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2018-09-30 18:00 culture blog

Fred Stonehouse - Gallery

Fred Stonehouse

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2018-09-29 18:01 culture blog

Charles August Albert Dellschau (4 June 1830 Prussia – 20 April 1923 Houston Texas)

In the fall of 1899, Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830–1923), a retired butcher from Houston, embarked on a project that would occupy him for more than twenty years. What began as an illustrated manuscript recounting his experiences in the California Gold Rush became an obsessive project resulting in twelve large, hand-bound books with more than 2,500 drawings related to airships and the development of flight. Dellschau’s designs resemble traditional hot air balloons augmented with fantastic visual details, collage and text. The hand-drawn “Aeros” were interspersed with collaged pages called “Press Blooms,” featuring thousands of newspaper clippings related to the political events and technological advances of the period.

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2018-09-28 12:07 history blog

Why So Many Bog Bodies Show Signs of Violent Death

On display at the Silkeborg Museum, in Denmark, Tollund Man’s visage seems eerily peaceful—if you ignore the noose around his neck.

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2018-09-25 08:47 culture blog

The Cards of U’ut, Ellis Nadler | ANOBIUM

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2018-09-21 10:25 space blog

Japan has attempted to land two tiny rovers on a distant asteroid | Ars Technica

Each weighed only about a kilogram, and after separating from the main spacecraft they approached the asteroid named Ryugu. Japanese mission scientists think the rovers touched down successfully, but are not completely sure. Communication with the two landers stopped near the moment of touchdown.

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2018-09-16 09:56 culture blog

Svanen, 1914 - Hilma af Klint - WikiArt.org

When Hilma af Klint began creating radically abstract paintings in 1906, they were like little that had been seen before: bold, colorful, and untethered from any recognizable reference to the physical world. It was years before Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, and others would take similar strides to rid their own artwork of representational content. Yet while many of her better-known contemporaries published manifestos and exhibited widely, af Klint kept her groundbreaking paintings largely private.

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2018-09-11 08:43 culture blog

In 1988, Acid House Swept Britain. These Fliers Tell the Story. - The New York Times

Shoom is often regarded as Britain’s first acid house club night. To the country’s tabloid press, the new music that swept the country in 1988 was headache-inducing, enjoyable only to partygoers on Ecstasy. The Daily Mail called it “the biggest threat to the health and welfare of Britain’s youngsters since the crazy drug cult of the ’60s.”

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2018-09-09 18:17 blog

The Illegal Ramen Vendors of Postwar Tokyo - Gastro Obscura

By October 1945, an estimated 45,000 black market stalls existed in Tokyo. The city was also home to the most famous black market in Japan, Ameyokocho. Located underneath an active train line in the center of the city, it was packed with open-air stalls selling everything from candy to ramen and clothing. In this bustling environment, vendors announced their presence with the distinctive sound of charumera flutes and sold ramen from a yatai, a wheeled food cart filled with drawers containing noodles, pork slices and garnishes, alongside pots of boiling soup and water. Prices were also low due to the abundance of American wheat and lard.

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2018-09-06 18:23 culture blog

Kenny Shopsin, Brash Owner of a Quirky Restaurant, Dies at 76 - The New York Times

“Essentially, if anyone asked me what I did for a living, I said I sold mayonnaise — mayonnaise with chicken, mayonnaise with shrimp, mayonnaise with eggs, mayonnaise with potatoes,” he told Calvin Trillin, a regular customer, in 2002, when he allowed Mr. Trillin to write a rare profile of him, in The New Yorker. “The key was that essentially you sold mayonnaise for eight dollars a pound and everything else you threw in for free.”

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2018-08-27 09:25 tech culture blog

How algorithms are transforming artistic creativity | Aeon Essays

It is getting harder to take a really terrible digital photograph, and in correlation the average quality of photographs is rising. From automated essay critiques to algorithms that advise people on fashion errors and coordinating outfits, computation is changing aesthetics. When every art has its Auto-Tune, how will we distinguish great beauty from an increasingly perfect average?

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2018-08-23 18:41 oddities blog

Watch 100 Randomly Ticking Metronomes Miraculously Achieve Synchronicity | Open Culture

The key is that the platform holding the metronomes is not fixed. It affects their movement by moving in response to theirs.

To put it another way, KE = 0.5 • m • v2. Which is to say Kinetic Energy = 0.5 • mass of object • (speed of object)2.

If you're looking for another scientific explanation, here's how Gizmodo puts it: "the metronomes are transferring energy to the platform they’re on, which then transfers that energy back to the metronomes—until they all sync up and start hitting the beat in one glorious wavelength."

