Sunday, 31 August 2008

History of Robots in the Victorian Era.

'Read illustrated accounts of the world's first robot, the Steam Man, created in 1865! Subsequent automatons such as the Electric Man and the Automatic Man are also profiled. The most comprehensive section, with more than 20 pages, concerns the mechanical man known as Boilerplate--described as "deliciously detailed" by The New York Times, "charming" by U.S. News and World Report and declared "cool" by NASA!'

Photo Tampering through History.

'Photography lost its innocence many years ago. In as early as the 1860s, photographs were already being manipulated, only a few decades after Niepce created the first photograph in 1814. With the advent of high-resolution digital cameras, powerful personal computers and sophisticated photo-editing software, the manipulation of digital images is becoming more common. Here, I have collected some examples of tampering throughout history. '

Also - this doctored 'Evening Standard' photo - . 'On 9 April 2003, the front page of the London Evening Standard (circulation: 400,000) contained a blurry image supposedly showing a throng of Iraqis in Baghdad celebrating the toppling of Saddam Hussein. What we are really looking at is an incredibly ham-fisted attempt at photo manipulation. '

The Plastic Bottle Lamp.

'Plastic drink bottles are usually treated as waste. But designer can change them into good decorations. The central part of the lamp is a sphere whose surface is full of holes and you can screw plastic bottles into the center sphere threaded holes to make a gorgeous lamp. Turn on the light! It’s beautiful.'

The Last Nomads: Photographs from Inner Mongolia.

The Things We Forget to Remember: The Bengal Famine of 1943.

'The Partition of India was the last act of the British Raj. It led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands: but it was not the worst disaster to hit India in the 1940s. That was the Bengal Famine of 1942-4, which left around a million dead: it was a famine that happened on Britain’s watch, and gave the lie to the claim by the British that their rule had eliminated famine from India...'

(A few years before, several million people died in the Ukrainian famine - - of 1932-33. The Ukrainian famine is rightly held up as an example of the consequences of the evils of the Soviet system, but the Bengal famine is largely forgotten. To condemn but not the other seems to smack of a double standard.)

Medieval Manuscripts at the Syracuse University Library.

'The Special Collections Department of the Syracuse University Library is fortunate to hold a small but significant collection of Latin medieval manuscripts on parchment of Spanish, English, Italian, French, Flemish, and German/Austrian origin which range in date from the thirteenth through the sixteenth centuries. The collection includes an apocalyptic text by Telesphorus; glossed decretals of popes Innocent IV and Gregory IX; a Dominican gradual of saints; a part of the Old Testament which consists of a fragment of the Books of Tobit and Esther, and a complete Book of Judith; and six Books of Hours. '

Persons and Street Life.

'Various shots with people in them, mainly taken in Nepal and Ethiopia'.

Little Shiva's Queen Zine.

'The Queen Zine, or QZ for short, was founded as a creative nexus by publisher and editrix Little Shiva in the summer of 2000, and ended on June 2nd, 2006 with issue 122. From issues 1 through 100 it came out every first and third Friday on the streets of Charlotte, NC. Issues 101 through 122 came out on first Fridays. It was also mailed out internationally.'

Hedgehog in a Teacup.

Banksy in New Orleans.

Commemorates Hurricane Katrina.

Father Cats.

'Jacob Cats (1577-1660) was a Dutch jurist, diplomat and poet. He was a prolific versifier, whose didactic yet homely works won him much respect and popularity (he became known, among his countrymen, as ’Father Cats’), but whose stolid humourlessness meanwhile attracted some ridicule. Cats was inspired by the international popularity of Andrea Alciati’s Emblematum Liber to produce an emblem-book of his own, but one in the vernacular, such that his less well-educated countrymen could still profit from the moral insights that emblems could encapsulate...'

7 Reasons the 21st Century Is Making You Miserable.

'#1. We don't have enough annoying strangers in our lives. #2. We don't have enough annoying friends, either.'

Querying the Hive Mind.

Personal perspective on Bosnia and Karadzic.
'My family and I were starved and cut off from electricity, gas, water, phone service and even things like wood with which we could have kept somewhat warm...'

How contraceptive pills work.

Astro Pics.

Eclipse over the Great Wall.

The View from Everest.

Northern Cygnus.

Brooklyn Signs.

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