« January 24, 2019 | Main | January 26, 2019 »

January 25, 2019

"88 Cores" — Peggy Weil

From the New Yorker:


The U.S. government's collection of columnar frozen water, gathered over the past six decades, is now stored at the National Ice Core Laboratory, near Denver. It is the biggest such repository in the world.

When the artist Peggy Weil first learned about the National Ice Core Laboratory, a few years ago, she was captivated. She contacted Geoffrey Hargreaves, the lab's curator, and soon found herself inside a giant freezer, bundled in an Arctic-ready parka. (The temperature was minus thirty-eight degrees Fahrenheit.)


[Above, Peggy Weil in the laboratory]

With the help of lab assistants, she loaded up a cart with canisters made of thick cardboard, each containing a small segment of a two-mile-long core from the Greenland ice sheet. Weil trundled her specimens to a cylindrical scanner and photographed them in high resolution. Eventually, she strung together eighty-eight scans, top to bottom. Then she animated them and added an accompanying score, creating a four-and-a-half-hour video, designed to be projected onto a wall.

"I just wanted to put them back together again," she said. Weil, who lives in California, came to New York for the 2018 world première of "88 Cores."

Watching the video felt like being inside an elevator going down a narrow, icy borehole in slow motion. Each core segment was different, depending on when it was scanned (and the technology used) and how it was stored. Some had a ghostly blue-gray cast; others were almost sea-green. Weil pointed out a thick, dark band in a segment scrolling by. "That's a layer of volcanic ash," she said. "From fifty thousand years ago."

When Weil first conceived of the project, she planned to make a video that showed all of the core's more than three thousand segments. It would have lasted seven days. Instead, she decided to pick a series of representative segments, starting at the top of the core, with the youngest ice, and ending at the bottom, more than three thousand metres down. The teams of scientists who drilled the core, from 1988 to 1993, painstakingly counted the layers as they hauled the segments up. The deepest ice, their tally showed, froze a hundred and ten thousand years ago.

January 25, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect


From Wikipedia


The Gell-Mann amnesia effect describes the phenomenon of an expert believing news articles on topics outside of their field of expertise even after acknowledging that articles written in the same publication that are within the expert's field of expertise are error-ridden and full of misunderstanding.

The term was coined by author and film producer Michael Crichton.

He explained the irony of the term, saying it came about "because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have," and describes the term in his talk "Why Speculate?" in which he says,

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward — reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them. In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

The Gell-Mann effect is not a universal phenomenon, and some believe that there is increased distrust in news media when one notices errors in reporting. Michael Crichton may even be seen as an example of this as he argues "we need to start turning away from media."


I only learned that this phenomenon has a name — and Wikipedia article — this past Monday, by a reference to it in the comments section of Hacker News.

The truth of it impressed itself on me back in the 80s, when I was reading an article in Time magazine, as I recall.

It was on something I was an expert on by dint of my medical-scientific and research training.

Every single fact was incorrect, to a greater or lesser extent. 

I said to myself, it can't be just this article: every article in the magazine — and everything I read or hear — must be just as erroneous.

Only at the moment did the truth of Bob Dylan's remark that "Time magazine is a comic book for adults" hit home.

January 25, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Complete Working Model of the Tokyo Subway Network

Screen Shot 2019-01-15 at 9.49.18 AM

Don't try this at home.

From kokutetu103 aka @yossy_hoho_2


Finally !!

it is hard to convey when all the subway lines in Tokyo have been completed in the Tokyo metropolitan area, but it is impressive when looking at it close !!


Full disclosure: I spent many happy hours riding Tokyo subways in 1968-69.

Like nothing else on Earth.

January 25, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

How camera lenses change the shape of your face


More here (the comments are informative as well).

January 25, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Magnetic Dry Erase Notepad


"Relive your childhood writing assignments with this classic Magnetic Dry Erase Notepad."
"Sticks to any metal surface and includes a dry erase pen with eraser to wipe off and create again."

8.3" x 5.8" x 0.03".


January 25, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

« January 24, 2019 | Main | January 26, 2019 »