Skullduggery And Numbskullery

Dear friends, the unknown is vast. Yea, I say to you there are things on our world, in our universe, and within our minds which we have not even begun to understand. There are things forgotten deep in humanity’s past. There are phenomena and objects and events in the present day of which we are quite simply ignorant. Yea, good readers, there are mysteries to be sure. Things unexplained, and in as much, things fascinating. Unfortunately, “Crystal Skulls,” like the one pictured above from the collection of the British Museum are not among them. These are items whose story have a beginning and end. If you are of the mind to you may coax it out from the following:

Origin of the Crystal Skulls. Unmuseum. British Museum’s Skull. Wikipedia. Mitchell-Hedges story. A Crystal Skull. World Mysteries. Smithsonian’s research. Empire Museum. A Crystal Skull?. Messengers of light. Seraphim Institute. Crane Cristal (vids). Everything2. Skepticwiki. How Crystal Skulls Work. Crystal’s Skull. Joky’s 9 Crystal Skulls. Odd and Unusual. Prismatic Skull. 13 crystal Maya skulls will save the world. The amazing Crystal Skulls. Cult and fringe archeology. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Skeptical Inguirer.


02.17. filed under: belief. history. link dump. wtf. 2

Juice of Cursed Hebenon

History of Poison. Poisoning in Ancient Times. Poisoning in the Middle Ages. Poisons in the Renaisance. Poisoning in the 16th, 17th and 18th Century. Poisoning in the Victorian Times. Poisoning in the 20th Century. Don’t Chew the Wallpaper: A History of Poison. A Brief History of Poison. Folklore Poisons. List of Poisonings. A Brief History of Poisoning. The Elements of Murder. The Fine Art of Poisoning.

The one conclusive argument that has at all times discouraged people from drinking a poison is not that it kills but rather that it tastes bad. -Nietzsche.

What is the Most Deadly Poison in the World? A Poison Tree. Illustrated Index of Poisionous Plants. Poisonous Plants Database. Poison Apple. Wild Inedible and Poisonous Mushrooms. Mushroom Poisoning. Poisonous Plants, Animals, and Arthropods. Poison Harpooned Cone Snail. Poison in a Cone. Poison Frogs. Poison Dart Frogs. Poison Powder. Poison Cups. Drink Me. Poison Jewelry. Poison Arrow. Arnesic in the Eye. Antique Poison Bottles. Collecting Poison Bottles. Antique Poison labels. Mr. Yuk. About Mr. Yuk. And Finally…


08.22. filed under: death. history. link dump. 6

All this and the surface of the sun?

(which ought to be a poem title but is here squandered)

“It’s there in every aspect of life. You can’t stop looking at things through your designer eyes. Everything you do is clouded by this thing that lives inside you.” The Design Disease from Noisy Decent Graphics.

Details and vid for Natetrue’s kick-ass Time Fountain. (Thanks Rich.)

On October 24, 1946 a group of soldiers and scientists in the New Mexico desert saw something new and wonderful—the first pictures of Earth as seen from space.

Art Lozzi muses on and explains some background painting techniques. (Via.)

Video for Black Refuge by José González side project Junip.

Behold and quial before Oded Ezer’s Typosperma project. (Via.)

Greatest song in the history of music? You decide. (Thank you kempa.)

A four and a half minute compliation of every Ray Harryhausen animated creature in feature films, presented in chronological order. (Via.)

Behold The Surface Of The Sun and ponder your tiny and piddling insignificance! 

12.07. filed under: link dump. 4

Greetings from urban heat island

The Delhi Metro authorities say they have employed a large black-faced langur monkey to frighten away other monkeys who were worrying passengers.

Death Row Art Star A Documentary by Aron Ranen. Parts 1 and 2.

Two nice lengthy pieces on Sam Beckett who would have been 100 this year: Millennium Poet Laureate (The Chronicle), and Sam I Am (The New Yorker).

