The Effects of Hydrocephalus


Hydrocephalus affects over 500,000 children worldwide. Hydrocephalus can be caused by infection, genetic anomalies, or head injuries. The reason hydrocephalus causes the heads of infants to grow so incredibly large is because all babies are born with soft, mailable skulls which are capable of expanding over 3x its typical size within the first 12 – 18 months after birth. Hydrocephalus is caused because the valve located between the left and right brain hemispheres which drains cerebrospinal fluid down the spine and into the abdomen, becomes blocked. When medical examinations are available, hydrocephalus can be diagnosed in utero allowing for immediate intervention. When the severity of hydrocephalus is diagnosed via computed tomography scan, the brain does not show up, as the water present takes up so much volume that the cavity where the brain would normally be, shows up as black, as water obstructs the ability of the scanner to take a complete image. The most common intervention of hydrocephalus is the installation of a shunt, but shunts have an 80% failure rate causing future uncertainty for those who have experienced hydrocephalus. Uganda has an unusually high occurrence rate of hydrocephalus primarily due to high rates of infant infection and lack of medical facilities and care

Islamic Carpet Design


Carpet weaving is thought to have originated in Central Asia more than 2000 years ago, but it was the Islamic culture which shifted it into an art form. Many Islamic traditions have long frowned upon the depiction of sentient beings depicted in western art and because of this, carpet makers created landscapes of bright colors and complex patterns, with the mark of different tribes and ethnic groups recognized by the various dyes and pattern styles utilized. Patterns are so prevalent in Islamic culture because it is a form of expression which is permitted, unlike many others which go against the direct teachings of the Quran. It’s common for patterns to contain an eye somewhere along the line as a protective measure, or a small script to give thanks and praise to Allah, and sometimes even small depictions of hidden meanings like the head of a bird without the rest of its body. Typically, duplicates of the same Islamic carpet are not created, as the artist who created the original design did so because they felt a particular emotion during the creative process and because the same mood is or was not felt during the next carpet, the design is different to reflect the new mood experienced. The golden age of the Islamic carpet occurred during the 17th century when landscape art worked its way into these carpets causing them to become portable gardens of paradise. The images portrayed were not intended to hold a mirror up to nature, but to reflect what human beings value most of nature

Ansel Adams’ Genius and Process


The American photographer Ansel Adams pushed the mechanical process of photography into an art form during the 1920’s. Adams’ method was to work backward from the image he had visualized within his mind and then anticipate the moment when the light and subject could be seen at their most illuminating. During Adams’ day, color photography was considered crass, as color photography was thought not to contain nuance and the subtlety which matched the real world. Black and white photography allowed for a beautiful range of tonalities which was abstract but still considered to be realism artwork during the period. Today, with much more sophisticated technology and color materials, the world can be photographed accurately with many different nuances. Ironically, black and white now appears as an abstract artistic medium in comparison to full color photographs