How “Ugly” Art Preserves Culture Too

When one looks at an H.R. Giger painting, it’s difficult to see how this art contributes positively to the overall world of art and culture. This can be hard to see because “ugly” artists like Giger often create designs that are quite shocking and horrifying. However, this art actually contributes much to the world of art, but in a quite different way than the art of Michelangelo or Da Vinci.

Different Perspectives

My favorite art teacher in school once said that art is a representation of what it means to be human. That does not mean that it is pretty, but that doesn’t mean it’s always ugly either. Some art will fall to either extreme, just because humans often fall to extremes as well.  Art pieces like the ones Banksy creates will often provoke negative emotions, which are just as valid as positive emotions. Gustave Dore’s illustrations for such religious literary texts as Inferno and Paradise Lost are great examples of this; they SHOULD be ugly and shocking, because the meaning of the texts are often ugly and shocking. Art should match the emotion that the artist is trying to provoke.

Types of Art

Art can be broadly divided into three emotional categories: The Exquisite, the Mundane, and the Ugly. The Exquisite is represented by most Renaissance Christian art; it is a bit overblown but breathtaking at the same time. The Mundane is broad, but great examples include the Impressionistic painters depicting scenes of starry nights or flowers or lilies. The Ugly is a fairly recent development, and has much to do with the loss of hope for many during the Industrial Revolution. Each of these represent stages in our life. The Exquisite is what we hope to gain eventually; it is unreachable but hopeful. The Mundane is where we are in life. We are simply living life and enjoying it, from doing simple things like picking up great racquets for a game of badminton all the way to playing games with children. And the Ugly represents our fear, and what we hope to never see.

More Power

The last reason why ugly or negative art is made is because negative emotions have more power than positive ones. This is a sad fact about the world we live in. Fear will induce a stronger reaction than the same amount of love; pain produces a bigger reaction than pleasure. And a dreadful or fearful image will create a stronger emotion than will a beautiful one. A scary movie sticks with you longer than a romantic movie. Artists love provoking emotions, and very driven ones can provoke very powerful emotions with fearful images. So why do we love scary movies or have a fascination with frightening images? It’s because we connect with them on a stronger level than we do with beauty. Is that bad? Maybe, maybe not… But it is true, so don’t be afraid to be afraid occasionally!

Environment Friendly Home Appliances

Recently the trend of selecting green appliances is increasing among homeowners and builders alike. Greener lifestyles are becoming more in vogue. And I think as responsible citizens each of us should do our part in saving the planet by choosing greener measures in all we do.

For instance, did you know that it is possible to make your home appliances and gadgets eco-friendly? It helps to save water and energy too. And the upside of adhering to green measures is you lower your carbon footprint. By encouraging your family members to participate in saving the environment, you can benefit more with the lowered energy costs and water bills.

While building your home from scratch or remodelling it, you should ensure that it is properly insulated and has energy saving windows and flooring. These are but a few steps that you can focus on. These save you personally by reducing the power bills and save the environment too.

And when you consider landscaping, you can limit the conventional lawns, which waste too much water and go for the greener choices such as artificial grass and paving stones which save water, while retaining the beauty of your home’s exterior. As for the safety features in a home, a doorbell is an important part of safety in your home. I’d recommend installing a good wireless doorbell, which is one option that can be done on your own and with customization features too.

To make your home consume less amount of water and become energy efficient, you need to invest in green appliances. This will help in a comfortable home and you’ll not be shocked into stupor every time you get your utility bill.

Some of the top green appliances you can install in your home include

Refrigerator

Since the refrigerator runs throughout the year nonstop and is an appliance that consumes the most energy, you need to make it as energy efficient as possible. If your refrigerator is an old model, you can be sure that it is not as energy efficient as the new ones in the market. It is best to replace it so the energy consumption comes down.

Buy a refrigerator that has energy star logo in it. These consume at the minimum about 20 percent less energy than the models without energy star in them. Models without automatic icemaker and which have freezer on top are best for saving energy. Freezer on bottom too is permissible but the least efficient are the ones that have side-by-side models.

Washing machine

While choosing green clothes is good thing, did you know that the laundry room in your home is what contributes to most of the carbon footprint made from your clothing? The amount of energy, emissions, and water needed to create organic cotton clothing is a fraction of the amount spent on the shirt throughout its use. Using a washing machine with energy star is a good choice. And a front loading machine is an ideal choice, as it uses less water and detergent, and since it removes more water during spin cycle, the dryer is used less, thus saving more energy.

Dishwasher

Using a dishwasher manufactured before 1994 can lead to wasting of more than 10 gallons of water in just one cycle. So, use energy star rated newer models instead.

