Brooks (brooksmoses) wrote,

Yet another round of random links.

This time, there seems to be quite a varied collection of things ranging from deep aspects of spirituality and culture, to art and science, to remarkable craftsmanship and artifacts, to just odd things people do. All of them I found entertaining, thought-provoking, or beautiful, and well worth sharing.

This post, entitled Coming home: A gay Christian speaks to fundamentalists, felt really close to home in a lot of ways; it's a different facet of some of my own concerns and uncertainty about the religion that my beliefs are connected to.

Along those lines, this post, about a community that some friends of mine are starting: bearing_witness (lj)/bearing-witness (dw). Also with this, a small movement to write posts on Pentecost (May 23) speaking up about pro-love Christianity.

Hamlet, Hamlet: Very Silly: an alternate ending to Hamlet, in which things go bizarrely and very amusingly farcical. Like many gems of its kind, it appeared somewhat randomly in the middle of a Making Light comment thread.

Mammals -- at least, most mammals -- have their gender largely driven by hormones and similar mechanisms, so that an organism will generally tend to have a homogeneous gender, and hormonal changes can drive at least some morphological changes. Chickens apparently have somewhat different mechanisms, and much more of their gender morphology comes from the original cells -- with the result that occasionally something goes wonky when the chicken has only two cells, and the result is a chicken which is male on one side and female on the other.

Speaking of birds being remarkable, crows continue demonstrating clever tool use, this time figuring out how to do a series of steps first and then doing them, rather than experimenting in the physical world.

Nikola Tesla had suitably fantastic letterhead.

If 1950s travel agencies had tours of the worlds of Star Wars, this is what the posters might look like. Available as prints for your wall, just like real-world travel posters. I'd like to have something like this, I think, but possibly less associated with a particular pop-culture instantiation of scientifictionality.

You know the sorts of little models of cars and trucks that you cut out and fold and glue the tabs together to make a 3-D model? There are some people who are astoundingly incredibly good at working in that medium, as demonstrated by this Russian army truck.

What comes around goes around; the baby goat climbs on the horse; the chickens climb on the goat. Very cute, as baby animals getting along with each other tend to be.

Marcel Duchamp's urinal installation, considered solely as the temporary art installation it was, is remarkably intriguing -- no other piece of artwork in the past century has so successfully raised a question and invoked such a quantity of strong opinions. But there are other interesting stories and questions, too, in how the piece has continued to interact with art collection, especially since after the first show, Duchamp just tossed out the original as so much junk plumbing.

I came across this painting of a fantasy modern Japanese city with Venice-like canals and greenery all over on this page (about 60% down the page). Apparently it's from the page of this artist (site in Japanese; note that not all the subpages are worksafe), but I can't find any references to it there. I really like it, and wish there was a larger version of it somewhere or a place I could get a print.

An artist took a number of children's artworks -- of the sort that are just past the point where they need an explanation of whether it's a cat or a house -- and traced them and filled them in as detailed semi-realistic art (well, as realistic as possible). The resulting pictures are a really captivating blend of cheerful child-painting and things from nightmares, and the book is titled The Monster Engine, and there are some more galleries in blog posts here and here.

Li Wei produces some quite extraordinary photos that are sort of a blend of photography and circus-like stuntwork, all done as single photos even though they look like montages. (There is editing work to remove wires and scaffolding though.) Some of them are just amusing, and some are really quite intriguing.

A startlingly large arthropod, or more accurately a link in james_nicoll's journal to an article about one. It looks like a pillbug, aside from being bigger than your cat.

Somewhere (probably Reddit), I came across a link to supposedly the worst-designed website ever, for a bridal/formalwear place. Poking around on it, I came across this recipe for ginger/cranberry/poppyseed bread, which sounds really tasty. (Warning: the website is accurately described. Also, for all I know, it will play music at you.)

Here's a simple and nifty trick for drilling a hole exactly in the middle of a dowel or circular rod, using some basic physics of rotating structures to make the hole self-center.

The post I got these photos from has expired, but some of the post-author's coworkers were in northwestern Mexico recently when an earthquake hit; they got this photo immediately afterwards of the dust clouds shaken from the nearby mountains, and this photo later at a police roadblock where the fault ran through the road.

A universal Turing machine. As in, an actual physical machine that reads and writes ones and zeros on a tape according to the universal-computer state machine described in Turing's paper, and looks pretty much exactly like a machine from the relevant era ought to look.

Organized written gossip in 18th-century France, which this article compares to modern-day blogging.

Photo stickers for doors, with photos of the Italian countryside or a rickety footbridge or all sorts of other entertaining things. It seems like a nifty idea, and probably would do nice things for a small room. They also have similar things for garage doors, which I find rather more bizarre -- especially the ones that are significantly cheaper because they're sponsored by, e.g., Mini.

An underground house in the Swiss mountains, which looks remarkably inviting and pleasant.

An article about Farmville, and why so many people play it. Interesting, in that "how corporations intersect with morality" sort of way.

And, to finish up, this really cool photo of lightning in the dust cloud above the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. As one might expect, large clouds of dry dust, combined with wind, will generate just a little bit of static electricity on occasion. Also, there are the usual entertaining and enlighting comments in this Making Light thread about the volcano.

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