June 21, 2011
Future Shopping - 1966
The creators of this 1966 video predicted that we would (in the future) be using home computers to shop and bank from home. They were right! It's all surprisingly accurate... except for the weird chauvinism.
August 06, 2008
The Mysterious Silver Tinsel Weed
As Tinselman (and the founder of the Republic of Tinselman), I'm always on the lookout for all things tinsel (and wondrously tinselistic). Which is why I ran across flickr photographer Cobalt 123 and his mysterious silver tinsel weed. He noticed the tinsel while wandering through the Tonto National Forest, in Arizona. As he says...
This is the first photo of many I shot of this amazing "tinsel" plant I found hiking around in the near dark. It was so shiny and silver that it caught my eye. I really thought it was trash of some sort and was amazed to find it was part of the plant. Any ideas on what this could be?
Other than these few flickr photos, I've found no other references to tinsel weed.
click photos to enlarge (flickr link)
April 03, 2008
Without a doubt, one of my favorite museums in all of Paris is the Galeries de Paléontologie et Anatomie comparée. I've really never seen anything like it... though I know it can't be true, there's a sensation it hasn't changed for 100 years, since it's inauguration for the Worlds Expo, in 1898.
Click on any of the photos to see them enlarged (via flickr), or, for more photos of the museum, go to this Flickr set.
August 28, 2007
Russians Say Sky Dog Still Alive
Frank Sinatra sings of the stars (1943). Later, the Soviets show their stuff by sending a small, furry animal into space (1957)...
March 20, 2007
Dragons really do live! Of course, all you long horse disbelievers will probably deny the existence of this little beauty (without a second's thought), but I assure you, it is oh-so-very real. And strange. And blue.
It's real name? The pelagic sea slug. For more info, and to look at larger versions of the above great photo, visit the doubtful guest on flickr.
(via: spy's spice)
March 14, 2007
Defining Our Future, Yesterday
On the left is HDTV. On the right, is the much beloved, piece-o'-crap TV (standard 525 scan lines). What's surprising is that these comparison photos were made in 1981, only a few years after HDTV was developed.
This fascinating Popular Science article (Nov,1981), describes the "cinerama-type" style HDTV sets and the "extraordinary clarity—more than five times the detail of television pictures you see on conventional home receivers."
March 13, 2007
This is definitely one of the coolest visuals Nasa has yet put together from Mars rover data. Wow! Now... when do we get to explore the crater ourselves, Google Earth style?
By the way, look closely. You just may get a glimpse of Mars rover opportunity.
March 09, 2007
HANDLE WITH CARE!
I don't remember where I first ran across the glass creations of Leopold Blaschka (1822-1895) and his son, Rudolf (1857-1939). Their craftsmanship in glass was, and probably still remains, unparalleled.
(and yes, those plants are made out of glass).
Nancy Marie Brown explains a bit of their history in Flowers Out of Glass...
The flowers and plants they began making out of glass were not art, in intent, though breathtaking; they were a scientific undertaking: exquisitely accurate, exact in the replication of every last detail.
Prince Rohan displayed them in his castle. They were exhibited a year later at the Royal Botanical Garden in Dresden. Soon word of the Blaschkas' new work had crossed the Atlantic to George Lincoln Goodale at Harvard's Botanical Museum. Goodale had seen the squids and octopi. He decided to commission a set of glass flowers to be used as classroom aids, for teaching botany through a New England winter was the height of frustration. Specimens weren't readily to hand, except those pressed between herbarium sheets, the faded remains of glorious summer days spent botanizing. Flowers of glass would make an excellent alternative: "precise," "timeless," and "unparalleled..."
The Glass Flowers are now among the most popular exhibits at Harvard. TV and radio programs in four countries have featured them, as did a mystery novel in the Homer Kelly series by Jane Langton. Donna Tartt and other writers use the Glass Flowers as a Boston icon. Marianne Moore wrote a poem about them. And avant-garde photographer Christopher Williams turned them into symbols of human rights issues. Yet, "It took a long time for the faculty here to go from thinking about the Glass Flowers as a teaching collection to thinking about them as art objects," said Susan Rossi-Wilcox...
Or you can just blissfully gaze at these delightful glass jellyfish photos.
September 18, 2006
Staring at the Sun
So you say astronomy is no fun? Then take a look at this blow-your-mind shot of the space shuttle and space station, silhouetted by a gigantic yellow sphere (the sun).
August 31, 2006
My father in law was an inspiring guy to know. Most people are alive in the regular sense; he was alive in the sense that he squeezed every drop out of life. He was a professor and, though retired for a number of years, he felt an absolute bond with all students. Still at the age of 82, while hooked to portable oxygen, he continued to teach as a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Louisville. He continued teaching until just a couple of days before he died.
That was a little more than a year ago. Soon after that, my wife and I visited his small office at the school. His office expressed his varied eccentricities. No space was unfilled: piles of paper and stacks of books were shoved in every corner. There were strange silver bulbs, glass tubes, wires strewn across the room.
This DNA strand is one of the few things we took. I'd seen it once or twice before but my wife remembered it from time out of mind. As far as we know, her Dad threw it together from an odd assortment of junk – golf balls, garden hose, wire, brackets and whatever else he managed to scrounge up – and from all this he created his own DIY DNA: an inexpensive prop for his lectures.
It's strange (but not surprising) how this aged piece of what might be considered junk has taken on a sculptural quality here in our house. It seems to represent him so perfectly. We can't help but see this aged, colorful, quirky DNA strand and see him.
© Rbyn Miller, Some rights reserved.