Shots and pockets

Human cannonballs are back in the news thanks to the Olympic closing ceremony. As Microkahn notes in an inconvenient excuse, the genre was invited by one Rossa Matilda Richter, or ‘Zazel‘, and the act itself was part death-defying thrill, part blatant titillation. The above image is from the Schamberger Circus Poster Collection, and boasts a shot ‘200 foot through the air’. In reality, the world record for a human cannonball is 193ft 8.8 in, set last March by David “The Bullet” Smith Jr. HCs are not terribly well represented at the Circus Museum, but this new book from Taschen, The Circus, 1870-1950, is rich with visual material (extracts here).

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Other things. Then & Now Photography, via MeFi. We’re suckers for this kind of site, although the difference here is that the two images are blended together / The Filming Locations of Annie Hall, part 1 and part 2, Scouting NY’s epic dissection of the historic New York behind Allen’s classic 1977 film. See also the Beekman of Annie Hall at The Architecture of Film / recently recommended in the comments, the music of Teeth of the Sea, especially their album Your Mercury / Eye Magazine gets a new website / new Brit folk band Brit folk band Owl In The Sun play Laura / The Cure, a ‘British music pub’ in Seoul.

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Codex 99 on the development of Hewlett Packard’s HP-35 calculator:

‘In perhaps the most famous design brief in electronics history Bill Hewlett challenged his engineers to shrink the 9100A into something he could fit in his pocket. Eventually Dave Cochran, the original HP-35 product manager, determined that it would be feasible using newly-developed integrated circuits and LEDs. A market research study, however, warned that the device would be too expensive and there was simply no market. That didn’t matter to Hewlett. He decided he wanted one and said “We’re going to go ahead anyway.” In a radical reversal of their normal design process HP began with the physical packaging – an angled and tapered wedge – and engineered the electronic and mechanical components to fit inside.’

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