Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brain Pickings

Brain Pickings is a website collection of interesting things and interesting connections.

Brain Pickings logo
Brain Pickings is the brain child of Maria Popova, an interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large, who has also written for Wired UK, The New York Times, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, and The Atlantic, among others, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. 
Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why, bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are. Founded in 2006 as a humble email digest and eventually brought online, the site was included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive in 2012. 
Brain Pickings is a triumph of lateral thinking, letting the mind jump between items and topics and find connections between what may appear to be entirely disparate things. It is a fabulous resource to enhance your library experience. As it says, Brain Pickings brings you things you didn't know you were interested in - until you are.

 My favorite posts include:  100 Diagrams That Changed the World and  100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design which includes this elegant public service ad:

photographs of four human hands painted to resemble a toucan, and elephant, a zebra, and a tiger
Give a Hand to Wild Life (2008), by Saatchi & Saatchi Simko agency in Geneva, is a series of clever and beautiful photographs of human hands camouflaged as wild animals by bodypainter Guido Daniele.

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers, which includes Maya Angelou, Haruki Murakami, Joan Didion, E. B. White, Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Simone de Beauvoir and more. As E. B. White said: "A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper."  

James Gandolfini Reads Maurice Sendak’s Most Controversial Book, In the Night Kitchen. You can listen to the recording right on Brain Pickings.

 Recently there was the post Letter to Borges: Susan Sontag on Books, Self-Transcendence, and Reading in the Age of “Bookscreens”. The letter was written on the 10th anniversary of Borges death. It is featured in Sontag's book Where the Stress Falls. It includes these lines:
Books are not only the arbitrary sum of our dreams, and our memory. They also give us the model of self-transcendence. Some people think of reading only as a kind of escape: an escape from the “real” everyday world to an imaginary world, the world of books. Books are much more. They are a way of being fully human.
 Brain Pickings is a free weekly newsletter you can subscribe to on the website. There is also a Twitter feed @BrainPicker to give you little frissons of interestingness throughout the day.

cut paper sculpture in the shape of book with drawers
Thesaurus,' Pablo Lehmann, 2011. Paper cut out with text from 'The Unconscious' by Sigmund Freud. from: Carving Culture: Sculptural Masterpieces Made from Old Books

Nell M.

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