Tuesday, 9 August 2016

A wide range of interesting (to me) items. Another ten for you to enjoy.

The climate of Middle Earth
via I do not know as I cannot remember
But this title in my “saved to use sometime
 folder intrigued me as well it might. So, I searched and found.
an article by Radagast the Brown (Rhosgobel, nr. Carrock, Mirkwood, Middle Earth and The Cabot Institute, University of Bristol, UK)
In this paper, I present and discuss results from a climate model simulation of the ‘Middle Earth’ of elves, dwarves, and hobbits (and not forgetting wizards such as myself). These are put into context by also presenting simulations of the climate of the ‘Modern Earth’ of humans, and of the ‘Dinosaur Earth’, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth 65 million years ago. Several aspects of the Middle Earth simulation are discussed, including the importance of prevailing wind direction for elvish sailing boats, the effect of heat and drought on the vegetation of Mordor, and the rain-shadow effects of the Misty Mountains. I also identify those places in the Modern Earth which have the most similar climate to the regions of The Shire and Mordor. The importance of assessing ‘climate sensitivity’ (the response of the Earth to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations) is discussed, including the utility of modelling and reconstructing past climate change over timescales of millions of years. I also discuss the role of the Intergovernmental / Interkingdom Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in assessing climate change, and the responsibilities placed on policymakers.
Full text (PDF 8pp)

Collectable Vintage Posters
via Abe Books by Julie Oreskovich
1946 poster promting the noir film Gilda starring Rita Hayworth
Since the mid 19th century, posters have been widely used to advertise products and events. Classified as ephemera, posters are printed sheets of paper designed to be thrown away after use. Many vintage posters are now considered highly collectable. During the First and Second World Wars, posters played an important part in propaganda and recruitment. Travel posters promoting destinations from around the world are also popular and often use the art deco theme to advertise must-go places. Both the music and film industries have widely used posters to promote upcoming music gigs, festivals, and movie releases. Film posters in particular can fetch record prices, especially for horror and science fiction films released before 1940. Railway posters, event posters, concert posters, pin-up posters are all considered collectable and are sought-after by collectors.
Continue reading

Tudor Plots on the Metropolitan Line
by Michael Rosen
One of the ways we live is by not knowing the peculiarities and ironies of the history that unfolded in the places we live, work and walk through. In one sense, this really doesn't matter very much. It's not going on anymore. So, to take one example, it's very easy to travel past places in London, which were the sites of public executions, displays of dead people's bodies, disembowellings, dismemberings and the like and not have an inkling of it. So easy that it doesn't matter.
Continue reading

Quran Fragments Perhaps as Old as Islam
via 3 Quarks Daily: Dan Bilefsky in The New York Times
The ancient manuscript, written on sheep or goat skin, sat for nearly a century at a university library, with scholars unaware of its significance. That is, until Alba Fedeli, a researcher at the University of Birmingham studying for her doctorate, became captivated by its calligraphy and noticed that two of its pages appeared misbound alongside pages of a similar Quranic manuscript from a later date. The scripts did not match. Prodded by her observations, the university sent the pages out for radiocarbon testing. On Wednesday, researchers at the University of Birmingham revealed the startling finding that the fragments appeared to be part of what could be the world’s oldest copy of the Quran, and researchers say it may have been transcribed by a contemporary of the Prophet Muhammad. “We were bowled over, startled indeed,” said David Thomas, a professor of Christianity and Islam at the University of Birmingham, after he and other researchers learned recently of the manuscript’s provenance.
Continue reading

Doing things with verve
via OUP Blog by Anatoly Liberman
It occurred to me to write a short essay about the word verve by chance. As a general rule, I try to stick to my last and stay away from Romance etymology, even though the logic of research occasionally makes me meddle with it. About two months ago near the street where I live (for a story to win confidence, it usually has to contain a few superfluous references to time, place, and exact numbers), I noticed an ad by a realty called “Verve” and decided that, if not only producers of energy drinks and admirers of female beauty but also real estate agents find it possible to adopt such a pompous name, there would be little harm in devoting a few lines to its use and history in this blog.
Continue reading

The 10 Greatest Documentaries of All Time According to 340 Filmmakers and Critics
via 3 Quarks Daily: at Open Culture
Earlier this year we featured the aesthetically radical 1929 documentary A Man with a Movie Camera. In it, director Dziga Vertov and his editor-wifeElizaveta Svilova, as Jonathan Crow put it, gleefully use “jump cuts, superimpositions, split screens and every other trick in a filmmaker’s arsenal” to craft a “dizzying, impressionistic, propulsive portrait of the newly industrializing Soviet Union.” He mentioned then that no less authoritative a cinephilic institution than Sight and Sound named A Man with a Movie Camera, in their 2012 poll, “the 8th best movie ever made,” But now, in their new poll in search of the greatest documentary of all time, they gave Vertov’s film an even higher honor, naming it, well, the greatest documentary of all time. A Man with a Movie Camera, writes Brian Winston, “signposts nothing less than how documentary can survive the digital destruction of photographic image integrity and yet still, as Vertov wanted, ‘show us life.’ Vertov is, in fact, the key to documentary’s future.”
Continue reading

Frank Sinatra's 1963 Playboy interview
via Boing Boing by Mark Frauenfelder

I like Frank Sinatra's music. I didn't know he was so articulate and well-read, though. Go get 'em, Blue Eyes!
Continue reading

The story of the bronze riders
via Prospero by F.N.

Michelangelo is arguably the world's best-known sculptor of marble. He also worked with bronze, yet none of his bronze sculptures are believed to have survived to the present day. Now, experts at the University of Cambridge and the Fitzwilliam Museum (also in Cambridge) are disputing that assumption. They have presented two sculptures of muscular male nudes as being the work of Michelangelo himself. The figures, one young and the other older, both ride on panthers and have raised arms.
Continue reading
Given that this is a fairly old story I tried to find anything to update it with. I failed.

Farzana: The Woman who Saved an Empire
via 3 Quarks Daily: Arif Akbar in The Independent
Farzana began life as an impoverished, powerless girl in Mughal-era India, where social hierarchies were prescribed and inescapable. Penniless and orphaned by teen age, she earned her keep by servicing the priapic needs of the East India Company in the dance halls of Delhi. So how, by the end of her life, had she become not only the leader of a formidable army but a revered adventurer who sat on an immense personal fortune in one the most illustrious estates of 18th-century India?
Continue reading

10 things you may not know about Samuel Pepys
via OUP Blog by Kate Loveman
Samuel Pepys’s diary of the 1660s provides ample evidence that he enjoyed writing about himself. As a powerful naval administrator, he was also a great believer in the merits of official paperwork. The upshot is that he left behind many documents detailing the dangers and the pleasures of his life in London. Here are some facts about him that you may not know…
Continue reading and discover some odd things about this famous man

No comments: