One hundred thousand white balloons and other links

Friday, 11 September, 2015

Here’s a selection of links I’ve looked at over the last week or two, that I haven’t incorporated into other write-ups here, since I’m doing things a little differently now.

One hundred thousand, an incredible number, of white balloons form Heartbeat, a cumulus cloud like installation, created by French artist and photographer Charles Pétillion, that is on show in London’s Covent Garden, until 27 September.

You can’t begin a sentence with a conjunction (I do it here all the time), and other grammar myths debunked, by Harvard linguist Steven Pinker:

Teachers instruct young students that it is incorrect to begin a sentence with a conjunction (and, because, but, or, so, also) because it helps keep them from writing in fragments, Pinker writes, but it’s a lie that adults don’t need to follow. Avoid writing an ugly “megasentence” full of connected independent clauses, and feel free to start a sentence with a conjunction.

New York City based photographer Aaron Pegg recently gathered this impressive collection of photos of empty London Underground stations. Sights like are sometimes to be seen when travelling on the system late in the evening. It can feel tad spooky.

The flyby of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons space probe on 14 July seems a long time ago now, doesn’t it? So here’s an animation of the craft’s closet approach to the dwarf planet. Amazing. And don’t forget that data from the probe’s flyby will take over a year to finally reach us, so there’s still a lot to come yet.

The Joker, archvillain, and Batman’s nemesis right? Not according to one fan theory, that contends he was a force for good in Gotham City:

Before the Joker, Gotham was a mess. Entire sections of the city were closed off due to madness, organized crime ran rampant, and the majority of important city officials were wildly corrupt. The city even tolerated a renegade vigilante who ran around wearing a rubber suit (Okay, special armor and carbon fiber, but they don’t know that). Along comes the Joker and by the end of a very short time, almost all organized crime was eliminated, many corrupt officials were imprisoned or dead, and the city’s Vigilante even went into hiding for 8 years.

Photo by Christopher Herwig

Christopher Herwig took a road trip through countries that once made up the former Soviet Union, and, going by some of the photos he took, you’d be forgiven for thinking that no two USSR-era bus shelters were alike. Many more such images will feature in a book he has published on the subject.

I don’t know how many times I’ve watched 2001: A Space Odyssey now, but still I cannot make sense of the layout, or interior design of USS Discovery, the Jupiter bound spacecraft. How on earth did all those compartments and chambers all fit in with each other? Mystery solved, thanks to New Scientist, and a cut-away style painting by Oliver Rennert, of Discovery’s habitation sphere, that reveals all.

A 3.2-gigapixel digital camera, that will be the world’s largest once it is constructed, will reveal all sorts of detail of the night sky and the universe, when it becomes operational in about seven years. Apparently though 1500 high definition TV screens will be needed to view but one of its ultra high resolution images.

Bland, boring, urban design… does it really have an impact on our well being? Apparently so…

Behavioural effects of city street design have been reported before. In 2006, the Danish urbanist Jan Gehl observed that people walk more quickly in front of blank facades; compared with an open, active facade, people are less likely to pause or even turn their heads in such locations. They simply bear down and try to get through the unpleasant monotony of the street until they emerge on the other side, hopefully to find something more interesting.

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A cup of coffee that’s truly out there

Friday, 4 September, 2015

Artwork by Victoria Seimer

I couldn’t not mention the artwork of Victoria Seimer for a second time, after spotting this series of works, featuring coffee cups infused with scenes of oceans and the cosmos.

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Out of the frying pan and into Europa

Wednesday, 2 September, 2015

Photo by NASA

Which one’s the volatile, volcanic, planetary satellite, in other words Jupiter’s moon Europa, and which are photos of… frying pans. You have until nine o’clock to figure this out.

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The travel photography of Anuar Patjane

Tuesday, 1 September, 2015

Having travelled from Antarctica to Zanzibar, and a whole lot of places in between, the question has to be asked, where has Mexican photographer Anuar Patjane not been? Whatever, he has taken some incredible photos of his journeys to date though.

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Fun parks, more fun after they’ve closed for the day?

Monday, 31 August, 2015

Photo by Stefano Cerio

Visiting Dismal Land, the new “fun park” opened recently by UK street artist Banksy, in the south west of England, is something I wouldn’t mind doing.

But going along to these amusement parks in Hong Kong and China, after hours, when no one at all was there, as Stefano Cerio, a photographer who is based in both Paris and Rome, did recently, also has a certain allure.

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There’s milkshakes, then there’s extreme milkshakes

Tuesday, 25 August, 2015

Photo by Alana Dimou

I hate to complain about the cafes in Sydney, but I’ve had the trend of preserve jars as drinking glasses, up to my eyeballs. This, I think, calls for one of Sydney photographer, and food blogger, Alana Dimou’s extreme milkshakes:

And the Oreos, my god the Oreos, they’re everywhere, and everyone’s got one, and everyone’s holding one of these extreme milkshakes, gnashing at food for the sake of social media, exchanging calories for notifications, it’s 8 o’clock in the morning and everybody’s drinking them to avoid the hour long lines from the brunching hour onwards to attain the Thing. The cult. The cult of Extreme Milkshakes. It’s here and we’re all trapped in a vortex of milk and Nutella and garnishes the moment we open Instagram.

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Floor patterns, an often overlooked art-form

Monday, 24 August, 2015

Photo by Sebastian Erras

Most of us are probably too preoccupied, while walking over a tiled floor, to pay much attention to their sometimes intricate, and ornate, design. German photographer Sebastian Erras, however, is on the case, posting as many patterned floors as he can find, to Parisian floors.

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Kurt Arrigo’s European travel Instagrams

Friday, 21 August, 2015

Photo by Kurt Arrigo

Travel has been a theme here this week, not that I’m going too far at the moment, or anything. That’s not the case for Malta based photographer Kurt Arrigo though, who spends an enviable amount of time trekking across Europe, and taking amazing photos in the process.

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The photorealist paintings of Stephen Fox

Wednesday, 19 August, 2015

US photorealist painter Stephen Fox is clearly a night owl, and we are better off for it, as his impressive collection of work goes to show.

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If you’re in the right place, you might see the Moon transit the Earth

Friday, 14 August, 2015

Earth, Moon, photo by NASA/NOAA

You’ve probably seen this incredible image a thousand times by now, but I couldn’t go past posting it here. It was taken by NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, satellite that sits in an orbit around the Sun, one million six hundred thousand kilometres approximately, from Earth.

That doesn’t look too bad a vantage point to me.

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