While profiling Dogfish Head's new 'Celest-Jewel-Ale' moon dust brew
, Outside online took a look at some of the good and bad scientific innovations in beer containment recently:: Beck's playable Edison bottle
• Natty Light in 'space'
• Budweiser's bowtie beercan
• Heineken's lightsaber bottle.
Form and Landscape - Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990
- is a series of themed exhibitions
that tell the story of how Los Angeles 'became modern' by using photos from the comprehensive archives of Southern California Edison. The photos portray the many roles that electricity has played in the development and modernization of Californian life and culture (domestic life
, etc.). Part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time Presents
The oldest known recording of American voice has been restored and replayed for the first time in over 100 years.
Dating to June 22, 1878, the recording was made for an early Edison phonograph on tin foil which had become too fragile and torn to play back. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory optically scanned
the foil and developed a program to replay it digitally. [more inside]
, from the Dutch "dood dal" meaning "dead valley"
a ghost town
since the 1960s, lies just an hour north of New York City in Bear Mountain State Park [more inside]
Towards the end of the 1800s, there were three primary American groups competing to invent technology to record and play back audio. Alexander Graham Bell worked with with Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell
in at their Volta Laboratory
in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., while Thomas A. Edison
worked from his Menlo Park facilities
, and Emile Berliner
worked in his independent laboratory
in his home
. To secure the rights to their inventions, the three groups sent samples of their work to the Smithsonian. These recordings became part of the permanent collections, now consisting of 400 of the earliest audio recordings ever made. But knowledge of their contents was limited to old, short descriptions, as the rubber, beeswax, glass, tin foil and brass recording media are fragile
, and playback devices might damage the recordings, if such working devices are even available. That is, until a collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory came together to make 2D and 3D optical scanners
, capable of visually recording the patterns marked on discs and cylinders
, respectively. [more inside]
When New York State sentenced convicted murderer William Kemmler to death, he was slated to become the first man to be executed in an electric chair. Killing criminals with electricity “is a good idea,” Edison said at the time. “It will be so quick that the criminal can’t suffer much.” He even introduced a new word to the American public, which was becoming more and more concerned by the dangers of electricity. The convicted criminals would be “Westinghoused.”
The Phonograph Doll
was the first attempt at making a talking doll, invented by Thomas Edison. The doll utilized a miniature phonograph to talk, and was possibly the first audio recordings for commercial purposes. An example of the (now 123 year-old) talking doll was found in 1967 in Edison's New Jersey workshop, which is now a National Historic Park and museum
. Recently, the warped metal cylinder was optically scanned and re-created
, providing a 12-second clip
of the oldest known recording of a woman's voice. [more inside]
You are Nikola Tesla
. Dodge obstacles and control the elements
as you race to stop Thomas Edison.
A game by ThoughtQuake Studios
, made using open source software and part of IndieDB's top 100 games of 2010
Back on August 15, 2010, Aesop Rock kicked off a sprawling collaboration effort
, with input by 28 artists, with an eclectic collection of videos
spanning from music videos
to odd clips
and a Kimya Dawson recording studio dance party
, works by photographer Chrissy Piper
, and lots of music
, from unreleased tracks
, and mixtapes
. There's even a post about being manhandled by a nude model
, written by the Dwarvs front-man Blag Dahlia
. Going back to the beginning of the site, the second post was a collection of facts about bats
, and the only obvious connection back to the tragic impetus for the title of this ongoing collaboration (900 bats
) -- over 900 bats were torched
to prevent disruption of work on the ongoing renovations
of the historic Bala Quila
(also spelled Bala Qila
) fort in Alwar, Rajasthan
, in north-eastern India. [more inside]
Feeling like you need something to balance the scent of sandalwood and musk after reading this list of famous man caves
(including Jefferson's study, Douglass' office, Edison's library, and Roosevelt's trophy room)? If so, you may be interested in seeing the inner sanctums of some of history's most influential women. Check out Eleanor Roosevelt's living room (picture
), Marie Curie's laboratory (picture
), Margaret Mead's room in Samoa (picture
), Maya Angelou's parlor (picture
), Susan B. Anthony's study
(more pictures and info
), Georgia O'Keefe's sitting room (picture
), Helen Keller's childhood bedroom (picture
), and Frida Kahlo's studio (picture 1
, picture 2
). [more inside]
Lights, camera ... Edison!
