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26 Feb 22:59

Arboretum - Light Games :: Zman Games

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

I am hoping this will be very pretty

Arboretum is a card game where you grow your very own botanical garden. Making the most beautiful arboretum will not be an easy task, and some planning will be required. Which species will you choose? Lilac, willow, or maybe maple? Keep an eye out on your opponents, manage your hand wisely, and your arboretum will be blooming!
26 Feb 15:07

The Slurpee Waves of Nantucket

Russian Sledges

slurpees with a vengeance

via suburban koala

The Slurpee Waves of Nantucket:
Dang! Have you ever seen waves get so cold they turn to slurpee? We haven’t. So when surfer/photographer/Stay Wild contributor Jonathan Nimerfroh showed us these sweet shots he captured in Nantucket we had to share. When we asked Jonathan what the fawk this was all about he said, “Just been super cold here. The harbor to the main land is frozen solid. No boats running.But yea, the day after I took these it actually froze up the shoreline for 200 yards out. Solid ice. I was totally tripping when I pulled up to the beach and saw this.”
25 Feb 07:19

pipistrellus:climateadaptation:Boston.soon they will be ripe

Russian Sledges

via firehose




soon they will be ripe

26 Feb 17:10

Russian Sledges

via suburban koala

26 Feb 18:49

[Watch]: Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman In ‘A Little Chaos’ Trailer | Deadline

by gguillotte
Russian Sledges

via firehose

Alan Rickman directs and stars in A Little Chaos with Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Stanley Tucci and Jennifer Ehle. Rickman also co-wrote the story with Alison Deegan and Jeremy Brock. Winslet plays Madame Sabine De Barra, an unlikely candidate for landscape architect of the still‐to-be-completed Palace of Versailles. She has little time for the classical, ordered designs of the man who hires her, the famous architect Le Nôtre (Schoenaerts). However, as she works on her creation, she finds herself drawn to him as she is forced to negotiate the perilous rivalries and intricate etiquette of the court of King Louis XIV (Rickman).
25 Feb 22:20

jennirl: i don’t think i have ever been this angry before 8am.

Russian Sledges

via willowbl00


i don’t think i have ever been this angry before 8am.

26 Feb 18:00

The People of Boston Are Trying to Get Each Other Through Their Tough Witner

Russian Sledges

via willowbl00


Submitted by: (via Sallyjack)

Tagged: rage , sign , snow , boston
24 Feb 03:47

Poverty, Libraries, Jobs, Me

by griffey

A bit earlier today I saw a handful of librarians on Twitter posting a link to a Library Director’s job with what appeared to be an appalling salary of $7.25 an hour.

You too can be a library directory — for a mere $7.25/hr.

— Shield Maiden (@byshieldmaiden) February 24, 2015

Wanna be a library director for minimum wage? This is totally disgraceful. — Amanda Cintron (@Xaila) February 24, 2015

Each of these tweets have been re-tweeted a dozen or so times as I’m writing this, so people are sharing it. Heck, I clicked through when I saw the salary, curious what sort of place thought they could get someone for that price, and where you could possibly live on that salary.

The answer? Just down the road from where I grew up, that’s where.

Elliot county

So the marker there is the library in question, and the little town north of it that’s circled, that’s my home town of Olive Hill, KY. The library is in the county seat of Elliott County, KY, in a town of just about 600 people called Sandy Hook. Here’s a larger map to give you some additional context about just exactly where this is located.

Elliott County large


This part of the world is where I spent the first 22 years of my life, as a kid and teenager in Olive Hill and then as an undergrad at Morehead State University just down the road. If you check the Google Street View of where the Library in question sits,  it is right next to an elementary school where I played basketball as a boy.

So when I say this, I say it with the conviction of someone who knows: there is very, very little likelihood that anyone posting about this on Twitter has ever seen poverty of the sort that they have in Elliott County, KY. Hell, the entire concept of the “War on Poverty” started just down the road from Elliott County, an hour southeast in Inez, KY, where LBJ launched his famous efforts to eliminate poverty in the US.  Elliott County is the 49th Poorest County by Median Household Income in the entire United States of America. For some more reference, the median household income for Sandy Hook in 2010 was $14,313.

If there is anywhere in this country where kids need a library to help them dream, this is that place.

I was curious after seeing this tweet…

@adr @griffey There might not be a single place in Canada poorer than that part of Kentucky.

— Steve Casburn (@casburn_lib) February 24, 2015

…so I decided to take a look. And if this news report is to be believed, it’s true…the poorest postal code in Canada (B1W, the Cape Breton – Eskasoni First Nation) has a median household income of $19,392 Canadian, or $15,401 US. So there is literally not a single place in Canada that is poorer than Sandy Hook, KY.

