Category Archives: intriguing things

Pale Blue Dot

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I know that this fantastic short animated video by ORDER which brings the words of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot monologue to life is currently careening around the web, but I thought it was worth a share regardless. Sagan‘s original speech was inspired by a photograph taken of the Earth in 1990 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

It was taken from a record distance of around 3.7 billion miles from Earth.

Great as the animation is, it’s only a portion of Sagan’s piece. Here is “Pale Blue Dot” in its entirety:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
—Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, 1997 reprint

Love space? Check out NASA’s instagram feed, here.

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Getting Inky

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I first spotted Shane McAdams’ work a few years ago and became immediately enamored with his use of the drippy, exploded ink of everyday ballpoint pens. The images were filed away in my brain (this was, after all, before Pinterist) and I went on with my internet hithering and thithering, with McAdams’ lush, colorful work crossing my mind every once in a while when I spotted some other variety of pen ink related art.

And then!

New York Fashion Week happened (yay!) and then London started up, and found myself perusing the goodies that fashion week brings. Always a fan of Matthew Williamson‘s fantastic prints and patterns, I checked on his show as soon as it went up on Style.com. From the very first look, I noticed something familiar:

I knew I recognized the drippy inky prints, but I couldn’t recall the name or place of where I’d seen it; luckily, I’m a fantastic google-er. Soon enough, I realized that it was none other than Shane McAdams’, and it all clicked.

At first, I thought I had stumbled upon some super-sneaky/shady “inspiration.” I was all ready to pop up and break some “Caught ya!” news….

Pretty swiftly though, I found Matthew Williamson’s Facebook Page, where they listed McAdams’ work as an inspiration for the collection and also a collaborator. A very good thing which has been noted in much of the press regarding the show.

For this, the collection’s 15th year, Williamson referenced his early years as a designer and the enduring inspiration he’s found in India.

It is the colorful Holi Festival that the Spring 2013 collection looks to, incorporating McAdams’ colorful ink explosions to mimic the colored powders thrown during the festival, along with landscapes of Kerala and Tibet.

Some of McAdam’s prints appear to have been used mostly as is – art  translated beautifully to fabric –  while other fashions were adapted from multiple pieces and amended landscapes alterations. There’s no question, though, that they served as color and flow inspiration.

Personally, I loved it. And I’m kind of wondering if some precise-drippy ink DIYs will be popping up around the interwebs. Hmmm.

Nothing short of fantasical

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It looks like the ever-popular animated GIFs (that I adored when I first started making websites at 15) have grown up into something rather magical. Jamie Beck‘s cinemagraphs at first look like a regular photograph until you do a double take when you realize that not all is as it seems – they move! I can’t help but adore these and, of course, I’m filled with curiosity as to how they’re made. I can imagine the slew of possibilities that this photo technique can create.

Spring Forward

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I’ve been mildly obsessed with this gorgeous photo of ranunculus flowers by Jessica Nichols ever since they popped up on my Pinterist feed last week, where they were pulled from Poppytalk. The flowers in and of themselves are spectacular, but the combination of colors against that fabulous blue-grey background ups the ante for me. And so, I couldn’t resist pulling some of those colors out for our admiration.

Today also happens to feel so amazingly spring-y that I wound up decking my hair out in flowers on a whim to celebrate. At first I was just playing with a mega high bun to pair with my gleefully bare shoulders; then came a little headband (which I need to find in more colors); one flower, the orchid; and then! why not circling my bun in them?A sort of little tiara of flowers. It’s my first time doing it, so I may need to experiment more, and maybe find some new flowers. But definitely a fun prospective springtime little ‘do.

Here, there, everywhere

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I always find it kind of funny when two reasonably unrelated things attract me, and then eventually it clicks that oh these two things might look mighty fine together.

Just today, about 20 minutes ago as it happens, I stumbled upon Mona Simon‘s photographs of Transylvania’s traditional Roma (aka gypsy) population and was immediately struck by the vibrant colors and patterns of the community.

Then I remembered seeing Pamela Bennett Ader‘s paintings:

The flowers on their own are, of course, beautiful, but I’m certainly delighted and intrigued by the integration of the little color swatches within the painting. We’ve all become accustomed to seeing color swatches attached to artwork, pulling out their colors and giving them special attention. It’s interesting to see them incorporated into a fine art status and I find that it brings a sense of modernity to the work in addition to bringing attention to the beautiful colors themselves and drawing the viewers into the artistic process.

And then I found myself grouping them together in my mind. I think it has something to do with both the nature of the colors in both selections of work and perhaps the combined/collage-y elements.

I don’t know, but it works, doesn’t it? Click on the links above to see more :).

