Sunday, November 30, 2008

Noodle Dance | Gorillaz

At age 10, Noodle arrived on the Gorillaz' doorstep in a FedExNME. She could not speak any English beyond the word "Noodle", thus earning her the alias. She quickly got settled in England with the Gorillaz, and was accepted as the fourth member of the band. crate, in response to the ad they placed for a guitarist in the

In Rise of the Ogre, it is revealed that during the band's hiatus in November, 2003, Noodle went back to Japan to find out the truth about her past after being haunted by strange nightmares while on tour. Upon her return to Japan, Noodle regained her memory after hearing the code-phrase 'ocean bacon' at a restaurant. There she coincidentally met with her creator/mentor, Mr. Kyuzo, who was working as the head chef in the restaurant, and who explained the memories she had regained. It turned out that she was one of the test subjects in a secret government super soldier project, but she was trained specially as a musician. As a result, she is a master of many weapons, languages, and musical instruments, but her specialty is the guitar, both as a musical instrument, and an instrument of destruction. Out of the 23 children created for the project, Noodle was the only one to survive; the others were all destroyed by the government. Mr. Kyuzo had smuggled her to safety in England after reading the aforementioned ad placed by the other three Gorillaz members in the NME; he had specifically chosen the Gorillaz because he was aware of the usual international success of English bands and he believed that Noodle could enjoy success in relative obscurity. The other two code-words (one to erase her memory and the other to turn her into a frenzied killing machine) are known only to Noodle and, presumably, Mr. Kyuzo, though Murdoc has a very keen interest in finding out what they are.

Noodle regained the ability to speak English, along with her memories, and was the first member of Gorillaz to return to Kong Studios. She was alone at Kong studios for nearly six months, during that time she was composing the majority of the Demon Days album. Her composition of the album crafted a specific message, which would explain the more 'crafted' sound to that album, as opposed to the debut which was composed by Murdoc and 2D, which had a grimier, more spontaneous sound. She is probably the least vocal of the band, but became the most vocal of the band when it came to describing the album, its themes, and what it means.

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& Here:

The Gorillaz Noodle Dance

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Firefox - Animated Gif (1)

October 6, 2008

Firefox - Animated Gif (1)

Filed under: Animated GIF, Movie, Retro, Sci-Fi — Sci-Fi-O-Rama @ 8:43 am

Firefox - Animated Gif

Here’s something a bit different that’s pretty certain to send my Bandwidth cost’s through the roof - an animated Gif loop - as made popular by! This is taken from the 1982 Clint Eastwood Cold War / Sci-Fi Thriller “Firefox”

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Barry Windsor-Smith - Thoth Amon

Scan Taken from Paper Tigers 1977 release“The Flights of Icarus”.

Barry Windsor-Smith is a British comic book illustrator and painter whose best known work has been produced in the United States. His international acclaim came as the original artist for Marvel Comics’ Conan the Barbarian from 1970 to 1974, where he rapidly evolved a sophisticated and intricate style, introducing elements from diverse artistic influences to graphic storytelling…Read more

Barry also has his own extensive portfolio site at:

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I Know What You Didn't Do Last Summer | Blu

You didn't do what Blu did. While we might have spent our summers painting, partying, enjoying the warm weather, and travelling I doubt many of us were able to approach the level that our friend here takes it. His work is contstantly developing, growing, mutating, and pushing things to a new level. The update of his website from this summer proves it. He has also released MUTO, his unreal wall animation, in high quality for download on his website.

Make sure to check out Blu's website:

And to download MUTO in High Quality (under noncommercial common creative license!)
Go to:

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Key Molecule for Life Found in Habitable Region of the Galaxy | Space Sugar's a Sweet Find

A sugar molecule linked to the origin of life was discovered in a potentially habitable region of our galaxy.

The molecule, called glycolaldehyde, was spotted in a large star-forming area of space around 26,000 light-years from Earth in the less-chaotic outer regions of the Milky Way. This suggests the sugar could be common across the universe, which is good news for extraterrestrial-life seekers.

"This is an important discovery as it is the first time glycolaldehyde, a basic sugar, has been detected towards a star-forming region where planets that could potentially harbor life may exist," Serena Viti of University College London said in a press release.

Previously, glycolaldehyde had only been observed toward the center of the galaxy, where conditions are thought to be too extreme to host habitable planets.

