Tuesday 23 August 2016

An exhaustive reference to problems seen in real-world data along with suggestions on how to resolve them (2016)

An exceptional and serious resource HERE. By the look of this it is written for (data) journalists, but full of insights for anyone who makes a living from the objective analysis and presentation of data. By Chris Zarate of Quartz (HERE).

Thursday 18 August 2016

Is anything we eat associated with Cancer?

A superb piece HERE

Tuesday 16 August 2016

A Short History of the Printed Word (1998)

Above - a portion of the Decameron published by the Ashendene Press in 1920 - the image is from HERE. The type is the Ashendene Subiaco which was based on the type face created by Sweynheym and Pannartz at Subiaco, Italy, in 1465. The type is neither roman nor italic, but an earlier form of Carolingian script that predates the splitting of script into roman and italic.

Below - from A Short History of the Printed Word by Warren Chappell & Robert Bringhurst:
It is possible that printed books as repositories of human experience and creativity may in time be overshadowed or even replaced by digital replicas.  Once made, such replicas are very quickly copied and easily stored in a small space—but they cannot be read without a prosthesis.  They are invisible and useless without the intervention of an exceedingly complex, electrically powered machine.  Such a scheme may look good to accountants and to marketers.  But for authors and for readers, there can be no substitute for a well-designed, well-printed, well-bound book that one can see and feel as well as read.  A tangible, stable, well-made page is just as desirable, and just as useful, now as it was in the fifteenth century.

Monday 15 August 2016

Strung Out (2016)

A superb collection of photographs of cormorants by the Japanese artist Yoshinori Mizutani HERE.

Image copyright Yoshinori Mizutani/IMA Gallery

Saturday 13 August 2016

The Cubies' ABC (1913)

Published in 1913, The Cubies' ABC was a satirical take on Cubist art created by Mary Mills Lyall and her husband Earl Harvey Lyall. For D, the fun is poked at Marchel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 which had been painted the previous year. 

More on the book and a recent reprint HERE.

Friday 12 August 2016

To the vector belong the spoils

From the Norton Juster illustrated book The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics from 1963. More on the book HERE.

The author went on to make an Oscar winning short cartoon from the book that is very entertaining and is HERE.

By Labour and Constancy - Christophe Plantin (1580)

The Renaissance scholar and printer Christophe Plantin adopted a pair of compasses as his printer's mark. This mark  appeared in multiple different forms over the years on the title pages of the books he published through the Plantin Press. His Latin motto, Labore et Constantia (`By Labour and Constancy') is associated with an image of a compass held by a hand extending from a bank of clouds and inscribing a circle. The centre point of the compass indicates constancy, the moving point that creates the circle is the labour. Here  are three examples from a collection of several volumes printed by Plantin in 1680. For more examples and commentary see HERE.

The scanned volume is HERE. More information on Plantin HERE.


Thursday 11 August 2016

Haiku of the Shiki School

A Haiku from a vast database that once existed at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Compiled, translated, illustrated and calligraphy by Helen Shigeko Isaacson. 

Her comments on this Haiku are:

Siki Haru-no hi/Haru: Zikoo

Haru-no hi ya
tiyo-gami-no turu
hariko no tora

The Spring sun ya
a paper crane,
a paper-mache tiger.

Under the Spring sun--
a designed-paper crane,
a paper-mache tiger.

Tiyogami is a colored paper, usually thicker than origami (colored paper for folding cranes etc) of traditional designs which was used decoratively to line boxes, book, and for making toys. It may be used in the same way as origami, as in this case. The two objects are typical examples of old Japanese toys, as fragile as beautiful, innocent as the springtime. The kigo may be thought of as the power, the toys the playful - the yang and the yin.

More on Masaoka Shiki HERE.

Sixth century Lombardic capitals (1784)

Facsimiles of sixth century Lombardic capitals from The origin and progress of writing, as well hieroglyphic as elementary, illustrated by engravings taken from marbles, manuscripts and charters, ancient and modern : also some account of the origin and progress of printing by Thomas Astle. Book available HERE.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World (2016)

The Folio Society has produced an illustrated edition of Robert Bringhurst's book length translation and annotation of a number of Haida myths. HERE.

IMAGE CAPTION: On top of the screens forming a point in the rear of the house, sleek blue beings were preening themselves.

Illustration Copyright Don Yeomans.

A Tranquil Star

In 1978, the Italian writer Primo Levi (1919--1987) published an exquisite short story called A Tranquil Star. Amongst other things, in this story Levi explains how difficult it is to use common language to describe objects that are much smaller, bigger, shorter lived or longer lived than we can directly experience as humans. The story was translated by Ann Goldstein and is in the New Yorker HERE.

Monday 8 August 2016

Why Most Clinical Research Is Not Useful (2016)

This paper by John Ioannidis is, as usual, thought provoking. His conclusion is:

Overall, not only are most research findings false, but, furthermore, most of the true findings are not useful. Medical interventions should and can result in huge human benefit. It makes no sense to perform clinical research without ensuring clinical utility. Reform and improvement are overdue.
The author is quite an entertaining character - he also wrote "Why most published research findings are false" (1.5 million hits) and "How to make more published research true." His profile is HERE.

Ornitographies (2016)

The Spanish photographer Xavi Bou has just created a brilliant project (HERE) using a modern digital technique similar to chronophotography. In this technique, a series of successive still frames are captured with short shutter times and then superposed. Bou uses this technique to record birds inflight. The results are beautiful and also show the sinuous rhythm inherent in the art of flying with flapping wings.  

 Image Copyright X.Bou 2016

Friday 5 August 2016

Anne Truitt in Japan (1964-1967)

An illustrated essay by Anna Lovatt on the works created by Anne Truitt in Japan 1964-1967 (HERE


South China Sea (2014)

A still from a surprisingly mesmerising very long single take video of the South China Sea, shot from the bow of the container ship Gunhilder Maersk by Toby Smith (HERE).

Image Copyright Toby Smith

Thursday 4 August 2016

Reading a Painting as a Feeling (2016)

A piece in The Paris Review here on the artwork of the British artist Michael Kidner (1917-2009) and a link to an exhibition of his work on paper at the Flowers Gallery New York. 

Images Copyright  Kidner / Flowers Gallery