Olympic-sized hoax? ‘Lost’ Krautrock warm-up tapes mysteriously surface – SPIN
Neither interview includes photographs of Zeichnete, and he doesn’t appear in a series of promotional videos for the release … And the more you listen to the music, the more it begins to sound both too pristine, given the tapes’ alleged age, and too stylistically perfect in its aping of Neu! and Kraftwerk. The resemblance is almost uncanny.
Abbeys, acetylene torches, acid blobs, Africa, air conditioning, air raids, aircraft, airports, alarms, America, amplifiers, angels, animals, anti aircraft batteries, applause, aquaria, army, articulated lorries …
BBC Sound Effects
These 16,000 BBC Sound Effects are made available by the BBC in WAV format to download for use under the terms of the RemArc Licence. The Sound Effects are BBC copyright, but they may be used for personal, educational or research purposes, as detailed in the license.
… revolvers, rickshaws, rivers, roadsides, roadworks, rocket ships, rockets, Romania, routers, rubbish tips, rumbles, sanding machines, saws, schools, scratches, screams, scuba diving, seawash, seventy-eight RPM records, sewing machines …
NASA’s ‘worm’ logo lay dormant for 28 years. So why are people so obsessed with it? – Fast Company
Danne says these simple, elegant, and versatile visual elements also underscore a deeper meaning. “NASA is very romantic and sexy,” he says. Especially when compared to other government agencies, like the Department of Transportation. “They both have motion built into their matrix, but NASA is the only one that has adventure and exploration.” It represents an entity that takes humans to the furthest possible realms; In just four letters, it “personifies innovation and moving ahead.”
These images from Cássio Vasconcellos remind me of Pelle Cass’s work, shared previously. I wonder if ‘painstaking photography’ is its own genre yet.
Amazing collective photography in solitary times – Print
“Vasconcellos’ compositions were painstakingly assembled through hundreds of aerial shots taken over the course of a decade,” the project details. “The outcome is a striking body of work, which was reinterpreted by the designer in the context of what ‘distancing’ means in pandemic times.” The images, fascinating in their own right, are even more fascinating with our newfound pandemic perspective.
Fantastical overclocked urban scenes by Cássio Vasconcellos – Kottke
These are great onscreen, but I’d love to see them in person someday. I could imagine looking at the highways one for hours, zooming in and out on all the details.
More info on his website.
Collectives – Cássio Vasconcellos
In this series, Vasconcellos instigates a visual debate on the urban chaos of modern civilization by exploring jam-packed situations typical of our society: crowded beaches; cluttered car parking lots; motorcycle gatherings; huge aircraft boneyards in the US; masses of people; and the truck pandemonium in São Paulo’s Ceasa, Latin America’s largest municipal fresh food wholesale market.
This sequence from the series, Noise, is terrifying, I think.
How about something less agoraphobic but still full of hidden detail.
Hundreds of symbols from prehistory to modern day comprise a gold ‘S’ screenprint by Seb Lester – Colossal
Centered on the letter “S,” an anachronistic print from Seb Lester (previously) blends hundreds of symbols into one embellished form. Rendered in metallic on black paper, the typographic piece captures an incredibly long timeline, from prehistory to the Dark Ages to the Renaissance to present day. Look closely and you’ll spot snippets of cave paintings, Egyptian hieroglyphics, emojis, and modern logos.
A new AI language model generates poetry and prose – The Economist
But the program is not perfect. Sometimes it seems to regurgitate snippets of memorised text rather than generating fresh text from scratch. More fundamentally, statistical word-matching is not a substitute for a coherent understanding of the world. GPT-3 often generates grammatically correct text that is nonetheless unmoored from reality, claiming, for instance, that “it takes two rainbows to jump from Hawaii to 17”.
It’s hard to understand the guy’s appeal.
British writer pens the best description of Trump I’ve read – London Daily
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem. For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed. So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever. I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman. But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
That’s not to say he’s not a rich source of humour. He is funny, in a if-you-don’t-laugh-you’ll-cry/I-can’t-believe-he-actually-said-that/thank-god-he’s-over-there-not-over-here kind of way.
Hilarious video edit poses Trump bickering with himself about the virus – Boing Boing
Justin T. Brown’s Donald Trump is the Dumbest Man in America² cleverly edits Trump’s catastrophic interview with Jonathan Swan so that Trump is arguing with himself.
He would do well to read this succinct summary.
Coronavirus epidemiology in a nutshell – TYWKIWDBI
The spread of Corona virus is based on two factors.
