Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Links!

Okay, I have to mention one last name sent in last night: Jack M. Self. Oh, and Sharon Peters says hello as well.

I can't believe none of these parents went through the obligatory "What sort of dirty rhyme or taunt could kids make out of this name?" exercise.

Leading off this week is a remarkable piece of art called the Telectroscope. Here's an excerpt:
Before sunrise on Tuesday morning, a strange sight began to appear on Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn: a six-foot-tall metal drill bit seemed to emerge from the wooden pier, covered in genuine East River mud and revolving slowly beneath the glow of the Manhattan skyline. On Wednesday it will grow into a 12-foot-tall industrial-looking behemoth erupting just in front of the quaint Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. And on Thursday? Imagine an enormous brass and wood telescope, 37 feet long by 11 feet tall, connected to a mirrored dome, like a child’s drawing of something that will see into the future. Voilà: the Telectroscope will have materialized.

A fanciful device born equally of history and imagination, it will visually connect New Yorkers to people in London, where an identical scope will sit on the banks of the Thames in the shadow of Tower Bridge.

A steampunk telescope, complete with its own origin myth. That's just outstanding.

Here's a cautionary tale: a seal trying to have sex with a penguin. For forty-five minutes. Next: penguins wandering around the Antarctic wearing "NO MEANS NO" t-shirts.

From David Gloier, a link to a story about two guys traveling across the country fixing incorrect punctuation in signs.

From the New York Times, an interesting article on walruses.

From Patrick, a link to an amazing piece of animated street art: Muto. This is a mind-blowing piece of work.

From Bob Taylor, a link to another forgotten bit of military history: Secret Strobelight Weapons of WWII. Long-time sufferers of this space will remember previous links to the strange (and highly self-promoting) story of magician Jasper Maskelyne, who's mentioned in the article.

From Josh Catania, a link to Darvaz: The Door to Hell, an underground cavern discovered in Uzbekistan thirty-five years ago while drilling for natural gas. The cavern was filled with gas, so it was set on fire to let it burn off.

It's still burning (and the pictures are fantastic).

From the Edwin Garcia links machine, a story about a lost parrot that was returned to his owners after telling a vet his name and home address. Also from Edwin, a visually arresting video about the dhobi, or laundrymen, in Mumbai, India. It's the world's largest laundry, with over 30,000 workers, and there are so many emotions in that little film that it's hard to describe.

Michael Martin found a few excellent pictures of the Austin bats in flight: one, two, and three. Just imagine three or more streams unbroken streams like that, with each stream lasting for 20-30 minutes before the bats have all left the bridge.

Striped icebergs (and also some here), and they are stunning.

From Sirius, a link to the Marital Rating Scale, circa 1939. Among the questions when rating your wife:
--does she dress for breakfast?
--are the seams on her hose often crooked?

Also from Sirius, a link to the history of the Slinky.

From Michael O'Reilly, a link to a a V8 engine--made out of Legos.

From Dan Quock, a video of Andy McKee, who has a very unique way of playing the guitar.

From Nate Carpenter, a link to a unique and remarkable clock.

From Meg McReynolds, a link to a video of Gene Kelly tap-dancing on roller skates (short attention spans should skip to 2:10).

From Aaron Daily, a link to a Spinal Tap performance that features "every bass player in the known universe."

From Andrew, a link to Starcraft English, a South Korean program that improves your English skills. Uniquely.

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