S. Kjarval said, "Art is too serious to be taken seriously."




    The Einar Jónsson Museum 

           One of Iceland’s greatest artists is sculptor Einar Jónsson (possibly the most easily pronounceable of Icelandic names; he lived from 1874 - 1954).  The Einar Jónsson Museum in Reykjavik houses hundreds of his large-scale, often semi-symmetrical pieces, which draw from dark, mythological folklore and feature mischievous trolls, intrepid knights, slain dragons, and tormented souls.  They are some of the most impressive sculptures in the world, and to visit the museum is alone worth a trip to Iceland.  Here’s a slideshow of some of the pieces on display (images that are not formatted to fit the slideshow frame properly can be viewed in full by right-clicking on the photo and selecting view image).


    Reykjavik in Black and White


    How to Build a Bookshelf out of Books

    1.   Gather your collection of read and unread cheap or free paperback books (the thinner the better) that you are willing to desecrate by drilling holes into them.

    2.   Greatly underestimate the time it will take to build the bookshelf.

    3.   Start drilling uniform holes through the center of the books. Insert a dowel rod through them. Lined-up compactly, these books will serve as your shelves.

    4.   (Optional) Drop the project altogether and go hiking on the foggiest peak you can find, possibly getting lost and wishing you were back home working on the bookshelf.

    5.   Drill holes through the wood panels that will serve as the sides of your shelf, and then insert the dowel rod through them. (I do not recommend using basal wood, which I used, because it’s very flimsy and does not provide strong support for a bookshelf larger than three shelves.)

    6.   Glue the shelves to the panels.

    7.   Glue more books the sides of the wood panels, so as to conceal the wood.

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    8.   Stand the shelf up and pray it won’t collapse. Put books on it and don’t ever touch it again.

    9.   Weigh the effort you put into the bookshelf versus the outcome. It may be a bookshelf comprised of more books than it holds. Hopefully you feel that you broke even overall.

    10.   (Optional) Go kayaking down Big River while on call for work, inadvertently find yourself in the sea, and incur salt water damage to your phone, thereby wishing you had transferred your bookshelf photos earlier. Follow these steps to repair your phone.


    The Fantastic Art of Alexis Rockman

    Here are some beautiful and borderline-surreal paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Alexis Rockman, who is one of the most skilled painters alive.  Some of these canvases are enormous (a few measure 8x24 ft.), and took up entire walls of the American Art Museum in Washington D.C when they were featured there in 2010.  It’s like Dali shifted his artistic focus to biology and the natural sciences.  So far, there’s only been one large public exhibition of Rockman’s work.  [Separately, if you’re looking for a good excuse for a road trip, Peter Blume (1906 – 1992) is another great American artist, and a collection of his work will be exhibited in Philly from 11/14/2014 – 4/5/2015.  Maybe I’ll see you there…]  You may want to right-click to view the full image.