Filed under: Art, Environment, Freedom | Tags: Busy Bees, Spring Will Be Coming, The Beauty of Pollination
What could be sexier than pollination? With the weather freezing in much of the country, our weather here in the Puget Sound area is mild, but nippy (in the high 40°s) and it’s been foggy for days. Still, a nice pollination video is just what the doctor ordered. Reposted from last year.
Filed under: Art, Cool Site of the Day, Freedom, Fun n Games, Heartwarming | Tags: Blowing Bubbles, Freezing Temperatures, Making Magic
When the temperature dropped to 16 degrees in Washington, and everyone hid indoors around the fireplace, the stove, or just wrapped up in blankets, Angela Kelly and her 7 year-old son mixed up some homemade soap and blew bubbles to see what would happen:
Angela took photos as the frost created intricate designs in the larger bubbles, while the smaller ones froze and shattered as they it the ground. Before the sun came up the bubbles behaved as if they were made of glass. After the sun came up, the tops of the bubbles would defrost. Here is the rest of the story:
What a great idea. Perhaps people all over America will be blowing bubbles in the cold.
Filed under: Art, Freedom, Fun n Games, History, Humor, The United States | Tags: Size and Perspective, The Photographer's Art, The World of Elgin Park
The Elephant sent me a link to this story, which is definitely a guy thing, but completely charming just the same. It reminded me that a while back, I had posted something by the same photographer, actually three years ago, about small-town America, in a town called Elgin Park. Quite worth digging out of the archives. Enjoy!
Filed under: Art, Entertainment, Heartwarming, Music | Tags: Current Climate, Ella Fitzgerald, Stormy Weather
Filed under: Architecture, Art, Entertainment, Pop Culture | Tags: Illusions in Chalk, Street Artists, Temporary Masterpieces
(h/t: Maggie’s Farm)
Filed under: Art, Cool Site of the Day, Science/Technology | Tags: 3-D Printed Figures, Hamburg's Twinkind, Strikingly Realistic
If you happen to be in Germany this summer, in Hamburg, you can stop by a new company called Twinkind, and for just $300 get a stunning 6″ high 3-D printed version of yourself. The final figurines range in size from roughly 6″ to 13″, around $1,700. The final figurines are strikingly realistic, capturing everything from poses and facial expressions down to hair styles and the folds in clothes— all in full, faithful color. Pretty cool!
The picture comes from an article in Wired which has a slide show to show some of the figures they have done. They have perfected a system that could photograph subjects in the round in a split second. The products are small but the technologies and workflows are pretty complex.
I don’t understand 3-D printing at all, but these results are truly spectacular.
Filed under: Art, Entertainment, Music, Politics | Tags: An Old Technique, Lovely and Different, Surprisingly New
Filed under: Architecture, Art, Entertainment, Fun n Games | Tags: Maciek Janicki, Pop-Up Paper Designs, The Art of Paper Folding
Here is paper folding and pop-up paper gone wild. Beautiful and magical.
Filed under: Africa, Art, Energy, Freedom | Tags: Built to Run, Seventy-Five MPH!, The Fastest Creature
Filed under: Art, Education, History | Tags: Edward Tufte, Envisioning Information
“Making a presentation is a moral act as well as an intellectual activity.
The use of corrupt manipulations and blatant rhetorical ploys in a report
or presentation — outright lying, flagwaving, personal attacks, setting up
phony alternatives, misdirection, jargon-mongering, evading key issues,
feigning disinterested objectivity, willful misunderstanding of other
points of view— suggests that the presenter lacks both credibility and
evidence. To maintain standards of quality, relevance, and integrity for
evidence, consumers of presentation should insist that presenters be held
intellectually and ethically responsible for what they show and tell. Thus
consuming a presentation is also an intellectual and a moral activity.”
Charles Joseph Minard’s data-map describes the successive losses in men of the French Army in the Russian campaign of 1812-1813. Drawn by M. Minard, Inspector General of Bridges and Roads in retirement, Paris, November 20, 1869.
The numbers of men present are represented by the widths of the colored zones at a rate of one millimeter for every ten thousand men. The tan represents the men who enter into Russia, the black those who leave it. The overall toll, French and Russian was approximately 700,000 to 1,000,000. Place names are shown, as are the rivers, and at the bottom a graphic table of the temperature in degrees of the Réaumur thermometer below zero. Moscow, October 18; October 24 –rain; November 9, –9°; November 14 –21° at Smolensk; December 1, –24 ° at Minsk; December 6, –30°. Only one soldier in 42 survived this brutal campaign — six months from start to finish.