With that said: should a library director be paid $7.25/hr? No, of course not. But in this part of Kentucky, believe it or not, that is a decent salary. Not because it is objectively an amount of money that someone deserves for doing their job, but only because the area around it has been forgotten. This part of the world has been given up on by the former industries that sustained it, by the clay and the tobacco and the lumber that were the only reasons money ever flowed into the economy of the area in the first place.

This is a place that I love, this Eastern Kentucky. Even now, decades after I left, I can close my eyes and see the soft clay streaking the soil. I can feel the limestone bones that make up the gentle foothills of the Appalachians. I can smell the warmth of a tobacco barn on a Fall evening.

These are people that need help. I hope they find someone for that job that can not only show the children of Elliott County that there is a wider world, but that just maybe one of those kids will find a way to help save my Eastern Kentucky.

25 Feb 23:03

Crystallized books

by Xeni Jardin
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide



Artist Alexis Arnold bends books at their spines, crumples them, and rolls them around in a Borax solution that causes them to be encrusted with tiny crystals. Read the rest

26 Feb 01:06

The Great Removal begins Monday

by adamg
Russian Sledges

via suburbankoala

DPW workers will begin removing parking space savers as part of regular trash pickup starting on Monday, the mayor's office announced today.

Mayor Walsh asked residents who have their space savers removed to not simply go into Lord of the Flies mode:

25 Feb 15:25

What Kind of Man Joins the Men's Rights Movement?

by djempirical
Russian Sledges

jeff sharlet autoreshare

via firehose

all the obvious trigger warnings

Probably not, at least according to a growing army of pissed-off activists who are convinced that the male species is profoundly endangered by our feminized society. They say it's a woman's world now—that women have the upper hand in sex, in universities, in custody battles. And don't even get them started on all those bogus rape cases. It's enough to make a certain kind of man join a revolution. Jeff Sharlet reports from the movement's first national gathering and meets the true believers who want you to fight for your right to patriarchy

Photographs by Bruce Gilden
March 2015
Albert Calabrese believes the age of consent should be 12 years old.

"What is 'the manosphere'?" I ask Paul Elam around three one morning. This is not a factual question. It's an existential one.

I already know that "the manosphere" refers to an online network, nascent but vast and like the universe constantly expanding, each twinkling star in its firmament dedicated—obviously—to men. Men and their problems. Usually with women. Some galaxies of the manosphere are composed of self-declared "pickup artists" (PUAs) who want to help ordinary guys trick women into bed; other solar systems deal earnestly with child custody and the Adderallization of rambunctious boys. There are constellations of MGTOWs, "men going their own way," separatists and onanists and recluses. There are hundreds of websites and blogs, many openly hostile—SlutHate, Angry Harry, The Spearhead, NiceGuy's American Women Suck Page—and many more that are brutally lewd. For instance: Return of Kings, published by the author of a series of popular country guides such as Bang Ukraine: How to Sleep with Ukrainian Women in Ukraine.

As the flagship political site of the movement (it had just shy of 9 million site visits last year), Elam's A Voice for Men functions as the closest thing there is to a center, an intelligence, a superego to the bloggy manosphere id of lust and fury. Just how big the whole thing is, nobody can say. More than fringe, less than mainstream, but at 3 A.M., sitting with Elam in his hotel room, I'm not looking for numbers. Size doesn't matter. What I'm really asking is, What does it all mean?

Elam has just wrapped up a conference. "An eye popper," he says, the first time he's brought A Voice for Men off the Internet and into the flesh. He likes to say, "You can't fight titty hall," but that's exactly what he's doing. He's fucking shit up. That's his slogan: "Fuck their shit up." "They" being feminists. Six eight, 290 pounds, with the beard of John Brown and the rumbling voice of James Earl Jones, Elam, whose name happens to be "male" backward, wants to be a provocateur. Responding to a feminist critic, he once wrote, "The idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection." But that kind of talk is just for show, he says. He points out he used to be a counselor. What he's doing, really, is a kind of therapy. He wants me to understand. So he draws a map of the manosphere, alluding to its origins as he sketches: its roots in the men's liberation movement of the 1970s and '80s—auxiliary to the much larger women's movement—and the New Agey men's movement of the '90s, its coming of age online, when Elam first started posting under the name Lester Burnham, Kevin Spacey's midlife-crisis character in American Beauty, its explosive growth since he founded A Voice for Men in 2008. Refuge, reaction, and fantasyland, practical advice and political calculation, identity and secret identity, cold fact and hot ambition. It's so complex not even Elam can map it neatly:

He holds up his rendering. The semblance is clear. "A dick and balls," I say.

