Thursday, December 15, 2016

Learning Dispatch - December 15th, 2016 - New York Diary

Why the dispatch? - I want to understand how I can make my learning more social. I love having interesting conversations with friends and colleagues about new things I learned. So these dispatches are part of an effort to get those conversations started.

I'm writing this post from New York City. I have been here for the past two weeks. This is a city I have always wanted to visit. It has such great energy. The city is part of the New York State and has five boroughs which are:
- Manhattan
- Brooklyn
- Bronx
- Queens
- Staten Island

New York City View from the Empire State Building

I love how you can find a good public library, a museum, a bookstore or a place to eat at, in almost every little corner of this city. The subway has over 460 stations spread out across these five boroughs and makes it really easy to get around quickly. I got to visit the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art in the last two weeks. This is a good book to know more about this wonderful city

Dinosaurs at AMNH, NYC
You can see most of the exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in one day. At the Rose Centre for Earth and Science of the museum, there were exhibits documenting the 13 billion year history of the planet. You could also check your weight on different planets. At the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life of the Museum, there was a huge structure of a blue whale hanging from the ceiling. There were also exhibits about these fishes that lived in the deep deep ocean. At the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs, there were so many dinosaur fossil specimens (over a 100) that made you wonder, how they once occupied the same planet that you now occupy.

The Museum of Modern Art had five floors of art exhibits (over 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art). It was founded in 1929. On the 4th Floor, you can see the art exhibits of the museum from the 1880's to the 1950's. There were so many beautiful paintings in their collection including:
- The Starry Night by Van Gogh
- Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso
- Bicycle Wheel by Marcel Duchamp

Photo of the Starry Night Painting by Van Gogh at MoMA
There were some special exhibitions of the work of Francis Picabia, Kai Althoff and Nan Goldin. The Museum has a wonderful website and mobile application that you can browse through to explore their collection. Here are some useful links to explore the work at the museum - Artists@MoMA, AudioTour@MoMA and TheCollection@MoMA  It is easily one of the best museums I have visited in the world and I would highly recommend coming here at least once if you are in the city. Do try the food at the Halal Guys Food Truck right outside the museum. It is yum.

I have been reading, 'The Gene: An Intimate History' by Siddhartha Mukherjee. The book is really interesting and it documents the work of thousands of scientists who helped us develop a deeper understanding of this fundamental unit of heredity. This is a good lecture you can watch, where the author Siddhartha Mukherjee talks about this book. I am also reading this book about the economics of football by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski. It is titled, 'Soccernomics'.

These are links to some other things I have been exploring over the past few weeks:
- How to Sleep by James Hamblin in the Atlantic
- Listening to Music Open Online Course by Professor Craig Wright from Yale University
- Introduction to Literary Criticism Open Online Course by Professor Paul Fry from Yale University
- Listening to Chopin's - 'Spring Waltz'Besabriyaan, City of Stars

What have you been learning? I'd love to know

Let us Learn Together
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