Monday, July 16, 2007

Image of the Day: "Black Eagle -- Assiniboin"

The photo is by Edward S. Curtis, famous (and controversial) turn of the century photographer of Native Americans and the American West. His collection is housed at the Library of Congress and is searchable online. Click to enlarge it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Images of the Day: Nukes in Space

These are images of "Hardtack Orange" (top) and "Bluegill Triple Prime" (bottom) , nuclear bombs detonated in space by the U.S. government, a form of testing later proscribed by the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963.

Also, see world's largest nuclear bomb test, and nuclear test compilation video (turn sound off). The latter includes rapatronic film footage of the explosion shown in a previous post.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Quote of the Day

"There was a bright new moon, and as usual in that phase its horns were tilted toward the east; and suddenly the upper horn split in two. From the midpoint of this division a flaming torch sprang up, spewing out, over a considerable distance, fire, hot coals, and sparks. Meanwhile the body of the moon which was below writhed, as it were, in anxiety, and, to put it in the words of those who reported it to me and saw it with their own eyes, the moon throbbed like a wounded snake. Afterwards it resumed its proper state. This phenomenon was repeated a dozen times or more, the flame assuming various twisting shapes at random and then returning to normal. Then after these transformations the moon from horn to horn, that is along its whole length, took on a blackish appearance."

A June 18, 1178 report by five monks of Canterbury, England of what some believe to be an eyewitness account of the asteroid impact that created the 20-km Giordano Bruno crater. Found at Futility Closet

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Image(s) of the Day: Death Masks

Blaise Pascal

Dante Aligheri

Elizabeth I

Ben Franklin

More death masks may be found here

Sunday, July 1, 2007

If you have about an hour...

...and are in the mood for a tale, I recommend The Super, episode 323 of the NPR program "This American Life" (streaming audio). If you can tolerate the nasal voice of host Ira Glass, and can listen all the way through, it's quite a (true) yarn.

Image of the Day

Presenting Lurch, a Watusi steer, holding the world record for largest horn circumference of any living animal.

No Comment.

Want more crazy? I can do more crazy: kung fu vs. yoga

Care to take a leap off the deep end? Let's go Bollywood! : here, here, here , here

Japanese Karakuri

Karakuri are Japanese automata, which first appeared in 18th century Japan. The devices are known for exquisite craftsmanship, and modern Japan's fascination with lifelike robots has its roots in the Karakuri phenomenon:

"The Karakuri tradition continues to influence the Japanese view of robots. The history of the Karakuri Ningyo highlights how anthropomorphic views of robots differ between the East and West. Central to the Karakuri philosophy is concealment of technology, to evoke feelings and emotions, and a sense of hidden inner magic." Source

This video (courtesy Athanasius Kircher Society / Dug North) shows a very graceful bow-shooting Karakuri from the 19th Century:

See Pink Tentacle for a tour of modern Japan's robotomania.

Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw

First, a battle royale at Kruger National Park in South Africa. Watch all the way through, lots of amazing twists here:

Also see idiot approaches lions, pet hippo, panda breakout, Birds of Paradise, Heikegani Crab (the explanation he gives is doubted by some), ridiculously cute baby sloth , the song of the Lyrebird

..I may expand this list later...