"Yes," he says, chuckling, "I guess it is."


If you've heard of the manosphere, it may have been in the context of Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old self-described "supreme gentleman" who on May 23, 2014, in Isla Vista, California, murdered six people. In a YouTube video he posted the day he stabbed to death three men in his apartment and opened fire on a sorority house at UC Santa Barbara, he declared the slaughter a "Day of Retribution," revenge for the world's failure to provide him "the beautiful girlfriend I know I deserve." Rodger was a student of several manosphere philosophies, but his most active connection was through a forum called PUAhate. Most of its members embrace MGTOWdom after trying and failing to adopt the ways of the pickup artists—hence the "hate"—at which point their bitterness brings the angriest of them to the politics of Elam. Some of A Voice for Men's biggest web traffic days followed Rodger's murder spree. The media attention surrounding the Isla Vista shootings was a twofold gift for the group, driving new recruits to the movement and allowing A Voice for Men to present itself as the moderate middle. Some men tried to distance themselves from Rodger with a hashtag, #notallmen. Many more women—a million within days—responded with #yesallwomen, as in, yes, all women have experienced variations of the misogyny that led Rodger to his crimes. The manosphere did not like this. "Men are your benefactors, your protectors, and your providers," a writer at A Voice for Men explained. "So the next time you trend a hashtag about us, maybe you say 'thank you' instead."

A Voice for Men's first International Conference on Men's Issues convened a month after the killing. The issues were as varied as the manosphere: fathers' rights, suicide, and circumcision (a.k.a. male genital mutilation), and also false accusations of rape, male victims of rape, and unfaithful wives "cuckoo for cocoa penis puffs," as one speaker would put it, plus "mangina" journalists who "cherry-pick" quotes such as "cuckoo for cocoa penis puffs" out of context. 1. It was supposed to be at the Detroit DoubleTree, a swank downtown hotel, but the feminists protested, and since the elite hospitality industry is pretty much in the thrall of feminism, or because the feminists floated death threats, or because a member of the men's movement floated death threats so people would understand that the feminists are floating death threats even if they did not, in this instance, float any death threats—for one of these disturbing reasons, A Voice for Men was told by the DoubleTree to "go elsewhere."

Elsewhere is a town called St. Clair Shores, and in it a VFW, Post 1146, known as "the Bruce." As in the sign out front that declares, cruising at the bruce / every friday night / 5–9 P.M. (By "cruising" they mean muscle cars, a fact I mention because A Voice for Men is surprisingly pro-gay, or at least anti-anti-gay.) There's artillery on the lawn and a faded sign on a fence around a parking lot: warning, of what, to whom, it is not clear. The blacktop beyond, where conference attendees line up to go through "security," is broken with weeds, but the men don't notice the decline in the conference's circumstances. They're too excited about "security." They keep saying, "No feminist better try coming here!" Local police have dispatched four officers, and the conference attendees have deputized even more security from their own ranks. "Security" wears black polo shirts, and there are a lot of black polo shirts, but since the line is slow, security decides to sweep us all in with a request to return for a "check." Nobody does. Only one feminist later attempts entry, an activist who goes by the handle "Dark Horse Swore." The black shirts eighty-six her. She sets up at a nearby bar, orders pizza, opens a tab, and invites any conference attendee who cares to talk. No takers. Feminist pizza? Not a chance. These men, they're hip to feminine wiles. They've taken the red pill, they like to say.

The red-pill moment, explains one men's rights activist (MRA), "is the day you decide nothing looks the same." It's what the movement calls the born-again experience of opening your eyes to women's Matrix-like control of the modern world. For a young MRA named Max von Holtzendorff, the red-pill moment was being accused of sexual harrassment by a co-worker to whom he proposed sex, "being blunt and forthright, because that seemed the best way to ensure consent." For Dan Perrins, one of the security black shirts, it was the day he ended up in jail, after he says he lodged a complaint against his ex, the beginning of a legal battle that led him to a hunger strike. "I should have killed the bitch five years ago," he tells me. "I'd be out by now." For Gunther Schadow, an M.D.-Ph.D., it was a "meta-study" on domestic violence that inspired him to seed a foundation with about half a million dollars, with which he now hopes to overturn the Violence Against Women Act. For Dan Moore, whose MRA name is Factory, the red pill was a revelation in stages. First, he says, his wife cheated on him. Then she wanted him to know it. "She'd laugh at me." His low point: lying on the floor in a fetal curl while she stood over him mocking him. He says she had a butcher knife in her hand. (She denies this. All of it.)

