Sunday, 23 December 2012

10 items of ephemera for your delectation

Air NZ Employs Hobbits for Safety Briefing
via How-To Geek by Jason Fitzpatrick 
If pre-flight safety briefings routinely involved Hobbits and wizards, we can only imagine more people would pay attention.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
A man falls into a coma and lands in heaven. (Lots of butterflies there.) It’s a story that a brain scientist could sell. And one of them has... more

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum Launches Online Digital Collection of 125,000 Masterpieces
via LJ INFOdocket by Gary Price
As a prelude to its reopening on April 13, 2013, one of the world’s leading museums, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, will launch Rijks Studio, a new online presentation of 125,000 works in its collection which [will go live todaywent live on 31 October.
Rijks Studio invites members of the public to create their own masterpieces by downloading images of artworks or details of artworks in the collection and using them in a creative way. The ultra high-resolution images of works, both famous and less well-known, can be freely downloaded, zoomed in on, shared, added to personal studios, or manipulated copyright-free. Users can have prints made of entire works of art or details from them. Other suggestions for the use of images include creating material to upholster furniture or wallpaper, or to decorate a car or an iPad cover for example. To celebrate this digital milestone, the Rijksmuseum is asking leading international artists, designers and architects to become pioneers of Rijks Studio by selecting one work from the collection and using it creatively to create a new artwork. These will be released in the run up to the reopening of the museum.
Direct to Rijks StudioRead the Complete Announcement
I’m in my element. I love the Dutch flower paintings. In fact I have a superb reproduction that I bought in Amsterdam some years ago on the wall in my miniature home-office.

Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner
via The National Archives blog by Andrew Janes
One of the many legacies of the United Kingdom’s colonial past is the number of British-sounding place names to be found in various parts of the world. From Birmingham in Alabama to Canterbury in New Zealand, and from New York to New South Wales, these names reflect the English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish heritage of many of the people who settled in those places.
Continue reading and find some fascinating maps and descriptions.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Victim, symbol, sexy mess – Marilyn Monroe has spawned a large literature. Of the many theories, few regard her as a person rather than an archetype... more

Dinner Time: 1909
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Dinner Time: 1909
January 22, 1909
“Dinner time. Family of Mrs. A.J. Young, Tifton, Georgia”
Last glimpsed here.
Joe Manning of the Lewis Hine Project, who has spent five years unraveling the Young family’s history, tells their story here in fascinating [and quite distressing] detail.
Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine
View original post

Edward Detmold 1883-1957
via AbeBooks’ Reading Copy by Beth Carswell
Recently I’ve come across several books with absolutely gorgeous art plates, and the name Edward Detmold kept coming up, so I decided to learn about him.
Born in London, England in 1883, Edward Julius Detmold knew early on that he wanted to be an artist. He and his twin brother Charles Maurice (who went by Maurice) had already their first showings, of watercolours and etchings, by the time they reached 15 years of age.
Continue reading and discover interesting facts and superb illustrations. For example:

and if you put Edward Detmold’s name in Google images you will find more!

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
History flows from geography. Place is everything. So says Robert Kaplan. What about the impact of ideas? They’re no match for mountains and monsoons... more

Ow! My Balls!: The scientific survey
via Boing Boing by Maggie Koerth-Baker
Between 2002 and 2010, 142,144 adults [in the USA] went to the emergency room with "genitourinary" injuries (The Journal of Urology).
Sporting equipment (bikes, bats, various balls) were the products most likely to be involved in such an injury, appearing in 30% of all cases. This is probably not a surprise to anyone who has watched America’s Funniest Home Videos.
What is a little surprising: Men only accounted for 69% of the injuries.
My ovaries.
(Via Ivan Oransky)

Fairly Simple Math Could Bridge Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity
via 3quarksdaily by Azra Raza
From Scientific American:
Could an analysis based on relatively simple calculations point the way to reconciling the two most successful – and stubbornly distinct – branches of modern theoretical physics?
Frank Wilczek and his collaborators hope so. The task of aligning quantum mechanics, which deals with the behaviour of fundamental particles, with Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which describes gravity in terms of curved space-time, has proved an enormous challenge.
Continue reading here and even if you can’t understand the maths or the physics you can enjoy the image.
quantum mechanics, general relativity

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