Thursday, June 30, 2011


Mathematician and author Vernor Vinge on the notion of an 'intelligence explosion' in the January 1983 issue of Omni magazine:

We will soon create intelligences greater than our own. When this happens, human history will have reached a kind of singularity, an intellectual transition as impenetrable as the knotted space-time at the center of a black hole, and the world will pass far beyond our understanding. This singularity, I believe, already haunts a number of science-fiction writers. It makes realistic extrapolation to an interstellar future impossible...

Vernor Vinge's essay on the coming technological singularity (1993): The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era

Technological Singularity according to Wikipedia

Fascinating (recent) post by science fiction author Charles Stross on why he thinks the singularity isn't going to happen: Three arguments against the singularity

Mystic Geometry

Loving the combination of intricate geometric/architectural detail and abstract fluid forms from Melissa Manfull:

Melissa Manfull
Melissa Manfull

"Seeking inspiration from metaphysics and mysticism, Melissa Manfull creates hyper-detailed structures that straddle the worlds of reality and imagination. Working in a palette that ranges from the subdued and earthy to the mystical and otherworldly, Manfull inserts her stiff geometric shapes within pools of bleeding ink. Thus bringing to mind the idea of a building's lost limb, detached and floating in space.

The artist's interest in utopian societies and the ways in which architecture can reflect belief systems inspired these organic yet rigid drawings. And in some ways, the resulting structures, created by fractal patterning, reflect the artist's personal understanding of the intricate workings of the universe and the mind. Due to the obsessive nature of her process, Manfull has often viewed the meditative act of drawing as a way to approach her fear of vast, open ended space (the unknown). By creating her minute sculptural drawings, she gives this abyss a meaning and in essence, gains control. With her amorphous ink stains, she tries to mimic this emptiness rather than flight it.

Melissa Manfull
Melissa Manfull
Melissa Manfull

Via Creative Journal

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Aflame / NASA

Fire acts differently in space than on Earth. Sandra Olson, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Glenn Research Center, demonstrates just how differently in her art. This artwork is comprised of multiple overlays of three separate microgravity flame images. Each image is of flame spread over cellulose paper in a spacecraft ventilation flow in microgravity. The different colors represent different chemical reactions within the flame. The blue areas are caused by chemiluminescence (light produced by a chemical reaction.) The white, yellow and orange regions are due to glowing soot within the flame zone.

Microgravity combustion research at Glenn not only provides insights into spacecraft fire safety, but it has also been used to create award-winning art images. This image won first place in the 2011 Combustion Art Competition, held at the 7th U.S. National Combustion Meeting.

Image Credit: NASA

Via NASA - Image of the Day - Gallery

Cosmic Journeys

An intimate tour in 1080p of Earth's most impressive landscapes... as captured by astronauts with their digital cameras. Dr. Justin Wilkinson from NASA's astronaut team describes the special places that spacemen focus on whenever they get a moment.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

One Jot or One Tittle

Did you know the dot on top of the letter 'i' is called a tittle...

From Wikipedia:

The tittle first appeared in Latin manuscripts in the 11th century, to distinguish the letter i from strokes of nearby letters. Although originally a larger mark, it was reduced to a dot when Roman-style typefaces were introduced.

The word "tittle" is rarely used. Its most prominent occurrence is in the introduction to the Antithesis of the Law in the Gospel of Matthew (5:18): "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled". The quotation uses them as an example of extremely minor details. The phrase "jot and tittle" indicates that every small detail has received attention.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All The World’s A Page

What would Moby Dick look like on a single poster? What about The Origin of Species? Something like this...

All The World’s A Page - The Origin of Species

There's now nine posters available from All The World's A Page, including Das Kapital, Faust, Homer's Iliad to The Tragedy of Macbeth.

All The World’s A Page - The Origin of Species

"Out of a sense of idle curiosity, Ian Warner from Berlin’s Blotto Design tried to typeset an entire novel on a poster, using James Joyce’s Ulysses as experimental raw material.

The result was impressive and was met with a lot of enthusiasm from friends and clients of the office. Blotto decided to turn the idea into a commercial project, and launched a webshop which currently sells four posters based on the original idea: Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Homer’s Iliad in English; Goethe’s Faust (parts I & II) and Marx’s Das Kapital in German.

The longest text is Marx’s Das Kapital, which has over 800,000 words, and is set in 2.2pt type. The result is a wall of text, which intrigues the viewer by slowly revealing its content the closer one gets to the poster: from a distance it resembles a uniform grey-scale field; from up close the hidden structure of the text is revealed through the varying density of paragraph symbols.

Parsing and structuring Shakespeare’s Macbeth as a table was a marathon task of database hacking, automated text formatting and search-and-replace routines.

All The World’s A Page

Monday, June 20, 2011

Impossible to understand and madness to investigate.

— Sophocles, c. 420 BCE

Atlas Cosmobiographique - Petur Beron, 1859
Atlas Cosmobiographique - Petur Beron, 1859
Atlas Cosmobiographique - Petur Beron, 1859
Atlas Cosmobiographique - Petur Beron, 1859

Atlas Cosmobiographique - Petur Beron, 1859

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Seven Point Two // 7.2º - an abstract font that renders a typographic texture:

7.2 degrees - Text-ure
7.2 degrees - Text-ure

Can entropy ever be reversed?

The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way...

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov © 1956
Read the story here »

(it'll only take you 15 minutes, it's a very short story)

The Sun - The Big Picture -

Image via The Sun - The Big Picture -

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Awesome film poster idea for Moon (directed by Duncan Jones) by ChrisMesh:

Movie poster - Moon (2009) by ChrisMesh

Via Minimal Movie Posters

Conquest of Space

Fantastic set of Polish space stamps, called 'Conquest of Space', issued in 1963. Loving the detail of the trajectory/orbital diagrams:

Poland: Conquest of Space. Issued 11 November 1963

Via Space & Astronomy Stamps

Łunnik 2 looks more like a football!... apparently this was the first probe to 'hit' the Moon. From Wikipedia:

Luna 2 (E-1A series) was the second of the Soviet Union's Luna programme spacecraft launched to the Moon. It was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon. It successfully impacted with the lunar surface east of Mare Serenitatis near the craters Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus.

List of man-made objects on the Moon

Friday, June 17, 2011


The Moon always keeps the same face to us, but not exactly the same face. Because of the tilt and shape of its orbit, we see the Moon from slightly different angles over the course of a month. When a month is compressed into 12 seconds, as it is in this animation, our changing view of the Moon makes it look like it's wobbling. This wobble is called libration:

This animation shows the geocentric phase, libration, position angle of the axis, and apparent diameter of the Moon throughout the year 2011, at hourly intervals.

Duration: 2.5 minutes.
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


A simple experiment with random sound and motion by Konst & Teknik:

Viragelic by Konst & Teknik

"Three layers of different colored objects are randomly positioned in a grid. Each color representing one type of sound. Three solid squares moves over the grid randomly, triggering sounds when on top of objects with the same color."

Viragelic by Konst & Teknik
Viragelic by Konst & Teknik

Compositions start out rather simple but picks up complexities: Viragelic

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Between Fifth and Sixth

What a great image of the Rockefeller Center:

Rockefeller Center

New York, December 5, 1933
Rockefeller Center and RCA Building from 515 Madison Avenue.

Via butdoesitfloat

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The City Limits

Timelapse montage by 'motion photographer' Domonic Boudreault from late 2010 through early 2011:

Locations include:

- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Quebec city, Quebec, Canada
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Manhattan, New York, USA
- Chicago, Illinois, USA

Music is "Time" by Hans Zimmer

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Solar Spectrum

Solar Spectrum
Solar Spectrum

Unidentified photographer
Solar Spectrum
1915 (ca)
Taken by an unidentified English amateur astronomer and photographer.

Scientific: Astronomical Snapshots - 1911-1915

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan

Chris Abbas has put together this very cool film from footage (sequences of stills) captured by NASA with the Cassini Imaging Science System.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

An origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man's own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

Director: Rupert Wyatt
Starring: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, Tom Felton
Released: 5th August 2011 (US), 12th August 2011 (UK)

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Paul Brown, 'BIGDIM / 0 10 10 0 0 0 0 / 200, 120 / 11,969'

Paul Brown, 'BIGDIM / 0 10 10 0 0 0 0 / 200, 120 / 11,969', 1979
Plotter drawing on paper, 51.9 x 47.7 cm
Via Computer art: technology & terminology - Victoria and Albert Museum

Lonely Leap

This is the story of this amazing picture...

Lonely Leap, Joe Kittenger

Before the Space Race.
Before the Apollo program.
Before there were astronauts.
One man went into space, without a rocket.

This is the forgotten story of the first man to walk in space, and his extraordinary journey back to earth.

The Lonely Leap
(sadly they won't allow me to embed the trailer here)

Lonely Leap, Joe Kittenger

On Aug. 16, 1960, Col. Kittinger stepped from a balloon-supported gondola at the altitude of 102,800 feet. In freefall for 4.5 minutes at speeds up to 714 mph and temperatures as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit, he opened his parachute at 18,000 feet. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Space is an Elaborate Illusion

By George Musser | May 17, 2011
Intially published May 12 on the World Science Festival's Web site.

Many scientists are beginning to wonder if our concept of space is but an elaborate illusion propagated by what we see as laws of physics...

"My dad took a peculiar pleasure in fitting the maximum amount of stuff into the smallest possible space. Whenever we went on a family trip, he packed our suitcases like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, ensuring there wasn’t a single wasted inch—a laudable skill as far as I was concerned, since I could take all the toys I wanted and he’d find room for them. (The bags weighed a ton, but those were the days of free baggage check.) Later, when I drove off to my first apartment, he managed to get a household’s worth of stuff into a two-door car. He always denied there’s any limit on how much stuff you can pack into a certain volume. It was just a question of ingenuity.

Alas, the theoretical physicists speaking at A Thin Sheet of Reality: The Universe as a Hologram at this year’s World Science Festival have bad news: there is a limit. If you exceed it, the gravitational force exerted by the contents of your suitcase will become so intense that the suitcase collapses into a black hole, and you’ll never see your stuff again. Admittedly, this ultimate limit is pretty forgiving. An airplane roll-on could hold a Jupiter’s worth of highly compressed material before you ran into trouble with black holes. (The TSA is another matter.)

Read the full article here »

Agnes Denes - Isomemtric Systems in Isotropic Space - Map Projections
Image Agnes Denes - Isomemtric Systems in Isotropic Space - Map Projections

Friday, June 3, 2011


Atlas / Citytrace by Jeff Woodbury

Drawings in pencil on tracing paper by Jeff Woodbury – patterns of cities collected and sorted, overlaid and juxtaposed.

Swath / Citytrace by Jeff WoodburyDouble Twins / Citytrace by Jeff Woodbury
Contact / Citytrace by Jeff WoodburyCell Division / Citytrace by Jeff Woodbury

Via PYTR 75

Thursday, June 2, 2011


A visual music study by Arístides García...

Hexagrama talks about the quality of time and how the geometrical coincidences change our perception of the musical composition.

Hexagrama explores the geometrical properties of sacred geometry.

Hexagrama is realtime.

Find out more about the mechanics of this metatronic clockwork sequencing at

BTW: hexagrama is Spanish for hexagram (funnily enough)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Energetic Earth

Another Nitsche...


“Energetic Earth”. For General Dynamics. Gebrauchsgraphik No. 4, 1961
Via sandiv999's photostream
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