Pushing the Limits
is a group show exploring the range of creative expression in shaft-loom weaving. Assembled into a virtual exhibition by textile artist Olivier Masson
, you can navigate on your own or be flown-through to visit all the works and charming slideshow of photos of the weavers and their looms. The virtual show is admittedly not a great experience on a phone, so you might also enjoy the abridged catalog
(PDF) with photos of the works.
For a little context, here's a writeup of the show
by weaver Stacey Harvey-Brown, whose work "Shoal" is included in the show. [more inside]
From a Single Cell to a Salamander
"In this six-minute time lapse video, you can watch a single cell grow into an alpine newt salamander. I got this via Craig Mod’s post about looking closely, in which he asks: when precisely does this collection of cells become a salamander?"
A poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. "The dog trots freely in the street/
and sees reality/ and the things he sees/
are bigger than himself/
and the things he sees/
are his reality./
Enter Sandman is actually an Iron Maiden song.
We have the proof! It's them, in the flesh, performing the song as originally written and recorded. It's not actually just a Finnish guy reimagining the song as if it were done by Iron Maiden.
The Kilobyte’s Gambit 1k chess game
: I adapted an impressive 1.25KB chess engine to remove display code and get it down to 1024 bytes, then created a separate interface using pixel art of The Queen’s Gambit. It won’t win any tournaments, but if you’re a chess novice brace yourself for a challenge. [via mefi projects
'They become dangerous tools': the dark side of personality tests
– The Guardian on the new HBO Max documentary, Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests
, which "investigates America’s infatuation with personality testing, revealing the surprising origin story behind the MBTI while surfacing ethical questions and criticisms that these seemingly harmless instruments are profoundly discriminatory and reflective of larger troubling issues of who exactly is considered worthy and valuable in society."
Looking Closely is Everything
"The point being: Looking closely is valuable at every scale. From looking closely at a sentence, a photograph, a building, a government. It scales and it cascades — one cognizant detail begets another and then another. Suddenly you’ve traveled very far from that first little: Huh
John Scott (previously
) was a hockey player in the NHL. He wasn't a particularly skilled player, no he was a goon. As a joke some people started an internet campaign to get him in the All-Star Game. The league tried their best to prevent him from going but he went and ended up being the game MVP. Here's how it all went down in his own words
Vulture interviews Polly Smith,
costume designer on the Muppet Show and other Henson productions. Includes: getting the right size buttons, what a frog needs in a tuxedo, crocheting tiny rat gloves, and the perils of dressing the world's most glamorous pig. [more inside]
Coyote & Crow,
"A science fiction and fantasy tabletop RPG set in a near-future where the Americas were never colonized, created by a team of Natives", as their KS page puts it, with a promotional video featuring music by A Tribe Called Red
that will give you shivers. Judging by the KS page, this team is skilled and this game is something to watch out for. > [more inside]
A memory without a brain
(Science Daily): "The striking abilities of the slime mold to solve complex problems, such as finding the shortest path through a maze, earned it the attribute "intelligent." The decision-making ability of Physarum is especially fascinating given that its tubular network constantly undergoes fast reorganization -- growing and disintegrating its tubes -- while completely lacking an organizing center." How the Brainless Slime Mold Stores Memories
(Smithsonian Mag): "When placed in a new environment, a slime mold sends out a fractal net of oozing tendrils to explore its surroundings. According to the new research, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the slime mold encodes information about what it finds during these searches by changing the diameter of its exploratory tubes." Single-Cell Organism's Memories Twists Our Understanding Of Intelligent Life
(Inverse): "But this isn't just a one-time response. Rather, the slime mold has "irretrievably changed" the flow patterns of its tubes, according to the study — a sign of long-term memory formation." [more inside]
Decolonizing Electronic Music Starts With Its Software.
"In 2004, Khyam Allami was ready to give up on electronic music. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t write melodies that sounded like the music in his head. “It felt like the software was leading me somewhere that wasn’t my intention, and I couldn’t understand why that was,” he recalls. Born in Syria to Iraqi parents, Allami had grown up in London playing guitar and drums in punk bands. He was exploring Arabic music for the first time—or at least trying to, but the music’s distinctive quarter-tones were proving difficult to emulate. The software simply wasn’t made for him."
Now he has partnered with creative technology studio Counterpoint
to create two free browser-based pieces of software - Leimma to create and explore microtonal tuning systems, and Apotome to create music with the tuning systems the artist selects in Leimma. Link to both.
(Note that Apotome appears to work only in Chrome or Firefox, and the tutorials are rather long and maybe a bit heavy on the theory and music tech for the average non-musician.) Use of the software was premiered at this year's (mostly virtual) CTM Festival
in Berlin. [more inside]
Not the fauna themselves, but rather their selection.
