Saturday, January 7, 2012

What is the main reason dogs pant?

Here's a nice soundtrack for today: the Miles Davis Quintet Live in Europe 1967. Or you could make your own music on this Flash Guitar.

A frame from the innovative animated film Early Abstractions.
Just a couple days ago I was talking with a friend about how much we both liked the film Blade Runner. Now here's a online version of the rare Blade Runner Sketchbook featuring drawings and designs for many elements of the film, including some drawings by Ridley Scott himself.

Speaking of films, HuffPo gives us this list of the 20 most innovative animated films. It has what you'd expect (Fantasia, Gertie the Dinosaur), a good dose of anime, but other films that may surprise you. Of course, Disney and Chuck Jones get their due. Heavy Metal, which I recall seeing as a teenager for the titillation, also made the list which surprised me. Something new to me but also very good was Harry Smith's Early Abstractions (1946-1957). Works of that period that straddle the post WWII and early Cold War periods interest me. To me it transitioned from bits that were aboriginal to the atomic science and back again.

I have bandages that look like bacon (Thank you, Riane). So these Underpants Bandages would be a nice addition.

This one is for the wife. Someone had fun doing a CFD calculation around Mary Poppins and her umbrella.
With the end of the world coming up later in 2012 I'm not certain it's worth going out of your way to survive disasters, but this checklist from Popular Mechanics may come in handy. (Do you have enough bottled water at home? One gallon per person per day for three days.)

Back in 1923 when the "mechanical Demon" had practically abolished the horse and buggy, people were already trying to come to grips with Einstein's Theory of Relativity. This 20 minute video is one early attempt.

In 2009 author William Deresiewicz addressed the incoming class of students at West Point. His topic was Solitude and Leadership. It is reproduced in print form in The American Scholar and is one of the best essays I've ever read online.

2012 is a leap year meaning that we add February 29th to keep the calendar year and the astronomical year synchronized. What if we didn't have to do that? What if we had a calendar that not only eliminated leap years but also made every year identical in terms of dates and days of the week? Two academics from Johns Hopkins have done exactly that. Introducing the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar.

A German designer is publishing Geometry Daily on Tumblr. Every day he'll post a minimalist geometric composition.
Why do we compensate sales people with commissions? Good question. Here's one company's story about why they stopped.

This makes our idea for Breath of the Stars (clear pouches blown up by celebrities) seem almost viable: a restaurant saves and displays the crumbs left behind by public figures, Celebrity Leftovers.

Clyfford Still, 1956-J No. 1 Untitled, 1956 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
I have seen in person precisely one painting by Clyfford Still, 1956-J No. 1 Untitled at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. It's beautiful, arresting, angry, nuanced. More and more I've come to respect his work. (For background on Still, see this 3-part series on Modern Art Notes.) Denver's recently opened Clyfford Still Museum is on my short list of museums to visit (along with Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery and, of course, New York's Museum of Modern Art.) Still is quoted on his museum's website as saying "These are not paintings in the usual sense. They are life and death merging in a fearful union." So it was with particular interest that I read this week's news that an apparently intoxicated woman punched, scratched and (depending on which account you read) rubbed her bare buttocks on 1957-J No. 2 before falling to the floor and peeing herself. (Here's the museum's official statement.) Perhaps I can make a deal with the museum to take this damaged work off their hands for the cost of repairs (estimated to be $10,000). After all, the painting is valued in excess of $30 million (but that's pre-butt).

Know yer Lockheed Martin F-35B via this interactive rollover-animated schematic of its lift fan propulsion system.

What do you get when you mix pure mathematics and filmmaker David Lynch? You get the exhibit Mathematics: A Beautiful Elsewhere at the Foundation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris. "Mathematicians are bright and shiny" he says in the interview linked to above. (I just wish those damn Europeans would stop calling it "maths." It's just math - singular.)

Dan Flavin's Four Red Horizontals (to Sonja) recently sold at auction for $1.7 million.
I never really thought of Stan Winston as underappreciated. After all, he's the man behind the creatures in Alien, Terminator, Edward Scissorhands, The Thing, the T-Rex in Jurassic Park, and more.

Do you need an online alarm clock?

Science answers the most vexing question of our time: what good is nose hair? (People with less hairy nostrils were found to be three times more likely to develop asthma.)

This photograph, A Splash of Rose, definitely falls into the cool category. It's a composite of 17 shots of colored water poured over a glass rose. Fortunately, the photographer is better at photography than writing which you'll understand if you read the write-up, hahaha.
There are blogs and then there are blogs. Like this one: the same picture of Dave Coulier every day. (Debate amongst yourselves whether Mr. Coulier is the subject of Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know. While you're at it, discuss whether Carly Simon's You're So Vain is about Warren Beatty.)

They can't talk dirty. ~Paul Lynde


Francis Shivone said...

The great thing about the same picture blog is that it gets you to the blog. Great idea. Minimalist link to his other blog. Perfect. Loved it.

John said...

When I see those things I wonder why I didn't think of it first.