as she was in the year eighteen hundred and thirty one.

All of the following engravings and accompanying texts are from a book called Views in New York and its Environs, subtitled: From accurate, characteristic, & picturesque drawings taken on the spot, expressly for this work. It was put out in 1831 when the population of Manhattan Island was about 203,000 and horse-drawn stages were still the dominant form of mass transit. Hope you enjoy.

05.31. filed under: art. !. books. history.

In Search Of: Bread.

Continuing in my series of searches. Tonight I search for bread and what do I find?

05.30. filed under: !. history. link dump. 3

Gratuitously illustrated short history of early 20th century Russian theater from symbolism to The Bedbug.

Justin Smith @ 3 Quarks Daily: Why We Do Not Eat Our Dead. Bonus link: Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice By: Dr. Sam Vaknin.

Deep in the Amazon jungle, writer Kira Salak tests ayahuasca, a shamanistic medicinal ritual, and finds a terrifying—but enlightening—world within. Peru: Hell and Back.

Serving the guest: food for remembrance. A cookbook with essays and anecdotes on the historic and contemporary role of food, meals and hospitality in Sufism. Also features a gallery of Islamic art.

Responsible metal detecting in England and Whales. Features some history on archaeology from both England and Scotland and a gallery of over 7,000 related images.

Nonhuman work. A Forbes piece written by none other than the lovable old coot PZ myers on the subject of whether animals do “work.” 

05.29. filed under: link dump. 2

The Aesthetics of Invention

Stephen Talasnik

Picked up a slim little volume, which accompanied a recent show at the Marlborough gallery here in New York, of drawings by one Stephen Talasnik. To me his work looks like drawings of impossible architectural projects, each laying out a particular expanse of the Tower of babel let’s say. Stylistically they might fall into the same category as recent works by Matthew Ritchie or Julie Mehretu. Thought I’d share some of it with you.

05.28. filed under: art. !. 2

There are one hundred billion stars in the Milky Way
and not one is star-shaped. -Hans Hollein.

05.28. filed under: !. observations. space.

Enjoy the online version of William Timlin’s The Ship That Sailed to Mars originally published in 1923. Via. Related bonus link: George Meiles’ 1902 classic Le voyage dans la lune in full.

In 1822 De Quincey published The Confessions of an English Opium Eater. The nature of addiction to opiates has been misunderstood ever since.

How vinyl records are made: Part 1 and Part 2. Groovy (pun intended). Via.

An old octopus with a tree on his back? Yes. Enjoy The black heart gang’s beautifully done Tale of How. Via.

What Mind–Body Problem? Could understanding consciousness turn out to be easier than we thought? Via. I doubt it.

05.28. filed under: link dump. 3

“Excuse me Sir. Do you support the Arts?”

An innocent enough question I suppose, but coming as it did from one of a pair of squeaky-clean teenagers wearing bright pastel-orange polo shirts (complete with matching, embroidered, institutional logos) and holding tell-tale clipboards, well it rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it’d just been the long week I’d only moments before began trying to put behind me.

05.27. filed under: art. !. lies. observations.

The sexed robots are autonomous wheeled platforms fitted with nylon genital organs. They’re in heat and looking for mates so watch your back. Via.

A cluster of galaxies acting as a gravitational lens may reveal the complex distribution of matter within the lens itself. Say that three times fast.

The shiny happy world of Utopian Pharmacology. Via.

Michael Wolf’s follow up to the fantastic Architecture of Density is 100 x 100.

On beauty as separate from function: Windfarms. (Thanks Bill)

05.27. filed under: link dump. 2

Apologies to all for the spotty posting and general crapulessence on display here of late. Hate to make excuses but work’s been kicking my ass lately. Hope to return to previous glory soon… O.k. now stop trying to look up my chiton and move along, you sickos.

05.25. filed under: announcements. life. personal.

What Hath God Wrought?

On this date in 1844 one Samuel Morse asked an age old question in a new way, and in so doing kicked the practice of Telegraphy in its intangible ass. It was the first message ever sent in Morse code. Unsurprisingly an answer was not forthcoming. 162 years late, let me hazard an answer: misery human suffering.

05.24. filed under: bits&bytes. history. people. 5

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