Craft, History

Antikythera Fragment 08 / Clickspring

Antikythera Fragment #8 – Layout Line Visibility

Wine, wax, woad and yes, There Will Be Blood… all in an effort to discover the best ancient marking fluid. And Clickspring’ll let you decide how the blood supply issue might have been dealt with in the ancient shop – he’s guessing it might not have been much fun being the apprentice on the day the large dial was marked out — via Youtube

History, Wildlife

Meet the cat that guards the Hagia Sophia

Gli is a cross-eyed adorable cat that has been living in Hagia Sophia for the past 15 years. The Hagia Sophia is more than 2,000 years old and is one of the most extraordinary structures ever built. It has been a temple, church, mosque and museum through its long history.

See the Hagia Sophia through the eyes of Gli, the cat who guides — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Mechanism 09 / Clickspring

Antikythera Mechanism Episode 9 – Making The Epicyclic Pin and Slot Gearing

In this video Clickspring makes what is arguably the most impressive section of the mechanism — the small pin-and-slot module that models the Ancient Greek theory of the variable motion of the #dearMoon — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Mechanism 08 / Clickspring

Antikythera Mechanism Episode 8 – Making The Mean Lunar Sidereal Train

In this video Clickspring makes the gearing that calculates the mean sidereal period of the #dearMoon, and has a closer look at some of the mechanical limitations of the device — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Fragment 07 / Clickspring

Antikythera Fragment #7 – Precision Soft Soldering

Continuing on with the investigation of what it was like inside the ancient workshop, here’s a closer look at another of the demonstrated techniques: The precise joining of metal using soft solder — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Mechanism 07 / Clickspring

The Antikythera Mechanism Episode 7 – Making The Saros & Exeligmos Train

In this video Clickspring makes the gearing that drives the eclipse prediction function of the mechanism. Be sure to check out the reference links below for more info on the Saros cycle, and other eclipse related stuff.

[EDIT: At 2:57 there is a typo – the final number in the denominator of the upper expression should be a 30 as per the sketch rather than 90 – Cheers 🙂 ] — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Fragment 06 / Clickspring

Antikythera Fragment #6 – Making A Hand Powered Drill

The precision of the holes in the Antikythera mechanism is one of the most fascinating aspects of its construction. In this video Clickspring makes a tool that is capable of creating holes to the required standard, yet is consistent with the level of technology known to have existed in the period — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Fragment 05 / Clickspring

Antikythera Fragment #5 – The First Precision Drill Bit

There are a number of cutting tools implied in the wreckage of the Antikythera Mechanism, and one of the most interesting is the drill bit. In this video Clickspring explores a possible method of how an effective and precise drill bit could have been made in antiquity — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Fragment 04 / Clickspring

Antikythera Fragment #4 – Ancient Tool Technology – The First Hardened Steel

One of the key tool technologies that needs to be explored around the Antikythera mechanism is the simple hand held file. So this is the second of two Fragment videos relating to the making and hardening of a set of custom files, using materials and processes consistent with the period — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Mechanism 06 / Clickspring

The Antikythera Mechanism Episode 6 – Making The Metonic Calendar Train

In this video, the gearing that drives the Metonic, Callippic and Olympiad pointers is made. Clickspring recommends an article on the Athenian calendars for further detail on the ancient Greek approach to calendars — via Youtube

Design, History

1967 Gyro-X Prototype

This video is about the most particular vehicle of the 2019 Concorso d’Eleganza of Villa d’Este in Italy. It’s called Gyro-X and it’s a 2-wheeled prototype able to stay and drive perfectly balanced thanks to a gyroscope (55 cm in diameter) fitted in the front.

The project was born in 1967, designed by Alex Tremulis and gyroscope specialist Tom Summers, with a budget of $750,000 (about $6 million today) but it was soon abandoned due to Gyrocar Company’s bankrupt, ran out of funds to perfect the product.

After all these years, Gyro-X chassis had a complicated history, losing its gyroscope too, until it ended up in the hands of Lane Motor Museum in Nashville — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Fragment 03 / Clickspring

Antikythera Fragment #3 – Ancient Tool Technology – Hand Cut Precision Files

There are quite a few very interesting tools still to come in this Fragment series, but Clickspring has to admit he has been super excited about these: A set of hand cut files suitable for constructing the Antikythera Mechanism — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Fragment 02 / Clickspring

Antikythera Fragment #2 – Ancient Tool Technology – The Original Dividing Plate?

One thing about this machine that is truly surprising, is just how small the teeth are.

There’s a well established theory as to how the tooth divisions were marked out, but employing that process to mark out multiple wheels has forced Clickspring to question whether it can reasonably be applied to the Antikythera Mechanism.

So in this video Clickspring proposes an alternative process of wheel division, using only the non precision tools of the period — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Mechanism 03 / Clickspring

The Antikythera Mechanism Episode 3 – The Plates And Main Bearing, by Clickspring.

