Category Archives: Art and Entertainment

Sydney Harbour sells at art auction

Paintings, sculptures and works by Australian artists including Arthur Streeton, Brett Whiteley, Sidney Nolan, Margaret Olley, and Albert Namatjira were among 69 pieces sold at auction in Sydney fetching $8.96m.

At least four artworks broke price records at Sotheby’s on Wednesday, but perhaps the most anticipated, Arthur Streeton’s Sydney Harbour 1907, narrowly missed out, achieving the second highest price at auction for the artist at $2,074,000. The $2.52 record set at auction in 2012 by Streeton’s 1888 painting Settler’s Camp remains standing

World art market stalls for first time in years

The 1.2m-wide oil on canvas, which depicts the view of Sydney harbour looking towards the city from Mosman, was painted by Streeton on his return to Australia after a decade in Europe. It had been expected to break the record.

The last time it changed hands was in 1999, when it went under the hammer for Christie’s Australia for $464,500.

In 1995, an early Streeton impressionist work, Golden Summer, Eaglemont, a key fetched $3.5m in a private sale to the National Gallery of Australia.

Namatjira’s Finke River Mission and Mount Hermannsburg sold for $122,000, exceeding the $100,000 reserve.

19th century Victorian artist Emma Minnie Boyd’s, A Lassie Yet, also received strong interest – eventually selling for $170,800, well above the $30-$50,000 pre-auction estimate.

A Sidney Nolan painting from his 1964 Ned Kelly series, which was on offer for between $800,000 and $1m, failed to sell despite high expectations.

The work was being offered for the first time by Sotheby’s Australia and had been part of Nolan’s personal collection until 1992.

What the doodles say about you

This may look chaotic, but the diversity of objects and shapes shows this woman is resourceful, energetic and loves a full life. The multitude of things going on shows that multitasking comes naturally to her and she thrives on a busy schedule.

Numerous separate doodles make up this crowded scene, reflecting readiness to take in new information and the rapid association of ideas of a lateral thinker, although there is logic, too, in the zigzag lines and angular shapes. However, heavy scribbling is a sign of frustration and retracing numbers suggests concern about costs or perhaps time passing.

The spontaneous creation of this whole unique doodle shows she can think on her feet and come up with new ideas that perhaps challenge accepted practices. Unfortunately, it also suggests she is easily distracted and may not complete what she has started, so achieves best with short-term targets.

Intuitive perfectionist

All of my doodles are a variation of this paisley, floral pattern. Regardless of pen, paper or situation. I find I concentrate on listening much better if I am simultaneously drawing; the alternative is motionless daydreaming” –ID4474645

There is a beautiful harmony in this paisley pattern with its lively shapes swirling like fish in a pool without ever colliding. It’s a very feminine doodle, full of feeling in the wavy lines and tear drops, and flowers in full bloom creating a happy mood.

This person (probably a woman, but not necessarily) likes to work closely with others and will promote harmony in the workplace by avoiding conflict and creating a pleasant environment. She is sensitive, with an intuitive understanding of people and situations and is naturally accommodating, like the winding flower stems. Her evident delight in tiny decorative patterns shows she has a meticulous eye for detail and is capable of doing repetitive work requiring great precision or manual dexterity. However, being a perfectionist means she is unwilling to take short cuts so may not always be efficient and is likely to get stressed if put under pressure

Independent optimist

A reaction to baffling requests or directives from clients. It’s a tough one being told to do something that obviously won’t work by a power crazed client. Politely point out why your study and industry experience suggest an alternative solution and you’re a creative prima donna, comply and you lose the respect of your peers (and self). Commercial activity is a rocky road – sometimes these little fellas help you along …” – JimPOP

Humour relieves tension and doodling a goofy grenade is less damaging than exploding with anger. Rapidly drawn in cartoon style with firm strokes softened by a felt-tip pen, it reflects this man’s warmth and love of life as well as his lively intelligence, spontaneity, good physical coordination and self-assurance in action.

