brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell

7May/062

Book Acquisition: Johnson’s Natural History: The Illustrated Animal Kingdom

Well, I couldn't resist. I was in a rare bookstore in Salt Lake, and saw that they had both volumes of Johnson's Natural History: The Illustrated Animal Kingdom. Doesn't ring any bells? It's the book that inspired many an O'Reilly book cover with its etchings of many different animals, over 1500 of them. It was published back in 1880 or so, and is really quite amazing. I didn't have my scanner handy, but below is a duck image (forgive the poor quality, I snapped it with available room light using my Nikon 4500 handheld) that will give you some idea of the kind of thing that you can find.

DuckAnd this is only one of the fifteen hundred etchings in the book.

I've got some ideas about things I can do with these books, and most of them involve making the text and artwork available online. Stay tuned, I'll keep you posted when I get some more of this worked out.

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7May/060

The world has changed…

While flying back from Salt Lake City this evening, the fifty something year old women sitting next to me had a RAZR phone, a video Ipod, and when I glanced over, I noticed that she was listing to the Science Friday podcast.

Technology really can change the world.

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7May/060

Sketches Committee

Sketches Committee

You might have noticed that I've been a bit lax in updating my blogs. The reason is simple: I have been preparing for, and during the weekend attending the SIGGRAPH sketch jury. To anyone who is interested in serving on the jury: I heartily recommend it. While it is a stack of work, it is also a blast to see all sorts of crazy (and some sane) sketch ideas and to discuss them with people from all sorts of different subdisciplines and backgrounds.

I'll be flying back tonight, but it's been a blast, and to all my fellow jury members, it's been fun to meet you and I'll see you in Boston!

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