Not only is the content compelling, the author uses a totally novel (to me) low-tech fake-high-tech "this is a unix system" style presentation medium. To me it's as interesting as the content! I had to keep asking myself: why is this good? It's like a layer cake of nostalgia and... is that irony? I can't tell! Keep it comin'... [more inside]
RIP Neville Livingston a/k/a Bunny Wailer.
Wailer's high tenor, almost a soprano, lent an otherworldly quality to the Wailers' early work, contrasted with Bob Marley's gritty tenor and Peter Tosh's grounding baritone. He was seventy-three years old and had been in and out of the hospital for a while following a second stroke last year. [more inside]
The Brienne Collection (previously
) is an astonishing trove of thousands of undelivered 17th century letters, many still sealed since the moment they left their writers' hands. A new paper in Nature
explains how a high-resolution dental x-ray, combined with a painstakingly-researched knowledge of letter folding techniques, makes it possible to read these letters without ever opening them
When her first novels were published, in the mid-1970s, Gayl Jones’s talent was hailed by writers from James Baldwin to John Updike. Then she disappeared.
Jones’s early novels were shepherded by Toni Morrison, then an editor at Random House, who’d dedicated herself to publishing Black writers, especially women. To put things in perspective, at the time Corregidora came out, Morrison had only recently published her first works of fiction, The Bluest Eye and Sula. She had yet to hit her stride as a writer, while Jones burst forth in her early 20s all but fully formed and requiring little editing. Jones needed a champion, however, someone who could understand and appreciate the sophistication of her approach to subject matter as well as language. “No novel about any black woman could ever be the same after this,” Morrison declared after reading the manuscript of Corregidora. [more inside]
[I]t wasn’t like Wentworth hadn’t seen money before.... Beginning in the 80s, in particular, the Island attracted people with a high order of wealth – all of whom have found, over the past decade or so, that they, in turn, are being inconveniently supplanted by people with an altogether more stratospheric order of wealth.
From Soo Youn in The Lily
: On Jan. 1, women and girls in the United States became eligible for an additional check on their health. Now, starting at 13, they can be screened for anxiety as part of a routine checkup or physical with a primary care doctor or OB/GYN as a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act. “This is a real breakthrough because we’re now saying that the mental health conditions that women suffer from are extremely important and they need to be screened for,” said Maureen Sayres Van Niel, a psychiatrist and the president of the women’s caucus of the American Psychiatric Association. “Some mental health issues are as important as the physical health things we screen for, like cancer.”
What happens if you cross Planet of the Apes
(the originals) with the comic sensibilities of Space Ghost Coast to Coast
and the style of The Tonight Show
in its heyday?
You get Hanging With Doctor Z
. [more inside]
People Literally Don’t Know When to Shut Up—or Keep Talking, Science Confirms
(Scientific American): We are really bad at navigating a key transition point during one of the most basic social interactions. "Mastroianni and his colleagues found that only 2 percent of conversations ended at the time both parties desired, and only 30 percent of them finished when one of the pair wanted them to. In about half of the conversations, both people wanted to talk less, but their cutoff point was usually different. Participants in both studies reported, on average, that the desired length of their conversation was about half of its actual length. To the researchers’ surprise, they also found that it is not always the case that people are held hostage by talks: In 10 percent of conversations, both study participants wished their exchange had lasted longer. And in about 31 percent of the interactions between strangers, at least one of the two wanted to continue." When should you end a conversation? Probably sooner than you think
From this, then, we can extract the three aspects of my Jewish identity which I believe shape my politics, and that of many, but of course not all, other Jews: fragile privilege and what that means for how we are to be safe; uprootedness, which can become a positive internationalism; and abhorrence of dominating power. These three ideas lead me to a deep appreciation for and belief in interdependence, which, in my view, is the beating heart of green, ecological politics.
Ecology, Citizenship and Jewish Identity
, a speech given to the Australian Association of Jewish Studies conference by Tim Hollo, about the experience of the Jewish diaspora and its influence on a progressive, ecologically-based politics of bottom-up democracy, interdependence, mutualism and opposition to dominating power, citing Hannah Arendt, Emma Goldman and Murray Bookchin.
Trader Joe's employee fired for advocating better safety in stores
Ben Bonnema, who worked at the store’s 545 branch on the Upper West Side in New York city, said he wrote to the company’s CEO Dan Bane in February, pointing to new studies about aerosol transmission of Covid-19 and calling for a series of safety measures – including better air filtration, limits to store capacity based on CO2 levels and a “three strikes policy” for customers who refuse to wear a mask. [more inside]