Jurgen (15)

jurgen thumbPreliminary Tactics of Duke Jurgen

blech: James Vincent: Facebook’s new photo app won’t launch in…


James Vincent: Facebook’s new photo app won’t launch in Europe because of facial recognition at The Verge (ht iamdanw):

Earlier this week, Facebook launched Moments, a new photo-sharing app that uses facial recognition technology to dig up forgotten snaps of friends from your camera roll. 

“Regulators have told us we have to offer an opt-in choice to people to do this,” Facebook’s head of policy in Europe, Richard Allan, told The Wall Street Journal. “We don’t have an opt-in mechanism so it is turned off until we develop one.” Allan adds that there’s currently no timeline for Facebook to develop such an option.

Google’s recently-launched Google Photos app — which uses facial recognition to sort snaps by who’s in them — also limits its use of the technology to the US.


polychroniadis: ‘Sleeping Towns’ by Lara Bacchiega, 2015.


‘Sleeping Towns’ by Lara Bacchiega, 2015.


vovat: eliseeatydendivu: The First “Charleston” In Fairyland…



The First “Charleston” In Fairyland by Dan Smith, 1926

Fairyland gave up when it came to the Mashed Potato, though.


Air Bridge (17)

innes air bridgeIf I had touched her I think she would have responded.

Radium Age 100 (12)


darksilenceinsuburbia: Lamia Maria Abillama: Clashing…


Lamia Maria Abillama: Clashing Realities

Lebanon has endured incessant conflicts since 1975, due to both civil wars and the unfortunate role that this small, complex, and religiously divided country keeps playing: that of a battleground for regional powers fighting their own conflicts. In addition to representing a threat to the country’s mere survival, this violence also contributes to the breakdown of the rule of law, and hinders basic democracy.

By asking women to wear the military uniform, I attempted to show the extent to which Lebanon’s civil society has been affected by decades of brutality. Traumatized victims of relentless hostilities, these women have had to contend with the realities of war for over three decades. Like gangrene, violence has invaded their most intimate spaces and haunted each and every aspect of their lives. Despite never having actively participated in armed conflicts, all of these women carry within them the relentless echoes of gunfire.

This series was my personal way of sending yet another pressing message to our politicians, so that entire generations are not scarred and burdened by the shadows of war. (artist statement)



No Man’s Land (3)

cavern thumb"There are devils at the back o' every stane!"

ageofdestruction: solar flare on the surface of the sun,…


solar flare on the surface of the sun, photographed by sdo, 5th & 6th of may, 2015.

24 frames over 12 hours; each frame shows the difference between images taken in 2 different wavelengths. another look at the same event.

image credit: nasa/sdo, aia/eve/hmi. animation: ageofdestruction.


Heinz forced to apologise after QR code on ketchup bottle linked…

Heinz forced to apologise after QR code on ketchup bottle linked to hardcore porn site - News - Food and Drink - The Independent

When a German man scanned the QR code on a bottle of ketchup, he expected to land on a page about designing his own label. Instead, he was taken to a hardcore porn website.

Daniel Korell scanned the checked label to read about the promotion, but was directed to German porn site Fundorado.

The mix-up was down to the fact that Heinz ran the contest between 2012 and 2014, and the link expired this year, TheLocal.De reported.

Fundorado then registered the web address for itself, and the site once owned by Heinz was replaced with porn.

(via @bookofsand)


This image, which has been doing the rounds for a few days, is…

This image, which has been doing the rounds for a few days, is clearly a product of the same reverse-neural-network process as Google’s, although the source is unknown (tips/suggestions welcome).


This image was generated by a computer on its own (from a friend working on AI) [Reddit]



unbored thumbNew! Activity kits from the UNBORED team.

More “highlights” from Google’s Neural Network research (full…

More “highlights” from Google’s Neural Network research (full album via jonty).


smithsonianlibraries: okkultmotionpictures: Motion Glitch…



Motion Glitch Portraits | 1

Camille Flammarion

Nicolas Camille Flammarion (26 February 1842 – 3 June 1925) was a French astronomer and author. He was a prolific author of more than fifty titles, including popular science works about astronomy, several notable early science fiction novels, and works on psychical research and related topics. He also published the magazine L'Astronomie, starting in 1882. He maintained a private observatory at Juvisy-sur-Orge, France. (Short bio from Wikipedia)

Source: Public domain portrait from smithsonian, Flickr.
Short bio: Wikipedia


Making cool stuff with our cool stuff!