With its grim but boyish humour this solitary, solid object shows he is independent, strong minded and not inclined to be pushed around. Rows of straight lines are a sign of systematic work and self-control, but the pointed tongue shows how rude he would like to be, while the crossed eyes and raised eyeline capture his disbelief and scepticism as he listens with one ear only, ready to pull the plug.

Strong, mature and sensitive

I’ve always doodled while working. I’m left-handed, so as I’m using my mouse my left hand is forever scrawling a random line and then (usually) an eye and then a face, head and shoulders tend to appear. A youth lost in comic books has resulted in a sketchbook full of random doodles … I should probably be a little concerned by the amount of slightly lost figures that turn up through my sketchbooks” – JimPOP

Working alone can be lonely, so when his pencil wanders it may be expressing feelings not consciously acknowledged. The face that emerged here is that of a strong, mature and sensitive man who appears to be reflecting on his life as he looks down through the years. To the right is a blank space, as if he would rather not think about the future. The expression is questioning and anxious, though the eyes are partially obscured, suggesting he may be reluctant to see this in himself. The lips, too, are shaded and hardly open, as if experience has taught him the wisdom of discretion, especially in business.

Top art exhibitions


Edinburgh’s summer has been packed with new art but there may not be anything else quite as poignant, strange and memorable as this exhibition of ancient wonders. The Celtic world is revealed here as a place of mysterious gods and even more mysterious art. Flowing intricate patterns, the green of bronze and the misty mountain hops of the prehistoric past create a woozy, dreamlike mood, opening windows on ancient Scotland and Europe that you won’t forget.

2 Stubbs And The Wild

Nature stares back at you searchingly from the paintings and drawings of George Stubbs. This great 18th-century artist set out to understand the natural world from the inside out – by dissecting a horse. His original drawings of the animal feature in this fine show, along with his sublime painting Horse Frightened By A Lion and portraits of a monkey, a moose and a variety of big cats. Meticulous, accurate, and yet the spirit of his art is utterly romantic.

3 Switch House

The relaunch of the Tate Modern is the art event of the summer. The museum’s new wing – the Switch House – expresses the dynamic energy of modern art history, from a dark expressionist basement to its Futuristic pyramidal heights. It also contains a fair amount of art, with Rachel Whiteread’s green resin cast of a wooden floor playing off Carl Andre’s bricks and Eva Hesse turning minimalist seriality into a hymn to breastfeeding. There’s loads to argue over and a very nice bar to have that argument in.

4 The Hive

This walk-in sculpture doesn’t so much imitate a beehive as show how the architecture of nature can inspire human design. Its repeating honeycomb-like construction creates a lofty hi-tech environment in which to contemplate the world of bees. The creation of artist Wolfgang Buttress, it boasts an LED light show triggered by real-life insect activity. Bee there or bee square.

5 Georgiana Houghton

Last chance to enter the wild and wonderful world of the Victorian woman who made art that she attributed to the dead. Houghton was a spiritualist medium who claimed her swirling drawings were the work of Titian and other artists guiding her passive hand. If so, their ghosts could see the future of modern art, for Houghton was an abstract artist decades before abstraction is usually said to have started. What a discovery.

Best of Abstract expressionism

When abstract expressionism first crossed the Atlantic in 1959, in The New American Painting, an exhibition that stopped in cities including Berlin, Paris and London (where it hung at the Tate Gallery), it blew the socks off European artists. Painters of the Ecole de Paris, the centre of the avant garde, were still using easels, skirting around the edges of the condition humaine with a modest form of existentialism, or otherwise just copying Picasso. The new American painting, by contrast, meant vast canvases by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Clyfford Still and others, with a gripping energy and directness, and an emotional impact that, in Rothko’s case, reduced some viewers to tears (“they are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them,” Rothko explained). Travelling alongside the group show was a retrospective of (more) paintings by Pollock, the greatest of them all, who had died in a car crash three years previously. The deal was sealed – Paris was over. As the exhibition toured its European art capitals, painters must have slunk home from the exhibition in shock and despair, electrified by what they had seen and wondering how on earth it could be rivalled.

