24 March 2014

Monday miscellany

Charming quilts by Ulva Ugerup, who lives in Sweden but is part of a Danish group called QuilteQunstnerne. This is "Sisters in Crime" -
See more of Ulva's quilts at www.quiltequnstnerne.dk/ulvaugerup.html - don't miss "The Angels of Wrath" - it's the dark pointy one!


A 16th century book that can be read six ways - see it in action here


"Cosmos" is back - the 1980s documentary series created and hosted by Carl Sagan has been revived, hosted by the director of the American Museum of Natural History's planetarium, and will be shown in 170 countries and 45 languages. Coming soon to a small screen near you - and the old series is available on youtube.

"In the [new] show's first epidsode," says the NY Times digest, "we get to hop along a cosmic calendar in which the 13.8-billion-year history of the universe has been compressed to 365 days, and it's now midnight on New Year's Eve.
"On this scale, the sun was born on August 31, and the dinosaurs died esterday. Everybody you ever heard of lived in the last 14 seconds. Jesus was born five seconds ago ... in the last second we began to do science."

Sartorial note: in the 80s, dress code for television presenters seems to have been suit-and-tie, even for scientists out in the wild -
Sagan presents "Cosmos"
From the trailers, it seems not much has changed -
Tyson presents "Cosmos"


Dartford Crossing (over the lower Thames) - from the top of a bus (via)
It's the Year of the Bus in London - hurrah for those buses! Read 20 things about going around the periphery of London by bus here - the journey took 12 hours, not counting waiting time; it's unlikely you could do it all in one day.
And - "Hurrah for London bus drivers. They rattle repeatedly through the streets, they negotiate awkward traffic situations, they deal with stroppy and bemused passengers, and they still get us to where we want to be in one piece and generally in good time."


More transport - this time the Underground - pix from a little video, Secrets of the Victoria Line. It's the only tube line in London that's completely underground, and each station has different tiles - this is at Blackhorse Road -
and these, at Seven Sisters, are the seven elm trees planted on the green nearby -
Next station along is my local -

The murals were installed a few years after I moved here - I well remember how they brightened up the place. They were designed by Annabel Grey, and her budget included £15,000 for the gold mosaic tiles. See all five here.


So modern! and yet it's 3000 years old! (via)


Navigate your way through Victorian London - "The Museum of London has posted 35 of JohnTallis’s West End elevations on its website, with similar navigation to Google Street View. Shown above, for example, is Rathbone Place. Some of the buildings are linked up to annotations (orange boxes), which provide more details about the business at that address." (More info here, thanks to The Londonist.)


Does simply adding a link near a quote (as above) negate a charge of plagiarism? (I added the quotes and the name of the source in addition to the "here", just to be on the safe side.) Read about why people plagiarise at theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/21/rise-plagiarism-internet-shia-labeouf

Determining ownership of chunks of text, images (especially photographs), logos, etc is no small matter, nor is it black and white. Are these issues killing creativity? They certainly seem to be making people secretive.

 A few short quotes from the article:

"These searches [by online plagiarism checkers] aren't restricted to words; content-based image retrieval – ie, searching for images using the image itself – has been crucial in exposing cases of photographic plagiarism. Nearly every professional photographer has a story about their copyright being violated, but that violation can also blur into plagiaristic acts, where photographers simply pretend that other people's work is theirs. "

"For millennia we have absorbed information, mentally processed it, stored it, retrieved it and passed it on in a slightly altered form and context; now, our unprecedented exposure to that information makes it convenient to take short cuts.  ... There's a lot to take on board about being in the digital world ... it comes with a heck of a lot of issues ... including how we delineate between our own ideas and other people's, whether we should be bothered about it."

"The evils of plagiarism may be drilled into university students, with threats that their work will be checked by that all-seeing-eye of academic fraud, turnitin.com. But... the learning process itself is also being radically reshaped, to a point where the notion of plagiarism is becoming foggier, and not one that's automatically synonymous with cheating. "Students don't need to store information in their brains any more," [Vicky Beeching] says. "I recently read someone refer to the internet as our 'outboard brain', and now it's surely a question of making a difference in the world by applying that pool of resources.""


If you missed the 2014 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition (the prize is £15K), you can see all the works at lynnpainterstainersprize.org.uk/exhibition/ and read a considered view of the show here, which includes a video. Below are my favourites.

1 comment:

Gillian Cooper said...

What a wealth of information! It makes me very nostalgic to read about travelling by bus. When I left London, I was convinced I would continue using public transport as much as possible, but the sad fact is that it is inconvenient and expensive here so I end up driving without thinking about it now.