Last call for the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition!


Are you jonesing for a dose of optimism and possibility? In the mood to contemplate the cosmos? Want to experience a musical message for extraterrestrials the way it was meant to be played? The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, a project I launched with Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, is a lavish vinyl box set containing the contents of the phonograph record launched into space in 1977 and now 13 billion miles from Earth.

Our Kickstarter ends at 8pm PDT tonight (Thursday). Once we fulfill the rewards from this campaign, we'll never produce this deluxe 40th Anniversary Edition again.

We are so thankful enthusiasm and excitement about our project and the incredible Voyager interstellar mission. The curiosity and support is infectious. We're deeply grateful that a project that has been on our minds for so long has resonated with so many people around the world. Ad astra!

For more on the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, please visit our Kickstarter page here.

And here's an excerpt from an interview with me about the project, from The Vinyl Factory:

Ultimately it was a utopian vision for Earth as much as an actual attempt to communicate with extra terrestrials… Wasn’t it?

Yeah I think the idea is that if there is a civilisation that is intelligent enough to actually intercept it, they’ll be able to follow the instructions on how to play it. And I think that’s true. In some ways though, it doesn’t even really matter if it’s ever played or not by an extra-terrestrial civilisation.

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Vintage snapshots of people with their record albums


Esteemed vernacular photography collector Robert Jackson shares his favorite snapshots of people with their record albums. According to Mashable, "These faded prints and Polaroids recall a time when a new record was a physical work of art to be admired and cherished." I got news for you: That time is still now.

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2016 Comedy Wildlife photo finalists announced


Wanting to see some new animal reaction pics? Swing by The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards and be inspired by some of 2016's best. Something for every occasion. Read the rest

Airportraits: composite photos of all the daily takeoffs from the world's airports


Artist Mike Kelley creates "Airportraits" of the world's airports by photographing all the planes that take off on a given day, then compositing them together into a kind of time-lapse of a day's worth of flights, which presents an instantly comprehensible way of comparing the different services; they're available as stunning prints. (via Kottke) Read the rest

How to make selfies look like portrait photographs


There's nothing wrong with "big noses, weak chins, and sloping foreheads" but if you want to adjust your selfies to make them less distorted, give this a try. It's based on a research project called "Perspective-aware Manipulation of Portrait Photos" by Ohad Fried, Eli Shechtman, Dan B Goldman, and Adam Finkelstein. And was created by Brian McSwiggen and John Morone, advised by Ohad Fried and Adam Finkelstein.

paper introduces a method to modify the apparent relative pose and distance between camera and subject given a single portrait photo. Our approach fits a full perspective camera and a parametric 3D head model to the portrait, and then builds a 2D warp in the image plane to approximate the effect of a desired change in 3D. We show that this model is capable of correcting objectionable artifacts such as the large noses sometimes seen in "selfies," or to deliberately bring a distant camera closer to the subject. This framework can also be used to re-pose the subject, as well as to create stereo pairs from an input portrait. We show convincing results on both an existing dataset as well as a new dataset we captured to validate our method.

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New book explores abandoned asylums

Photographer Matt Van der Velde traveled the U.S. to document his upcoming book Abandoned Asylums. Most of the locations featured are still in fairly pristine states because entry is restricted by the private or governmental owners of the properties. Read the rest

Taschen's hefty New Deal Photography goes well beyond familiar Depression-era images


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

New Deal Photography: USA 1935-1943 by Peter Walther Taschen 2016, 608 pages, 5.9 x 7.9 x 1.7 inches (hardcover) $16 Buy a copy on Amazon

If you purchase a copy of New Deal Photography: USA 1935-1943 by Peter Walther hoping to find iconic Farm Security Administration images, such as the migrant mother by Dorothea Lange or the father and his two sons running in a dust storm by Arthur Rothstein, you will not be disappointed. With almost 400 photographs filling its 608 pages, including numerous gems by Walker Evans, there’s plenty of room for the expected. But New Deal Photography goes well beyond these familiar images, powerful though they may be.