The Abstract Expressionism exhibition opening at the Royal Academy this month will be the first survey in Europe of the movement since 1959. Not so surprising, perhaps: such large and expensive (at least to insure) paintings are very difficult to gather together. There is also the amorphous nature of the movement, with no real stylistic relationship between the main figures – the link more a matter of physical size and scale of ambition. And then there was the new art of the 60s – pop art, happenings and the rest – which seemed to make the act of painting itself if not obsolete, then at least old-fashioned. And in a sense it was. For all the surprise it caused over the Atlantic, abstract expressionism was not the start of something, but rather a beautiful ending, the epic finale of a long tradition of Romantic nature painting, gone up in the fireworks of Newman’s zips, Pollock’s drips and the smoky miasma of Rothko’s colour fields.

For David Anfam, who has curated the show alongside the RA’s in-house curator Edith Devaney, “ab ex” (as he terms it), was not so much a movement (there were no manifestos, no subscription fees) as a phenomenon. It’s one that cannot now be confined to a few lone macho heroes with brushes. For a start, it was not just about painting. The sculptor David Smith saw himself in constant dialogue with painters. His wiry constellation Star Cage of 1950 transforms Pollock’s skeins and arcs of paint into a planetary diagram. Later structures made of bold steel elements painted black are like answers to Franz Kline’s paintings, constructions of heavy black marks, like girders silhouetted in a heat haze. His final stainless steel sculptures, such as Cubi XXVII (1965), standing in the RA courtyard, have shimmering roughly polished surfaces that might be a reflection of a neighbouring Pollock. Louise Nevelson’s sculptures transform the dark, serious surfaces of Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb into monochrome assemblages of discarded objects, stacked as if to create a shrine.

Nevelson is one of a number of women who played an important, if generally unacknowledged role in abstract expressionism. Georgia O’Keeffe, although not part of the RA show (but much in evidence at Tate Modern), pioneered a form of abstraction built on highly symbolic visions of the body and landscape. She is a clear forerunner of the symbolic landscapes of Still. Much less known, the paintings of the Ukrainian-born artist Janet Sobel were in part the inspiration for Pollock’s leap into total abstraction, after her work was shown at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century Gallery in 1944. The dense abstract interlace of her painting Illusion of Solidity, painted the next year, (on show at the RA) looks like Celtic knot-work ornament gone wild. Sobel was barely acknowledged by Clement Greenberg, the critic who promoted the abstract expressionist artists, and she died in obscurity in 1968. The impact of Pollock’s work was felt most keenly in that of his wife, Lee Krasner, who a few years after his death produced a series of paintings that wrestle with his memory and legacy, including the remarkable monochrome composition The Eye Is the First Circle, 1960. In the following years Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell produced the most powerful responses to classic abstract expressionism. Mitchell’s Salut Tom, painted in 1979, is the most recent painting in the exhibition, and shows just how much the abstract expressionist spirit had both endured and transformed. As Anfam observes, Krasner and Mitchell got better with age partly for the simple reason that they met with less resistance from their male colleagues and critics, notably Greenberg.

Austrian Archaeological Work at Ancient Site

An Austrian run archaeological dig at the ancient site of Ephesus has been halted ahead of schedule by the Turkish authorities after a build-up of bad relations between the two nations and amid growing unrest in Turkey.

The project, run by the Austrian Archaeological Institute (AAI), involved 200 researchers. The site has been excavated by Austrian archaeologists for over 120 years, starting in 1895, but recently relations between Turkey and Austria have soured.

In August of this year, Austrian chancellor Christian Kern caused upset by calling Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union “diplomatic fiction,” stating that they were unfit to join. Turkey’s foreign minister then hit back calling Austria the “capital of radical racism,” according to the Art Newspaper. Turkish authorities then withdrew their ambassador from Vienna on August 22.

The Odeon at Ephesus. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

This followed the failed military coup against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this past July, which saw hundreds killed and thousands arrested. Since the coup was attempted there have been many arrests of journalists and artists and many publications in the country have been closed by the authorities.

