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Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday links

Hottest chili pepper in the world accidentally created by Welsh farmer.

Why Flamingos Are More Stable on One Leg Than Two.

How Model Trains Transformed From Cutting-Edge to Quaint.

If a T-rex were released in New York City, how many humans/day would it need to consume to get its needed calorie intake?

ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and include typewriter evolution, the un-edited photos from which classic pin-up girl paintings were made, why thinking in the shower is effective, and for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans, Towel Day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

If meat eaters acted like vegans.

LOL - this would be accurate about for all forms of politically correct self-righteousnesswhat happens when a meat eater adopts the attitude of a vegan?

via Sad and Useless

Thursday links

Fans of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: don't panic - today is Towel Day!

Why You Do Your Best Thinking In The Shower: Creativity and the “Incubation Period”.

Classic Pin-Up Girls Before and After Editing: The Real Women Behind Gil Elvgren's Paintings.

The Curious Evolution of the Typewriter, in Pictures.

Finnish Brewery Sells 1000-Packs Of Beer.

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday, how to build your own medieval crossbow, when women started growing out and painting their nails, and the history of tea.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Classic Pin-Up Girls Before and After Editing: The Real Women Behind Gil Elvgren's Paintings

Before Photoshop, artist Gil Elvgren (wiki) relied on the technique of painting from a photograph of a model instead of from the live model. His classic pin-up pictures of curvy-girl-next-door types with their skirts billowing adorned the noses of bombers and the walls of soldiers barracks in the 1940s and '50s. In addition to dozens of calendars, he illustrated stories for a host of magazines (such as The Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping) and also provided advertising images for Coca-Cola, General Electric and Sealy Mattress Company, among others. 

As the '70s approached and the pin-up girl craze started to die, Elvgren was down to one business account. When he died in 1980 he was broke, and his last work was published posthumously. In the last few years there has been a resurgence of interest in the pin-up girls, and Elvgren's work in both advertising and calendars has become highly collectible - in 2012 one of his classic pin-ups sold for $176K. In 1998 Elvgren's youngest son Drake produced a 200-page coffee table book includes hundreds of photos of Elvgren's work entitled Elvgren: His Life & Art

Even if you're too young to remember any of these specifically, they're so ubiquitous that they probably look familiar. Below are some of his paintings, alongside the photos on which each was based.

More pictures here, here, and here.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday links

Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.

DIY: How to build a medieval crossbow.

Physicist Richard Feynman told the FBI to leave him alone. They did.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include what to do if you get caught in an avalanche, the Justice Department’s guide to using psychics in police investigations, the physics of a T-Rex bite, and the Victorian belief that a train ride could instantly make you insane. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was born on May 22, 1859

They were herded in at the base of the Abousir rock, this little group of modern types who had fallen into the rough clutch of the seventh century—for in all save the rifles in their hands there was nothing to distinguish these men from the desert warriors who first carried the crescent flag out of Arabia.

~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (wikiThe Tragedy of the Korosko (on a routine tourist excursion interrupted by an approaching group of Mahdists - the Isis of the late 19th century) 1898 illustrated version is available online here.

A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.*

~ Doyle (Sherlock Holmes (wiki), in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. "The Five Orange Pips")   

Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner.  You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you worked a love story or an elopement into the fifth proposition of Euclid. 

~ Doyle (Holmes, in The Sign of Four, Ch. 1)

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? 

~ Ibid,, Holmes in Ch. 6 

"Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."  
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes. 

~ Doyle (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, "Silver Blaze")
"Excellent," I cried.  "Elementary," said he.** 

~ Doyle (Ibid, "The Crooked Man") 

Don't you find as you age in the wood, as we are both doing, that the tragedy of life is that your early heroes lose their glamour? ... Now with Doyle I don't have this feeling. I still revere his work as much as ever.  I used to think it swell, and I still think it swell.   

~ P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) (in Performing Flea,1953)

May 22nd is the anniversary of the birth in Edinburgh of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1939), creator of the world's greatest fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.  After receiving his degree at the University of Edinburgh, Doyle practiced medicine in Southsea but turned to writing as an avocation and produced a series of novels now largely forgotten.  Beginning with The Sign of Four in 1889, however, his detective stories, featuring the enigmatic Holmes and his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson, assured his lasting fame. Collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1891) and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1904), Doyle's mystery tales remain a cornerstone of the genre. 

On Doyle's gravestone in Hampshire is engraved:

Steel True
Blade Straight 
Arthur Conan Doyle
Patriot, Physician & Man of Letters

*  Reminiscent of Dr. Samuel Johnson's remark:    

"Knowledge is of two kinds: We know a subject ourselves, or we know where to find information upon it." 

** This is the closest Doyle came in any of the Sherlock Holmes stories to "Elementary, my dear Watson," a classic misquotation.