Explore Japan’s capital city through the vibrant arts it has generated over 400 years as you enjoy a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of the Ashmolean’s 2021 Tokyo: Art & Photography exhibition with curators Lena Fritsch and Clare Pollard. The film also features a conversation with visual artist Enrico Isamu Oyama, who was commissioned to create a work for the exhibition. Tokyo is one of the world’s most creative, dynamic and thrilling cities. This major exhibition features a wide variety of artworks created in a metropolis that has constantly reinvented itself. Highlights include historic folding screens and iconic woodblock prints, video works, pop art, and contemporary photographs by Moriyama Daido and Ninagawa Mika. With new commissions by contemporary artists, loans from Japan and treasures from the Ashmolean’s own collections, the show provides a fascinating insight into the development of Tokyo into one of the world’s most important cultural hotspots. Tokyo: Art & Photography is open at the Ashmolean Museum until 3 January 2022 http://www.ashmolean.org/tokyo
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – If you’ve read the British author J.R.R. Tolkien’s books before, or seen the movies, you’ll be familiar with the fantasy worlds he created. But where did the inspiration for these creations come from? To this day, this question is still widely debated. British author and Tolkien expert John Garth has embarked on a journey to find out.
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation.
Oxford, a city in central southern England, revolves around its prestigious university, established in the 12th century. The architecture of its 38 colleges in the city’s medieval center led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’. University College and Magdalen College are off the High Street, which runs from Carfax Tower (with city views) to the Botanic Garden on the River Cherwell.
“Declaring something impossible leads to more things being possible,” writes the physicist Chiara Marletto. “Bizarre as it may seem, it is commonplace in quantum physics.”
Chiara Marletto is trying to build a master theory — a set of ideas so fundamental that all other theories would spring from it. Her first step: Invoke the impossible.
Constructor Theory is a new approach to formulating fundamental laws in physics. Instead of describing the world in terms of trajectories, initial conditions and dynamical laws, in constructor theory laws are about which physical transformations are possible and which are impossible, and why. This powerful switch has the potential to bring all sorts of interesting fields, currently regarded as inherently approximative, into fundamental physics. These include the theories of information, knowledge, thermodynamics, and life.
Land in Nashville the afternoon before the drive to explore the new National Museum of African American Music (510 Broadway, nmaam.org). Its imaginative interactive displays explain the evolution of genres from gospel to R&B to hip hop. Find fresh air in Centennial Park and a to-scale replica of Greece’s Parthenon (nashvilleparthenon.com). Stashed inside the temple: a 42-foot-tall gilded statue of the deity Athena whose lips are allegedly modeled after Elvis Presley’s kisser. Music City’s other current goddess is Dolly Parton. Her image is sprinkled throughout the candy-colored country-music themed Graduate Hotel (from $169 a night; graduatehotels.com).
Day 2: Oxford to Natchez
After chicken and waffles at Oxford’s popular Big Bad Breakfast (bigbadbreakfast.com), drive east toward Pontotoc then south toward Troy to rejoin the Trace. A stop near Milepost 221 affords a glimpse of the Old Trace, a forest trench worn deep into the earth by countless feet. For lunch, seek out Saltine, an oyster bar in a former suburban Jackson elementary school (jackson.saltinerestaurant.com). Approaching its Natchez terminus, the Trace grows wilder. Wisps of Spanish moss, dangling vines and the nearby Windsor Ruins, an immense mansion burned in 1890, evoke a lost world. Windsor’s surviving columns with their ornate, crumbling capitals resembling a plantation Palmyra.
Day 3: Natchez to New Orleans
Before heading to New Orleans, walk the promenade on Natchez’s Bluff Park overlooking the Mississippi. Head south to Baton Rouge on Highway 61, the famed “Blues Highway.” (Most of the musical history lies further north in Mississippi’s Delta.) The landscape rolls by fast: The 90-minute drive should get you to Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital, by lunch. Visit the deli at Tony’s Seafood market (tonyseafood.com) for to-go oyster po’boys and ginger cake, then eat them in the landscaped grounds of the Louisiana State Capitol. Conceived by rabble-rousing populist governor Huey Long, the 1932 building is a 34-story art deco skyscraper, the country’s tallest state house and a monument to the Kingfish’s Kong-sized ego. Bullet holes from Long’s 1935 assassination remain just off the ornate lobby.
Trisha Greenhalgh, professor of primary care health sciences at the University of Oxford has been a powerhouse of covid-19 evidence synthesis. She pulled together advice on doing remote consultations, on wearing masks to prevent spread, and a host of other information. She’s now turning her attention to “long-covid” – it’s becoming apparent that it’s not just an acute infection, patients are reporting chronic long term consequences of having the virus.
In this podcast, she describes what we know about long-covid, where the uncertainty lies, and what clinicians should be doing to help patients who are experiencing the symptoms.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history. Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt’s works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, and biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch art (especially Dutch painting), although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative and gave rise to important new genres. Like many artists of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Jan Vermeer of Delft, Rembrandt was also an avid art collector and dealer.