styluswbur: Infrasound Lowdown In 1996 the United Nations…


Performing maintenance at infrasound station IS55, Windless Bight, Antarctica (USA). Courtesy CTBTO Preparatory Commission.


Infrasound arrays at infrasound station IS18, Qaanaaq, Greenland. Courtesy CTBTO Preparatory Commission.


Array at infrasound station IS50, Ascension, U.K. Courtesy CTBTO Preparatory Commission.


View of infrasound station array at infrasound station IS49, Tristan da Cunha, U.K. Courtesy CTBTO Preparatory Commission.

styluswbur:

Infrasound Lowdown

In 1996 the United Nations opened the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty for signature. The goal? Ban nuclear explosions everywhere on, in, and above the earth. While the CTBT has only partly come into forcenuclear powers China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and the USA still haven’t ratified—an anticipatory organization, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, or CTBTO, has been tasked with promoting the regime and building up its infrastructure.

The CTBTO is responsible for detecting and verifying nuclear explosions, and one of the ways they do this is by monitoring very low frequency sound waves, called infrasound.

The human ear can detect sounds within a certain frequency range—from about 20hz to 20khz. But there’s a lot of sound that falls outside of that range, making it inaudible to humans. Think of the “silent” pitch of a dog whistle: Fido, who’s hearing range goes as high as 45khz, will perk up at the sound, while your measly human ears hear nothing at all.

Pitches with very high frequencies can be classified as ultrasound. As with ultraviolet light, which is not visible, ultrasound is above our normal spectrum of hearing and is inaudible. You may have come across ultrasound before: it’s the class of sound that physicians use to create sonograms, and that sound bats use to catch their prey.

Pitches with very low frequencies – and that means very low; like .001hz low – are called infrasound. This is sound that falls below the human spectrum of observance. You’ve likely had encounters with infrasound already. Infrasound is usually generated by certain natural phenomena—earthquakes, volcanoes, and large ocean storms, to name a few.

So what does infrasound have to do with nuclear weapons monitoring? As it turns out, some human activities, including nuclear explosions, generate infrasound, too. When a nuclear test explosion happens in the atmosphere, powerful low-frequency sound waves propagate in the air for long periods of time and travel long distances. In this way, infrasound can serve as a “smoking gun” of sorts for nuclear tests. A network of CTBTO stations set up around the globe constantly measures tiny pressure variations in the surrounding air, searching for characteristic infrasound. If an atmospheric nuclear test occurs, the monitoring system can capture infrasound data, which can then be used to pinpoint the source of the explosion.

Since 1945, there have been an estimated 2,053 nuclear tests. Most of these occurred prior to 1990, and in the last decade there have been only three. Because there haven’t been many nuclear tests lately, the CTBTO finds itself in a curious position. What do you do with an elaborate network of infrasound monitoring stations, but no nuclear tests? “Luckily, since 1980 there have been no atmospheric nuclear explosions,” says Pierrick Mialle, acoustic officer of the International Data Center of the CTBTO. “But that does not mean we aren’t doing anything. We are still recording a lot of activity with our sensors deployed worldwide.” The CTBTO’s infrasound network has recorded activity from storms in the deep seas, volcanic eruptions, meteorites entering the atmosphere, and even the aurora borealis. Algorithms are able to clean about 90 percent of the data, and the remaining 10 percent is analyzed to try and pinpoint infrasound sources. “We come down to a number that’s about 15 to 20 events per day that need to be analyzed,” says Mialle.

Mialle makes the case that this incidental monitoring of natural infrasound may actually be quite useful. “When an earthquake occurs, infrasound monitoring can be used to determine which regions of the surface topography are shaking more than others,” he says. And when volcanic eruptions happen, infrasound monitoring can warn air-traffic controllers about ash clouds and debris. “It’s kind of a complementary technology. We try to bring information to the people, so they can do a better job of warning the controllers and pilots.”

Even though infrasound is, by definition, inaudible, Mialle altered a few clips of natural infrasound events for us to hear. In these clips, the infrasound has been isolated and sped up to 250 to 1,000 times its actual play rate. The clip from the Kasatochi volcanic eruption below, for example, lasts about 30 seconds in its accelerated form, while the original, unaltered infrasound recording lasts about 8.5 hours.

Mialle recalls the arrival of the Chelyabinsk meteor on February 15, 2013, which created a huge airburst that resulted in infrasound. “I arrived in my office at 9:00 AM and saw the wave, expecting there would be more” he remembers. “Because our stations are located every 1,000 to 2,000 km, we expected to sense propagation every hour or so. On that day, every hour, I was waiting for the next station, and the next station, to be hit by the wave.”

The wave continued to travel around the globe for three days, registering with CTBTO stations like clockwork. “We could see it arrive in real time because the waves were arriving at such a slow speed and were so major,” says Mialle. “We couldn’t believe it.”

NOTE: the sounds featured in this post have been filtered and accelerated to be made audible. Special thanks to Pierrick Mialle and Thomas Muetzelburg of the CTBTO. All images courtesy CTBTO. All audio courtesy CTBTO.

Uncategorized

kismetric: Delphine Seyrig in Last Year at Marienbad



kismetric:

Delphine Seyrig in Last Year at Marienbad

Uncategorized

Andrei Tarkovsky

tarkovsky

Precariously teetering between Lumière observation and Méliès parlor trick, Snow experiment and Cassavetes portrait, ANDREI TARKOVSKY (1932–86) imperceptibly whispered, then violently screamed, that humanity’s very existence hung in the balance, and art alone could save it. Entire film reels swallowed burning houses and the secret insanity of burning men, desires so deeply buried they don’t exist, remapped space-time in a genre not so much science-fiction as its opposite, mysteries and failures of the soul in conversation with decaying Soviet obligation, identity and infrastructure plundered with equal abandon. Tarkovsky’s characters, obsessed with impossible stakes, willingly submit themselves to grand formal constructions, still leaving enough room for the meanderings of dreamscape agency.

