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The Art Renewal Center

Lost in the gutter of Cubism, Modernism, Post-modernism, Expressionism, Dadaism and other rubbishisms? Find real art at the ARC.

False Gods

They can't draw or paint or create a half-decent artwork but are worshiped by the art establishment as Gods. We prefer to remain infidels and refuse to kowtow to the False Gods of Art.

How the culture-vultures impoverished my soul

One expects art to ennoble our souls, much like a novel by Victor Hugo or a film by Bimal Roy. Instead, stepping into a gallery is like stepping on shit -bullshit.

Critiquing the critics

We smack down these smug bastards and their idiotic art-jargonese con mucho gusto!

Featured Art Videos

'Inflammatory' artist Jon McNaughton on his anti-Obama work
Roger Scruton - Why Beauty Matters (2009) - BBC documentary

Jan 11, 2012

Explanation found for Leonardo Da Vinci's tree rule?


More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci observed a particular relationship between the size of a tree’s trunk and the size of its branches. Specifically, the combined cross-sectional areas of a tree’s daughter branches are equal to the cross-sectional area of the mother branch. However, da Vinci didn’t know why tree branching followed this rule, and few explanations have been proposed since then. But now in a new study, physicist Christophe Eloy from Aix-Marseille University in Aix-en-Provence, France, has shown that this tree structure may be optimal for enabling trees to resist wind-induced stresses.

According to the 'young investigator' Rizwan Aratsu -

I tested ten species of trees in the vicinity of Princeton, New Jersey, to see if they do indeed adhere to the rule of conservation as asserted by the Italian master and those who followed him. Based on my review of the literature, I expected to find that trees would either conserve area or not depending on the porosity of their wood to water. To my surprise, I found that all ten species conserve cross-sectional area in approximately the same way despite large differences in porosity. In particular, their twigs roughly doubled in cross-sectional area across each branching while their larger branches approximated area-preservation, as Leonardo had predicted. Rather than precisely preserving area, the trees actually tended to increase in area ever so slightly as I moved from trunk to twig tips.

From Da Vinci's notebook- 

In his notebook, Leonardo da Vinci made this sketch depicting the branching pattern of trees. He depicted that the total thickness of branches along each of the arcs would equal the thickness of the trunk. Source-  Rizwan Aratsu

Wind -the new explanation? 

(Left) A model of tree branching. (Middle) A tree skeleton with all branches having the same thickness. (Right) The same tree with branch diameters calculated from a model accounting for wind-induced stress, which closely follows Leonardo’s rule.  Source -Physics.org


Eloy has proposed that Leonardo’s rule is a consequence of trees adapting their growth to optimally resist wind-induced stresses. It’s well-known that plants can alter their growth patterns in response to mechanical sensation, such as wind. The phenomenon, called “thigmomorphogenesis,” means that wind can influence the trunk and branch diameters of a tree as its growing. The underlying cellular mechanisms of this phenomenon are largely unknown.

Interestingly the extent of applicability of the Da Vinci's tree rule so far only extends to 10 species-

“Actually, Leonardo’s rule has not been assessed for that many species,” Eloy said. “So far, it seems to be hold for about 10 species. The problem is that it takes a lot of time to measure a single tree, which has thousands of branches, and the data are usually very scattered. Besides, some species clearly do not satisfy Leonardo's rule, such as baobabs, koas, and most bushes.”

I wonder if Rizwan Aratsu's sample of 10/10 has any species in common with the 10 mentioned by Eloy above.

Jan 10, 2012

Liberalism killing the joy of reading comics

Is Liberalism Killing Comics?
So asks Albert Arthur, piqued by Darin Wagner's protest piece -

You pick up a superhero comic book featuring a childhood favorite of yours, hoping to reignite some of that magic you felt way back when and you see that the opening sequence in the comic deals with an oil rig disaster. You immediately and disappointingly know what’s going to be said, either by your childhood favorite or by some other character given credibility within the story. You turn the page, and sure enough, your childhood favorite grumbles about his/her country’s dependency on oil or how inherently dangerous oil drilling is to the environment and how it’s not worth it or simply mutters to him-or-herself briefly about the evils of corporate America. That’s when you put the comic back on the shelf and your local retailer loses a sale. (Sound familiar? Brightest Day #5 contained a similar scenario featuring Aquaman.)

Moi aussi, me loves comics too, and like Arthur and Darin, I'm a bit hesitant too to start one only to find a story smashed by leftist shibboleths.

Albert Arthur-

Does everyone remember how last spring Superman declared he was going to renounce his US citizenship? 

Superman renounces US citizenship

I think that when Superman "non-violently" protests the mullahs, then goes to the UN to renounce his US citizenship, it's pretty left wing from start to finish.

And, really, non-violent protest? It's not so courageous when you're bullet proof, by the way. And if Superman is "non-violently protesting" while the Basij is killing people in the streets? Kind of pathetic. Hello, super speed and aforementioned bullet proofness? And why is he going to the UN to make this announcement? Seeing the UN as anything other than a joke is obviously liberal.

Since liberals (leftists) misunderstand everything, their flawed worldview despoils the very elemental pleasure of snuggling up with a comic. Their view of conservatives-

You pick up another comic book featuring a superhero team you used to really enjoy and there’s a member on the team who shares a lot of the same socio-political views you do, but he doesn’t articulate them very well (by design, you can tell) and gets everything wrong (again, by design) and you realize that he’s the “team jackass” precisely because he is supposed to represent you. (Another Brightest Day example of this; issue #7 where Steve Ditko creation Hawk says he wrecked a restaurant’s juke box because it was playing a Dixie Chicks song. Hawk was created to represent conservatism during the Vietnam War era, but today he’s apparently a reckless caveman who doesn’t understand the very conservative idea of private property rights.) So you put that comic book back on the shelf and if you haven’t walked out by now, you’re sure to get at least three more experiences like these before finding a superhero comic that is, at best, not very political.

and of capitalism-
It even extends outside of comics into animation. In the Justice League animated series episode “Paradise Lost,” Superman and Wonder Woman are investigating a shopping mall. Wonder Woman looks at the interior of the mall and likens it to a temple. Superman replies “Yes, for those who worship their credit cards.” Now, what are we supposed to make of this? Superman clearly doesn’t think very highly of shopping malls, at the very least. (This is odd considering that the character once symbolized something called “the American Way” of life, which was defined by, among other things, capitalism.)
Both examples by Darin Wagner.

This is what leftists do. Like locusts they eat up everything good and leave a land- and a culture- devastated.

Do read it all, Arthur and Wagner.

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