Cortex of the Brain as a Mosaic of Tiny on/off Elements

“Like his master I. P. Pavlov before him, he imagines the cortex of the brain as a mosaic of tiny on/off elements. Some are always in bright excitation, others darkly inhibited. The contours, bright and dark, keep changing. But each point is allowed only the two states: waking or sleep. One or zero.”
― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

Mosaic, Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

Mosaic, Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

In college, I took Art History – mostly in a hopeless, vain attempt to meet women. I really fell into it, though. I think I learned more useful knowledge in that course than in any other. The problem is, I came to the class, in a dark, quiet dungeon under a Fake Romanesque stone building – the darkness only pierced by the beam of the slide projector, the silence only broken by the instructor’s drone – after four hours of advanced organic chemistry laboratory. Sometimes I would forget to remove my goggles and would frighten the other students.

The difficulty was making that left-right brain switch during a quick hike across campus. I remember looking at some Byzantine Mosaics from Ravenna and trying to understand and appreciate the art… but all I could think was, “I wonder what dyes they used to get that blue?”

Mosaic, Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

Mosaic, Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

The mural at the Irving Arts Center pays tribute to some of the best-known icons of the city. You can see the TRE Train, The Las Colinas Mustangs, and the long-imploded Texas Stadium (now replaced with Jerry’s Death Star).

“She may know a little, may think of herself, face and body, as ‘pretty’…but he could never tell her all the rest, how many other living things, birds, nights smelling of grass and rain, sunlit moments of simple peace, also gather in what she is to him.”
― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

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It’s a Slam Dunk

“Basketball is an intricate, high-speed game filled with split-second, spontaneous decisions. But that spontaneity is possible only when everyone first engages in hours of highly repetitive and structured practice–perfecting their shooting, dribbling, and passing and running plays over and over again–and agrees to play a carefully defined role on the court. . . . spontaneity isn’t random.”

― Malcolm Gladwell

Irving Arts Center
Irving, Texas

George Tobolowsky (Dallas, TX)
It’s a Slam Dunk (2007)
Welded Steel

In the background is Fountain Columns by Jesús Bautista Moroles

George Tobolowsky (Dallas, TX) It's a Slam Dunk (2007) (click to enlarge)

George Tobolowsky (Dallas, TX)
It’s a Slam Dunk (2007)
(click to enlarge)

“I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

George Tobolowsky (Dallas, TX) It's a Slam Dunk (2007) (click to enlarge)

George Tobolowsky (Dallas, TX)
It’s a Slam Dunk (2007)
(click to enlarge)

“We old athletes carry the disfigurements and markings of contests remembered only by us and no one else. Nothing is more lost than a forgotten game.”
― Pat Conroy

George Tobolowsky (Dallas, TX) It's a Slam Dunk (2007)

George Tobolowsky (Dallas, TX)
It’s a Slam Dunk (2007)

“And I would be the first to admit that probably, in a lot of press conferences over the time that I have been in coaching, indulging my own sense of humor at press conferences has not been greatly to my benefit.”
― Robert Montgomery Knight

When I first graduated from college I took a job in a small city isolated out on the windswept Great Plains, only a few miles from the little town my family was from. I didn’t know anybody in town and there wasn’t all that much to do anyway so I thought I’d take a class at the local junior college. It was funny, I had trouble enrolling (I had to get permission from a dean) because, even though I had four years at university, my high school transcripts were unavailable, lost in the revolution.

I had never been able to take psychology – the classes often filled up, with preference given to students in the major, plus it was impossible to fit a class in around my extensive laboratory courses. So I enrolled in Psych 101 at the junior college.

It was shocking how easy the class was, especially after coming through four years of chemistry, math, and physics. I barely had to study and I don’t think I missed a single question on a single exam. Yet the other student constantly complained about the amount of work assigned and the difficulty of the tests. It was like high school. I remember thinking that if at university anyone would dare (and none ever did) complain, the professor would have simply pointed to the door.

The instructor, however, was excellent. A very old man, he taught an interesting class and dealt with the whining with more patience than I thought possible… or necessary.

One day he came up to me before class and asked me a question.

“Your last name, did you have a father from around here.”

“Yes, my dad is from a small town nearby.”

“Did he play basketball?”

“Yes.”

“I remember being the referee when your father played in high school. I had never seen an athlete like that. He was the best basketball player I ever reffed.”

“You’re kidding. You remember him after all this time?”

“Yes, it was quite a game. I remember I fouled him out of the game near the end.”

The next weekend I told this story to my father.

“He’s lying,” my father said, “I never fouled out of a game.”

Fountain Columns

Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

Jesús Bautista Moroles
Fountain Columns, 1998
Dakota Mahogany Granite

Jesús Bautista Moroles Fountain Columns (click to enlarge)

Jesús Bautista Moroles
Fountain Columns
(click to enlarge)

“Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing

1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
― Elmore Leonard

Jesús Bautista Moroles Fountain Columns (click to enlarge)

Jesús Bautista Moroles
Fountain Columns
(click to enlarge)

Square Deal #2

George Tobolowsky
Square Deal #2
Welded Steel
Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

George Tobolowsky Square Deal #2 Irving, Texas (click to enlarge)

George Tobolowsky
Square Deal #2
Irving, Texas
(click to enlarge)

George Tobolowsky Square Deal #2 Irving, Texas (click to enlarge)

George Tobolowsky
Square Deal #2
Irving, Texas
(click to enlarge)

George Tobolowsky Square Deal #2 Irving, Texas

George Tobolowsky
Square Deal #2
Irving, Texas

How Sculptor George Tobolowsky Got ‘The Calling’
Until he was in his 50s, he was just a businessman with a hobby.

Star Flower

James Surls, Star Flower, Irving Arts Center Sculpture Garden, Irving, Texas

James Surls, Star Flower reflection (click to enlarge)

James Surls, Star Flower
reflection
(click to enlarge)

James Surls, Star Flower (click to enlarge)

James Surls, Star Flower
(click to enlarge)

James Surls, Star Flower (click to enlarge)

James Surls, Star Flower
(click to enlarge)

James Surls, Star Flower inverted reflection (click to enlarge)

James Surls, Star Flower
inverted reflection
(click to enlarge)