1. How dense the population is.
2. How dense the population is.
Featured image Reddit
Trailer Time Machine – Watch random film trailers from a year of your choice!
All the trailers are hosted by YouTube and may or may not turn out to be what they claim they are. Films are sorted into years by whatever they’re listed as on IMDB. No, I don’t know why the trailer for your favourite film isn’t on there. Yes, I expect some films with the similar names have got mixed up.
It’s a crazy world out there sometimes, for some of us.
Introverts are excluded unfairly in an extraverts’ world – Psyche Ideas
The main cultural problem is that introverts are widely seen as not adapted to the environment, instead of it being acknowledged that the environment is designed to profit extraverts. Society’s praise and acceptance of extraversion as the norm has led many introverts, along with many ambiverts, to suppress different aspects of their personality, or to see them as flaws. This state of affairs is bad not only for introverts, but for society as a whole.
By way of example:
The ritualised excess of life aboard a cruise ship is tragic and parodic by turns – Aeon Videos
The observational documentary All Inclusive drops viewers head-first into the strange rituals of tableside conga lines, captain meet-and-greets and pool cannonball contests that characterise the cruise experience. While the Swiss director Corina Schwingruber Ilić’s tongue-in-cheek tone permeates throughout, the film offers more than just an invitation to gawk, as ‘fun’ plays out in a series of over-the-top pastimes, hinting at the economic and social stratification between guests and workers.
I’d much rather watch this than be there. The film’s style reminds me of that short documentary about the drive-in church service, something else I’m happy I’ve seen—from a distance.
7 books about cyberspace by women writers – Electric Literature
Here are seven texts that capture the emotional charge and atmospheric qualities of the internet, especially in its early years. These authors express what it felt like to be present and part of the free-ranging internet populace that was cyberspace and is the internet now—sometimes—in its more secretive corners.
Some sad news via Bill Bailey.
Argos axes ‘book of dreams’ catalogue after 48 years – BBC News
“The laminated book of dreams,” was how comedian Bill Bailey jokingly described the plastic-coated Argos catalogue. But 48 years on from its launch, the catalogue is finally coming to an end. The encyclopedia-like catalogues, the basis of many a child’s Christmas wishlist, will no longer be regularly printed by the end of the January 2021.
And I see that the link to the catalogues from the 70s onwards that I shared last October has gone now, too. What a shame.
TheirTube – How do the recommended videos look on their Youtube home page?
This whole project started when I was in a heated discussion with a person who thought climate change was a hoax and 9/11 was a conspiracy. Through conversations with him, I was surprised to learn that he thought everyone’s YouTube feed had the same information as his own feed. When we showed each other our YouTube homepages, we were both shocked. They were radically different. And it got me thinking about the need for a tool to step outside of information bubbles.
Find yourself staring out of windows? Try some different ones.
WindowSwap lets you cycle through picturesque views from all over the world – The Verge
There’s something very positive about the experience. Strangers are taking their time to share their favorite watching spot to help those who might not have one (or are just tired of their own). It is a small gesture of kindness and reminder of the positive ways the internet can make the world feel smaller.
As I mentioned before, one of the benefits of working from home is I get to enjoy the view of our little bird feeder all day. I’ll be back in the office at some point, I’m sure, but I know which website to turn to when I get there.
Bird Library, where the need to feed meets the need to read
Welcome to the Bird Library, feeding the birdbrains of Virginia. Concerned about bird literacy? So are we. We believe in biodiversity and welcome birds of all colors, shapes, and species … even squirrels.
Its live video feed is the only way I’ll get to see cardinals, I think, and all the library’s other exotic (to us in the UK, at least) patrons.
But if you’re wanting to see some truly beautiful birds:
Fantastical images of birds from the 2020 Audubon Photography Award – Hyperallergic
The National Audubon Society annually rewards excellence in nature photography; the 2020 winners offer a stunning array of aviary photographs that continue to amaze with their vivid colors and curious behaviors.
This hypnotic artwork from Andy Thomas is my favourite, I think. I’ve seen visualisations of bird flight before, but not their song. These reinterpretations of bird song take very strange and dramatic forms reminiscent of flowers, insects and the birds themselves.
Digital sculptures visualize chirps of Amazonian birds in a responsive artwork by Andy Thomas – Colossal
Based on an audio recording from a 2016 trip to the Amazon, Australian artist Andy Thomas interprets birds’ trills, squawks, and coos through an animated series of digital sculptures. … With each chirp, the fleeting masses contort, grow, and disassemble into a new, vibrant form.
