Skepchick Quickies, 3.29


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. The “Are women more likely to experience the paranormal than men?” article is one of the weirdest mixes of common sense and absolute nonsense I’ve read in a while. On the one hand you have the completely down-to-earth treatment of the literature, pointing out that perceived differences between men and women are culturally determined. But interwoven with that is a seemingly uncritical acceptance of psychic powers as a real phenomenon. Incredible. Hurts my brain to think of the compartmentalization that must be involved.

  2. About the Tim Minchin portrait: whenever I see a picture with that level of realism, I can’t help getting two thoughts almost simultaneously:
    1) Wow, that’s really cool. Amazing that someone actually painted that.
    2) Why didn’t they just take a freakin’ photograph?

  3. Not letting monkeys know you evolved from them? Sound piece of advice. On par with not telling your cousins you are their grandchild.

    Especially if your cousins can’t understand spoken language and might fling poo at you.

  4. @Beowulff: Ha! As someone who works realistically (and even sometimes succeeds!) I know exactly what you mean by why didn’t they just take a freakin’ photograph?
    It’s kind of funny. On the one hand, it can be very satisfying to spend the time and energy necessary to pull off a photorealistic piece of artwork. On the other hand, to me, it can feel very masteurbatory (is that a word?).
    A few months ago I saw an exhibition in which the artist painted naked ladies in meadows and fields and such. It was done VERY realistically. And while I was able to admire the skill and technique that went into it, I also felt, “Meh, boring. We get it. You’re a great painter. Take a picture.”
    It makes me feel very flip-floppy.

  5. @marilove: Yep. For instance, take my avatar. I can draw a hand. Hooray! And I drew it from, Hey Presto!, a photograph! I just did it, to do it. I can’t pretend that there’s some deep, unknowable meaning behind a drawing of my hand. It was a challenge and the shadows were fun to draw. End of story :)

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