Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Retro Telephones - The New Must in Home Decor

Telephone in the Fernmeldemuseum, Bremen, Germany.

Antique and Retro Telephones have exploded on the home decor popular consciousness in the US.  In the UK, the height of the fad hit a couple of years ago.  I think this must be a nostalgic backlash against the speed of technological changePeople yearn for clunky, older-styled tech as tech madness pushes forward exponentially.  The blog Advice 4U Now just commented on this: "These phones can remind you of days gone by when maybe you would talk for hours to your girlfriend or boyfriend before your parents made you get off the phone. You do remember those days right?  With so many things happening in the world lately, sometimes you would just wish to sit back, relax, and spend the day just talking over a retro telephone. 'Say what? Talk on an old phone?' you may say, but many people are getting back to there roots so to speak when it comes to their home telephones and they are going retro. ... Maybe you recognize one of those by name, but you certainly would recognize one of these retro telephones by sight. They may rekindle memories of visiting your grandparents house, or maybe your parents had one. Made from the original case mouldings that were supplied back in the good old days, these rotary dial retro telephones are the real mccoy and better still when you get that first phone call you’ll remember that there’s nothing quite like the original bell ring of this true classic."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Embryo Born after Being Frozen for Twenty Years

The Star Child. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Image: MGM.

Phys.Org is reporting that two siblings have been born a generation apart, after one was frozen in embryo form for almost twenty years (hat tip: Lee Hamilton's blog): "The baby’s unnamed mother, 42, is from the US and had been undergoing IVF for 10 years without success. Then last year an embryo that had been kept frozen for almost 20 years was thawed out and implanted into her uterus. The baby boy was born in May and weighed 6 lb 15 oz (about 3 kg). The embryo, along with four others, was created as a result of IVF treatment that resulted in one of the embryos being successfully implanted in the mother and brought to full term. The remaining embryos were then donated anonymously for “adoption” by other couples, and frozen. ... The woman's doctor, Director of the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at the Eastern Virginia medical school, Dr. Sergio Oehninger, said the patient had been receiving fertility treatment unsuccessfully for many years, but her persistence had now paid off. Dr. Oehninger’s research showed that keeping the embryos frozen for a long time does not affect their viability, and it may be possible for them to remain viable 40 years or more, although Oehninger said it would be unlikely such an old embryo would be used as this would mean a new generation using embryos of a previous generation. This issue has already been raised with a mother in 2007 freezing some of her own eggs for the use of her daughter (then 7), who has a medical problem that will probably leave her infertile. If she uses the eggs, her child would also be her own half-sister or brother."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Anniversaries: Happy 600th Birthday to Prague's Astronomical Clock

Video: themacula.com and Vimeo.

Boing Boing is circulating a story about the anniversary of the Astronomical Clock in Prague's Old Town Square The video above shows ten minutes' worth of amazing projected animated art upon the clock that ranges from the sublime, to the medieval, to the apocalyptic, to the digital. From the Boing Boing report: "From Prague, a video-mapping show projected on the medieval Astronomical Clock in the city's Old Town Square. Part of a celebration for the 600th anniversary of the clock's construction. ... BB reader Kerray says, 'The people who worked on it are themacula.com, duber.cz and michalkotek.com, and the projection itself was done by avmedia.cz. Four months of work, 5000x1200 resolution, 2x Christie 18K HD projectors.'"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Google Not So Secretly Working on Artificial Intelligence?

That's what some bloggers and tweeters are saying after an October 9 report here from The New York Times about Google developing and secretly testing a car that drives itself in heavy traffic using artificial intelligence software: "The project is the brainchild of Sebastian Thrun, the 43-year-old director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a Google engineer and the co-inventor of the Street View mapping service."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Going Back to Nîmes

A Beggar Boy with a Piece of Pie (late 17th Century). Oil on canvas. By 'Master of the Blue Jeans.'

An artist friend of mine just sent me a link to a remarkable exhibition at the Galerie Canesso in Paris, which ran earlier this year.  This was an exhibit of paintings done by an unnamed painter who focussed on the poor, and inadvertently recorded the use of denim to clothe the destitute in the seventeenth century.  As my friend put it: "Art historians have rediscovered a 17th c. painter who is known as the Master of the Jean, as in blue jeans!  There are only 10 paintings attributed to him and all of his sitters are wearing jean jackets and jean skirts. Apparently denim was a form of fabric from (de) Nîmes in France - cotton dyed indigo with a white under warp. Used by the wealthy for bed curtains but by the poor for clothing. Look ... to see an example of his work; a poor little street urchin in a denim jacket. It stimulates a momentary collapse of temporal perception." The gallery's site has a catalogue by Art Historian Véronique Damian (links here and here).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Love in the New Millennium 2: The World Turned Upside Down

Welcome to the Age of Aquarius: Cerebral innovation? Yes. - Love and sex? Not so much. Aquarius (2003). © By Kagaya.

Susan Miller, the famous American astrologer, recently speculated on love in the new century as part of a piece she was writing for Elle magazine.
She argues that the full shock of tech boom from 1998 to 2010 was so enormous that it turned human intimacy upside down. It was not just a new era in terms of how we set up our calendar. The way we think about ourselves and each other was transformed. Global communications left us reeling, with dozens, then hundreds of ways to make contact. This mesmerized and toughened us, creating illusions of intimacy and cutting people off from their hearts and souls. Now that we have absorbed the tech shock's first wave, Miller thinks that people will step back, take stock, and find themselves and each other again. She declared: "Love improves in 2011."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Numerology and Time: Ten Ten Ten Ten Ten

The Rider-Waite Wheel of Fortune Tenth Tarot Trump Card. Recoloured Image: The Tarot Deck.

10/10/10 10:10. We place arbitrary importance upon dates by virtue of the way we count them.  But counting derives from our understanding of time in the first place.  Whether it's our awareness of the time of day or the passing of seasons, or our larger grasp of death, we invented numbers because we can distinguish between past, present and future.  Numbers are hieroglyphs, keys to the mathematical logic and principles that dictate the universe, and a pictorial language that represents our understanding of time.  In other words, they encapsulate a paradox.  They are both the encrypted symbols of mysteries we will never fully understand and our tools for unlocking those mysteries.