Surfing The Morning Glory

“The remote settlement of Burketown, in Australia’s northern Queensland, is not the sort of place you’d expect people to travel thousands of miles to visit. With a population of just 178, Burketown sits in one of Australia’s most remote shires. But every September and October, a small group of individuals journey from all corners of the country for the appearance of a remarkable and dramatic cloud called the Morning Glory. Clouds don’t usually have names, nor are they normally linked to a particular location, but then the Morning Glory is no normal cloud. (…) it stretches up to 600 miles (about the length of Britain) and sweeps over Burketown at speeds of up to 35mph. The visitors who come to marvel at this beautiful and awe-inspiring meteorological phenomenon are an intrepid group of glider pilots (…) Each year they come to this sleepy town in the hope of ‘soaring’ the Morning Glory, an exhilarating gliding adventure that can only be described as cloud-surfing.”

(Gavin Pretor-Pinney, The Cloud Appreciation Society)

Four three-minute shorts aired in the UK about Gavin’s trip to Burketown with footage of “some of the most dramatic and exciting gliding conditions in the world”. While his site has them available for watching, the second episode has already been taken down due to overwhelming demand. I grabbed the last two episodes (the most interesting ones) and put them on CN’s server:

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Icaro Doria: Meet The World

“Icaro Doria, a Brazilian designer, has done some amazing graphic interpretations of common flag designs for countries around the world (…) comparing sections of each color on the flags to segments of their population. The campaign is called Meet The World, and has been running in Portugal since January.”

(via Josh Spear)

iTunes + Podcasting

iTunes 4.9 was released today [download], with added support for Podcasting. What does this mean? Thousands of hours of free public radio and public-radio-esque white noise are now available for subscription and automatic synchronization to your iPod, with paid content coming soon. Not that podcasting hasn’t already been around for some time, but now that it’s gotten the thumbs-up from our silhouetted neon-dwelling friends, its sure to receive a lot more attention. But how will we break dance to NPR? Clearly Apple didn’t think this one through…

That said, I did some poking around at del.icio.us, and found some (apparently) good content. You can drag or copy the RSS links straight to your Podcasts playlist in iTunes. For starters:

Julian Beever: Pavement Drawing Illusions

Julian Beever creates pavement drawings that give a false impression of depth and realism. He skews his images so that when viewed from the correct angle, the brain interprets the drawings as three-dimensional. His technique is closely related to Ames rooms: slanted rooms that appear cubic when viewed with one eye from a particular point.

Update: It turns out that some of the images I had attributed to Julian Beever are actually the work of Kurt Wenner, another street artist. I’ve updated the gallery above to give proper credit.

Jaga Jazzist: What We Must

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“Like some hydra-headed Scandinavian juggernaut, Jaga have now completed a ten-year mission to seek out new musical life and new musical civilizations. (…) How many combine styles so effortlessly and still leave you humming melodies that are as warmly remembered as long-lost friends?”

(Chris Jones, BBC.CO.UK)

“The opening track of the album proper, All I Know Is Tonight, sets the tone – layered guitars, a big filmic theme and pulsing Mellotron all orchestrated in a dramatic everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production. From then on they deploy their vast arsenal – rock band plus brass and vibes – with taste and imagination over seven tracks.”

(John Bungey, MOJO)

“After heavily touring, the time came for the next chapter in the Jaga Jazzist history, What We Must. After months spent on writing new material, the band ripped it all up, went into an isolated studio out in the Norwegian woods and recorded the demo now known as the Spydeberg Session. Put down in one take in one day, it was a breakthrough moment for the group. A sound that was closer to their live sound than ever before. (…)

After testing the new material on the road, they returned to the studio and used the Spydeberg Session as the basis of the record which became What We Must, perhaps the most radical development so far in their career. At heart of this collective is a restless soul, going in many directions at the same time, but always going forward. Fast. The band always pushing their boundaries, both personal and musical. That is why they are impossible to categorize. And that’s why they’re special. Jaga is something natural and beautiful. A necessity. For both them and us.”

(press release)

I don’t know about necessary, but suffice it to say, this dectet has created something unique with their latest album, What We Must. Enough of the foreplay though – lets get right to the hot and sweaty linkage:

Update:

Update: Here’s a tune from their previous album, Day:

Xeni Jardin @ Applied Minds

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Xeni Jardin is a rising (risen?) star in the tech-journalism world, who in addition to being a co-editor for BoingBoing, has been featured on ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, CNBC’s Dennis Miller Show, Fox News, BBC News, and is a technology correspondant for NPR. She also occasionaly writes for Wired, which is where you can read about her recent visit to the Applied Mindsheadquarters in Burbank, California.

Co-founder Danny Hillis escorts me down a hallway that dead-ends into an old-fashioned red phone booth. The phone rings. He places receiver to ear.

“The blue moon jumps over the purple sky,” he says, and hangs up.

Suddenly, the booth becomes a door, swinging out to reveal a vast, open room filled with engineers, gadgets and big ideas.

It’s as if Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory just yawned wide to welcome us. Only here, all the candy plugs in.

“This is where the secret laboratories are,” Hillis says.

Read on for a description of, among other things, some cool interactive mapping technology they’ve been working on, including a device that bears a striking similarity to the 3D pin terrain model featured in the first X-Men movie.

Jesus Loves ALL The Little Children

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A puppy with two extra legs and a second penis is drawing curious stares at a temple in Pandamaran (…)

The puppy, found by a temple caretaker at the entrance on Thursday morning, is being cared for by the temple committee.

On a similar note: an Engyptian baby girl, Manar Maged, successfully underwent surgery back in February to remove her undeveloped second head – the result of a condition known as craniopagus parasiticus. Magar was originally conjoined with an identical twin in the womb, but her sister failed to develop completely.

The head that was removed from Manar (…) had developed no body, and was capable of smiling and blinking, but not independent life.

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In The Beginning…

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Welcome, at last, to Centripetal Notion. While the idea has changed a bit since inception, we still have all kinds of badassery waiting in the wings. Casey and I (Justin) will be using this space to share links, video clips, music – anything that strikes our fancy as we make our way through the internet. In other words, this is a blog. We’ll spare the broad descriptions of our interests and let the site’s content speak for itself as things progress.

Feel free to leave comments wherever you deem worthy of your intellect.

You can check out the previous iterations of CN in the attic (its dark in there, be careful).

Enjoy.