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The Beat #34: Owls, Lil Buck, Jalapenos & Brancusi

This week’s guest contributor, Say Lim, is a New York-based designer and art director.


Whether you’re enjoying a Tootsie Pop, reading or watching Harry Potter or taking in some classic Clash of the Titans, you know that owls permeate popular culture. The the owl is an ancient symbol with a multitude of meanings, from wisdom to herald of death. It’s been seen illustrated on the walls of the Chauvet caves, drawn some 33,000 years ago, and Rameses II reportedly punished an Egyptian owl for swatting him in the face with its wings. Since we love them, it’s important to note that many are endangered, including the enormous and beautiful Blakiston’s fish owl.

Lil Buck

Jook master and Memphis native Lil Buck has been mesmerizing us for years now with his fluid, expressive dance. From the famous performance with Yo-Yo Ma to his Rag & Bone outings with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Ai Shimatsu, he’s made it clear that there is no difference between street dance and capital “A” “Art” dance. Choreographer, style icon, TED speaker, he’s a force to be reckoned with.


Fresh from the garden or pickled and funky on your ballpark nachos, this ubiquitous little pepper is jalapeño business. Named for Xalapa, Mexico where it was famously cultivated, it’s a worldwide star today. Although it scores a relatively low 2,000–8,000 on the Scoville scale (compared to the whopping 2,200,000 of the Carolina Reaper), it still feels plenty hot to many of us. It’s packed with antioxidants, potassium and vitamins, and its capsaicin is even a natural pain reliever. Whether you love them in salsa, by themselves or even in poppers, you can’t deny they’re a powerful little treat.


A founding father of modernism and one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century, Constantin Brancusi created elegant, deceptively simple pieces that were often controversial in his time. He was a student of Rodin, and went on to mentor Noguchi, making him a key link between old and new worlds of art. Comparing pieces like Bird in Space and The Kiss gives a glimpse at his stylistic breadth and depth. His Sleeping Muse, which we pay tribute to here, sold for a record-breaking $57.4 million.


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