At one magical instant the page of a book –
that string of confused, alien ciphers – shivered into meaning.
Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; At that moment, whole universes opened.
You became, irrevocably, a reader.
– Alberto Manguel
Reading is everything.
Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something,
learned something, become a better person.
Reading makes me smarter.
Reading gives me something to talk about later on…
Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.
– Nora Ephron
Ellis Island in Upper New York Bay was the busiest immigrant inspection station in the United States at the dawn of the 20th century, with millions of immigrants arrived in the United States via the island by boat.
Amateur photographer Augustus Sherman was the Ellis Island Chief Registry Clerk for a number of years in the early 1900s, and he used his special access to shoot portraits of many of the immigrants who passed through the station.
The New York Public Library recently published a collection of photographs captured by Sherman between 1902 and 1914. They document both what the immigration station was like at the time as well as special cultural outfits of the new immigrants arriving on US shores.
“It is likely that Sherman’s elaborately costumed subjects were detainees, new immigrants held at Ellis Island for one reason or another,” the NYPL writes. “While waiting for what they needed to leave the island (an escort, or money, or travel tickets), some of these immigrants may have been persuaded to pose for Sherman’s camera, donning their best holiday finery or national dress, which they had brought with them from home.”
You can find the entire collection of 89 photos in this Flickr set.
Tucked away in the Redwood trees of Cazadero, California stands this unassuming A-frame cabin.
It appears tiny on the outside, but the interior tells a different tale.
While one of the original aims of A-frame construction is to easily shed snow—we've previously seen what can go wrong when too much heavy snow is allowed to accumulate on a roof—it's also an efficient configuration to build and live within. Less materials are consumed than with a traditional rectilinear shape, and inside there is less cubic volume to heat or cool.
By placing seating and waist-high appliances against the walls, one can use up the awkward wall-meets-floor space. The main portion of the space offers enough distance from the walls for even tall people to walk upright.
The apex of the triangle is the perfect spot to place the loft bed.
While the second story requires sacrificing the centermost portion of the ground floor footprint with a staircase...
...the owners have made good use of the belowstairs space for storage.
If I was going to join the Tiny House movement, I think I'd opt with an A-frame over the traditional shape.
All photos courtesy Cindy Chinn
We’ve seen a number of artists working with pencil leads over the last few years, where the narrow dimensions of graphite are carved into minuscule objects. This recent piece by Nebraska-based artist Cindy Chinn is particularly ingenious, an entire carpenter’s pencil is turned into a tiny train, trestle, and bridge. “This piece was designed using straight lead pieces for the rails, with the tiny carved train placed and securely glued on top of the rails,” Chinn shares. “The train engine is only 3/16″ of an inch tall. The pencil is 5-5/8″ long and mounted in a wood shadowbox frame as shown in the photos.”
Beginning in the '90s, Karim Rashid famously claimed that we touch, on average, some 600 objects a day. Now another industrial designer, London-based Paula Zucotti, has released a project where she seeks to reveal exactly what those objects are.
To be clear, Zucotti's project, a photo book entitled Every Thing We Touch, was apparently conducted independently of Rashid's original claim. ID'er and ethnographer Zucotti traveled the world "to find people from an incredible array of ages, cultures, professions and backgrounds. She asked them to document every object they touched in 24 hours. Then she gathered those objects together and photographed them in a single shot."
From a toddler in Tokyo to a cowboy in Arizona, from a cleaner in London to a cloister nun in Madrid, Every Thing We Touch is their story told through the objects they own, consume, need, choose, treasure and can't let go.
If the objects in each shot seem to add up to far less than 600, the disparity is no surprise; in his speeches to us at Pratt, Rashid made it clear that the math included every single doorknob, subway turnstile, windowsill et cetera, things that are not easily trucked down to a photography studio.
This is probably too much to ask, but I think it'd also be neat to see a heat map overlaid on the images depicting the length of time each object was touched for. Looking around at the things I touch every day, I'd like to think I spend the most time touching my dogs, fat stacks of cash or a favorite tool. But I know the truth: The object that clocks the most touch time is this computer I'm typing this entry on. Because here at Core77, we work for you, man!
We won't ask you to send in photos of every single thing you touch in a single day, but what are the top five objects you touch the most? Not counting wearables, mine are, in order:
2. Desk surface
3. Office chair
4. E-cigarette to keep me from smoking
I'm hoping one of you has a more exciting list.
Zucotti's Tumblr page has more images and information on the book. And according to Wired, although the book is complete, she's still actively seeking more contributors. Lastly, she's got a related video on the project that she plans to release in "another month or so."
Earlier this year, NASA's Europa Mission Tweeted the following photo:
"One of these is Jupiter's moon Europa," they wrote, "the rest are frying pans."
We're sure you're trying to guess which of these is the real deal, but before we get to that, where did these images come from? While the photo of the actual Europa was snapped by their Galileo spacecraft in the 1990s, are we to believe that NASA techs are sitting around shooting photos of spent frying pans?
No, they're not. The frying pan shots are the work of Norwegian photographer Christopher Jonassen, who began shooting his Devour and Devour II series—"Still life photography of worn-out frying pans"—in 2010 or earlier.