"Women gone insane with the power of the pussy pass" is how Elam describes the movement's raison d'être in an essay called "When Is It OK to Punch Your Wife?" Another one of his provocations. Elam's white, but he identifies with Malcolm X; he believes he needs to shock society to be heard. He says his talk of "the business end of a right hook" and women who are "freaking begging" to be raped is simply his version of Malcolm's "by any means necessary." To wit: Elam's proposal to make October "Bash a Violent Bitch Month," in which men should take the women who abuse them "by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won't fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles."

Paul Elam, a former counselor, launched his anti-feminist group to "fuck their shit up."


Elam describes such language as satire. Then again, one evening in a bar, he tells me that he stands by every word he says. A group of us have gathered with pitchers of beer at a place near the VFW—"You could get into a fistfight here," Elam says cheerfully—and the classic rock is rocking, but Elam's deep voice has gone soft and thoughtful. "It's a David-and-Goliath kind of deal," he says. He's David, personally confronting the Goliath of Womanhood, his "provocations" his sling. And just as in the biblical story, it's not so much about killing Goliath as giving hope to his people. This, to Elam, is how his provocations work: "satire" that's really rage that's really a beacon, a Bat Signal—calling all broken men. "Men who've decided to check out because they can't take it anymore, guys going to live in their cars because they have nowhere to go," he says. "I get e-mails from people who say, 'I was suicidal until I found your website and realized I wasn't alone.' "

1. Context: a conference presentation by Terrence Popp, introduced as "infantry soldier, former professional fighter, college graduate, author, poet, warrior, comedian," etc., a decorated combat veteran whom the conference introducer notes is "top" or "expert" with the following weapons: MK19, M16, M203 grenade launcher, pistol, M60, SAW. "I'm not the guy you want pissed off," says Popp, who while speaking on veterans and suicide suggests the audience "imagine coming back from war to find out your wifeI'm trying to think of a good way to say this, but, uh, you know, went cuckoo for cocoa penis puffs." I think Popp, who is white, means the wife in question had sex with a black man. "Crazy for some Rice Krispies treats," he continues, "and a couple Polish sausages thrown in there."

Original Source

25 Feb 21:06

Witnesses Describe Portal To Mysterious G Train Platform Between Subway Stations

by Jen Carlson
Witnesses Describe Portal To Mysterious G Train Platform <em>Between</em> Subway Stations (Warning: there are some disappointing updates down below, but just enjoy the ride before you get to the "facts.") [ more › ]

26 Feb 14:13

Vivek Wadhwa, Voice for Women in Silicon Valley, Is Foiled by His Tone -

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

"Mr. Wadhwa, 57, holds affiliations with Stanford, Duke and a Silicon Valley-based think tank called Singularity University."

His critics concede that women do sometimes underplay their strengths, but they point to another concern: Studies show that when women speak up in negotiations or other meetings, they are often penalized for doing so. And should women get ahead by aping the air of overconfidence and bravado that characterizes the Valley’s most cringe-inducing men? “I think that in 2015 we can give women better advice than ‘Behave more like men,’ ” said Cate Huston, a software engineer who has worked at Google and IBM. Instead, Mr. Wadhwa’s response to women who questioned his ideas often reinforced their belief that men don’t like it when women speak up.
24 Feb 00:50

PeriodO – Periods, Organized

by russiansledges
he PeriodO project is creating a gazetteer of scholarly assertions about the spatial and temporal extents of historical, art-historical, and archaeological periods. This gazetteer will ease the task of linking among datasets that define periods differently. It will also help scholars and students see where period definitions overlap or diverge. In the long term, it may also help researchers to assign temporal coordinates to documents that use undefined period terms.
24 Feb 03:43

Anjelica Houston photographed by Richard Avedon 1976.

Russian Sledges

via firehose

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.

Anjelica Houston photographed by Richard Avedon, 1976.

23 Feb 01:57

imwithkanye:Benedict Cumberbatch just doing what Benedict...

Russian Sledges

via firehose ("Benedictine Chartreuseback")


Benedict Cumberbatch just doing what Benedict Cumberbatch does at award shows. 

24 Feb 19:30

City Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, 1962-68(Kallmann, McKinnell...

Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

City Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, 1962-68

(Kallmann, McKinnell & Knowles)

24 Feb 17:00

How To Get Rid Of Clutter And Live Abundantly

by Mallory Ortberg
Russian Sledges

"The only thing that belongs in your refrigerator is mindfulness."

