Arthur Rubinstein: Born January 28, 1887

Arthur Rubinstein made his first United States tour in 1906 when he was only 19 years old. He became one of the world’s foremost concert artists.

Rubinstein was born in an Lodz, Poland, on January 28, 1887. He made his first public performance at the age of seven. Four years later, the child prodigy was sent to Berlin to be presented to the great violinist, Joseph Joachim. Impressed with the boy’s amazing talent, Joachim offered to assume responsibility for Rubinstein’s cultural and musical education. At the age of thirteen, Rubinstein debuted formally in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic at a concert featuring the Mozart A major and Saint-Saens G minor concertos. In 1906, he made his American debut, performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. His success here initiated a tour of the United States that included over 40 concerts.

Rubenstein Remembered~

Codex Mendoza

Thanks to the always interesting Hyperallergic website, today I learned about a manuscript known as the Codex Mendoza which has been digitized and put online in high resolution. Totally unfamiliar with Mexican codices, I was grateful to see that the site has a succinct explanation of what they are and what their significance is.

Mexican codices are pictorial and iconic documents that pre-Hispanic cultures (primarily the Mexicas, Mayas, and Mixtecs) used to preserve and transmit their knowledge. They were produced on different types of surfaces, mainly on deerskin or bark paper. Gordon Brotherston (1992) describes the essential characteristics of codices as non-phonetic, although some might record concept-sounds, such as those produced by the Mayas. They are highly flexible in terms of presentation, for they can be structured as a chronicle told through historical events, a map, or a tribute list. This holistic integration of writing, images, and mathematics, clearly breaks with Western notions of writing.

One of the principal characteristics of codices, according to Brotherston, is that the knowledge contained in most of them is not actually recorded in a language that represents a language, as in the case of modern languages. Codices are part of a different communication system that also invoked oral tradition and other semantic elements no longer used today. They are composed of images and icons that work in tandem with the memory, voice, and knowledge of individuals able to read them:


The illustrations in the codex are beautiful in their own right, above and beyond their educational value. The Hyperallergic article is a good introduction to this document and worth checking out before heading over to the Codex Mendoza site. Read it here:

Happy Birthday, Lewis Carroll

Although the various cinematic adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s books never seem to follow the stories very faithfully, I have for some reason decided to note his birthday by having a look around for a list of tv shows and movies based on Alice. This site has done the best job, in my opinion, and it includes some good links if you are interested enough to pursue the topic further:

Alice in Wonderland
cinema, tv and video representations
Compiled by Michael Organ

‘What Every Young Designer Should Know, From Legendary Apple Designer Susan Kare”

If you’re reading this on a computer, you owe a debt to Susan Kare, the pioneering designer behind the original Macintosh’s icons and the first digital typefaces like Chicago, which proved that computers could have great fonts. The 60-year-old is a legend in the digital design field, but you’d never guess it from talking to her. In person, Kare is breezy and down-to-earth, just as happy to chat about how much she likes Lego, or which celebrity gossip blogs she reads, as she is about her early days at Apple. After she chatted with us about her recreation of Apple’s original Pirates of Silicon Valley flag, Kare shared with us some words of wisdom for young designers hoping to make as big of an impact as she did: fake it until you make it, and remember that what makes design great never changes.

A version of this article appeared in the February 2015 issue of Fast Company magazine.