Ingmar Bergman famously called him the greatest director, the one who “invented a new language, true to the nature of film.” Tarkovsky operated musically; the echoes of physical reality performed, distilled, arranged. Watching, you simultaneously have the privileged vantage of an honored guest and the guilt of intrusion, all in service of a few frames of genuine magic that might yet save the world: the Andrei Rublev (1966) bell sequence, The Room in Stalker (1979), the candle in Nostalghia (1983), the burning house in The Sacrifice (1986). And all of The Mirror (1975).

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: David Cross, Elmer Bernstein, Lautréamont.

READ MORE about members of the Postmodernist Generation (1924-33).

Uncategorized

amnhnyc: Meet Jeholopterus, the fuzzy pterosaur which lived…



amnhnyc:

Meet Jeholopterus, the fuzzy pterosaur which lived about 130 million years ago.

Pterosaurs were of course reptiles, closely related to dinosaurs and crocodiles, and like lizards and snakes living today. But instead of having scales, pterosaurs, including Jeholopterus, were covered in hairlike fibers called pycnofibers.

Learn more about this pterosaur. 

Uncategorized

retrocampaigns: … yeah, I don’t really know why I made this,…



retrocampaigns:

… yeah, I don’t really know why I made this, either.

Via the Brady National Photographic Art Gallery / National Archives

Uncategorized

April 3, 2014



April 3, 2014

I’m not as good looking as Marlon Brando, but I do look up to him as a remarkable dresser, especially from “The Wild One” era.   The white T-shirt, jeans rolled up cuffs, and motorcycle boots is such a classic and great look.  With me, I believe in the uniform, but I like it better when the wearer can decide what uniform they want in life.  I don’t like to wear a uniform due to occupation or work.   Whenever I look for work, I shy away from occupations where they issue you a uniform.



Although strangely enough there are occupations where the uniform and the man looks good together.  Almost a perfect meeting of the mind and body - and that is the UPS carrier.   I never saw a UPS carrier look awkward in their uniform.  I also like the color brown, despite the fact that many probably find it a bit dull, but to me it’s a color that one can add a certain amount of imagination to it.  Brown is also quite stable where it conveys a sense of comfort, simplicity, and quality.   Also it is a color of being industrious, hardworking and more important to me, being reliable.   Which is what you want in a UPS employee.   Sadly, I don’t have the brown quality in my life.



I’m more of a black and white person, but only visually.  I’m a firm believer that one should live in the grays.  Technicolor is for sure, not me.   Being sort of a 19th century personality, black was considered to be the color for romantic poets, and I’m surely in that bracelet, as my fans know by now.  I see black as being very elegant, but I don’t tie it in with power, death or evil at all.  To me, it is like looking at the color white.   I can project myself there without hindrance or a worry, because I feel I’m looking into the void.



Oddly enough I find white to be a tad sinister.  Also quite obsessive as well.  The first thing I think of is wearing a white suit or white pants, and having either a piece of food or sauce splattered on the pants, or not controlling the urine at the right time.  It exposes one to the world, when in fact, you don’t want to be exposed at the moment or time.  Wearing white is almost like being naked in front of a hostile world.  Also it can reflect one’s mood, and white can either be peaceful or a horror show of sorts.  “A Clockwork Orange” is a film that I believe to be white.  If Alex’s gang wore black, it would have been comical, but the whiteness of their outfits offers a sense of terror or horror.



Brando, I think was not worried about wearing white, because he wanted to show the sweat, the dirt, body fluids, and the by-products of a specific time and space.   He would never wear brown, because surely that is a sign of being stable, and that was the last thing on Brando’s mind was to be fixed or secure.  

Lately I have been wearing a white T-shirt and black jeans.  Black shoes, and white socks.  I’m hoping that it will convey a sense of balance, where I’m looking into the void, but the contrast of the black and white will lead me to a better spot, or at the very least, a comforting one.
Uncategorized

Photo



Uncategorized

michaelmoonsbookshop: Rare Little Folks Edition of Through the…





















michaelmoonsbookshop:

Rare Little Folks Edition of Through the looking glass and what Alice found there

First Edition 1903 - beautiful coloured illustrations

Uncategorized

Photo



Uncategorized

Shigeru Sugiura

sugiura

Around the time that Cubism was birthing in France, Buster Keaton was beginning to make movies, and Walt Disney was a tot, SHIGERU SUGIURA (1908–2000) — who would grow up to put all these on the same page, in his surreal gag manga — was born in Tokyo. Terry Johnson, Yoshikazu Ebisu, and other post-hippie, pre-punk pioneers of Japan’s Heta-uma (“Bad-good”) art, comics, and graphic design movement grew up in the Fifties reading Sugiura’s strange, dotty kids’ comics featuring cowboys, jungle and space adventurers, and a magical ninja boy; they’d claim him as godfather. As the Fifties ended, Sugiura abandoned kids’ comics for more peculiar ones — melding different styles and genres of cartoons, movies, and science fiction imagery into a potent new, confusing, even psychedelic brew. As with young Pop artists in England like Eduardo Paolozzi, he was reacting to the postwar dominance of American image factories; he took these images out of context, inspected them for implication, and collaged them into exotic new hybrids and alloys. A new intensity and malleability of perception was afoot, and Sugiura — whose Sixties and Seventies manga would send silly characters gamboling across monolithic deserts in order to trip up villains and occasionally address the viewer, under the cosmic eye of nature deities, giant space people, and folkloric demons — was at its forefront.