Svpply on the brain

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So my long lost cats and kittens, I’ve become somewhat addicted to Svpply.com. It’s a fun place for me to plop ALL of the many things I find while cruising around the internet that I wish I could own, or imagine that it would be fun to own. It’s also fun because sometimes I think I don’t know what I’m liking or am into at the moment and if I just plop them all there it provides a nice overview to what I like. You can follow people to see what they’re picking and add it to your own list, see who likes what you like and find an astounding array of other absolutely fabulous stuff. So, basically, if you like stuff you’ll love this site. Especially if you can’t buy most of it, and putting it here makes it feel as though you own it in some deranged way. It’s very “this is what my taste may be if I actually had the money.” It’s also an interesting way to see what other people are liking. So, one (or two) nights while I was up adding things at whim I found my brain on hyper drive imagining all of the things I wish the site could do / how it could be made even better.

Such as:
Adding things is freakishly easy, which I love. If you see something you like that’s already on the site, you can click the + sign and *poof* it’s added to your page. If it’s on another site, you have a button you can add to your browser that will make this pop up:

And you can select what categories it goes into/price/etc. Those things are searchable. Now, I think it would be even more handy if it it had a little more tagging as an option. Though that would require more effort I suppose on account of the users, and what’s great about the site is that it’s easy. But if, for example, you could choose in clothes between skirts / dresses / blouse / pants / etc, it would make it easier if you were looking for just skirts on Svpply. Adding in color tags would be cool, too. Or being able to tag an item with a more detailed subscription such as “ombre.” I say that because just last night my friend went all “omg, I want an ombre dress, help!” And I’m always up for the challenge, but typing “ombre” into the search field didn’t help too much. Which leads me to another desire:

Making lists!: When my friend asked me to help her search for something specific, I was up for it. I always am. I usually end up sending along a bunch of links in such scenarios, which isn’t terribly pretty. I’ve suggested her joining the site but she hasn’t yet. Regardless, it would be super duper splendiferously awesome if you could make your own separate lists,  so that when I was compiling a list of products for her, I could make a little list on Svpply with all of the items which I could then send to her all nice and neat in a “Ombre dresses for Sara page”. She could see all of the items, and get to each item by clicking on the pretty picutes. And the magic of the site might enable her to find other things she likes more. And hey(!) maybe then she’d join up.  It’d be neat to be able to do this for all sorts of situations. Whether it’s a list I’m making for someone, or a list I’m making for myself, separate from my general “I want this” menagerie of delights. Could be fun for personal shoppers, stylists, too. The site is just (I find, thus far) a really easy and clean way of compiling products.

Trends!: Like I mentioned, I find the site interesting because it helps me see what I’m into. I can look at the bulk of the stuff I’ve picked and maybe I’ll notice that I’ve added out a surprisingly similar grouping of skirts or something. Even if I wasn’t consciously aware of being interested in a certain style. The site is intriguing because you can see what other people are liking and latching onto… to a degree. I can imagine going forward that it could be even better.

With things like say, tagging, as I suggested previously, you could get a really clear picture on what type of shoes (for example) people are liking. Conceivably when it’s still pretty under the radar. Before people even have really processed their liking such things. I imagine going forward the site could be optimized by being able to track this info and offer it up as reports to companies. For the people using the site, it would just be an even better way of finding exactly what you’re hankering for, and it could be useful information to others. On not just what people are buying, but what they WANT to buy. It has the opportunity to be an even more fascinating look into what people are interested in and an opportunity for things to be made to fulfill those needs.

Those are just a few loose ideas. But I had to get them out, because thinking about how to make the site even better kept me up at night with excitement.

Feel free to check out my page here. Feel free to sign up and follow along if you are so inclined. :)

 

Space Case

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Happy New Year, my dears. Sorry to be such a space case :). But, boy, do I have a space case for you. Or more, a case of my freaky deaky memory. In May 2009, Katya Ford‘s cosmos infused fashion photography caught my eye. They reminded me a bit of Coles Phillips style of illustration re-imagined for the 21st century with photography introduced. Then a week or two (?) ago I saw Christopher Kane’s Resort 2011 cosmically spectacular collection and made a connection.

Perhaps Katya’s photos were an inspiration, hmm? I really like the whole body as the space-y abyss vibe of Chris’ collection and Katya’s photos. As much as we think we know about the body and about space, so much is still a mystery. Physically and psychologically. And suddenly, this pops into my head:

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Interesting, yes? I know that I’d kill for a few of these designs. How can you not love some of these beautiful silhouettes combined with such beautiful photo-realistic imagery?

To buy: Opening Ceremony