The passports—which had either expired over the years or been completely filled with stamps—showed Miller had visited about 100 countries, but Carpenter says agents didn’t find any evidence that Miller was ever permitted to dig. The FBI also examined the items with the more extraordinary backstories. Carpenter says the atomic bomb detonator Miller told people about was in fact a radio communications system, which wasn’t seized and has been cleared by the government. But Carpenter added that it appeared to be the same radio unit seen with Miller in photos at Los Alamos. The agents analyzed skulls pierced with arrowheads and determined that Miller hammered in those arrowheads himself. The skeleton Miller said was Crazy Horse was actually several people. Miller had taken pieces from other skulls, a different mandible, someone else’s teeth and bones, and glued it all together, Frankenstein-like. Miller, it turns out, was a stager. He thought less like an archaeologist and more like a storyteller. “Just like he created his entire persona,” Archer said.
What a Tiny Masterpiece Reveals About Power and Beauty
An amazing use of simple zooming to explain subtle points.
You will not, however, find it with the bulk of the museum’s Indian art. This painting, and the album it comes from, are in the Islamic collection; it’s a Muslim masterpiece made 2,500 miles from Mecca.
Jason Farago — The New York Times
The heartbreaking, controversial history of Mount Rushmore
Before it became known as Mount Rushmore, the Lakota called this granite formation Tunkasila Sakpe Paha, or Six Grandfathers Mountain. It was a place for prayer and devotion for the Native people of the Great Plains, explains Donovin Sprague, head of the history department at Sheridan College in Wyoming and a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. The mountain’s location in the Black Hills was also significant. “It’s the center of the universe of our people,” Sprague says. For Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho communities, the region was not only spiritually important, it was also where tribes gathered food and plants they used in building and medicine.
AMY MCKEEVER — National Geographic
The Pandemic Is a Disaster for Artists
Unemployment is particularly high for performing artists, of whom 27.4 percent report being unemployed, roughly twice the fraction of non-performing artists (14.5 percent) and higher even than those working in retail (18 percent). By contrast, at 11.4 percent, the unemployment rate for architects, librarians, and archivists is about the same as for the rest of the economy. The difference is likely due, at least in part, to the fact that performing artists are much more likely to be self-employed. But it also may be that performing artists have more trouble earning money by working from home, whereas designers, writers, and even visual artists may be able to continue working, publishing, or selling their art remotely.
James V. Marrone, Susan A. Resetar, Daniel Schwam – RAND
A Horse’s Remorse
Most radically, there was the show’s obsessive circling around its accumulated past, whose visual summary might be the whiteboards in one of the final episodes (“Sunk Cost and All That”) on which BoJack, together with Todd, Diane, and Princess Carolyn, tries to list all his many crimes and misdemeanors. That kind of unruly frame-breaking isn’t necessarily something you might associate with poignancy or sincerity. But it was this continued backtracking attention to its own making that finally allowed BoJack Horseman to end up showing that cartoon might be the most truthful model of our landscape. A person, you might conclude, is also an outline infested by other selves, a vehicle for mournful self-criticism and recomposition. We’re all fantastical now, it seemed to argue, in the multicolored digital light.
Adam Thirlwell — The New York Review of Books
In Praise of Urinal Lit
What qualifies as urinal lit? Well, technically it’s anything that someone is brave enough to scribble on a bathroom wall. I’ll admit, most of these scribbles are nonsense, as alcohol fuels a tremendous amount of urinal lit (though the same could be said, I suppose, for lit lit). Urinal lit often has a sense of urgency, as well as a clarity typically reserved for a form like haiku. The best urinal lit uses an economy of language that makes Raymond Carver seem positively prolix. The urgency of urinal lit comes from the necessary brevity of scrawling a message in a public place without being seen. Given the amount of graffiti in bar bathrooms, I’m amazed I’ve never actually caught anyone in the act.
The ‘beautiful love affair’ between Catherine Deneuve and YSL
At his fashion shows, Deneuve always sat front and centre in the private clients’ row, supporting her friend and wearing his couture designs, which he made especially for her. The star was his first customer at his new Prêt-à-Porter store, Rive Gauche, when it opened in 1967, and remained Saint Laurent’s muse until his death in 2008.
The architects of fantasy
Did you know about “Fantasy Coffins”?
The Ga people used to refer to the coffins as abebuu adekai, which roughly translates as “receptacles of proverbs” or “proverbial coffins.” Put simply, coffins that are imbued with some sort of meaning. The practice of making and using figurative coffins arose from changing colonial and postcolonial policies towards the dead in Ghana—they facilitated (and still do) very public statements about familial identity, ancestral power and status in increasingly competitive environments. The cultural significance of their use has been documented in both popular media and scholarship (see Bonetti 2012; Tschumi 2008). So, attaching the qualifier “fantasy” to these coffins and the associated practices lends an overly simplistic and unrealistic sentiment to death and funerals in Ga culture. They are, in fact, highly emotional and complex.
Kristin Otto — Africa is a Country
#metoo from India. Painter & sculptor Jatin Das.
More public testimonies followed. Garusha Katoch, who was 20 years old when she started her internship at the Jatin Das Centre of Art in 2013, posted a detailed account of how Das had hugged and attempted to kiss her on her third day at work. “I can’t describe what I felt like, I really have no words for it even now,” Katoch told me. “The thing that bothers me with the Jatin Das story is that none of this is a secret, it is not even like there was a whisper network attached to him, it was freaking normal talk. Everybody knew,” Shree Paradkar, an Indo-Canadian journalist who had interviewed Das in the mid-1990s, told me when we spoke over the phone. Her account was first published on the digital news website The Wire.
THE BALLET GIRLS WHO BURNED TO DEATH
People consumed by their art.
Unfortunately, it ended badly for Livry. On Nov. 15, 1862, she fluffed her skirts too close to a gas lamp and went up in flames. As Livry ran in circles around the set screaming, fellow cast members and the audience watched in horror. Another dancer and a fireman tried to save her — the emperor later rewarded them for their bravery with cash — and managed to smother the flames by wrapping her in a blanket. But 40 percent of Livry’s body had been burned, and her corset melted into her ribs. She spent 36 hours wrapped in bandages in her dressing room, then another eight months recuperating, before dying of blood poisoning. Many dance scholars pinpoint Livry’s demise as the end of France’s dominant role in ballet. But her death also inspired safety measures: new designs for gas lamps, the invention of flame-retardant gauze and wet blankets hung in the wings just in case.