Glycolaldehyde is a key ingredient for life. It helps to build Ribonucleic acid (RNA), which is thought to be the central molecule involved in the origin of life on Earth. Glycolaldehyde is a monosaccharide sugar, the basic unit of carbohydrates. It can react with the chemical propenal to form ribose, the building block of RNA.

"The discovery of an organic sugar molecule in a star forming region of space is very exciting and will provide incredibly useful information in our search for alien life,” said Keith Mason, chief executive of the England’s Science and Technology Facilities Council.

The finding, made with the IRAM radio telescope in France, was announced Tuesday and will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

First detection of glycolaldehide outside the Galactic Center / arXiv:0811.3821v1

See Also:Biologists on the Verge of Creating New Form of Life

Images: 1) Serge Brunier; 2) Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

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Space Sugar's a Sweet Find
When people take a sabbatical, they often joke that they are going to ponder the meaning of life. In 1998, Jan M. Hollis, a senior scientist in NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Computational and Information Sciences and Technology Office, chose a different focus for his sabbatical. He decided to study the molecular origin of life in the universe. "There are some researchers, like those in the SETI effort, who hope that E.T. phones home," Hollis says. "What I am doing is investigating whether the conditions for the molecular origins of life as we know it exist in space." His recent discoveries have provided new clues to this age-old mystery and offer support for an alternate theory about how life began on our planet.

Drawing of the sugar molecule found in space.Image to right: Artist's rendering of the sugar molecule, glycolaldehyde. Credit: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

Scientists generally hypothesize that life must have begun with the evolution of simple molecules into the more complex molecules such as sugars, amino acids, and other "pre-life" molecules that are regarded as life's molecular building blocks – the so-called biomolecules. Hollis, an astrophysicist, decided to conduct a search in space for these key molecules that are necessary for the origin of life. He concluded that the most likely class of molecules to search for in our galaxy would be simple sugars in the giant molecular clouds from which stars and planets form. Because sugars are associated with both metabolism and the genetic code, two of the most basic aspects of life, Hollis rationalized the discovery of any sugar in space would increase the likelihood that life may exist elsewhere in our galaxy.

Hollis chose for the search the simplest sugar, glycolaldehyde. A molecule comprised of two carbon, two oxygen, and four hydrogen atoms, it is an important component that can react to form more complex sugars such as ribose. Ribose is a building block of nucleic acids such as RNA and DNA – the carriers of the genetic code in living organisms.

Hollis formed an observing team, requested time on a radio telescope, and waited for more than a year before the experiment was finally scheduled. In 2000 the research efforts of Hollis' team were rewarded. In the star-forming region near the center of our galaxy they found glycolaldehyde – the first evidence of an interstellar sugar molecule.

Molecules rotate end-for-end, and as they change from one rotational energy state to another, they emit radio waves at precise frequencies. The "family" of radio frequencies emitted by a molecule forms a unique set of "fingerprints" that scientists can use to identify that particular molecule. Hollis' team detected glycolaldehyde by observing faint radio emissions from a large ensemble of the molecules in the interstellar cloud. However, while glycolaldehyde was identified, there was no information in the original experiment regarding where and how much of the molecule was found in the gaseous cloud.

First of two panels showing sugar molecules in space. Second of two panels explaining sugar in space.

Images above: Graphic panels illustrating processes that may produce complex molecules in cold interstellar space. Click on each panel to enlarge. Credit: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

In 2001 Hollis and collaborators conducted a second experiment using a multiple radio telescope system, called an interferometer, which permits spatial imaging of molecular emission. The interferometer experiment showed that, unlike most other large interstellar molecules, glycolaldehyde is not confined to the hot core of the gaseous interstellar cloud. In fact, during the second experiment the team found glycolaldehyde in an area where temperatures were only 8 degrees Kelvin above absolute zero (which translates to minus 445 degrees Farenheit!) All molecular motion stops at absolute zero. Moreover, they found evidence that these molecules are very widespread.

Hollis and collaborators again probed the same interstellar cloud in 2002 and discovered the sugar alcohol of glycolaldehyde known as ethylene glycol, the primary ingredient of automobile antifreeze. The importance of finding two sugar-related molecular species together indicates that the synthesis of more complex sugars is likely occurring in interstellar clouds. Hollis and his team further discovered in 2003 that the source containing these interstellar sugar-related molecules is centered on a star-forming region that contains enough mass to make approximately 2,600 new stars as massive as our Sun.

