Explore 5,300 Rare Manuscripts Digitized by the Vatican: From The Iliad & Aeneid, to Japanese & Aztec Illustrations

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“Hundreds of years before vast public/private partnerships like Google Arts & Culture, the Vatican served as one of the foremost conservators of cultural artifacts from around the world. In the era of the Holy Roman Empire, few of those works were available to the masses (excepting, of course, the city’s considerable public architecture and sculpture). But with over 500 years of history, Vatican Museums and Libraries have amassed a trove of artifacts that rival the greatest world collections in their breadth and scope, and these have slowly become public over time. In 1839, for example, Pope Gregory XVI founded the Egyptian Museum, an extensive collection of Egyptian and Mesopotamian artifacts including the famous Book of the Dead. We also … Read the rest

The Art of Making Old-Fashioned, Hand-Printed Books

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“Reports of traditional books’ death are greatly exaggerated, thanks in part to the success of print-on-demand publishing and other digital innovations. As thrilled as we are about the survival of the printed page—it’s a relief to have something to read after Wi-Fi fails during the zombie invasion—the craftsmanship that goes into hand-printed, hand-bound volumes is an almost-lost art. The Victoria and Albert Museum’s video, above, documents the painstaking process, beginning with the arranging of metal type that will result in an octavo, the most common type of book. It’s a quiet endeavor, though surely a bit louder than the V&A’s silent documentation, an unusual choice given a certain segment of the millennial populace’s appetite for well-edited artisanal craft videos … Read the rest

William Blake’s Masterpiece Illustrations of the Book of Job (1793-1827)

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“Orthodox thinkers have not often found the answers to suffering in the Book of Job particularly comforting—an early scribe likely going so far as interpolating the speech of one of Job’s more Pollyannaish friends. The gnarly metaphysical issues raised and never quite resolved strike us so powerfully because of the kinds of things that happen to Job—unimaginable things, excruciatingly painful in every respect, and almost patently impossible, marking them as legend or literary embellishment, at least. But his ordeal is at the same time believable, consisting of the pains we fear and suffer most—loss of health, wealth, and life. Job is the kind of story we cannot turn away from because of its horrific car-wreck nature. That it supposedly … Read the rest

New Archive Presents The Chicagoan, Chicago’s Jazz-Age Answer to The New Yorker (1926 to 1935)

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“Copyright The Quigley Publishing Company, a Division of QP Media, Inc. Chicago’s famed “second city complex” didn’t spring from organic feelings of inferiority, but rather from the poisonous pen of visiting New Yorker writer, A.J. Liebling: Seen from the taxi, on the long ride in from the airport, the place looked slower, shabbier, and, in defiance of all chronology, older than New York… the low buildings, the industrial plants, and the railroad crossings at grade produced less the feeling of being in a great city than of riding through an endless succession of factory-town main streets.  – A.J. Liebling, Chicago: The Second City, 1952 The Manhattan born journalist’s observations about the toddlin’ town are plainly those formed by an … Read the rest

Eadweard Muybridge’s Motion Photography Experiments from the 1870s Presented in 93 Animated Gifs

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“When a horse trots, do all four of its hooves ever leave the ground at once? At one time, we not only had no answer to that question, we had no way of finding out. But in 1872, when the matter piqued the curiosity of Leland Stanford, tycoon, former governor of California, co-founder of Stanford University, and race-horse owner, it did so at just the right time. Having made a bet on the answer, Stanford called on an English photographer named Eadweard Muybridge, known for his work in such then-cutting-edge subfields as time-lapse and stereography, and tasked him with figuring it out. Using a series of cameras activated by trip wires as the horse trotted past, Muybridge proved that … Read the rest

The ‘Million Dollar Dissident’ Is a Magnet for Government Spyware

Source:
Motherboard



Excerpt:
“In 2011, Ahmed Mansoor, a dissident blogger and administrator of a popular democracy forum in the United Arab Emirates, was targeted by his own government with a sophisticated piece of spyware designed to siphon off all kinds of data from his computer. When he received that email, he part of a group of activists calling for democratic reforms in the autocratic country. That year, during a sweep of pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East, Mansoor publicly called for demonstrations and for an election boycott, asking for universal, direct elections in the UAE, becoming a prominent figure among the country’s small pro-democracy movement. Read more: Government Hackers Caught Using Unprecedented iPhone Spy Tool Mansoor, 46, didn’t find out about this attack … Read the rest