***

HILO HERO ITEMS by GARY PANTER: Jack Kirby | Tadanori Yokoo | Peter Saul | Yasuji Tanioka | H.C. Westermann | Öyvind Fahlström | Cal Schenkel | Eduardo Paolozzi | Tod Dockstader | Yayoi Kusama | Walter Lantz | Shigeru Sugiura | Todd Rundgren | Yoshikazu Ebisu | Jim Nutt | Judy Henske | Tod Dockstader | Dick Briefer

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Jane Goodall, Jane Digby, Alec Baldwin, Benjamin De Cessares.

READ MORE about members of the Partisan Generation (1904-13).

Uncategorized

Benjamin De Cessares

The first legal drink at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, 1933

We all have writers whose literary presence we find boon, tonic, and wonderment, but whose personal presence we would go some distance to avoid. None exemplifies that dynamic of attraction and repulsion better than BENJAMIN DeCASSERES (1873–1945), a once-famous New York newspaperman who wrote many short volumes of criticism and complaint, poetry and polemic, reverie and rant, and who as Romantic egotist and philosophical pessimist often made it his business to be as provocatively uncongenial as possible. E.g.: “My own work is epochal in American literature; but I cannot compete with the hopeless sissification of our college-ridden publishing houses and magazines”; “It is the weak man who urges compromise — never the strong man”; “Pessimism, in a word, is the soul of man raised to the highest zenith of embattled consciousness.” But the aphoristic essays collected in Chameleon: Being the Book of My Selves (1922) evidence a more impersonal mysticism, a turn away from provocative absolutes in favor of juicy imponderables: “We influence the unknown at every turn. … We weave tomorrow on the shuttle of today and unravel the past each minute”; “in rare moments of self-consciousness our voice sounds strange, far away, not ours. It is the sudden perception of that great truth: We are not ourselves.” At a party, the man would be a drag. On the page, he is a Mephistophelean stylist, and one of those too-few writers willing to grip the staff of life at the lower end and not let go, though his legacy molder in obscurity and incomprehension — as DeCasseres’ has.

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Jane Digby, Jane Goodall, Alec Baldwin, Shigeru Sugiura.

READ MORE about men and women born on the cusp between the Anarcho-Symbolist (1864–73) and Psychonaut (1874–83) Generations.

Uncategorized

Untitled

Style book reviewed at Publishers Weekly!

(This semester is now officially kicking my ass - so tired I don't really know what to do with myself! Four more weeks - I think it can be done....)

Celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Columbia University Seminar on Eighteenth-Century European Culture this weekend - I have had no hand organizing it, but will preside over a graduate student panel and weigh in where appropriate.

Too lazy to log full list of light reading (I had a pile of YA paperbacks that I picked up the last time I visited the Bank Street Bookstore, have just ploughed through them due to dearth of mental attention for anything more challenging), but I did read and love two short books over the weekend, both highly recommended: Jenny Offil's Dept. of Speculation (good interview here) and Teju Cole's Every Day is For the Thief.

Teaching Emile tomorrow. It is a very strange book. To my chagrin, the edition I taught it from last time is out of print, and I haven't been able to lay hands on my own old copy - teachers know that this means my quite reasonable set of teaching notes is now virtually useless! Rectification of page numbers (and it is a different translation, too, alas - I was marking stuff with post-its as I reread in this edition, but it's going to be a pain trying to reconcile things) will have to wait until tomorrow, though. I got nothin'!
Uncategorized

‘El Chapo’ captured in Mexico: What you need to know

* Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images. ** Originally published at VICE.com and VICE News, on Feb. 24, 2014. “I’m a farmer.” So said Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán when the press asked him what he did for a living on June 10, 1993, following his arrest and extradition to Mexico after years on the run. In a way, no truer words have been spoken in the history of the country’s bizarre and bloody drug war. Guzmán was indeed a kind of “farmer.” The poppy and marijuana crops under his control were the basis of a multibillion-dollar transnational trafficking empire that would...
Uncategorized

‘El Chapo’ captured in Mexico: What you need to know

* Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images. ** Originally published at VICE.com and VICE News, on Feb. 24, 2014. “I’m a farmer.” So said Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán when the press asked him what he did for a living on June 10, 1993, following his arrest and extradition to Mexico after years on the run. In a way, no truer words have been spoken in the history of the country’s bizarre and bloody drug war. Guzmán was indeed a kind of “farmer.” The poppy and marijuana crops under his control were the basis of a multibillion-dollar transnational trafficking empire that would...
Uncategorized

‘El Chapo’ captured in Mexico: What you need to know

* Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images. ** Originally published at VICE.com and VICE News, on Feb. 24, 2014. “I’m a farmer.” So said Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán when the press asked him what he did for a living on June 10, 1993, following his arrest and extradition to Mexico after years on the run. In a way, no truer words have been spoken in the history of the country’s bizarre and bloody drug war. Guzmán was indeed a kind of “farmer.” The poppy and marijuana crops under his control were the basis of a multibillion-dollar transnational trafficking empire that would...
Uncategorized

‘El Chapo’ captured in Mexico: What you need to know

* Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images. ** Originally published at VICE.com and VICE News, on Feb. 24, 2014. “I’m a farmer.” So said Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán when the press asked him what he did for a living on June 10, 1993, following his arrest and extradition to Mexico after years on the run. In a way, no truer words have been spoken in the history of the country’s bizarre and bloody drug war. Guzmán was indeed a kind of “farmer.” The poppy and marijuana crops under his control were the basis of a multibillion-dollar transnational trafficking empire that would...
Uncategorized

bellbird song: [it really does sound like a…





bellbird song: [it really does sound like a bell]

fairy-wren:

Bare Throated Bellbird. Photos via Focusing on Wildlife

Uncategorized

ATTENTION GRABBERS: OPENING AND CLOSING

ATTENTION GRABBERS: OPENING AND CLOSING:

writing tips

Uncategorized

April 2, 2014 (Serge Gainsbourg)



April 2, 2014

A tainted beauty entered my life about 20 years ago, when I discovered the works of Serge Gainsbourg.  It seems that I waited for almost all of my life to listen to such genius, that I had to do more than just listen.  I also had to read Serge Gainsbourg, and therefore I published his short novel “Evguenie Sokolov.” Then some years later I published the great Gilles Verlant biography “Gainsbourg, ” which gives a complete picture of the man and his world.



