Magician, author, and curiosity historian Ricky Jay
was interviewed today on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation. The always-engaging prestidigitator talked about the art of the con, the secrets of Three Card Monte, and his new book, Extraordinary Exhibitions: The Wonderful Remains of an Enormous Head, the Whimsiphusicon & Death to the Savage Unitarians. (The book is due out in June, but you can buy it early through the Museum of Jurassic Technology bookstore. Link
) From the description of Extraordinary Exhibitions:
An informal look at sensational, scientific, satisfying, silly and startling attractions based on 17th, 18th and 19th century playbills from the collection of Ricky Jay. It is the contention of Mr. Jay that neither the tongue of the most florid orator, or pen of the most ingenious writer can sufficiently describe the elegance, symmetry, and prodigious accomplishments of those who are featured in this volume.Link
Included are broadsides advertising: an armless dulcimer player, a ghost showman, a singing mouse, a chess playing automaton, a cannon ball juggler, an African hermaphrodite, a chicken incubating machine, a rabbi with prodigious memory, a ventriloquist, a spirit medium, a glass blower, a woman magician, a speaking machine, a mermaid, a bullet catcher, a flea circus, & an equestrian bee keeper.
to Talk of the Nation archive
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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