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You Probably Never Realized How Marble Is Harvested, But It's Beautiful

Stashed in: Best PandaWhale Posts, #love, #kindness, Beauty, Awesomesauce, Awesome, gifs, Bill Murray, Leonardo, Give and Take, Skillz, Just Plain Cool, @emilykatemoon, coolio, How It's Made, Geology!

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It's like a video game!

Seriously! Beautiful.

Versus granite which isn't always beautiful, like this one, the world's ugliest granite!


Reaction marble, by Bernini:


Ha! That marble looks truly disgusted. :)

I'm not sure backhoe'ing out big chunks of rock from a quarry is what I'd call beautiful, but it certainly is interesting to watch.

Did you check out the lost fingertips on the guy conducting the backhoes: looks like he might have got a little too close to some of those falling chunks at one time or another...

the earth sure is beautiful though.  wow!  whole mountains made of veiny white rock...

Emily, you have my absolute agreement on that point... indeed, a most amazing planet we have the good fortune of existing on for however long we're given to enjoy it.

Tis truly beautiful... sigh.

I wish we as a species and culture were better at respecting, admiring and preserving that beauty and recognize that we're a full part of it... not a cold and calculating observer merely profiting from it.  

Makes me think of Shel Silverstein's book "The Giving Tree"...


now you're speaking my language, rob!

that book is about mothers and children, earth and earthlings, giving and taking.  it makes me want to cry my eyes out every time i read it!  because the worst part is, the greedy little taker is never happy.

Maybe the book isn't about the taker. Maybe it's about the giver. 

but the giver gets destroyed!!

The giver makes the most of the life it has.

i don't know about that.  that tree could have lived on...

really, i think it is a very confusing children's book.  it is poignant, for sure, but i think it is terribly sad and conveys mixed messages.  for me, the primary takeaway is that one can give too much, just like one can take too much.  and i don't know if that is a message we need to make into a children's book.

It would be very interesting to get Adam Grant's opinion on the book... givers and takers being so well represented as to make one cry.

indeed... surely he has an opinion on that book!

I'll let you know if I hear from him about the book.

My opinion is that the tree knows what it's doing, and it WANTS to give to the taker.

Because that's who the tree is, and that's what makes the tree happy.

Plus he was tired of life and wanted to die!

the old man, yes, was tired of life and wanted to die.  but he was never happy except for when he loved the tree as a child.

the tree gave and gave until she had nothing left to give.  and, as adam points out, she was happy.

maybe that's all there is to it.

still, it seems to be more a book for adults than for children... as does most of silverstein's work.

and my concern is that it teaches enabling, to the point of death.  not a good thing!  the tree may have been happy, but why?  even the person she was enabling was ungrateful for her gifts.  seems to me a better book would have been a tree who told that little taker to take a hike after he carved his name in her trunk!

Adam Grant agrees with Emily and Rob.

Here is what he wrote to me in email:

Although I’m fond of most of Shel Silverstein’s writing, I’m not a fan of that particular book. I think it teaches children counterproductive messages about giving as a self-sacrificing, zero-sum act, and about allowing takers to exploit others.

I think the intended lessons were about how it’s sometimes important to give even when it hurts and that takers can eventually learn the error of their ways. But those messages, I’m afraid, are lost on most readers.

This was good:

That New York Times article is definitely worth reading.

That kid was a straight taker, yo!

Thanks for running this by Adam Grant, Adam... nice to know the expert's view!  And appreciate the NYT article link too--very interesting!

And on that article, allow me a few observations:

"Tender Story of Unconditional Love or Disturbing Tale of Selfishness"Like most click bait today, it makes good sense to offer choices and numbered lists.  This doesn't mean they are accurate observations of reality.  So as with the above article title, I disagree with the frame of this observation--such human exchanges and experiences are rarely "either/or" realities: Life is full of uncomfortable and often contradictory "ands".  "Ands" are what make simplistic, polemical people incredibly uncomfortable and angry.   And many people today prefer "either/or" options.

I see the story as both an example of unconditional love AND selfishness.  Which forces us to confront these two seemingly oppositional forces (they are not) as a dilemma instead of as a clear choice between right or wrong.  Neither is right or correct, but each has its own consequences and even more so when combined together.

Hence the uncompromising sadness and sense of tragedy of "we wish that it could have been different" plot lines.  The Giving Tree is a sad story of AND.  Not a moral story of either/or.

Too bad most people today cannot perceive, let alone contain, multitudes as well as Whitman did...


how nice that we have a direct line to adam grant! and how nice that he has an opinion that agrees with mine! ;)

the ny times article is great.  we can feel okay no matter which way we interpret that book... just use that article to support your side, or your ambivalence!

Rob, that's a good point that the book can be seen as both about unconditional love AND selfishness.

And perhaps the tree could have taught the boy some valuable lessons by saying NO sometimes.

but then we wouldn't be here discussing it... and this is so much fun!

Bill Murray's new movie, St Vincent, has a scene with the book in it apropos to our discussion.  

Rob, I didn't realize that. How prescient!

apropos and prescient?  this language is really turning me on!


The Agony and the Ecstasy, yo.  Understand marble through the mind, arm and chisel of the master.  I'm talking about Michelangelo.

Our system broke that link to agony and ecstasy.

Good reference!

So it's about starting with a slab of marble and then removing everything that isn't the statue?

That's so different from most art which is about adding things to an empty page or canvas. 

michelangelo was a very special man.

If you haven't read the book try to find  time.  Michelangelo's genius, his obsession with understanding the human body (cadaver time!) and his mastery of marble, acquired painstakingly over his life....the book is a journey.

So is it mainly about removing things? He seems like his creativity came from removing things.

when he was sculpting marble, yes, he was unveiling a figure within.

when he was painting the sistine chapel ceiling, he was creating a whole new world.

i get all pumped just thinking about michelangelo and the positive changes he made for all of humanity through his art!  hot damn!  what a badass.

The fact that he could do some art through addition and some through subtraction is astonishing.

bad to the bone!


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