Friday, October 31, 2008
Supplemental to the last post this is another painting by Brueghel, known as The "Little" Tower of Babel.
Also both might have been painted as a condemnation of the House of Habsburg, the Austrian rulers of an international empire at the time, that continued all they way to the cessation of the first World War, and whose last head of house only abdicated (albeit in exile) in 1961.
"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children built. 6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."
It is interesting to me that this is seen as a bad thing by God. I must admit I've aways found the story of the tower of Babel interesting. plus I really like towers, it seems the ideal construction method really. Brueghel's painting is Beautiful, it seems so much more evocative of the possibilities of people cooperating, rather than the foibles. Instead of a lesson against pride, I wish we could take this as a lesson in the power of working together towards odd tasks.
Perosnally I Think They Were Just Bored And Thought building a tower to heaven sounded fun. Which sort of reminds me of a quote from The Book of The Seven Seas, "At first I thought I might go fishing, but that seeming dull I resolved on a voyage around the world." The quote is by Joshua Slocum about his 3 year journey, the first ever solo-circumnavigation of the globe, begun in the spring of 1895.
FUN FACT: (if it really could be defined as such) while the height of the tower is something of contention, it is listed in a couple of places:
The Book of Jubilees: 5433 cubits and 2 palms (according to ancient measurements, one cubit is twenty-four inches) putting the height of the tower at about 10,866 feet tall, about 8.75x taller than the Empire State Building, or nearly 2.5 kilometers.
A typical mediaeval account is given by: Giovanni Villani (1300): He relates that "it measured eighty miles round, and it was already 4,000 paces high (5,920 m (19,423 ft)) and 1,000 paces thick, and each pace is three of our feet."
The 14th century traveler John Mandeville also included an account of the tower, and reported that its height had been 64 furlongs (= 8 miles), according to the local inhabitants.
The 17th century historian Verstegan provides yet another figure - quoting Isidore, he says that the tower was 5164 paces high, about 7.6 kilometers, and quoting Josephus that the tower was wider than it was high, more like a mountain than a tower. He also quotes unnamed authors who say that the spiral path was so wide that it contained lodgings for workers and animals, and other authors who claim that the path was wide enough to have fields for growing grain for the animals used in the construction.
So the height kind of tends to vary from story to story, but is sort of universally immense by modern standards.
And finally, a contemporary author looking at it from an engineering perspective wrote, in his book, Structures or why things don't fall down (Pelican 1978–1984), Professor J.E. Gordon considers the height of the Tower of Babel. He wrote, 'brick and stone weigh about 120 lb per cubic foot (2000 kg per cubic metre) and the crushing strength of these materials is generally rather better than 6000 lbf per square inch or 40 megapascals. Elementary arithmetic shows that a tower with parallel walls could have been built to a height of 7000 feet or 2 kilometres before the bricks at the bottom were crushed. However by making the walls taper towards the top they ... could well have been built to a height where the men of Shinnar would run short of oxygen and had difficulty in breathing before the brick walls crushed beneath their own dead weight."
Most of this was taken from the Wikipedia Article here.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Look at me, still talking when there's Science to do.
When I look out there it makes me glad I'm not you.
I've experiments to run.
There is research to be done,
On the people who are
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Last night I watched the movie Persepolis, which was amazing. This is one of my favorite parts from it. The Movie itself is an feature length animated movie mostly in black and white, and it follows the auto-bigraphical story of a young girl as she grows up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It was taken from a Graphic Novel of the same name, and I've been looking forward to it for some time.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
They have a whole series of these 5 min or so episodes, the best quality have been put up by someone from Germany, but the show has no dialogue whatsoever, and is incredibly clever.
It makes no mention of Wallace and Gromit, and I'm not sure it's even made by the same person, but it's so clearly a spinoff, and a faithful ode to their style.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Inner Forests from Michael Kontopoulos on Vimeo.
Who was blogged before: here
He's just put up more new work which is equally as awesome. Artists who can combine the technical with the visual like this always impress me, but he never fails to marry inherent concept seamlessly, so it becomes more than just a neat effect. This is sort of like his last work in reverse, whereas in the past he anthropomorphized simple machines, here he is removing the individual, turning one's person into landscapes.
There's also this one which is a bit more conceptual, but i like the simplified idea behind it: What You Missed
Friday, October 17, 2008
Cracking Contraptions - The Turbo Diner
I loved my copies of Wallace and Gromit, before we lacked the requisite VHS player to watch them. I even thoroughly enjoyed the feature length movie.
Well they haven't been idle since. they have a whole series of videos entitled: Cracking Contraptions
which you can also watch on Youtube
Trailer for: RiP: A remix manifesto Via:BoingBoing
Copyright protection laws hurt artists. The current quality of protections in the United States, and other Western countries give unprecedented powers to corporate interests. The ability to punish people for the spread of ideas only leads to intellectual stagnation, and unfairly penalizes those with limited understanding of the infringement system. It takes importance away from the ideas, and places emphasis only on the commercial aspects thereof.
I will always try to give credit where credit is due, but nothing created is original anymore save that created in complete ignorance of that which already exists. New ideas are a collaboration of existing thoughts, and that history increases their importance, not detracts.
All Art is Evolutionary by nature.
-The Pneumatic Toaster
Monday, October 13, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
So as I was leaving work I got this feeling about an older black car to my left. It would have been the perfect spot, there was a big SUV in front of me and a concrete wall on my right. I would have been trapped, ripe for smashing. I'm also always nervous to look over at them, like they're just waiting for us to make eye contact before they swerve.
Finally I decided to hazard a look. In the black car there was, I kid you not, two nuns, in full nun dress, big black habits and all. I just burst into laughter, it all seemed so absurd.
...and then they side-swiped me.
This is Self-Portrait #2 by PES
EATPES is an amazing site, filled with a multitude of awesome videos, they're all quicktime format, so I can't embed them, but there are too many good ones to choose from, even the Commercial work they did is incredible.
It's pretty much all stop motion work, usually with just odds and ends like the Self-Portrait up there, but occasionally using people too. The Loading times can be a little slow for Internet Explorer, but it's totally worth it.
My favorites are KaBoom!, Western Spaghetti, and Human Skateboard.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
There are controls at the top to control all of them, I recommend letting them load for a bit.
Word of warning: this is pretty internet intensive, and video, if your connection doesn't support that very well, it's probably not worth it.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
"A 1920 law decreed that the President of Argentina is the official godfather of every seventh son."
This was of course to curb widespread abandonment of the child, as they were naturally assumed to be Werewolves.
Monday, October 6, 2008
By: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
This is a photo from Kenya, The Acacia tree, also known as the "tree of life" by the people there, and it fills that roll even more so for the local animals. The sheer volume of tracks leading to it is kind of amazing
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
No wonder she did so much better than she did in her interviews, she had a Handy-Dandy Flow-Chart!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Just This Past Week He Planted a Patch of Conscientious Objector Vines, but as Expected They've Joined the Rest of the Rabble, Clinging to the Gardens
later. you have died. i am sorry."