In 2013 someone on Starship Asterisk, an online forum for astronomy geeks, began posting Jonassen's photos in the APOD (Astronomy Photo of the Day) section alongside photos of the real Europa. They subsequently ran seven "Moon or Frying Pan?" quizzes featuring Jonassen's work, properly crediting him. It appears that this quiz is what whomever handles NASA's EM Twitter account drew from.
In any case, have you figured out which of the photos in the Brady Bunch shot is the real Europa?
It's this one:
It's tough to pick it out from a field of nine, but at least one member of the Starship Asterisk forum found it easier in side-by-sides like the one below—and not by drawing on his astronomy knowledge:
"Speaking as a professional cook," the poster writes, "this one was a bit too easy. If you could somehow parley the sheen of grease into a sense of scope and distance, then you would have a challenge indeed!"
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EMERGENCE LAB Thomas Medicus
The “Emergence Lab” is a hand painted anamorphic sculpture. Its title refers to a phenomenon called emergence. Through a plug system made out of 216 laser cut acrylic glass strips, a cubic framework, which contains layers pointing towards all three spatial dimensions, is created. On each side of the cube there is one anamorphic painting that can always only be seen from one point. Since every figure fills the exact same surface as its counterpart on the opposite side, the rear image is covered while looking at one figure.
Before painting the fragments of the images separately on the strips with acrylic paint, the segmentation has been planned entirely. In order to prevent irritating reflections within the strips and to give it the look of solid glass the sculpture floats in a particular silicone oil that has the same refractive index as acrylic.
Images and text via Thomas Medicus
Happy birthday, people born today!
Photographer Eric Pickersgill has a photo project that has the Web abuzz this week. Titled “Removed,” it shows what smartphones and tablets have done to our daily lives and the “intimate” moments we share with friends and family. In each scene, the devices themselves have been taken out, resulting in strange photos that force us to reflect on our interactions with technology.
Using a large-format view camera, Pickersgill hunted for moments in which people are absorbed by their phones. After they agreed to pose for a portrait, he removed the devices from their hands before making a photo. Other images in the series are more staged, and are intended to show how technology has been creating walls between people.
Pickersgill says the idea for the project came to him when he noticed a family while sitting in a cafe. Here’s what he wrote down:
Family sitting next to me at Illium café in Troy, NY is so disconnected from one another. Not much talking. Father and two daughters have their own phones out. Mom doesn’t have one or chooses to leave it put away. She stares out the window, sad and alone in the company of her closest family. Dad looks up every so often to announce some obscure piece of info he found online. Twice he goes on about a large fish that was caught. No one replies. I am saddened by the use of technology for interaction in exchange for not interacting. This has never happened before and I doubt we have scratched the surface of the social impact of this new experience. Mom has her phone out now.
“The photographs represent reenactments of scenes that I experience daily,” writes Pickersgill. “We have learned to read the expression of the body while someone is consuming a device and when those signifiers are activated it is as if the device can be seen taking physical form without the object being present.”
Image credits: Photographs by Eric Pickersgill and used with permission
“Sunset Selfies” is a project by photographer John Marshall of Frye Island, Maine, who photographers silhouettes of himself posing with creative cardboard cutouts.
“Today, I was enjoying a sunset banana down by the lake when the most amazing thing happened,” Marshall writes of the photo above. “All of a sudden, this warm breeze started blowing across my neck and it smelled just like bananas too.”
Marshall draws each prop onto cardboard and then cuts them out with scissors by hand.
“The cutouts don’t look like much at first,” he says. “They’re rough, held together by duct tape. But when they’re backlit, all their imperfections fall away. I’m always surprised by what I get.” The shapes look “lousy” when seen in the light:
Marshall works professionally as a writer, so this photo project is something that lets him escape that world for little periods of time… “like being a kid again.”
Here are some other photos in the series:
“Mars House of Pizze”
When Mars House of Pizza says “WE DELIVER ANYWHERE,” they mean it.
“Troll Hair Cut”
Text: The problem with Troll Haircut Day is the brutal monotony of it all.
“Tapered to a point?” I asked for the 74th time.
Enough with the begging. This is why you do not feed pets at the table.
“The Ring Toss”
I can’t think of a better way to wind down at the end of the day then with a little Rhino Ring Toss. For anyone interested: All you need is a rhinoceros and a ring and you’re good to go.
When I finally got up the nerve to approach the beautiful mermaid down on the beach, a friend suggested I bring her a bouquet of roses. But I had a better idea.
“The Kayak Horse”
For anyone who has ever wondered if their horse would make a good kayak partner…I wouldn’t count on it. Mine didn’t pick up his paddle once.
“The Grizzly Bear”
When the grizzly bear said he had a frog in his throat, I didn’t know I’d need to reach in and rescue it.
“The Frog Date”
I was about to tell the waiter about the big fly in my soup when my date cleared her throat. “Are you gonna eat that?” she asked.
“In the yoga world, we call this the Standing Tree Pose,” I said.
“Oh. In the flamingo world, we call this standing,” the flamingo replied.
While I was watching the sunset tonight, I couldn’t stop blinking. “Hey. Do I have something in my eye?” I asked Keith, my chameleon friend.
“Yeah,” Keith said. “It’s a bug.”
“Can you get it out?” I asked.
You can find more photos and follow along with the project on its official Facebook page.
Image credits: All photographs by John Marshall and used with permission