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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


cropContinuing with yesterday's theme, Wintergarten has dozens of videos documenting the various improvements he's made to the marble machine, which, if I wanted to build my own musical instrument would be fascinating; grateful as I am that he's sharing all this learning process, I tended to watch the ones featuring actual music, which soon led down some interesting rabbit holes, such as the marble machine theme song played on a clock tower —part of a series on the museum of mechanical instruments that in fact inspired his own efforts. Pretty sweet: playing an organ is impressive enough, but a multi-story clock tower? Amazing!

Well, today's mouse is from the archives (though I believe the current incarnation is still working—pretty amazing if so, because that would make it three years old!)



cropI know I've featured the marble machine (musical instrument) before, but its creator has been busy since the original post came out, and is busy doing a major upgrade that involves a lot of metal parts. What particularly struck me was the similarity (to my extremely untrained eyes) of the metal components this maker is incorporating in his piece to the ones that Roman Booteen (whom I've also featured before) is making.

One is learning clockworks to make a musical instrument with many moving parts; the other is learning clockworks to make ...small, jewel-sized engraved metal art—hobo nickels—with moving parts. Both, it seems to me, started with more modern sensibilities in design and execution (Booteen did a lot of Disney figures to start, frex) and as they become more in tune with their mediums’ history, are harking back to a Victorian aesthetic—curved spokes in flywheels, acanthas leaf engraving—that truly warms the cockles of my heart.



cropOh noes, yet another week of dead mice!

(I actually have enough to do two more weeks of dead mice, but the plan is to offer a bit of variety after finishing off this week:) Though since I strung two more yesterday, p'raps it will be another fortnight of the same ole same ole...

In the meantime, I do think today's, featuring a zebra head, is kinda cute.


cropVia FTB a podcast recces called Deepminds by the physicist Sean Carroll. The first ep features Carol Tavris, who wrote the very entertaining (& entertainingly titled) Mistakes were made (but not by me) ...The links have kinda been piling up, so here's a rather fugly mishmash of ’em—some read, some started, others to be read (but they looked interesting...):

  • Rachel Maddow takes her employer, NBC, to task, for squashing their reporter's story about Harvey Weinstein
  • What appears to me as a reasonable attempt to define neoliberalism —not that I'm any sort of expert, mind you.
  • So these famous film director auteur types are dissing that movie-money-factory, MCU (Marvel Comic Universe) —the first guy panned ’em as unwatchable, the second as not even art. I used to watch those art-house films, with a local movie group, and yes, such films can change you. (They can also be pretentious BS, or just plain mediocre) and I'm not super invested in my identity, either as an art-house film watcher or superhero comic book reader, I rather enjoyed the discussion on LGM. If this sort of pointless brangling is not your cup of tea, the consensus seems to be more or less, yeah, the Marvel films are not art-house films and unlikely to challenge people in those ways (though not impossible!) but really, why were these revered directors needing to call the movies not even movies? That's just rude! (Full disclosure: I come down on this side of the argument, because I really admire the greats who feel and express genuine enthusiasm for the beginner, even the kinda-mediocre—those who do not ascend, nor even desire to ascend to their great heights.)
  • Miyazaki's favourite dizzy film was unsurprisingly this story of an abandoned mill and its wild ecology. It was a bit of an experimental practise piece, a short made in the late 30s to test some new tech, the ‘multi-planar’ camera, and it's pretty sweet.
  • It's pretty amazing what these teen geniuses can get up to these days—this gadget projects what's going on outside on the inside of a car's pillars, effectively removing them as blind spots. While I think the real future is likely to be getting rid of (most of) the cars altogether, adding as much safety to them is a laudable goal:)
  • Ah, some delightfully purple prose with an more than erotic tinge, as applied to trains; but hey, the comments did yield this photo of a lovely vintage train –there's some real beauty in Victorian industrial design.
  • Yet another trans person discovers how much easier it is to be a man, career-wise.
  • Someday I really must read Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World.



cropHey, so many of these intros may be interesting but darned depressing. Here's one that's utterly charming, and I feel a bit connected, because I more or less let the milkweed grow where it will, to provide food for those beautiful orange and black butterflies—and, anecdotally, enough other folks in my town are doing the same thing that it seemed there were significantly more monarchs this year—I even had two on one joe pye weed flower at once! Don't remember that happening before... Next year, I'll have to add more food plants for swallowtails, my other fave, in addition to the queen anne's lace growing everywhere.

And speaking of orange and flowers, today's mouse combines the two in the focal (though not, alas, in the form of butterfly weed—which btw bloomed this year. Hurray.)



cropWe have a housemate for a bit, and he's much better about fixing a real meal for dinnertime, and that's probably contributed to a mild resurgence in kitchen-type info—so yes, I clicked on this click-baity list and concluded that, yes, having everything lined up and ready to go, even if it makes for a few more dirty dishes, is worthwhile, and much as I like using a knife and cutting board whenever possible, perhaps, given the success I've had with the zester on a handle, I would like having a mandoline—bonus that it's a) small b) looks relatively easy to clean and even c) you have to be a bit careful with it—hey, I know all about that, being a metalworker and flameworker.

But first, I have to decide where I would store it. Though I have to say, I'd buy this knife in a heartbeat...


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