Mad Quickies

Mad Quickies: Holocaust Survivor Descendants, Parallel World Images, Everyday Gifts from NASA, Street Art and More!

Well, my fellow Earthlings- I am yet transmitting from my bunker in the epicenter of one of the largest free music festivals in America. It’s the last three days for this juggernaut and the air has a whisper of an unholy mix of beer, sweat and Axe bodyspray. So let’s get to it before the only sound I hear outside my studio is the pandemonium of 30 motorcycles parking on my street.


If you haven’t yet seen this extraordinary image, please do click on this. It literally brought me to tears.

104-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor’s 400 Descendants Gather for Historic Family Photo

“104-year-old Holocaust survivor Shoshana Ovitz celebrated her birthday with an incredible family photo of her and her 400 descendants at the historic Western Wall in Jerusalem, which is considered the holiest place in the world where Jews are permitted to pray.”


I do want to talk about the birthday of the Smithsonian soon, but for today, I found this wonderful feature that they’ve shared.

The Crazy Superstitions and Real-Life Science of the Northern Lights
In the latest episode of ‘Re:Frame,’ Smithsonian curators take a deep dive into the dramatic painting ‘Aurora Borealis’ by Frederic Church

“In 1859, a record-breaking aurora borealis shimmered across nearly the entire northern hemisphere and was visible as far south as Cuba. One of the witnesses to this historic heavenly display was the artist Frederic Edwin Church, who saw the event from New York City.

One of the 19th century’s most celebrated landscape painters, Church was also a “science nerd,” according to Eleanor Jones Harvey, the senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In Church’s estimation, the study of science and the creation of art went hand-in-hand. “One of the things that makes Church so charming is that he did believe as an artist that you should also aspire to be a scientist and really know your material,” says Harvey.”


This is a pretty heavy item but considering the ten or so outrages we face each day, it’s almost comforting in an odd way. Comforting, probably , because  a fellow human is shining a spotlight on the things we fear go unnoticed. Uğur Gallenkuş is an artist who live in Istanbul, Turkey. He tries to “show the important issues the world is facing, such as social injustice and war, by putting two pictures side-by-side within a single frame.” He hopes that this method will “demonstrate the contrast between the two different worlds we live in.”

I Show The Contrast Between The Two Worlds That We Currently Live In By Combining Photos (30 New Pics)

“I started my first parallel universe work on a news story. I started to see fear and despair in the eyes of refugee children trying to get to Europe. I think we don’t know anything about war, famine, and other important issues. Today, you may be living in peace, but as long as these problems continue, you may eventually be exposed to them. As an artist, I believe that art is the master of all languages. For a long time, art has been used to create awareness that helps in awakening communities.”


If you’re a fan of NASA as I am [and really, who among us isn’t?], then you will really dig this next bit.

10 Surprising Ways NASA Technology Has Improved Life On Earth
These life-changing innovations came straight from the heavens.

“NASA’s primary focus is the cosmos, but the space agency has a surprising and significant impact on everyday technologies we use on Earth. NASA, in many ways, is America’s research laboratory. Since 1976, the NASA publication Spinoff has profiled nearly 2,000 space technologies that have made their way — in one way or another — into the private sector, including baby formula, swimsuit designs, Dustbuster cleaners and protective firefighter gear.”


Got a penchant for street art and love to hang at instagram? Then you would be interested in Steve Lazarides’ account. And yes, he does credit the artists for their work. [a wave o’ the paintbrush to Ms. Mars for that]


Speaking of street art, this is so light-hearted and, frankly, I owe you something that is just purely fun.

Tom Bob Transforms City Objects Into Fun Street Art

“New York City street artist Tom Bob quite cleverly transforms the various pipes, lights, and other unknown protuberances and transforms them into really amusing cartoon characters, situations, and vignettes. Each piece is so seamlessly placed that it looks like the utility was put there in place for Tom Bob’s illustrative hand.”

Spend any time on twitter and like science and podcasts? Well, I’ve got an important tidbit for you! Check out This Week in Science on the tweeter for excellent micro-commentary and new podcast notices. This excellent show is the work of the remarkable Dr. Kiki Sanford.


And now, simply because this is gorgeous and amazing, please enjoy:

Four Seasons of Flowers Appear to Blossom and Wither in a Responsive Installation by teamLab

“Illuminated columns protrude from the ground of bath house ruins in a new installation by teamLab. The structures, which the Japanese collective refers to as “megaliths,” feature moving images of waterfalls and flowers in a constant state of change. Over the course of an hour, visitors will experience one year of seasonal flowers bud, grow, blossom, and wither away. Incorporated into the megaliths is also imagery of flowing water that adapts to the movement of nearby viewers. Each element of the artwork is computer generated, unique, and will never appear in the same state again.”


Feature image courtesy of Adi Goldstein


Geologic Universe, vault-keeper. Sheer Brick Studio, principal. Empty Set, designer. Bethlehem Mounties, media. WDIY 88.1FM NPR station programmer. Skepchick.

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