Greening art

Greening artGreen art is a popular sub-genre in art and architectural circles today. In today’s era of global warming and climate change, the thematic association with natural elements, both flora and fauna, could not be more relevant. Today, more and more environmentally-conscious men and women are taking advantage of their abilities to express themselves through art and architecture, combining artistic creativity with engineering skills and entrepreneurial inventions. Through art, we sometimes discover new elements in nature and consequently express ourselves through actions in response to our new awakenings. Owing to geo-political and economic factors, more people have become urbanized, withdrawing further from depleted natural surroundings.

Blending in with nature

For most people, preoccupied with their daily lives, it has become challenging to notice those objects of beauty which rarely escape the eyes of artists and designers. But to compensate, the less-artistic of society still appreciate the gifts of their creative peers. You only need to look around your own home to appreciate aspects of art being combined with mechanical functions. Even the automobile that you drive to work each day has been inspired by some form of artistic expression.  Modern buildings are functional and environmentally sustainable, engineered from scratch to be artistically assimilated with nature.

Previously, the concern was always over how much natural space had been appropriated by mankind. In the sport of golf, hardly a necessity to most people and merely a form of recreation for some, large areas of land were cleared to build acres of greens on which enthusiasts could then hit a tiny ball from one end of the park to another with a club. Fortunately, whether through legislation or necessity, even artistic expression, today’s designers of golfing links are a lot more considerate where nature is concerned.

In communion with nature

Whether by design or not, much of the flora and fauna has been left untouched by builders who lay out their greens around natural forests and streams as opposed to demolishing them. For instance, it is no longer a rare occurrence to hear of a golfer having to watch his natural surroundings carefully while sizing up his next shot. Some golfing greens have even been placed near rivers populated by alligators. But thanks to modern technology, avid golfers have the benefit of using a custom-sized GPS navigator.

It is mainly used to optimize their performance on the greens but discerning golfers may argue that the sport remains true when only relying on instinct and the naked eye. You would have to visit or join a golf club to fully appreciate all of this. This website shows you how you can get started and what you will need as a beginner. Hikers, skiers and cross-country runners would agree that battling it out with their natural surroundings is the essence of their sport.

Originally, humankind was designed by their own artistic creator to be in communion with nature. It is still pleasing to see that we are slowly but surely returning back to basics, whether out of necessity or by design.

Monuments and Nails

Monuments and NailsWhile famous monuments of mankind like the Library at Alexandria or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon may have been destroyed by time and wear, people all over the world are still keen on constructing massive buildings. We love our monuments, but construction methods are a bit different now than they were ages ago, when the previously mentioned world wonders were created. Regardless of where the monument is or what it’s supposed to depict, it’s pretty much a given that it will be held together with nails today. This is a little interesting when you think about it – how common nails are now.

Nails are the little, inexpensive pieces of iron or other metal which hold much of our world together. They bring together different pieces of wood when making scaffolding surrounding a building, and they actually fuse elements of the building together as well, like when drywall is nailed to walls before plaster and paint go on top of it. Even if we’re not talking about monuments but rather office buildings, homes and fire stations, nails play a big part in keeping the building together. The odds are good that you’ve used nails as well if you ever built anything with wood.

Nails work wonderfully, but they do not do their work alone. There is a lot of force necessary to pound a nail into a solid block of wood, or through other building materials. Often this force is applied by using a hammer to pound the nail, hence the flat head at the opposite end of the pointed spike bit. If you’ve done any carpentry or construction before though, you know this hammering can tire a person out quickly. That’s why devices like the nail gun or framing nailer are so popular among those who build. They allow the user to apply the right amount of force, but require only a squeeze of a trigger.

Nails come in a wide variety of sizes, lengths and materials, and some are better for certain tasks than others. Roofing and shingle nails are short with fat heads which help to secure shingles and other roof aspects; concrete nails are also short but much thicker, so they can push through concrete without breaking themselves; finishing nails are very narrow and long, being designed for use in fastening exposed elements or in environments where the fat heads of larger nails would look bad. They don’t really have much of a head, so care must be taken when pounding them into an object.

