lost in space

apollo11aThe most iconic photos from the manned exploration of space come from the monumental Apollo project. But if you’re not a camera buff or a space-history enthusiast, you may not know that nearly every single famous photo from that program was taken using Hasselblad cameras. See more (inter) stellar images here, courtesy of Wired, which is presenting a gallery of some of the best shots that astronauts took from the moon and space with Hasselblad cameras in honor of the 44th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic landing.

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live blog: perfectly wired

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bugging out

Here’s a strange and slightly creepy little story by writer Erin Biba that I just read in the current issue of Wired.  If you happen to be in Berlin this fall, a fascinating selection of artist Cornelia Hesse-Honegger’s work in cataloging morphologically disturbed insects will be shown in the German capital.

“On The Simpsons, the effects of nuclear contamination are conspicuous and comedic. In nature, though, they’re often subtle — and sometimes strangely beautiful. Scientific illustrator Cornelia Hesse-Honegger details these minute mutations in the so-called true bugs she collects near nuclear facilities and areas of chemical contamination. True bugs don’t travel far, and they “suck the liquid from the plants they live on,” she says. “So if the plant is contaminated, they take a lot of radioactivity into their bodies.”

Conventional wisdom holds that nuclear power stations don’t leak enough radiation to create malformed organisms. But in some locations, Hesse-Honegger discovered mutations — curtailed feelers, misshapen legs, asymmetrical wings — in as many as 30 percent of the bugs she gathered. That’s 10 times the overall rate of about 3 percent for insects found in the wild. “For me, the mutated bugs were like prototypes of a future nature,” she says.”

Click the link HERE to see more images.

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in praise of obscurity

I’m eternally behind in my magazine reading, so I’ve only just come upon this interesting piece by Clive Thompson from February’s WIRED.  It goes a long way towards explaining a hunch I’ve long held:  social networking is optimal among small to medium-sized clusters of friends or acquaintances.  Grow a network large enough – marketing gurus and pr mavens take heed – to remove the perception of (real or imagined) intimacy and all that perceived value turns to noise.

“When it comes to your social network, bigger is better. Or so we’re told. The more followers and friends you have, the more awesome and important you are. That’s why you see so much oohing and aahing over people with a million Twitter followers. But lately I’ve been thinking about the downside of having a huge online audience. When you go from having a few hundred Twitter followers to ten thousand, something unexpected happens: Social networking starts to break down.”

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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