July 19, 2012
Paper copy of 122-year-old record played back
From Weird Things:
In an awesome case of 1890s cutting-edge tech meeting modern technology, Indiana University sound historian (yes... that's a job) Patrick Feaster has done something amazingly nerdy and fantastic.
While looking for an illustration of the world's oldest recording studio for a talk he was giving on Thomas Edison's recordings, Feaster pulled a book for research. Upon glancing at the index, he noticed there was an article on the gramophone. When he turned to the article? A paper print of the actual recording.
In February of this year, Feaster did something amazing with these old paper prints of the recordings: He played them back.
By scanning these paper copies, Feaster was able to unwind or "de-spiral" the line that the needle would follow on the physical record. Remarkably, these unwound spirals look a lot like a modern audio file. Using special software, Feaster was able to then play back the audio captured from a flat photo.
Feaster had already done this twice with two other recordings. What makes this recording interesting is that it predates his other finds.
"In the recording, Berliner tells us he’s making a record for Rosenthal to experiment with," Feaster says. "He shares that they're in this particular building in Hanover, and then he recites some poetry, sings a song and counts to 20 in several languages."
According to Feaster and his colleagues, what he accidentally stumbled across was the earliest known gramophone recording ever made… printed out on paper… and played back 122 years later.
For those who want to know more, here is the website of Patrick Feaster, the individual who recovered the 122-year-old sounds.
[via Richard Kashdan]
Conjoined Rubik's Cubes — "Solve this!"
[via The Green Head]
Helpful Hints from joeeze: No more sooty hands from handling charcoal
From the July & August issue of Cook's Illustrated: "Filling a chimney starter with a precise amount of charcoal can be a messy enterprise, but David Detlef of Alexandria, Virginia, has a handy solution: He repurposes the long plastic bags in which his newspapers are delivered, using them as mitts. The bags keep his hands clean as he reaches into the sack to grab handfuls of coal."
Think outside the charcoal space.
Places with anti-dog-poop-on-the-grass statutes, for example.
"Talk to the hand" Bookends
From the website:
These sturdy stainless steel bookends are good to use together (on a desk, for example) or separately (on a half-full bookshelf).
They have non-slip silicone pads on the bottom and will not bend.
Standard set includes right and left hands.
Suitable for any number of books.
Weight: 2.2 lbs. (1 kg) apiece.
Made in Russia.
What do your colors say about you?
PX 02 Lamp
From Architonic: "Masahiro Fukuyama's 'PX 02' lights [exemplar above]... a series of Pyrex lamps, came about during a workshop involving a group of young designers and Pyrex specialist Massimo Lunnardon."
"As Titanic's discoverer does research at sea, armchair explorers can watch online"
And you thought your desk was on dry land.
Excerpts from Brian Vastag's July 16 Washington Post story follow.
Bob Ballard, who discovered the Titanic in 1985, is a shipwreck-finding machine. Now you can watch his crew search for ancient wrecks through the eyes of the machines that do the real work.
This summer, as Ballard and his exploration ship Nautilus sail the Black and Mediterranean seas, armchair explorers can watch online at nautiluslive.org. As a rotating crew of 100 scientists and educators search for Byzantine-era ships and sample ocean life, live video from two remotely operated vehicles — the classically named Hercules and Argus — will take viewers to the seafloor in real time. Outfitted with a high-speed data link, the Nautilus is the only exploration ship in the world bringing the public along for the ride.
Follow Nautilus Live on Facebook and Twitter to receive alerts when the crew is about to splash its ROVs, outfitted with high-definition cameras and robotic arms. And check the Web site for bios of the crew and video from past cruises.
Animated Gears Playing Cards
"The gears move when you flip the cards."
[via The Green Head]