60s70sand80s: The Fillmore, November 9-11, 1967


The Fillmore, November 9-11, 1967


Google Research Blog: Inceptionism: Going Deeper into Neural…

Google Research Blog: Inceptionism: Going Deeper into Neural Networks

One of the challenges of neural networks is understanding what exactly goes on at each layer. We know that after training, each layer progressively extracts higher and higher-level features of the image, until the final layer essentially makes a decision on what the image shows. For example, the first layer maybe looks for edges or corners. Intermediate layers interpret the basic features to look for overall shapes or components, like a door or a leaf. The final few layers assemble those into complete interpretations—these neurons activate in response to very complex things such as entire buildings or trees.

One way to visualize what goes on is to turn the network upside down and ask it to enhance an input image in such a way as to elicit a particular interpretation. Say you want to know what sort of image would result in “Banana.” Start with an image full of random noise, then gradually tweak the image towards what the neural net considers a banana (see related work in [1], [2], [3], [4]). By itself, that doesn’t work very well, but it does if we impose a prior constraint that the image should have similar statistics to natural images, such as neighboring pixels needing to be correlated.


Museum of Femoribilia (9)

visible thumbLynn Peril on THE VISIBLE WOMAN

beesandbombs: fundots —— bees & bombs also on twitter ·…


bees & bombs also on twitter · insta · gimme a follow lol


Code-X (69)

benettonVibrant Wellbeing

More Dazzle Car, via 10th Generation Honda Civic Spied Testing -…

More Dazzle Car, via 10th Generation Honda Civic Spied Testing - Autoguide


Ladytron 10″ Vinyl – Roxy Music – Steven Wilson Re-mix – Record Store Da…

A superb mix of Roxy Music's "Ladytron."  A 10"" vinyl release on Record Store Day 2015.

The Numberer – B Side – 10″ Vinyl – Roxy Music – Steven Wilson Re-mix – …

On Record Store Day 2015, this was released as a 10" vinyl. Re-mixed and superb.

Prototype Car Camouflage, via Gizmodo, Jalopnik,…

Prototype Car Camouflage, via Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Autoguide.

Dazzle-type camo used to disguise features on in-testing cars from photographers.

If you’ve spent even a smidgen of time on our Auto News page then you’ve probably seen one of our spy photo stories. A recurring trend in these stories is the bizarre magic-eye look on the prototype vehicles that our spies track down.

The truth is that car companies deliberately make their cars look that way so that when and if these prototype cars get snapped by a photographer, certain incriminating details are not visible.

Also, it’s worth noting that the look isn’t even a paintjob at all, but a vinyl application. The pattern on the application is perfect at tricking even the most advanced auto focus system on a camera. That’s because a camera’s auto focus system uses a subject’s colors to figure out its focus.

Dan Suszko from Graphik Concepts sells these vinyl wraps and confirms that it really works wonders to hide body work in photographs. “Car companies want to put an end to one person exposing their product to the world” Suszko said. “It really hides the way things look in low-res images,” he added.

Some cameras auto focus by using something like SONAR, but instead of sound, using infrared light. The infrared bounces back to the camera and the camera’s computers calculate the difference in time, and focus accordingly. However, if the subject is painted black, it could absorb the infrared light that the camera uses, and makes it harder for the camera to calculate the autofocus.


I need to find a public domain image of _______. How do I do that?

commemorative cricket plate

Reference question of the day was about finding public domain images. Everyone’s got their go-tos. If I am looking for illustrations or old photos specifically I’ll often use other people’s searches on top of the Internet Archive’s content. Here’s a little how to.

1. Check the Internet Archive Book Images feed on Flickr. What I often do is search (which finds the words that surround the images) and then click straight through to the book (which is always linked in the metadata) and then fish around. For example…


Sure as roses

I learned when I was writing this piece a few months ago that the New York Times styleguide doesn’t permit “fun as hell.”  So I had a problem while writing yesterday’s article about Common Core, and its ongoing replacement by an identical set of standards with a different name.  I wanted to say I was “sure as hell” not going to use the traditional addition algorithm for a problem better served by another method.  So instead I wrote “sure as roses.”  Doesn’t that sound like an actual folksy “sure as hell” substitute?  But actually I made it up.  I think it works, though.  Maybe it’ll catch on.


oursoulsaredamned: omb statue of Angeriautef – Anubis &…


omb statue of Angeriautef – Anubis & Hathor by Michiel2005 on Flickr (cc)


False Machine (2)

goblin miniElves, Dwarves, and Goblins — a sculptural view.

Radium Age 100 (11)


Russian billboard advertising contraband hides when it…

Russian billboard advertising contraband hides when it recognises cops | Naked Security

Moscow’s Don Giulio Salumeria promises “small islands of warm and sunny Italy,” offering authentic Italian prosciutto, ricotta, mozzarella and tiramisu for sale in the cold lands of Russia.

Fat lot of good any of it will do Muscovites, given that Russia has banned food imports from the European Union and the US.

It’s not that Don Giulio can’t figure out how to import it, but the shop sure can’t advertise those delicious imported foods.

So what’s a well-stocked salumeria to do?

Pay an ad company to rig billboards with facial recognition that’s been tweaked to spot the official symbols and logos on the uniforms worn by Russian police, that’s what.

As Adweek reports, an ad agency called The 23 created an outdoor ad that could apparently spot police uniforms.

As police approached the ad, as you can see in this YouTube video, the billboard would switch from advertising a nice, fat wedge of Don Giulio Salumeria’s imported cheese, rolling over instead to an ad for a nice, completely non-contraband Matryoshka doll shop.

An ad that hides itself from the law is a clever stunt, albeit not too effective, as you can see from the police in the video, who had time to spot the ad for imported food before it scurried behind Matryoshka dolls.

But what’s more interesting than the effectiveness of this particular ad is the idea that billboards can use facial recognition to this degree as they tailor offerings.




stardust-seedling: 1591nasus: just–space: The Pinwheel Galaxy…




The Pinwheel Galaxy is 170,000 light-years across, or nearly twice the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy.




Jurgen (14)

jurgen thumbPhilosophy of Gogyrvan Gawr

Vilmos Zsigmond

Vilmos1Character wrenched out by vastness and exposure.

jozefsquare: antoniostella: Posters for “Fitzcarraldo” – 1982…



Posters for “Fitzcarraldo” - 1982 by Werner Herzog.

Great work. 


the-camera-in-the-mirror: Museum of Cosmonautics


Museum of Cosmonautics




Museum of Femoribilia (8)

princess thumbLynn Peril on the Princess phone

False Machine (1)

warhammer thumbThe WARHAMMER mini, considered as an art-form.

Artist #Ramsess honored at mayme Clayton library and museum in…

Artist #Ramsess honored at mayme Clayton library and museum in #culvercity #losangeles . Ramsess made the quilt of Michelle Obama behind him. #MCLM #Juneteenth


oldtimeystjohnsscifi: Newfoundland Republic stamp commemorating…


Newfoundland Republic stamp commemorating first transatlantic flight piloted by Wedge Antilles, 1919


neutralzones: Season 1, Episode 24


Season 1, Episode 24


The Sunday Series: Sunday June 14, 2015

The Sunday Series
Sunday June 14, 2015

For the past 25 years, I go to Japan every year.  Usually I spend up to a month to two months at a time in Tokyo. The funny thing is I have no visual memory of that country.  What I do remember are the sounds of Japan.  Mostly due to the fact that I own "Sounds of Japan."   It is 34 authentic sound effects recorded in their actual locale. The album was put together by Katsumasa Takasago, who I know very little about.  

The beauty of such recordings is that one doesn't have to leave their home to appreciate another country's culture.   In 1965, I don't think that many American tourists went to Japan, yet here we have everyday sounds of a city that looks back to its past, but alas, very much part of the present life as well.  1965 can be 1975 as well as 2015.  I try to imagine what it must be like to listen to this album in 1965.  You never were in Japan, yet, you're thrown into a soundtrack to a movie that you imagine you have seen, but never actually saw it.

For whatever reason I think of Alain Resnais' film "Hiroshima mon amour," starring Emmanuelle Riva and the Japanese actor Ejii Okada.   The film script was written by Marguerite Duras.  It deals with memory, but like the powers of recall, it is always one's point-of-view, and therefore there is no truth.  So when a tourist approach a 'foreign' country or city, it is from the point-of-the-view of the visitor, who may or may not know nothing about the culture, but at least heard of it.

Listening to this album on a Sunday morning is like traveling through a Japanese city with your eyes closed.   One can easily feel or taste the country just by listening to the album.  The Snake Charmer in Asakusa who is on this album is more likely dead, but surely his son has taken over his spot in that beautiful part of Tokyo.  The snake charmer demonstrates the love making of snakes, which greatly amuse the children that walk by him.   There is something sinister about such a profession, especially when late daylight turns into evening.  In the darkness, there is another world.  Asakusa is the old downtown of Tokyo, and there is quite a difference between day and night there.  In fact, all of Tokyo changes of identity - it is not that dissimilar to Bruce Wayne when he puts the bat-mask on.  Another personality takes over the city as soon as the neon lighting is turned on.

"Last Year at Marienbad" can easily turn into "Last Year at Tokyo."  I want to wonder through the streets of the Ginza to locate the lost love I had there.  Once I find her, will she remember me?    Perhaps not.  The faint texture of being forgotten, left, or abandoned is all part of the Japanese feeling.  When I go by a bar and I can hear the hostess sing float beyond the entrance door, I think of her.  It is never a city of now, but a city of memories.   This album represents memories.  Even when the record came out in 1965, it was already a memory.

"Elevator girls at Takashimaya Department Store" would announce each floor in a high -pitched accent with an ultra feminine voice.  Announcing the goods on each floor, one is in a sense getting a floor show at a supper club, but alas, it is in an elevator.   The perfect choreographed gestures of using their white gloved hands to express what is on each floor and also to announce the upcoming floor number.   One is not encouraged to talk to them. It would be like talking to an actor on stage as he or she is performing.

It's odd for me to sit here this Sunday morning in Silver Lake, and listen to this album.  Whenever I leave Japan I feel great sadness.  I have almost a fear that I won't stay alive till the next visit.  I never want to think that this will be my last visit to Tokyo.  "Sounds of Japan," is my safety-net.   As long as I have this album, Japan will never leave me.  It is very strange to listen to this album. Even though it was recorded in 1965 in various parts of Tokyo and Kyoto, I still feel that it could have been recorded today.  Nothing has changed. Yet everything has changed.  The story of my life.


theluckykind: Flower Glossary | Design Sponge spring’s…


Flower Glossary | Design Sponge

spring’s arrivals


Translator’s notes

The Brazilian edition of How Not To Be Wrong, with its beautiful cover, just showed up at my house.  One of the interesting things about leafing through it is reading the translator’s notes, which provide explanations for words and phrases that will be mysterious to Brazilian readers.  E.G.:

  • yeshiva
  • Purim
  • NCAA
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Rube Goldberg
  • home run
  • The Tea Party (identified by the translator as “radical wing of the Republican party”
  • “likely voters” — translator notes that “in the United States, voting is not obligatory”
  • home run (again!)
  • RBI (charmingly explained as “run battled in”)

I am also proud to have produced, on two separate occasions, a “trocadilho intraduzivel do ingles” (untranslatable English pun)



Radium Age 100 (10)

bulgakov thumbMikhail Bulgakov's HEART OF A DOG

Air Bridge (16)

innes thumb"You want me to keep my mouth shut?"

yosoycrawford:Christopher Lee 1922 – 2015 It’s saddens me…


Christopher Lee 1922 - 2015

It’s saddens me to realize that Christopher Lee is gone. His career bridged so many pop epochs and nerd fandoms: proto Goths who learned about the world thru giallo movies and his Dracula in so many Hammer horror films in the seventies; star wars obsessives saw him as count duku and Lord of the rings geeks . He was the gateway drug for so many occult newbies who considered him as Lord #summerisles in the #wickerman


westsiderandi: 92y: Toni Morrison talks with Farah Jasmine…



Toni Morrison talks with Farah Jasmine Griffin on the concept of good and evil.

“For years now, I’ve just been bored, bored, bored, with evil,” Morrison began. “It’s just not interesting.”

“Evil wears a top hat and it has tap shoes and a cape and it’s on stage and it’s hollerin’. And goodness is always backstage, sort of waving, but [evil] takes up all the energy because it is nothing. It gotta have a costume. It’s gotta be loud. It’s gotta be bloody. 


Even in this recent, sort of spate of police people shooting young men. They say they did it because they thought their life was in danger. And when you think of shooting someone in the back ‘cause you scared? Think about that. They’re running that away from you because they’re scared and you shoot them because you’re afraid for your life?” That is the most cowardly. And a coward with a gun is the most dangerous thing in the world.” 

Watch the clip here. Full video of the event is here.

Tell em, Ms. Toni.


Gerald Gardner

gardnerHe invented the postwar religion of Wicca.

Aby Warburg

Aby_WarburgHis work rearranged how we look.

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