Monthly Archives: December 2015


A 15-minute family drama in which an unlikely bond is forged between a lonely boy and an elderly man claiming to be a former astronaut. Together, they transform a vintage vacuum cleaner into a rocketship for a surprising journey. The film is inspired by the rocketship sculptures of artist David Random. ROCKETSHIP is an Official Selection of the Mill Valley Film Festival sponsored by the California Film Institute, Dances With Films (Los Angeles), Boston Film Festival, New Hampshire Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, SNOB Film Festival, Louisville’s Festival of Films, Northampton International Film Festival, LA Shorts Fest, Coney Island Film Festival, Knoxville Film Festival, ITVFest, Cincinnati Film Festival, Atlantic Film Festival, Monadnock International Film Festival, and the Cleveland International Film Festival, where it was named one the CIFF’s 20 Must See Films out of 345 films (180 features and 165 shorts) screened over 12 days. The CIFF review said, “It’s magical. It’s epic. The little boy who plays the lead is fantastic.” ROCKETSHIP won the 2015 Online New England Film Festival and is being featured inflight on Virgin Airlines worldwide. (more…)


A young boy befriends an old man, much to his parents’ consternation.  However, the boy and the old man have a bond – a fascination with space travel. Together, they transform a vintage vacuum cleaner into a rocketship for a surprising journey. This heartwarming short film was written and directed by Alfred Thomas Catalfo and was   inspired by the rocketship sculptures of artist David Random. This may leave you with a lump in your throat…

By: Kuriositas
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries

Walter Oltmann Weaves Wire Into Haunting Images Of Skulls And Babies

Walter Oltmann - Sculpture, Illustration Walter Oltmann - Sculpture, Illustration Walter Oltmann - Sculpture, Illustration Walter Oltmann - Sculpture, Illustration

Walter Oltmann is an artist from South Africa who weaves together aluminum wire “doily” segments to create gauzy, black-and-white images. His more recent works—which were featured recently in an exhibition titled Cradle at the Goodman Gallery in Cape Town—depict skulls and sleeping children. Through tonal layering, Oltmann creates a ghostly, semi-transparent depth, and each of the drawings are their own sculptural objects. The result is a series of eerie, ancient-looking images that invoke a theme (and contemporary relevance) of ideas surrounding death, the fragility of life, and the passage of time.

Oltmann is fascinated by the processes of geology, evolution, and human history. As the press release for Cradle informs us, his work draws on the ideas set forth by Simon Calley in Sculpture and Archaeology (2011), which describes archeology as a discipline of “examining our relationship to time and our place to its continuity [. . .] It is an activity concerned with the present [and] with projecting ourselves into the past” (Source). Historically and culturally, skulls have been enduring symbols of death and transience; the image of a sleeping child, which has been used as a grave marker, is representative of tranquility, rest, and the final “long sleep.” By finding and exploring the similarities in these motifs, Oltmann unearths an age-old melancholia and retrospective on the finitude of human life.


A Fine Locomotive Schematic, 1928

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Post


I’ve admired this image for quite some time, finding it in the Library of Congress’ collection of the Historical Section of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) color photographs.  It is anonymous, unfortunately, but since there were really only 23 or so staff photographers for this gigantic undertaking (including Esther Bubley, Marjory Collins, Mary Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Jack Delano, Gordon Parks, Charlotte Brooks, John Vachon, Carl Mydans, Dorothea Lange, and Ben Shahn, ten of which are truly monumental names in the history of 20th century American photography) I think that we could guess that it was done by the hands of a master.  It seems as though less than 2% of the 163,000 or so photographs made by this section during its eight-year run (1937-1945) were made in color, and I’m glad that this was one of them. 


Illustrating the Effect of Destructive Capacity: August, 1914

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Press

I found this lovely infographic in the August 29, 1914 issue of The Illustrated London News, coming a little more than three weeks after the beginning of WWI.  It is one of the earliest issues almost fully dedicated to war coverage, and in its many articles covers the fall of Namur, the fight at Mons, the destruction of the HMS Amphion, and images of long lines of Belgian refugees, the fight at Haelen (and the dog-drawn heavy machine guns), and the first drawing of the BEF in action in France. The image below addresses what was seen early on as the war’s premier issue in military strength, which was seen in the power of navies, and hence the depiction of the relative “strengths” (projectile weight (760-1400 lbs), barrel length, “muzzle energy”, steel penetration) of the big shells: