New York Times chief film critic A.O. Scott ’87-’88 visits Harvard on Thursday to discuss his new book, “Better Living Through Criticism.” Scott, who began his career at The New York Review of Books, joined the Times in 2000. A professor of film criticism at Wesleyan University, he will publish a collection of his film writing in 2017. GAZETTE: This interview is going to take the form of a Q&A, which you use in your book to have very direct conversations (with an imaginary interviewer) about criticism. So what’s your critique of the Q&A as an art form?SCOTT: I’ve been on your side of the conversation many times, and I’ve always liked it as a reader. When I was young, I had a subscription to Rolling Stone and I loved the interviews — the illusion of immediacy and hearing the person’s voice uninflected and the personality of the interviewer. It’s a drama. It has a kind of tension that a profile doesn’t always have. I was inspired to write part of the book in dialogue by a few different literary sources. The main one was Oscar Wilde’s “The Decay of Lying.” I thought it would be a way to loosen up the book a bit.GAZETTE: “Better Living Through Criticism” is presented as an account of an argument with Samuel L. Jackson that propelled the idea for the book, but the acknowledgements say otherwise — that the book was many years in the making. How long was the process, and how did you come to decide it was a worthy topic?SCOTT: I’ve been thinking about it my entire life. In a way I’ve never really been or wanted to be any other kind of writer. I guess the more immediate inspiration pre-Samuel L. Jackson was in 2011. There was a lot of discussion at that time, a flurry of articles and symposiums and discussions about the future of criticism, and social media. Wasn’t it true that critics were on the way out? There was some celebration of that and some doomsday. I tended to be skeptical, having lived in the newspaper business through a lot of scary moments and panic. I thought maybe I could explain to the world what criticism is and why it exists. The questions I wanted to be asking were more abstract and dragged me into philosophy and intellectual history. The anti-critical bias is very old and never goes away. You could find people complaining about the critics in ancient Greece and ancient Rome the same way you do now.GAZETTE: Can you talk about criticism and how it relates to the humanities? It’s a time when some elected officials are considering pulling money from public universities for liberal arts education.SCOTT: I teach college students, and I have children that age. I’m very concerned by the spirit of utilitarianism that’s taking over education. These are very narrow ideas about outcomes, and that fills me with horror. I believe the humanities exist not to be immediately useful, monetized, or instrumentalized, but to wake us up and stir our curiosity and turn us into more ethical, critical, more alert people. For four years, people can do things that aren’t useful — learn about painting, literature, and poetry — and then figure out how to turn that into something productive.GAZETTE: In your book, you write about making a difference. Do you worry that you do — that you could derail an actor’s career, or crush a director’s livelihood?SCOTT: I’m not sure I have that individual power, but I know that I can certainly do harm. What I more think about is the obligation to my readers. In making “The Revenant,” the cast talked about how hard a shoot it was, how cold it was, how hungry they were. That doesn’t make it any better a movie as far as I’m concerned. And that’s not something that someone buying a ticket should have to take into account. I’m saying it in public so I have to say it with decorum with a reasonable argument to back it up, but I have to be honest.GAZETTE: How did Harvard contribute to your career as a critic? Were you able to start to find your voice here?SCOTT: I was very academically focused as an undergrad. I went to the Brattle Theatre and saw a lot of movies, but I never wrote for any campus publications. But I studied literature, so I was interested in criticism. There were classes I took with Barbara Johnson and a visiting seminar with Fredric Jameson. Those influenced me in specific ways. It was also more the ordinary rhythm of work and reading and writing and going to the library and that kind of wandering that happens. You look for one book and you find another book one shelf down and three books over to the left. Harvard was the first place I was where people were serious and I could be serious.GAZETTE: Watching how the issue of racial inequality pervaded the Oscars raises the question of how it relates to movie critics. How would you characterize the state of film criticism through the lens of race?SCOTT: It is important, and there’s plenty of room and obligation for self-examination in journalism
