Christmas Miracle of the Day: From The New York Times comes the heartwarming tale of a charming couple from Chelsea who mistakenly received hundreds of letters addressed to Santa and decided to try and fulfill them.
It is going to be a while before Jean Nouvel’s celebrated National Museum of Qatar blossoms in the desert. But in the meanwhile, an architecturally modest museum with a far more ambitious mission is ready to open its doors for the New Year. The Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art aims to be a new pan-Arab center for culture and creativity, showcasing the work of modern artists from the region.
The Mathaf, pronounced MAT-haff and simply meaning “museum” in Arabic, is the third large museum project to be announced in Qatar in recent years. The expansive Museum of Islamic Art, which opened in 2008 in a building by I. M. Pei, is concerned with history – its collection dates from the 7th to the 19th centuries. Jean Nouvel’s desert rose will mostly be a Qatari exercise in national pride. The earliest pieces in the Mathaf’s collection, however, date to the 1840s. This is a museum primarily concerned with Arab modernity, considering through art some very complicated questions of identity, values and geography.
Continue reading the article at Metropolis.
Modern art has been gradually gaining attention in the region, and Qatar has taken the lead in this space along with Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island which is forging ahead with the Louvre, Guggenheim and others. All in all, there is strong revival in the arts and cultural arenas. We’re moving towards a post-mall-centric and shopping-lovers reputation for the region to a region that values (as historically was the case) craft, the arts and cross-cultural dialogue on a global scale.
Mathaf uses a rather interesting identity with quite an eccentric typeface that I think is right in-line with the overall brand.
Read more about Tarek Atrissi, and how he and his design studio, developed this font. There are other great images as well.
“Gettysburg Address” by Adam Gault
A new study analysing how complex, highly-evolved societies are organised in nature has found that it is workers that play a pivotal role in creating well-ordered societies where conflict is minimised. For when it comes to determining who reproduces in ants, University of Leicester biologists have found the humble worker is queenmaker — it is they who choose their queen.
This information is key to understanding the evolution of complex interdependent societies — over 100 millions years old — that have evolved mechanisms ensuring stable cohabitation and conflict resolution.
What the Leicester team discovered surprised them: While Spanish worker ants were ruthless in determining who became their queen — and hence acquired the right to reproduce — the same species of ants in France, Germany and the UK are known to be more ‘apathetic’.
While Spanish workers bullied or even killed rival queens in order to choose their queen, UK workers are not aggressive at all and were loyal subjects to any number of queens.
This is an absolutely astonishing find and some magnificent science at work.
This is amazing.