Artist Alex Chinneck has constructed a full-sized wax building which is slowly being melted from the top down. For the last twelve months the artist has collaborated with chemists, wax manufacturers and engineers to develop visually convincing wax bricks that transform in the most sculpturally effective way. The installation is part of the 2014 Merge Festival.
Afgoo_Head: mystery man of medical marijuana creates giant weed cigars. Interview: 1, 2, 3. (Weed porn, NSFW in some states.)
Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone. [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]
To make thy wax, takest thou first 4 parts of shellac, and place it in a pan over a heat of the second degree.
"On the other hand, a seal made of shellac shall also n'er serve, for that it is too intemperate and hard and will too easily break upon the lightest blow. And belike as not, it will not adhere to a paper when attached thereto, so that oftimes it would pop loose without any encouragement, and bear false witness against the messager." —The Manufacture of a Good and Faithful Sealing Wax, circa 1683. [more inside]
Nearly 122 years ago, The first field recording was made. In the Crystal Palace, London, 4000 voices were recorded singing Handel's Israel In Egypt. [more inside]
Best known as an Indonesian handicraft, batik is a distinctive technique for textiles that has been used for millennia and can be found as far away as Egypt, Ghana, China and India. An integral part of daily life in Java, batik has spread around the world as a wellknown artform as well as clothing. From its hippy heyday to the smart couture outfits of the Singapore Girl, batik is still daily wear for many and the equivalent of black tie in the ASEAN. [more inside]
Like shiny things? Bill Owen has a step by step tutorial on getting a mirror paint finish on objects with paint and wax.
Displaying Hitler alongside celebrities, pop stars, world statesmen and sporting heroes at the new Madame Tussauds in Berlin was a bit controversial to begin with. And it didn't last long before one of the first visitors literally tore off the Fuehrer's head.
Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees was the first movie on the internet. Also, allegedly the first indie movie edited on a digital non-linear system. Mostly, though it's just awesome because it features a cameo from William S. Burroughs and is just plain weird. [more inside]
What is the relationship between the optical groove in a record or wax cylinder and sound, and how can we use this to recover analog recordings from the past? Dr. Carl Haber explains IRENE (.pdf; begin at slide 44 for audio samples).
History, horrors, leaders, literary figures, lots of pop stars and inevitably, the Last Supper. Don't let the international conglomerate fool you, wax museums are still weird. Case in point: beware the dangers of drugs in wax! And if you can't make it to Russia, you can always check out the Russian Imperial court, in Texas! (Oops, bye bye Czar Nicholas!) My personal favorite of the genre is Great Blacks in Wax, and I'm not the only one who likes wax museums. The medium has inspired poetry, films and photography. Check out the previous threads on the subject, (but alas, it's too late to buy the Country Music Wax Museum of the Stars.)
Historical anatomy models were a marriage of art and science. From about the 13th to the 19th centuries, exquisite wax models were the state of the art. Florence's La Specola anatomical wax museum houses the works of master artists, such as Ercole Lelli, Anna Morandi, and Clemente Susini. The later years of wax models tended towards the grotesque: moulage and depictions of pathological conditions and physical anomalies. Due to the labor required and delicacy of wax models, papier-mâché became the favored production method in the 19th century, partly due to the ability to dissect the models. Over time, models became more stylized to protect the delicate sensibilities of the public. Today, models are again shocking the public with extreme realism.
Are soy candles better than paraffin wax candles? Yes. Soy (or Soja) "healthy candles" may be all the rave among new age hippies, but this time they've really got a point. There's no shortage of vendors, but why not keep it real and make your own?
Tragic Beauties: antique wax mannequins. "Unlike the frozen, lifeless mannequins of today, these European busts were posed for, many at the turn of the century, by flesh and blood women". (I'm not sure how this one found it's way in there.)
Have you ever wanted your very own wax museum? Who hasn't? Well, here's your chance:
The Country Music Wax Museum of the Stars is being auctioned on eBay.
The Country Music Wax Museum of the Stars is being auctioned on eBay.
We've discussed the 2000 Census a few times before, but we've never debated the 2000 Crayola Color Census. It's childhood nostalgia second only to the smell of Play-Doh. You can read up on the history of the colors and see the most popular ones. Nearly all of the top ten colors are shades of blue, which shouldn't be too surprising. Me? I'm a burnt sienna kinda guy.