Spinoza argued that no group or religion could rightly claim infallible knowledge of the creator’s partiality to its beliefs and ways. Last week marked the 350th anniversary of his excommunication for such ideas: Faith In Reason.

Sean from Cosmic Variance on Boltzmann’s Anthropic Brain.

On Werner Herzog’s new film, The Wild Blue Yonder, the world’s first “undersea outer-space sci-fi documentary.” Sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to see it.

Meme Therapy asks Do you think it likely that the first discovery of extraterrestrial life will be made by a rover? I say no, unless by fortunate accident.

08.03. filed under: link dump.

Philip Cola is an award winning nature photographer and natural history writer whose work centers mainly on the water-dwellers among us. Have a browse though about 16,000 of his photos at Ocean Light.

Space cadets: check out Sven Grahn’s site full of space history, space radio, and space tracking. Everyone else: listen to his fine collection of space sounds.

Jennifer Ouellette talks Jack Chick at 3 Quarks Daily: Heart of Darkness.

The search is on for the original high-quality, unbroadcast, Apollo 11 Footage which was only beamed to three tracking stations in 1969.

Enjoy the 1999 pilot of Heat Vision and Jack, Starring Jack Black as a super intelligent Astronaut. A show with too much potential to be allowed on the air.

Did you know only four Shakers are left in the world, all living in southern Maine?

The Angry Astronomer on some common misconceptions about the Big Bang .

Enjoy Perry Farrell’s long video interview with Shepard Fairey: Parts 1, 2 and 3.

07.31. filed under: link dump. 1

Google Voyage

From arborsculpture to footbinding

This morning a link on Metafiler sent me off on a very nearly round trip google voyage. My iternerary was as follows: Set sail from How To Grow A Chair, about arborsculpture (1, 2, 3, 4, 5.) which docked at Dan Ladd’s Molded gourds. Evidently his gourds are modern equivalents of Paoqi traditional chinese artifacts created mostly to hold crickets. So next up were cricket cages (1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.) and cricket boxes. From here my ship docked at the beautiful and rich port of Chinese cricket culture, located in the land of cultural etymology. Seems insects in Chinese culture are quite important. Crickets for example did more than just sing. Which brought me to cricket fighting (1, 2.) From there it was only a short trip to China the beautiful which lead directly into the port of oracle bone script (12.) Interesting trip so far. The next stop featured 300 Tang Poems. This in turn lead me somehow to Confucius, specifically his Analects, The Great Learning, and The Doctrine of Man. From there I jaunted over to portraits of Chinese emperors and portraits of Chinese physicians... and without even realizing it my trip was on its last leg. Chinese medicine inevitably brought me to the ancient practice of footbinding (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.) which if you think about it, is really almost exactly the same thing as arborsculpture, only practiced on the human foot rather than a tree. I had come very nearly full circle. My voyage was over.

07.29. filed under: link dump. 1

Graffiti + Sarajevo + Krylon + Michelangelo = Sistine Chapel in Iowa. Via.

“A new idea for the exploration of Mars may be less of a scientific leap forward than a hop.” hardy-har-har. Next to Mars: Jumping, Baseball-Size Robots?

In 1900, Eva Downing Corey undertook a “Grand Tour” to the Holy Land, and the Continent. She kept a journal. (And evidently a glue-stick or two.) Beautiful. Via.

Just in time to deflect Global Warming questions directed at them “to understand and protect our home planet” is dropped from the NASA mission statement.

Headline reads: Vampire sea spiders suck on prey. The horror! Someone alert Tony Bourdain, he’ll be wanting to nibble on this thing.

Cassini’s radar eye has begun to reveal the true geological features of Xanadu. Faults, deeply cut channels, valleys, porous water ice… a rainy land where rivers flow down to a sunless sea. Nasa offers this nifty vid. The feathered hair once thought to float in the atmosphere has yet to be spotted however.

On the saddest lowliest coin of all: Give a Penny, Take a Penny .