Such large molecules are first produced on surfaces of dust grains when an interstellar cloud of gas and dust experiences a shock wave. This can easily happen during the collapse phase of star formation when material collides. The dust grains are typically about a micrometer in size and are coated with a variety of ices that contain simple molecules. The resulting shock of the colliding material provides the energy required to produce glycolaldehyde from simpler molecular species that reside on the grains. In turn, the ethylene glycol is produced from the glycolaldehyde when two hydrogen atoms successively react with a glycolaldehyde molecule. The shock also serves to free molecules from the dust grains, distributing glycolaldehyde and ethylene glycol into the gas on a widespread spatial scale. After the shock wave passes, the glycolaldehyde and ethylene glycol that have been released into the gas phase rapidly cools, forming the so-called post-shock gas.

Sugar formation, as with much of the complex molecular chemistry in space, occurs in the solid phase on or in a variety of ices that coat interstellar grains. Most land-based chemistry occurs in the liquid phase, primarily with water, thus the widely accepted theory that life on Earth began in a "primordial soup." While these two chemistry scenarios are very different, the end results can be very similar. The possibility of early impacts from comets bringing both the water supply and the sugars and other compounds that are life's building blocks to the Earth's surface has been a scientific theory for years. Once those sugars were free from their interstellar freezer and were steeped in the Earth's warm waters, they could have easily combined with other carbon compounds and eventually formed RNA and DNA.

"One thing is clear – a lot of prebiotic chemistry occurs in an interstellar cloud long before that cloud collapses to form a new solar system with a central star and orbiting planets and comets," Hollis says. "This suggests that the molecular building blocks necessary for life to arise on a newly formed planet get a head start in interstellar clouds." Planetary formation is such a hot process that biomolecules would be destroyed in the process. However, comets are formed in a much colder process within the same interstellar cloud, and are frequent space visitors that can supply fresh molecules to a new planet that has finally cooled down. Supporting the notion of complementary theories for the molecular origins of life, Hollis maintains, "Many of the interstellar molecules discovered to date are the same species detected in laboratory experiments specifically designed to synthesize prebiotic molecules. This fact suggests a universal prebiotic chemistry."

Whether the sugars formed here on Earth or in an interstellar frozen nursery, one thing is certain: this discovery was an important one in trying to trace the origin of life on Earth. So much so that Discover Magazine named it one of the 100 most important discoveries in 2004, number 26 to be exact.

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Roy Ayers Ubiquity - Virgo Red (1973)

The 60's Straight Ahead Jazz is definitely cool, and I can listen to it all day, but let me quote the ever so insightful words of Gwen Stefani when I say "This my Shit!" (Sorry, I won't do that again). One of the biggest contributers to Hip Hop, Roy Ayers is one of the greatest musicians that the world has ever seen. This is one of those covers that you look at and say to yourself, "Man, I know this is heat" (maybe not in those exact words) Anything with "Roy Ayers" and "197-" is some of the illest shit ever, heres just one joint. Don't trip, I'll post more later!

Get Roy Ayers Ubiquity Virgo Red Here

Electric Lady Studios, New York

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Jean Michel Basquiat Tenor 1985


Acrylic, oil stick and Xerox collage on canvas
254 x 289,6 cm
Private collection (courtesy Bruno Bischofberger, Zürich)
© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat

The canvas is completely covered with colour Xeroxes. The following four Xerox images appear twice. The block of text at top left above the bird's head is repeated at bottom left under the right wing of the lowest bird; the brown box left of the second text can be found again above right of the bird's head we started at; the hollow yellow shape directly above the same bird's head re-appears under the middle bird down on the left side. Finally the image in the top right corner is repeated under the right fist of the figure at bottom right. The figure's mouth is open and might therefore be the tenor singer of the title, although tenor saxophone more naturally springs to mind. Tenor might alternatively refer to the general tone of the painting that is set by the black animal figures. The word RATON that is repeated three times at centre is Spanish for "mouse".

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jan Matejko-Astronomer Copernicus-Conversation with God

English: Astronomer Copernicus: Conversation with God

Author: Jan Matejko

Image:Jan Matejko-Astronomer Copernicus-Conversation with God.jpg and Image:Rzeczpospolita voivodships.png .

