Exploding tennis ball installation by Ana Soler.
The mysterious sailing stones at Racetrack Playa
How does a big heavy rock move on its own across the desert? The reason is partially due to ice. Researchers have investigated this question since the 1940s, but no one has seen the process in action — until now.
Because the stones can sit for a decade or more without moving, the UC San Diego researchers did not originally expect to see motion in person. Instead, they decided to monitor the rocks remotely by installing a high-resolution weather station capable of measuring gusts to one-second intervals and fitting 15 rocks with custom-built, motion-activated GPS units.
The experiment was set up in winter 2011 with permission of the Park Service. Then — in what they called “the most boring experiment ever” — the team waited for something to happen.
But in December 2013, Norris and co-author and cousin Jim Norris arrived in Death Valley to discover that the playa was covered with a pond of water seven centimeters (three inches) deep. Shortly after, the rocks began moving.
Their observations show that moving the rocks requires a rare combination of events. First, the playa fills with water, which must be deep enough to form floating ice during cold winter nights but shallow enough to expose the rocks. As nighttime temperatures plummet, the pond freezes to form thin sheets of “windowpane” ice, which must be thin enough to move freely but thick enough to maintain strength. On sunny days, the ice begins to melt and break up into large floating panels, which light winds drive across the playa, pushing rocks in front of them and leaving trails in the soft mud below the surface.
István Orosz was born in 1951 and after training as a graphic designer, he first gained recognition as a stage designer and for his work in animated film as animator and director. His posters and graphic art have featured in countless international design exhibitions, and he is well-known as a printmaker and illustrator too. He is perhaps best known for his renewal of the technique of anamorphosis.
Anamorphosis is an art of distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to use special devices or occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image. The art of Anamorphosis was invented in China and brought to Italy in the 16th century, about the time Renaissance artists like Leonardo da Vinci were mastering 3-D and discovering slant anamorphosis. István Orosz specializes in mirror anamorphosis, where a conical or cylindrical mirror is placed on the drawing to transform a flat distorted image into a three dimensional picture that can be viewed from many angles. He also does slant anamorphosis.
István Orosz’s best creation is probably the one called Mysterious Island. It’s a sketch of a seashore with a sail pushed along by the wind, and two men trekking. But if the image is turned upside down, and a cylindrical mirror placed over the circular sun, a portrait of Jules Verne emerges.
Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
Fun story: Johnson published this book to pay his tax bill:
Jesus’ Son was an act of literary desperation. There had been a second divorce and a call from the IRS asking him to please pay the $10,000 he owed. Bankrupt, Johnson turned to some “memories” he’d jotted down years back — vignettes of his drug-abusing past that he never considered publishing — and sent them to The New Yorker. To his surprise, several were accepted. Fortified with $4,000, Johnson contacted Jonathan Galassi, his editor and the president of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. “I told him, ‘I’ll make you a book of short stories; all you have to do is pay off the IRS.’”
And (can’t find the source for this quote, but it’s posted all over):
What’s funny about Jesus’ Son is that I never even wrote that book, I just wrote it down. I would tell these stories apropos of nothing about when I was drinking and using and people would say, “You should write these things down.” I was probably 35 when I wrote the first story. The voice is kind of a mix in that it has a young voice, but it’s also someone who’s looking back. I like that kind of double vision. So I worked on them once in a while, then I started using stories I heard other people tell, and then I started making some up. Pretty soon it was fiction. Then I just forgot about it. I thought, I’m not going to parade my defects, my history of being a spiritual cripple, out in front of a lot of other people..
Filed under: my reading year 2014
Danish poster for STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1952)
Artist: “B…. S x” [see also]
Poster source: Heritage Auctions
The Danish title translates as “Dangerous Meeting”
BEFORE YOU GET THERE, YOU GOTTA GET THERE — A train engine transports a Soyuz rocket from the assembly building to the launch pad at the Baikonur complex in Kazakhstan, October 20, 2000. This rocket carried a three-man crew on the first expedition of many to the International Space Station. (NASA)
What do you think of these new doors we got?
They are a 19th Century Tibetan Mahakala Double Panel Door Set from Eastern Tibet made out of wood, canvas, and pigment. #RubinMuseum #DecorativeArts #NewDoors #TibetanFurniture by rubinmuseum http://ift.tt/1sV5HzE