Random of interest

I like things made out of Legos. I like Escher. So I was happy to discover architecture blog gravestmor's post about this incredibly nifty Lego recreation of Escher's famous staircases. Kind of mindbending.

It was created by Lego artist Andrew Lipson, who specializes in rendering Escher's illusions in solid 3d, and has also done Escher's "Ascending and Descending" and "Belvedere" (featured on Amazing Art). He has his own website, which I couldn't visit because he has exceeded his bandwidth, but I bet it's pretty interesting.

In November, Spacing Photoblog, a Toronto group blog featuring submitted photos on a certain theme, did a series on the abandoned Whitby Psychiatric Hospital. Here is the permalink to the first page, but in order to get the navigation links it seems you have to use this link, which counts backward from the most recent entry so might only be good for today. If you see the title page, good, just click the "previous" link to see the series; otherwise, you might have to use "next" until you see the title page, or just go to the archive to find the start of the series. Sorry I can't give a better link, but anyway, they're some pretty neat photos.

I recently came across the essay "Shakespeare in the Bush", about an anthropologist's experiences with a West African tribe and an evening of storytelling. When she decides to share the tale of Shakespeare's Hamlet around the fire, she discovers some pretty wide cultural gaps as the elders interrupt to make "corrections," reinterpreting and making sense of the narrative on their own terms. It's an interesting read, suggesting that some of literature's "universal" themes aren't quite as universal as we think.

The old man handed me some more beer to help me on with my storytelling. Men filled their long wooden pipes and knocked coals from the fire to place in the pipe bowls; then, puffing contentedly, they sat back to listen. I began in the proper style, "Not yesterday, not yesterday, but long ago, a thing occurred. One night three men were keeping watch outside the homestead of the great chief, when suddenly they saw the former chief approach them."

"Why was he no longer their chief?"

"He was dead," I explained. "That is why they were troubled and afraid when the saw him."

"Impossible," began one of the elders, handing his pipe on to his neighbor, who interrupted, "Of course it wasn't the dead chief. It was an omen sent by a witch. Go on."

For the longest time I've been meaning to link to this -- it's a coverpop featuring a few thousand covers from some seventy years of science fiction magazines, arranged in a huge spread by year and hue. The main site features a random coverpop from genres like horror, vintage, or art. Neat concept.

And now, some more Samorost stuff:

Adventure Gamers has a nice interview with Samorost creator Jakub Dvorsky in which he talks about his work, influences, the success of Samorost, other projects, and the meaning of the names amanita and samorost.

E-mental is the new media lab of Tomas Dvorak, creator of the Samorost 2 soundtrack, and there's a page where you can listen to some nice samples of the tracks.

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Anonymous Anonymous:

Lego simply rulez! I hardly can imagine any toys that is so flexible and fun to play with - except clay perhaps ...


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