Zachary Zezima’s abstract supernatural dread to accompany Kris Mukai’s narrative interpretation of the same in The Goat Path.
Victorian Christmas card, wishing you Peace, Joy, Health and Happiness. Victorians were very interested in natural history, which may explain this unique illustration. 1880. (via)
Drawings using graphite, tape, and resin by Brooks Shane Salzwedel
Click on each image for the title and see more Brooks Shane Salzwedel posts here.
How to dry a soaked library
These may not the best photographs, but they show something quite unusual: a library of precious books drying in a giant warehouse. On November 6th, 1966 the Italian city of Florence experienced one of the worst flooding in its long history. The heart of the city disappeared under 3 meters of water. Among the buildings it entered were two important libraries: the Biblioteca del Gabinetto Vieusseux and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Firenze. Over 1.5 million books from these libraries were damaged by the water; hundreds of pages were found pasted to walls and ceilings when the water had disappeared.
Drying one book is hard enough, but what to do with complete libraries? First the soaked books were gathered (pic 2). Some were then placed in heated rooms (pic 3), but the majority was hung out to dry in giant storehouses (pic 1). Thousands and thousands of pages from precious books, including many from medieval manuscripts (pic 4), were placed on long drying lines by so-called Mud Angels, as the volunteers were called - not unlike drying spaghetti in a pasta factory. Remarkably, a government letter from 2007 warned that there were still thousands of books waiting in storage for their conservation treatment. Obviously, drying a library takes a long time.
More information on the flood in this Wikipedia page and this detailed and well-illustrated blog. This is an account of a book conserver who worked on the soaked books. A really great and unreal movie on the conservation of the books was made in 1968 (watch it on YouTube here). On the bright side, the tragedy produced new methods of book conservation (read about it here, via @john_overholt).
A 110 million-year-old fossil of Cleoniceras ammonite, found in Madagascar. Ammonites are extinct cephalopods that lived in shells. Their closest modern relatives are nautiluses, octopi, squid, and cuttlefish. Like the nautilus, ammonites gradually added onto their shell to accommodate their increasing body mass. As they extended the shell they built a wall behind them, closing up the now too-narrow portion of the shell as they moved into the larger portion of the spiral.
Unlike the nautilus, the morphology of the tissue wall ammonites built between the chambers is not just a smooth curved wall. Instead it has a bizarrely complex 3-dimensional fractal shape. These are called “suture patterns” and mark the intersection of the septum walls with the shell. Scientists can’t agree why these walls are so complexly furrowed or even how they formed.
I make a lot of goofy drawings of “hunks” because I’ve always found the word and its accompanying images pretty fun to play around with, but Collector’s Weekly has a pretty interesting article about the cultural history of hunks/muscle men that you might like to read.