We’re highlighting tales of coffee, Twitter love stories and more. Dive into a vast array of knowledge with our favorite humanities finds of the week.
Kristen, director of communications and development:
- The architecture in London is outstanding in and of itself, but read this geologists guide to what those buildings are made of (or might contain) and you’ll never look at a building’s material the same way again. I’m talking dinosaur bones, celestial particles and more!
- With more than 1.5 million pieces of art, the Brooklyn Museum is a hot destination. Thanks to its new ASK app, which encourages visitors to *ask* museum staff questions, it’s even hotter. Read more about how the app is enhancing the experience.
Bronwen Fetters, executive assistant and program associate:
- Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a mini comic opera about coffee, and it’s an absolute riot. Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, which translates, “Be still, stop chattering,” satirically tells the tale of a young lady’s coffee addiction and also explores gender dynamics in eighteenth-century Germany—a time when women were apparently urged to abstain from drinking coffee, since it was believed to cause sterility. Throughout the Coffee Cantata, the young lady’s father tries to restrict his daughter’s coffee consumption in fear that she won’t find a husband. She responds with zingers like, “If I couldn’t, three times a day, be allowed to drink my little cup of coffee, in my anguish I will turn into a shriveled-up roast goat.” I feel the same way, girl… Watch a performance here, and read the full text of the libretto here.
Jacqueline Cromleigh, communications and community relations manager:
- Originally from Ohio, I was sad to read about the fate of the iconic “World’s Largest Picnic Basket.”
- Who knew all you needed for a romance was a Twitter feed and passion for books? Learn more about this happy and bookish couple’s wedded bliss!
George Hanlin, director of grants:
- With all that’s been going on in the world of late, many have started questioning our humanity. If you feel that you’ve become less human, comedian Ze Frank has a quick quiz to help you find out. It’s part of the TED Radio Hour episode What Makes Us . . . Us.
- Looking for an enjoyable (and air-conditioned) way to celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial this summer? Spend an afternoon at the Indiana State Museum’s Indiana in 200 Objects exhibition. As the title suggests, curators have selected and displayed 200 items that represent Indiana’s 200 years of statehood. Some of the choices are predictable (think Milan and basketball), some are puzzling (a Carolina parakeet?), but collectively they make for an excellent and informative celebration of our home.
Keira, president and CEO:
- Don’t miss Town and Country: Indiana Stories By Kyle Ragsdale and Kipp Normand, an amazing exhibit at the Art Council Indianapolis’ Gallery 924. It’s inspired by the state’s bicentennial!
- Our fantastic board member, Jim Madison, will be celebrated as a Living Legend tonight at the Indiana Historical Society’s Annual Gala. A fitting and well-deserved honor!
Claire Mauschbaugh, communications intern:
- A great piece on “book deserts” in low-income areas and how the lack of access to books is affecting our nation’s children.
- And here’s a way to combat book deserts right here in Indianapolis!
Do you have any humanities highlights from your week? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.