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2018-08-21 18:04 anthro blog

Lessons From a 5,000-Year-Old Kenyan Cemetery - Atlas Obscura

When this man died, his community members likely arranged his body into a specific position, and bound it tightly in cloth. They carried it up a winding trail to the top of a hill. There, they laid it alongside the bodies of hundreds of other community members who had passed away: men, women and children, all buried next to each other in a giant cavity dug into the sand and bedrock. They left this particular man with what archaeologists assume was one of his prized possessions: an intricate headpiece made out of 405 gerbil teeth, plucked from at least 113 individual gerbils.

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2018-08-18 20:49 oddities blog

London museum is livestreaming a key 21st-century artifact—festering sewage | Ars Technica

From February to the start of July, the museum put the extracted excrement on exhibit, describing it as something like the picture of Dorian Gray but for society: the dark, disgusting side of ourselves. It was a hit, to say the least. In addition to hordes of visitors and engagement with the museum, curators saw an unexpected artistic response to the petrified muck. There was a musical written about it and poems composed, Holbrook said. One young boy requested a fatberg-themed birthday cake.

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2018-08-12 21:38 writing typewriter blog Benjamin Brood

On Typewriters

Computers are everything-machines. Of course they can be typewriters. But for better or worse, they also do everything else: they're books, they're movies, they're newspapers, they're TV, they can be a town hall, they can be and often are dictators or the proxies of dictators. We've summoned these little, vicious machines inside our magic circle — and as is usually the case in summonings, we've accidentally broken that circle. Computers now seek the compensation of a contract, a price will be paid, one way or another, the sand that we've drawn around ourselves for protection in some atavistic ritual has predictably been brushed aside.

I collect and repair typewriters. The typewriters I'm interested in, manual typewriters, were designed to write words. Your own words perhaps. On paper. They are machines that require no electricity — they require the food of paper and your interest, but they fundamentally make few other demands. Of course you could just use a pen or pencil, you don't need a machine at all. If you subscribe to absolute Luddism then they're similar to the overlord everything-machines, symbols of bureaucratic slavery. But then you could say the same thing about paper or the pen itself — let us reject paper entirely and retreat to the clay tablet, let us reject the tablet and paint on the cave walls. And so on.

Why a resurgence of interest in typewriters? Part of it is old fashioned collecting instinct, that weird little pebble somewhere in the jelly of the human brain that needs to amass types of things together, a form of irrational ownership. Typewriters are important artifacts of the first modern age, now irrevocably gone. For this, they're worthy of interest and preservation, but I also believe they're still useful for creative writers. They're a deterrent to the invasion by the everything-machines on fertile territory.

The machine itself, the design of the machine, as we know of it from the pinnacle of examples in the middle of the 20th century, is the epitome of a perfect tool. They are not everything-machines. They are examples of sparseness and limitation. They are made of small bits of metal, springs, hammers with blocks in the form of letters. The mechanisms of the really good manual typewriters, well kept, will last longer than you. Cormac McCarthy's Lettera 32 was bought in 1963 and lasted his entire career. They are repairable and maintainable. Many are portable — the Groma Kolibri for instance, which is about eight pounds, and stunningly thin. Similarly portable, the typewriter associated with William Burroughs, the Antares Parva. Others are monsters, like the Underwood business machines, tanks lumbering onto desktops to output endless invoices and memos.

We tend to remember what we want, the routine of the daily typewriter was hardly glorious novel-writing. But typewriters influenced the tone of 20th century writing, the patter, the click-clack. As Truman Capote lamented about Kerouac "That's Not Writing; That's Just Typing", the typewriter facilitated modernism and experimentation, it altered writing. It's one level of abstraction away from pen on paper. Writing on a computer is several levels isolated beyond that. Comparatively, writing consistently, voluminously on a typewriter is a physical action. It is a particularly aggressive action — you are hitting the paper with hammers, pressing ink into paper. It is unforgiving. If you want perfection you will need additional tools like whiteout.

But if you're writing creatively you'll be, more often than not, ready to strike or annotate with the pencil from behind your ear, or you'll take drafts and cut them up with scissors, gluing the passages back together into the desired order. It's radically different than writing on a computer. The effort needed to do this leads to an economy of words — although not without parentheticals, since text isn't as instantly malleable as it is on a computer. On a typewriter you adjust as you go forward, without the ability to redraft in place like on a computer. You always move forward, you leave the rewriting to another draft. The series of compromises is different, the physicality is different, the resulting text, naturally, is different. I'd argue better because the act of putting words together feels closer, the mistakes are human, the text is tangible.

2018-08-01 18:58 culture blog

panGenerator » apparatum

Analog sound generators, based on magnetic tape and optical components controlled via graphic score composed with digital interface.

The APPARATUM has been inspired by the heritage of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio – one of the first studios in the world producing electroacoustic music.

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