Monday, 1 December 2008

The Search for Lena.

' "Over the years I would go into these engineering and research labs and see these images of this woman all over the place," Seideman recalls. "I would ask who she was and they would say, 'She's Lena.' And I would say, 'Who's Lena?' And they'd say, 'I don't know. Just Lena.'" '

' "Just Lena," Seideman soon found out, was Lena Sjööblom, Playboy's Miss November 1972. In the early Seventies, an unknown researcher at the University of Southern California working on compression technologies scanned in the image of Lena's centerfold. Since that time, images of the Playmate have been used as the industry standard for testing ways in which pictures can be manipulated and transmitted electronically. Over the past 25 years, no image has been more important in the history of imaging and electronic communications, and today the mysterious Lena is considered the First Lady of the Internet.'

Greenwood's Map of London 1827.

'If you need to know London better,
you may well find this fascinating.'

Macy's NYC Thanksgiving Parade Historical Photos.

Abandoned Mining Town in Japan.

'Situated a good 3 hour drive from western Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture’s Nitchitsu mining town housed around 3,000 people at its peak in 1965, but now, any life is long gone, and the mountain’s iron and zinc remains unmoved.'

Abandoned Church in South Carolina.

'Organized in 1868, two AME bishops have come from this congregation. Columbus White, an African-American contractor, built this Romanesque Revival church around 1910. The stain glass windows were imported.'

Abandoned Buildings in Toronto.

Abandoned Orphanage, Buffalo, NY.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Objects keep disappearing in my apartment. Please help me figure out why, and what to do. '

'How do you know if you're doing the right thing?'

'What is the physical resource inside your brain that gets used up when you focus and concentrate for long hours? How do you beef up the ability to sustain concentrated thought, aside from diet/exercise/sleep?'

Yukio Mishima 1925-1970.

' "There's something very shabby about a noble grave... Political power and the power of wealth result in splendid graves. Really impressive graves, you know. Such creatures never had any imagination while they lived, and quite naturally their graves don't leave any room for imagination either. But noble people live only on the imaginations of themselves and others, and so they leave graves like this one which inevitably stir one's imagination. And this I find even more wretched. Such people, you see, are obliged even after they are dead to continue begging people to use their power of imagination." - Yukio Mishima via Kashiwagi in The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.'

Old Sydney Town.

Idyllic images of early 19th century Sydney, just as European settlement was beginning.

Chaffinch Map of Scotland.

'Chaffinch Map of Scotland is a poem written in 1965 by Edwin Morgan (b. 1920), Poet Laureate of Glasgow (1999) and (since 2004) Scottish National Poet (1). The work looks deceptively simple, while in fact it is a cleverly multilayered combination of poetry, cartography, ornithology, linguistics, and maybe just a hint of Scottish nationalism (2).'

The Early Years of Dungeons and Dragons.

Dust Jackets from European and American Books 1926-47.

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