Posted 12 hours ago

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.

Posted 1 month ago

Twin Peaks posters by Koichiro Ozaki.

Posted 1 month ago

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).

Posted 2 months ago

Wunderkammer of Ferrante Imperato, Naples, 1599.

(Source: magictransistor)

Posted 2 months ago

Self-assembling spinning and jumping robotic cubes from MIT. Very exciting new technology.

Posted 2 months ago

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.

Posted 6 months ago

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.

Posted 6 months ago

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.

Photo by Marianocecowski at the Wikimedia Commons, licensed CC-BY-SA.

Posted 6 months ago


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.

Posted 6 months ago
Posted 6 months ago

Somebody on the internet made this 1980s-style anime version of Doctor Who, using audio clips from the actual show. In it, Jon Pertwee beats up some guys with crazy martial arts skills, U.N.I.T. defends Tokyo from a Cybermen attack ship, a sassy Japanese security agent lady fights a Dalek, two different incarnations of The Master turn up to cause havoc, and more besides. A very silly and lovingly-made mashup tribute to two cult genres.

Posted 7 months ago
The amplituhedron is not built out of space-time and probabilities; these properties merely arise as consequences of the jewel’s geometry.
Posted 7 months ago

Realigning My Thoughts On Jasper Johns, by JK Keller. An episode of The Simpsons torn apart, analyzed, processed, and reassembled into something like an animated Futurist painting narrated by ghosts on the radio. Mesmerizing.

Posted 7 months ago

Contextual collections as continua

Photographer Jim Golden produces beautiful images of carefully-distributed arrays of objects that share some nature, such as form or period of origin. This form of visual curation is always a joy when done right, and Golden excels. His arrangements are both a celebration of the objects they contain and a puzzle for the observer, who must determine for themselves the number and nature of invisible axes along which the objects are placed in each photograph.

This piece at Wired has a selection of fantastic shots to look at. Unfortunately it suffers from having been written by an idiot, starting with the title, so try to ignore that.

Posted 7 months ago

This fictionalized map of the Pangaea supercontinent circa 250 million years ago, reassembled from the modern map of Earth, just goes to show that London really is the centre of the world. (full size version)

By Massimo Pietrobon.