Saturday, December 15, 2007

Charlie Sheen went from Platoon in 1986 to Wall Street in 1987. Now he is in a comedy called Two and a Half Men. I have mixed feelings about the TV show. Although now that the writers' strike is still taking place, I've not worried about the quality of TV writing. I can't say I miss it. I remember the last time that writers went on strike, reality shows became popular. My friend Robert, whom I've known since junior high told me, "reality shows were a cheap way of filling up time during the strike. And then the TV stations realized that people liked the stuff, so they kept the formula." I always thought of reality TV as MTV material. The Real World was the first Reality show I ever saw. And I actually liked it, but maybe because it took place in NYC. And I like NYC, so it lured me right in. The latest TV filler for the current strike is Duel. A combination of strategy and knowledge. The knowledge is incidental, players are not expected to know anything. I find current shows pathetic, really. Another one that falls into the same category is Deal or no Deal. It's just about choosing cases, and having pure luck, I guess. Deal or No Deal was on before the strike, but I don't know if it is running at the moment. I just don't watch TV right now. It's the end of the year anyways. Glad football season is pretty good. Chargers are not doing bad this year: 7-5, baby. And some fans had a doubt. It's those Patriots we've got to watch out for: 13 - 0. Hot!


Friday, December 14, 2007

Buying property in Brazil:

Property in Brazil offers a versatile investment with various options available to all types of real estate purchasers. Today’s worldwide property investors are focusing on Brazil because it offers excellent early investment opportunities whilst boasting a healthy economy.

Not so cheap anymore. Although, I don't know what Andy meant by "so cheap." He never actually gave a number.

Here's what we can get for $25,000.00:

This small house is in front of the beach, it has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. it sits 1/10 of an acre. this property is 0.04 hectares. this property has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathrooms. This offer is from Bahia, Brazil.

Here's what we can get for 25,000 Euros:

Two bedrooms, maids service area, bathroom, kitchen, floor ceramic tile, living room, office, good finishing, area construction, 59m2. this property has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathrooms. This offer is from Natal, Brazil.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

The first time I read the International Herald Tribune was at the Kennedy airport. It felt a lot like the NY Times, and I soon learned that many of the articles are by NY Times correspondents, because... the Times owns it: The IHT is part of The New York Times Company. It has been based in Paris since its founding in 1887.

This is worth noting for networked culture:
In 1928, the Herald became the first newspaper distributed by airplane, flying copies to London from Paris in time for breakfast. Publication of the IHT was interrupted between 1940–1944, during the occupation of Paris by Nazi Germany.


In 1974 the IHT began transmitting facsimile pages of the paper between nations and opened a printing site near London. In 1977, the paper opened a second site in Zürich.

The IHT began to send electronic images of newspaper pages from Paris to Hong Kong via satellite in 1980, making the paper simultaneously available on opposite sides of the planet. This was the first such intercontinental transmission of an English-language daily newspaper and followed the pioneering efforts of the Chinese-language Sing Tao Daily newspaper.

Sometimes I ran into the same articles in both the NY Times and IHT. This is how I came to wonder about their relationship. I actually wondered if the IHT was kind of like a mashup, or rather, a megamix of various newspapers. It sounded exciting to me, but then I learned a bit about its history. I kind of thought of it as a news portal, like Google's, in print. Regardless, considering its history, the IHT pioneered the idea of international news publication.

Reuters is an interesting publication. This one, I don't even think about in terms of print, but only online. Then, during this last Thanksgiving, I attended a dinner my friend Lisa Napoli in Los Angeles threw, and I met a Reuters correspondent. He told me, "I'm a print writer." We talked for a bit, and then I asked him, "Based on what you tell me, you only write online? Why are you a print writer?" He answered, "We often don't know what that means, anymore. But when I say that I mean that I don't work for radio or TV."

As to Andy not caring about the IHT writing about him, I think, based on what I've read in the diaries, it's the only time when he was indifferent to newspaper clippings.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

This is the scoop on Suzie Frankfurt and Gianni Versace:

Suzie Frankfurt, an interior decorator who popularized 18th- and 19th-century Russian furniture among corporate raiders of the 1970's and 1980's and was an early collaborator of Andy Warhol, died on Jan. 7 at the Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale, in the Bronx. She was 73.

She had lived in Norfolk, Conn., until she became incapacitated several years ago after treatment of a brain tumor, her family said.

A bohemian hostess, the flame-haired Ms. Frankfurt was known as a creative catalyst as well as a celebrity decorator. The designer Gianni Versace, for example, credited her with introducing him to America when he was largely unknown, not to mention also introducing him to Studio 54.

And here's a nice scoop on Andy's diaries:

Though articles about Ms. Frankfurt's interior designs appeared frequently in Architectural Digest, The New York Times and other publications, she also occupied a small but significant niche in American art history, thanks to her friendship with Mr. Warhol.

She and Mr. Warhol met in 1959, and the friendship lasted a lifetime. In fact, the index of Mr. Warhol's published diaries has 34 entries for Ms. Frankfurt.

The first encounter occurred at Serendipity, an Upper East Side ice cream parlor, after she saw an exhibition of his watercolors. Their rapport was instantaneous, though tinged with opportunism. "The only reason Andy liked me was because I was raised in Malibu with movie stars like Myrna Loy all around," Ms. Frankfurt said in an interview in The New York Observer years later. "I liked Andy because I'd always felt my whole life that I was an outsider."