Why and How People Destroy Cultural Heritage

Destroy Cultural HeritageGod help the fools that give themselves the right to destroy something so precious and unique like cultural heritage! I saw every once in a while some news in which they say how some terrorist group or religious fanatic destroyed some beautiful and truly unique monument or temple. It is unacceptable to let people do whatever they want with pieces of our connected heritage. The black market on which criminals re-sell parts of some temple or some sarcophagus is one of the biggest problems regarding those few things which are left to us from our predecessors. Culture doesn’t grow on trees! It takes a long time to make something marvelous and unique. So by destroying our past we forget who we are now. People need to understand why and how do other people destroy our collective heritage.

Here we are not just talking about ‘destroying’ heritage in the sense of installing horrid lights like those at http://lightbarreport.com/ – we’re talking major destruction. One of the examples why anyone would destroy something old and precious is war. Just in 2015, in the Syrian desert, ISIL has destroyed Palmyra, statues in Mosul and they have destroyed Nimrud, which was an ancient city in Iraq. The taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan. But it is not just that they blow something with a bazooka or destroy just one part of the thing. They plan, drill holes, they insert dynamite and calculate how much TNT they need exactly to completely destroy something which can never exist again.

Iraq for instance, was the first country in the world which has been labeled as an ‘endangered site’, because of the terrifying destruction which was done to the county. Religion is often a problem with extremists. They think that just existing near them, some really old testament of some different culture and religion is a threat. There isn’t any sensitivity from their side. Nobody thinks, ‘future generations will have something from this’.

It is not just about some far away country. Europe is full of examples how primitive can people be. France, UK, Italy, Spain etc. were all countries where some kind of diabolical destruction was made, both through modern technology like quality LED lights, and annihilation. It was not on a large scale as Buddhas, but heads and parts of the walls, sculptures flew far away in some occasions. It was in the name of revolution or some new ideology. If the ideology is big enough and is pressured by some great person with big charisma, there is no question of preserving some ‘old’ and ‘unimportant’ heritage. It is a looked at as a threat! Any kind of testament of the past is looked at with fear or rebellion.

Books, scripts, paintings, poems – all were burned in the past because they don’t belong in a ‘new and better’ world. Effects of the heritage destruction are devastating to the people. It is one thing to see the death of a man, which is terrifying enough, but it’s something completely different when you see destruction of something so old because of which today’s world strives and exists. It is completely inhumane to destroy our heritage which is the only reason why we are who we are today!

Safety for Vehicles

Safety for VehiclesSometimes people are left to wonder if technology does more harm than good. Whatever be the majority vote on this matter, I still feel that technology is for our good. In fact, take the car we drive in daily. There have been so many improvements made to increase our safety on road that technology cannot be doubted.

Motor vehicles have undergone significant changes all through history. For instance, the initial vehicles didn’t even come with windshield wipers or seatbelts.  The vehicles on road today have undergone a sea change, since the time of Henry Ford. Now you see so many new features that are designed with ultimate safety for you and your family. Here are some top safety devices you see in cars today.

Air bags

While the airbags are frowned upon and thought as dangerous, they have actually saved many people’s lives. You have side and dual stage types of airbags. Dual stage goes off at varying times. If the accident is a minor one, one airbag goes off, while in accidents that are more serious both airbags are used. Side airbags are for preventing head injuries. Airbags however are harmful to small kids and they should always be in the back seat, where you don’t have any airbags.

Auto dimming or electro chromatic mirrors

The reflection of light from oncoming vehicles on your mirrors is an annoying thing. The auto-dimming feature reduces glare and prevents accidents. Using a nice led light bar also gives better lighting, while driving at night.

Impact absorbing steering

Steering systems are designed to compress on impact reducing rib injuries to drivers. According to studies, the driver fatalities have been reduced by 12% and risks that are more serious have come down by 38%. In a crash, drivers are pushed forward and the steering wheel is the main cause of injuries to them. This feature helps in preventing such risks.

Sensing system for backup

This is of immense help when you are backing up. The sensor warns when you near any object or vehicle while reversing. Many vehicles have this option now and it has certainly reduced the collisions in vehicles.

Head restraints

Whiplash and head injuries are the commonest injuries to occur in automobile accidents. The top portion of front seats has head restraints to reduce such injuries. In the latest models, the system is more advanced where the seat moves downward and back on collision, so you will not be pushed forward and risk such injuries.

Safe display

While it is necessary to keep your eyes on road always, it is natural to check for the speed, fuel other things, which can at times, lead to accidents. A heads up display helps to display information across the windshield, so you can watch whatever information you require easily and quickly.

Seat belts

While these are a part of all vehicles, there have been many new improvements to seat belts done over the years. The seat belts of today have belts that wrap your shoulders and lap, and some seatbelts keep the wearer from being thrown forward in case of an accident.