Friday, 9 November 2012

Sound off before opening some bizarre "stuff" for you to start the weekend with (I can't stop the video starting automatically)

“Will They Survive the 70s?”, February 1970
via Retronaut by Amanda

Source: Four Against Two [site had link to malware when I visited  on 22/8/12]
View the larger picture at Retronaut instead.
Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Titian was a mercenary who was expert at satisfying the vanity of the highest bidder, whether wealthy duke, corrupt pope, or powerful emperor... more

HOWTO eat a watermelon
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

Mr Tom Willett, a man of many years and great experience, gives us the benefit of his long experimentation and refinement in watermelon-eating techniques. There are some surprises here, but he had me from his first words: "Hello, watermelon students!"
Thanks, Fipi Lele!

Dolphins befriend an underwater camera
via Boing Boing by Maggie Koerth-Baker
So a bunch of guys go fishing, and they take a long an underwater camera, encased in a mobile, waterproof housing. Basically, their camera can move around underwater, like a little RC car.
Then this happens ...

I have a sneaky suspicion that this video might be an advertisement for camera equipment. But whatever. It's beautiful. You win this time, viral marketers.
Via Robert Krulwich and Ed Yong.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Photography is about disappearance: cultures changed beyond recognition, lives long gone. As Cartier-Bresson put it, “A contact sheet is full of erasures”... more

Nope, These Birds are Not Lesbians
via 3quarksdaily by Robin Varghese
Annalee Newitz in io9:
Female Laysan albatrosses have a habit of building nests together and sharing child care responsibilities. Does this make them lesbians? Scientists say no. Still, there have been dozens of news headlines trumpeting the discovery of gay marriage among albatrosses. Now, to fight back, two scientists have done a study on how often the media misrepresents animal sexuality. Their findings are hilarious. Writing in Nature, biologists Andrew B. Barron and Mark J. F. Brown explain the scope of the problem:
Continue reading here
Unfortunately the original article is behind a paywall.

The Heart of New York: 1907
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive - Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
The Heart of New York: 1907
Circa 1907
“The heart of New York (Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn)”
The Singer Building rises
8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co
View original post

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Leopold Munyakazi was a friendly, if dull, man about campus. Could the overly formal French professor really be a war criminal?... more

The Top 10 Most Difficult Books
via 3quarksdaily by Abbas Raza
Emily Colette Wilkinson and Garth Risk Hallberg in Publisher’s Weekly
A really interesting list which includes nothing I have ever tried reading!

  1. Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
  2. A Tale of A Tub by Jonathan Swift
  3. The Phenomenology of the Spirit by G.F. Hegel
  4. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  5. Clarissa, Or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson
  6. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
  7. Being & Time by Martin Heidegger
  8. The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser
  9. The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein
  10. Women & Men by Joseph McElroy
The rationale for each book’s inclusion is here

Real history from a pretend pirate
via Boing Boing by Maggie Koerth-Baker
Meet Richard Nolan: quartermaster of the Whydah, captain of the Anne, former coworker of Blackbeard — in general, pirate. He is also — at least through Labor Day — my friend Butch Roy.
Butch is an actor, a founder of the Twin Cities Improv Festival, and the executive director of Huge Theater here in Minneapolis. This summer, he took on a new role, playing pirate Richard Nolan in the Science Museum of Minnesota's Real Pirates exhibit.
When I first heard about Real Pirates I wasn’t terribly excited. It sounded like the sort of kiddie-friendly, fact-lite thing that I tend to avoid on museum trips. I mean, for god’s sake, there were actors running around going, "Arrgh," at people. But then I got a chance to talk to Butch about what, exactly, he was doing in the exhibit — and what it took to prepare for the role.
Butch and his cohorts aren’t just playing pirates — they’re playing real, documented people. What’s more, all the actors had to build their characters from the ground up, using original historical sources and doing a lot of extra research on their own. They had to learn the skills of a pirate and the skills associated with their specific role on the ship. Butch, at least in theory, now knows how to load and fire an 18th century cannon. His fellow actor Michael Ritchie, who plays ship’s surgeon James Ferguson, is up-to-date on all the latest medical research and techniques, circa 1717. The sheer volume of historical information Butch has picked up is absolutely fascinating.
As is the interview between Maggie and Richard! Read it here.
Read a 1999 National Geographic story about the Whydah.
Check out Barry Clifford's Whydah page. His museum dedicated to the Whydah is located in Provincetown, Mass.

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