Science

Tiny Shrimp-like Organisms Try to Illuminate the Insides of Fish That Eat Them

September 4, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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No, these aren’t light vomiting fish, though you would be forgiven for thinking so because that’s exactly what it looks like. What you’re seeing is the defense mechanism of a tiny crustacean called an ostracod, a shrimp-like organism about 1mm in size that some fish accidentally eat while hunting for plankton. When eaten by a translucent cardinalfish, the ostracod immediately releases a bioluminescent chemical in an attempt to illuminate the fish from the inside, making it immediately identifiable to predators. WHAT. Not wanting to be eaten, the cardinalfish immediately spits out the ostracod, resulting in little underwater fish fireworks. What an incredible game of evolutionary cat and mouse. The clip above is from a new show on BBC Two called Super Senses. If you’re in the UK you can watch it online in HD for a few more days. (via For Science Sake)

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Art

Recent Stencil Graffiti from C215

September 4, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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No matter how many times I stop to consider artworks by Parisian street artist C215 (previously) I’m left wondering just how he pulls it off. The texture, the color, the detail, all executed with stencils and spray paint on any available surface. C215 says that he frequently portrays “things and people that society aims at keeping hidden: homeless people, smokers, street kids, bench lovers for example,” though one of his favorite muses is his daughter Nina who has appeared in numerous portraits over the years. He also sneaks in references to pop culture, most notably one of the best tributes to Robin Williams I’ve seen yet.

Collected here are a number of pieces from the last year or so, you can see more on Flickr and Facebook. A retrospective of his work opens at Opera Gallery in Paris in October.

 

 



Art

Perspective: Artist Zaria Forman Shares the Inspiration behind Her Large-Scale Pastel Waves and Icebergs

September 3, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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As part of his ongoing Making Art series, filmmaker Jesse Brass sits down with artist Zaria Forman (previously) who discusses the inspiration and intent behind her giant pastel drawings of icebergs and ocean waves.

 

 



Art

Landscapes Sculpted into Layered Antique Dinner Plates by Caroline Slotte

September 3, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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From the series Landscape Multiple, 2013. Reworked second hand ceramics. Dimensions 52 x 42 x 7 cm. Collection Röhsska Museum, Gothenburg (S)

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From the series Landscape Multiple, 2007. Reworked second hand ceramics. Ø 26 cm

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From the series Landscape Multiple, 2012. Reworked second hand ceramics. Ø 26 cm

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From the series Landscape Multiple, 2009. Reworked second hand ceramics. Ø 33 cm

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Helsinki-based artist Caroline Slotte manipulates artwork found on acquired antique ceramics to create layered landscapes and isolated images. One of her most striking bodies of work titled Landscape Multiple involves a process of carving and sanding through stacked dinner plates to create new, unexpected landscapes. From her artist statement:

The reworking of second hand objects play a pivotal role in Caroline Slotte´s practice. She manipulates found materials, primarily ceramic everyday items, so that they take on new meanings. The tensions between the recognizable and the enigmatic, the ordinary and the unexpected are recurring thematic concerns. More recent explorations reveal an expanded interest in material perception and material recognition, teasing out situations where the initial visual identification fails resulting in an unsettling state of material confusion. Demonstrating an engaged sensitivity towards the associations, memories and narratives inherent in the objects, Slotte´s intricate physical interventions allows us to see things we would otherwise not have seen.

What you see here is just a sample of Slotte’s work, head over to her website to see all of these pieces close up, and also check out her wood sculptures. Slotte had several additional pieces on view earlier this year at Kunstnerforbundet Gallery in Oslo. (via Yellowtrace)

 

 



Design History

A 19th Century Telephone Network Covered Stockholm in Thousands of Phone Lines

September 2, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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In the late 19th century, shortly after the patent of the telephone, the race was on to connect everyone to the phone grid. However, due to technical limitations of the earliest phone lines, every telephone required its own physical line strung between a house or business to a phone exchange where the call was manually connected by a live operator. The somewhat quixotic result of so many individual lines was the construction of elaborate and unsightly towers that carried hundreds to thousands of phone lines through the air.

In Stockholm, Sweden, the central telephone exchange was the Telefontornet, a giant tower designed around 1890 that connected some 5,000 lines which sprawled in every direction across the city. Just by looking at historical photos it’s easy to recognize the absurdity and danger of the whole endeavor, especially during the winter months. Everything that could possibly go wrong did. From high winds to ice storms and fires, the network was extremely vulnerable to the elements. Luckily, phone networks evolved so rapidly that by 1913 the Telefontornet was completely decommissioned in favor of much simpler technology. The remaining shell stood as a landmark until it too caught fire in 1953 and was torn down.

If you want to see more, the Tekniska Museet (the Museum of Technology) in Stochkholm has hundreds of photos from this strange period over on Flickr organized into three main galleries: Linjeras och eldsvådor (accidents), Telefonstationer Stockholm, and the Telefontornet.

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(via Retronaut, Twisted Sifter, thnx Johnny!)

 

 



Art

Eye Know: A Kaleidoscopic Journey through the Streets of Tokyo at Night

September 2, 2014

Christopher Jobson

This independent film project from filmmaker Hiroshi Kondo starts as a fairly typical time-lapse journey through highways surrounding Tokyo, but quickly morphs into something entirely different. Kondo makes use of lampposts and other nighttime light sources to create this dazzling, kaleidoscopic explosion of color and motion set to music by Ayako Taniguchi.

 

 



Photography

Clouds Cast Thousand-Mile Shadows into Space When Viewed Aboard the International Space Station

September 1, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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One of six astronauts currently on board the International Space Station, geophysicist Alexander Gerst spends much of his free time staring out the window as the world zooms by 205 miles below, camera in-hand. Since arriving at the ISS in June of this year Gerst has taken tons of photographs that document hurricanes, floods, dust storms, and oil fields.

One of his favorite things to shoot are the shadows cast by clouds, something that appears surprisingly dramatic from space. Dense cloud formations can create long shadows that stretch for thousands of miles across the Earth’s surface as they eventually disappear into a black horizon. You can see new photos from Gerst daily on Twitter. (via Stellar)