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What's worse than finding a maggot in your apple? Which smells worse: a rotten egg, or a rotten leg? What are sick and poo made of? Glenn Murphy, author of Why is Snot Green?, answers these and a lot of other revolting questions in this hilarious, fascinating and informative book. Packed with illustrations, photographs, information and jokes about all sorts of disgusting things, from bugs, bacteria and sweaty armpits to exploding bodies and creepy-crawly creatures, this book contains absolutely no boring bits!
About the Author
Glenn Murphy wrote his first book, Why Is Snot Green?, while working at the Science Museum, London. Since then he has written around twenty popular science titles aimed at kids and teens, including the bestselling How Loud Can You Burp? and Space: The Whole Whizz-Bang Story. His books are read by brainy children, parents and teachers worldwide, and have been translated into Dutch, German, Spanish, Turkish, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian. Which is kind of awesome. In 2007 he moved to the United States and began writing full-time, which explains why he now says things like 'kind of awesome'. These days he lives in sunny, leafy North Carolina - with his wife Heather, his son Sean, and two unfeasibly large felines.
From the second chapter: "Art and Nature":
ONE great reason why numerous students fail to excel in art is because their training proceeds on a plan altogether too narrow. It is long after he learns to draw when the average art pupil discovers that the capacity to make an excellent copy of a model is not everything. When it is clearly understood what Art is, rules and principles are more easily grasped and appreciated. It is usual to say that Art is everything which is not Nature. This is extremely vague and insufficient. Besides its imitative functions, Art represents a craving in the mind such as anyone may feel when he sees a good picture or piece of sculpture, or when he perceives sounds and harmonies. It is the means by which the internal and spiritual is revealed to the sense. In connection with drawing the first function of Art is to gratify the eye. A mere mechanical draughtsman - a designer of architectural plans, for example, may gratify nothing else; such are masters of the little style. A .master of the grand style - a Rubens - may probably rouse the soul within us. A perverted genius - a Dore, perhaps - may choose a theme that shocks us.
Hence it is that Art is capable of a wide interpretation. It is commonly said that Nature has no lines. And the meaning of this dictum is not always clearly understood.' In the natural world objects, such as the sea, the clouds, the land, and so on, present themselves to our eyes as a number of flat patches or spaces or masses of colour and shade in different strengths. Yet in all this assemblage of natural objects, full as it is of gradation in tone, there is nothing like a real line - the line, that is, which is defined geometrically as the shortest distance between two points. Even the sensible horizon out at sea, which is often described and represented (Ex. 20) as a line, is in actuality no such thing; it is merely the ending of a particular portion of space drawn and spoken about as a "line." Yet by means of lines Black and White Art, employing the aid of light and shade, gives us on a flat surface the appearance of objects and bodies in nature which have no lines in themselves. Here, at once, we have a wide distinction between Art and Nature; it would be impossible to represent artistically anything in the natural world without the use of lines. Thus, in order to draw anything which is seen in Nature it is necessary to make a form of it. The rough attempts of our pot-' hook and slate-pencil days to represent a man, or a horse, or a house was a struggle to give a form to any of these objects. The horse, or the house, or the man, so far as the eye is concerned, was simply a mass or space, lighter or darker in tone and of varying colour, amidst other surroundings, and a boundary supposed to represent the object was transferred to a slate or a piece of paper. Thus the schoolboy, like the artist, supplies the lines himself because there are none in Nature, and the lines are completely artificial. The skilled artist is he who can choose such typical and vital lines as will best represent any object he may desire to draw.
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