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"Form," writes the author, "is developed by means of light and shade; without these every object would appear flat." Originally published in the mid-nineteenth century, this classic approach to three-dimensional drawing was the first book to provide art students with instructions for correctly illustrating perspective outlines of various objects.
It is remarkable how much we take for granted the tremendous energy and vitality that the sun provides earth's inhabitants. As we enter the new millennium, it is worthwhile to review how our ancestors perceived the biologic effects of sunlight, and how science and medicine have advanced our knowledge about the biologic effects of light. At the turn of the century, a multitude of investigators explored the use of sunlight and artificial radiation for treating a multitude of diseases. These explorations gave rise to photodynamic therapy, phototherapy, and chemophototherapy. However, enthusiasm for using sunlight and artificial radiation to treat disease was dampened with the birth of pharmacology. It was the goal of the Fifth International Arnold Rikli Symposium on the Biologic Effects of Light, held in Basel, Switzerland, on November 1-3, 1998, to review the history of phototherapy and have some of the world's leading experts on the biologic effects of light provide new perspectives on the positive and negative effects of light. The general topics included a broad range of biologic effects of sunlight, artificial ultraviolet radiation and electromagnetic radiation. Special sessions on radiation and vitamin D and bone health, photoimmunology, biopositive effects of UV radiation, effects of electromagnetic currents and fields, and ocular and non-ocular regulation of circadian rhythms and melatonin, should be of particular interest to readers of Biologic Effects of Light.
Philip K. Dick is the author of science-fiction classics that have inspired movies like Bladerunner, Total Recall and Minority Report. Sadly, Dick did not live enough to see how his suspicion of reality and his search for the human essence in an artificial world became mainstream concerns and pop culture icons. Based on a careful review of biographical materials and his personal acquaintance with some of Dick's closest friends and relatives, Salvador Bayarri has written Dick's life story in a screenplay format, preserving the richness of the writer's character as his charming humor and foretelling genius mixes with a personal struggle to make sense of his own visions, the human nature and the meaning of the universe. "The Owl in Daylight" was the working title for Dick's last book project, in which he planned to create a character much like himself: a visionary artist who discovers that his work improves as an alien intelligence takes control of it. Blinded by his unique perception -like a night owl in daylight- the artist has to make the Faustian choice between reaching for the ultimate secrets of the universe and die in glorious flames, or trying to save the remains of a normal life. The screenplay follows the key episodes that propelled Dick to his prophetic visions, from the death of his twin sister shortly after birth, through the paranoia of the 50s and the psychedelic culture of the 60s, towards his final and most dramatic visions of love, good and evil.
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