It's important to be very rich but have almost no items in your home. This will confuse vengeful spirits that come looking to destroy your possessions.

Also, if you have too many items in your home, helpful ghosts may be unable to find you, as clutter interferes with their echolocation.

Have you ever owned anything? This is why you cannot forgive any of your former lovers. Things like "having chairs" is preventing you from living your best life, and also you should throw away any item of clothing you're not currently wearing.

Read more How To Get Rid Of Clutter And Live Abundantly at The Toast.

24 Feb 20:00

Code Words For Lesbianism In Classic Films

by Mallory Ortberg

If you hear any of the following words or phrases used to describe a female character in a movie made before 1970, odds are good that they're trying to tell you about a lesbian, a real shadows girl, someone who prefers the hour just after dusk, a gal with her own library card.







Fond of her health



Read more Code Words For Lesbianism In Classic Films at The Toast.

24 Feb 12:42

Turns out almost everything is a waste of time

Russian Sledges

via willowbl00

Ancient Philosophy, Dartmouth College

Seneca the Younger’s Ethics of Time

20 Feb 19:13

The BitterSweet Life on Twitter

Russian Sledges

via bernot

Interviewed a little girl this morning that feeds crows and they bring her gifts in return. Here's her collection.

19 Feb 21:26

Liholiho’s island-minded cocktails are anything but tiki - SFGate

by russiansledges
Liholiho’s drinks, then, are deceptively more grown-up than the names indicate. There’s nary a garnish. The glassware verges on brutalist. A drink like the Castaway doesn’t come within 10 miles of a tiki mug. Instead, served in a petite, tapered flute, it’s an exercise in briskness, driven by salty manzanilla Sherry and green Chartreuse. He even adds a bit of falernum, typically a syrupy Barbadian liqueur, that has been salted to redirect what’s usually a tiki flavor in a more marine direction. The Bluth is one of his boozy inventions, fecund from the old-timey bite of both 5-year-old rum and Abbott’s bitters. It’s haunted by a liqueur flavored with a fruit that “Arrested Development” fans already have in mind. “The banana is aggressive,” I have in my notes, which admittedly is a phrase I never thought I’d write. Although the Surfer Rosa may be Hawaiian Punch red in the glass, it, too, is more a study in astringency than in sweetness. The color is from hibiscus-infused mezcal, underscored by the double growl of vermouth and Benedictine. The name isn’t beachnik; it’s a tribute to the angsty Pixies album, just as the Tropicalia is a nod to Brazil’s midcentury cultural avant-garde.
19 Feb 15:50

Avalanche buries one in Cambridge

by OnlyMrGodKnowsWhy
Russian Sledges

via firehose

Around 6:30 p.m., snow slid off the roof of Simoni Rink at the Gore Street Park, hitting four people and burying one. WCVB reports two people were taken to the hospital.

Original Source

20 Feb 02:03


Russian Sledges

via firehose

20 Feb 01:05

Fruit Exploring in Kyrgyzstan

Russian Sledges

via saucie

Fruit Exploring in Kyrgyzstan:

