It doesn’t smell, we can’t taste it and we definitely can’t see it, so it only makes sense that there would be a whole host of devices to aid in its detection. I speak, of course, of radiation. This exceptional collection of monitors and scalers is the property of Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Their Health Physics Historical Instrumentation Museum has a somewhat singular purpose: to chronicle the scientific and commercial history of radioactivity and radiation. I wonder if Dieter Rams would like these?
In the early glory days of ebay, I came across some unusual and quite large botanical charts from 1850s England. There were four of them. They were listed in the furniture section of the site because they came housed in their original schoolhouse/mission style oak cabinet. Consequently, the charts went relatively unnoticed by the voracious collectors who, in a blink, buy up these types of illustrated images. Regardless, the bidding price started to rise…quickly…and well beyond what I was equipped to pay. So, a friend and I decided to go in on them together. Through sheer tenacity, adrenaline, the refresh button and a healthy dose of stupidity, we prevailed in the auction. She paid one quarter of the price and I forked over the rest. Two of them hang in our apartment in Brooklyn, one is in my studio and she has the fourth. I never ever tire of looking at them. Here are a few details from the one in our living room.
Just to be clear, I’m not trying to be lewd here. To explain: One weekend before the holidays, I went into the local upstate Farm and Garden store to see if I could find some canning jars, and somehow ended up in the farm animal feeding section. There are implements and objects on the shelves that I have never seen before. And, furthermore, have no clue as to what purpose they serve. However, it wasn’t a big leap to guess at what these are. (One of the best experiences of the past couple of years was bottle feeding our friends’ baby goats. OMG!) Anyway, as I did a little more digging, I realized that there is an entire industry devoted to animal feeding nipples. All shapes and sizes. Each suited to a different species. As usual, the range and variation in shape of a single item is what’s got me hooked.
No sense denying the warmth and beauty of these Russian camera schematics. I have spent an unhealthy amount of time on ussrphoto.com. But there is so much to look at. And, inexplicably, I’m feeling a little nostalgic for The Cold War.
I wish I could remember how I came to find Spencer Lowell’s photographs. But I can’t. In the spirit of the new year and all, I thought I should post an image that reflects the level of organization I am after in 2012.
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