Here is another fun spinning lady optical illusion. The pointillist figure seems to be spinning in both directions at once. However, if you concentrate on her missing arm you’ll find she is spinning in a counter-clockwise direction. It reminds me a lot of this other spinning lady optical illusion. Cool.
Jessica Harrison takes old ceramic statues of fancily-dressed women and disembowels them. These found porcelain figures, that are typically seen occupying a special place your grandmother’s credenza, are reimagined in the most gory of ways. The juxtaposition of the prim statuettes displaying their decapitated heads and freshly opened throats without changing their demure expressions is striking. Despite having appeared to have been subjected to an awful violence (perhaps their own), the Georgian and Victorian-era figures remain decorous figures. The results are gory and macabre while also being kitsch and playful.
This orange beauty, bathing in natural sunlight for the first time, is the first Zinnia flower to have ever grown entirely in space. It’s part of the VEG-01 experiment on the International Space Station.
The Veggie experiments will allow the crew members to begin the first steps of in-orbit food production as well as educational outreach and recreation for long-duration missions. The experiment allows scientists to gain a better understanding of plant cultivation and will help determine ways to carry out self-sustaining life support systems during long distance space travel, possibly to Mars.
The facility has previously grown lettuce which was consumed by the crew last year. The next set of crops, called VEG-03, has two types of Chinese cabbage and more romaine lettuce. It will arrive at ISS in March via SpaceX’s CRS-8 mission. In 2018, NASA will send a set of dwarf tomato plants to ISS and we could witness crew members eating the first space salads.
Surprising, the Zinnia flowers almost died from over watering, a mold outbreak, and too much bureaucracy from NASA:
In late December, Kelly found that the plants “weren’t looking too good,” and told the ground team, “You know, I think if we’re going to Mars, and we were growing stuff, we would be responsible for deciding when the stuff needed water. Kind of like in my backyard, I look at it and say ‘Oh, maybe I should water the grass today.’ I think this is how this should be handled.”
The Veggie team on Earth created what was dubbed “The Zinnia Care Guide for the On-Orbit Gardener,” and gave basic guidelines for care while putting judgment capabilities into the hands of the astronaut who had the plants right in front of him. Rather than pages and pages of detailed procedures that most science operations follow, the care guide was a one-page, streamlined resource to support Kelly as an autonomous gardener. Soon, the flowers were on the rebound, and on Jan. 12, pictures showed the first peeks of petals beginning to sprout on a few buds.
This weekend I visited the Marilyn Minter retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA). All the work was captivating in beautiful and disgusting way. Her juxtaposition of glamor and grit, of the revealing and the disturbing, and of the intimate and the amplified shown throughout the entire show. The title Pretty/Dirty couldn’t have been more apt. A great review of the exhibit can be found at Hyperallergic.
I was more impressed with her paintings than her photographs or videos. Above is a full-sized photo of Minter’s painting “Pop Rocks”. It’s a gigantic 9 feet by 15 feet. Outside of their sheer size and incredible detail, I’m fascinated by the process used to create them. The paintings start as heavily mixed and manipulated Photoshop negatives taken from earlier photo shoots. This new image is then turned into paintings created through multiple layers of translucent enamel paint on aluminum giving a rich hallucinatory look.
The final layer is applied with fingertips to create a softening of the paintbrush lines. And when you look closely you can see evidence of fingerprints and smudges all over her works. Below is a detail of the condensation from “Pop Rocks”
The Marilyn Minter retrospective will be showing at MCA through the month so hurry up and go see it while you can. You can find a few more of my photos from the exhibit below.
This is a video of a washing machine on top of a trampoline – with a brick in it.
Bootsowen’s Youtube channel has a bunch of other crazy washing machine videos on it as well. But something about this one in particular is just delightful.
The Denver Botanic Gardens Orchid Showcase is on view again this year from Jan. 8 – Feb. 22. It’s a great way to escape the wintery cold and still enjoy some nature. My family really enjoyed communing with the hundreds of exotic blossoms tucked in among the Garden’s citrus collection. A beautiful sight indeed.
Earlier this week the New York Public Library enhanced access to over 670,000 digitized files in its massive database of digital collections. This includes access to free books, paintings, newspaper clippings, digitized streaming video, prints, botanical illustrations, photographs, maps, manuscripts, sheet music, menus, hundreds of thousands of public domain images, and more. Some of the documents date back as far as the 11th century
Best of all, NYPL has created some really cool tools to search, access and utilize the collection.
- A Public Domain Visualization Browsing Tool – This allows users to explore the public domain collections at scale.
- The Green Book Trip Planner – Uses locations extracted from mid-20th century Green Book Motor Guides that listed hotels, restaurants, bars, and other destinations where Black travelers would be welcome.
- Mansion Builder – Is a game that allows players to explore floor plans of grand turn-of-the-century New York apartments.
- Then-And-Now Comparison of New York’s Fifth Avenue – Juxtaposes 1911 wide-angle photographs of Ney York City’s 5th Avenue with Google Street View
- Stereogranimator – Create and share 3D images from the Library’s stereograph collections.
All of the Public Domain items are “No permission required. No restrictions on use.” They digitized these items specifically so that people will reuse and remix for your personal projects. So much so that NYPL announced the NYPL Labs PAID Remix Residency for artists, information designers, and software developers that is designed to spur transformative and interesting new uses for their digital collections. If that isn’t enough NYPL is adding high-quality machine-readable metadata to the hundreds of thousands of assets and providing an API!
Well done, NYPL. Go forth and reuse!
Greg Rutter is at it again with his annual Definitive List Of Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet. The lists seem to get shorter and short as the years go by with this list clocking in at only 47 entries (I’ll try to add some deserving entries when I get the time). However, like earlier years, every link is a worthwhile link. A great way to waste away your winter break.
01) Dover Police Dash Cam Confessional
02) Ship Your Enemies Glitter
03) Selena Gomez Prom Invite
04) RC Millennium Falcon
05) Cat Jumps Through Snowbank
06) Dr. Phil With No Dialogue
07) Cantore Thundersnow
08) What Color Is The Dress
09) Llama Drama
10) Justin Bieber’s Carpool Karaoke
11) Himalayas From 20,000 Feet
12) Hype Man Duties
13) Zoolander at Valentino Show
14) Robert Downey Jr. Delivers A Bionic Arm
15) Earl Sinclair Performs “Hypnotize”
16) Left hanging when you need the answers on a test
17) Why the f*ck you lying
18) Drake’s Hotline Bling
20) Father Invites Stepfather Down The Aisle
21) Attention Kmart Shoppers
22) Rejected Pepto Bismol Superbowl Ad
23) Man In The Giant Waterballoon
24) Babboon With Computer
25) Duck Army
26) Father Daughter Beatbox Battle
27) Chuck Esterly’s Stand Up Debut
28) Peanut Butter Baby
29) Obama Reads Mean Tweets
30) Tee Ball Bat Flip
31) Later That Same Life
32) The Dancing Doge
33) An Irishman In Las Vegas
34) Pizza Rat
35) Company is coming
36) Holy Mother Nikki
37) Adele At Adele Impersonation Contest
39) The Last Message Received
40) Pelican Learns To Fish
41) U2 Busks On The Subway
42) Silento- Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)
43) Plastic Ball Prank
44) Guy Has Seisure While Skydiving
45) Merry Christmas Starbucks
46) This Damn Ass Rock
47) Cats Vs Cucumbers