No reason has been given for the closing of the excavation and restoration work at the UNESCO World Heritage Site and tourist attraction. The project was ended so abruptly that it had to be shut down in just three days.

Section of mosaic from Ephesus. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The site at Ephesus, which dates back to 6000 BC, is cited in the Book of Revelations and it is thought that the Gospel of John was written there. It also contains the complete façade of a Roman library: the Library of Celsus, built in 135 AD.

Ephesus was a major Greek city on the Ionian Coast and then fell to the Romans in 129 BC. It went have a population of 33,600 to 56,000 in Roman times, making the third largest Roman city in Roman Asia Minor.

“This is a major shock,” said Sabine Ladstätter, head of the AAI, to Science Magazine. “We are concerned about the potential for damage.”

Classic Album Covers by Artists from Nobuyoshi

Hundreds of thousands of tennis fans descend on the US Open tennis tournament this week, but a certain New York museum on the tournament’s doorstep won’t benefit by the influx.

The tournament takes place at Arthur Ashe Stadium, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, in Queens. Some 700,000 flocked to see the action.

But the Queens Museum, which draws 150,000 annually, is for the first time forced to close until September 11 (the run of the Open) due to security measures for the sports event.

Related: Will the Ramones Show Break Records for the Queens Museum?

Tickets to see stars like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Venus and Serena Williams can run you up to upward of $700. Meanwhile, suggested admission at the museum is just $8 for adults and $4 for seniors, and it’s free for kids.

Currently on view at the museum are “Nonstop Metropolis,” a multifaceted project with writer and activist Rebecca Solnit that involves commissions from Mariam Ghani and Duke Riley; a show of drawings by American artist William Groper; and an exhibition of Tiffany lamps.

The museum’s upcoming survey of Mierle Laderman Ukeles earned a spot on artnet News’s Fall Art Preview: 14 New York Museum Exhibitions Not to Miss.

The museum occupies an edifice that was constructed for the New York World’s Fair, 1939–40, and is the sole building left standing from the event. It later housed the United Nations General Assembly in its early years (1946–50) and served as the central structure of the 1964–65 World’s Fair before being handed over to the Queens Museum (then known as the Queens Center for Art and Culture) in 1972.

How To Reinvent Yourself

images-34We all evolve. Change is an absolute. Life is about mental, physical and spiritual growth. The more introspection, the faster there is growth. Sometimes we need to accelerate our growth and this may require reinvention.

Reinvention usually comes from immediate need. You may have the need to overcome great hardship, to prove yourself to yourself or others, or you may need to live a better life. Marriage, divorce, separation, addiction, cancer, near death, new job, failing business, and bankruptcy can all facilitate swift change in one’s mindset.

We all evolve. Change is an absolute. Life is about mental, physical and spiritual growth

Multiple times in a lifetime, most humans need reinvention. The transition from infancy to early childhood is a great time to showcase your character. Reinvention. The only child that suddenly has a baby brother and needs more attention comes to mind. Reinvention. Teenagers are desperately seeking change to find their adult identity. Reinvention. Turning 30 will get most of us to start taking life more seriously. Reinvention. Millions seek change when they turn 40 or 50. This mid-life crisis can be the embryo of a new red corvette, sleek yacht, complete makeover or even a new significant other. Reinvention. Approaching the backside of life can be scary. Hustling to check off your bucket list can be disturbing for your long-time loved ones. However, sometimes we just need to reinvent ourselves.

Miley Cyrus needed change. Her Hannah Montana character with Disney was a huge hit. It was an American television series that originally aired on the Disney Channel from March 24, 2006 until January 16, 2011. It aired 98 episodes across four seasons and launched the young actress into the minds of millions of fans.

