Popular Culture, Fairy Tales, Bolts

Book Giveaway winners: Princess Burning Hair (known as Angie) wins the book giveaway from earlier in the week.  Journalution goes to Angie–congratulations!  Bluestocking wins another book from my journaling stash. Bluestocking said that she is having trouble with journaling book and keep flinging it across the room. Her honest frustration made me laugh, so Bluestocking, get in touch and I’ll send you a different book. Contact me at QuinnCreative [at] Yahoo [dot] com so I can send the books!

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Every February in Yukon, Canada, there is a hair-freezing contest. Yes, hair freezing. Contestants dip their hair in 104ºF water, then put their heads up into the freezing air. (I will not make air-head jokes. I will not.)

takhini-hot-springs-hair-freezing-contest-8The cold air then freezes the water and the hair. The contestants can mold their hair into shape or let it freeze freely. (Story via Buzzfeed.)

enhanced-8211-1425575578-10There is something funny and wonderful about this contest. It’s not just the color, but it must feel cold on your head while your body is warm.

Kilian Schönberger is a German photographer who has toured Central Europe looking to find locations that illustrate the otherworldly imagery of the stories collected by the Johann and Wilhelm Grimm.

central-european-landscapes-inspired-by-grimms-fairy-tales-by-kilian-schongerger-4You can see more of the photographs on Behance (part 1) and (part 2).

central-european-landscapes-inspired-by-grimms-fairy-tales-by-kilian-schongerger-10On Behance, he says, ” I think there is a deep longing for tranquil naturalness among people in our techonology-driven environment. Therefore I don’t want to show just potrayals of natural scenes – I want to create visually accessible places where the visitor can virtually put his mind at rest and make up his own stories. Possibly this is the real benefit of my work: Resting places for the eyes in an visually overstimulated world.”

Tobbe Malm is a sculptor from Sweden. He found a bunch of old bolts in a barn in Bergsladen Sweden, and decided to use the bolts in sculpture.

tobbe-malm-transforms-steel-bolts-into-evocative-sculptures-1The forms are touchingly human and the sculptures speak to the human condition.

tobbe-malm-transforms-steel-bolts-into-evocative-sculptures-3Via Twisted Sifter, Malm says, “The bolts reminded me of human forms, and I felt they had something to tell. I heated them, forged, bent and twisted. I tried to create relations, meetings and situations and suddenly stories emerged about sorrow, joy, pain, warmth and humour. A kind of poetry was created, hence the title.”

Have a creative weekend!

-Quinn McDonald is encouraged by original art. She is also delighted that today at 9:26 a.m. and p.m. it will be the perfect Pi day: 3.1415926

 

 

 

Words Worth Dumping

I’ve never been a fan of business jargon–paradigm shift, take it to another level, gold standard. Almost all business jargon words take a simple word (in the above case: change, improve, and best) and make it more complicated and confusing. The only reason to do that is if the speaker doesn’t really want to be clear.

Business jargon will always be used, and I’ll always be looking for shorter, better words. I’m tired of “wheelhouse,” which means within your area of expertise or interest, as in, “I’m assigning you to the marketing team because the Acme Dynamite account put marketing in your wheelhouse.” Except it doesn’t really distinguish between expertise and interest, and that distance can be pretty hefty.

Instead of “wheelhouse,” let’s get back to what it means, and use either “expertise” or “skill.” Simple and no one thinks you are the ancient mariner or Captain Ahab.

But there are two phrases that have come into casual language–the language we use with our friends. In today’s world, that means at work, too, because our friends are now those we compete with and see every day at work.

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 8.48.52 PM“Bitch slap” is an open-handed slap to someone (admittedly, male or female) who is whining. It also means that the person who gets slapped can’t take a “real, manly punch.” The whole thing is abhorrent. Because it also implies that if your woman is a bitch, she needs to be slapped. This happens a lot in movies, and it’s not just recent. It shows that men are always in charge, need to control their women, and if the women steps out of line, well, then, she deserves a little slapping around. It’s not funny, and it teaches a whole boatload of bad ideas.

“Resting Bitch Face” (also called Bitchy Resting Face) is another term that was started to explain the look of aging women–the mouth that isn’t in a perpetual smile, but one with corners that turn down. Everyone who is over 40 knows that sooner or later, gravity wins. If you also have the two lines between your eyebrows, it gets worse. There was even a pretend PSA (Public Service Announcement) that set the phones of plastic surgeons ringing.

The idea is that women always need to look nice, pleasant, smiling, sexy. I don’t know a single person, male or female, who can maintain that. But I’ve not heard of the male equivalent.

This isn’t about political correctness, this is about two terms that de-value women based on the fact that they are women. Our culture runs on language, and when we use language that demeans a segment of our culture, it changes opinions of how those people should be treated. Not every woman is beautiful, and most women who are lucky to live long lives have that life written on their faces. it doesn’t make them bitches. The thing that bothers me the most is that the terms (when I hear them) are most often used by women.

–Quinn McDonald is fierce, but she’s no bitch.