Friday, September 30, 2011

The Creative Brain On Exercise

via fast company
“For artists, entrepreneurs, and any other driven creators, exercise is a powerful tool in the quest to help transform the persistent uncertainty, fear, and anxiety that accompanies the quest to create from a source of suffering into something less toxic, then potentially even into fuel…”
Read the rest here.

Peter Gabriel: New Blood

via npr
“Peter Gabriel's 12th studio album, New Blood, contains re-imaginings of some of his best-known songs — including ‘Solsbury Hill,’ ‘Red Rain’ and ‘Don't Give Up’ — using orchestral arrangements and ambient sound. The album continues a career reinvention he began on Scratch My Back, a covers album with the attached expectation that the covered artists would reciprocate…”
Read the rest and listen to the interview here. Listen to a sneak preview of Red Rain on Peter Gabriel’s site, here.

Savage Chickens: Ribbons

via savage chickens
This makes me smile!

Vintage Maps Trace the Meandering Mississippi

via a raven
“For anyone obsessed with beautiful maps, these colorful and informative examples tracking the many paths of the lower Mississippi are a dream come true. The monumental collection was produced in 1944 by Harold N. Fisk, who drew in a rainbow of colors the path of past and current flows as the mighty river changed course and flooded over time...”
More can be found here.

He’s Dead Jim: T-Shirt

via ian leino
This t-shirt cracks me up; order it here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Average Font

via a raven
Moritz Resl writes, “This project shows what a font would look like if it consisted of all typefaces installed on my system. Every character from a to z is drawn using every single font with a low opacity. In total there are over 900 typefaces in my library. I didn’t exclude the ugly ones…”
I just check my font library at work — I have 4,702 fonts; yikes! See his results of the 900 here.

Image of the Day: No Cheese Puffs Were Ejected

Real news story in today’s
Daily Collegian.

Chromolithography Printing Process Trade Cards

via letterology
“The process of Chromolithography was invented in the late 1790s, 40 years before the invention of photography, and it was an alterative to the woodcut or engraving process where you carve into the surface in order to create a relief image. Chromoliths, (sometimes referred to as chromos), are known as planographic prints, meaning the images and text were drawn on a flat, limestone surface with a greasy crayon and when it chemically treated, the drawn areas would attract ink and the stone would repel it. Each color represented a different stone, so the task of producing this method of lithography was not only extremely labor intensive, but an art that few mastered. The subtle texture of each print comes from the irregular grain of the stone. Some of the finest printers were in Germany and France where much of the best quality limestone was mined…”
The set of 6 cards found here illustrate the entire chromolithography printing process in consecutive order. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Horn Books

This horn book includes
an ampersand

via the fontfeed
“Long before the invention of printing, hand painted letter boards were widespread as teaching material in schools. ABC tablets made of wood were already mentioned in an English manuscript as early as the 14th century. Later a thin, transparent horn plate was used to protect the paper glued on the board against wear and dirt. This is why up to this day letter boards are still called horn books in English-speaking regions, even though they are not books in the conventional sense of the word…”
Read the rest here, and learn a bit more about horn books here and here.


The Original Think Pad

via the daily heller
“Computer Revolution Trivia Dept.: IBM introduced the ThinkPad line of laptop computers in 1992. Back in the 1920s Thomas J. Watson, Sr, introduced ‘THINK’ as an IBM slogan. For decades IBM distributed small notepads with the word ‘THINK’ etched onto a brown leatherette cover to customers and employees. The name ThinkPad was suggested by IBM employee Denny Wainwright, who is reported to have had a ‘THINK’ notepad in his pocket…”
Read the rest here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Progress Report for “Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama”

via dykes to watch out for
Alison Bechdel writes on her blog, “I’m drawing and drawing, on deadline for the memoir I’ve been working on for the past five years. It kinda freaks me out that the book is already up on, considering that it’s far from finished. But I guess it’s also motivating. The book will have seven chapters, for a total of around 280 pages. So far I’ve got 116 pages done…that’s the first time I’ve allowed myself to tally them up…”
I can hardly wait for this to be released; the subtle details she adds within each frame perfectly captures the era. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak at a public event, take the time to go; you will not be disappointed. On Tuesday October 18, she will be at Barnes and Noble Union Square, NYC, 7p.m.

