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Good afternoon fabulous friends, I hope you're well. The pollen has me clawing at my eyeballs; if you're the same then you have my full sympathy. Have you reached the stage of wearing a hazmat suit to work, or are you still burning your clothes every night? Either way, let's get a Groupon deal on flamethrowers, or something.
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MEET LEONARDO: This year marks 500 years since Da Vinci's passing. Many of his works are being displayed, so it's a particularly good time to see lots of them. Over the last couple of weeks I've been devoured Walter Isaacson's biography of Leonardo Da Vinci and not surprisingly it's got me thinking about his pursuit for understanding.

The British Library is exhibiting a selection of Da Vinci's notebooks: their own pride and joy the Codex Arundel, the V&A's Codex Forster and some of Codex Leicester, now owned by Bill Gates and touring Europe through the year. Meanwhile, 200 of Da Vinci's drawings from the Royal Collection are on display at Buckingham Palace. And if you're one of those 'taking back control' types who's opposed to visiting London, the V&A have even made the Codex Forster available online.

Elsewhere, drawing upon the largest Da Vinci collection in the world, the Louvre is holding a major retrospective later this year. There's an exhibition in Florence about Da Vinci's enquiries into perpetual motion, and the Vitruvian Man is on display in Venice. Sadly, Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi, the world's most expensive artwork, is bobbing up and down on the Saudi crown prince’s superyacht. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ
πŸ“– This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook intends to be a practical guide to this flourishing movement: tactics, politics, achievements and aspirations. I've become really interested in XR's use of digital for low-cost, high-impact tactics and engagement. Inevitably, though, they are graduating into paperback. Loosely related: how the massive protests in Hong Kong are organised.

🏰 How to build something that lasts 10,000 years: the Long Now Project is designing for extreme longevity, building a clock in the Texan desert intended to outlast some of the oldest relics of human existence.

🎸 New project immortalises women who helped create rock'n'roll: while received wisdom states that there were no women performing rock and roll (except maybe Sister Rosetta Tharpe), this excellent project sets the facts straight.

πŸ€– Digital Vs. Human: how we came to love our machines more than each other. An interesting examination into our rapidly-evolving relationship with technology over each other, and where it leads.

πŸ”₯ The Day the Music Burned: the 2008 fire at Universal Studios Hollywood was the biggest disaster in the history of the music business, in which master recordings dating back as far as the late 1940s were destroyed, and almost nobody knew.

πŸ€Έβ€β™€οΈ Gender stereotypes banned in British advertising and Head of ITV comedy drops all-male writing teams. More corners turned.
Leonardo's legacy: I bet you could name or describe (or even mime) three of Da Vinci's works. Maybe five, or more. Given that most of us didn't study the history of art, this puts him into an elite group of artists in your head. And yet it seems Leonardo wasn't as interested in being an artist as he was a military engineer. It seems farcical enough to be a Monty Python sketch, but then we admire his artistic talent relative to his legacy, whereas he was guided by his aspirations.

Da Vinci's insatiable curiosity is the thread connecting his exploration of art, anatomy and engineering. His legacy is characterised more by starting much more than he finished, but from this I'm taking three lessons:
  1. πŸ€” Seek understanding; reject dogma.
  2. 🀹 Change lanes. Now, and often. 
  3. ✍️ Save your work. Incomplete beats imaginary.
Vitruvian Man. Can't see it? Click to view in browser.
Finally: It's 30 years since Nirvana's debut album. Here's an oral history of Bleach as well as every Nirvana song ranked. 🀘

Crivvens, we've made it to the bottom of the email. Do you know someone who likes interesting things? They can join in too at momorgan.com/blast. πŸ’Œ

Have you found something I'd like? Is there something you'd like to see more of? Or anything else; I'd love to hear from youβ€”hit reply! Meanwhile all back-issues are in the archive.

πŸ’₯BLAST! · c/o relating.to ltd. · 160 City Road · London, EC1V 2NX · United Kingdom. La minestra si fredda.


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