Image: Hubble Space Telescope
Saturday again, already? As we head into summer, find a cool place to enjoy a few bytes and bits of literature, art, science, and technology. One of these sites literally will take you out of this world.
✭ Founded by Sophie Rochester, The Literary Platform showcases creative projects combining literature and technology. Its aim is to engage publishers, literary agents, literary magazines, writers, developers, and others in the publishing and technology fields to discuss and debate ways to bring "the traditional book format to new platforms". Among the highlights are The 24hr Book, a project that challenges writers to produce a new story about London in 24 hours; the Poetry Archive, which seeks to make English-language poetry available around the world and to supplement it with educational materials for both specialists and general readers; and Visit Grubtown, an interactive online experience for children. The list of innovative and experimental projects is found in TLP's Showcase.
✭ If you've been out of school as long as I have, you might have forgotten a lot of Euclidian geometry but maybe not Euclid's elemental explanation that "I. A point is that which has no parts. II. A line is length without breadth. . . ." Whether or not you appreciate such mathematical statements, you will have to marvel at the brilliant red, yellow, blue, and black Mondrian-like figures and diagrams in The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid, Taschen's new facsimile of a beautifully conceived 19th Century geometry primer. The two-volume reproduction of the 1847 edition of Euclid by the Irish author and civil engineer Oliver Byrne (c. 1810 - c. 1880) includes an introductory essay by Swiss art historian Werner Oechslin. Leaf-through the book virtually here.
✭ You'll soar in space when you take time for this collection of 100 gorgeous images from the Hubble Space Telescope. The images were gathered from NASA, The Hubble Heritage Project, Space Telescope Science Institute, HubbleSite.org, and NASA APOD. Be sure to explore these links. You'll be awed by the sheer beauty of what lies beyond.
✭ Art heals, as more and more hospitals and health care organizations are discovering. Across the Atlantic, the John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, England, enlisted famed artist Michael Craig-Martin to create a five-storey wall painting, "Kids" (thumbnail image at left), which, Craig-Martin says, is intended "to transform the bleak view from the windows of the children's wards" and "create a sense of pleasure and wonderment" that will aid patients' recovery. To learn more about the concept behind art as therapy, watch this e-article featuring the painting: "Can a Wall Painting Help Patients Recover?" Go here to learn more about the hospital's Community Atrium Art Project and here for the painting's installation. The project was funded entirely from private gifts.
✭ Many of us have seen the photographs inside the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II. Few of us, however, may ever have the chance to travel abroad and visit the house ourselves. Now, technology brings us the Secret Annex virtually. Another excellent video, about the creation of the online museum, is here.
✭ Ever wonder about the physics of pollen or its architecture? This video will show you just how beautiful "pollen grain origami" can be. (Special thanks to my friend Deborah at Slow Muse who alerted me to the availability to the video.)