1493: Chronicling the Ecological Impact of Columbus’ Journey

via wired
“Columbus’ discovery of the New World unleashed centuries of geopolitical turmoil. But humans weren’t the only creatures whose fortunes were forever altered. Entire species of plants and animals either thrived or suffered as well. In the book 1493, author (and Wired contributor) Charles C. Mann traces the far-reaching biological consequences of Columbus’ journey across the ocean blue. “There is a Rube Goldberg aspect to this,” Mann says. “Things are connected in ways that you would never expect.” And just as with human societies, some organisms came out on top, while others were radically subjugated. Here are a few key flora and fauna and how they weathered the storm…”
Read the rest here, more on 1493 here from npr.

Images of the Day: Neon & Enamel

These photos just do not do justice to the rich indigo enamel neon sign, located in Centre Hall, PA.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Image of the Day: “Cat No Allowe”

This handmade sign in Millheim cracked us up on a recent Sunday afternoon. We get this impression that rather than crosshairs, it is supposed to be the international no symbol. Love the fact that the cat has three legs, and that they ran out of room when writing the sign. What is the story behind this rather young person’s request? 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Irony & Sarcasm marks, part 2 of 3

via shady characters
“The irony marks proposed by John Wilkins, Alcanter de Brahm and Hervé Bazin proved stubbornly resistant to putting down roots, and Bazin’s 1966 point d’ironie would be the last to be publicly promoted for some decades. Before the Internet reinvigorated their cause, though, the hunt for a foolproof method of conveying verbal irony took an abrupt detour: if a self-contained irony mark was not enough, perhaps an entire alphabet was the answer. And whereas the concept of an irony mark had exerted a strange pull on a select few French writers, the idea of signalling verbal irony with a different typeface altogether was instead the preserve of English-language journalists…”
Read the rest here; and more on an irony font here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Legacies & Transformations

via Bacon is NOT an Herb

Back on September 1st, trueindigo posted some writing I had done in conjunction with a previous art project:

“While growing up in the 1960s, I recall my grandmother telling me proudly that her father, Henry, was a one of the best shots in the area. He and other locals would get together and have shooting matches — and that these matches evolved into the annual Labor Day pigeon shoot in Hegins.

There were photos of him and my great-grandmother in the back dining room of my grandmother’s home. To me at the time, they didn’t look like very friendly people. I’m sure part of that was that they had to hold still for a long time for the photographer, as well as the fact that life was hard maintaining a farm in remote Schuylkill County…”

Read the rest on her blog, Bacon is NOT an Herb, just one of the many projects of hers that I am so very proud of.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Hello Crow

As I woke up this morning, Terri told me that the “hello crow” was back. There were at least five crows in the trees and on the ground near our bird feeder and suet, and though we couldn’t ID which crow it was that was vocalizing, we could hear it quite clearly. This crow, or one that has also picked up on the vocalizations, has been in the area for at least 16 years. I Googled “crow that says hello” and came across this YouTube video of a Hello Crow, perhaps it is the same one that visits us in central PA.

Images of the Day: Mabon

The variations from cool greens to blazing reds attracted my eye this morning.

A touch of dew on the quince.

Craig Thompson’s Habibi

We just started reading Craig Thompson’s Habibi yesterday, and I am only about half-way through it. His previous graphic novel, Blankets, is powerful in many ways, but this latest work is very complex on a lot of levels. I came across this interview with Thompson at Mother Jones, and also wanted to pass along links to his blog, Doot Doot Garden, and the Habibi site which includes a Process Gallery — be sure to click on the images there to enlarge them.

Of course, when I saw these images of the cover
being printed,  I had to include them here as well.

Money Trees

A money tree with copper and silver coins
hammered into the wood near
Ingleton, North Yorkshire
via dailymail
“…The coins are usually knocked into felled tree trunks using stones by passers-by, who hope it will bring them good fortune. These fascinating spectacles often have coins from centuries ago buried deep in their bark and warped by the passage of time. The tradition of making offerings to deities at wishing trees dates back hundreds of years, but this combination of the man-made and the natural is far more rare. It used to be believed that divine spirits lived in trees, and they were often festooned with sweets and gifts — as is still done today at Christmas. The act is reminiscent of tossing money into ponds for good luck, or the trend for couples to attach ‘love padlocks’ to bridges and fences to symbolise lasting romance…”
Read more, and see additional images, here. A Flickr group can be found here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Greg Dunn’s Hippocampus

via boingboing
“That’s no dandelion. It’s a painted close-up of a slice of human hippocampus. Jessica Palmer at the Bioephemera blog introduced me to the gorgeous artwork of neuroscience grad student and painter Greg Dunn. His images of different neurons are really lovely…”
Read more at Bioephemera, and visit Dunn’s site too.