As most can gather by now, my life is not like a straight ahead narration, where A go to B, and then C comes along.  No, the journey is just as important as the results of that trip.  I knew Gainsbourg’s music here and there, but didn’t fully grasp his genius till much later.  It was when I discovered the works of Boris Vian, that I became a Gainsbourg fanatic.  As my press is very much devoted to the works of Vian, I researched as much as possible about his life and times - and the name Gainsbourg comes up a lot, due to the fact that Vian was one of the first professional people to give Serge notice for his music.  Gainsbourg was a fan of Vian’s music, but not so much for his books, but nevertheless, he never forgot the good word Boris gave him, because it was Vian’s foot that kept that door open for him to succeed in the French music world.



My press TamTam Books is very tightly winded up with the Vian motif, in that everything comes from that source.  But using Vian as a foundation, leads to a lot of stuff, due to the fact he worked on so many levels in French pop culture.  Musician, composer, writer, playwright, A&R for a record label, engineer, translator, and socialite for the Saint Germain des-pres society.   Right there is a great canvass, and Gainsbourg is one of the participants in that giant work of art.

The beauty of Gainsbourg’s work is that it consists of all the greats of the French aesthetic past - especially the literature of the 19th century, for instance Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, and matches it with the   talents of Charles Trenet and bingo, that hybrid becomes Gainsbourg.  Like his much younger fellow artist, David Bowie, Gainsbourg was hungry to find new influences, new sounds, and he was also a great explorer, but he used his knowledge of the past, and went forward with respect to his music making.   His private life was full of scandals, and his taste in women was the connoisseur preference.  Like a lot of narratives it wasn’t always a good story, but when you look at the immense picture of him, and what he did in his lifetime, with respect to the world it was and is, he was simply an amazing artist.   Happy birthday Serge Gainsbourg, and long may we enjoy your work, as well as the down and the numerous up’s in your (one’s) life.
Uncategorized

retrogasm: Mermaids



retrogasm:

Mermaids

Uncategorized

typeworship: Here Be Monsters I noticed this wonderful…















typeworship:

Here Be Monsters

I noticed this wonderful Icelandic project of illustrated type inspired by medieval maps featuring fantastical sea creatures. 

Design by Reykjavík based Stella Björg, these decorated capitals remind me of the Victorian illustrations I’ve written about recently. I love that several of the creatures appear to be based on specific Icelandic mythical beasts, as named at the bottom of the print. I also really like the print colours and flecked paper that gives the final work its antique look.

My “Here Be Monsters” illustrated letters started from the simple idea of writing “MONSTER” but having finished it just didn’t seem like there was much left to complete the alphabet. I was in no hurry to complete it, so very slowly monstrous letters got added and finally there appeared a complete alphabet. - Stella Björg

Uncategorized

A snow-covered orchard near Tczew. Photograph: Kacper…



A snow-covered orchard near Tczew. Photograph: Kacper Kowalski/Panos. 

[via]

Uncategorized

notationnotes: unicode :: by Jörg Piringer all displayable…



notationnotes:

unicode :: by Jörg Piringer

all displayable characters in the unicode range 0 - 65536 (49571 characters). one character per frame.

joerg.piringer.net/unicode/

32 minutes’ worth!

Uncategorized

“Big-data surveillance is dangerous exactly because it provides solutions to these problems….”

Big-data surveillance is dangerous exactly because it provides solutions to these problems. Individually tailored, subtle messages are less likely to produce a cynical reaction. Especially so if the data collection that makes these messages possible is unseen. That’s why it’s not only the NSA that goes to great lengths to keep its surveillance hidden. Most Internet firms also try to monitor us surreptitiously. Their user agreements, which we all must “sign” before using their services, are full of small-font legalese. We roll our eyes and hand over our rights with a click. Likewise, political campaigns do not let citizens know what data they have on them, nor how they use that data. Commercial databases sometimes allow you to access your own records. But they make it difficult, and since you don’t have much right to control what they do with your data, it’s often pointless.

This is why the state-of-the-art method for shaping ideas is not to coerce overtly but to seduce covertly, from a foundation of knowledge. These methods don’t produce a crude ad—they create an environment that nudges you imperceptibly. Last year, an article in Adweek noted that women feel less attractive on Mondays, and that this might be the best time to advertise make-up to them. “Women also listed feeling lonely, fat and depressed as sources of beauty vulnerability,” the article added. So why stop with Mondays? Big data analytics can identify exactly which women feel lonely or fat or depressed. Why not focus on them? And why stop at using known “beauty vulnerabilities”? It’s only a short jump from identifying vulnerabilities to figuring out how to create them. The actual selling of the make-up may be the tip of the iceberg.



- Is the Internet good or bad? Yes.  — Matter — Medium
Uncategorized

King Goshawk (14)

Cuinbattle

The 1926 satirical sf novel King Goshawk and the Birds, by Irish playwright and novelist Eimar O’Duffy, is set in a future world devastated by progress. When King Goshawk, the supreme ruler among a caste of “king capitalists,” buys up all the wildflowers and songbirds, an aghast Dublin philosopher travels via the astral plane to Tír na nÓg. First the mythical Irish hero Cúchulainn, then his son Cuanduine, travel to Earth in order to combat the king capitalists. Long before the hero of Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, these well-meaning aliens discover that cultural forms and norms are the most effective barrier to social or economic revolution.

HiLobrow is pleased to serialize King Goshawk and the Birds, which has long been out of print, in its entirety. A new installment will appear each week.

ALL INSTALLMENTS SO FAR

***

BOOK I: A Corner in Melody

Chapter 14: How Love and Laughter baffled the Tripe King

Next day, to celebrate the wedding, there was a great banquet, more gorgeous and delicious than you could possibly conceive; but not more so than the company that presently put themselves outside it. There were three kings among the guests, with huge numbers of monopolists and financiers, all good workers behind a knife and fork, and not one among them but was a millionaire, or the son or daughter of a millionaire, and a great personality in the financial world. You may be sure they wired in to the feast and packed their breadbaskets thoroughly. What a pity there was no wine served, according to Saint Paul’s counsel, for their stomachs’ sake. But King Boodleguts, who was of a gouty habit, would abate no jot of the law in this respect: alas! for, for the lack of such emollient, they were all very badly stodged, which was to prove a grave misfortune, as you shall hear.

When they were well gorged, and many of them in a mood to give all their wealth for a thimbleful of Benedictine, or even a pennorth of Aq. Menth. Pip.; just as the Chief Steward was assisting Mr. Garlic, the Best Man, to his feet, and wedging a couple of footstools between the seat of his chair and that of his pants in order that he might make some show of standing to propose the toast of the happy pair; a sudden fierce shout, louder than had ever issued from human throat, rang in the ears of the company. There was not a hair in the room that did not stand erect at this horrific sound, nor a skin that did not break into a cold sweat like the walls of a vault. You would not believe that kings and men of weight and influence could be so dismally affrighted.

It was Cúchulainn’s voice that had put them into this fluster; who, coming on to the lawn in front of the house, and seeing the door guarded, made a leap at a window of the dining-hall, but fell short almost by the height of a man, to the huge merriment of the guards and other onlookers. At that Cúchulainn let his battle-cry out of him, and, taking a longer run, leaped again at the window, reaching this time to the sill, but, like a bird whose power is spent, fell from that perch even as his foot touched it. Then the guards and the onlookers began to laugh and to jeer, and to throw mud and stones at the hero, so that his anger kindled, and, standing back again, he made his salmon-leap and came flying through the window into the hall.

Mr. Garlic had begun to recover his nerve, and was just about to give the toast, holding aloft a tall tumbler overflowing with whipped cream and iced fruit syrup, when Cúchulainn landed upon the table with a crash and jingle of glass. Very beautiful and fierce he looked, his eyes flashing fire, a long bright sword in his hand, that had been put there by the Morrígu herself as he hurtled through the window. “Swine, stay at your troughs,” he commanded, as one or two strove feebly to rise. “And you varlets, back” — this to some servitors that had first thought of interfering but now desisted, fancying from his imperious tone that he must be a financier or monopolist of eccentric habits arrived late for the feast. “I have come for my bride,” said Cúchulainn, “and will harm no man that offers me no hindrance. Come, Thalia.”

So saying he advanced towards the head of the table, over the white damask cloth, through the silver and the glasses; nor could any man rise up to stop him, no more than if the seat of each one’s breeches had been caught between the jaws of a crocodile: though there were a few that strove to do so, and flopped off their chairs on to the floor in the effort. Cúchulainn offered his hand to Thalia, who, taking it, leaped lightly to the table beside him, leaving a yard of her gown in Scallion’s podgy fist. The bosthoon dared no more resistance than that, for the sword of Cúchulainn gleamed bright and menacing. But old King Boodleguts at the other end of the board (though he could not rise any more than the rest of the roysterers), being near bursting with choler at the audacity of this intrusion, began bawling for the guards so urgently that these came rushing up from the lower courtyard, a score in number, and covered the hero with their guns, awaiting orders. A moment Cúchulainn stood facing them with Thalia upon his arm: then he brandished the sword above his head so fast and furious that a shaft of sunlight, striking it suddenly, flashed blinding white in every eye.

When they had recovered their sight, the first thing they perceived was that Cúchulainn and Thalia had vanished; and the next was a body that lay wrenched and distorted among the dishes and adornments of the table. It was the disjecta membra of Robert Emmett Aloysius O’Kennedy, now void of the strength and beauty which the spirit of Cúchulainn had filled them with; so that none of the company recognised the thing, nor did it occur to them to connect it in any way with the vision that had flashed upon them a moment before. Indeed, the Major Domo had the Chief Steward consigned to the dungeons for allowing such an object to get upon the table, and ordered the guards to throw it upon the refuse heap, where it was presently found by the Philosopher, by whom it was restored to its owner; who had been having rare adventures in far quarters of the universe, of which I will tell you in another book.

Meanwhile there was hurry and scurry in Boodleguts’ halls and the surrounding demesne, of which there was neither hole nor corner, nook nor cranny, that they did not thoroughly poke into and search. When these efforts proved unavailing, King Scallion spoke winged words to King Boodleguts, and rode away with his son in high dudgeon to have the marriage annulled: there was near being a war between Tripe and Onion on the head of it. After they were gone, a pack of private detectives was called in from London, wily sleuths trained in the school of Sherlock, each with a Watson to heel, who, with high power lens and litmus-paper, scrutinised every inch of the place all over again, afterwards extending their operations over a large part of the surrounding country. Nevertheless they found no clue of any sort except a garter of Thalia’s down by the river, which she had forgotten to put on in her hasty dressing. Here was a spicy headline for the newspapers, which a million crafty sub-editors made effective use of. I cannot tell how many variants upon the theme were rung in ribbon and triple column measure by these master musicians; but it is said on good authority that there were forty-three thousand photographs of the garter taken besides sketches; which were printed in fifteen million papers for the delectation of two thousand million readers. The more reputable of them were content to publish small-scale reproductions on their back pages for the criminological interest of the clue; others, less chary of their reputations, gave it greater prominence, figuring it large upon their front pages, with suggestive descriptions appended; while one very popular sheet, appearing on the Lord’s Day, delighted its readers with a full-page picture of the article in situ upon a very shapely leg, complete with stocking and knicker-frill. Did not all this call for a far higher degree of enterprise, organisation, acumen, and knowledge of human nature than the mere unravelling of the mystery connected with it? as to which, I do not know what conclusion they came to; nor do I care.

NEXT INSTALLMENT | ALL INSTALLMENTS SO FAR

***

* The Morrígan (“phantom queen”) or Mórrígan (“great queen”), also written as Morrígu or in the plural as Morrígna, is an Irish goddess of battle and strife, comparable with the Germanic Valkyries.

RADIUM AGE SCIENCE FICTION: “Radium Age” is HiLobrow’s name for the 1904–33 era, which saw the discovery of radioactivity, the revelation that matter itself is constantly in movement — a fitting metaphor for the first decades of the 20th century, during which old scientific, religious, political, and social certainties were shattered. This era also saw the publication of genre-shattering writing by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sax Rohmer, E.E. “Doc” Smith, Jack London, Arthur Conan Doyle, Aldous Huxley, Olaf Stapledon, Karel Čapek, H.P. Lovecraft, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Philip Gordon Wylie, and other pioneers of post-Verne/Wells, pre-Golden Age “science fiction.” More info here.

READ GORGEOUS PAPERBACKS: HiLoBooks has reissued the following 10 obscure but amazing Radium Age science fiction novels in beautiful print editions: Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague, Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (and “As Easy as A.B.C.”), Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt, H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook, Edward Shanks’ The People of the Ruins, William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, J.D. Beresford’s Goslings, E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man, Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage, and Muriel Jaeger’s The Man with Six Senses. For more information, visit the HiLoBooks homepage.

REDISCOVERED BY HILOBOOKS: Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague | Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (and “As Easy as A.B.C.”) | Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt | H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook | Edward Shanks’ The People of the Ruins | William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land | J.D. Beresford’s Goslings | E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man | Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage | Muriel Jaeger’s The Man With Six Senses | Jack London’s “The Red One” | Philip Francis Nowlan’s Armageddon 2419 A.D. | Homer Eon Flint’s The Devolutionist | W.E.B. DuBois’s “The Comet” | Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Moon Men | Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland | Sax Rohmer’s “The Zayat Kiss” | Eimar O’Duffy’s King Goshawk and the Birds | Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Lost Prince | John Buchan’s Huntingtower

ORIGINAL FICTION: HiLobrow has serialized three novels: James Parker’s The Ballad of Cocky The Fox (“a proof-of-concept that serialization can work on the Internet” — The Atlantic); Karinne Keithley Syers’s Linda Linda Linda (which includes original music); and Robert Waldron’s roman à clef The School on the Fens. We also publish original stories and comics. These include: Matthew Battles’s stories “Gita Nova“, “Makes the Man,” “Imago,” “Camera Lucida,” “A Simple Message”, “Children of the Volcano”, “The Gnomon”, “Billable Memories”, “For Provisional Description of Superficial Features”, “The Dogs in the Trees”, “The Sovereignties of Invention”, and “Survivor: The Island of Dr. Moreau”; several of these later appeared in the collection The Sovereignties of Invention | Peggy Nelson’s “Mood Indigo“, “Top Kill Fail“, and “Mercerism” | Annalee Newitz’s “The Great Oxygen Race” | Charlie Mitchell’s “A Fantasy Land” | Joshua Glenn’s “The Lawless One”, and the mashup story “Zarathustra vs. Swamp Thing” | Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri’s Idoru Jones comics | John Holbo’s “Sugarplum Squeampunk” | “Another Corporate Death” (1) and “Another Corporate Death” (2) by Mike Fleisch | Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and Frank Fiorentino’s graphic novel “The Song of Otto” (excerpt) | “Manoj” and “Josh” by Vijay Balakrishnan | “Verge” by Chris Rossi, and his audio novel Low Priority Hero | EPIC WINS: THE ILIAD (1.408-415) by Flourish Klink | EPIC WINS: THE KALEVALA (3.1-278) by James Parker | EPIC WINS: THE ARGONAUTICA (2.815-834) by Joshua Glenn | EPIC WINS: THE MYTH OF THE ELK by Matthew Battles | TROUBLED SUPERHUMAN CONTEST: Charles Pappas, “The Law” | CATASTROPHE CONTEST: Timothy Raymond, “Hem and the Flood” | TELEPATHY CONTEST: Rachel Ellis Adams, “Fatima, Can You Hear Me?” | OIL SPILL CONTEST: A.E. Smith, “Sound Thinking | LITTLE NEMO CAPTION CONTEST: Joe Lyons, “Necronomicon” | SPOOKY-KOOKY CONTEST: Tucker Cummings, “Well Marbled” | INVENT-A-HERO CONTEST: TG Gibbon, “The Firefly” | FANFICTION CONTEST: Lyette Mercier’s “Sex and the Single Superhero”

Uncategorized

Buddy Ebsen

ebsen

The lanky, 6'4" actor BUDDY EBSEN (1908–2003) had the biggest roles of his career late in life: He is best remembered for playing old codgers like Doc Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, and the titular detective in Barnaby Jones. Ebsen might have been much more famous earlier, had he not been forced to give up the role of the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. After the aluminum dust in his silver makeup made its way into his respiratory system, the song-and-dance man weathered excruciating pain and had to be placed in an oxygen tent. During WWII, Ebsen took a break from acting in order to put his life on the line in a different way, serving as a Lieutenant in the Coast Guard. In the Fifties, he played Fess Parker’s sidekick in Walt Disney’s wildly popular Davy Crockett miniseries. One of those Old Hollywood actors who it is simply impossible to dislike, he brought a delightful charm to even his most bitter characters… and in the end, he outlived all the stars of The Wizard of Oz.

ebsen

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Kenneth Tynan, Serge Gainsbourg, Marvin Gaye, Maria Sibylla Merian, Crystal Skillman, George MacDonald Fraser.

READ MORE about members of the Partisan Generation (1904-13).

Uncategorized

#Teaandmorphine #Hammermuseum



#Teaandmorphine #Hammermuseum

Uncategorized

“An unusual psychiatric disorder swept through Europe during the…











"An unusual psychiatric disorder swept through Europe during the late Medieval period. Many people came to believe they were made of glass "and therefore likely to shatter into pieces." Historians call this the Glass Delusion." []

archatlas:

Glass Organs Sigga Heimis/GlassLab

Images by The Corning Museum of Glass

Uncategorized

1 is the loneliest number

Mitosis explained through donuts.
Uncategorized

Gamasutra: Ramin Shokrizade’s Blog – The Top F2P Monetization Tricks

Gamasutra: Ramin Shokrizade's Blog - The Top F2P Monetization Tricks:

evil manifested

Uncategorized

fletter: Hello. (at 鸿艺豪苑 | Ambassy Court)



fletter:

Hello. (at 鸿艺豪苑 | Ambassy Court)

Uncategorized

Photo



Uncategorized

ilovecharts: Mitosis Explained Through Donuts



ilovecharts:

Mitosis Explained Through Donuts

Uncategorized

April 1, 2014



April 1, 2014

What is it about nature that we trust so much into that world that is not of our making?   I hanker back to the days of Edmond Rostand, who sees nature as an inspiration to adapt and change, but not to be governed by the four seasons.  Emotionally speaking he was the most honest playwright of his time.  When everyone else at the time was going through a naturalistic phrase, Rostand was going for the imagination.  He based his play “Cyrano de Bergerac” on a real character, but alas, even his imagination doesn’t really hold up to the real Cyrano.



Since the play is in verse, it takes one away from everyday life into another world.  After all this peculiar play introduced the word “panache.” The grand gesture of a theater piece with even grander characters within the work, can make one dizzy.  The real Cyrano, besides being famous for having a large nose, even though that is very much over empathized in the play, was very much a dramatist as well as a duelist, which come to think of it, is a grand gesture in itself.  He also wrote science fiction, where men go to the moon and meet up with the citizens of that fine planet.  Like Rostand, he let his imagination take him to places that couldn’t be obtained then and not even now.

What is interesting to me is that here is a writer, Rostand, writing about another writer, Cyrano, and yet he’s a fictional character, but the fiction part is only in the narrative.  The character is correct, but the key point is Cyrano’s nose, which sets off the only weak link in his personality.   Nature would accept a natural physical mistake, but the artistic or aesthetic fellow or girl, must change that nature to make it work for them.  Art to me does not want to acknowledge nature, but to change it for our purposes, whatever that may be.



My one driving goal in life is to be a writer like Edgar Wallace, where I turn out one book after another, and sort of disappear in my own work.  If Lon Chaney is the man with a thousand faces, then I want to the man with a thousand books, totally disguising the nature I live in, but presenting my life as a grand gesture.   Therefore I’m seriously considering to add a middle-name to my full name.  “Tosh Panache Berman. ”
Uncategorized

April fool hollyhock



April fool hollyhock

Uncategorized

Françoise Dorléac and Catherine Deneuve



Françoise Dorléac and Catherine Deneuve

Uncategorized

Theories of moral sentiments

Not available online, but my review of Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams is in the new issue of Bookforum.
Uncategorized

Tudors!

Hilary Mantel on the respectable face of soap opera.
Uncategorized

Eaten from below, eaten from above

It's not easy being an anole in South Florida!
Uncategorized

Ringtone bonanza

This is an amazing project.
Uncategorized

Erolunar collision

The amazing mind of Freeman Dyson.
Uncategorized

Samuel R. Delany

delany-2

Though most often compared to Joyce, SAMUEL R. DELANY (born 1942) is also something of a latter day Hawthorne — dealing, as he does, with characters trapped in impossible worlds of fraught, impenetrable ambiguity. Which sounds much lamer than it really is — especially when we’re talking of books featuring body-altered starship captains who look like dragons, linguistic super-weapons, unstable lunar governments, post-apocalyptic mutant calamity, and in which everything has gone terribly and inexplicably wrong but let’s fuck and figure it out afterwards (also, has anyone seen my shoe?). In some ways, it couldn’t have been too much different from the New York (first Harlem, the Bronx School of Science and then later and even more formatively, Greenwich Village) in which Delany grew up in, a fecund city alive with post-apocalyptic electricity and music and sex, crime and hope, sneakers hung from every overhead wire; the city’s future was opaque, and its past so soundly defeated that it could have been Triton or Babel-17 or Neveryon. Like Joyce, Delany has a rare ear for the human: his characters chew their hands, defecate noisily, revel in their own stink, and screw lustily; and how to conjure the sprawling, confounding miasma-city that lies at the heart of Dhalgren without at least waving confusedly at Ulysses? But what Delany has tapped into most of all, and uniquely, is this fact: Trapped somewhere within the mutations, the bodily enhancements, the aliens, the lunar landscapes, and the cities where everything has gone mysteriously all to pieces, somewhere deep within these permutations of our weird is the key to our humanity.

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Jimmy Cliff, Gil Scott-Heron, D. Boon, Lon Chaney Sr.

READ MORE about members of the Anti-Anti-Utopian Generation (1934-43).

Uncategorized

Jimmy Cliff

jimmy cliff

With the perfect inevitability of the pop record that is both a natural hit and a TV ad waiting to happen, “Wonderful World, Beautiful People,” written and sung by JIMMY CLIFF (born 1948), became a long-running soundtrack for Jamaican tourism. It remains the thing he’s probably best known for — if we count the millions who know the song well but think Bob Marley sings it. In 1969, though, “Wonderful World” was brand smacking new, an uncontrived blast of happiness from an impoverished beach nation, and the first track on Reggae Chartbusters, a Trojan Records compilation that became vinyl law to a generation of English listeners. The next year, Cliff wrote and sang an attack on “Vietnam” when US artists were still doubtful of using that place-name in their own antiwar lyrics. And in 1973, he was the outlaw hero of The Harder They Come, a Kingston-shot hot mess of an action musical whose sense of triumph was anchored by three Cliff songs and whose sense of danger was wired to every glint and shift of his body, eyes, and smile. Garish, convulsive, and unnerving, Harder is all about the revenge fantasies that powered Cliff’s escapist music in the years before he had the money to escape on. Any who would downgrade the latter-day Jimmy Cliff as mere popularizer, evader, or happy face should go back to the roots and take another look.

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Gil Scott-Heron, D. Boon, Lon Chaney Sr, Samuel R. Delany.

READ MORE about members of the Blank Generation (1944-53).

Uncategorized

“We want a ground to which people may easily go after their day’s work is done, and where they…”

“We want a ground to which people may easily go after their day’s work is done, and where they may stroll for an hour, seeing, hearing, and feeling nothing of the bustle and jar of the streets, where they shall, in effect, find the city put far away from them. We want the greatest possible contrast with the streets and the shops and the rooms of the town…. We want, especially, the greatest possible contrast with the restraining and confining conditions of the town, those conditions which compel us to walk circumspectly, watchfully, jealously, which compel us to look closely upon others without sympathy. Practically, what we most want is a simple, broad, open space of clean greensward, with sufficient play of surface and a sufficient number of trees about it to supply a variety of light and shade. This we want as a central feature. We want depth of wood enough about it not only for comfort in hot weather, but to completely shut out the city from our landscapes.”

- Frederick Law Olmsted, “Public Parks” (1902). The quintessence of Olmsted’s vision, the glades and turfs of Central Park glimmer here. I’m struck, however, to think how many other ways trees have of being in the city—not as decoration or obscuring screen, but as residents in dialogue with buildings, infrastructure, and people.
Uncategorized

#RaceSwapExp

A number of women of color changed their avatars to make a point about harassment. Some people are even swapping images in #RaceSwapExp

Uncategorized

data-driven strategizing for tiny libraries

I really need to upgrade this version of WordPress but I only remember when I am making a post and so I am busy. I did take the time, with other VLA members (Heidi! Helen! Sarah!) of redesigning the Vermont Library Association website. It was a great project, still a little bit in process, but I learned a lot more about responsive design and working with a team of engaged and interested people. Last weekend I went to Lexington MA to speak at the Cary Public Library. Not my usual routine, I was a guest speaker at a brunch talking about blogs. No slides, just talking. I talked about the history of this blog–15 years old this month–and other things I’ve done as a blogger. It went well. You can read the talk here: Blogs, Blogging and Bloggers. Scroll to the end to read a list of good book/reading blogs I put together. Ah, blogs!

Cutler library stats

This past weekend I went to a strategic planning retreat for one of the local small public libraries. They are in the unenviable position of needing to make some changes without really having the cash or the staffing to do those changes. The head of the board asked if I’d come in and talk about… making tough decsions, what other libraries are doing, that sort of thing. I came in to talk a little bit about Libraries I Have Known and spent about 45 minutes with a combination of local library anecdotes (I got a million of ‘em) and some data-driven talk.

The Vermont Department of Libraries puts out a terrific Giant Spreadsheet every year with a lot of information about all of Vermont’s libraries. I’ve talked about it before. However, it’s more data than most people want to deal with, which is perfectly okay. I took the giant spreadsheet and used some Excel filtering and added some averages and summaries and was able to create a much more modest spreadsheet which basically said “Show us how we’re doing compared to other libraries our size” For this project, I took all the libraries that had within 400 people population-wise and found the most salient information about those libraries (budget, circ, per capita funding, programming &c.) and then highlighted where this library fell on the matrix for these values. It didn’t take long, but it was fiddly work. At the end of it I think I had a really useful one-sheet for the board (above) and a few smaller spreadsheets so they could see where the numbers came from. It was fun. I’d love to do it for more libraries. I work in-state for pizza and Fresca (and mileage if I have to schlep someplace). Look me up.

Uncategorized

pennilessphotographer: “Diabetic”—Accident Series Vote for…



pennilessphotographer:

"Diabetic"—Accident Series

Vote for me!

https://zerenbadar.see.me/yearinreview2013

Uncategorized

randomness-from-thisoldguy: Tom Toles on ‘devolution’



randomness-from-thisoldguy:

Tom Toles on ‘devolution’

Uncategorized

internet-of-bodies: SGT STAR: THE ARMY’S VIRTUAL GUIDE SGT STAR…



internet-of-bodies:

SGT STAR: THE ARMY’S VIRTUAL GUIDE
SGT STAR is your virtual guide to goarmy.com.  He’s here to help answer any questions you have about the Army.  Just type in what you’re looking for and he’ll find the information you need - fast.

The information you enter is to be used only for recruiting Soldiers into the U.S. Army and the Army Reserve.

Ask SGT Star

Uncategorized

fairy-wren: Silver Pheasant ( Lopbura nycthemera ) by Gary…



fairy-wren:

Silver Pheasant ( Lopbura nycthemera ) by Gary Kinard on Flickr.

Uncategorized

« Previous PageNext Page »