It must be Christmas: there is just too much fine material on the Internet this month to share with you, so I will have to restrain myself and keep some for the New Year. Happy Holidays!

Fritz Kahn has been called the "Grandfather of Data Visualization". In a new book published by Taschen, Kahn's contributions to graphic illustration of dry facts are explored in some depth. In 1933, he was forced to leave Germany, where his books were banned and burned. It is fortunate that enough of his drawings survived to remind us of what a visionary he was.

MIT continues to be at the forefront of digital experimentation. The latest from the MIT Tangible Media Group brings us a computer screen made not of pixels but rather of atoms that you can touch and manipulate. Called the inFORM, it is a three dimensional surface that lets you not only interact tactily with data on your screen but even hold hands with someone hundreds of miles away. The future is HERE, folks.

Tom Waits may not be a household name to you but if you live in California you know his innovations in sound and orchestration. Described as the contemporary Kurt Weill, his sardonic pulsating sound is hypnotic, mixing jazz, blues, and contemporary rhythms. This video, "God's Away on Business" may echo the lyrics "my neighbor said that God is dead but I think he just moved away" (does anyone know who wrote those some years ago?), but Waits' sound is strictly original.

The dreamy images of Italian photographer Luca Meneghel combine the art of hand-drawing with the eye of the camera to produce ethereal pictures of innocence and purity. The drawn clothing is actually sketched onto a mirror and superimposed onto the figure of the model.

I have long admired, as you know, the organic thrust of the architecture of Zaha Hadid. Here we see her company's winning design for the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. As you can see, it contrasts with the block-like buildings of the Soviet era that surround it. Its undulating folds greet the visitor like a warm embrace. It is as distinctive in its presence as the glass pyramid of the Louvre in Paris.

Another stunning piece of architecture is the 36-story Ardmore Residence in Singapore designed by the dutch architect Ben van Berkel. The landscape has been incorporated as an essential element in the design of the building. As an added bonus, concept sketches and structural diagrams are included with the article.

The National Maritime Museum in London is featuring the works of JMW Turner, including a number of pieces never before shown. Called the "Master of the Ocean", Turner carried a sketchbook with him everywhere and excelled in depicting the complexities of the sea. Some of his less familiar paintings are described as not only experimental but incomprehensible - Turner was known for keeping secret his methods and his materials. Additional stunning images from the exhibition can be found in the Visual Arts sections of the Financial Times.

The Museum of Modern Art is surprising the art world by mounting a solo exhibition of German sculptor Isa Genzken. MOMA has been known for its ignoring of female artists (see our site of the month,) especially in this season where male and white seem to fill every major venue in New York City. This article in the BBC describes New York's current art scene as being "like an art world version of a frat house". In fact, MOMA's department of painting and sculpture managed to go 16 years without a solo show of a single female artist.

Marvel Comics has announced that it is launching a new superhero, a Muslim young woman who wants to change the world. Calling the series Ms. Marvel, the comics will feature Kamala Khan, a teenager growing up Muslim in the midst of New Jersey. Kamala will join other Marvel female heroes, such as Sooraya Qudir, clad in a burqa and known for her ability to change into sand.

Forward-thinking and experimental, Evolve the Gallery in Sacramento, California, is featuring Spriral, a New York based group of African-American artists who met in a storefront in Greenwich Village. Their aim was to enter into conversations about the art world elitism, the lack of exhibition spaces, the disinterest of the art world in their work. Included in the site is a stunning landscape by Richard Mayhew, one of the founding members of the group.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is presenting "Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 600 - 1900", with over seventy exquisite examples from international collections. Many of these pieces have never previously been shown. A broad range of subject matters and styles are included, basically grouped into two sections: "Challenging the Past" and "Looking to the West".

In light of the recent discovery of art deemed "degenerate" under the Nazi regime, the BBC discusses why Hitler was so offended by these works and how he tried to dissuade the public from admiring them. The article also examines Hitler's own attempts at becoming an artist. Some of the art was burned after being shown. The "degenerate" label foretold years of misery for some of the artists, while a few benefited from it.

The British Museum is showing 150 works of erotic art, known as Shunga, created in Japan. Titled "Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art", the exhibit features the golden age of Shunga, around 1765, around the time that technical progress was made in the field of printing. The popularity of the style lasted into the early 19th century. Especially noteworthy is "Poem of the Pillow" by Utamaro in the form of a folding album with 12 color prints.

The first major Italian review of the sculpture of Sir Anthony Caro is being held at the Museo Correr in Venice. Caro died recently at the age of 89. Taught by Henry Moore, Caro left figurative sculpture behind to create brightly colored assemblages shown within a gallery. Although he is best known for his work in steel, he used other materials such as lead, wood and paper. This article has some fine examples of his work. A more complete view of his work may be found at Anthony Caro dot org.

If you don't live in San Francisco, you may yet have heard of the illumination of the Bay Bridge, covering a two-mile span and using 25,000 LED lights. This illustrated article from the Atlantic magazine takes you through the creation and build of this monumental public sculpture, along with the people responsible for its achievement.

c.Corinne Whitaker 2013