Consider, for example, the way the advancement of medical knowledge was paid for with the lives of slaves.

The death rate on the trans-Atlantic voyage to the New World was staggeringly high. Slave ships, however, were more than floating tombs. They were floating laboratories, offering researchers a chance to examine the course of diseases in fairly controlled, quarantined environments. Doctors and medical researchers could take advantage of high mortality rates to identify a bewildering number of symptoms, classify them into diseases, and hypothesize about their causes.

Corps of doctors tended to slave ports up and down the Atlantic seaboard. Some of them were committed to relieving suffering; others were simply looking for ways to make the slave system more profitable. In either case, they identified types of fevers, learned how to decrease mortality and increase fertility, experimented with how much water was needed for optimum numbers of slaves to survive on a diet of salted fish and beef jerky, and identified the best ratio of caloric intake to labor hours. Priceless epidemiological information on a range of diseases — malaria, smallpox, yellow fever, dysentery, typhoid, cholera, and so on — was gleaned from the bodies of the dying and the dead.

When slaves couldn’t be kept alive, their autopsied bodies still provided useful information. Of course, as the writer Harriet Washington has demonstrated in her stunning Medical Apartheid, such experimentation continued long after slavery ended: in the 1940s, one doctor said that the “future of the Negro lies more in the research laboratory than in the schools.” As late as the 1960s, another researcher, reminiscing in a speech given at Tulane Medical School, said that it was “cheaper to use Niggers than cats because they were everywhere and cheap experimental animals.”

Medical knowledge slowly filtered out of the slave industry into broader communities, since slavers made no proprietary claims on the techniques or data that came from treating their slaves. For instance, an epidemic of blindness that broke out in 1819 on the French slaver Rôdeur, which had sailed from Bonny Island in the Niger Delta with about 72 slaves on board, helped eye doctors identify the causes, patterns, and symptoms of what is today known as trachoma.

The disease first appeared on the Rôdeur not long after it set sail, initially in the hold among the slaves and then on deck. In the end, it blinded all the voyagers except one member of the crew. According to a passenger’s account, sightless sailors worked under the direction of that single man “like machines” tied to the captain with a thick rope. “We were blind — stone blind, drifting like a wreck upon the ocean,” he recalled. Some of the sailors went mad and tried to drink themselves to death. Others retired to their hammocks, immobilized. Each “lived in a little dark world of his own, peopled by shadows and phantasms. We did not see the ship, nor the heavens, nor the sea, nor the faces of our comrades.”

But they could still hear the cries of the blinded slaves in the hold.

This went on for 10 days, through storms and calms, until the voyagers heard the sound of another ship. The Spanish slaver San León had drifted alongside the Rôdeur. But the entire crew and all the slaves of that ship, too, had been blinded. When the sailors of each vessel realized this “horrible coincidence,” they fell into a silence “like that of death.” Eventually, the San León drifted away and was never heard from again.

The Bleached Bones of the Dead 
What the Modern World Owes Slavery (It’s More Than Back Wages) 
By Greg Grandin (via howtobeterrell)

hammpix:

As an artist, you’ll have to draw turned heads countless times. But when the head is turned, drawing the far eye poses a special challenge. This is because we must foreshorten that eye more than we’re used to, and because we’re tempted to shape it like the near eye, which is less foreshortened. Therefore, it’s useful to practice drawing the far eye by itself, without the near eye to throw you off. Print these sheets, draw the eyes, and you’ll save yourself great difficulty later.

Note that all of these eyes are facing our left. You’ll need to practice right-facing eyes as well, so flop the sheets in Photoshop, print them again, and draw those also.

pigeonbits:

Color palette tutorial time!

