Miscellany Monday

I usually lament the loss of dozens of New York City bookstores of my youth, but there some great shops still standing and, in recent years, a renaissance in bookselling has resulted in an optomistic turn for bibliophiles. Check out this excellent sample of NYC bookshops.

In my neverending campaign to share websites and projects that will capture imagination and occupy your valuable time, I present the fascinating and enigmatic Museum of SoundsThe website is maintained by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and features clips diverse sounds arranged in groups of five and ranging from the sounds of icebergs breathing to the sounds of train stations, to the sounds of  forests. My only quibble with the project is the limited information about the aural clips.

There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.

Throughout his career, author Raymond Chandler filled a series of small, leather-bound journals with thoughts and random musings. When he wrote this one in February of 1938, Chandler was forty-nine, and it would be another year before his debut novel, The Big Sleep, was released.

On February 24, 2022, Russia lauched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. As a result of Putin’s illegal war at least 200,000 people have been killed or wounded. In Ukraine over 13 million people have been forced to abandon their homes, and many buildings, cultural artifacts and important infrastructure have been destroyed by the invading Russian army. The grapic above is from the Grid’s Ukraine, One Year at War: An Interactive Timeline of the Conflict.

Long before Waze, Google Maps, GPS, and Sat-Nav there was the Plus Four Wristlet Route Indicator . Released in 1927, it came with single-journey scrolls plugged into a wrist-wearable device. The watch-like gadget needed no batteries, and worked quite like traditional scrolls, with paper rolling out from one side then back into the other. 



The Wristlet wearable was sold with a core set of 20 scrolls spanning various routes, most of them revolving around London, with more available for order from the manufacturer. Switching from one of the preset destinations necessitated stopping and swapping out scrolls along the way. Drivers or passengers would manually wind a dial on the side to keep the map moving along with the progress of their journey.

Modern Illustration is an archive of printed matter from circa 1950-1975, collected by illustrator Zara Picken. From book covers to flyers and from playing cards to stamps.

In 1893, Norwegian artist Edvard Munch unveiled The Scream: a dramatic oil painting in which a panic-stricken figure stands beneath a fiery sky, hands clasped to face, a couple standing further along the bridge they share. In January of 1892, a year before the he painted the scene, Munch wrote this entry in his journal.

Nice  22/1/92

I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – I felt a wave of sadness – The sky suddenly turned blood-red

I stopped, leaned against the fence tired to death – gazed out over the flaming clouds like blood and swords – the blue-black fjord and city – My friends walked on – I stood there quaking with angst – and I felt as though a vast, endless scream passed through nature



This entry was posted in Art, Books, Bookstore Tourism, Maps, Museums, Tech, USA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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