lunes, 24 de septiembre de 2012

Why Beauty Matters


Philosopher Roger Scruton presents a provocative essay on the importance of beauty in the arts and in our lives.
In the 20th century, Scruton argues, art, architecture and music turned their backs on beauty, making a cult of ugliness and leading us into a spiritual desert.
Using the thoughts of philosophers from Plato to Kant, and by talking to artists Michael Craig-Martin and Alexander Stoddart, Scruton analyses where art went wrong and presents his own impassioned case for restoring beauty to its traditional position at the centre of our civilisation.
source: BBC two

domingo, 23 de septiembre de 2012

Hubble mosaic pays tribute to Van Gogh

One night, Harvard astronomer Alex Parker was camped out at the telescope for a spot of star-gazing, and found himself facing a long, dry period of waiting for the clouds to clear. To pass the time, he started playing around with various images from the Hubble Space Telescope, and ended up assembling them into a colorful mosaic.
The resulting image? A recreation of Vincent van Gogh's most famous painting, "Starry Night" (above). According to the Finch and Pea blog, "Parker used photo-mosaicing software to assemble the digital collage." He had been thinking about using Hubble images to make a mosaic for awhile, since the telescope's 22nd anniversary was approaching; he just needed the right circumstances to find the time -- a cloudy night.

(click to enlarge)
Read more on Discovery

sábado, 22 de septiembre de 2012

Man etches name in the sand of the desert, visible from space

(screenshot google map)

Gross opulence or a severe case of vanity it may be, but it's hard not to be impressed by this huge piece of graffiti. Or is it mega-landscaping? Or a new waterway? Frankly, it could be any of the above.

Measuring 1,000 meters high, and two miles wide, the name "HAMAD" has been etched into the island of Al Futaisi just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The letters are dug so deep that they form an artificial waterway when filled with seawater and it is so large that it can be easily spotted by satellite -- this landmark will be around for some time to come.

The lettersbelong to the billionaire Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan. The 63 year old is a member of the ruling family of the oil rich nation. The guy is used to living big. He built a pyramid to house his 200 cars. He had the world’s largest truck built that has a cabin large enough for 4 bedrooms.

Last but not least, he has had a motor home built shaped like the Earth at exactly one-millionth of the size of Earth. So, why not carve your name into the sand to be seen from outer space, because he can. 

Source: Discovery News

Disfigured Spanish fresco becomes global phenomenon

The image appears on T-shirts and cellphone covers, coffee mugs and wine labels. And the 80-year-old pensioner who just weeks ago was mortified by the global stir she created with her botched restoration of a fresco of Christ is now looking to get a piece of the action.

The church painting in the town of Borja was for decades a little-known piece of religious art by a minor Spanish artist. Now that Cecilia Gimenez has disfigured it, it has found a new fate as an international icon -- used to sell products around the world.

The influx of visitors hasn't shown any sign of letting up since news of the fresco rocketed around the world, Arilla said. About 1,000 people paid admission last weekend, and the number of visitors has averaged 100 daily this week. The charge was put in place to cover the cost of additional workers needed at the sanctuary to manage the crowds.

Read more on CTV News

UK: Led Zeppelin not reuniting – but they are releasing a concert film

The Led Zeppelin countdown is over – and, as expected, the legendary rock band are not reuniting. Instead they are releasing a film of the one-off reunion show they played at the O2 arena in London in 2007.
The band announced that Celebration Day will get a worldwide theatrical release on 17 October, followed by "multiple video and audio" formats on 19 November.
An estimated 20 million people applied for tickets for Led Zeppelin's O2 show. Their 16-song set is included in its entirety in Celebration Day.
Led Zeppelin split in 1980, following the death of drummer John Bonham. During the 80s, their critical reputation sank, but the last 20 years have seen them rehabilitated as guitarist Jimmy Page has led a charge to bolster their legacy with a series of reissues and remasters that have cemented their position as the arguably the greatest hard rock band ever.
Celebration Day will be the third Zeppelin live film to have been released in the last decade. In 2003, the band released the two-disc set Led Zeppelin DVD, which captured live footage of the band spanning their whole career, meticulously restored and matched to high-quality live recordings of the original performances. It became the bestselling music DVD of all time. That was followed in 2007 by a DVD of their concert film The Song Remains the Same, originally released in 1976.

Full tracklisting

1. Good Times Bad Times
2. Ramble On
3. Black Dog
4. In My Time of Dying
5. For Your Life
6. Trampled Under Foot
7. Nobody's Fault But Mine
8. No Quarter
9. Since I've Been Loving You
10. Dazed and Confused
11. Stairway to Heaven
12. The Song Remains the Same
13. Misty Mountain Hop
14. Kashmir
15. Whole Lotta Love
16. Rock and Roll
source: The Guardian