Image of the Day: Closed Cinema

I discovered this a few months ago, tucked between two buildings near where I live. Unframed, unadorned, and strongly striking an inner cord with me. Reminding me of an early study by Kandinsky, it has stuck with me, surfacing now and again in my mind. Unintentional creation? It is hard to say, and I will probably never find out. But, perhaps, it will surface again, repurposed. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dominic Wilcox’s Watch Sculptures

Watch Sweeper

via a raven
Dominic Wilcox’s latest project, Watch Sculptures: Moments in Time, makes me smile. He placed tiny figures onto watch hands to create a series of stories...
See more images and a video, here

Image of the Day: Late Afternoon Desktop

4:39 p.m.
Getting things prepped for tomorrow morning;
desktop image of Ganesh from a photo by Arron Scott.

Daniel Wintle’s “Kern Over” Alphabet

spotted on Green Chair Press
DesignSponge had a Design Your Own Alphabet Contest last fall. Among the entries was “Kern Over” by Daniel Wintle, who picked the name because ‘kerning is the process of adjusting white spacing in a proportional font...’
Visit Green Chair Press to find links to the entries and winners. Just a tad disappointed that there was no ampersand in Kern Over...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Image of the Day: Migration

With the last few hours of the warmth of Summer's sun,
a monarch fuels up on honey-scented nectar

Miquel Barcelo’s Gran Elefandret

via designboom
“Sitting on a traffic island in New York's Union Square, the 9-meter tall sculpture depicts a balancing elephant that is holding itself up by the tip of its trunk...”

Photo taken today by Arron Scott

Monday, September 19, 2011

No. 101-0655: Manhattan's Last Single-Space Parking Meter

via dna.infp
“As the crew from the Department of Transportation surrounded the street in front of meter No. 101-0655 with orange cones, the end of an era was drawing nearer. A few minutes later DOT worker Dennis Weber pulled the mechanical innards out from the single-space meter on Frederick Douglass Boulevard between 125th and 126th streets. Next came the jackhammer as his partner Kemraj Bowani worked his way around the base of the metal pole holding the 80 pound meter in place. Twenty minutes later it was all over. Guy Agostino hoisted the last working parking meter in Manhattan into the back of a DOT truck…”
Read the rest here, more at npr, and the Gothamist. Interestingly, in the New York Times, it noted that the parking meter made its Manhattan debut on Sept. 19, 1951, at a formal ceremony in Harlem that attracted the boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. 

New Logo

Image of the Day: Omar

Outside of Bellefonte’s Omar Bar and Gill

And, The 27th Letter of the Alphabet

via Now I Know
“There are 26 letters to the English alphabet, with two of the letters — ‘A’ and ‘I’ — themselves also constituting words. But as seen to the right, another character — the ampersand (&) — also, at times, was included among the current 26. And amazingly, the word ‘ampersand’ is probably a byproduct of the symbol’s inclusion. The picture here is from a 1863 book called ‘The Dixie Primer, For The Little Folks,’ — a book which like many around even today, aimed at teaching children their ABCs and some basic words and phonics. Notably, the ampersand is included in the alphabet, just next to the Z and ending the entire set. While not necessarily the standard usage, it was not terribly uncommon either to include the ampersand here — it had been there for centuries…”
Read the rest here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

October 7: Ada Lovelace Day

via FindingAda
Ada Lovelace, a brilliant mathematician in the early 1800s, is considered to have written the first ever computer program. Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. This year Ada Lovelace Day will be held on Friday 7 October, so we  hope that you’ll join us in honouring the inspiring women who have excelled in their fields!
Find out more here.

‘To Dream Tomorrow’ is a film about Ada Byron Lovelace (1815-1852) and her contribution to computing, a hundred years before the start of the computer age. Daughter of a mathematically gifted mother and the ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’ poet Lord Byron, Ada was 17 when she began studying a prototype mechanical calculator designed by mathematician Charles Babbage. By the time she was 27, she had moved beyond her famous contemporaries and predecessors such as Leibniz & Pascal, to describe universal computing much as we understand it today. Alan Turing, who also worked at Bletchley Park, was familiar with Lovelace’s work.
Read the rest here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lonni Sue Johnson: Anatomy of an Illustrator’s Illness

via the daily heller
“Lonni Sue Johnson, whose illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times, among scores of books and magazines, was stricken with viral encephalitis in 2007. The disease left her with severe, memory-impairing brain damage — amnesia.  Johns Hopkins University has been engaged in a research study into the ‘artistic aspect’ of her illness. An announcement and video of her cognitive struggle was just released by Johns Hopkins and an exhibit of Johnson’s post-illness work, ‘Puzzles of the Brain: An Artist’s Journey through Amnesia,’ will open on September 17 at The Walters Museum in Baltimore…”
Read the rest here; with lots of great links to follow.