The book’s geographic organization forces us to consider Depression-era life in the Northeast and South, too, pushing our perspectives beyond the more familiar locations of Oklahoma and California. In addition, Walther’s collection of images features numerous color photographs by Russell Lee, Jon Collier, and Marion Post Wolcott. Again, we are used to seeing the era depicted in black and white, but seeing it in color confounds many of our expectations about what rural America actually looked like during those desperate years.

Walther’s essay for the book, which is printed in English, German, and French, presents a brisk but useful overview of the Farm Security Administration, from its founding mission to relocate Dust Bowl farmers in Oklahoma to greener pastures, to the photographs that were initially commissioned to document the relocation process. That might have been all the FSA did, but Walther introduces us to an FSA economist named Roy Stryker, who understood that photographs would do a much better job of telling the story of rural America in the late 1930s than any economic report ever could. Read the rest

Amazing photo of sprite bursts over Hurricane Matthew


Photographer Frankie Lucena captured the strange beauty of red lightning sprites above Hurricane Matthew near Aruba and Colombia. From Smithsonian:

Like aurorae, sprites happen when charged particles interact with gases in the atmosphere, likely nitrogen. As ice particles high within thunderclouds bash against one another, an electrical charge builds. An opposite charge builds up on the ground, and eventually both charges connect, creating a spark of light—lightning. When the lightning strike has a positive charge, it can spark a sprite—a kind of electric field that shoots out from the top of the lightning strike—that flashes above the cloud.

They’re also not easily spotted by the human eye. As Matt Heavner of the University of Alaska explains, bright lights make it nearly impossible for the eye’s retina to spot the flashes, and the bright clouds that can surround them also distract would-be sprite spotters. It’s even more difficult to catch these flashes in action because when you’re beneath the sprite-sprouting cloud, you can’t see the flash at all. You either need to be flying above the clouds or far away to get the perfect shot.

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Amazing glitch in the matrix caught on camera


"Glitch in matrix at my local coffee shop today," posted by oldmontgomeryflange at /r/pics.

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Royal Society's remarkable 2016 nature photo finalists


Tane Sinclair-Taylor's image of a clownfish and a bleached anemone is one of the many remarkable biological photographs chosen as finalists and winners in Royal Society Publishing's 2016 contest. Read the rest

Great Eames Office film on the Polaroid SX-70


This great 11-minute 1972 film by Charles and Ray Eames highlights Polaroid's SX-70 model. They went on to create three more commissioned works for Polaroid. Read the rest

Atomic bomb tests as seen from Las Vegas and Los Angeles


Beginning in 1951, the United States exploded atomic bombs at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Seen here are snapshots of the tests that, in many cases, illuminated the Los Angeles and Las Vegas skies with a nuclear dawn. More at Amusing Planet.

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Image: '186 seconds of moonlit fog compressed into an instant'


“We had an unusually fog-filled August here in the San Francisco area,” says California-based landscape and nature photographer ElmoFoto on IMGUR.

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The Mutant Vehicles of Burning Man


Scott London, a longtime burner and photographer (see his 2014 photo book, Burning Man: Art on Fire), produced an amazing set of portraits of art cars -- "mutant vehicles" -- from this year's event, including Maria Del Camino (previously), a flying El Camino/tank hybrid that lives in Liminal Labs, where I camp with its creator, the amazing Bruce Tomb. Read the rest

Warning: viewing these baby animals in cute outfits may kill you


Brace yourself for a level of cuteness that could have lasting effects. Zoo Portraits by Barcelona-based Yago Partal include interesting information about each species. That cute otter could grow to 99 pounds, the heaviest of the weasel family. Read the rest

Gallery of hermit crabs with garbage shells


The hermit crab housing shortage of empty shells is forcing some crabs to use marine waste, as documented by Okinawa-based photographer Shawn M. Miller. Read the rest

Macro timelapse of frozen treats melting


Macro Room grabbed a bunch of frozen treats and filmed extreme closeups as they melted. The melting patterns create beautiful and sometimes surprising delights. Read the rest

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