Friday, 19 October 2012

Fortunate we are that it's Friday: time to relax with some trivia

Smith, Maxim, Vixen: 1900
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive - Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Smith, Maxim, Vixen: 1900
Circa 1900
“U.S.S. Vixen, Maxim machine gun and gunner Smith, who fired 400 consecutive shots at Battle of Santiago de Cuba, July 3, 1898”
8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company
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Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
When it comes to the relationship between art and morality, Walter Benjamin put it best: “At the base of every major work of art is a pile of barbarism”... more

Giant baby avenges poor skin-care choices by abandoning mother in a basket
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

In this 1945 Life ad, a giant baby exacts a vicious turnabout-is-fair-play revenge on his mother, who failed as a parent and a human being by using the wrong skin-care products on him.
Life, September 3, 1945 (full size)

Oblivious Cats Imitating Famous Works of Art
via Flavorwire by Emily Temple
Everyone loves art, it’s true.
But do you know what people love more than they love art? Cats.
Then again, why should we have to choose?
The folks over at Design You Trust have put together a little collection of cats who just happen to be lying around imitating famous works of art — from Rembrandt to Degas — without even trying, of course.
As DYT points out, in our modern age, you too can try your hand at following in the masters’ footsteps: all you need is a kitty, a camera, and an internet connection to share your snaps.
Emily’s selection is here and mine (based on my love for the original) is below.

Edgar Degas, Two Dancers On Stage (1874). Design You Trust

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
The perfect shot. Grind, temperature, pressure: Good espresso is good chemistry. It’s also good art. Done well, it’s pure sensory pleasure... more

A Real-Life Fairy Tale, Long in the Making and Set to Old Tunes
‘Searching for Sugar Man’ Spotlights the Musician Rodriguez
It’s a real-life tale of talent disregarded, bad luck and missed opportunities, with an improbable stop in the Hamptons and a Hollywood conclusion: A singer-songwriter is signed to a contract in the late 1960s after producers with ties to Motown Records see him playing in a smoky Detroit nightclub called the Sewer. He makes a pair of albums that sell almost nothing and then drops out of sight. So why, 40 years later, would anyone feel compelled to make a movie about this obscure artist, known professionally as Rodriguez?
Full story from New York Times via ThreeQuarksDaily

Power Up Your Brain: Myth vs. Reality
via Big Think by Megan Erickson
Forget coffee and crosswords. If you want to supercharge your brain, you have to change your lifestyle. But only a few things about it. Here, we lay to rest some of the well-worn myths of power thinking, and give you the facts on what you can do to actually improve mental performance.
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Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
The Right Honourable Edmund Burke was corpulent, petulant, and fond of lewd jokes. He was also eloquent, brilliant, and brave... more

Flight Attendant Guidelines, c.1940s
via Retronaut by Chris
Only two pictures so you may as well have them both!

Original post
Source: PPRuNe

Caffeine Crystals at 40 Microns
via How-To Geek by Jason Fitzpatrick

There’s a good chance you or your office mates are knocking back coffee this morning; thanks to a submission in the Wellcome Image Awards you can take a very personal look at the crystals of caffeine that make your coffee impart that morning buzz.
The Wellcome Image Awards is a yearly contest focused on the submission of beautiful high-maginification scientific images. The goal is to create a collection of images every year that help the public get closer to the microscopic world around them and the science that drives it. The above image is a electron-microscope scan courtesy of Annie Cavanagh and David McCarthy:

This false-coloured scanning electron micrograph shows caffeine crystals. Caffeine is a bitter, crystalline xanthine alkaloid that acts as a stimulant drug. In plants, caffeine functions as a defence mechanism. Found in varying quantities in the seeds, leaves and fruit of some plants, caffeine acts as a natural pesticide that paralyses and kills certain insects feeding on the plant. The main crystals of caffeine were 400-500 microns long; however, this crystal group formed on the end of the larger crystal and measures around 40 microns in length.
For more images of things like seedlings, cells, crystals, and more, hit up the link below to check out the 2012 submission gallery.
Wellcome Image Awards 2012 [via Neatorama]

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