Fifteen years from now, amid the rubble of a war-torn city in a distant land, a strange creature lurks in the dark (cue the ominous music)... the soldier of the future. These stories keep coming. “Soldier of the future!!!” Yet we can’t even perfect decent body armor. I’d like to think the future would not require such perfect killing machines anyhow. Ah well.

07.26. filed under: link dump.

In Japan unimaginably large spaces underneath ground-level lives exist. Even beyond the high walls of nuclear power stations, incineration plants, or energy research organizations, futuristic cities that we thought only to exist in science fiction movies unfold. All this is captured by photographer Joe Nishizawa.

Scientists believe they have found a way to probe the mysterious phenomenon of feeling you have witnessed something before: Deja vu recreated in laboratory.

Why is the sky blue? It is a question children ask. Yet it also intrigued Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton, among many other legendary thinkers. As late as 1862, the great astronomer John Herschel called the colour and polarization of skylight “great standing enigmas.” Even today, our perception of sky blue is little understood by laymen.

Umberto Eco speaks. Outlandish theories: Kings of the (hollow) world.

Photographic construction of alternative selves: Photography and Solipsism Via.

In a few years, it will be hard for us to believe that we lived amongst people like these. Photographs of India’s poor, many of whom had never even seen a camera before. Take care to look at the links below as well. Via.

The largest tear in the Earth’s crust seen in decades, if not centuries, could carve out a new ocean in Africa, according to satellite data. Wow.

Misconceptions about samurai in Japanese pop culture. Misconceptions about Medieval armor. And with those in mind- The Medieval European Knight vs. The Feudal Japanese Samurai?


07.24. filed under: link dump.

Have a nagging feeling I’ve linked this before but what-the-hey, it’s a good one. The Magic Mirror of Life an appreciation of the camera obscura.

The complete works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart analyzed based on the audio content with the result being a map with different regions showing distinct categories of Mozart’s music: Map of Mozart. Via.

Interesting. Open-Ended Utopia: The art of Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Sharing a bed with someone could temporarily reduce your brain power - at least if you are a man. I (or my girlfriend) could have told you that!

Some Dark Thoughts on Happiness. More and more psychologists and researchers believe they know what makes people happy. But the question is, does a New Yorker want to be happy? Answer: Fuck you.

The Urban Pantheist catalogues the myriad species in the city. Via.

Some historic info on the real Deadwood South Dakota.

07.23. filed under: link dump. 6

Dig into the Instruments for Science (1800-1914) pages which reproduce for your geeky pleasure the scientific trade catalogs in the Smithsonian collections. Includes, but is by no means limited to: levers, pulleys, manometers, balances, air pumps, barometers, drawing instruments, electric machines, extensometers, telescopes, spectroscopes, photometers, tuning-forks, dissecting instruments, metallurgical equipment, galvanometers, turbines, electromagnets, theodolites, sextants, microscopes, globes, and glass prisms. Pictured above is Amslers Polar Planimeter. Enjoy… you big dork.

The online world of linguistics is fast, funny, and bears no resemblance to hours spent in a classroom. Linguists and wordsmiths (including Grant Barret from Double Tongued Word Wrester) talk about new words, new blogs and new usage. NPR audio: How the Web Is Changing Language. Via.

“A picture must be painted in such a way that the viewer can understand its meaning. If the people who see a picture cannot grasp its meaning, no matter what a talented artist may have painted it, they cannot say it is a good picture.” -Kim Jong-il. Art in North Korea.

Card Culture. On the design impact of credit cards and “affinity” cards. Via.

An interesting paper on: Life (Briefly) Near a Supernova (pdf). Via.

Proverbial wisdom from around the world in the form of 12,000 proverbs from 300 different countries. Search by keyword or browse by country.

The Olduvai Theory: Sliding Towards a Post-Industrial Stone Age, circa 1996, and The Olduvai Theory: Energy, Population, and Industrial Civilization (pdf) circa 2006. Can’t wait for post-industrial civilization.


07.16. filed under: link dump. 2

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