“Sure, you can borrow that Junot Diaz book. It’s in the tsundoku pile on my desk.”
As a writer, I’m totally fascinated and obsessed with language, including the absence of specific words from the English language that match fairly common experiences. Like, for example: I have a growing stack of books that I buy and then don’t read — at least not for awhile. When I walk into a bookstore, I just can’t seem to help myself and I know I’m not alone — so why isn’t there a word to describe this impulse?
Well, turns out there is — in Japanese. Tsundoku is defined as “the act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piling it up together with other such unread books.” And here is how tsundoku is visually explained by designer Anjana Iyer, who’s embarked on a 100 day project to visually explain untranslatable words from non-English languages. Iver is on Day 41 of the “Found In Translation” series and I am obsessed. So many words I’ve been dying to learn — just in other languages.
Here are 14 of my favorite words that Iver has illustrated so far, along with how you might go about integrating them into your English vocabulary. (And be sure to keep an eye on Iver’s website for a new word and illustration every day!) [100 Days Project]
No, Jessica, you’re not dreaming. What you’re looking at are 1,600 papier-maché pandas meant to symbolize the remaining great bears still alive in the world. Inspired by the World Wildlife Fund, whose symbol is a panda, the 1,600 bears are a project by the French artist Paolo Grangeon. Featuring both adult pandas and babies, they’ve traveled to 20 countries over the past six years. The next installation will be in Hong Kong, where i09 reports that Grangeon will leave behind four additional pandas permanently. I should probably never see this public art installation because I will get arrested for trying to steal all of them. [Papier-Mache.co.uk; i09]
Art is often, if not always, open to interpretation, but sometimes those interpretations can be wildly off base from the artist’s original intent. Such is the case with Mark Chatterley’s “Blue Human Condition” sculpture, which was unveiled in Adrian, Michigan, last week as part of the city’s public art program. The sculpture, which was originally positioned near the town’s City Hall, features seven figures in various seated, standing and crouching positions, leaning against or sitting on each other. Chatterley told The Huffington Post the piece — which was selected and borrowed by the city — represents the idea that “living today, we can’t do it alone — we rely on other people … to try to survive.” Unfortunately, some Adrian residents didn’t see what Chatterly saw in his figures, and complained to city officials that the sculpture is ”disgusting” and an “abomination” — because they think it depicts an orgy. Keep reading »
You can either accept that your significant other had a life before you came around — or you can be this guy.
A Chinese photographer’s new series Photoshops images of himself into his girlfriend’s childhood photos, which is either hopelessly romantic or extremely awkward, depending on how the relationship pans out. Read more on Huffington Post…
Camping is not for me. Mosquitoes. Sunburn. Murderers lurking in the woods. But I might consider sleeping outdoors under the stars (within 20 feet of an outlet for my iPhone, of course) if I could do it in a bear sleeping bag. Artist Eiko Ishizawa is hand-crafting a limited number of brown bear sleeping bags for $2,350 a pop out of faux fur, imitation leather, and a plastic nose. The sleeping bags are based on her 2007 artwork, “The Great Sleeping Bear,” which was a sculpture (also a sleeping bag) meant to represent Bruno, a brown bear killed in Germany. Bruno was the first brown bear in Deutschland in over 170 years (he wandered over from Italy), yet he was killed by authorities who were afraid he would cause havoc. Now Ishizawa wants Bruno to spread out in ways he never could in life — through people around the world sleeping inside him. How cool is that?
I’m not sure I can afford a handmade bear sleeping bag, um, ever. But it does look warm. [Cargo Collective via Laughing Squid]
Hugs and kisses. X and O. All wrapped up in a charming little brush stroke print. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a tic-tac-toe enthusiast (or both!), this would be a lovely addition to your bedroom decor. [$28.37, Rachillustrates]