A camera that can see into the future reveals the London of tomorrow. The Fugitive Futurist, a charming and funny short film from 1924.
In a circus show in 1985, Valentin Dikul, “legendary Russian weightlifter, director of medical and rehabilitation center diseases of the musculoskeletal system”, juggles 40kg steel balls, spins a staff with two of them attached, and supports 900kg of weights and a human pyramid on his body while on his back. Also, he has an epic beard. You don’t have to be a citizen of the Soviet Union to appreciate this feat of strength.
The Sanfilippo Foundation’s pipe organ is the world’s largest theater pipe organ, built originally in 1927 for the Riviera Theatre in Omaha. In this clip, Martin Ellis plays a medley of John Williams’ themes for Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. My eyes almost started watering when he got to the Cantina Band theme - the sound of this thing is absolutely outrageous. Not only does it have a built-in cymbal, but it also rotates and goes up and down!
"Wonderful London", a 1924 documentary, overlaid beautifully on the same locations in 2014. From the same person who produced the 1927/2013 side by side comparison.
It’s So Far Out It’s Straight Down. Excellent half-hour documentary made by Granada TV in March 1967 (just before the Summer of Love) about the underground scene in London. Features an interview with McCartney, footage of Ginsberg performing at the International Poetry Incarnation in the Albert Hall, interviews with the staff of the International Times, and some incredibly early footage of Pink Floyd performing Matilda Mother at the UFO Club.
I think that the erhu (二胡) has the most beautiful sound of any bowed string instrument.
Ballad of Lan Huahua (兰花花叙事曲), performed by Yu Hong Mei (于红梅).
Self-assembling spinning and jumping robotic cubes from MIT. Very exciting new technology.
Anno 1565, ye Lorde Ambros Dudley, Erle of Warwyke, ye 11 day of Novembar, maryed ye Earle of Bedfords dowghtar, named Lady Anne, at Westmynstar. For ye space of iij wekes before, a chalenge was set on ye cowrt gate at Westmyster, as folowyteh:
Yow that in warlikw ways and dedes of arms delight,
Yow that for cuntryes cawse or ells for ladyes love dare fyght,
Know yow foure knyghts ther be that come from foren land,
Whos hawtye herts and corage great hathe movd to take in hand,
With sword, with speare and shild, on fote, on horse backe, to,
To try what yow by force of fyght, or otharwyse, can do.
Prepare yowr selves ther fore this challenge to defend,
That trompe of fame yowr prowes great abrod may sownd and send.
And he that best can do, ye same shall have the price.
Ye day, ye place, and forme and fyght, loo here before yowr eyes.
The day was apoyntyd ye iiij of November, whiche was put of to ye xj day of November. At ye tylt with eache one vj courses, at ye torney xij strokes with ye swerd. Thre pusshes with the pounchen staffe and xij blows with ye swerd at barryars, or twenty yf any be so dysposed.
To some, God wrote the holy scripture describing the origins of life, for us to recite reverently. In this automatically-generated video of a software voice reading aloud a Wikipedia article about one of the progenitors of software, a future familiar to any reader of Philip K. Dick comes one step closer.
Has anything ever reached out and touched you across the span of ten thousand years?
These hands were painted at the Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands), Argentina. Looking at them, I find it hard not to feel affection for these long-gone people. When i think about people from so long ago being capable of creating and enjoying art, they don’t seem so different from us today at all. This mural probably made them very happy. It makes me happy too.
Silliest book in the world
Drumstick, ham, bowl of soup, egg, fried fish, beer and wine: they are all found on these most unusual 16th-century pages, the most bizarre I have seen. You are actually looking at a song: the four lines form a medieval staff, the words underneath it (Dutch) lyrics. Its most spectacular feature are the notes, which are made of food and drinks - forming actual music. This is a song for Shrove or Pancake Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, which marked the beginning of a period of fasting. The pages seem to encourage the reader to have one last evening of fun, one last copious meal, one last barrel of wine. And one last good laugh.
Pics: The Hague, Museum Meermanno, MS 10 C 26 (c. 1550). More information here (in Dutch). I wish to thank the museum for supplying the hi-res images used for this post. The book was brought to my attention through a tweet by @SjoerdLevelt.