Friday, 26 December 2014

Trivia (should have been 27 September)

Eight-Corner Store: 1904
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Eight-Corner Store: 1904
Circa 1904
“Street corner merchant in Havana, Cuba”
A sort of gazebodega
8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company
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Timelapse: Reviving Rose of Jericho plants
via Boing Boing by David Pescovitz

Beautiful video of Selaginella lepidophylla resurrected with water. (via Colossal)

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Revelations of Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson thinks humans are brilliant creatures. And generally incomprehensible to one another… more

Where Does the Smell of Rain Come From?
via How-To Geek

The smell that fills the air as a storm approaches is unique and serves as an indicator that inclement weather is approaching, but what causes this smell and where exactly does it come from?
Today’s video from YouTube channel “It’s Okay To Be Smart” has the answers!

DIY alchemy
via Boing Boing by David Pescovitz
Written by three science instructors, The Chemistry of Alchemy: From Dragon's Blood to Donkey Dung, How Chemistry Was Forged is a combination weird science history and DIY projects book.
Continue reading

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Crackpot science of generational analysis
Are generations real? Social scientists routinely make claims about millennials and boomers, but that may be little more than poll-sifted conjecture… more

Why writers have spent centuries attacking Shakespeare
Adam Kirsch in The New Republic via 3 Quarks Daily
Does Shakespeare suck?
Ira Glass, the host of the popular upper-middlebrow radio show “This American Life,” apparently thinks so; he tweeted as much after suffering through a performance of King Lear in Central Park. The backlash has been swift and severe, thus answering the question of whether there remain any literary taboos in the twenty-first century.
Apparently, calling the Bard “not relatable” is still enough to get someone branded as a philistine.
Continue reading

Don’t Fear the Internet: It’s Not Stealing Your Attention, Memory, or Life
via Big Think by Orion Jones
One doesn’t need to look for too long on, ahem, the Internet to learn that the Internet is stealing your attention, your memory, and your life. But this fear misunderstands how we have historically integrated technology into the fabric of society. Each wave of new technology has drawn criticism for changing cultural norms. The telephone was first considered a gossip machine used by housewives; the car, an absurd luxury that would only interest the super-wealthy. The rest, they say, is history.
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Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Automation and us
Picture a future of ever-smarter machines. Increased automation will make life easier. It will also erode skills, debase intelligence, and devalue work… more

Art history to go
via Prospero

Look at the two 15th-century versions of “The Agony in the Garden” that hang in the National Gallery in London, one by Giovanni Bellini [pictured], the other by Andrea Mantegna, and you get a sense of an adoring younger brother trying desperately to match his idol’s work.
This, as it turns out, is closer to the truth than many viewers might realise.
In seeking to improve his already successful Venetian painting workshop, Jacopo Bellini (Giovanni’s father) married his daughter Nicolosia to the renowned Mantegna.
Giovanni, a much younger and less experienced artist, was a huge admirer of his brother-in-law’s work.
Continue reading (the article is about a long-gone talk at the National Gallery)

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