Image Courtesy: Getty/Sport 360Advertisement ndbzaeaNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs10jn2fWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E5uo( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) cmlWould you ever consider trying this?😱wqauCan your students do this? 🌚d0nmsRoller skating! Powered by Firework Erling Braut Håland is one of the biggest upcoming sensations in the European footballing fandom. With continuous impressive performance, the Red Bull Salzburg forward is being speculated to make his move to a European Elite in the next window. A lot of the big club names have come forward, and in fact, the player himself is confused.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Getty/Sport 360On his facebook, the young Norwegian posted a photo a couple of days ago, where the 19 year old is portrayed in the kits of Bayern, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus, Real Madrid and Arsenal. The pic, sourced from Sport 360, comes with the caption “Which team do you want me to join in January?” Check it out below-Advertisement The responses are mostly in favour of the Red Devils, who are currently having a hard time after losing out Lukaku and Sánchez to Serie A heavyweights Inter Milan, while some other fans are eager for the teenager to come to Leeds, his birthplace.Coming up from the youth system of Norwegian side Bryne FK, Håland joined Eliteserien side Molde FK in 2017, two years prior to Salzburg landing him on a five year contract. Since then, he has scored 13 goals in 13 appearances for Die Mozartstädter.The young Norwegian international is also among the only two players who have scored in each of their first three Champions League appearances as a teenager, the other being Karim Benzema. Advertisement
My purpose here is to define the basic terms and put the field of psychrometrics in its proper context for you. The bible of psychrometrics, on which I’m basing a lot of what I’m telling you here, is the book, Understanding Psychrometrics by Don Gatley. Here’s his definition of psychrometrics:Psychrometrics: the science that involves the properties of moist air and the processes in which the temperature or the water vapor content or both are changed.Today I’m going to stick to covering the absolute fundamentals and save the explanations of the various psychrometric quantities and processes for a future article.The two components of moist airSo that term, “properties of moist air,” is our focus, and it’s a term loaded with meaning and implications. Again, though, we need a definition before we can advance. What is moist air?Moist air: a mixture of dry air and water vapor; also known simply as “air.”Now, if we can just get a handle on those two things, we’ll be ready to begin.First, we know that moist air is a mixture. It’s not a pure substance. The two components, dry air and water vapor, have different properties, with one thing in particular making this mixture of supreme importance in meteorology, air conditioning, and other areas. (Do you know what it is?)Let’s take a look at the two components now. Dry air itself is also a mixture. The table in Image #2, below, shows the major components and a few minor ones, too.Each of those elements and compounds has its own set of properties but there’s one important thing they have in common. It’s also the thing that distinguishes dry air from water vapor. Here it is:The dry air components don’t change phase at the normal temperature and pressure ranges we deal with.As long as the temperature is above about -100°C (-148°F), all of the dry air components exist in the gas phase only. They don’t condense out of or evaporate into the air.But that’s exactly what water vapor does. When the temperature drops at night, we wake up in the morning to find dew on the grass and on our cars. (Although you dry climate folks might have difficulty believing, that photo above is dew I found on the top of my car one summer morning.) When the sun hits the grass later in the morning, the dew starts evaporating and will have all returned to the air after a while.The magic of waterWater has so many amazing properties. I recently wrote about the physics of water in porous materials and there I discussed all four phases of water. In the field of psychrometrics, however, our primary focus is on water vapor.So water can go in and out of the vapor phase, thereby changing the properties of this stuff we call moist air. Air that has a very low content of water vapor might have only a few tenths of a percent of water vapor by mass. The most humid air that occurs naturally has about 3 to 3.5% water vapor by mass. That’s equivalent to an ungodly dew point of about 95°F, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit.The point of psychrometrics is to understand what’s happening with the water vapor component since it’s the part of moist air that can undergo so many changes. As it turns out, a fellow by the name of Willis Carrier developed a tool that became enormously useful in the 20th century: the psychrometric chart (see Image #4, below). It allows us to locate the state point for a particular volume of air and then plot the changes it goes through as the conditions change.From chemistry to psychrometricsSo where does the psychrometric chart come from? Let’s begin with the pressure-temperature diagram for water, shown as Image #3, below. In psychrometrics, we care mainly about the yellow region and what happens at the boundary between the vapor phase and the liquid or solid phases. That boundary in the pressure-temperature diagram is the same boundary you see in the psychrometric chart. It’s the 100% relative humidity curve, also known as the saturation curve.In the yellow region, water vapor behaves pretty much like an ideal gas, so that and the pressure-temperature diagram take us back to our introductory chemistry class. The application to psychrometrics, as you might expect, is a bit more complex, but we won’t go deeply into the math in this series.Now you’ve got the foundation for understanding the subject of psychrometrics. We’ve got the very basic definitions out of the way. In next week’s blog, we’ll take a look at the multifarious psychrometric quantities available and their definitions. (I’ve mentioned a few of those quantities already, but there are more… many more.) Then we’ll divide them into two groups: those that are measurable and those that must be calculated (plus a bonus dichotomy of those that are preferred and those that are discouraged). Following that, we’ll be ready to dive into some of the really fun stuff you can do with psychrometrics, like:Look at what happens when air passes through an air conditionerFind
Watford demand huge money for PSG target Doucoureby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford are demanding huge money for Abdoulaye Doucoure.The Mirror says PSG must pay up if they want Watford’s Doucoure.The Hornets rate their player just as highly as they did Richarlison.That means the French club will have to find the £50 million or more that Everton did to take their Brazilian.Head coach Javi Gracia accepts it will be very tough to keep Doucoure at Vicarage Road if PSG get close to their asking price. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Liverpool could lose Salah after strong season – Midoby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool could lose Mohamed Salah if he has another 25 goal season, Egypt legend Mido has claimed.The 26-year-old bagged an incredible 44 goals across all competitions in his debut season for the Reds.After a slow start to the season, Salah now has 16 goals to his name. And Mido believes his continued success would attract attention from the world’s biggest clubs.Mido told CNN: “You never know in football.”If Barcelona or Real Madrid come for you your head is going to flip, all the players are like that.”Barcelona and Real Madrid are different – no disrespect to Liverpool.”I think Barcelona and Real Madrid were waiting to see how Salah would do this season; they don’t buy players after only one good or great season.”I think if Salah scores 25-plus goals, I think they will come for him and it will be difficult for Liverpool to keep him.”
Real Madrid fullback Carvajal: We should’ve finished off Villarrealby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid fullback Dani Carvajal admits they blew two points for their draw with Villarreal.Real kicked off 2019 with a 2-2 draw against the Yellow Submarine.Carvajal lamented, “We had some real chances to finish the game and make it 1-3, but in the end, we drew and dropped two points. We needed those three points to close the gaps on the leader. Now we need to keep working hard and rack up some points. This is not an easy place to come play. We’re disappointed because we were ahead for practically the whole match and not winning really stings.””We knew that they would have to push forward and leave the defence open. Before finishing with a draw, we had two massive chances to kill it off, we did not finish and they nicked a goal at the end.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
KNOXVILLE, TN – FEBRUARY 27: J.P. Prince #30 of the Tennessee Volunteers dunks the basketball against Eric Bledsoe #24 of the Kentucky Wildcats at Thompson-Boling Arena on February 27, 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee defeated Kentucky 74-65. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)The Southeast doesn’t always get a lot of snow, but when the people down there do, you better bet there will be some creative SEC-themed snowmen. One family of Tennessee fans made a pretty impressive snowman, complete with a Josh Richardson No. 1 jersey. They sent a photo to the senior guard, who is a big fan of his new snow doppelganger. “@sgregg12: Sir Josh! Our 2015 Snowman! #Vols #BowTie @J_Rich1 @Vol_Hoops @Vol_Photos pic.twitter.com/oUDguj0HY2”oh man that’s nice !!!— Josh Richardson (@J_Rich1) February 24, 2015The Tennessee wristband is a nice touch. Now we just need Richardson to wear a top hat on the court, and this will be spot on.
Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,326.51, down 90.47 points)Osisko Mining Inc. (TSX:OSK). Miner. Down 12 cents, or 5.69 per cent, to $1.99 on 18.85 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down three cents, or 0.63 per cent, to $4.70 on 18 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Down 16 cents, or 2.56 per cent, to $6.09 on 10.06 million shares.Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Oil and gas. Down 21 cents, or 0.44 per cent, to $47.05 on 4.12 million shares.AutoCanada Inc. (TSX:ACQ). Retailer. Down $3.96, or 26.92 per cent, to $10.75 on 3.92 million shares.Cequence Energy Ltd. (TSX:CQE). Oil and gas. Unchanged on 3.71 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Freshii Inc. (TSX:FRII). Restaurants. Down 65 cents, or 10.27 per cent, to $5.68 on 375,000 shares. The company reported second quarter results that missed analyst expectations. Freshii had adjusted net income of three cents per share, short of the four cents per share expected by analysts according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. The company says it expects up to US$285 million in sales from as many as 760 stores within the next year or so, a big leap from its current count of between 400 and 500 locations.