Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Originals

I was speaking with my sister, Kristin, today about original pieces of artwork - not prints, but real paintings. We discussed Monet, Delacroix, Van Gogh, etc. And just like a book is always better than the movie, the original piece of art is always better than the reprints. When I was at The Louvre, I was lucky enough to see my two favorite pieces of art in person. Of course, these images do not do them justice, but here they are:

Raft of the Medusa, by GĂ©ricault

Tomb of Atala, by Girodet

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Made of Maize

I was watching TV yesterday and was horrified to see not one but two commercials promoting high fructose corn syrup! This is perhaps the most perverse thing I've ever seen on television. The commercials went on to explain that high fructose corn syrup is made from corn (true) and like sugar, is OK in moderation.
Let's get a few things straight: NO amount of high fructose corn syrup is OK to consume, and NO it is not like sugar. Sugar is a natural product, whereas HFCS is not. When is the last time you peeled the husk of a corncob and found syrup? Also, HFCS is in everything these days; even bread! So how can anyone who isn't reading labels eat it in moderation?
This latest campaign to promote HFCS is an outrage and should be pulled from the airwaves. America doesn't need anymore misconceptions on food - we're overweight and unhealthy enough as it is.
So I beg you, if you see this commercial, please disregard it. Then, walk to your kitchen, find a beautiful piece of ripe fruit and take a satisfying bite. Enjoy the desserts that Mother Nature provided.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
This quote reminds me of a professor I had in junior college. He was an elderly, short, stout man, with white hair and a pot belly. He always wore a white dress shirt and black slacks, yet always managed to look disheveled. To say he was out of touch with the modern education system would be an understatement. For example, one day he had us practice our penmanship - something I had not done since grade school. Despite all this, he taught me one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned. He told our class that if we were ever upset or in a bad mood we should skip. That's right, skip (that thing you used to do when you were a child whenever walking became far too boring). "It's impossible to skip without smiling!" he said. Later that week I decided to put skipping to the test. And... he was right! It's really not possible to skip without smiling. It's an instant mood booster and has the strange effect of putting your troubles into perspective. I have since passed on this wisdom of skipping to several friends, who have all confirmed its effects. However, if skipping just isn't your style (after all, someone is bound to notice an adult skipping down the street, which to my mind is half the fun), why not try Thich Nhat Hanh's method and just smile?! It could very well be the source of your joy.