From the category archives:


Quite an Exercise

September 7, 2009

in Music,Process,Video

György Ligeti’s etudes are a bit more compelling than most piano exercises…and what an ending!

Bonus: Here’s Ligeti’s Etude No. 2:


That’s how long it took the Hubble Space Telescope — pointed towards “absolutely nothing” — to capture the 10,000 galaxies visible in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image:

via gizmodo


Invertebrate Art

July 29, 2009

in Image,Senses,Video

Bugs in lights, filmed with long exposures, reveal their true nature as abstract expressionists:

flight patterns from Charlie McCarthy on Vimeo.

via Andrew Sullivan


I’d love to hear (and see) a gaggle of these moving through a crowded space:

via Today’s BIG Thing



“Software options proliferate extremely easily, too easily in fact, because too many options create tools that can’t ever be used intuitively. Intuitive actions confine the detail work to a dedicated part of the brain, leaving the rest of one’s mind free to respond with attention and sensitivity to the changing texture of the moment. With tools, we crave intimacy. This appetite for emotional resonance explains why users – when given a choice – prefer deep rapport over endless options. You can’t have a relationship with a device whose limits are unknown to you, because without limits it keeps becoming something else.”

– Brian Eno, Wired Magazine (January 1999)


I feel ambivalent about Banksy. I find some of his work really impressive, while other pieces are either a yawn, or overdone, or a yawn because they’re overdone.

But taking over your hometown’s main museum for the summer, with only a handful of people knowing about it until the day before it opens?

Not bad…


David Lynch, on wee media formats:


Wait for it: the galaxy doesn’t show up until about twenty-three seconds into the clip.

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

(For best viewing, watch the HD version on Vimeo, or download even higher-quality versions directly from William’s video page.)


I’ve always been attracted to images of infrastructure at night…

via Flickr


Ken Robinson, in his TED Talk Do schools kill creativity?:

“I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we’ve strip-mined the earth, for a particular commodity, and for the future, it won’t serve us. We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we are educating our children.”

via Zoë Westhof


Lev Yilmaz on procrastination:


“We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself. The journey for each of us begins here. [He points to his head.] We’re going to explore the cosmos in a ship of the imagination…”

I’ve been watching episodes of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos: A Personal Journey”, now available on Hulu:

The next time you hear someone claim that humanists and freethinkers don’t believe in anything, point them to Cosmos — a rationalists’ Credo, a celebration of human curiousity and invention, and an inspiring summary of what Sagan called “the searching of 40,000 generations of our ancestors.”


Meet Kacie Kinzer’s Tweenbots:

Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal.

Who needs artificial intelligence when you have the distributed intelligence and kindness of a few dozen New Yorkers?

Watch the process here:


The interview with Arvo Pärt starts at 4:25, after a quick listen to an installation by Tommi Grönlund and a snippet of Pärt’s “Cantus in Memory of  Benjamin Britten”.

via Tim Bray