March 2nd, 2013

Also on an astronomical topic (sort of), Dark Flight: Meteorwrongs by Ryan Thompson

Within one of the most well-known collections of meteorites in the world, at the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University, is a collection of rocks of mistaken identity. Once identified by professional and amateur meteorite hunters as meteorites, they were later proven to be of terrestrial origin. 'Dark Flight: Meteorwrongs' is a series of photographs of 21 of these false positives. They range in size from just a few inches to more than one foot in diameter and they all have one thing in common–they are not meteorites. The collection stands as a testament to the evolution of the science of meteoritics and to the limits of human knowledge.

[Via Pruned]

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February 10th, 2013

David Byrne's account of a recent visit to the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania included an interesting account of the way the museum supplies information about the collection to visitors:

There are no wall labels. None. One is provided with an iPod touch on entry that, via a kind of Mona GPS, can tell where you are. You then tap on a thumbnail of a piece if you want to know more about the art in front of you. "Know more" is divided into various subcategories. Ideas is a sentence or two about the work beyond who made it. Artwank, is, as you might expect, some scholarly essay on the piece or the artist – the symbol for this category is a cock and balls. The Gonzo button usually led to a more personal reaction to the piece from [NOMA founder David Walsh] or Elizabeth Mead, who helped in collecting a lot of the stuff. It might be a poem, an amusing anecdote or something that seems almost completely off topic – like trouble with a boyfriend. Lastly there is Media, which often consists of a casual audio interview with the artist, but sometimes could be something else entirely. […] If you offer up your email address, the thing will track your visit via GPS and then send you a link to a website showing you what you saw. Here's mine:

MONA app screenshot

You can also find out from this site what you missed – I think I saw most of it.

I think that if I'd travelled all the way back to the UK only to be told by MONA's web site/app that I'd missed out on some exhibit that would have made my visit then I'd be less than thrilled. Best not use that feature unless you're in a position to make a quick return visit, I think.

Other than that, it sounds like a neat app.

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Untold stories

February 6th, 2013

Artist Jim Kazanjian produced a series of photographs of imaginary houses, carefully assembled by matching up snippets of images of real houses to make something much weirder.

untitled (house), 2006

There are definitely untold stories behind those houses. Perhaps best left untold in some cases.

[Via Colossal, via MetaFilter]


Kate Bush, 1982-style

January 27th, 2013

A tribute to the ZX Spectrum and the albums of Kate Bush:

The Kick Inside, ZX Spectrum-style

(In fairness, I should note that the copy above is at 50% of the size of the original, which serves to mask some of the rough edges. Follow the link to see the album covers in all their pixillated, colour-clashing glory.)

Nice work. It's surprising how nicely some of them turned out.

The Sensual World and 50 Words for Snow benefit from being essentially black and white images in the first place, so the dithering doesn't fall foul of the limitations of the Spectrum's graphics display,1 but some of the more colourful later albums like Aerial and Director's Cut look pretty damned fine all things considered. The run of albums from Lionheart to Hounds of Love is another matter entirely…

One last thought: we should all be eternally grateful that the creator of these tribute images didn't accompany them with reproductions of Kate's music created using a Spectrum's sound chip.

[Via MetaFilter]

  1. Basically, in graphics mode the 256×192 pixel screen was divided into 8×8 pixel blocks, each of which was limited to a single foreground and background colour. Chunky, but more than made up for by the sheer amount of computer you got for your £175 if you went for the version with a massive 48KB – yes, that's Kilobytes, not Megabytes – of RAM. Those were the days.

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Marie Curie. Rachel Carson. Sally Ride. Grace Hopper. Rosalind Franklin. Jane Goodall.

October 16th, 2012

Posters of Six Women Who Changed Science. And The World.

Grace Hopper poster

For Ada Lovelace Day.


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Water Light Graffiti

August 26th, 2012

Water Light Graffiti by Antonin Fourneau.

[Via Flowing Data]

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Four, Nine and Ten

July 30th, 2012

If The Doctor had always been female.

[Via The Medium is Not Enough TV blog]

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Avengers Gowns

June 23rd, 2012

Some of kelseymichele's designs for gowns inspired by The Avengers are gorgeous. The Thor one is particularly stunning.

[Via io9, via Alyssa Rosenberg]

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'The witch-king may have been too busy being awesome to notice details.'

May 27th, 2012

Frank Frazetta's illustrations for 'The Lord of the Rings' are – and it really is the only appropriate description – awesome.

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Sailing away

May 27th, 2012

A light show projects actual sails onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

I'll grant you that the part where the 'sails' appear to collapse is spectacular (as are the bits with the dancers), but I liked it best when the sails seemed to have unfurled, and were fluttering in the breeze as if the opera house was making sail. I think they should keep that portion of the light show up permanently.

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