devi: (Default)
Ahahaha. In 2012, as the Mayan Long Count comes to an end, the Prez leads America into The Singularity. Wearing bunny slippers. A little comic by Dan Goldman.

(Ancient, powerful witch Thessaly in the Sandman comic wore bunny slippers for a whole story arc as well, so for me they've come to symbolise being so damn competent that it becomes irrelevant whether or not you're wearing the right clothes to project an image of power. Which kind of works here as well.)

As is typical of me, I started a slightly more considered post about the inauguration but didn't finish it. Perhaps I'll get a chance later on.

Blue Monday hit us hard. It's been a bit grim around these parts. But here are some more things found on the web - mostly science-flavoured if not actually scientific - which have brightened things up:

Science Tattoos. Some of these are really beautiful - I love the carbon atom, and this diagram of the spread of an epidemic, and subatomic doodling. I wanted a tattoo for ages and never settled on a design, but these make me think I want one of a stylised, ambiguous image poised halfway between a diagram of an atom and a map of a solar system. Zoom in, zoom out.

An animated video on how to imagine ten dimensions. I saw this ages ago after [ profile] squiddity told me about it, one night after Planet Angel (that was an interesting night during which I also heard about surreal numbers, but sadly when I looked them up I understood them not at all. I'm glad surreal numbers exist, though). But it just popped up again on my twitter feed. I don't know how well-founded it is but it's certainly fun.

Via [ profile] undyingking, a graph showing which language people around the world refer to when they don't understand something, along the lines of "it's all Greek to me". Apparently lots of languages express incomprehension by saying "sounds like Chinese", but the Chinese say it sounds like "the Heavenly Script".

The discussion on the post is full of interesting comments too. Some Germans say "it's all Bohemian villages to me", which I can relate to - Czech is such a crazy pile-up of consonants. People wade in to wave the Esperanto flag and get told off. It's fun, in a quite geeky way.

And something not web-ephemera, though you can see pages from it at the author's website (I recommend you do. They are gorgeous): last night I got lost for hours in a graphic novel called The Arrival, by Shaun Tan, which Dan found in the library. It's a wordless story about an immigrant leaving his oppressive homeland to come to a strange new culture full of bizarre animals, peculiar mechanical devices and beautiful, incomprehensible script. It's full of fantastical invented things, and sometimes putting fantasy elements in a story about real-world issues can undermine it and make it seem like the author is making light of said issues, but in this story it really works because by creating an imaginary culture he makes us experience the immigrant's culture shock. I read it while listening to Ulrich Schnauss's dreamlike shoegaze electronica, which was just perfect. I wanted it to go on forever, and also to be able to draw better myself, and choked up a bit thinking about taking risks and new beginnings and such idealistic stuff. It is, in summary, Rather Good.

Hey, the sun's out and it's nearly the weekend. I'm coming down to London for Black Plastic tomorrow, rah! Rather looking forward to dancing to discrete songs with words, like I always used to. See you there?
devi: (butterfly)
Popping in briefly from the spin cycle that is life at the moment to say: if you're in Oxford before the 6th of April, go check out the Small Worlds exhibition at the Museum of the History of Science - and thanks to [ profile] ar_gemlad for pointing me at it. Hundreds of weird, beautiful, mesmerising images from their collection of microscope slides, with poems, animations and other stuff inspired by them. Glimpses of a strange land not far away. The poems have clunky moments, but just as many where they hit spots I'd never managed to articulate by myself in all my thinking about Big Things and Tiny Things these last six months or so.

From a poem called "The Voice of Scale":

I am the immensity not only of the sky
But of the vertiginous gap between immense and tiny;
I am the nebula's terror when it thinks of the atom.

Yes. YES! Exactly.
devi: (Default)

Parc d├ępartemental du Val-de-Marne
Originally uploaded by gadl

This guy just made my jaw drop. He takes 360-degree panoramas and turns them into tiny planets. The full set is here.

And while I'm at it, more beautiful otherworldly pictures by [ profile] marnameow. They're a set taken on the Thames at night, exposed for so long they're as bright as day.

River, and gherkin in the distance
Originally uploaded by felinebeastie

How did I live without this constant influx of cool stuff from the internet? Oh yeah, I got quarterly fanzines in the post or something. It wasn't much fun.

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