The Wikipedia entry for the Codex Seraphinianus states: "The Codex Seraphinianus is a book written and illustrated by the Italian artist, architect and industrial designer Luigi Serafini during thirty months, from 1976 to 1978. The book is approximately 360 pages long (depending on edition), and appears to be a visual encyclopedia of an unknown world, written in one of its languages, a thus-far undeciphered alphabetic writing."
The book is truly fantastic, full of animals, inventions, customs, cities, and other aspects of a fantasy world. The idea of an encyclopedia of a wildly different fictional place created in a mad-up language reminds me of the Voynich Manuscript but while that seems to have been a hoax, the Codex Seraphinianus seems to be 'merely' an art piece.
The look is quite similar to the movie "Fantastic Planet" from 973.
The music really adds to the wonder and mystery of these videos
Some said it could not be done, that it would violate basic principles of physics. Some dismissed the idea as they do the idea of perpetual motion machines.
But some others were determined to show that "DDWFTTW" (Directly Downwind Faster Than The Wind) was possible.
While not 100% proven, this article at MAKE may make you a believer.
NPR has a '3-minute fiction' contest, which puts a word count limit at 600.
In the field, this is known as 'flash fiction.'
The even briefer version is called 'hint fiction' and has a word limit of around 25.
"Blind Date," by Max Barry.
She walks in and heads turn. I'm stunned. This is my setup? She looks sixteen. Course, it's hard to tell, through the scope.
"Houston, We Have a Problem," by J. Matthew Zoss.
I'm sorry, but there’s not enough air in here for everyone. I'll tell them you were a hero.
My dad (a professor) sent this in with the note:
"This video is funny and close to what a professor sometimes feels like saying."
Can you guess who these characters are?
#1 Baked Falummus / Humafel
I tried making hummus. We had a bunch of dried garbanzos that I soaked overnight. We didn't have tahini so I used sesame oil. I tried pureeing them but they stayed pretty chunky. I blamed that on the oil/tahini switcheroo but realized that you're supposed to use cooked garbanzos. So I put the quart or so of raw hummus in the microwave but it cooked very unevenly, so it went into the oven on low heat. As the garbanzos cooked they absorbed all the moisture so I added a little olive oil and a 1/4 cup or so of water and stirred it in. I let it bake at 250° for a few hours and then tasted it. It needed a little oomph so I added a bit of sriracha. The flavor is good, both taste and texture is halfway between those of falafel and hummus. I've been eating it like peanut butter, spread thick on toast.
#2 Homebrewed Belgian Cider
I had a gallon of local cider. When I was a kid we would let the cider ferment in the plastic jug. That stuff was delicious and had a great effervescence. But that was possible only because the cider was unpasteurized and had wild yeast. It's hard to find that stuff now and my cider was pasteurized. I added the dredge from three different bottles of Belgian-style ales (including Duvel) hoping that some of the yeast was still viable. The airlock cap went on and I waited. It was a few days before I saw the first bubble but then the yeast went to town over the course of a few weeks. I finally bottled it today and tasted it. I was pretty careful about sterilization and I don't think any mold got in, but I think I let it go a little too long, and some of the alcohol had turned to vinegar. But all the sugar had been consumed. The flavor is very similar to kambucha. I don't taste alcohol in it, but there must be a good amount given how sweet the cider was and only a little vinegar taste.
Andrew Zimmern has a show where he eats weird things. He was in Bolivia and learned an old technique of preserving potatoes by freeze-drying them outside. Soon after harvest, the nights are below freezing and the days are above, so simply leaving potatoes on the ground means the water in the potatoes bursts the cell walls as it expands as ice at night. Then during the day the water drips or evaporates away. After a few days of this the skins are removed and the process is repeated a few more days. I've been replicating this with three russet potatoes: go in the freezer at night and thaw during the day. The surprise is how much water is in these potatoes. i was aware that potatoes are in fact mostly water, but to see how much that is was striking. They currently have the texture of hard-boiled eggs. You can roll them in your hand and they are quite pliant. I have no idea what I will do with them.
#4 Infused Whiskey
I sometimes put a cinnamon stick in the French press when making coffee, giving just a bit of spice to the flavor. One day I was making Manhattans and instead of bitters I dropped one of the used cinnamon sticks in the glass. The flavor was quite nice and I even got a bit of the coffee flavor from the stick in the drink.
There are lots of infused vodkas but I never see infused whiskey. I suppose tat since whiskey already has a flavor it doesn't need any infusion. But my cinnamon experiment was a success so i went further. I took some $15 Canadian rye in a decanter and added whole spices - ones often used in chai: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and cardamom pods. After just a day the liquor was noticeably fragrant. After a few days the flavor was obvious. The cardamom in particular had exuded a strong flavor. I had made, in a way, pre-bittered whiskey. The cardamom taste was a bit too intense actually. It reminded me of camphor. Next time I'll go with more cloves and cinnamon.
Worldmapper has a nice interactive tool that allows you to visualize lots of demographic data
If you couldn't guess what URL to type in to see this, it's:
"The Lowbrow Tarot Project showcases 23 amazing artists who have used their creative genius and unique styles to take on the 22 Major Arcana [+ the card back] and create 23 new works of art in the rugged glow of the lowbrow art movement to be displayed in an exhibition at La Luz de Jesus in October 2010. A hard cover tabletop book and full color tarot card deck will follow. "
Below is the image for The Tower, an 8" sculpture by Jessica Joslin