Thomas Edison & Co. made the first movie ever shown in public - Blacksmith Scene
- a film about drinking on the job. They also had many other cinematic firsts: The first sound film
, the first romance (The Kiss
), the first blockbuster (The Great Train Robbery
), and the first splatter film (The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots
The Edison Frankenstein
, the first movie adaptation of Mary Shelley's story, and the first horror movie
, is 100 years old as of last week. The Frankenstein blog has more details
Last year we discussed
a recently discovered 10-second audio recording from 1860 that was thought to be the oldest known recorded human voice, a girl or woman singing the 18th century French folk song “Au Clair de la Lune”
. Turns out, it was being played too fast - slow it down and it's the voice of the inventor himself. As well, a number of other recordings have been found, pushing back the oldest recording to 1857. Hear it all on NPR
(5-min). [more inside]
We've had quite a few lovely posts over the years about people on bikes and skateboards and all these fine new sports that those crazy kids are in to these days, whether it's charging it, huckin' or riding in all its myriad of forms. New, yeah? Here's your great-great-granddad showing you what for with some barspins and suchlike novelties on a heavy old fixie.
Stick around for the full-pipe attempt at the end. Directed and filmed by Thomas Edison.
Thomas Edison's Concrete Houses
From 1902 to roughly 1917, Edison was in the concrete
business, and concrete houses
would be one of his biggest failures. [more inside]
Yoshiro Nakamatsu aka Dr. NakaMats has invented everything,
other than all the other stuff that the rest of us have invented. He has 3218 patents to his name. (Edison had 1093
.) Among his many inventions? The compact disc, the compact disc player ('natch), the digital watch, a unique golf putter, the floppy disk
(!), and a water-powered engine. Besides being the founder of the World Genius Convention
(where the world first learned of ingenuity of ADR ceramic disks
, for instance), Dr. NakaMats
was voted by the US Science Academic Society as one of five greatest scientists in history - in the company of Archimedes, Michael Faraday, Marie Curie, and Nikola Tesla - and he plans to live until 144!
Personally, I don't think hope is lost
for modern music. Puerto Rican reggaeton
is finding solid ground in the world of mainstream hip hop
, indie kids are dancing to Brazilian favela jams
at loft parties, and old time experimental music snobs don't even have to go to the "World Music" ghetto to find the newest Congotronic
Still, sometimes I can't get off on the new school and I gotta dig back. Way back. The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project
has created a database of over 6,000 wax cylinder recordings from the turn of the last century, all free to download or stream. For you sound recording buffs and noise connoisseurs, Tinfoil.com
offers early sound experiments AND a cylinder of the month
. And for extra nerd cred, check out Thomas Edison's contribution
and peep his disturbing talking doll
Edison's Conquest of Mars!
Garrett P. Serviss' unofficial
, 1898 sequel
to War of the Worlds
, featuring Thomas Edison and Lord Kelvin as the heroes. It seems this book originated the space battle and the ray-gun, not to mention the aliens-built-the-pyramids plot
. Sounds like a blast
Turtle's 78 RPM Jukebox
Popular Victor, Edison, and Columbia recordings, 1900-1930.
Edison spoke: "Of all my inventions, I liked the phonograph best...
Auditory Antiquity as Anachronism.
Does One fancy the Sonic Cylinders
and Spindled Spirals
? are the Victorians'
crackling gramophones what Ought to be? could it be the Transitory Teens
for a treat in Tonality
? perhaps One is enamored by the Resonance as Reasoned by the Roaring Decadence of Decade
, the fret of Jitterbug Fears
, and some Hopped-up Lindys
Why not Then and Then
to be found at Once?
( Fully formed Fondness recommends the abilities of a Reality Playfulness, the oddish Ogg, and an M.P.-third to boot. )
Edison's New Media.
American Memory (natch) offers this sprawling archive of audio files
and filmic material
Uncovered while seeking an archive of piano roll recordings, unsuccessfully. Also noted: Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier
from the American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920
Freak Show: Jumbo In The New World
"In 1903, American inventor Thomas Edison arranged to have an elephant publicly electrocuted in Luna Park. Up to that point Edison, in his bitter campaign to discredit the electrical theories of George Westinghouse, had been content to publicly electrocute cats and dogs. When Topsy, an enraged circus elephant, trampled to death its third trainer in three years, Edison offered to "execute" the animal in a way that would demonstrate once and for all his belief in the dangers of alternating current. The electrocution of this elephant was filmed and apparently the footage can still be viewed at the Coney Island Museum."
Edison schools 'privatization with public money' scheme a failure?
School districts such as San Francisco's, which saw Edison as a panacea, may end up worse off for having played the privatization game. If Edison goes under, the district (could) be faced with huge logistical challenges: re-enrolling kids, renegotiating contracts with teachers who were working at Edison schools, maybe even dealing with the company's creditors.
Edison electrocutes an elephant at Coney Island.
I never knew this horrifying bit of history until I read about it via rscharm's MeFi post.