WIND MAP Think of a patch of ground on a sunny day. Sunshine pours down. The air gets warmer. Along comes a cloud, not a big one, but big enough to cast a shadow. The air in that shadow cools a little.
Now we’ve got a difference: cool air is sitting next to warm air—and the air that’s warming up is getting lighter. The air that’s cooling down is getting heavier, and as the warmer air rises, the sinking cooler air slips in to take its place. That slipping in? You feel it as a gentle push against your cheek; that’s the beginning of a breeze.
Breezes, blustery days, wind—all come from warm and cool air slipping, sliding, tumbling, like kittens at play, across the earth. Normally you can’t see this happening, but two designers, Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg, have just made a moving map of the wind. If you were a wind god gazing down at America, this is what you’d see. This isn’t a painting. It’s the real deal, taken from the government’s National Digital Forecast database.
Viegas and Wattenberg have been partners for a while. Their specialty? They say, “We invent new ways for people to think and talk about data.” These days they do it for Google in Cambridge, Mass.
And indeed, at their website, you can click on animated maps that will show you today’s wind patterns—an hour or so after the fact—but pretty close to real time, plus they show you wind maps from earlier in the week, so you can see how things change from day to day.
“I am convinced that the future is lost somewhere in the dumps of the non-historical past; it is in yesterday’s newspapers, in the jejune advertisements of our rejected dreams.”—Robert Smithson, A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey
CHIODO SCACCIA CHIODO Hair of the dog is a colloquial expression in the English language predominantly used to refer to alcohol that is consumed with the aim of lessening the effects of a hangover. The expression originally referred to a method of treatment of a rabid dog bite by placing hair from the dog in the bite wound. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer writes in the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898): “In Scotland it is a popular belief that a few hairs of the dog that bit you applied to the wound will prevent evil consequences. Applied to drinks, it means, if overnight you have indulged too freely, take a glass of the same wine within 24 hours to soothe the nerves. ‘If this dog do you bite, soon as out of your bed, take a hair of the tail the next day.’” He also cites two apocryphal poems containing the phrase, one of which is attributed to Aristophanes. It is possible that the phrase was used to justify an existing practice, and the idea of similia similibus curantur (“like cures like”) dates back at least to the time of Hippocrates. In the 1930’s cocktails known as Corpse Revivers were served in hotels.
The phrase also exists in Hungarian, where the literal translation to English is “(You may cure) the dog’s bite with its fur”, but has evolved into a short two-word phrase (“kutyaharapást szőrével”) that is used frequently in other contexts when one is trying to express that the solution to a problem is more of the problem. Among the Irish and Mexicans, the phrase ‘The Cure’ (“curarse la cruda”, in Spanish) is often used instead of ‘hair of the dog’. It is used, often sarcastically, in the question “Going for a Cure?” In Costa Rica (Central America) the same expression is used but it refers to a pig as in: hair of the same pig (“pelos de la misma chancha,” in Spanish) referring to the same method to cure the hangover.
In Polish, hair of the dog is called “a wedge” (klin), mirroring the concept of dislodging a stuck wedge with another one. The proper Russian term is - опохмел (“after being drunk”), which indicates a process of drinking to decrease effects of drinking the night before.
In German, drinking alcohol the next morning to relieve the symptoms is sometimes described as “having a counter-beer” (“ein Konterbier trinken”).
A similar usage is encountered in Romanian, in the phrase “Cui pe cui se scoate”; in Bulgarian, in the phrase “Клин клин избива”; in Italian, in the phrase “Chiodo scaccia chiodo”; and in Turkish, in the phrase “Çivi çiviyi söker”. In all four cases the English translation is “a nail dislodges a nail”, though these phrases are not exclusively used to refer to the hangover cure.
In Swedish, drinking alcohol to relieve a hangover is called “having an återställare”, which translates roughly to “restorer”. In Norwegian, it is usually called “å reparere”, meaning “to repair/fix”. In Finnish, it is called “tasoittava” (stabilizing) and in Czech “vyprošťovák” (extricator). In Tanzania, the equally swahili phrase used is “kuzimua” which means “assist to wake up after a coma”.
TOP FIVE REGRETS OF THE DYING: Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."
“Maybe I’m not as comfortable being powerless as you are.” Season one, New Amsterdam
“People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.” Season four, The Summer Man
“I keep going to a lot of places and ending up somewhere I’ve already been.” Season three, Out of Town
“Change is neither good or bad, it simply is.” Season three, Love Among the Ruins
“People were buying cigarettes before Freud was born.” Season one, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
“Is this a substance much like bullshit?” Season four, The Suitcase
“I blow up bridges.” Season one, Babylon
“I hate to break it to you, but there is no big lie, there is no system, the universe is indifferent.” Season one, The Hobo Code
“What you call love was invented by guys like me … to sell nylons.” Season one, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
“I can’t decide … if you have everything … or nothing.” Season one, Ladies Room
“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” Season three, Love Among the Ruins
“Why is this empty?” Season four, The Rejected (about his empty bottle of booze)
“I’m living like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t one.” Season one, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
“You don’t cover for me. You manage people’s expectations.” Season two, The Benefactor
“It wasn’t a lie, it was ineptitude with insufficient cover.” Season one, Marriage of Figaro
“Sterling Cooper has more failed artists and intellectuals than the Third Reich.” Season one, New Amsterdam
“Is that what you want, or is that what people expect of you?” Season four, The Good News
“Let’s take it a little slower. I don’t want to wake up pregnant.” Season one, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
“Why does everybody need to talk about everything?” Season four, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword
“You’ll realize in your private life that at a certain point seduction is over and force is actually being requested.” Season one, The Hobo Code
“It’s your life. You don’t know how long it’s gonna last, but you know it doesn’t end well. You’ve gotta move forward … as soon as you can figure out what that means.” Season two, Six Month Leave
“There will be fat years, and there will be lean years, but it is going to rain.” Season three, Out of Town
“We’re flawed because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what he had.” Season four, The Summer Man
“I’m glad that this is an environment where you feel free to fail.” Season four, The Suitcase
“This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.” Season two, New Girl
“When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him. He has a million reasons for being anywhere. Just ask him.” Season four, The Summer Man
“People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.” Season one, Babylon
“I eat a lot of apples.” Season three, For Those Who Think Young
“You are the product. You feeling something. That’s what sells. Not them. Not sex. They can’t do what we do, and they hate us for it.” Season two, For Those Who Think Young
“You want some respect? Go out and get it for yourself.” Season four, The Summer Man
“We’re gonna sit at our desks typing while the walls fall down around us. Because we’re the least important, most important thing there is.” Season four, Blowing Smoke
“I would have my secretary do it, but she’s dead.” Season four, The Beautiful Girls
“Every day I tried not to think about what would happen if this happened.” Season four, Chinese Wall
“That is a roach. Let’s go someplace darker.” Season four, The Suitcase
“I don’t hate Christmas, I just hate this Christmas.” Season four, Christmas Comes But Once a Year
"… Nostalgia: it’s delicate, but potent … In Greek, ‘nostalgia’ literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards … it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels — around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.” Season one, The Wheel
“I’m late, but you’re not. Good work so far.” Season four, The Suitcase
“Mourning is just extended self-pity.” Season one, Babylon
“I’ll probably fall asleep on you.” Season four, Chinese Wall
“Advertising is based on one thing, happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. You are okay.” Season one, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
“Saloons provide moments of genuine ecstasy—but only if your soul is at peace and the rest of your life bears contemplating. Otherwise, they are palaces of misery.”—Wilfrid Sheed, The Good Word & Other Words
“This is just the beginning. If the government is allowed to tell people to buy health care, it won’t stop there. I wonder what’s next? This isn’t about one particular religion—it’s about the right of any American to live out their faith without the government picking and choosing which doctrines they’re allowed to follow.”—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on controversial amendment sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
“In real life we are thinking of multiple stories all the time. We are thinking of something in our head, we are listening to something someone is telling us, while we hear something on the radio. At the same time we are reading a sign and watching what other people are doing. We are taking all of these things in and are keeping it all straight. To me this process is much more interesting than having to pay attention to only on a story on a screen, especially when I can probably predict what’s going to happen anyway.”—Pat O’Neill
“We are excited to see someone ask, ‘Will you marry me?,’ whether on bended knee in a restaurant or in text splashed across a stadium Jumbotron. Certainly it would not have the same effect to see ‘Will you enter into a registered domestic partnership with me?”—California State Court, on overturning California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage
"It’s fascinating to consider the similarities and the differences between François and Antoine," wrote Kent Jones in a 2003 essay for Criterion on Antoine and Colette (1962), the short film in which Antoine, all of 17, falls in love for the first time. Kent Jones notes that Truffaut has shifted the “cultural meeting ground” of the young lovers “from the cinematheque,” where Truffaut, at 17, fell for a girl named Liliane Litvin…
to the concert hall, the first of many replacements Truffaut would find for his chosen art form: literature in many films, theater in The Last Metro, pedagogy in The Wild Child , the dead in The Green Room  — interesting that Day for Night , the one movie in which Truffaut takes the cinema itself as his subject, is one of his tamest.
More intriguing is Antoine himself. Léaud at all ages seems at once more manic and concentrated than Truffaut, enraptured by his own insights and deeply, almost stubbornly alone. This feeling of recessiveness in the actor and his character are quite far from the young Truffaut, a wildly ambitious figure who enjoyed a meteoric rise in the world of arts and letters. His compulsive drive didn’t go into his characters, who tend to become lost in the thrall of their own obsessions. The drive went into the filmmaking, in an effort to render an image of that fleeting apparition known as human experience. Which he manages in this little film with amazing fluency and delicacy.
Which brings us, of course, to the unfair fact that mentions of Truffaut nearly always lead to mentions of Godard, whereas mentions of Godard can flourish on their own. Fate took Truffaut too young — he was 52 when he died in 1984 — and not only was that “triumphant arrival” not all that far behind him but it was also a double act. Fortunately — very fortunately — we were able to celebrate Godard’s 80th in December 2010 and just a week ago we were able to report the latest on his next film.
In 2008, I quoted from Ronald Bergan's introduction to his collection, François Truffaut: Interviews, and today’s a fine day to revisit that passage, leaving the final word for now to Truffaut himself: “[I]n stark contrast to the oeuvre of his erstwhile New Wave comrade, Jean-Luc Godard, Truffaut’s films are not overtly political in any way. ‘For right or wrong, I believe there is no art without paradox: now in the political film, there is no paradox, because already in the script, it is decided who is good and who is bad.’ … Truffaut’s rejection of current topics or fashions is not a conservative one, but the need to retain a freedom and purity of expression uncluttered by the zeitgeist. For him, the eternal theme of Love ‘is more important than social questions. It is the way to lead people to truth. There is more truth in sentimental relations than in social relations. There is more truth in the bedroom than in the office or the board room.’” (via Mubi)