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

Ahimsa is a religious concept which advocates non-violence and a respect for all life. Ahinsa is Sanskrit for avoidance of himsa, or injury. It is interpreted most often as meaning peace and reverence toward all sentient beings. Ahimsa is an important doctrine of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism (pdf). I think if it has made any inroads into the modern westerner’s mind they have likely been through its connection to yoga. I will not comment on the concept itself here, becuase in truth I am by no means sure of my own opinion toward the “do not swat a fly” brand of radical pacism, but rather will offer up a few images from an interesting book I picked up a long while ago called Chinese Poems and Pictures on Ahimsa by Raghu Vira, published in 1954. As for the sentiment they express, well, decide for yourself the value.

07.30. filed under: art. belief. !. books. philosophy.

Spam continues to inspire. Quote: “A collection of junk email messages is parsed, including subject lines, headers & footers, to detect relationships between that data.” The result: Spam Plants like the one shown in detail above. Neat. Via. In related linkage: Look Around You A visual exploration of complex networks.

Acupuncture Without Needles By J.V. Cerney. 1974. Aw yeah. Via.

Hungry for some philosophical gristle? Chew on the contents of The Proceedings of the Friesian School, Fourth Series. Yum.

Why do we like music? What might we discover if we were to study musical thinking? Music, Mind, and Meaning by Marvin Minsky Via.

Why is it that alien abductors are always such hunks? Intergalactic Service with a Smile, a short bit about Elizabeth Klarer and her alien paramour. More here, here, here, and here.

There appears to be energy of empty space that isn’t zero. This flies in the face of all conventional wisdom in theoretical particle physics. A Talk with Lawrence Krauss over at edge.

Enjoy a stroll through the the neglected books page where forgotten books are remembered. While away the day and blame Jeff.

And lastly, why not explore space via air balloon? Yeah, why not? Via.




07.29. filed under:

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

Hugh Ferriss: Delineator of Gotham

Or rendering “The Vertical Sublime”

Picked up a reprinting of a 1929 book by Hugh Ferriss titled The Metropolis of Tomorrow. Ferriss was the preeminent architectural draftsman of his time who through his moody chiaroscuro renderings of skyscrapers virtually inventing the image of Gotham visitors came to the city to see and residents identified with so fondly. As Michael Mallow puts it: “By the mid-twenties, renderings by Ferriss had become almost de rigeur for successful competition projects; countless skyscrapers waited their turn to be bathed in the dark monumentality emanating from his drafting table. In these works a blasé department store appears as a giant lording over its block. Stodgy hotels cease to be stodgy hotels and become looming silhouettes emerging from the urban haze like shipwrecks. Ferriss went to grand new lengths in suppressing detail for mood, and clients loved it.”

07.28. filed under: art. !. design. ideas. people. 3

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.

What’s so funny anyway?

I find myself less amused by the opening segments of Comedy Central’s weeknight double-punch of fake news lately. I can’t help but wonder whether programs like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, which have us laughing at the ineptitude, corruption, war mongering, and profiteering of our Government, are in some way diffusing what ought to be a steadily building anger; an anger which by all rights ought to be seeking a vent right about now.

07.25. filed under: !. inquiries. observations. 8

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.

The Old Musician by Edouard Manet, 1862.

Extrapolation: The Old Musician

The old musician sat amongst the beggars. Many passersby on the afternoon streets would certainly make no distinction, and call his playing for coin begging as well. For him this was respite though. Sunday among the despised. He would play among these people for a time and forget about coin. Much like the saying “you can’t bullshit a bullshitter” there isn’t much use in “begging a beggar.” Among them he could play whatever pleased him, the childhood favorites of his homeland, the dirges, the sad songs, things the people on the street wouldn’t pay a soda-cracker to hear.

07.23. filed under: art. !. fiction. history. lies. 1

Tom Sachs is exactly the kind of artist I’d expect to shrug my shoulders at, and perhaps mumble a “ho-hum” to anyone who brought him up. His work has in large part embraced the irony so common in contemporary art, much of it incorporating brand logos (the Chanel Guillotine or the Prada Deathcamp for example) and winking reproductions of the banal. the Sperone Westwater site says: “Tom Sachs takes his inspiration from the collective American imagination, borrowing his subjects from among the status symbols of mass culture: weapons, fast food, hip hop, surfing, and skateboarding, and he mixes them with the symbols of American wealth that sees in luxury, conformism, and designer labels a reinforcement of their elite social status.” Exactly the kind of thing which I’d expect to bore my pants off.

07.23. filed under: art. people. 2

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