Life Sucks When You're On the Wrong Side of Bird Nepotism

Source:
Motherboard



Excerpt:
“Some people work hard to become successful, and some are just born successful. Birds are no different.Southern pied babblers are the nepotists of the avian world, according to ecologist Martha Nelson-Flower. After spending five years observing the charismatic species, she noticed that males exhibited “evil stepdad” behavior, ensuring the survival of their genetic material. Her findings, which were published this week in Biology Letters, tell a cut-throat tale of sexual competition in the African desert.Evolutionarily speaking, these birds have done alright. Southern pied babblers, or Turdoides bicolor, are widespread across savannas in southern Africa, and are a species of “least concern.” Much of their success comes from “cooperative breeding,” in which “helpers” raise the chicks of a male and female … Read the rest

Rome Comes to Life in Photochrom Color Photos Taken in 1890: The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain & More

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“For almost two hundred years, English gentlemen could not consider their education complete until they had taken the “Grand Tour” of Europe, usually culminating in Naples, “ragamuffin capital of the Italian south,” writes Ian Thomson at The Spectator. Italy was usually the primary focus, such that Samuel Johnson remarked in 1776, perhaps with some irony, “a man who has not been to Italy is always conscious of an inferiority.” The Romantic poets famously wrote of their European sojourns: Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth… each has his own “Grand Tour” story. Shelley, who traveled with his wife Mary Godwin and her stepsister Claire Clairmont, did not go to Italy, however. And Byron sailed the Mediterranean on his Grand Tour, forced away from … Read the rest

How Your Smartphone Light Sensor Could Help Websites Track You

Source:
Motherboard



Excerpt:
“If you have a smartphone, chances are it’s able to tell how dark or bright its surroundings are. Thanks to the phone’s light sensor, advertisers, online trackers, and perhaps even law enforcement might soon have a chance to use that feature to track and profile you, according to a privacy and security researcher who warned of the potential dangers posed by ambient light sensors. In a blog post published on Wednesday, Lukasz Olejnik analyzed how a smartphone or laptop’s light sensors could be used to fingerprint a user and reveal information about him or her. In theory, Olejnik posited, it could even be possible to map a building or home based on the light detected by the phone. “If it’s … Read the rest

Apparently, New Zealand's Ice Age Was a Great Time For Kiwi

Source:
Motherboard



Excerpt:
“At the tail end of the Pleistocene, history’s last ice age was violently shaping the earth. Tremendous glaciers upheaved mountains and entombed continents. When the ice finally receded, a radically new world emerged. And all the while, the diminutive kiwi, New Zealand’s most symbolic bird, was puttering around the underbrush. Kiwi are among the most mysterious birds alive, both genetically and behaviorally. Regarding their lineage, conflicting theories have divided biologists and even countries. Now, brand new evidence, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could topple even the most conventional beliefs about kiwi genetics. What was assumed to be a small pool of species is actually teeming with diversity. According to researchers at the University of Toronto … Read the rest

The International Space Station Filmed Three Hurricanes in One Day

Source:
Motherboard



Excerpt:
“Hurricane Lester imaged by the ISS. GIF: NASA Johnson/YouTube Hurricane season is in full swing, with two major Pacific storms, Madeline and Lester, headed for potential landfall on Hawaii, while Hurricane Gaston charges through the Atlantic off the east coast of the United States. From its 250-mile-high perch above the Earth’s surface, the International Space Station (ISS) captured timelapses of all three of these hurricanes within 24 hours on Tuesday, as it made its orbital rounds. The footage is compiled in this newly released video from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Hurricanes Lester, Madeline, and Gaston recorded by the ISS. Video: NASA Johnson/YouTube It can be somewhat jarring to behold these powerful storms from space, knowing the kind of … Read the rest

A Tiny Space Particle Smooshed into a European Satellite

Source:
Motherboard



Excerpt:
“The Sentinel-1A solar array before (left) and after (right) impact, showing damage of around 40 cm diameter. Image: ESAA tiny particle has smashed into a European satellite, causing visible damage on its solar array.Engineers at the European Space Agency (ESA) realised something was up when they noticed a drop in power supply at the same time as a change in the orbit and attitude (orientation) of Sentinel-1A, a radar satellite that is part of the Copernicus Earth observation programme.They figured an impact could be the cause, and used the available data to compute the size of the colliding object.“We came up with a particle of a few millimetres, impacting at orbital velocity—so that’s [an impact velocity of] more than 40,000 … Read the rest

Seth Godin’s Startup School: A Free Mini-Course for New Entrepreneurs

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“Image by Joi Ito, via Wikimedia Commons Briefly noted: If you’re interested in entrepreneurship and marketing, you’ve likely encountered Seth Godin and his ever popular blog. Or perhaps you’ve read some of his bestselling books? But maybe you’ve never come across this: the “Startup School” where Godin guides 30 entrepreneurs through “how to build and run their dream business.” On his blog, Godin wrote back in 2012: I love startups. Not only do they bring the promise of rapid growth and real change, but everything is up for grabs. Organizations that start with a clean sheet of paper have the difficult task of paying the bills, but they also have the luxury of ignoring yesterday in order to focus … Read the rest