Idea for Advent Calendar
A Kodak blogger had an interesting idea: take a picture of the George Eastman House and use its 24 windows as a traditional advent calendar
. That made me reaize that if you had any object with the right number of repeated elements, you could do the same. That could be trees in a forest, cars on a lot, or what have you. If you don't have enough elements in a grid, then you could get a row of several and then set the row out multiple times.
Labels: advent, calendars, holidays, projects
Caravaggio Used Photography?
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian artist at the turn of the 17th century who ushered in baroque painting and true realism
. According to an Italian art scholar, he may also have been an early practitioner of photography
, using firefly powder to produce short-lived fluorescent images that he could then turn into a sketch and, ultimately, a painting. He was known for working directly on canvas and not developing a series of preparatory sketches.
Labels: Caravaggio, painting, photography, technology
DIY High Speed Photography
Makezine.com has an intriguing feature on do-it-yourself high speed photography
- like capturing a balloon in mid-burst or a water drop as it just hits the surface of a container of water. Curiously, they used a disposable camera because its flash won't last as long as that of a commercial flash unit, which ends up letting the subject blur.
Labels: DIY, flash, high speed, photography, stop action
Time Q&A with Annie Leibovitz
Time Magazine had a Q&A with Annie Leibovitz
in which readers sent the questions. I* wouldn't call it incredibly revealing, but it was interesting, and at the end there's a link to a video interview with her.
Labels: Annie Leibovitz, interviews, photographers
EnWords News Roundup (11-24-2008)
A collection of news about words in their various forms.
- Free Recipes as Cookbook Sales Mechanism Will Schwalbe, former EIC at Hyperion, has started a food site called Cookstr that gives away recipes from top-name and lesser-known but solid cookbook authors as a way to get people to buy copies. (NYT)
- Random House to Digitize Books Random House will make thousands of additional titles available in e-book form.(AP)
- Writing the Unwritable in the U.K. Britain has much stricter (or looser, depending on your viewpoint) libel laws than in the US, as well as other impediments to freely publishing information. But journalists have developed all sorts of ways to report on that which could get them in legal hot water. (NYT)
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Stops Buying - For Now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has told its editors that it has “temporarily stopped acquiring manuscripts” in trade and reference. They can't say when the ban will end. Although claiming that the move is about "doing things smarter" than "the end of literature," note that not buying now means not having a selection of new titles in 12 to 18 months. Either the house has a massive backlog, or things are worse than management wants to admit. (Publishers Weekly)
- Obama and New Book Directions A Guardian blogger suggests that Obama's election will open the book industry to many new types of titles as well as creating a market for some backlist entries. (Guardian)
- US Branch of Manga Publisher to Close The U.S. branch of Broccoli International, a Japan-based manga, anime, game, and merchandise publisher, will close. Although probably few readers of this blog are interested in manga and anime, it's something to note. Graphic novels have become mainstream business and the same approach to story telling has been moving into the non-fiction world. This might be a very early indicator of changing tastes of younger generations. (PW)
- EU Book Digitization Project The European Union has launched Europeana, a plan to scan and make available online "millions of books, artworks, manuscripts, maps, objects and films from the most important libraries, museums and archives, and provide them free to download from one website." It will also include video and audio of interest. Having paid attention to the suit against Google, the EU is focusing on works in the public domain. The site is currently down because there was such overwhelming interest that the traffic crashed the servers. (Guardian)
Labels: books, journalism, manga, news, web
LIFE Photo Archives Online
LIFE Magazine was famous for its own photography. In addition, it had one heck of a photo archive. Now some of that work is available online
, stretching as far back as the 1870s (long before the publication came into existence).
Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.
I'm finding that the description doesn't quite mesh with what I can see on the site. No matter how I search, whether by decade, year, or topic, the maximum number of photos that come back seems to be 200. For those who need old pictures for projects, remember that in the U.S., anything from before 1923 is in the public domain.
Labels: archives, historic, LIFE, photographs
Book of Oldest Jokes Has Dead Parrot Ancestor
I've written about the world's oldest recorded joke
, which, truth be told, wasn't very funny. (Guess you had to be there or be an ancient Egyptian or both.) Now a new translation of a fourth century Greek joke book has a story similar in structure
to the "Dead Parrot" sketch of Monty Python
Labels: humor, jokes