Walking the Apple Walnut Forests of Kyrgyzstan

In early September of this year, I traveled to Kyrgyzstan to go fruit and nut exploring in their ancient wild fruit forests. Kyrgyzstan has some of the oldest apple genetics in the world, and as a budding apple orchardist and student of permaculture, I wanted to see how these apples grew in the wild. I had heard that in this faraway land (including Kazakhstan), apples grew without any management strategy and are insect- and disease-free. This turned out to be mostly true, and with my permit to import seed, I set out to collect as much knowledge (and seed) as I could from these forests.
My trip started in the village of Arslanbob, Kyrgyzstan, home to the largest walnut forests in the world (1.6 million acres). I brought a machete to these Kyrgyz forests in anticipation of hacking through the wild, jungle-like apple ecosystem. My roots in permaculture had me dreaming of an environment below these apple trees that was full of the beneficial plants needed to create healthy and disease- and insect-free apples. In actuality, the overstory was dominated primarily by walnuts(Juglans regia), with apples (Malus sieversii) and hawthorns (Crataegusspp.) irregularly sharing the canopy. The understory featured a forest floor of closely trimmed grass and cow and sheep patties. I couldn’t have used a machete if I had tried.
To be honest, the lack of a “wild” feeling was a bit of a letdown at first. I was supposed to be in this jungle-like fruit forest where natural chaos abounds. In this apple forest scenario, I had forgotten about the people connected to these forests. The Kyrgyz people are pastoral (some nomadic) with diets heavy in meat and dairy. Almost everyone has livestock, and the history of grazing their animals in these walnut-apple forests goes back more than 400 years. This is a long time period, and cultural relationships have developed within these forests to create a system where everyone and everything seems to benefit.
Here’s an example: Walnut leaves produce a smell that repels insects and keeps them from bothering the animals and the apples. Blemished apples containing these pests usually drop to the ground and are eaten by the grazing livestock. The grass eaten by livestock in the forest is believed to be anti-parasitic* and provides for a large part of their diet during the growing season. In exchange for health and nourishment, these animals fertilize the soil and create perfect conditions for walnut harvesting by keeping the grass low. Most people in Arslanbob derive the majority of their income from the walnut harvests, and walnuts are even a form of currency during certain times of the year. The blemish/disease/insect-free apples are harvested by the townspeople for their own consumption, because all domestic fruits go to market. We also must not forget the organic meat and dairy received from this relationship as well.
Suddenly, I realized that this place is not just a walnut-apple forest, but an integration of people and animals with food- and income-producing trees. It is a wild orchard, planted by no one and cultivated by everyone over hundreds of years. Shame on me for being let down when I didn’t see a jungle-like fruit forest. Humans are an inextricable part of nature whether we like it or not, and the instinctual behavior exhibited from the Kyrgyz people for more than 400 years is as much a part of polyculture as a plant guild.
This realization has impacted the way I view orcharding. My horizons are a little wider, and I can’t wait to experiment with integrating my life into an orchard system. I have an idea of where to start, but as a beginning orchardist, I’ve got a lifetime of relationships to make.
*I say the grass is anti-parasitic only because my guide told me so. After some thought and research, I think the animals may be ingesting some juglone, a natural chemical produced by walnuts that is known to be anti-parasitic and also somewhat toxic to some other plants, from the soil, walnut leaves, husks and/or roots.
About the author: Eliza Greenman is a former MOFGA apprentice at Super Chilly Farm and a former MOFGA journeyperson at Sandy River Apples. When she wrote this article, she was the property manager for the Three Streams Collective in Montville, where she designed and implemented fruit and nut orcharding systems. Now she is the orchardist for Foggy Ridge Cider in Southwestern Virginia and is starting her own orchards on neighboring land there.

View full article at:

18 Feb 05:52

Skyline Wrapping Paper

by Honey
Russian Sledges

via firehose

 photo citywrap5_zpsbnmydqc4.jpg

 photo 41100_skyline-wrapping-paper_zpsrx0sxdli.jpg

Super-sized sheets of wrapping paper printed with building facades from around the world. Wrap your gifts to create 3D buildings that come together to form mini skylines. Unique wrapping paper perfect for that special architect in your life. The best way to keep the pile of presents under the tree looking organised. Buy here.

 photo skyline-wrapping-paper-3_zpsilszzt0a.jpg

 photo 5f0e2bb1026edb5b24ea4dd00a718e3a_zpsd8k3zgcr.jpg

18 Feb 18:11

Pop Culture Pulsar: Origin Story of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures Album Cover [Video] | SA Visual, Scientific American Blog Network

by djempirical
Russian Sledges

via firehose


i wonder how much this guy could get in royalties, if he were litigiously inclined?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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The world of science visuals has become a large and varied place. In this blog we call out great art and design from our hallowed pages and elsewhere.

The SA Visual writers:
Michael Mrak, Jen Christiansen, Monica Bradley, Jason Mischka, Ryan Reid, Jason Arias, Liz Tormes and Bernard Lee.

More »

Jen Christiansen is the art director of information graphics at Scientific American. Follow on Twitter @ChristiansenJen.

More »

Contact Jen Christiansen via email.
Follow Jen Christiansen on Twitter as @ChristiansenJen.

Sure, I was familiar with the graphic—and I’m not alone. Drop this image (right) on someone’s desk and chances are they’ll reflexively blurt, “Joy Division.” The band’s 1979 Unknown Pleasures album cover leaned entirely on a small mysterious data display, printed in white on black. No band name, album title or other identifiers. An interesting move for a debut studio album.

The cover image became an icon but remained mysterious. Even as knowledge spread about the band’s inspiration point—a preexisting pulsar data visualization (more on this below)—the true origin of that visualization continued to be a bit of a riddle. Somewhere along the way, I became obsessed with the narratives behind pulsar discovery and stacked plots, along with a growing desire to learn all that I could about the image and the research it was connected to. What follows is an abridged story borne of that obsession, starting with a video screened at a data visualization conference and ending with an interview with Harold (Hal) Craft, the radio astronomer who created the plot from data collected at the Arecibo Radio Observatory.

