Sunday, 17 February 2013

10 more items of miscellaneous interest.

Vendue Range: 1865
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Vendue Range: 1865
“1865. Charleston, South Carolina. Vendue Range looking east from near the corner of East Bay Street.”
Aftermath of the Great Fire of 1861 and bombardment by the Federal Navy
Wet plate glass negative.
View original post

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Stanley Cavell dropped out of Juilliard and joined a philosophy department, but its language was too abstract. He was determined to reclaim fleshy, everyday words... more

Cat with bomb strapped to it, 16th C
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

A page from 16th C German manuscript (“Das Feuer Buch”) from the University of Pennsylvania’s collection, depicts a cat and a bird attacking a castle with bombs strapped to them. As if that wasn’t enough, the illustrator chose to depict these bombs in a way that made the poor critters look jet-propelled. The caption is “To ignite a castle with a cat”.
Beyond the novel inclusion of our rocket bird and turbo cat – up top – this 1584 treatise on explosive devices appears to illustrate weaponry seen in earlier manuscripts and offers no new technologies for the Renaissance commando types. The sketches show various types of barrel bombs, hand grenades, nasty fragmentation/shrapnel explosives, cannons, caltrops (anti-personnel ground spikes), unsophisticated spear and staff-mounted ‘rockets’ or bombs, catherine or pin wheel fireworks and your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine fire vessels and defensive emplacement stakes. Good to know that our modern evil ways build on the twisted imaginations of artistic forebears.
Early Explosives (Thanks, Nicholas!)

Solar Collage Shows Sun’s Different Wavelengths
via How-To Geek by Jason Fitzpatrick
This collage of solar images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows how observations of the sun in different wavelengths helps highlight different aspects of the sun's surface and atmosphere.
When it comes to the Sun, we’re most familiar with the wavelengths in the visible spectrum it beams down to Earth, but when viewed with the right equipment a rainbow of diverse wavelengths emerge. Courtesy of NASA and their Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), we’re treated to a rather novel look at the surface of the sun.
They write:
Taking a photo of the sun with a standard camera will provide a familiar image: a yellowish, featureless disk, perhaps coloured a bit more red when near the horizon since the light must travel through more of Earth’s atmosphere and consequently loses blue wavelengths before getting to the camera’s lens. The sun, in fact, emits light in all colours, but since yellow is the brightest wavelength from the sun, that is the colour we see with our naked eye – which the camera represents, since one should never look directly at the sun. When all the visible colo’rs are summed together, scientists call this “white light”. Specialised instruments, either in ground-based or space-based telescopes, however, can observe light far beyond the ranges visible to the naked eye. Different wavelengths convey information about different components of the sun’s surface and atmosphere, so scientists use them to paint a full picture of our constantly changing and varying star.
Hit up the link below for the full article and a more detailed look at how they capture the images and what observing the different wavelengths tells us.
Sun Primer: Why NASA Scientists Observe the Sun in Different Wavelengths [NASA]

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Truman Capote described In Cold Blood as “immaculately factual”, which was in fact not true. He never let reality interfere with a good story... more

How Alcohol Literally Steals Your Dreams
via Big Think by Orion Jones
Despite the apparent sophistication of having a nightcap – those in the know recommend only imbibing top-shelf brown liquids, never a clear eaux de vie – the effects of alcohol on sleep and restfulness make late-night drinks a losing proposition, says James Hamlin, MD.
Continue reading

This is the biggest mirror on Earth
via io9 by Esther Inglis-Arkell

This guy is standing on the flattest, shiniest place on Earth. It takes over a large section of Bolivia, and it’s so flat, dry, and reflective, that it’s used for satellite calibration.
If you ever travel to Bolivia, and want to take pictures that will freak out your friends, go to the Salar de Uyuni. Because of an interesting confluence of geography and physics, this place has formed the world’s largest mirror.
Continue reading

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Her dresses – strange colours, wondrous sleeves – were a sensation, but her husband, Oscar, wrested the limelight. The life of Constance Wilde... more

Gadget maker OXO turns cleverly-designed table on competitor’s copycat claim
via Boing Boing by Rob Beschizza

Quirky, a collective for inventors of clever household gadgets, recently accused OXO of ripping off one of its popular designs, the Broom Groomer, whose toothed dustbin may be used to strip the brush of debris. It turns out, however, that the design was patented almost a century ago. OXO’s detailed description of the designs history – which includes a winking comparison between longtime OXO products and some of Quirky’s own recent variations – turned the table with class and style.
[OXO and Quirky via Gizmodo]

1733 : William Cheselden’s Osteographica
via Retronaut by Amanda Uren
Great fun – if you’re interested in bones!

See the rest here

No comments: