Hi Friends, if you’re looking for some motivational fuel I recommend watching the interview with Henry Rollins below. If you missed watching the Francis Bacon video in last week’s newsletter, I’ve highlighted it again here because it’s too good to miss.
Henry Rollins: The One Decision that Changed My Life Forever. Success is an accumulation of little efforts that build on top of a grateful perspective, a practice of modesty that keeps you doing what you’re doing. Says Rollins in the video: “I don’t have talent. I have tenacity. I have discipline. I have Focus. I know, without any delusion, where I come from & where I can go back to.”
Why We Still Use “Horsepower”. In the 1770s, James Watt demonstrated that his steam engine invention was more powerful — he wisely used the marketing metaphor ‘horsepower’ — than the work of multiple horses which were used to drive the malt crushing mill. I love this piece of insight from the author: “Humans now worry about replacement by machines, but horses have already experienced this and for them it may well have been a good thing.”
Notes on Being Very Tall. Nicholas Kulish is 6 foot 8 inches. Towering about the average American height of 5 foot 8, society is simply not built for him. “Why do we bob and weave around the New York City subway in a strange dance?” His observations about tallness are hilarious and beautiful.
Thought of the week
“Be confident, not certain”
— Eleanor Roosevelt (i.e. strong opinions, loosely held)
From the 16th to 18th century, Leonardo da Vinci’s grotesque sketches from the High Renaissance period in 1493 were his most emulated and celebrated works of art. Wrote art historian Kenneth Clark: ‘For three centuries they were [seen as] the most typical of his works. Today we find them disgusting, or at best wearisome.’
The beauty is in its strangeness. Why did we ever lose our taste in monstrosities?
Francis Bacon painted ghostly, violent images. Some say he emptied his darkest thoughts on canvass, mostly as a manifestation of his relationship with his sadistic lover, Peter Lacey.
Bacon cultivated a sense of darkness that gave his paintings an “edgy atmosphere…gambling everything on the next brush stroke.” Says Bacon in the video: “We do with our life what we can and then we die. If someone is aware of that, perhaps it comes out in their work.”
Ember is a smart coffee cup controlled via an app that maintains set temperature for your tea or coffee. It keeps your cup warm if you happen to get distracted or have to run off to a meeting.
While still a bit pricey at $80, it’s on my wish list. You can snag one on Amazon.