I feel like I’m getting away from the main point I wanted to make here. That is, even the greatest and most amazing structures in the world rely on some of the smallest, least significant items of all to be held together and maintain. Nails may be simple and small, but they are absolutely vital to many projects, some of which can be quite complicated. There’s a lesson to learn here, something about the importance of small details and how even little things can make a huge difference. I just don’t know how to articulate it at the moment.

New Seven Wonders of the World

The world today is filled with many wonderful from natural formations that leave you speechless to magnificent feats of human ingenuity. People have been exploring and wondering over the many awe-inspiring sites in the world for centuries. In fact, it was the ancient Greeks who began the tradition of identifying the Seven Wonders of the World. That is, those sites which are so wondrous and inspiring that one should visit them if he or she wants to have a truly profound experience. Of course, for the ancient Greeks the “world” consisted entirely of the Mediterranean region. For that reason, the list has been modified over time to include wonders from all over the world.

The Original Seven Wonders of the World

The list created by the ancient Greeks included many ancient wonders that are no longer here today. There were many amazing architectural constructions and artistic creations whose splendor we can only imagine today. The list included:

  1. The Colossus of Rhodes: a 100 foot tall statue of Helios (a Greek Titan).
  2. The Lighthouse of Alexandria: a 400 foot tall lighthouse that once guided the ships coming into the largest port in Egypt.
  3. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: a magnificent and magical botanical garden
  4. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  5. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  6. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
  7. The Great Pyramids of Giza

Of those original seven, only one (the Great Pyramids of Giza) still exists today. Therefore, it became necessary to create an updated list of wonders, reflecting the monuments and sites that still remain. The lists have changed frequently over the years and even become more specific. Today, we have lists spanning the wonders to be found in all of existence—from the seven wonders of the natural world to the seven wonders of the industrial world. There is even a list of the seven wonders of the solar system! Continue reading “New Seven Wonders of the World” »

European Capital of Culture of 2014

2014 European Capital of CultureRiga is a capital city in Latvia, and a major center of culture in the North-Eastern Europe. I wouldn’t necessarily compare it to epicenters of the past like Alexandria, but it’s one of the most vibrant spots in the eastern world, let alone the whole country of Latvia. There are fairs, festivals and other gatherings that have people coming and going all year round. There are operas, orchestral performances and plenty of live exhibitions to see too, which is why I think Latvia’s capital city is one of the hottest spots in Europe today.

Summer is just getting started in Riga, which hosted a major event for book lovers back at the beginning of the year, right in the middle of January. Men, women and children, all joined hand in hand, passed books from the National Library of Latvia all the way to the Gaismas Pils, or Castle of Light, many kilometers away. That’s really old news though.

Still to come in July of 2014 are the World Choir Games, where tens of thousands of singers from nearly a hundred different countries will all gather together and let their voices be heard. That’s in stark contrast to the Born in Riga event, wherein a series of performers playing alone tried their hardest to outshine one another.

There are other events planned for later in the year, once the weather cools down and more people are willing to take to the streets, rather than stay inside in their air conditioning. For instance, the Staro Riga, the biggest and most expansive light show in north Europe, is coming up in the middle of November. Likewise, the European Film Academy Awards will be taking place in Riga at the close of the year, near December 13th.

These are just a few of the numerous events which have either already happened in Riga in 2014, or will be happening later on in the year. There are really too many scenes, shows, sights and sounds for me to list them all here. Instead, I want to close by sharing a short story about a time I went to Riga myself.

I already mentioned the event I attended – it was that book passing thing. I can’t remember the name of it, but I surely recall the long chain of people, stretching all the way to the horizon and rolling right over it, as far as my eyes could see and then farther still. It was at this event that I managed to visit with some local business partners who work for Citrus Solutions.

Naturally, I was somewhat surprised to see those two guys at the book passing event I attended, but it wasn’t so shocking in retrospect. They’re always going places with big crowds to be seen, be heard, spread the word about their business, that sort of thing. Anyhow, they told me about some changes they were thinking of making to www.citrus.lv, their company website.

Now, me, I’m a big fan of most human constructs. We aren’t just a part of history – we make history, each of us. They came to me for any advice on how they could make their website something that would withstand the test of time and they got what they came for, let me tell you. I should be seeing them again later this year when I revisit Riga for those film awards I spoke about.