Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture.

The Smithsonian reports on a journalist who has analyzed literary masterpieces to gain some intriguing insights into their construction. Calling himself a data journalist, Ben Blatt looks at things like the length of opening sentences, authors' favorite words, use of -ly adverbs, etc.

Hyperallergic gives us an excellent tour of the 2017 Whitney Biennial. You will find one installation that uses 2,755 pieces of bologna, abundant use of fabrics and soft materials, sharp political commentary '("The Times Thay Aint a Changing Fast Enough"), robotic and distorted bodies, and frequent references to sculptural forms. For the first time this Biennial was held at the Meatpacking District, which proves to be a more airy and welcoming space than previous shows.

An archaeologist and her team have discovered a 1,000 year-old circular tomb in Northern China. An urn in the center of the tomb contained the cremated remains of a couple, believed to be wife and husband. Walls are covered with colorful murals showing jewels, clothing, and servants. The researchers speculate that the tomb dates from the Liao Dynasty (A.D. 907 - 1125) which existed in China, Mongolia, and parts of Russia.

For those who love watching fashion trends, the New York Times highlights three designers with their Fall 2017 shows. First up is Miu Miu with brightly patterned furs and boots, followed by Louis Vuitton with a somewhat more subdued version of chic, and then an overall view of the runways, noting the emphasis on a strong female presence.

Artist Jeff Koons has been convicted of plagiarizing a photo of two nude children to make into a sculpture. Koons has been ordered to pay $42,000 for the copyright violation, another $4,000. for posting the piece on his website. The presiding judge said that although there were minor changes made, the image used is clearly stolen from a copyrighted work. In the past, Koons has lost other lawsuits claiming plagiarizing.

A massive statue of an Egyptian pharaoh has been unearthed in a mud puddle in the suburbs of Cairo. The statue is believed to have been about 26 feet tall. Archaeologists will continue to scour the area for other fragments and perhaps other statues as well. If they are able to reassemble the statue, it will be displayed at the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in 2018.

From time to time we point you toward private art collections that you might enjoy. Here we go south of Oslo in Norway to visit the Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, 255 acres of woodlands and views that reflect 130 years of European sculpture Be sure to see Louise Bourgeois' "Couple", created in 2003.

Another prime collection is the Venet collection, called "A Tribute to Minimal and Conceptual Art". Located in Le Muy, France, the esthetic here is quite different from the Ekebergparken above but no less noteworthy.

Let's move skyward from here and look at the Airbus Flying Car, shown conceptually at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The car, which can function on the ground as well as in the air, has two electric motors and can go 80 miles. It can be summoned by smart phone, and consists essentially of a pod and a drone. Airbus calculates that it will take 7 - 10 years for the vehicle to be ready for market.

Calling history mostly a history of stupidity, physicist Stephen Hawking warns that only some form of cooperative world government can save the human species from destruction brought on by technological advances. With a plethora of what he calls "technology overkill", Hawking admits that the species is hard-wired for aggression, which has propelled it forward through the ages. But current advances make biological or nuclear war likely unless we can self-correct before things get out of control.

The Getty Research Institute looks at the Concrete Poetry movement at the time of its earliest days during 1950 - 1970. The exhibition is called "Words and Sounds in Graphic Space".

With all the talk of robots recently, here is a TED video that was actually shown 4 years ago but is still one of the best. Call this the dancing nanobots, if you will.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2017