In this episode the basic structure of the mechanism comes together, and Clickspring puts forward a theory on a simple method for achieving the extremely close clearances observed in the original device — via Youtube

Craft, History

Antikythera Mechanism 01 / Clickspring

The Antikythera Mechanism Episode 1 – Greeks, Clocks and Rockets, by Clickspring.

In this first episode of the Antikythera Mechanism project, Clickspring lays out the plan for how he intend to proceed with the reproduction — via Youtube

History

Gilbert Hugh headstone / Red Wolf

— originally uploaded by Red Wolf

Design, History

Chrysler Building / William Van Alen

New York City’s famed Chrysler Building is up for sale for the first time in over 20 years. According to the Wall Street Journal, the art deco office tower’s current owners officially placed it on the market, though the building’s value has yet to be released. Designed by William Van Alen, the building was bought by Tishman Speyer in 1997. As an iconic part of the New York skyline, the building is admired for its distinctive ornamentation based on Chrysler automobiles — via ArchDaily

History

Evolution of the Alphabet / UsefulCharts

From Matt Baker of UsefulCharts, this chart traces the evolution of our familiar alphabet from its Proto-Sinaitic roots circa 1850-1550 BC. It’s tough to see how the pictographic forms of the original script evolved into our letters; aside from the T and maybe M & O, there’s little resemblance — via Jason Kottke

History

How to fight in full 14th century harness / Ola Onsrud

This video is made as an attempt to answer some of the many questions about the use of harness (armour) received after the publication of our video dressing in 14th century armour. This is therefore not a video showing harnischfechten techniques, but a video showing the weakness of a 14th century harness — via Youtube

History

Bargylia / Bogaziçi, Turkey

The ancient Greek city of Bargylia, which is located in what is now known as Bogaziçi, Turkey, is looking for a buyer. Priced at 35 million Turkish lira, or about $7.5 million, the 33 hectare city includes a Grade 1 archaeological site comprising a theatre, acropolis, fortification walls, and necropolis that are at risk of decaying and looting by treasure hunters — via Curbed

Design, History

Hearthstone / Ron Fleming

In 1939, the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, erected a huge brick incinerator to dispose of the city’s trash. It was only in operation for a year before they passed an ordinance prohibiting trash burning within the city limits. So the building was abandoned, unused for decades. Nature took over, until the building was barely visible. In 1979, artist Ron Fleming discovered it.

Fleming and his wife went to work making the incinerator a home and a glorious piece of art. The building, now on the historical register, has plenty of light, open spaces, and modern amenities, while still retaining its historical quirkiness. After his wife died, Fleming decided to sell his masterpiece. The Incinerator House can be yours for $275,000 — via Neatorama

History

How Black Flag, Bad Brains, and More Took Back Their Scene from White Supremacists

Every hardcore band you loved in the ’80s and beyond, from Black Flag to Minutemen to Fugazi, had one unfortunate thing in common: Nazi skinheads occasionally stormed their concerts, stomped their fans, gave Hitler salutes in lieu of applauding, and generally turned a communal experience into one full of hatred and conflict. Punk rockers had flirted with fascist imagery for shock value, with the Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious and Siouxsie Sioux wearing swastikas in public, but, as early San Francisco scenester Howie Klein, later president of Reprise Records, recalls: Suddenly, you had people who were part of the scene who didn’t understand fascist bad.

By 1980, a more violent strain of punk fans was infecting punk shows. Pogoing became slam-dancing, now known as moshing, and some of ’em didn’t seem like they were there to enjoy the music, as much as they were there to beat up on people — sometimes in a really chickenshit way, says Jello Biafra, whose band, Dead Kennedys, put out a classic song about it in 1981: Nazi Punks Fuck Off — via GQ

History

Found: the real Bullitt Mustang that Steve McQueen tried (and failed) to buy

Steve McQueen made one last effort to buy his favourite Mustang in 1977. He sent a letter, typed on a single piece of heavy off-white vellum, to the car’s owner in New Jersey. The logo for his movie company, Solar Productions, was embossed in the upper left corner and opposite that resided the date, 14 December 1977. The letter is just four sentences.

Again, it begins, I would like to appeal to you to get back my ’68 Mustang. McQueen offered no specifics as to why this particular Ford was important to him, except to say that he wanted to keep it unrestored and that it was simply personal with me.

McQueen’s star may have dimmed by 1977, but he remained an icon, a rare actor loved by both genders. McQueen was also one of us, an aficionado and a racer, someone who understood the instinctual joy of automobiles and motorcycles and indulged in both. And with that ’68 Mustang, McQueen gave us a gift, one of the greatest car chases ever filmed, a duel with a Dodge Charger up, down, and around San Francisco. The Bullitt chase is coveted for the usual crashes and jumps, but it had something more: Unlike most cinematic chases that feature cars performing impossible feats, the one from Bullitt was every bit as exciting, but the driving was obviously real. Those who know cars knew. It’s 10 minutes of film nirvana. McQueen wanted the Bullitt Mustang back.

