Bits: 01.31.10

Rosemarie Fiore, who recently made firework "drawings," is now creating large-scale works by attaching airbrushes to amusement-park rides. (Thanks, Kristina.)

RIP Howard Zinn. I haven't been able to write about this yet: so much to say, such a tremendous inspiration, lots of sadness. For now, suffice it to say, I'm grateful for the lessons offered by a true "radical" (etymology: "from the roots").

The dream Alice Walker had the night she heard of her friend and teacher Zinn's death: "We (Someone and I) were looking for the place we go to when we die. After quite a long walk, we encountered it. What we saw was this astonishingly gigantic collection of people and creatures: birds and foxes, butterflies and dogs, cats and beings I’ve never seen awake, and they were moving toward us in total joy at our coming. We were happy too. But there was nothing to support any of us, no land, no water, nothing. We ourselves were all of it: our own earth. And I woke up knowing that this is where we go when we die. We go back to where we came from: inside all of us."

RIP Karen Schmeer, film editor for films including Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure, who was run down in New York at age 39 by a getaway car fleeing a pharmacy robbery. (Via @agentmule.)

• "'Grid cells' that act like a spatial map in the brain have been identified for the first time in humans, according to new research by UCL scientists which may help to explain how we create internal maps of new environments." (Thanks, Chris Steller.)

• BLDG BLOG looks at "an artificial island and devotional chapel constructed in Montenegro's Bay of Kotor."

Saber again discusses his graffiti-based video project on heathcare reform that so enraged conservatives.

• Festival: The Influencers -- featuring The Yes Men, Critical Art Ensemble and the Black Label Bicycle Club, among others — Feb. 2–4 in Barcelona.

Basquiat stencil.

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