A portrait of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, found in the series before/after on the blog If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There’d Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats.
Urenlang Dragon in de gaten houden tijdens de nadering is geen straf. Hier over Namibie.
Hours on end monitoring Dragon’s approach is no punishment. Here over Namibia.
The FlickR photostream of Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers is a unique and visually beautiful insight into life in space…
Bill Brandt, Coal Searcher Going Home to Jarrow, 1937.
Photo via the blog hazel & wren.
The Descriptive Camera works a lot like a regular camera—point it at subject and press the shutter button to capture the scene. However, instead of producing an image, this prototype outputs a text description of the scene.
See Mr. Richardson’s page to learn how he achieves this. Wish I had made this, not least because I want one.
Thanks to Aengus for the heads up.
Now that we have unlimited information at our disposal, or rather at our heels, it’s a wonder anyone ever actually does anything to make use of it. I feel unlucky in a sense not to exist in a world of slow streaming information, that I might be lost in one task, one interest, one pursuit, for hours. Like this man.
Image via shorpy.
Borneo is home to the bearded pig. Via Tetrapod Zoology blog
If you look to the top left of Saturn, seen here eclipsing our sun, you can see the planet Earth as a tiny white dot in the background. The perfect order of such a massive object and the debris bound by it’s pull, and the perfection in turn of its alignment in space, is glorious.
From Nasa’s image of the day September 04 2011.
The restaurant El Bulli is cataloguing its dishes online. I can’t stop looking and marvelling.
Above: ‘polystyrene foam macaroon of ginger with smoked coconut butter’.
By Andreas Dober (via designsquish).
The Tabacco Hornworm or Manduca Sexta. Photo: Daniel Schwen.
Some animal species exhibit bioaccumulation as a mode of defense; by consuming toxic plants or animal prey, a species may accumulate the toxin which then presents a deterrent to a potential predator. One example is the tobacco hornworm, which concentrates nicotine to a toxic level in its body as it consumes tobacco plants. Poisoning of small consumers can be passed along the food chain to affect the consumers later on.
Other compounds that are not normally considered toxic can be accumulated to toxic levels in organisms. The classic example is of Vitamin A, which becomes concentrated in carnivore livers of e.g. polar bears: as a pure carnivore that feeds on other carnivores (seals), they accumulate extremely large amounts of Vitamin A in their livers. It was known by the native peoples of the Arctic that the livers should not be eaten, but Arctic explorers have suffered Hypervitaminosis A from eating the bear livers (and there has been at least one example of similar poisoning of Antarctic explorers eating husky dog livers). One notable example of this is the expedition of Sir Douglas Mawson, where his exploration companion died from eating the liver of one of their dogs.
Bioaccumulation @ wikipedia.
Proto magazine has some gorgeous images and representations of brain structures. Above is “Broad Overview [of a Human Hippocampus],” Tamily Weissman, Jeff Lichtman and Joshua Sanes, 2005.
It was the hippocampus as no one had ever seen it, illuminated in radiant hues. The image is called, aptly, a Brainbow, the colors serving a scientific purpose by highlighting specific neural structures. Yet their choice also reflects an artistic bent; scientists display the brain not the way it is (an undifferentiated gray) but the way we want to see it, “painted” with bursts of fluorescent color.
Below is “Olfactory Bulb [of a Dog],” by Camillo Golgi, pen and ink on paper, 1875.
More at Proto magazine.
For much of his long and largely secret career, Colonel William F. Friedman kept a very special photograph under the glass plate that covered his desk. As desks go, this one saw some impressive action. By the time he retired from the National Security Agency in 1955, Friedman had served for more than thirty years as his government’s chief cryptographer, and—as leader of the team that broke the Japanese PURPLE code in World War II, co-inventor of the US Army’s best cipher machine, author of the papers that gave the field its mathematical foundations, and coiner of the very term cryptanalysis—he had arguably become the most important code-breaker in modern history.1
At first glance, the photo looks like a standard-issue keepsake of the kind owned by anyone who has served in the military. Yet Friedman found it so significant that he had a second, larger copy framed for the wall of his study. When he looked at the oblong image, taken in Aurora, Illinois, on a winter’s day in 1918, what did Friedman see? He saw seventy-one officers, soon to be sent to the war in France, for whom he had designed a crash course on the theory and practice of cryptology. He saw his younger self at one end of the mysterious group of black-clad civilians seated in the center; and at the other end he saw the formidable figure of George Fabyan, the director of Riverbank Laboratories in nearby Geneva, where Friedman found not just his cryptographic calling but also his wife Elizebeth (flanked here by two other instructors from Riverbank’s Department of Ciphers). And he saw a coded message, hiding in plain sight. As a note on the back of the larger print explains, the image is a cryptogram in which people stand in for letters; and thanks to Friedman’s careful positioning, they spell out the words “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.” (Or rather they almost do: for one thing, they were four people short of the number needed to complete the “R.”)
The photograph was an enduring reminder, then, of Friedman’s favorite axiom—and he was so fond of the phrase that some fifty years later he had it inscribed as the epitaph on his tomb in Arlington National Cemetery.2 It captures a formative moment in a life spent looking for more than meets the eye, and it remained Friedman’s most cherished example of how, using the art and science of codes, it was possible to make anything signify anything.
“A careful study of this internal structure not only reveals new and far greater elegance of form than the simple outlines exhibit, but by means of these wonderfully delicate and exquisite figures much may be learned of the history of each crystal, and the changes through which it has passed in its journey through cloudland. Was ever life history written in more dainty hieroglyphics!” (Duncan Blanchard, 1970)
There’s a whole database of meticulously catalogued snowflake forms at the Schwerdtfeger Library