Today’s Word: fugacious (adjective) –Something that is fugacious (fyoo-GAY-shus) is fleeting or transitory. As used by Degas scholar Line Clausen Pedersen in a New York Times article about the artist: “He is like the soap in the bathtub, fugacious. You can never really capture him.”

Did You Know?: The Spanish word esposa means wife. Esposas means wives… but also handcuffs.

Worth Quoting: “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praised than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale

What I’m Reading Now: An interview with Kevin Rogers in Barefoot Writer, a monthly magazine for professional writers produced by AWAI. Also in this month’s issue:

* a “hidden league” of writers who get paid to make dreams come true

* 4 simple moves you can make to sweep adversity’s game pieces off the board

* quick and easy ways to fill your coffers with a treasury of content ideas

* advice on sending your clients holiday gifts, and

* a proven way to outsmart distractions with binaural beats.

Check it out here: https://www.awai.com/downloads/tbw-12-2018/

 Watch This: What a life this 97-year-old tailor has had! With all he’s been through, you wouldn’t blame him if he were cynical. But he seems to live in a happy state of mildly astonished amusement. (Which is perhaps his secret.)

https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/the-life-of-a-97-year-old-tailor-whos-still-at-work-at-his-craft/

 

 

 

Today’s Word: timorous (adjective) – Timorous (TIM-er-uhs) means fearful. As used by Robert Burns in his famous poem “To a Mouse”: “Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie, / O, What a panic’s in thy breastie!”

Did You Know?: You weigh slightly less when the moon is overhead.

Worth Quoting: “The only certainty is that nothing is certain.” – Pliny the Elder

Watch This: This “ketchup bucket” hack is great… and the presentation is even better.

 

Today’s Word: mazuma (noun) – Mazuma (mah-ZOO-ma) is a slang term for money. As used by Morgan Scott in The New Boys at Oakdale: “All his life, he’s had to pinch, and now he hangs on to the mazuma with a deathlike grip.”

Did You Know?: The inventor of the Frisbee was cremated and shaped into a Frisbee.

Worth Quoting: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Art Notes

This weekend in Miami…

… at the Pinta Art Fair, we are inaugurating the publication and promotion of Central American Modernism, a book that took me and Suzanne Snider (my partner in the art business) 8 years to produce.

The Pinta Art Fair is one of about a dozen art fairs that run simultaneously to Art Basel. Pinta focuses on art from Latin America, which is the focus of my three art galleries: Ford Fine Art (in Delray Beach), Rojas Ford Fine Art (in Miami), and the Galeria at Rancho Santana.

I’m very proud of this book. It’s going to have an important place in the scholarship of Latin American Modernism.

If you are in the neighborhood (Winwood), stop by.

Here are some photos from our booth at the fair…

 

Today’s Word: declivity (noun) – A declivity (dih-KLIV-ih-tee) – as opposed to an acclivity – is a downward slope or inclination. As used by Arthur Young in A Tour in Ireland: “The declivity on which these woods are finishes in a mountain, which rises above the whole.”

Did You Know?: The U.S. once had paper money in the amount of 3 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, and 50 cents. These “fractional bills” were issued by the Treasury from 1862 to 1876 in the face of a growing coin shortage.

Worth Quoting: “Don’t lose faith in humanity. It is an ocean. A few dirty drops does not make the ocean dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Watch This: “The World’s Biggest Jerk” is so good, I almost wish it didn’t have a happy ending…

 

 

 

Today’s Word: interloper (noun) – An interloper (IN-ter-loh-per) is a person who interferes or meddles. As used by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Let a man then know his worth, and keep things under his feet. Let him not peep or steal, or skulk up and down with the air of a charity-boy, a bastard, or an interloper.”

Did You Know?: In Japan, you can buy all sorts of things from vending machines. Not just condoms and cigarettes and snacks and cans of soda, but comic books, hot dogs, light bulbs, women’s underwear, and alcohol.

Worth Quoting: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King

 Watch This: Wouldn’t it be cool to have this guy delivering pizza to you when you’re having a dinner party?

 

 

Today’s Word: mortality (noun) – Mortality (mawr-TAL-ih-tee) is the condition of being dead. Not to be confused with morbidity (mawr-BID-ih-tee), which is the condition of being ill or diseased. As used by William Shakespeare in The Life and Death of King John: “We cannot hold mortality’s strong hand.”

Did You Know?: The country with the longest average life expectancy, according to the World Health Organization (2015), is Japan at 83.7. Japan is followed by Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, Spain, Iceland, Italy, and Israel. The USA comes in at 31, with an average life expectancy of 79.3. South Koreans and Slovenians live longer, on average, than Americans. The countries with the lowest life expectancies are in Africa, with Swaziland at the end of the tail at 49.18.

Worth Quoting: “Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales.” – Bertrand Russell

Watch This:

It’s very seldom that I come across a “public service” message that I can’t at least quibble with. And want to quibble (if not argue) with because I’m instinctively uneasy with someone else telling me what to do, especially when it comes to my private life. But I could find nothing at all to quibble with after watching this video…

 

 

Today’s Word: torpor (noun) – Torpor (TAWR-per) is sluggish inactivity; lethargic indifference. As used by Sarah Bernhardt in her memoir My Double Life: “I did not want to move again, and the torpor seemed thoroughly delicious.”

 Did You Know?: A hardboiled egg will spin, an uncooked egg will wobble.

 Worth Quoting: “Writing is the art of applying the ass to the seat.” – Dorothy Parker

 Watch This

 Very funny! I didn’t see it coming.

 

 

Today’s Word: maladroit (adjective) –Someone who is maladroit (mal-uh-DROIT) is unskillful, awkward, bungling, and/or tactless. As used by Alexis de Tocqueville, describing a French cabinet minister: “His mind was narrow, maladroit, provoking, disparaging and ingenious rather than just.”

Did You Know?: The human head weighs, on average, 8 pounds and contains 5 trillion atoms.

Worth Quoting: “The gentleman calls attention to the good points in others; he does not call attention to their defects. The small man does just the reverse.” – Confucius

 Recommended Reading

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

By Amy Cuddy

2015, 352 pages

 When she was a college sophomore, Amy Cuddy suffered a brain injury in a car crash that reduced her IQ by 30 points. She was told she probably would not be able to finish her bachelor’s degree.

She did, of course. Then she went on to graduate school and eventually got a PhD in Social Psychology from Princeton. That was how she introduced herself when she gave her now-famous TED Talk in 2012.

I am always skeptical of overcoming-all-odds stories – especially when the details are hard to verify. So I read Presence skeptically. And that skepticism swelled every time the author referred to herself as a scientist.

Impressive bio and academic credentials aside, Presence is essentially a self-help book. In some circles, that is a bad thing. But when self-help books are based on the writer’s actual experience and those experiences are replicated by others, I want to listen.

Turns out Cuddy has some good advice on how to feel more confident and exhibit more personal power by practicing certain physical behaviors. The habit of smiling frequently, for example, improves one’s disposition – even if the smiling is artificial.  Habitual frowning has the opposite effect. Walking tall – if you make a habit of it – will make you feel more confident and that confidence will be noticed and respected by others.

Today’s Word: panoply (noun) – A panoply (PAN-uh-plee) is a complete or impressive collection of things. As used by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins: “Humans are just a very, very small part of the panoply of life, and it is arguable that in a certain sense, humans have emancipated themselves from Darwinian selection.”

Did You Know?: In most lotteries, the chance that you will die on the way to buy your ticket is greater than the chance that you will win the big prize.

Worth Quoting: “I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” – Umberto Eco

Watch This

The Elephants That Came to Dinner