Short Essay Challenge (50 to 250 words)

Express your opinion on any one, or more, of the following topics:

  • What is art? 
  • What is the purpose of art? 
  • What is the value of art? 


For inspiration, consider the three images showing below.



The Scream (Edvard Munch)   …   On May 2nd Sotheby’s sold the 1895 “Scream” in New York for the highest price realised by any work of art at auction: $120m.




9 in. (22.8 cm.) long




A Clown With a Conscience (Beijing News 00:00 Apology)   …   In the still of the deep night, we take off our mask of insincerity and say to our true selves, “I am sorry.”   


For more about Masks, see the Hallowe’en page.   =>


Revealed — The Capitalist Network that Rules the World   …   The work, to be published in PLoS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships (see image). Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What’s more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms – the “real” economy – representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues. 

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.


Best Illusion of the Year Contest   …   Good fun for all ages.  Great projects for kids.


Some Like It Very Hot (Extremophiles)   …   These creatures excrete concentrated sulphuric acid that eats away at the cave walls. In fact, it now looks as though the caves were largely built by the corrosive effect of bacterial excretions…. 

…The highest temperature record at which growth has been observed is 121°C.

… One category, the radioresistants, contains Deinococcus radiodurans…which has been listed as the toughest bacterium in the world in “Guinness World Records”. It can survive 1,000 times the level of radiation that would kill a human and has been found to exist in the cores of nuclear-power stations….

…In 2010 bacteria from cliffs in the village of Beer in Devon were found to have lasted 553 days on the exterior of the International Space Station. 

…creatures Parkes has found deep in the ocean sediment divide very slowly indeed, perhaps only once in several thousand years or even, in some cases, once every hundred thousand years. Even more astounding are the bugs found in fluid inclusions. These are microscopic bubbles of liquid gas that are trapped within crystals. They form, for example, within salt crystals and, almost inevitably, extremophiles have been found in these bubbles. The point about fluid inclusions is that they are very long-lasting; some are known to be 50m years old. The creatures that inhabit them don’t appear to divide at all.

…Numerically, we remain only 10% human, the remaining 90% of our cells being the bacteria in our guts.


Rocks and Minerals Internet Directory   …   Prospecting can be a fun summer activity for you…and your kids.


School Enterprise Challenge 2012   …   A global competition for schools to set up their own student-led enterprise, offer young people valuable hands-on business experience, and inspire a new generation of socially responsible entrepreneurs.


UNESCO-UNEVOC Bulletin   …   Information and dialogue on Technical and Vocational Education and Training.


Rhubarb   …   How to select, store, process, and use rhubarb.  Mmmmmm…..


I look forward to hearing your thoughts about Art, or any other subject you that would prefer to discuss instead.