terça-feira, 1 de setembro de 2009

Scott McCloud´s Right Number

Scott Mc Cloud has an interesting experimental "online graphic novella" called The Right Number.
The Right Number is a projected three-part online graphic novella about math, sex, obsession and phone numbers presented in an unusual zooming format.
This "zooming format" is promissing but the unusual motion may make some people a bit dizzy at first. The Right Number is a great little story about probability.

terça-feira, 18 de agosto de 2009

I was dead for millions of years...

I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit.
Mark Twain (attributed: source unknown)

sábado, 18 de julho de 2009

2 + 2 = 5

Cover by Germano Facetti

The New York Times, reported that hundreds of customers awoke to find that Amazon remotely deleted books that they'd earlier bought and downloaded. Apparently, the publisher determined that it should not offer those titles, so Amazon logged into Kindles, erased the books, and issued refunds. This was aptly compared to someone sneaking into your house, taking away your books, and leaving a stack of cash on the table. (found here)

George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm were among the wiped books...
"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized." 1984, part 1, chapt 1.

segunda-feira, 6 de julho de 2009

Ask a toad what is beauty…

photo by Jason Cross. Kermit... the frog... ok, not a toad.
Ask a toad what is beauty… He will answer that it is a female with two great round eyes coming out of her little head, a large flat mouth, a yellow belly and a brown back.

Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary, 1794

quinta-feira, 25 de junho de 2009

Filthy Gill

Filthy Gill
designed by Jack Gladstone & Dave Russell for Wallpaper´s Sex Issue.
Apparently these "Tart Cards", showing the sexy side of type, are the work of design students from St Bride Collage in London.

Loved the title... well, Eric Gill was pretty filthy =)
Whilst Gill was a deeply religious man, largely following the Roman Catholic faith, his beliefs and practices were by no means orthodox. His personal diaries describe his sexual activity in great detail including the fact that Gill sexually abused his own children, had an incestuous relationship with his sister and performed sexual acts on his dog. This aspect of Gill's life was little known until publication of the 1989 biography by Fiona MacCarthy. Robert Speaight's earlier biography mentioned none of it.

As the revelations about Gill's private life resonated, there was a reassessment of his personal and artistic achievement. As his recent biographer sums up: "After the initial shock, […] as Gill's history of adulteries, incest, and experimental connection with his dog became public knowledge in the late 1980s, the consequent reassessment of his life and art left his artistic reputation strengthened. Gill emerged as one of the twentieth century's strangest and most original controversialists, a sometimes infuriating, always arresting spokesman for man's continuing need of God in an increasingly materialistic civilization, and for intellectual vigour in an age of encroaching triviality.

sexta-feira, 5 de junho de 2009

We will buy your dreams... for 25 cents!

The Strange World of Your Dreams. In the 1950s, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon were able to convert reader-submitted dreams into great comic book stories.

quarta-feira, 3 de junho de 2009

The Dream of the Rood

Today I chanced to watch Michael Wood on Beowulf. I had already seen Beowulf in the cinema, liked and disliked it for several reasons, and read Seamus Heaney's beautiful translation of Beowulf. And to me it wasn’t just another BBC documentary by Michael Wood, I enjoyed it… it had scenes where an aged Julian Glover recites Beowulf around a camp fire and an interview with Seamus Heaney, near the end.

But what really caught my mind was an excerpt of the poem The Dream of the Rood, which I had never heard of, but is apparently one of the oldest and greatest works of Anglo-Saxon literature. It´s original manuscript is in the 10th century Vercelli Book, but the poem seems to be much older.

The poem takes form of a dream vision, the poet is the dreamer. He has the vision in the middle of the night... the poet's vision is a Christ's cross...
Listen! I will tell the best of dreams,
which I had at mid-night,
When all the world sleeps.
I dreamt I saw a wondrous tree
towering in the sky above me,
suffused with light,
the brightest of beams.
And then that most beautiful of trees
Spoke these words:
“Long ago it was –I still remembered—
I stood on the edge of the forest
when they came to cut me down.
Strong foes carried me away,
set me on a hill.
And then the young hero,
Christ, firm and unflinching,
striped himself, brave in the sight of all,
minded to save mankind.
And I trembled when the hero clasped me
and they pierced me with dark nails.
All creation wept, lamented
the King’s death.
Christ has became, by now, the Germanic hero, victorious even in his defeat. And the tree takes on the persona of a loyal member of the war band, “I could have killed them all”, the tree says … but the tree, out of loyalty to the Lord must became the instrument of his death. The Christian pallet created something uniquely English that could reconcile people to the new religion.

A real “blurring of theological boundaries” between the pagan and Christian, as Michael Wood puts it... I don’t know whose translation this was that was used in the documentary, but there´s another in here.

domingo, 31 de maio de 2009

Quantum thoughts

Lee Friedlander
In a recent post at Boing-Boing, science fiction writer Rudy Rucker mentions a paper (Holistic Physics, or, An Introduction to Quantum Tantra) by the "offbeat physicist" Nick Herbert:
Nick argues that our conscious minds display some of the same features as quantum mechanics. When we're not thinking about anything in particular, our thoughts evolve in a continuous, multi-universe kind of way---but when we focus on something, we carry out something like the quantum collapse that characterizes the process of measurement.

A curious foot note. Nick Herbert seemed amused and little apprehensive that his
"private Quantum Tantra research" was "outed" in "the most popular blog in cyberspace":
Will this unsought publicity mean that I will have to move even deeper into the woods to avoid the mass of thrill seekers (...) I don't think so. Tomorrow at Boing-Boing this blinding spotlight of fame will thankfully be directed in some other direction and I will once more be freed to pursue my underground research into the nature of deep reality without oversight, without supervision, and in any crazy direction I damned well please.

segunda-feira, 25 de maio de 2009


"Dark Knight"- Frank Miller
In the areas with which we are concerned, insight only occurs as a lightning bolt. The text is the thunder-peal rolling long behind.
Walter Benjamin

quarta-feira, 22 de abril de 2009

Kubrick on Horror Stories

There's something inherently wrong with the human personality," he says. "There's an evil side to it. One of the things that horror stories can do is to show us the archetypes of the unconscious: we can see the dark side without having to confront it directly. Also, ghost stories appeal to our craving for immortality. If you can be afraid of a ghost, then you have to believe that a ghost may exist. And if a ghost exists, then oblivion might not be the end.

Stanley Kubrick, Newsweek 1980.