She died in 2005.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Alexander Iolas had an interesting life, although I did not find anything about the sanitarium that Andy mentions.

I used to confuse a sanitarium with a mental asylum--and this was before I learned about the history of hospitals as places not necessarily for the ill but for those who could not conform in society, including the insane and often the poor:

Foucault's views on the modern construction of insanity serve as a reference point for Christina Vanja's study of three hospitals in Hesse. She begins with an account of the relatively gentle treatment these hospitals provided to the insane through the mid-nineteenth century, subjecting inmates to a monastic regime - sleeping, praying, reading the Bible, taking meals, and working. The evolution toward a modern psychiatric hospital was gradual and piecemeal, she argues. The new institutions of the nineteenth century served the professional agenda of validating medical expertise, but they continued to treat inmates in traditional ways. They were, then "neither modern medical clinics nor prisons." Foucault was only partly right.

here's what I found about sanitariums:

A sanatorium (also sanitorium, sanitarium) is a medical facility for long-term illness, typically tuberculosis. A distinction was sometimes made between a "sanitarium" (a kind of health resort, as in the Battle Creek Sanitarium) and "sanatorium" (a hospital).

According to the Saskatchewan Lung Association, when the National Anti-Tuberculosis Association was founded in 1904, it was felt that a distinction should be made between the health resorts with which people were familiar and the new tuberculosis treatment hospitals: "So they decided to use a new word which instead of being derived from the Latin noun sanitas, meaning health, would emphasize the need for scientific healing or treatment. Accordingly, they took the Latin verb root sano, meaning to heal, and adopted the new word sanatorium" [1].

The rationale for sanitoriums was that before antibiotic treatments existed, a regime of rest and good nutrition offered the best chance that the sufferer's immune system would "wall off" pockets of pulmonary tuberculosis infection.

And this is the shifting moment for sanitariums:

After 1943, when Albert Schatz, a graduate student at Rutgers University, discovered Streptomycin, the first true cure for tuberculosis, sanatoriums began to close. Around the 1950s, tuberculosis was no longer a major public health threat and so most of the sanatoriums had reached the end of their lives. Most sanatoriums were demolished years ago.

Some, however, have assumed updated medical roles. The Tambaram Sanatorium in south India is now a hospital of excellence for AIDS patients [4]. The state hospital in Sanatorium, Mississippi is now a regional mental retardation center.

I wonder what Iolas had, if he was in fact in a sanitarium. Maybe nothing because he was able to come out and greet Andy. He died just four months after Andy in 1987:

Alexander Iolas, known internationally first as a ballet dancer and later as a leading art dealer who specialized in the Surrealists, died on Monday at New York Hospital. He was 80 years old.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Odd to hear about Schnabel's show. I think of him mainly as a film director these days. He did the Basquiat film, as everyone knows. And of course the Artworld hated it. I think the artworld, by default, cannot like any film about an artist. Perhaps it's a Greenbergian thing; you know, that "critical distance" one must embrace to be able to keep meaning alive while kitsch culture thrives. At this point such statement will not hold up publicly, but I often sense that the artworld still holds on to such notion without admitting to it; and when they do, it is often coded to sound critically updated. I didn't like the movie either, so may be I'm buying into Greenbergianism to some degree. I did see Before Night Falls. I thought it was an OK film. Certainly better than Basquiat, but then again, I'm sure I say this because the movie is about a Cuban writer who flees to the U.S., and if I was mainly part of literary circles, especially focusing in Latin America, I'm sure I would also be skeptical of the film, like I am about Basquiat's.

All I know is that Javier Bardem, the star of When Night Falls does a great job in No Country for Old Men. I thought he could take best actor in the Oscars, but Annie told me that that was unlikely because he hardly spoke. She said, "if you put his lines together, they would add up to two minutes. But Tommy Lee Jones will probably be nominated." And then I thought that Vardem's character is a lot like The Terminator, which makes sense given that Terminator came out in 1984. No Country for Old Men is set in 1980. But then again, I'm probably just tripping on the eighties and that's why I find these dates relevant. The allegory, however, is not far fetched. And No Country for Old Men as a work of art, is simply, untouchable. (Can I say that and still sound critically invested?)


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Reading about two heaters especially ordered at the hotel by Chris Makos, during his trip with Andy to France, made me wonder about the history of heating. Here's what I learned about heaters in the U.S.:


For the first 100 years home heating in a heavily forested America was dominated by biomass (wood) and it was not until 1885 that the nation would burn more coal than wood. Prior to 1885 the majority of homes in America were heated with wood burning brick fireplaces and derivatives of the cast iron Franklin Stove invented in 1742.

By the end of the 19th century the invention of low cost cast iron radiators would bring central heating to America’s homes with a coal fired boiler in the basement delivering hot water or steam to radiators in every room. At about the same time, in 1885, Dave Lennox built and marketing the industry’s first riveted-steel coal furnace. Without electricity and fans to move air, these early furnaces transported heat by natural convection (warm heated air rising) through ducts from the basement furnace to the rooms above. These two methods would dominate home central heating until 1935, when the introduction of the first t forced air furnace using coal as a heat source used the power of an electric fan to distribute the heated air through ductwork within the home.

I couldn't find anything about France's history of heating. I guess I would need to be at the other end of the ocean.


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