31 March 2010

25 March 2010

The Moon

One of those astronauts, Buzz Aldrin had this to say about what it felt like to be on the moon:

"For Christ's sake. I don't know. I just don't know. I have been frustrated since the day I left the Moon by that question."

And I think it's gonna be a long long time...

Von Braun, Wernher Magnus Maximilian (1912-1977)

One of the most important rocket developers and champions of space exploration from the 1930s to the 1970s, and the son of a baron. Von Braun's enthusiasm for the possibilities of space travel was kindled early on by reading the fiction of Jules
Verne and H. G. Wells, and the technical writings of Hermann Oberth. It was Oberth's 1923 classic Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (By Rocket to Space) that prompted the young von Braun to master the calculus and trigonometry he needed to understand the physics of rocketry.

At age 17, von Braun became involved with the German rocket society, Verein für Raumschiffahrt (VfR), and in November 1932 signed a contract with the Reichswehr to conduct research leading to the development of rockets as military weapons. In this capacity, he worked for Captain (later, Major General) Walter Dornberger – an association that would last for over a decade. In the same year, under an Army grant, von Braun enrolled at the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universität from which he graduated two years later with a Ph.D. in physics; his dissertation dealt with the theoretical and practical problems of liquid-propellant rocket engines.

Some of von Braun's colleagues from the VfR days joined him in developing rockets for the German army. By 1935, he and his team, now 80 strong, were regularly firing liquid-fueled engines at
Kummersdorf with great success. Following the move to Peenemünde, von Braun found himself in charge of the A-4/V-2 project. Less than a year after the first successful A-4 launch and following a British bombing raid on Peenemünde, mass production of the V-2 was switched to an underground factory in central Germany. Von Braun remained at Peenemünde to continue testing.

In mid-March 1944, von Braun was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned in Stettin. The alleged crime was that he had declared greater interest in developing the V-2 for space travel rather than as a weapon. Also, since von Braun was a pilot who regularly flew his government-provided airplane, it was suggested that he was planning to escape to the Allies with V-2 secrets. Only through the personal intervention of Munitions and Armaments Minister Albert Speer was von Braun released.

When, by the beginning of 1945, it became obvious to von Braun that Germany was on the verge of defeat, he began planning for the postwar era. Before the Allied capture of the V-2 rocket complex, von Braun engineered the surrender to the Americans of scores of his top rocket scientists, along with plans and test vehicles. As part of a military plan called
Operation Paperclip, he and his rocket team were whisked away from defeated Germany and installed at Fort Bliss, Texas. There they worked on rockets for the US Army, launching them at White Sands Proving Ground.

In 1950 von Braun's team moved to the
Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Alabama, where it built the Army's Jupiter ballistic missile. In 1960, von Braun's rocket development center transferred from the Army to the newly established NASA and received a mandate to build the giant Saturn rockets. Von Braun was appointed director of the Marshall Space Flight Center and chief architect of the Saturn V. He also became one of the most prominent advocates of space exploration in the United States during the 1950s. In 1970, he was invited to move to Washington, D.C., to head NASA's strategic planning effort but less than two years later, feeling that the US government was no longer sufficiently committed to space exploration, he retired from the agency and joined Fairchild Industries of Germantown, Maryland.

Like many of his fellow German rocket scientists and science-fiction writers of the time, von Braun believed that an orbiting
space station was a crucial first step toward manned interplanetary travel. In the March 22, 1952 issue of Collier's magazine (see Collier's space program), von Braun and other scientists contributed articles describing and advocating construction of an American space station. Illustrated by space artist Chesley Bonestell and others, this issue publicized the wheel- or doughnut-shaped design that became the most popular image of the space station. Later it was memorably depicted as Space Station V in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

23 March 2010

The great “Lion of Pune”

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar
Kannada: ಬೆಳ್ಳೂರ್ ಕೃಷ್ಣಮಾಚಾರ್ ಸುಂದರರಾಜ ಐಯಂಗಾರ್, Tamil: பெல்லூர் கிருஷ்ணமாச்சார் சௌந்தரராஜா ஐயங்கார்),
generally known as Yogacharya B. K. S. Iyengar) (Born December 14, 1918 in
Bellur, Kolar District, Karnataka, India) is the founder of Iyengar Yoga. He is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and has been practicing and teaching yoga for more than 75 years. He has written many books on yogic practice and philosophy, and is best known for his books Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. He has also written several definitive yoga texts. Iyengar yoga centers are located throughout the world, and it is believed that millions of students practice Iyengar Yoga.

He was awarded the
Padma Shri in 1991, and the Padma Bhushan in 2002. In 2004, Iyengar was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.

20 March 2010


Some are born to sweet delight,
some are born to endless night
- William Blake.

a day in the life : SKULLS

08 March 2010


"I live on Earth at present, and I don't know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process — an integral function of the universe."

-Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller, American architect, author, designer, inventor and futurist.

06 March 2010

Noisettes "24 Hours" live in MPLS

POPULOUS: Wunderkammer Company's New Pop

By Dan Swartz

Fort Wayne Reader


Pop Art is by far the most successful art movement in Art History. No other artistic style or movement has had the power over both the art world and mass culture.

Wunderkammer Company, a non-profit arts organization based in Fort Wayne devoted to promoting contemporary art, is making use of the power of Pop art with its next exhibition, "Populous." "Populous" has been built as an exhibition, which will add a significant performance aspect during its opening, February 19th, creating an interactive experience. Wunderkammer Co. has invited Joshua Witten, Holly Clabaugh, Daniel Dienelt, Michael Shifflett, John Collins McCormick, and Bambi Guthrie to exhibit works which express different aspects of contemporary pop concepts and techniques. Their work is both in the vein of, and in response to the Pop Art of the past.

The original Pop Art movement was cynical, consumer conscious, and accessible.
By tapping into the everyday experience and exalting it as a work of fine art, those original pioneers like Jasper Johns and Claes Oldenburg were able to bring the exclusivity of the art world down a peg, and bring the taste of American consumers into focus, showing the inhabitants of the late 1950's and 1960's just what they were buying into and raving about as our nation went through its first large economic bubble.

Fast forward through the seventies and height of Warholian Pop, the eighties with a burning hot art market, the nineties YBA sensations, and the millennium's return to a market of art-as-equity, and we notice that Pop has never left us, just transformed and developed different cadences with each wave of new artists. Currently, contemporary pop art has more to do with street culture, the flash of a camera, and the ubiquitous world of pop culture.

In Fort Wayne, there is a significant vein of contemporary pop art being made and exhibited by a number of young artists. In fact, Pop Art seems to be one of the strongest thematic references among Fort Wayne's contemporary artists. Daniel Dienelt, a highly talented artist working in photography, video, and mixed media painting taps into the contemporary pop concept through manipulated found media, the eye of the camera, and the ambiguously painterly creation of images which could easily be a part of a sign or advertisements. As a testament to his versatile use of media, pieces like "My Thoughts are Deep and unforgivable" are created through a combination of ink, spraypaint, latex, and market. This smorgasbord of information, layered onto the picture plane, gives the work a feeling both of highly crafted fine art, and the nostalgic, empathetic feeling of discarded objects and weathered materials found in urban environments.

Where Dienelt's mixed media pieces bring up references to the street and the transience of the public, Holly Clabaugh's photography is rooted in the memory of the past. Clabaugh, a student at the University of Saint Francis, is creating some of the most poignant photography in Fort Wayne's art scene. While her images have a decidedly pre-Pop era feeling to them, with their graining black and white textures, they deal more with the universal idea of what the past looked like in a mass-psychological sense. Pieces like "The Conservative", and "Sticks and Stones", have the feeling and anxiety of what we have been trained, through pop cultural elements like film and tv representations of what the post-war/cold war era was. By using period clothing and props, Clabaugh also taps into the importance that fashion and design play in what we think of certain time periods and the pop experiences in them. In a similar way, Michael Shifflett creates what feels like a film still from a 60's noir classic into "French Pop No. 1", a large scale black and white painting which references both Fellini and Lichtenstein with a close up image of a woman's face.

Bambi Guthrie, also a University of Saint Francis student and photographer, shies away from nostalgia and representations of time in her work, and focuses much more on attitude. Guthrie's photography, like "Fallen Angel I" exhibits an oddly subtle gothic aesthetic, and an appreciation for the shocking or bizarre. John Collins McCormick, goes against the grain with "12 Untitled Drawings on Paper", which is both a collection of commodity drawings, and a small self-contained installation of his work. McCormick's drawings are Pop at its most basic unit. McCormick obsessively marks the paper with candy paint colored markers creating hidden universal images like numbers in the picture plane. Last but not least, Joshua Witten embodies the idea of contemporary Pop Art perfectly with his immaculately fresh images like "The Antigravity Machine", which is an image of a break dancer and his boom box on a bleak minimalist plane. Witten's use of a macro comic line quality and color fields, sense of color and scale, and complex cast of imagery make for visual poems which are read, line by line, with each impression.

In addition to this great cast of artists, "Populous" will also include a group of local musicians covering and slightly skewing the "poppiest" of current Pop songs like Sky Thing's abstracted rendition of "Cobrastyle" by the Scandinavian sensation Robyn, Mac's Merry Minstrels, a local group of classical string musicians, performing a medley of Lady GaGa's #1 hits, Hope Arthur covering Lady GaGa's "Beautiful Dirty Rich", and Mason Dillon covering the music of Imogen Heap.

With this sensational combination of visual and performing arts, Wunderkammer Company is creating a rich cultural experience, much like the "art parties" of the 60's and 70's where all of the avant-garde (be they thinkers, makers, or performers) could be found mingling, dancing, and drinking.

"Populous" opening will take place on Friday, February 19th, from 5-11pm at the Dash In, at 814 S. Calhoun Street.

02 March 2010


Doolittle is the second studio album from the American alternative rock band Pixies, released in April 1989 on 4AD. The album's offbeat and dark subject material, featuring references to surrealism, Biblical violence, torture and death, contrasts with the clean production sound achieved by the then-newly-hired producer Gil Norton. Doolittle was the Pixies' first international release, with Elektra Records acting as the album's distributor in the United States and PolyGram in Canada.

Pixies released two singles from Doolittle, "Here Comes Your Man" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven," both of which were chart successes on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. The album itself reached number eight on the UK Albums Chart; an unexpected success for the band. In retrospect, album tracks such as "Debaser," "Wave of Mutilation," and "Hey" are highly acclaimed by critics, while the album, along with debut LP Surfer Rosa, is seen as the band's strongest work.

Doolittle has continued to sell consistently well in the years since its release, and in 1995 was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album has been cited as inspirational by many alternative artists, while numerous music publications have ranked it as one of the most influential albums ever. A 2003 poll of NME writers ranked Doolittle as the second greatest album of all time.

occam's razor sketchbook page 24

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occam's razor sketchbook page 23

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