The Wintergatan - A Marble Driven Musical Instrument

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Following my post about Pipe Organs, we have another complex musical instrument: the marble driven Wintergatan. While not as imposing as pipe organs, it is still quite impressive (albeit in a silly sort of a way). Above is a video of it in action, and the below two videos show how it works.

Pipe Organs

Sunday, March 19, 2017
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Pipe organs are ancient instruments. The Greeks originally used water to force wind through pipes, but by the 6th Century AD bellows were being used to produce the wind flow for them.

In Christian churches, both visually and through their sound, they became part of the majesty and mystery of religion itself. Their installations were elaborate and quite beautiful.

Here, and after the fold, are some of those installations. Also, since we should hear as well as see the pipe organs, at the end is Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Enjoy.

Chuck Berry - No Money Down

Saturday, March 18, 2017

RIP Chuck Berry

Chicken Attack

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Well, this one defies description. All I can say is... watch it to the end and you'll be treated to Japanese chicken yodeling.

The Patented Pigeon Camera

Sunday, March 12, 2017
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In the 19th Century, and early 20th Century, homing carrier pigeons were common. They were primarily used to deliver messages, however they they had other uses. In 1903 Dr Julius Neubronner, an apothecary in Germany, used them to deliver medicines to a sanatorium in a nearby city.

He eventually began to experiment with mounting small cameras on the pigeons with shutters on timers that could take pictures while the birds were in flight. He submitted a patent for his first Pigeon Camera in 1907. At first it was rejected. The patent office thought it impossible for the pigeons to carry the weight of the camera, but it was finally approved when he provided pictures they had taken.

His technique became popular when he exhibited his pigeon cameras at the 1909 International Photographic and the International Aviation exhibitions. He would send his pigeons aloft, develop the pictures when they returned and sell them as postcards.

Photography from aircraft soon eclipsed the popularity of Dr Neubronner's pigeon cameras. I wonder what he would think of today's drone mounted cameras?

Sources:  Pigeon photography, Now that's a bird’s eye view.

Finally -- a Realistic Battle Scene in a Movie

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Man, do these extras chew the scenery in their death scenes, or what?

Spanish-American War Graphics

Saturday, March 04, 2017
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 The Spanish-American War has largely faded from America's historical memory, but it was very consequential in the move of the U.S. from a purely continental power to a naval and a 19th century imperial power. The notions of imperial America vs America taking its place at the table of World Powers were batted about at the time. Those conversations still echo in our national dialog.

I started by looking for propaganda posters about the Spanish-American War, but there were very few of them. However, there was a wealth of graphics of battles and editorializing about its aftermath.Enjoy, and as always there are more after the jump.