8 for Kepler-90

For the first time, eight planets have been found orbiting a distant star, Kepler-90, 2,545 light-years from Earth in the Draco constellation, NASA announced Thursday. It is the first star known to support as many planets as are orbiting our own sun, and researchers believe that this is the first of many to come.

Researchers had known that seven planets were orbiting the star. But Google Artificial Intelligence — which enables computers to “learn” — looked at archival data obtained by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope and uncovered the eighth planet.

Jeanne Mammen & the Women of Berlin’s Cabaret

This is a great post on German painter Jeanne Mammen:

#womensart ♀

German painter Jeanne Mammen was born in Berlin in 1890, however she spent her early years living in Paris. Here Mammen’s formative years were immersed in a love of French literature and the arts of the age. The artist’s privileged upbringing enabled her to study painting and drawing at various top academies in Paris, Brussels and Rome. However, with the outbreak of World War I, Mammen’s family had their assets confiscated as they were categorised as a foreign enemy, leading to impoverished conditions for the artist. Mammen, however, also benefited from the experience, as she was able to associate with a variety of people from various backgrounds, an eclectic world once hidden from the limited niceties of her middle class social circle. This, in turn, would have a major influence on her later artwork.

jeanne-mammen5

After moving back to Berlin, in 1921 Mammen began a professional career in art, first as…

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Theorists of Colour (1665-1810)

Color is always representative. Newton’s original wheel included “musical notes correlated with color.” By the end of the 18th century, color theory had become increasingly tied to psychological theories and typologies, as in the wheel above, the “rose of temperaments,” made by Goethe and Friedrich Schiller in 1789 to illustrate “human occupations and character traits,” the Public Domain Review notes, including “tyrants, heroes, adventurers, hedonists, lovers, poets, public speakers, historians, teachers, philosophers, pedants, rulers,” grouped into the four temperaments of humoral theory.

via Open Culture

Coltrane’s Circle of Fifths

 

From Open Culture:

Physicist and saxophonist Stephon Alexander has argued in his many public lectures and his book The Jazz of Physics that Albert Einstein and John Coltrane had quite a lot in common. Alexander in particular draws our attention to the so-called “Coltrane circle,” which resembles what any musician will recognize as the “Circle of Fifths,” but incorporates Coltrane’s own innovations. Coltrane gave the drawing to saxophonist and professor Yusef Lateef in 1967, who included it in his seminal text, Repository of Scales and Melodic Patterns. Where Lateef, as he writes in his autobiography, sees Coltrane’s music as a “spiritual journey” that “embraced the concerns of a rich tradition of autophysiopsychic music,” Alexander sees “the same geometric principle that motivated Einstein’s” quantum theory.

Neither description seems out of place. Musician and blogger Roel Hollander notes, “Thelonious Monk once said ‘All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.’ Musicians like John Coltrane though have been very much aware of the mathematics of music and consciously applied it to his works.”

“I’ll be there” – The Final Speech of Tom Joad

“I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this.”

I just finished reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.  I have always known of this book but never read it or even knew very much about what is was about.

I really wasn’t prepared by how relevant it was to so many situations occurring globally at the moment. The mass migration of populations due to climate changes, infrastructure collapse and economics, the refusal of a system to help and indeed the full demonisation of those in transit.

The language is beautifully simple and yet says so much about strength, sadness, suffering, perseverance and dignity.

Continue reading

Far Flung Flora and Fauna

German biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel dedicated his life studying far flung flora and fauna, drawing each of their peculiar specificities with an immense scientific detail. Haeckel made hundreds of such renderings during his lifetime, works which were used to explain his biological discoveries to a wide audience. In addition to these visual masterpieces, Haeckel also discovered many microbes, and coined several scientific terms commonly known today, such as ecology, phylum, and stem cell.

 

 

A new book from Taschen titled The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel outlines the 19th-century artist-biologist’s most important visual works and publications across a hefty 704 pages. The compendium includes 450 drawings, watercolors, and sketches from his research, which was in large support of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Most notably the book contains the Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature), a collection of 100 prints of varying organisms originally published between 1899 and 1904.

You can learn more about the collection of illustrations and Haeckel’s discoveries on Taschen’s website. (via Fast Co. Design) (via Colossal)

Animation Axis: Persistence of Vision III

Love this.