Instead of a window I could happily have this playing on a loop all day on a monitor on a wall or something. I wonder what the sparrows and goldfinches on my bird feeder would make of that.
Featured image Bibek Ghosh
Truthmark is a photography database aiming to stop misuse in fake news – It’s Nice That
The aim, as the companies explain in a statement, is to “protect democracy by reducing the misuse of photos worldwide and ensuring that the truth is protected”.
More red phone boxes adopted in Yorkshire than are left in traditional use – Yorkshire Post
In Stutton near Tadcaster, the decommissioned box was converted into a Christmas card last year, passing on festive messages to neighbours and friends. There is an art gallery in Settle, while York’s oldest phone box on Duncombe Place now houses a defibrillator.
I’ve a number of posts here about libraries, but I’ve never seen one with such substantial shelving.
The Old Cincinnati Library before being demolished, 1874-1955 – Rare Historical Photos
Built in 1874 on the site reserved for an opera house, the Old Cincinnati Library was a thing of wonder. With five levels of cast iron shelving, a fabulous foyer, checker board marble floors and an atrium lit by a skylight ceiling, the place was breathtaking. Unfortunately that magnificent maze of books is now lost forever.
Some rather more genteel shelving on display here.
One of the world’s oldest reading rooms at the University of Oxford – The Mind Circle
This collection of images of the Bodleian Library in Oxford, while not of the most impressive library interior, are actually extremely rare, and most likely the best images of the interior available anywhere online. Photography of this library, which dates as far back as 1487 during the Medieval period, is usually completely prohibited as it contains many priceless original books, including manuscripts of the gospels of the Bible from the 3rd century, a Shakespeare First Folio and a copy of the Gutenberg Bible (one of 42 left in the world).
How a Chinese agent used LinkedIn to hunt for targets – BBC News
Former government and military employees and contractors are not shy about publicly posting details of their work histories on the website in order to obtain lucrative jobs in the private sector. This presents a potential goldmine to foreign intelligence agencies.
Banksy paintings worth an estimated £1.2m to be sold at charity auction – The Guardian
This triptych hangs in Sotheby’s galleries alongside works by some of history’s greatest landscape painters, including Bellotto, Van Goyen and Turner. Banksy’s work, however, stands alone for its potent political message.
You can now boot a Windows 95 PC inside Minecraft and play Doom on it – The Verge
If you’ve ever wanted to build a real and working Windows 95 PC inside Minecraft, now is the time. A new VM Computers mod has been created for Minecraft that allows players to order computer parts from a satellite orbiting around a Minecraft world and build a computer that actually boots Windows 95 and a variety of other operating systems.
Here’s another one, though all might not be as it seems.
Doom running in task manager with each CPU core as a pixel, supposedly – Boing Boing
In this footage, a supercomputer’s CPU cores — nearly 900 of them — are neatly lined up in the Task Manager. The Doom logo appears, generated by code that targets each core. Then Doom itself plays, each “pixel” generated by thrashing a core with just the right amount of busy work.
You’re right to be incredulous — the article goes on to explain how that video might be fake.
A new Will Self short story – Will Self
It’s usually a mistake for a fiction writer to rush into print with a story that takes flight, imaginatively, from events that are still underway, and which are affecting large numbers of people. In the case of the Covid-19 pandemic, this injunction to keep out would seem to be as strident as the black-and-yellow striped tape swagged about a crime scene.
Our concert halls might be re-opening in the summer, but in the meantime:
A cello concert in a swimming pool – this is classical music during COVID-19 distancing – Classic FM
The concert took place south of Stuttgart, in the empty swimming lanes of the Entringen outdoor pool. We fancy the shape of the pool, with its steady slope and cellist against a wall, would have provided quite a fantastic acoustic.
Some people are staying indoors, though.
Indoors – Scottish Ballet
With 28 doors and 36 dancers, Indoors is a playful new work by Sophie Laplane, set to Mozart’s ‘Papageno, Papagena’. Rehearsed via Zoom and recorded in lockdown, the short film explores ways we can open our doors to new possibilities, all in Laplane’s distinctly unique style.
A taste of things to come?
Around the world, we’re getting a glimpse of what live music looks like post-lockdown – Classic FM
Theatres reopen in Europe and concert halls around the world have started to implement social distancing policies to stem the spread of coronavirus – here’s how music, of all genres, looks in a new era.