*          *          *

In late 2012 I saw the Unknown Pleasures album cover in a new light. VISUALIZED conference attendees were treated to a screening of Data Visualization, Reinterpreted: The Story of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures Album (directed by Eric Klotz and Volkert Besseling). Check out the video below for an interview with the album cover designer, Peter Saville.

As Saville explains, the cover is directly linked to a figure in The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy (1977 edition)—a stacked plot of radio signals from a pulsar. My interest was piqued. I’m far from a music and album art expert but visualizing astronomical phenomena is part of my job description. Although I jotted down notes, my intention to look further into things faded.

Then, nearly two years later, when chatting with artist Philippe Decrauzat about his influences, my jaw hit the floor. His collection of favorite 1960s and 1970s Scientific American graphics included the stacked plot. It had been printed as a full-page figure in the January 1971 issue; white radio pulses on a field of cyan. My interest was piqued anew, to say the least.

When folks refer to the Unknown Pleasures cover, they generally just say that it shows a series of radio frequency periods from the first pulsar discovered. But what does that really mean? How does the physicality of a pulsar result in radio frequencies that translate into the famous stacked plot? What produced the data, how was it collected, who created the plot and what is its significance?

First, a short pulsar primer (keep an eye on this blog in the coming months for a more in-depth discussion on the history of pulsar visualization and explanatory graphics). From Jacob Shaham’s February 1987 Scientific American article “The Oldest Pulsars in the Universe:

“[Radio pulsars] are thought to be rotating neutron stars: huge, spinning ‘nuclei’ that contain some 1057 protons and neutrons…. The large clump of nuclear matter, which has a mass about equal to that of the sun, is compressed into a sphere with a radius on the order of 10 kilometers. Consequently, the density of the star is enormous, slightly greater than the density of ordinary nuclear matter, which is itself some 10 trillion times denser than a lead brick. Currents of protons and electrons moving within the star generate a magnetic field. As the star rotates, a radio beacon, ignited by the combined effect of the magnetic field and the rotation, emanates from it and sweeps periodically through the surrounding space, rather like a lighthouse beam. Once per revolution the beacon cuts past the earth, giving rise to the beeping detected by radio telescopes.”

Although the image on the cover is largely cited correctly as depicting the first pulsar discovered (CP 1919), it’s not the first isolated plot of that pulsar, which was made in 1967. That honor goes to Jocelyn Bell Burnell from the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in Cambridge, England, as published in Nature on February 24, 1968. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

I quickly learned that I’m not the first to jump down the rabbit hole in search of the creator of the stacked plot. Adam Capriola has documented his search with regular updates, and notes three key pre-album occurrences of the figure. I checked out those three artifacts to see if they would lead to more information about the creator of the plot and/or its significance. In reverse order of printing:

1. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy, edited by Simon Mitton. Prentice-Hall of Canada, by Terwin Copplestone Publishing, 1977. No source credit for the plot can be found in the text, other than a general book-wide “diagrams and graphs by Michael Robinson” nod. There’s a great four-page summary about pulsars and several diagrams but not much detail about the stacked plot itself, beyond the figure caption.

"Successive pulses from the first pulsar discovered, CP 1919, are here superimposed vertically. The pulses occur every 1.337 seconds. They are caused by rapidly spinning neutron star." From The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy.

2. Graphis Diagrams: The Graphic Visualization of Abstract Data, edited by Walter Herdeg, The Graphis Press, Zurich, 1974. Included in a catalogue of data visualizations on scientific topics, attributed on the credits page to the Arecibo Radio Observatory.

"Von einem Computer erzeugte illustration von achtzig aufeinanderfolgenden Pulsperioden des ersten Pulsars, der beobachtet wurde. Die Durchschnittsbreite der Pulse ist weniger als eine 50tausendstel-Sekunde. Das Diagramm wurde vom Arecibo Radio-Observatorium in Puerto Rico hergestellt. Aus Scientific American, 'The Nature of Pulsars,' von J. P. Ostriker (U.S.A.)." From Graphis Diagrams: The Graphic Visualization of Abstract Data

3. “The Nature of Pulsars” by Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Scientific American, January 1971 (pages 48–60); Credited to Arecibo Radio Observatory in the issue’s illustration credit box on page 4.
I’m clearly biased, but this article provides a neat and accessible view into the early days of pulsar data collection and theory (particularly when paired with “Pulsars,” by Antony Hewish, Scientific American, October 1968). It highlights the significance of the plot in the caption and hints to the nature of the research it was connected to (pulse shape and irregularity) but, sadly, doesn’t directly name the plot creator as part of the Arecibo credit line.

"EIGHTY SUCCESSIVE PERIODS of the first pulsar observed, CP1919 (Cambridge pulsar at 19 hours 19 minutes right ascension), are stacked on top of one another using the average period of 1.33730 seconds in this computer-generated illustration produced at the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico. Although the leading edges of the radio pulses occur within a few thousandths of a second of the predicted times, the shape of the pulses is quite irregular. Some of this irregularity in radio reception is caused by the effects of transmission through the interstellar medium. The average pulse width is less than 50 thousandths of a second." From "The Nature of Pulsars," by Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Scientific American, January 1971.

By now I had also combed through early discovery articles in scientific journals and every book anthology on pulsars I could get my hands on to learn more about early pulsar visualizations. The more I learned, the more this descriptor in the 1971 Ostriker caption began to feel significant; “computer-generated illustration.” The charts from Bell at Mullard were output in real time, using analogue plotting tools. A transition in technology from analogue to digital seemed to have been taking place between the discovery of pulsars in 1967 to the work being conducting at Arecibo in 1968 through the early 1970′s. A cohort of doctoral students from Cornell University seemed to be embracing that shift, working on the cutting edge of digital analysis and pulsar data output. One PhD thesis title from that group in particular caught my attention, “Radio Observations of the Pulse Profiles and Dispersion Measures of Twelve Pulsars,” by Harold D. Craft, Jr. (September 1970).

A trip to Cornell’s rare book room confirmed a hunch. Sure enough, there was the image in Craft’s thesis, along with two other stacked plots.

From "Radio Observations of the Pulse Profiles and Dispersion Measures of Twelve Pulsars," by Harold D. Craft, Jr. (September 1970).

On February 16, 2015, I sat down with Craft just outside of Ithaca, N.Y., and asked him about his recollections of Arecibo, the data visualizations in his thesis and the Unknown Pleasures album cover.

Craft on pulsar research at the Arecibo Radio Observatory in the late 1960s: 

Original Source

18 Feb 05:00


Russian Sledges

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Whoa, and if you overlay a Fibonacci spiral on a golden spiral it matches up almost perfectly!
18 Feb 22:12

Amazon Greenlights a Full Season of ‘The Man in the High Castle’ After It Becomes Amazon’s Most Watched Pilot Ever

by Rebecca Escamilla
Russian Sledges

via rosalind

The Man in the High Castle

Amazon has greenlit a full season of The Man in the High Castle–based on Philip K. Dick‘s Hugo Award-winning 1962 novel of the same name–after its pilot received so much attention that it was Amazon’s “most watched pilot ever,” according to Vice President of Amazon Studios Roy Price. The show stars Rufus Sewell, Luke Kleintank, and Alexa Davalos, and features executive producer Sir Ridley Scott.

The Man in the High Castle considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. Almost 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), The Man in the High Castle provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality.

While the pilot is currently available to stream on Amazon, the series is planned to premiere later this year or in 2016 to Amazon Prime members in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.

The Man in the High Castle

Here we go! #WCC #mothership #MITHC #costumes

— Audrey Fisher (@AudreyFish) February 18, 2015

images via Amazon

Thanks, Jason Laskodi!

18 Feb 19:56

kateordie:archiemcphee: Today the Department of Unexpected...

Russian Sledges

via rosalind



Today the Department of Unexpected Interspecies Friendship is sighing happily while looking at these awesomely adorable photos of a pair of BFFs who happen to be a Little Owl named Napoleon, aka Poldi, and a Belgian Malinois named Ingo. These fast friends live with Tanja Brandt, a professional animal photographer and collage artist based in Dusseldorf, Germany, who photographs the unusual pair while they’re all outside enjoying the fresh air together. Napoleon is the runt of a brood of 7 little owls hatched by a professional breeder. Ingo often assists Brandt while she photographs other birds, including her Harris’s Hawks, which easily dwarf little Poldi.

"I go outside with them together — Napoleon on my hand, Ingo is free running. I do the same with my big Harris Hawks, but they are also free and can fly. Not so with Napoleon. It’s too dangerous. Every cat would kill him, he don’t know hows [sic] to live free.
And so, this is why they trust each other. They respect each other and they can read each other. Ingo knows every reactions from the wild birds and if they are angry, he goes another way […] with the wild birds, he is very soft (not with other dogs or something else).”

Click here to learn more about Poldi and Ingo. For more photos of them, as well as photos of Brandt’s other avian friends, visit Tanja Brandt’s 500px page.

[via Bored Panda and 500px]

The buddy cop movie WE deserve!

Poldi and Ingo!