Has life on earth gotten better or worse from 1990-2020?

Every moment there are a million miracles happening around you:
a flower blossoming, a bird tweeting,
a bee humming, a raindrop falling,
a snowflake wafting along
the clear evening air.
There is magic everywhere.
If you learn how to live it,
life is nothing short of a daily miracle.

~ Sadhguru

There are some who say things are getting worse.  What do you say?

Well, here are some statistics of what happened between 1990 and 2020:

  • Global life expectancy increased from 64 years to 73 years.
  • The percentage of children who die before the age of five decreased from 9.3% to 3.7%.  Despite a significantly larger population today, this means that almost 7.5 million fewer children die annually compared with the early 1990’s. 
  • Deaths from mothers giving birth dropped by 55%.
  • The proportion of the world population receiving basic education has skyrocketed and the illiteracy rates have almost halved: from 25.7% to 13.5%.  In the age group 15-24. illiteracy is now just over 8%. 
  • This week’s artist is – Kimberly Santini – whose work a friend shared with me. They said that Kimberly’s work always stops them. That seems worth sharing! To see even more, check out her website and instagram!
  • Robert Mapplethorpe would have been 77 on Saturday!
  • Just a few more days for The Durango Creative District’s Call to Artists with a proposal deadline of November 7th. Here is more information.
  • I really enjoyed watching Francis Bebey play his 1 note bamboo flute.
  • Can you figure out where in the US is this? I got within about 60 miles.
  • Nasa’s photographer of the year awards showcase stellar shots.
  • Here’s a primer on primers.
  • I recently had a conversation about having reached my middle age. In a perfect sense of timing, I then ran across this site are you getting old.
  • There’s a lot of stuff on the internet. Here’s a mobile phone museum. You can probably find your old phone in there.
  • It’s time for the art market pop-up!
  • Armadillos collecting nesting materials.
  • Friends of the Library Annual November Book Sale is from 9:30-4 at the Durango Public Library Friday and Saturday.
  • Pumpkin and Leaf drop-off is from 10-12 and 1-3 at the La Plata County Fairgrounds and Event Center, both Friday-Sunday. Bring leaves in any type of bag and be prepared to empty bags of leaves into the trailer on site. Bags are not accepted in the drop off trailer. No pesticides, fungicides, or pet waste! No branches or other yard waste – Just leaves please! Pumpkins and gourds are used for animas feed at local ranches. Apples and other fruit accepted, if fit for animal consumption. No candle wax, paint, ink, plastic decoration, etc…
  • It’s also the first Friday of the month, so it’s the art-crawl this evening from 4-7.
  • The Four Corners Vinyl Record Club is hosting another vinyl record show Saturday from 9-3 at the Holiday Inn & Suites Downtown. No admission fee to enter. Event for all ages. If you’ve just begun collecting, or you’re an audiophile that’s been collecting for decades, there’s going to be something there for you! If you, or someone you know are looking to unload an old vinyl collection, this is the place for you. Spread the word and Peace Through Music…on VINYL!
  • 😎 Fun Fact: The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing uses approximately 9.7 tons of ink per day to print money
  • Drop by Guild House Games on Monday from 6:30-9 for the free, weekly Chess Club.
  • If you’re a beginner/intermediate acoustic music player looking to play more – head to the General Palmer on Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 for the Slow Bluegrass Jam. This weekly jam is welcoming to all players, with a focus on slower tempo improvisation solos and chord changes. If you can play the I, IV and V chords in G, D and A then you know enough to play at this jam!
  • There’s a lot of live music around town. Check out to find who, when, and where.
  • There are classes/workshops/projects available at the Dancing Spirit Center for the ArtsLet’s Letter Together, the Scrapbook NookCreate Art and Tea, Durango Sustainable Goods the 4 Corners Gem and Mineral Club, Seed Studio, and the Durango Arts Center. There are a lot more things happening that I don’t include – so if you’re ever looking for something to do, start at

Here are more stats about how the world has changed:

  • Child labor in the 5-17 age group decreased from 16% to just under 10%.
  • The number of people globally living in extreme poverty dropped from 38% to now just 8.4%.  For the first time in history, fewer than one in ten people were poor.  Despite the fact that world population increased by more than 1.1 billion people.  According to Johan Norberg in his book “The Capitalist Manifesto”, that is the greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind.  The relentless hardship that most of humanity has suffered throughout its existence has been pushed back faster than ever and in more places than ever.”

I don’t attribute many things to luck.  But that we are alive at this time – well, that’s plain luck.

Let’s make the most of our time here, and spread the word to others. As always, the world needs your art!

Matthew & the Art Supply House crew