An animated short film made with just one image exploring the dancing potential of the still sculptures at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway.

by Ismael Sanz-Pena

As you’d know if you followed my Instagram stories or Snapchat I am always looking for these kind of animatable repetitive elements in the world. Modern technology is a wonderful thing with regards to making that kind of capture possible and putting straight out into the world in a matter of moments.

This is a great example of applying animation to a great piece of architecture.

(via Stefan)

 

 

On The Phenakistoscope

I came across this tumblr post from stil a few days ago that sent me down a rabbit hole.

Invented in 1832 by Joseph Plateau, the phenakistoscope was an early animation device that used the persistence of vision principle to create an illusion of motion.

Here follows a few links and gifs collected from various posts around the net.

Stand up, ye spellers, now and spell;
spell phenakistoscope and knell:
Or take some simple word as chilly,
Or gauger Or the garden lily…

This from Stephen Herbert:

The phenakistiscope and ‘stroboscopic disc’ of the 1830s were the first instruments to create an illusion of movement based on rapidly changing sequence pictures; the basic technique used subsequently in one form or another by the zoetrope, the Zoopraxiscope, cinematography, television, video, and digital motion pictures. These intriguing spinning-disc toys and the sequence drawings produced for them have not been adequately investigated. 

A variant of it had two discs, one with slits and one with pictures; this was slightly more unwieldy but needed no mirror. Unlike the zoetrope and its successors, the phenakistoscope could only practically be used by one person at a time.  – (Juxtapoz)

Faulty animation from an 1833 McLean’s Optical Illusions, or, Magic Panorama disc (slits appear still when viewed through a phénakisticope) – wiki

On 10 December 1830 Michael Faraday presented a paper at the Royal Institution of Great Britain called On a Peculiar Class of Optical Deceptions about the optical illusions that could be found in rotating wheels. He referred to Roget’s paper and described his associated new findings. Much was similar to what Plateau had published and Faraday acknowledged this publicly but also wrote to Plateau personally and sent him his paper. Some of Faraday’s experiments were new to Plateau and especially the one with a fixed image produced by a turning wheel in front of the mirror inspired Plateau with the idea for new illusions. In July 1832 Plateau sent a letter to Faraday and added an experimental disc with some “anamorphoses” that produced a “completely immobile image of a little perfectly regular horse” when rotated in front of a mirror. After several attempts and many difficulties he constructed a working model of the phénakisticope in November or December 1832. Plateau published his invention in a 21 January 1833 letter to Correspondance Mathématique et PhysiqueHe believed that if the manner of producing the illusions could be somehow modified, they could be put to other uses, “for example, in phantasmagoria“. – wiki

Phenakistoscope, Great Britain, 1833 Courtesy of the Richard Balzer Collection

The fame of the phenakistoscope lasted only two years, due to the rapid progression of science in the era, but fortunately certain historicists have devoted their careers to sourcing and celebrating these forgotten objects. Collector Richard Balzer is one such person – an aficionado of zoetropes, dissolve slides, vue d’optiques and other such illusory devices – and since stumbling upon his first 40 years ago he has established an admirable and ever-growing collection. Here, AnOther selects a tiny fraction of his archive, from softly rippling foliage to pirouetting ballerinas and galloping horses, for your delight. – (anothermag)

Phenakistoscope, circa 1860 Courtesy of the Richard Balzer Collection
Phenakistoscope, England, 1833 Published by Thomas McLain, London, courtesy of the Richard Balzer Collection

There is some cool posts here and there on how to make your own. Like this from MakeZine, another from Instructables, and for good measure here is a video on it’s construction.

Re-animation from a paper disc by Eadweard Muybridge and his own version, the zoopraxiscope. (1893)

The future, in fiction, is a metaphor.

“All fiction is metaphor. Science fiction is metaphor. What sets it apart from older forms of fiction seems to be its use of new metaphors, drawn from certain great dominants of our contemporary life—science, all the sciences, and technology, and the relativistic and the historical outlook, among them. Space travel is one of these metaphors; so is an alternative society, an alternative biology; the future is another. The future, in fiction, is a metaphor.

A metaphor for what?

If I could have said it non-metaphorically, I would not have written all these words, this novel…”

 –  Ursula K. Le Guin, 1976 Foreword to The Left Hand of Darkness (via Nearlya)