Scoutmob and Public Bikes

Scoutmob is giving away a PUBLIC C7 or V7 bike every Friday in September.
Enter the giveaway here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Merculiano’s ‘I Cefalopodi’

via BibliOdyssey
‘I Cefalopodi’ is hosted by the Biodiversity Heritage Library on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution. The author of the magnificent color and b/w plates is Comingio Merculiano (1845-1915), a professional watercolor painter hired in 1885 by prof. Anton Dohrn as in-house illustrator for the Naples Zoological Station.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library blog featured ‘I Cefalopodi’ in its Book of the Week. You can see more from ‘I Cefalopodi’ here, and even download the images [89.2 MB]. Be sure to check out the entire collection of illustrations from this work in Flickr.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mapping Terms for American Streams

via Strange Maps Blog
“A body of running water may be called any of many different names, the most generic being stream, the most common being river.  A river can be defined as ‘a natural stream of water of usually considerable volume’. General terms for smaller streams include creek (smaller than a river) and brook (smaller than a creek). Very specific types of water currents  include anabranches (river branches that rejoin the main body of water) and distributaries (branches that don’t).

This map charts the rich variety of waterflow toponyms in the US, which reflects the climatological and geographical diversity of the country, but also its linguistic and historical heritage. River names seem extremely resistant to change, and indeed often are echoes of earlier dominant cultures.

The colors on the map, which is based on the place names in the USGS National Hydrography Dataset, correspond to the generic toponyms for waterflows, excluding the two commonest ones (river and creek, rendered in gray).

The term brook (light blue) is massively prevalent throughout New England, and into northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It is interspersed with stream (light green) in Maine, the only place in the country where that term is used with any frequency; and with kill (dark blue) in New York state’s Hudson valley - the occurrence of that Dutch-derived term coinciding somewhat with the former Dutch colony of New Netherland. Pennsylvania, Maryland, northern Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio are dominated by the run (pink)…”

Read the rest here, see the map large here, and visit Derek Watkins site here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Little Free Libraries

via utne reader
“Andrew Carnegie built an impressive 2,509 libraries around the turn of the 20th century. Now Rick Brooks and Todd Bol are on a mission to top his total with their two-foot by two-foot Little Free Libraries, reports Michael Kelley in Library Journal. The diminutive, birdhouse-like libraries, which Brooks and Bol began installing in Hudson and Madison, Wisconsin, in 2009, are typically made of wood and Plexiglas and are designed to hold about 20 books for community members to borrow and enjoy. Offerings include anything from Russian novels and gardening guides to French cookbooks and Dr. Seuss. Each Little Free Library runs on the honor system, displaying a sign that asks patrons to Take a Book, Leave a Book. Fifty libraries have been built so far, with 30 more underway and plans to expand into Chicago, Long Island, and elsewhere…”
Read the rest here, visit Little Free Library here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Printer’s Lullaby

Heidelberg Z at Penn State
via Quality In Print 
Gordon Pritchard challenged Dwane Hollands, owner of Hollands Print Solutions and a sometimes music composer, with the idea of creating a piece of music using the sound of a printing press to create the underlying musical theme. He chose the rhythm of a Heidelberg press.
Listen to his composition ‘Printer's Lullaby’ here.

Film Biz Recycling

via swissmiss
Film Biz Recycling a fantastic Brooklyn-based non-profit keeping furniture and props from film sets out of the trash.

Transcending Fear in the Creative Process

via brain pickings
“ ‘Creativity is like chasing chickens,’ Christoph Niemann once said. But sometimes it can feel like being chased by chickens — giant, angry, menacing chickens. Whether you’re a writer, designer, artist or maker of anything in any medium, you know the creative process can be plagued by fear, often so paralyzing it makes it hard to actually create…”
Insights on fear and creativity from five favorite books on the creative process and the artist’s way can be found here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wood Type of the Month: Gothic Round

via International Printing Museum 
Read this month’s wood-type column to learn about the 200 year old typeface that finds use in the fast food industry today.


via How About Orange
Silk is a site where you create artwork that resembles silk blowing in the breeze. Just click your mouse and drag . . .

Friday, September 9, 2011

Image of the Day: Gracie’s Corner

trueindigo captured this image.
More ampersands from the Upper East Side can be found here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011