Monthly Archives: November 2015

One of the Most Beautiful Scientific Books of the 19th Century

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Post

I no longer own a copy of this book, but at least I did find a version of it at Google Books–the rather walk-about title completely conceals the fabulous stuff within it. The  Chemical atlas: or, the chemistry of familiar objects, by Edward Livingston Youmans, published in New York City by Appleton in 1856 is the sort of title that you could easily skip by if you weren’t familiar with it or its author. Youmans is certainly a man worthy of high respect, and I like him a lot: in his career as an author and editor, he was (in addition to much else) the founder of two significant scientific publications that I have long enjoyed: the International Scientific Series (1871), which was a rapid/cheap reprint of important contemporary science which also sought to fairly compensate its authors (at a time where they were even more ripped-off than they can be today); and the great Popular Science Monthly (1872), which was a very meaty sci-tech instrument before it got to be more ‘popular” than “scientific” decades after Youman’s death in 1887. 


Streets: DALeast // Urban Xchange (Penang)


You may already seen the mural we shared with you yesterday painted by Sabek for Urban Xchange in Penang, so here is a followup on another artist who painted a piece for the event. The image of the phoenix can be seen soaring up on a wall near the Hin Bus Depot, created with bundles of kinetic wires, a technique that is signature to the work of DALeast (interviewed). What is interesting is the Chinese artist using a red palette this time, perhaps referencing how the the mythologic bird rises from the ashes.
Via StreetArtNews.
Discuss DALeast here.

By: Arrested Motion
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries

The Robot Lunar Adam and the Cosmologonaut Jean Perdrizet

JF Ptak Science Books    Post 2574

“L’histoire de la science du XXe siècle n’a pas retenu le nom de Jean Perdrizet” is the lovely opening remark on a terrestrial-based sidereus nuncius/sidereal messenger post–that the name of the Art Brut/Out Brut inventor, Jean Perdrizet, has not been remembered as part of the history of science of the 20th century.  And of course there is really no scientific reason for the basis of this memory to be formed, as M. Perdrizet is thinking well outside the confines of the generative envelope, making drawings of interesting and fantastic things, like the forceful  Selenite Adam/Adam-of-the-Moon/Cosmologonaut.  


Concentration Camps in Poland, 1921

JF Ptak Science Books  

The name of the concentration camp comes to us from the Cuban war of independence (1895-1897) with its first appearance in print (according to the OED) in 18971, when the Spanish imprisoned and impressed Cuban families in large compounds. The idea and the terminology was again used shortly thereafter in the Boer War (1899-1902), this time seemingly with more cruelty and savagery. These were the people who had escaped the systematic and revolting scorched earth policy initiated by Field Marshall Kitchener2 (who was in command of events after 29 November 1900), where the Boers were simply hunted and killed, or if not killed, then imprisoned; farms were destroyed, towns torched, livestock killed.  In general, the country of the Boers (all of whom were seen as guerrillas) was being taken and killed.  The survivors of this onslaught were sent to the concentrations camps.  

Concentration camp009