Start the New Year with treats from around the web:

The BBC offers 10 fine works of art on the theme of snow. Some new discoveries here as well as familiar images.

Hyperallergic shows us the world's oldest tattoos, found on the aged skin of an Alpine ice mummy. Known as Otzi the Iceman, it was unearthed on the Austrian-Italian border in 1991. Otzi died in 3105 BCE and contains 61 tatoos. He can be seen at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy.

David DiMichele creates what he calls Interdimensional Abstract Paintings which seem to writhe in an otherworldy environment. Be sure to look also at his Pseudodocumentations, like "Broken Glass" and "Holes", as well as his installations. DiMichele is a California native. His works have been described as "constructed spectacles".

The Paul Mahder Gallery has posted a page of Whitaker's paintings and sculptures going back to 1997. Note: the Gallery is now in Healdsburg, California, rather than San Francisco.

Rejoice with me as you look at the works of Bolivian architect Freddy Mamani Silvestre's glorious use of color. His houses remind me of the Victorian Ladies in San Francisco, as if they were euphoric with champagne. I could so move into any one of them! Note that he does not use a computer, but sketches on walls or transmits his ideas orally.

In the same spirit of Euphoria, watch Whoopi Goldberg's triumphant entrance at the 1999 Oscar Award ceremonies. Goldberg's audacious presentation and marvelous humor are not to be missed.

All it takes is a fishtank filled with 10,000 waterballs, plus some melted aluminum pipes and you too can be a sculptor. Actually the results are pretty fascinating, and no two are alike.

The offices of Lightspeed in Montreal are much admired, and here you can see why. They inhabit a once-elegant train station built in 1898 but lately pretty decrepit. The firm of ACDF Architecture used whimsy, respect for the original structure, and color drama applied with restraint on three floors of the building to produce these results.

From Design Miami come these "metamorphosing metal furniture sculptures". They exist somewhere between functionality and form, but their fluid organic shapes are intriguing.

A skyscraper, designed for midtown Manhattan, will give anyone pause. All it takes is unlimited imagination, and a limitless budget, to transform the New York City skyline. The building was conceived as a 102 story residential tower with views of Central Park. If built it will certainly be a landmark.

Also from Design Miami is this prefabricated restaurant by Zaha Hadid. Hadid has named this pavillion "volu". It utilizes the bending of flat sheet materials to create an organic dining area.

Nikon's Small World International Competition rewards photographers of very tiny objects as seen through a microscope. From liverwort to bits of algae, the results are spectacular.

As a counterpoint to the very young, very white and very angry metalheads in Western nations, photographer Paul Shiakallis has produced a series called "Leather Skins, Unchained Hearts". His models are the stars of the Botswana metal scene, courageous simply to exist in the ultra conservative patriarchy of the African nation. His presence as a male in the homes of these women proved particularly contentious: husbands and boyfriends strongly objected. The images are striking.

The Guardian gives us this insightful interview with Ai Weiwei. Who else, for example, could convince the Chinese government to sell him 2 million Lego blocks at a discount? Among other comments, the artist says, "Corruption and repression of individual rights and voices are just as much trademarks of corporations as they are authoritarian governments". The author notes the contrast between Ai Weiwei's generous size and his soft voice.

Richard Falk's blog-in-depth directs us to a book called "Police State" by Gerry Spence. Spence is a highly experienced trail lawyer with the added allure of never having lost a criminal case. Practicing law (clearly he doesn't "practice"), he divides his time between Wyoming and California. In this book, Spence warns of the impending global police state, using eight studies of cases in which he was the lead counsel. He questions with knowledge and compassion the extent to which our criminal justice system is biased against minorities, and the effect of a police mentality on the judiciary. Spence succinctly characterizes the current situation as "the rotten underbelly of Power" (capitalization his own).

The International Sculpture Center reviews an exhibit called "Unsuspected Possibilities" at SITE Santa Fe. In this show, three artists make effective use of repetitive materials utilized in and around each other to make a statement. The point is made that art is often composed of multiple reflections on a theme, with broader implications than is seen in a single piece.

If you don't (yet) Krump, this You Tube video will give you a good idea of what is involved. I am reminded of the expressive movements of some African Tribal dances, in which different parts of the body moved to different rhythms. If you think that's easy, try to move your shoulders to waltz time and your hips to 4/4 time. Another clip is illuminating as well. Sex, anger, and athleticism, not to mention talent, are just the beginning.

Hot off the press, as I write this column, the New Yorker offers us an article on Louise Bourgeois. Titled "Louise Bourgeois' Final Act", it includes a dozen portraits of the artist photographed during the last two years of her life. She died in 2010 at the age of 98. Fierce, playful, defiant, courageous, the quailties that appear in her art are reflected in these pictures. They were taken at her townhouse in Chelsea by the Belgian-born photographer Alex Van Gelder.

Finally, if you are a poetry lover, like myself, here is a freebie that might brighten your day. The Academy of American Poets will send you a poem every day via email, contemporary during the week and classic on the weekends. It is a chance to broaden your poetic horizons and sometimes meet new word friends on the way. The one that arrived recently was by Edith Matilda Thomas. According to the blurb on Amazon, her book, A Winter Swallow, "has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it."

c. Corinne Whitaker 2015