Polar Opposites

February 15, 2011 Comments Off on Polar Opposites

I have always preferred the North Pole to the South Pole (Ice bears > penguins*), but I’d still love to visit Antarctica’s Dark Sector… A place without light pollution or radio wave interference – and a view like that:

The aurora australis over the Dark Sector at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (Keith Vanderlinde/National Science Foundation)

Be sure to check out the Boston Globe Big Picture post on Scenes from Antarctica, where the above picture was taken from…

The BBC is currently producing a series about the polar regions called The Frozen Planet. The very interesting reports and pictures by Chris Watson can be read, viewed, and listened to here. And now, with Shackleton’s whiskey from his hut on Ross Island being thawed, why not revisit his tales from the South Pole?

Audio Playlist:

1. My South Polar Expedition by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (mp3, Project Gutenberg, 3:43)

2. A Journey South by Chris Watson (mp3, Touch Radio, 50:20)

Hut Interior (c) Chris Watson

*Penguins aren’t that bad, actually…


Vintage National Geographic Scans

January 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

(Caption missing, unfortunately)

Megasoma beetle

Prince of Bhutan and his bride, 1952

Screech owls

Egyptian students, 1954

Spoonbills in Florida, 1954

Annual Lobster Festival, Maine 1952

Inuit boy, Alaska 1959

Kazakh nomand woman brewing tea, 1954

King of Bunyaro on a throne of 60 leopard skins, 1960

Massai men

Sorcerer in New Guinea, 1955

Viking Festival, Shetland Islands 1954

A tumblr well worth following: Vintage National Geographic Scans (mainly from the 1950s to early 60s)

Doug Aitken “Migration”

December 14, 2010 Comments Off on Doug Aitken “Migration”

Still from Migration (2008)

Madam Satan

December 10, 2010 Comments Off on Madam Satan

In case of malfunction

December 4, 2010 Comments Off on In case of malfunction


Harmonia Macrocosmica (feat. Tycho Brahe)

December 2, 2010 Comments Off on Harmonia Macrocosmica (feat. Tycho Brahe)

Care to see Tycho Brahe’s skull, currently being exhumed to learn more about his life and finally solve the mystery of his death – kidney stones? Mercury poisoning? Murder by Kepler?… More pictures on the official site.

Brahe was a pretty eccentric astronomer/alchemist. He kept a dwarf called Jepp as a court jester, had him sit under the dinner table, and thought he was able to tell the future. Brahe famously lost his nose in a duel with a Danish nobleman and had a piece of metal attached in its place. He also had a pet elk, which supposedly was given too much beer (!) at one of the many social gatherings at Brahe’s, and fell down the stairs to its tragic death… Biopic, anyone?

Here are Scans from the Harmonia Macrocosmica by Andreas Cellarius (1660/1). The first one shows Brahe’s system of planetary orbits, and in the bottom right corner, Brahe himself –  nose still intact.

Ville Lenkkeri “The Place of No Roads”

November 30, 2010 Comments Off on Ville Lenkkeri “The Place of No Roads”

Arctic Wildlife

Field Experiment

Dead Domestic Plants II

Map of the Underworld

Deserted Coal Mine



The Good Times I

Faded Map

From Finnish artist Ville Lenkkeri‘s book “The Place of No Roads”, in which he documented his trip to a deserted Russian coalmine in Svalbard (Spitsbergen). A few more pictures from the series can be found here.