April 28th, 2013

there’s too much directing around here

An amusing and insightful recording of an attempt to direct Orson Welles on a voice over for a Findus frozen foods commercial. Welles gets more obnoxious the more frustrated he gets.

April 28th, 2013

war of the radiowaves

From radio fax in 1938 to Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast, also in 1938. Here’s some excellent footage of Welles responding to the press after the broadcast.

April 27th, 2013

radio facsimile

1938-finch-machine-sm

I’m in love with this invention and the appearance of this prototype… It’s an elegant idea, probably too much before its time to really catch on. And now it’s pretty much obsolete as a concept. A newspaper delivered by radio as you sleep, printed in your home. And in 1938!

This invention of a wireless fax, as it were, was credited to W.G. H. Finch and used radio spectrum that was otherwise unused during the late-night hours when most Americans were sleeping. The FCC granted a special license for these transmissions to occur between midnight and 6am, though it would seem that a noisy printing device in your house cranking away in the middle of the night might have been the fatal flaw in their system. It wasn’t exactly a fast delivery either, as the article notes that it takes “a few hours” for the machine to produce your wireless fax newspaper.

The Smithsonian’s online magazine has a nice write-up on the invention here. And here’s a video of it in action (you need Quicktime to view it).

April 18th, 2013

the uniting power of wonder

I was just reading the introduction to this book online, The Age of Wonder, because it sounded like an especially rewarding read. A nice quote I can take away from it already:

Romanticism as a cultural force is generally regarded as intensely hostile to science, its ideal of subjectivity eternally opposed to that of scientific objectivity. But I do not believe this was always the case, or that the terms are so mutually exclusive. The notion of wonder seems to be something that once united them, and can still do so.

That is the relationship of wonder to subjectivity and objectivity. It is the element that makes the two extremes compatible.






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