World Happiness Report: Nordic Countries Top The 2020 Rankings – Autonomy And Freedom Of Choices

World Happiness Report 2020Nordic citizens experience a high sense of autonomy and freedom, as well as high levels of social trust towards each other, which play an important role in determining life satisfaction.

2020 World Happiness Report Rankings 2017 - 2019

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From 2013 until today, every time the World Happiness Report (WHR) has published its annual ranking of countries, the five Nordic countries – Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland – have all been in the top ten, with Nordic countries occupying the top three spots in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Clearly, when it comes to the level of average life evaluations, the Nordic states are doing something right, but Nordic exceptionalism isn’t confined to citizen’s happiness.

No matter whether we look at the state of democracy and political rights, lack of corruption, trust between citizens, felt safety, social cohesion, gender equality, equal distribution of incomes, Human Development Index, or many other global comparisons, one tends to find the Nordic countries in the global top spots.

COVID-19: The Importance Of Home Exercise During Isolation (Mayo Clinic)

As we’re spending more time at home, it’s important to find new ways to remain active and exercise is important. Mayo Clinic physical therapist Sunni Alessandria and her colleagues offer some insight and tips for exercises you can do at home.

Book Interviews: “Out Of Darkness, Shining Light” Author Petina Gappah

BBC Radio 4 Books and AuthorsBBC Radio 4 speaks to Petina Gappah on her new book, “Out of Darkness, Shining Light”.

 

“This is how we carried out of Africa the poor broken body of Bwana Daudi, the Doctor, David Livingstone, so that he could be borne across the sea and buried in his own land.” 

Petina Gappah Author
Author Petina Gappah

So begins Petina Gappah’s powerful novel of exploration and adventure in nineteenth-century Africa—the captivating story of the loyal men and women who carried explorer and missionary Dr. Livingstone’s body, his papers and maps, fifteen hundred miles across the continent of Africa, so his remains could be returned home to England and his work preserved there.

Narrated by Halima, the doctor’s sharp-tongued cook, and Jacob Wainwright, a rigidly pious freed slave, this is a story that encompasses all of the hypocrisy of slavery and colonization—the hypocrisy at the core of the human heart—while celebrating resilience, loyalty, and love.

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Artist Profiles: Finnish-American Riitta Klint – “Dreamlike” Drips Of Paint With Pencil On Clay Panels

My paintings on clay panels begin with thin veils of paint that drip, pool and congeal, and like nature, move out of my control, beautifully mysterious. I work intuitively within these initial drips and pools, searching for structure. Each successive stroke of paint or pencil mark continues to build a dreamlike otherworldly place. The mood is one of nature untamed, enchanting and rife with hidden secrets.

Riitta Klint Dragonfly Dreams Triptych Acrylic and Pencil on Claybord

My paintings are my connection to the Earth, its nature and beautiful mysteries. Riitta Klint PaintingsThere is a sadness as I witness the loss of our last wild places. My paintings are an attempt to keep alive those places and offer my audience a sanctuary in which to reflect.

Riitta Klint is from Helsinki, Finland and currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas and maintains a studio in nearby Aledo. Between these two places is a lifetime spent traveling the world thanks to her father’s career with IBM. Living in her native Finland, as well as in Iran, Portugal, Indonesia, Germany, Mexico, and the United States, together with extensive travel in Asia and Europe has shaped her unique vision and palette. Her work offers the viewer a front seat to that journey, and a threshold to cross over into their own imagination.

Klint works primarily in acrylic and pencil on Claybord™, smooth kaolin clay covered panels that offer the ideal surface for her manipulation of color and medium.

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Auto Racing Nostalgia: “Targa Florio” Endurance Race In Sicily (1906 – 1977)

1951 Targa Florio PosterThe Targa Florio was an open road endurance automobile race held in the mountains of Sicily near the island’s capital of Palermo. Founded in 1906, it was the oldest sports car racing event, part of the World Sportscar Championship between 1955 and 1973. While the first races consisted of a whole tour of the island, the track length in the race’s last decades was limited to the 72 kilometres (45 mi) of the Circuito Piccolo delle Madonie, which was lapped 11 times.

After 1973, it was a national sports car event until it was discontinued in 1977 due to safety concerns. It has since been run as a rallying event, and is part of the Italian Rally Championship.

1967 Targa Florio PosterThe race was created in 1906 by the wealthy pioneer race driver and automobile enthusiast, Vincenzo Florio, who had started the Coppa Florio race in BresciaLombardy in 1900. The Targa also claimed to be a worldly event not to be missed. Renowned artists, such as Alexandre Charpentier and Leonardo Bistolfi, were commissioned to design medals. A magazine was initiated, Rapiditas, which aimed to enhance, with graphic and photographic reproductions of the race, the myth of the car and the typical character of modern life, speed.[1]

1973 Targa Florio PosterOne of the toughest competitions in Europe, the first Targa Florio covered 3 laps equalling 277 miles (446 km) through multiple hairpin curves on treacherous mountain roads, at heights where severe changes in climate frequently occurred. Alessandro Cagno won the inaugural 1906 race in nine hours, averaging 30 miles per hour (50 km/h).

By the mid-1920s, the Targa Florio had become one of Europe’s most important races, as neither the 24 Hours of Le Mans nor the Mille Miglia had been established yet. Grand Prix races were still isolated events, not a series like today’s F1.

After winning the race several times, Porsche named the hardtop convertible version of the 911 after the Targa. The name targa means plaque or plate, see targa top.

From Wikipedia

Painters Of The 1920’s & 1930’s: “Moonlight Ballad – The Art Of Martin Lewis”

 

Born in Victoria, Australia, Martin Lewis was a printmaker who is known for his scenes of urban life in New York during the 1920s and 1930s. As a youth Lewis held a variety of jobs that ranged from working on cattle ranches in the Australian Outback, in logging and mining camps, to being a sailor. In 1898, he moved to Sydney for two years where he received his only formal art training. During this period he may have been introduced to printmaking; a local radical paper, The Bulletin, published two of his drawings.

Lewis left Australia in 1900 and first settled in San Francisco. He eventually worked his way eastward to New York. Little is known about his life during the following decade except that he made a living as a commercial artist and produced his first etching in 1915. Lewis’ skill as an etcher was noticed by Edward Hopper, who became a lifelong friend. In 1920, dissatisfied with his job, Lewis used his entire savings to study art and to sketch in Japan. He returned to New York after a two-year stay and resumed his commercial art career, but also pursued his own work as a painter and printmaker.

During the Depression, Lewis moved to Newtown, Connecticut, but later returned to Manhattan, where he helped establish a school for printmakers. From 1944-1952 Lewis taught a graphics course at the Art Students League in New York.

During his thirty-year career, Lewis made about 145 drypoints and etchings. His prints, like Shadow Dance and Stoops in Snow, were much admired during the 1930s for their realistic portrayal of daily life and sensitive rendering of texture. The artist’s skill in composition and his talent in the drypoint and etching media have received renewed attention in recent years. Lewis is one of the few printmakers of this era who specialized in nocturnal scenes. Some scholars consider his print Glow of the City his most significant work because of the subtlety of handling. A minute network of dots, lines, and flecks scratched onto the plate creates the illusion of transparent garments hanging in the foreground, while the Chanin Building, an art deco skyscraper, towers over the nearby tenements.

nga.gov/collection/artist-info.4704.html

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Lewis_(artist)