The future is fast approaching

Caught up in an information culture.

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Mystery solved: chemists identifies old-book-smell as vanilla with hints of grass.  E-reader manufacturers, take note.  E-ink displays are fab on the eyes, and there’s nothing like having a library of ten thousand volumes in your pocket, but selling case decals impregnated with that smell could well be the final step in universal adoption.


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A Brief History of Color Photography

Photo by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration (1942).  Early Kodachrome.

Photo by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration (1942).

Over at Luminous Lint, Alan Griffiths and Robert Hirsch are collaborating to enhance Hirsch’s textbooks on the history of photography with the sort of rich extra content that wouldn’t fit into the printed form.  Currently available are A Concise History of Color Photography, the second chapter of Hirsch’s book Exploring Color Photography (5th edition, Focal Press, 2010), and Pictures on Glass: The Wet-Plate Process, the fourth chapter of Hirsch’s Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography (2nd edition, McGraw-Hill, 2009).

The former moves quickly through a lot of fascinating territory in photographic history and science, and includes a section on Autochrome, the contribution of the Lumière brothers, “the inventors of the first practical motion picture projector, [who] patented a major breakthrough in the making of color photographs in 1904… the first commercially viable and extensively used color photographic process”.
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Stereopublic, an app to find oases of quiet in the city

Australian sound artist Jason Sweeney created Stereopublic as “a participatory art project” and “a sonic health service”, and a way of sharing geolocated quiet places in the cacophony of urban environments.  Emma Quayle, a UK sound artist, has helped make custom version of the app for Edinburgh, making a map of sounds “charting the quiet crooks and bends of Edinburgh”.  Wonderful combination of collaged ambient sound and the awareness of sound levels as a health issue in cities.

(via TED)