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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
The American Gallery of Psychiatric Art is getting a fair amount of linkage at the moment (we spotted it via Ashley B, who found it via dublog). Back to the drugs. I'm presuming these ads are taken from psychiatry journals - you get the feeling that the target audiences aren't exactly able to speak for themselves. Examples: Dexamyl (like so many early anti-depressants, an amphetamine), some early advocacy of Ritalin (‘brightens mood and improves performance’), and Thorazine ('quickly puts an end to his violent outburst').

Elsewhere. 'A polar bear heaves a block of ice at a walrus. It is an ancient belief in the north that bears occasionally kill walruses in this manner. Most scientists doubt it.' From the obscure but informative Polar Bear Myth Gallery (via the gospel according to Mark). There are only five entries (and strictly speaking only one of these is actually a myth), but we like its precision / Ramage is a good new cultureblog / Foodgoat talks about food, from junk to haute cuisine / dublog also pointed us to Ron Wise's epic Geographical Dictionary of World Paper Money. An epic labour of love, it's worth browsing just for the concision of the maps alone. But if you've ever wanted to know what fifty Swazi emalangeni looked like in 1990, or what two Hutt River Province dollars were like in 1970 (rather natty, actually), this is the place to come.

Giornale Nuovo on Cabinets of Curiosities. Which got us thinking: what are our modern cabinets of curiosities? Perhaps it's the video games console, through which whole worlds are stored and accessed (related: a game that likes real sunlight, via kottke). Practically every home has such a device today (related: twenty years of the Nintendo Famicom. Also, if only these were links to go with this timeline of Rare's impeccable video-games heritage - screenshots, anything), functioning as a gateway to somewhere else. We'll have more on virtual worlds - and virtual things - soon.

Find sounds at findsounds ('scream' is always a good way to start) / a striking urban exploration image at Jinx Magazine (via me-fi, especially nicwolff's comment, which had us digging around for more information on the crash of Pan Am's helicopter shuttle in May 1977. A stray rotor from the disaster killed a young woman waiting for a bus on 43rd (related: celebrity deaths in air crashes)) / Indelible is modest, elegant and unassuming, yet it's just one of an octet of weblogs maintained by Alison Bloom. The others include a page devoted to a wedding, personal experience of Judaism, health, house-keeping, poetry and, finally, arts administration. Phew. Truly a life lived through the medium of the internet.

A neat, slightly retro, links page at yomgaille.com (via kesskisspass) / a fotolog all about books / the photography of Olivia Gay / links and things at two-zero (which is where we find the Erotic Museum, a destination to which we will inevitably return) / a random lists of links at guitarstart / I’m going to miss the Guardian’s 'wrap' email service, which becomes a subscription-only service from tomorrow. It will interesting to see how it fares in its new commercial incarnation.

The conceptual Corporate Fallout Detector - swipe a barcode, and this Geiger-counter like device will squirrel through the myriad levels of company ownership to give you the low-down on the parent company's environmental and ethical record. Now if you can imagine a similar thing on a mobile phone-like device. Or even a mobile phone itself, where the benefits of a built-in barcode scanner are numerous. Instead of taking a calculator to the supermarket, you could just point and scan your own basket and keep a running total, as well as a long-term, instantly accessed record of your purchases. After all, it's not as if the stores aren't doing it for you already... (read 'The card up their sleeve', a recent Guardian piece on the information gathering revolution).

Finally, apologies for the continuing retina-searing problems that Mac users have recently (always?) experienced. We're working on a fix and thanks, especially, to Tom and Michael for help and advice. The upshot of all this ferreting around has been interesting. Call us naive, but we were shocked to see screen captures of this page on Safari and see the fonts all smoothed and neat (something to do with Quartz, we presume). Then we discovered font smoothing in Windows XP, hidden away on the desktop. Now everything is similarly buttery.

But as a result, we can no longer see pixels. It is confusing. (related: the history of the pixel - 'tomorrow, members of the 'mezzo-rez' generation will likely pine nostalgically for artifacts of their 640 x 480, 16-bit color screens.'). In the same way that one acquires a 'regular font’, the shape of which seems to influence the way one reads, types, and most importantly writes, becoming all smoothed out is unnerving. It’s like seeing your words in print far ahead of the event (assuming that one’s words were destined for print in the first place). It takes away one more barrier between random musing and published work. Is that helpful?