Timezone.com's On the units of time.
A day is the time it takes the earth to rotate once on its axis. This is divided into 24 hours of equal length, which are then further subdivided into exactly 60 minutes of 60 seconds each.And, only tangentially related, a list of critical dates
Unfortunately, only one paragraph into this article I've already made one absolutely incorrect statement, and made several simplifications, some of which are only a couple of hundred years or so old.
Joseph Brennan redraws New York City's transport network to see if the London Underground design would work. His notes say that "in some ways, it doesn't work", but it doesn't quite seem to be clear-cut proof that the London map doesn't travel well. Perhaps it depends which you're used to seeing.
Compare to MTA's offical New York City Transit map.
Hello and welcome Guardian readers.
Simon Clarke's geographic tube map is actually here. Our own tube map thing with 'walklines' is here. And, more generally, Owen Massey has a great list of maps.
Fully Articulated comes from an interest firstly in the idea of "honest work" in art, secondly in testing hand, eye and brain, and thirdly in self-imposed constraints and limitations.
Honest work with constraints, physical and measurable work: Can loops or dots be drawn as fast or as consistently as possible, 50 or a hundred times? How quickly can the brain make the hand move whilst the eye ensures control? Can it be controlled without the watchful eye? Can a loop be repeated carefully at slow or high speeds? How may dots can be made in an hour? Can quality be maintained? Is it pointless (or point-ful?) to behave like a machine or a program? Can something be copied well? Would it be different for a right-hander? And: does anything interesting result from this?
So, here's a selection of them:
Other artists (and partly the inspiration)
The drill drawings were made by using pens and pencils in place of the drill bit (or more often, by fixing pens to a length of wooden dowel that was used instead of the drill bit). The drill is held, and the spinning pen lowered onto the paper. The image produced depends upon the speed of the drill, the orientation of the pens attached to the drill (and also the drill in the hands), and the nature of the ink in the pen. It is important that hammer action is switched off.
These were made for an incomplete '30 Years' project:
Making art with drills or other tools isn't a new idea. Cf: Roman Verostko (and other plotter artists), the many computer artists, generative artists, etc. And there was someone else making drawings with an electric drill but they're eluding Google at present.
This earthbound constellation.Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, From Hell, Ch4, 19. Our own earthbound constellations.
Maps have POTENCY; may yield a wealth of knowledge past imagining if properly divined.
Encoded in this city's stones are symbols thunderous enough to rouse the sleeping Gods submerged beneath the sea-bed of dreams
And more on maps: new books; an exhibition: Paper Cities: Topography and Imagination in Urban Europe c1490–1780; Greenwood's 1827 map of London (probably quite useful to have at hand when reading From Hell); Ancient World Mapping Center; An old exhibition: Robert Smithson's Mapping Dislocations (and a small re-mapping).
Smithson's use of topographic maps from that project led him to develop a small but focused body of works based on his notions of mapping as fictive sites that pre-figured his sculptures called nonsites.[Mostly via Here Be Dragons and Muxway]
In 1970, Smithson was interviewed by Paul Cummings and stated, "The nonsite exists as a kind of deep three dimensional abstract map that points to a specific site on the surface of the earth. And that's designated by a kind of mapping procedure… these places are not destinations; they kind of [are] backwaters or fringe areas".
Simple, raw, sublime skill used to demonstrate artistic genius is an old topos. Three stories - Giotto's circle, Apelles'/Protogenes' lines and Chuang-tzu's crab:
Giotto draws a perfect circle for the Pope, told by Vasari:
Pope Benedict sent one of his courtiers into Tuscany to see what sort of a man he was and what his works were like, for the Pope was planning to have some paintings made in S Peter's. This courtier, on his way to see Giotto and to find out what other masters of painting and mosaic there were in Florence, spoke with many masters in Sienna, and then, having received some drawings from them, he came to Florence. And one morning going into the workshop of Giotto, who was at his labours, he showed him the mind of the Pope, and at last asked him to give him a little drawing to send to his Holiness. Giotto, who was a man of courteous manners, immediately took a sheet of paper, and with a pen dipped in red, fixing his arm firmly against his side to make a compass of it, with a turn of his hand he made a circle so perfect that it was a marvel to see it Having done it, he turned smiling to the courtier and said, "Here is the drawing." But he, thinking he was being laughed at, asked, "Am I to have no other drawing than this?" "This is enough and too much," replied Giotto, "send it with the others and see if it will be understood." The messenger, seeing that he could get nothing else, departed ill pleased, not doubting that he had been made a fool of. However, sending the other drawings to the Pope with the names of those who had made them, he sent also Giotto's, relating how he had made the circle without moving his arm and without compasses, which when the Pope and many of his courtiers understood, they saw that Giotto must surpass greatly all the other painters of his time.More on Giotto: The story comes from Vasari, Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects (allconsuming, amazon.co.uk). Tom Phillips revisited (and remeasured) Giotto in his Fifty attempts to paint a freehand circle, 1974. Update, Dec 2003: Lego likes Giotto's demonstration.
Apelles and Protogenes split lines in a test of skill, told by Apollinaire:
We all know the story of Apelles and Protogenes, as it is told by Pliny.More on Apelles and Protogenes: Apollinaire's version is in 'On the Subject of Modern Painting', originally published in Les Soirées de Paris, February 1912. The story was originally told by Pliny in Natural History (allconsuming, amazon.co.uk). Natural History is being translated and annotated online.. See also: Deceptions and Illusions: Five Centuries of Trompe l'Oeil Painting at Washington DC's National Gallery of Art, which mentions the realism of the panels painted by Ap and Prot.
It provides an excellent illustration of aesthetic pleasure independent of the subject treated by the artist [...] Apelles arrived one day on the island of Rhodes to see the works of Protogenes, who lived there. Protogenes was not in his studio when Apelles arrived. Only an old woman was there, keeping watch over a large canvas ready to be painted. Instead of leaving his name, Apelles drew on the canvas a line so fine that one could hardly imagine anything more perfect.
On his return, Protogenes noticed the line and, recognizing the hand of Apelles, drew on top of it another line in a different color, even more subtle than the first, thus making it appear as if there were three lines on the canvas. Apelles returned the next day, and the subtlety of the line he drew then made Protogenes despair. That work was for a long time admired by connoisseurs, who contemplated it with as much pleasure as if, instead of some barely visible lines, it had contained representations of gods and goddesses.
Chuang-tzu takes ten years to draw the perfect crab, told by Calvino in 'Quickness', Six Memos for the Next Millennium:
Among Chuang-tzu's many skills, he was an expert draftsman. The king asked him to draw a crab. Chuang-tzu replied that he needed five years, a country house, and twelve servants. Five years later the drawing was still not begun. "I need another five years," said Chuang-tzu. The king granted them. At the end of these ten years, Chuang-tzu took up his brush and, in an instant, with a single stroke, he drew a crab, the most perfect crab ever seen.More on Chuang-tzu: Italo Calvino tells the story in 'Quickness', in Six Memos for the Next Millennium, 1988 (allconsuming, amazon.co.uk). And the story is probably originally from the Chuang Tzu text (or Zhuang-zi), which was compiled during the Tan Dynasty, 202BCE-220AD.