Monthly Archives: June 2012

Reimagining The Starry Night

Digital artist Alex Ruiz imagines what the actual night sky that inspired Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic painting might have looked like:

Very nice. This might be an intriguing idea to apply to other works as well; how about reverse-engineering some of Picasso’s work to reveal, say, what the women who inspired Les Demoiselles d’Avignon might have looked like? Not that it’s real reverse-engineering, of course; it’s another filter, another artist’s imagination, another act of creation. But a fascinating exercise nonetheless.

Prints of Ruiz’s Starry Night are available for purchase here.

(via io9)

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Ray Bradbury goes home

A video from an earlier post, reposted here in memory of the magnificent Ray Bradbury:

Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.


(I find it a little ironic to be writing this in a medium that Bradbury hated: he considered the Internet “a big distraction,” “meaningless,” and “not real. It’s in the air somewhere.” A surprisingly narrow-minded view of an entire medium of informational exchange, with enormous potential as well as pitfalls. Judging from all the online encomiums, however, it seems the Internet has no hard feelings.)

More quotes from Bradbury over at Brain Pickings, here and here. After losing this tremendously wise storyteller so soon after Maurice Sendak, all I can think is this: Ursula K. Le Guin, please stick around for a good while longer. We continue to need your voice, and the wings you lend your readers.

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There’s a little black spot on the sun today

To mark tonight’s once-in-a-century transit of Venus, King of Pain seems uniquely and utterly appropriate:

Adam Frank reflects:

The next Venus transit will be in 2117. That is 105 years from now. It’s unlikely that anyone reading this today will still exist then. Think about that: The next time the orbits of Earth and Venus align just so to create a transit, the world will be entirely populated by an entirely unborn generation. That essential point about time is really what makes this transit worth a moment of your own. […]

While the astronomy behind Venus transits might not be news, the celestial mechanics of our own trajectories through life and the universe are an ongoing story. The transit of Venus reminds us of something essential. We are so busy worrying about getting the kids to school before homeroom, getting to work before the shift starts or getting to the gym for spin class that we completely forget time spins on many different cycles. While our heads are down waiting for a Facebook page to update on our cellphones, the solar system continues relentlessly on in its steady, stately dance of gravity, matter and motion.

(Image via Citizen Scientists League)

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