As Miley matured, the persona of Hannah Montana and the responsibility to millions of fans and their parents became overwhelming. Miley was not Hannah. Miley needed swift change to showcase her adulthood, her sexuality and her new way of thinking and acting. So she shocked the public with her VMA Award Show performance that blasted through social media as her Hannah Montana persona was publically eliminated forever. Her sexually charged dance moves swept her directly into the adult marketplace, catapulted her on to magazines covers, Saturday Night Live television, the Jimmy Fallon Show, and launched a #1 selling album. Reinvention came overnight like a FedEx package.

The list of reinvention in the entertainment industry is a long one. Hip Hop artist Snoop Dogg legally changed his name to Snoop Lion and reinvented himself as a Bob Marley clone with his latest reggae-sounding album appropriately titled, Reincarnated.

Even though Ben Affleck won a best original screenplay Oscar with pal Matt Damon for Good Will Hunting, he wasn’t always taken seriously in showbiz thanks to his personal life and some dubious film choices. However, the now husband and father began taking on respected projects such as The Town and Argo, which earned Affleck his second Oscar.

Mark Wahlberg had many legal troubles as a teen growing up in Boston. He became Marky Mark with the Funky Bunch in 1991 releasing his hit album, Good Vibrations. He reinvented from a troubled past and Marky Mark of the Funky Bunch into a serious actor, appearing in films such asBoogie Nights and The Fighter. Now with the blockbuster-hit movie Ted, he has showcased his comedic side with one of his best starring roles. He’s even the executive producer of Entourageand How to Make It Happen in America.

Former Mouseketeer Justin Timberlake went from one-fifth of the boy band *N Sync to a solo force of nature with success in music, business ventures and acting.

Arnold Schwarzenegger went from being a professional bodybuilder and starring in movies such as The Terminator and Predator to serving two terms as the governor of California. Reinvention is at the top of his list now after a failed marriage, fathering a child with his housekeeper, and no longer being a physical force of nature.

Reinvention is a way to take charge of your life. If you are going down a pathway that is wrong for you, make a change. Here are 10 ways to reinvent yourself.

1. See the new you. Envision the new you. See in your mind how you want your friends, family and work associates as they react to the new you.

2. Sell you on the New YOU. Change your inner dialogue. Talk to yourself in the most positive manner. Never put yourself down. Always encourage. Write a brief 60-second commercial on the awesomeness of you. Open this monologue with a power statement and be sure and showcase all of your strengths. Now in private, deliver this speech to the universe with passion and confidence. Repetition will facilitate a quicker change. The greatest sales job is selling you on you.

3. Be patient. Do not be in a rush to make drastic change. And even if you do, be patient in the desired results. Positive change in how others respond may take more time than you think.

4. Change your Seeables. Spruce up your closets, bathroom, bedroom, garage, car and personal wardrobe. Everything that you see and other people see on a daily basis needs an upgrade.

5. Deal from strength. Every champion that I have coached to a world title built their success on what they do best. Leading with your strengths will give you the confidence to facilitate swift change. Find your niche strengths. Assess what you do well and compare this to your competition. What comes naturally? What is easy for you? These are your special gifts that you’ve inherited or honed. Now develop them further. Understand what people compliment the most about you. These may be a strength you haven’t realized.

6. Find your purpose. This may take more time than you like. If you will relax and just ask this question, “What is my purpose in life?” for 7-10 days every night before you go to sleep, the answer will appear. Trust me.

Psychological concepts for teachers to apply in classrooms

“Psychological science has much to contribute to enhancing teaching and learning in the classroom,” said Joan Lucariello, PhD, chair of the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education and a contributing author of the report. “Teaching and learning are intricately linked to social and behavioral factors of human development, including cognition, motivation, social interaction and communication.”

For instance, one of the principles outlined in the report makes clear that teachers’ expectations about their students can affect students’ motivation and learning outcomes. Most teachers’ expectations are based on students’ past performance and may be an accurate representation. In some cases, however, if an educator has an inaccurate perception of a student’s abilities and communicates lower expectations (verbally or nonverbally), it could lead the student to perform in ways that confirm the faulty expectations and adversely affect the student’s progress. To counteract this effect, the report recommends that teachers maintain high expectations of all students and check themselves regularly to make sure they are not treating students differently based on their expectations.

