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. @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.

  4. @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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