Buy the Xarifa, prototype for Steve Zissou’s Belafonte? (in spirit, if not in form, as this forum post on modelling the Belafonte will testify). From the broker’s listing: ‘Subsequently owned by Lord Iliffe and later Baron Empain, Xarifa was purchased in 1950 by the famous Austrian marine biologist Hans Hass. Together with his wife Lotte they carried out scientific marine explorations all over the world and developed a new diving apparatus which enabled them to make remarkable under-water film documentaries, theirs was the first under-water television filming. They had the patronage of Prince Joesph 11 of Liechenstein and a panel of twenty-six distinguished European scientists. In Xarifa they explored the Red Sea, atolls of the Maldives, Malaysia, Sumatra and Singapore even naming a newly dicovered species of eel after the yacht. Hans went on to write twenty-five books about their marine discoveries in Xarifa.’ Hass had a storied life, first as a Nazi special ops frogman, then as an inventor and TV naturalist, along with his wife Lotte, a career that spilled over into comic book star.
The amazing portable signs of rural America / Site Unseen, a weblog devoted to ‘interrogating the familiar’ / photography by Wolfgang Thaler, who is also responsible for the excellent DS Moviestar page, ‘dedicated to the performance of the Citroen DS in movies.’ / almost comically inept high-end concept touchscreen watch / download a papercraft version of the Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture: pdf.
The Ethometric Museum at Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science is an installation by Ray Lee, reappropriating obscure and outdated pieces of scientific equipment as ‘ethometric instruments’. From the description: ‘Each machine, the precise purpose of which is unknown, emits a specific harmonic frequency, and Ray Lee combines these to create a hypnotic, mesmerising sonic installation.’ A video of the installation can be found here.