“Probably the best antidote to negative expectancy effects is to never give up on a student,” said the report, Top 20 Principles from Psychology for PreK–12 Teaching and Learning.

The report is the result of work done by the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education, a diverse group of psychologists, supported by APA, with expertise in psychology’s application to education, including early childhood, elementary, secondary or special education.

Members of the coalition participated in a series of activities, similar to a National Institutes of Health consensus panel, to identify constructs from psychology thought to be most essential for facilitating successful classroom teaching and learning. An initial list of 45 principles was then narrowed down to the top 20.

The report names and describes each principle, provides supporting literature and discusses its relevance for the classroom. The principles are organized into five areas of psychological functioning:

• How do students think and learn? • What motivates students? • Why are social context, interpersonal relationships and emotional well-being important to student learning? • How can the classroom best be managed? • How can teachers assess student progress?

“Psychology is an intrinsic part of education and pre-service teachers often don’t receive sufficient preparation in psychology,” said Lucariello. “At most, teacher preparation programs offer one or two courses in psychology. These are generally disconnected in the curriculum from candidate clinical experience and can be more theoretical than applied in focus. Once in the field, in-service teachers lack handy psychological knowledge that can help.”

“We anticipate that the report will spur discussions among faculty and lead to schools’ reflecting on whether they’re incorporating the principles into their daily practice,” she said, noting the report is not just for teachers but has relevance for the whole school, including administrators, coaches and counselors.

Art of aromatherapy to soothe and heal

images-35Scan the shelves of the local bath and body stores and one is sure to find products labeled for aromatherapy. Many might be surprised to learn the science behind it. So what is aromatherapy, how is it used and will those products actually work?

Cherie Perez, a supervising research nurse in the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, teaches a monthly aromatherapy class to answer those questions for cancer patients and caregivers undergoing treatment at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Perez’s classes are offered free of charge through M. D. Anderson’s Place… of wellness, a center within the institution that focuses on helping patients and caregivers deal with the non-medical issues of living with cancer, and is the first complementary therapy facility to be built on the campus of a comprehensive cancer center.

Perez, who first became involved with aromatherapy to help relieve the physical pain and discomfort caused by fibromyalgia, shares her professional knowledge of the basics of aromatherapy, safety precautions and interactive demonstrations in each hour-long class.

Oils and healing

While essential oils may not directly stimulate the immune system, they can complement cancer treatment by boosting the system’s ability to fight off infections, says Perez.

Certain oils can also stimulate lymphatic drainage or have antibacterial properties. Since it has many potential uses ranging from managing anxiety and nausea to helping with sleep, general relaxation, memory and attention, many individuals, including cancer patients, can benefit from aromatherapy [See Sidebar 1: Five Oils to Reduce Stress and Relieve Ailments.]

There are a variety of different products and methods of diffusion to obtain the healing benefits of oils. Some oils – like lavender, ylang ylang and sandalwood can be applied directly to the skin – while others are too concentrated and need to be diluted into carriers such as massage oils, bath soaps and lotions [See Sidebar 2: Everyday Uses for Aromatherapy.] Most typically, Perez advises patients to put a few drops of an oil, or a combination of oils onto a handkerchief and “fan themselves like Scarlett O’Hara.” Burning oils or incense is not recommended because most are poorly constructed and give off unhealthy fumes and soot.

Who should, or shouldn’t, use oils?

Widely sold in health food stores and beauty chain stores, essential oils do have chemical properties that can affect the brain and enter the bloodstream, and for some patients may be toxic when combined with common cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Perez says essential oils, like many medicines, can increase a person’s sensitivity to the sun and should be used with caution. Patients should always inform and discuss with their physicians before using aromatherapy oils to complement a medical condition.

People with high blood pressure should avoid hyssop, rosemary, sage and thyme, while diabetics should avoid angelica oil. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid a number of oils that stimulate the uterus including star anise, basil and juniper to name a few and should use with caution peppermint, rose and rosemary in the first trimester. According to Perez, pediatric patients can use aromatherapy essential oils in very low concentrations. [See Sidebar 3: Tips for Buying Oils.]