This is by no means the Only Way To Pick Colors—it’s just a relatively-simple method I use sometimes.  I’ve found it works pretty well, almost regardless of what colors you pick—as long as you can keep them organized by those light/dark warm/cool categories, and make sure one category takes up a significantly higher proportion of page space, it usually turns out pretty good!

jessuhart:

Been keeping an eye on this series since it was started back in December :3 I think it’s time that I blew the dust off of my website and actually put a portfolio up, and methinks that starting a portfolio from scratch would be my best bet. I’ll be working my way through this series and so figure it’d be nice to put the information I’m working from up for any other artists that may be interested in some solid portfolio advice.
ArtOrder Portfolio Building Class
Introduction/Syllabus
Week 1 – What is a Portfolio?
Week 2 – The Self Assessment
Week 3 – Setting a Strategy
Week 4 – Developing a Plan
Week 4a – The Insanity Loop
Week 5 – Storyboarding & Presentation
Week 5a – Presentation
Week 6 – Talking Points and Questions
Week 7 – Sealing the Deal
Extra! - Portfolios on the Web

The series was written by Jon Schindehette, Senior Creative Director/Art Director over at Wizards of the Coast and owner/organizer of the ArtOrder and ArtOrder Challenges. All kudos go to him for it’s existence, I’m just spreading the wealth :D

jessuhart:

Been keeping an eye on this series since it was started back in December :3 I think it’s time that I blew the dust off of my website and actually put a portfolio up, and methinks that starting a portfolio from scratch would be my best bet. I’ll be working my way through this series and so figure it’d be nice to put the information I’m working from up for any other artists that may be interested in some solid portfolio advice.

ArtOrder Portfolio Building Class

The series was written by Jon Schindehette, Senior Creative Director/Art Director over at Wizards of the Coast and owner/organizer of the ArtOrder and ArtOrder Challenges. All kudos go to him for it’s existence, I’m just spreading the wealth :D

sbosma:

CRITICAL EDUCATION

New one for SooJin Buzelli at Planadviser magazine, based on the concept of “The importance of the right training/knowledge is power.” A pretty tricky phrase to illustrate, particularly since I needed to encapsulate both of those slightly different ideas. I like all the other sketches, but this is the only one that clicks with the concept. A nice thing with SooJin’s assignments is that I often get neat sketches that I can reuse later on for personal stuff.

Bottom is the color study, which, in some ways I prefer, but it made me too sleepy. Flashbacks of falling asleep in overly warm classrooms.

postgraduatepurgatory:

Essential Productivity Apps for any student:

  1. Caffeine-  Prevents your screen from going into sleep mode. Great if you’re writing notes on an article and the screen keeps dimming, whilst you hope that if you stare long enough, the phrase “homologous ways to a view of hegemony” will start to make sense.
  2. Flux- If you find that you can’t sleep for ages after studying late at night, then this app is a total game changer. It basically turns the light on the screen red, because science people say that blue light keeps you awake and red light doesn’t. (*Full Disclosure* I’m not a scientist)
  3. Focusbar- The annoying voice of your mother nagging you to finish your homework…in app form. You can set the annoying level (I have it set on “wildly annoying”) and a bar will appear in the corner every few seconds to remind you that you’re supposed to be doing something else besides looking at cat photos. 
  4. Microsoft Office- self explanatory, so I’ve linked to an article about life hacks for Microsoft Office instead. Because I’m just that awesome. 
  5. Nag- Does your 5 minute study break keep turning into an hour on Youtube? Then you need Nag in your life. It’s basically an alarm/timer. But an extremely loud and annoying alarm/timer that’s very difficult to ignore. The bells genuinely sound more judgemental the longer you ignore it.  
  6. Self Control-  Also known as Cold Turkey for Microsoft users. If you absolutely cannot be trusted with an internet connection, then you need Self Control in your life. You add a list of websites to the “blacklist”and then set how long you want the app to work for, and for that duration of time you wont be able to access those website. Seriously, not even rebooting your computer or uninstalling the app will let you access the blacklist until your time is up. Tough love at its finest.
  7. Zotero-  The new love of my life. Zotero allows you to manage all your citations and sources in one easy place. It’s an absolute life saver- no joke. There’s an in-word add in, so it will write your bibliography and citations for you in any format you want. There’s a chrome/firefox add in and a mobile app, so you don’t even have to type the citation into Zotero. Just press the button it does all the hard work for you. It even updates itself online, so you can still access your bibliography if your computer crashes. I <3 Zotero 5eva.