At the war’s beginning , the army crossed the Nieman River with 422,000 soldiers. At the end, 10,000 soldiers returned across the Nieman River. The width of the lines accurately represents the numbers. So much information is conveyed by this one beautiful analytical graph, in a combination of beautiful design, true and accurate information, and a long dreadful story. Amazing.
Edward Tufte is a Professor Emeritus at Yale University, where he taught courses on statistical evidence, analytical design and political economy. He has written four books on visual displays: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations, Beautiful Evidence. They are incredibly beautiful, true, refined and luscious books, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Tufte is also a sculptor. His works are available through his website: www.tufte.com as is a poster of the above beautiful graphic in either French or English. He includes this analytical graph in each of his books, as probably the best graphic conveyance of information ever made.
Filed under: Architecture, Art, Freedom, Heartwarming, History, Humor, Science/Technology | Tags: Acrocanthosaurus, Don't Try This At Home, Twenty-Foot Dinosaur
Here’s a time-lapse video of how a 20-foot acrocanthosaurus is made. The Airigami team assembled the dinosaur and its ecosystem, including plants and some crawly insects at the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Ancient Life. It took them four days, but it looks like they didn’t have to blow up the balloons, at least not there.
That is without question the best balloon accomplishment I’ve ever seen.
Filed under: Art, Fun n Games, Global Warming, Middle East, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Terrorism
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have charged two men living in Canada with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA Rail passenger train inside Canada. The RCMP said the two men planned to carry out an “al Qaeda-supported” terror attack to derail a train, which was also aimed at harming the economy.
The Police said, at a news conference, that the two men were receiving guidance and direction from al Qaeda related elements in Iran. The men are not Canadian citizens. There was no imminent threat to the public, but had the terror project come to fruiting, innocent people would have been killed or injured.
The Obama administration has gone out of their way to make light of the threat from terrorism, but the evidence merely points out the presidents state of denial about the rising threat. CNN’s homeland security analyst, Juliette Kayyem asserted “We have not had (even) a small-scale terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.”
We have suffered a number of major attacks, and most of them have taken place on Obama’s watch. Since 2009, terrorists have attacked our military bases, assassinated our diplomats, burned our embassies and murdered innocent spectators at a sporting event and ambushed and shot police officers.
— June 1, 2009: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and killed a military recruiter and wounded another at a Little Rock Arkansas recruiting station. A convert to Islam, Muhammad identified with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
— September 2008: Afghan native Najibullah Zazi was arrested before he could blow up the New York City Subway.
— September 2009: Police nabbed Jordanian Hosam Maher Husein Smadi before he could plant a bomb in a Dallas skyscraper.
— November 5, 2009: Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major psychiatrist opened fire at Fort Hood Texas, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” as he killed 13 fellow soldiers and wounded 29. He was advised by al Qaeda operative Anwar Awlaki. Homeland Security has defined this as a workplace incident.
— December 2009: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was tackled by passengers before he could detonate explosives sewn into his underwear. He was trained in Yemen by al Qaeda.
— March 4, 2010: John Patrick Bedell, a Muslim convert, shot and wounded two Pentagon police officers at a checkpoint in the Pentagon station of Washington Metro in Arlington, VA.
— May 2010: A massive bomb was planted by Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan failed to explode in an SUV parked in Times Square. He was trained and funded by the Taliban.
— October 2010: Chicago synagogues discovered explosives packed inside two printer cartridges shipped by cargo planes from al Qaeda in Yemen. The attack failed.
— Sept. 11, 2012: On the anniversary of 9/11, al Qaeda operatives attacked the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The armed assault targeted the consulate compound, and a nearby CIA annex. The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens was killed along with three others and ten others were wounded in a 7 hour gunfight.
— April 15, 2013: Two Muslim jihadists set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 183. The terrorists shot two police officers, killed one, and injured several others. One of the brothers is dead, the other in custody.
The administration continues to downplay Islamist terrorism, and proposes talks with the Taliban and with Iran.
The “Arab Spring” was mistakenly assumed to be a movement for democracy in Arab North Africa. The movement was perhaps inspired by televised shots of Iraqis, male and female, proudly voting in free elections. That was considered the equivalent of an earthquake in the Arab Middle East, where oppressive dictatorship was the norm. But Arabs had no experience of Democracy, and the Muslim Brotherhood was ready to step in.
No terrorism here, nothing to see. Just move along.