November 2010 Archives

Mosquito Heart

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From the Nikon Small World annual photo competition 2010, this is a fluorescent microscope image of a mosquito's heart by Jonas King. 



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Alphabeast by Heather-Lynn Aquino is a collection of illustrations of the English alphabet, turned into hairy monsters.  They're the source of he new banner

Happy Thanksgiving!

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(c. 1956)
Hitch Turkey.jpg



Hunter Freeman "Gearheads"

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Hunter Freeman is a rather sucessful product/commercial photographer, he did the "color wheel" iMac series among other things. One of his side artistic endeavors is a series of "humanoid" assemblages, built of bits and pieces of machinery.


All of these, and more are on the photographers web-gallery


The Boston Globe's Big Picture has a collection of the winners of Nation Geographic's 2010 Photography Contest.  Pretty much all of them are worth seeing, so I'd recommend a visit.  Here's just a taste



5,000€ of Taj Mahal

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Because if there's one thing I'm sure of, it is that our coins are insufficiently set with diamonds.  Luckily Monnaie de Paris, the French mint, has taken care of that with this 5,000€ (face) coin commemorating "The Year of India".  On the reverse is the Taj Mahal, with .5ct of diamonds set into the dome.

The diamonds probably have less to do with the price, 100,000€ then the Kg of gold...

Badollet is one of the re-invented brands of the current century.  In 2006 the name of a venerable watchmaking family was bought to brand a new company.  At the moment they have a small line-up of watches, all tourbillons of one sort or another.  The Crystallball Bamboo White Diamond (yes, that's the real name) is their first foray into ladies watches. 

It is a rather massive piece, but has carefully skeletonized movement plates to look like "traditional Chinese bamboo scaffolding".  I have to say the use of patterned skeletonizing makes the movement, which is based on what appears to be a standard BNB Tourbillon base, more interesting than the rest of the watch.  To make it more feminine, or possibly because nobody would pay the asking price without them, the bezel is set with nearly 7ct of diamonds.

First a view of the front of the watch

The face-side of the movement, uncased.  I think it looks much better this way.  One interesting note, the tourbillon carriage and the canon-pinion (where the hands are mounted) are not centered on the movement, but the way the movement is mounted in the case aligns them with the center of the case.
The back of the movement showing the bamboo motif in the top bridgework.  Those shiny bridges are done in a aluminum-lithium alloy, the mainplate I believe to be more mundane metals.

Technical Specifications for the Crystalball Bamboo White Diamond
   Mechanical hand-wound Calibre BAD5600,
   flying tourbillon, 21,600 v/h,
   19 jewels,
   120-hour power reserve,
   bridges in aluminium and lithium
Functions: Hours and minutes
   18K white gold, 40 x 43 mm 
   18K white gold crown and middle
   Bezel set with 52 baguette-cut diamonds (6.7 cts)
Crystal: Sapphire crystal and caseback with anti-glare
Water-resistance: 30 metres
Dial: Openworked 18K white gold with inlaid mother-of-pearl
Strap: Matte or glossy white hand-sewn, saddle stitched alligator leather with 18K white gold folding clasp
Pictures from TimeZone


From the November 1st New Yorker comes a comic-strip retelling of Noah.  The part covering Gen 6.1-6 is probably the most coherent explanation of that you'll ever see:


La Reine De Naples

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The myth is that the first wristwatch was created by A. L. Breguet on commission from the Emperor Napoleon as a gift for his sister Caroline, the Queen of Naples. Whether or not this is the case, the modern Breguet has adopted it, and named their high-end collection of ladies watches the Reine de Naples. The watches tend to have an egg shape to them, which requires them to either have oddly distorted numerals or a complication (power-reserve or moonphase) at the top, the following piece is one of the former.

It is set on an 18kt bracelet and has a painted mother-of-pearl dial set with a rather large, perhaps 1/2 ct, diamond at 6 o'clock.
La Reine de Naples on Bracelet.jpg

A closeup of the dial shows the guilloche circle inset into the mother-of-pearl dial with the painted numerals.
La Reine de Naples dial.jpg

Both photos are mine

ps. the weird anomoly on the dial between approx 1 and 3 o'clock is a blurring of the serial number, which Breguet prints on the dial for some silly reason

Looking down

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An aerial view of midtown manhattan, looking west from the east river, July 1944.  The photo covers approximately 34th street (you can see the edge of the Empire State Building at the left) to 58th street or so (you can see Rockefeller Center, which goes up to 50th and several blocks above it, but not the park at 60th)
(from Flickr)

Eric Staller

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Eric Staller has been working as an artist since the mid 1970s, frequently in film, both still and moving.  In the late 1970s through 1980, he did a series of long exposure photographs, taken in NYC, with details painted in with light, similar to work by Picasso, Man Ray and Julien Breton.

I particularly like a few that build on the buildings and streets of New York. The following are from his website.

Ribbon on Hannover St, 1977

Synergy II

Light Tubes 1977

Finally from his Non Sequiturs collection is an unrelated piece that just amused me



Golden Gate Footbridge

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A bridge worker stands atop the north (Marin) tower, September, 1935. The footbridge ropes seen here were soon replaced by catwalks, used to transport workers and materials. Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge commenced on January 5, 1933 and lasted four and a half years, at a cost of over 35 million dollars. The landmark structure is one of the largest suspension bridges in the world. Connecting Marin County and the peninsula of San Francisco, the bridge spans the entrance to the Golden Gate. This image is from a collection of nearly 100 period photographs documenting the bridge's complex and often dangerous construction process. These photographs were commissioned by the Associated Oil Company and taken by photographer Charles M. Hiller between 1933 and 1936.


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