The rich and famous are often allergic to the word no, and so was McQueen. His impatience over being rebuked in his quest emerged in the last sentence: I would be happy to try to find you another Mustang similar to the one you have, he wrote, if there is not too much monies involved in it. Otherwise, we had better forget it.

The owner was just fine with forgetting it, and then the Bullitt Mustang made an exit, stage left, from recorded history — via Hagerty

Design, History

Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona Becomes The World’s Most Expensive Wristwatch

Well, it happened. The hammer has fallen on Paul Newman’s very own Paul Newman Daytona, and it has become the most expensive watch ever sold at auction, fetching $17,752,500 (including buyer’s premium) at Phillips in New York City. While many people thought the iconic watch would surely break records, likely beating the most expensive Daytona ever sold and the most expensive Rolex ever sold, it is still a surprise to see the iconic chronograph break the record for most expensive wristwatch — via Hodinkee

History

Australian huskies on Mawson expedition immortalised in Antarctic place names

The man who wrote the Australian Antarctic manual for husky team training has welcomed the commemoration of the dogs’ critical roles on maps.

The Antarctic Place Names Committee is naming 26 islands, rocks and reefs after the beloved dogs, that were depended on during Australia’s heroic era of ice exploration a century ago, and had a role into the 1990s.

The dogs were all on Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) of 1911-14, but the naming is a tribute to all the huskies that underpinned Australian exploration in the icy continent — via ABC News

History, Technology

Scrap dealer finds Apollo-era NASA computers in dead engineer’s basement

A pair of Apollo-era NASA computers and hundreds of mysterious tape reels have been discovered in a deceased engineer’s basement in Pittsburgh, according to a NASA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Most of the tapes are unmarked, but the majority of the rest appear to be instrumentation reels for Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, NASA’s fly-by missions to Jupiter and Saturn.

The two computers are so heavy that a crane was likely used to move the machines, the report concluded.

At some point in the early 1970s, an IBM engineer working for NASA at the height of the Space Race took home the computers — and the mysterious tape reels. A scrap dealer, invited to clean out the deceased’s electronics-filled basement, discovered the computers. The devices were clearly labelled NASA PROPERTY, so the dealer called NASA to report the find.

Please tell NASA these items were not stolen, the engineer’s heir told the scrap dealer, according to the report. They belonged to IBM Allegheny Center Pittsburgh, PA 15212. During the 1968-1972 timeframe, IBM was getting rid of the items so [redacted engineer] asked if he could have them and was told he could have them.

You can read the entire report; the engineer’s identity has been redacted — Ars Technica UK

History, Science

Scientists uncover Ancient Roman recipe for world’s most durable concrete

Ancient Roman concrete marine structures built thousands of years ago are stronger now than when they were first built.

So how has Roman concrete outlasted the empire, while modern concrete mixtures erode within decades of being exposed to seawater?

Scientists have uncovered the chemistry behind how Roman sea walls and harbour piers resisted the elements, and what modern engineers could learn from it.

Romans built their sea walls from a mixture of lime (calcium oxide), volcanic rocks and volcanic ash, a study, published in the journal American Mineralogist, found.

Elements within the volcanic material reacted with sea water to strengthen the concrete structure and prevent cracks from growing over time.

It’s the most durable building material in human history, and I say that as an engineer not prone to hyperbole, Roman monument expert Phillip Brune told the Washington Post — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Art, History, Science

History’s deadliest colours / JV Maranto

When radium was first discovered, its luminous green colour inspired people to add it into beauty products and jewelry. It wasn’t until much later that we realized that radium’s harmful effects outweighed its visual benefits. Unfortunately, radium isn’t the only pigment that historically seemed harmless or useful but turned out to be deadly. JV Maranto details history’s deadliest colours — via Youtube

Mediaeval Yorkshirefolk mutilated, burned t’dead to prevent reanimation

Archaeologists investigating human bones excavated from the deserted mediaeval village of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire have suggested that the villagers burned and mutilated corpses to prevent the dead from rising from their graves to terrorise the living.

Although starvation cannibalism often accounts for the mutilation of corpses during the Middle Ages, when famines were common, researchers from Historic England and the University of Southampton have found that the ways in which the Wharram Perry remains had been dismembered suggested actions more significant of folk beliefs about preventing the dead from going walkabout.

Their paper, titled A multidisciplinary study of a burnt and mutilated assemblage of human remains from a deserted mediaeval village in England, is published today in the Journal of Archaeological Science — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Entertainment, History

Blue Monday / Orkestra Obsolete

New Order’s Blue Monday was released on 7 March 1983, and its cutting-edge electronic groove changed pop music forever. But what would it have sounded like if it had been made 50 years earlier? In a special film, using only instruments available in the 1930s — from the theremin and musical saw to the harmonium and prepared piano — the mysterious Orkestra Obsolete present this classic track as you’ve never heard it before — via Youtube