Aromatherapy’s role in cancer treatment

“The nature of aromatherapy makes it challenging to study due to the fact that it is difficult to create a placebo and every person is different in their nasal sensitivities and skin absorption rates,” says Perez. In the future, however, she would be interested in designing research to examine how aromatherapy can be used to treat/heal burns caused from radiation treatment safely and effectively, soothe pre-treatment anxiety and manage loss-of-memory issues in cancer survivors.

M. D. Anderson is located in Houston and was designated by the National Cancer Institute as one of the first three Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States. For 4 of the last 7 years, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has ranked number one in cancer care in “America’s Best Hospitals,” a survey published annually in U.S. News & World Report. M. D. Anderson has provided care for more than 600,000 cancer patients since 1944.


  • Lavender – First used as perfume by ancient Egyptians 2,500 years ago, lavender is now used to treat insomnia, migraines and provide stress relief.
  • Rosemary – This fragrant plant relieves muscle pain, low blood pressure and cold feet and hands.
  • Spearmint – The oil from spearmint aids digestion and eases nausea and vomiting.
  • Masculine scents – Scents such as bay laurel and ylang-ylang appeal to men for their deep scent. They also treat skin rashes, rheumatism and stomach ailments.


  • Muscle Relaxation Bath Salts – 2 cups of Epsom salts, 5 drops of each oil – lavender, lemon grass, tea tree & orange. Use 1/2 cup mixture per bath.
  • Room Spray Diffusion – Use any oil 5-20 drops along with 2 to 4 ounces of distilled or spring water. Common sense precaution – don’t spray in your eyes.
  • Energizing Carpet Cleaner – Combine pink grapefruit oil with baking soda and sprinkle before vacuuming.
  • Natural House Cleaner – Blend lemon and ravensara leaf oils with distilled water and non-sudsing soap.


When purchasing oils for themselves, Perez gives the following guidelines:

  • Essential oils from a bath or general store may be of questionable quality; shop for oils in a specialty store, staffed by salespeople with aromatherapy training.
  • Quality oils, which are light and heat sensitive, will be in a blue or brown light protective glass.
  • Labeling on the bottle should provide should provide both the common and botanical name for the oil.
  • Steer clear of concentrated oils with rubber eyedroppers since the oils react with the rubber causing it to break down and contaminate the oil.

Music charts Evolution

The researchers studied trends in style, the diversity of the charts, and the timing of musical revolutions. They find that, contrary to popular belief, the so-called “British Invasion” of US pop music by groups such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, did not start a rock revolution, but only followed existing trends. The greatest musical revolution in US pop history was also not 1964, but 1991when hip-hop arrived in the charts.

The study found that 1986 was the least diverse year for the charts, a fact the researchers attribute to the sudden popularization of drum machines and samplers at the time. Diversity recovered after that, and while it was declining again by 2010 the scientists reject pessimistic views of chart diversity: there is no evidence for a general trend towards homogenization in the charts.

The researchers from Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London, with help from music website, used cutting edge methods from signal processing and text-mining to analyze the musical properties of songs. Their system automatically grouped the thousands of songs by patterns of chord changes and tone allowing researchers to statistically identify trends with an unprecedented degree of consistency.

Matthias Mauch, from the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at QMUL, lead author of the paper, said: “For the first time we can measure musical properties in recordings on a large scale. We can actually go beyond what music experts tell us, or what we know ourselves about them, by looking directly into the songs, measuring their makeup, and understanding how they have changed.

“No doubt some will disagree with our scientific approach and think it’s too limited for such an emotional subject but I think we can add to the wonder of music by learning more about it. We want to analyze more music from more periods in more countries and build a comprehensive picture of how music evolves.”

Professor Armand Leroi of Imperial College, senior author on the paper, said: “It’s exciting to be able to study the evolution of popular music scientifically. But now we want to go further, and find out not just how the music has changed, but why.”