Monday, April 25, 2011

If you want to live longer...

Photo: Megan Villa

“If you want to live longer, you should—in addition to the obvious: eating less and losing weight—move to the country, not take work home, do what you enjoy and feel good about yourself, get a pet, learn to relax, live in the moment, laugh, listen to music, sleep 6 to 7 hours a night; be blessed with long-lived parents and grandparents (35 percent of your longevity is due to genetic factors); be married, hug, hold hands, have sex regularly, have a lot of children, get along with your mother, accept your children, nurture your grandchildren; be well-educated, stimulate your brain, learn new things; be optimistic, channel your anger in a positive way, not always have to be right; not smoke; use less salt; have chocolate occasionally, eat a Mediterranean diet of fruit, vegetables, olive oil, fish, and poultry, drink green tea and moderate amounts of red wine; exercise; have goals, take risks; confide in a friend, not be afraid to seek psychological counseling; be a volunteer, have a role in the community; attend church, find God.”

—from The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead by David Shields

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Abandoned Soviet Monuments

These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place (like Tjentište, Kozara and Kadinjača), or where concentration camps stood (like Jasenovac and Niš). They were designed by different sculptors (Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to name a few) and architects (Bogdan Bogdanović, Gradimir Medaković...), conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year, especially young pioneers for their "patriotic education." After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost.