Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bride of Tab Dump

Who has time to write up thoughtful reactions to all of the cool things out on the internet? Isn't it easier just to throw you some links and let you read what you want? Enjoy!
  • A collection of excellent old SciFi Illustrations by Shusei Nagoka. Although it's incongrous to see cool spaceship art side-by-side with cheezy 70s band cover art. 
  • Los Bros Hernandez are continually singing the praises of Bob Bolling's Little Archie comic books as the inspiration for their work on Love and Rockets - in particular the awesome "Lil Kids" segments. Big Blog Comics shows us an example of his work, and it's as fun as you expect.
  • Thinking of working in some fartlek work into my running, but haven't actually done so yet.
  • Cool footage from Pavel Klushantsev's The Road to the Stars film, an inspiration for 2001
  • Miles Davis: Genius, Hustler, and Superstar.
  • David Byrne recently published what sounds like a fascinating book: How Music Works. Brain Pickings has a synopsis, while Smithsonian published an excerpt that includes his interesting thoughts on silence:
    In 1969, Unesco passed a resolution outlining a human right that doesn’t get talked about much—the right to silence. I think they’re referring to what happens if a noisy factory gets built beside your house, or a shooting range, or if a disco opens downstairs. They don’t mean you can demand that a restaurant turn off the classic rock tunes it’s playing, or that you can muzzle the guy next to you on the train yelling into his cellphone. It’s a nice thought though—despite our innate dread of absolute silence, we should have the right to take an occasional aural break, to experience, however briefly, a moment or two of sonic fresh air. To have a meditative moment, a head-clearing space, is a nice idea for a human right.
    John Cage wrote a book called, somewhat ironically, Silence. Ironic because he was increasingly becoming notorious for noise and chaos in his compositions. He once claimed that silence doesn’t exist for us. In a quest to experience it, he went into an anechoic chamber, a room isolated from all outside sounds, with walls designed to inhibit the reflection of sounds. A dead space, acoustically. After a few moments he heard a thumping and whooshing, and was informed those sounds were his own heartbeat and the sound of his blood rushing through his veins and arteries. They were louder than he might have expected, but okay. After a while, he heard another sound, a high whine, and was informed that this was his nervous system. He realized then that for human beings there was no such thing as true silence, and this anecdote became a way of explaining that he decided that rather than fighting to shut out the sounds of the world, to compartmentalize music as something outside of the noisy, uncontrollable world of sounds, he’d let them in: “Let sounds be themselves rather than vehicles for manmade theories or expressions of human sentiments.” Conceptually at least, the entire world now became music.
  • What successful people do with the first hour of their work day
  • Warren Ellis awesome talk on on "How to see the Future" A must read, filled with interesting stories and facts. My favorite is this:
    The Olympus Mons mountain on Mars is so tall and yet so gently sloped that, were you suited and supplied correctly, ascending it would allow you to walk most of the way to space. Mars has a big, puffy atmosphere, taller than ours, but there’s barely anything to it at that level. 30 Pascals of pressure, which is what we get in an industrial vacuum furnace here on Earth. You may as well be in space. Imagine that. Imagine a world where you could quite literally walk to space.
    That’s actually got a bit more going for it, as an idea, than exotic red deserts and canals. Imagine living in a Martian culture for a moment, where this thing is a presence in the existence of an entire sentient species. A mountain that you cannot see the top of, because it’s a small world and the summit wraps behind the horizon. Imagine settlements creeping up the side of Olympus Mons. Imagine battles fought over sections of slope. Generations upon generations of explorers dying further and further up its height, technologies iterated and expended upon being able to walk to within leaping distance of orbital space. Manufactured normalcy would suggest that, if we were the Martians, we would find this completely dull within ten years and bitch about not being able to simply fart our way into space.

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