In 1860 Matejko issued an illustrated album, Ubiory w Polsce (Clothing in Poland), a project reflecting his intense interest in historical records of all kinds and his desire to promote such interest among the Polish people in an effort to intensify their patriotic feelings. In 1861 he had an exhibition Otrucie królowej Bony (Poisoning of Queen Bona) in Warsaw's Zachęta. The national defeats forced him to abandon the religious painting which, he believed, was his vocation and to devote himself almost exclusively to historical painting. In fact he created a vision of Polish history from which we can not liberate ourselves despite of perennial criticism of the scientists. Matejko often placed on his paintings people who were not present at this location (f.ex. Hugo Kołłątaj, and General Józef Wodzicki, on The Battle of Racławice). He was not interested in presenting factual events but in representation of a historical-philosophical synthesis. Matejko's work has to be viewed not only in artistic terms, but also in terms of the social function it performed and continues to perform today. He considered history as a function of the present and the future. His paintings are not historical illustrations, rather they are powerful expressions of the artist's psyche and his attitude to the world.

  • Born: 19 February 1473
  • Birthplace: Torun, Poland
  • Died: 24 May 1543
  • Best Known As: Astronomer known for figuring out that the sun is the center of our solar system

Name at birth: Niclas Kopernik

Nicolas Copernicus was born into a well-to-do family, and after his father died in 1483 he was put under the guardianship of his uncle, a bishop of Warmia (Poland). He went to university in Krakow and spent a decade in Italy, studying law and mathematics. A canon of the cathedral at Frombork, Copernicus carried out administrative duties and, from his house, observed the stars and planets. For years he worked on his theory that the planets in our solar system revolved around the sun (Ptolemy of ancient Greece had explained that the universe was a closed system revolving around the earth, and the Catholic church concurred). Hesitant to publish his work for fear of being charged with heresy, Copernicus summarized it in 1530 and circulated it among Europe's scholars, where it was greeted with enthusiasm. His work, titled De revolutionibus orbium coelestium was finally published in 1543, apparently just a few weeks before he died.

Because Copernicus' heliocentric theory of the planets defied 1,500 years of tradition, some historians mark the publication date of De revolutionibus as the beginning of the "scientific revolution."... It wasn't until 1835 that his work was taken off the list of books banned by the Vatican... Another scientist who got in trouble for believing that the earth moved around the sun: Galileo Galilei.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

"Starry Night" Hubble Photograph

"Starry Night," Vincent van Gogh's famous painting, is renowned for its bold whorls of light sweeping across a raging night sky. Although this image of the heavens came only from the artist's restless imagination, a new picture from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope bears remarkable similarities to the van Gogh work, complete with never-before-seen spirals of dust swirling across trillions of miles of interstellar space.

This image, obtained with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on February 8, 2004, is Hubble's latest view of an expanding halo of light around a distant star, named V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon). The illumination of interstellar dust comes from the red supergiant star at the middle of the image, which gave off a flashbulb-like pulse of light two years ago. V838 Mon is located about 20,000 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Monoceros, placing the star at the outer edge of our Milky Way galaxy.

Called a light echo, the expanding illumination of a dusty cloud around the star has been revealing remarkable structures ever since the star suddenly brightened for several weeks in early 2002. Though Hubble has followed the light echo in several snapshots, this new image shows swirls or eddies in the dusty cloud for the first time. These eddies are probably caused by turbulence in the dust and gas around the star as they slowly expand away. The dust and gas were likely ejected from the star in a previous explosion, similar to the 2002 event, which occurred some tens of thousands of years ago. The surrounding dust remained invisible and unsuspected until suddenly illuminated by the brilliant explosion of the central star two years ago.

The Hubble telescope has imaged V838 Mon and its light echo several times since the star's outburst in January 2002, in order to follow the constantly changing appearance of the dust as the pulse of illumination continues to expand away from the star at the speed of light. During the outburst event, the normally faint star suddenly brightened, becoming 600,000 times more luminous than our Sun. It was thus one of the brightest stars in the entire Milky Way, until it faded away again in April 2002. The star has some similarities to a class of objects called "novae," which suddenly increase in brightness due to thermonuclear explosions at their surfaces; however, the detailed behavior of V838 Mon, in particular its extremely red color, has been completely different from any previously known nova.

Nature's own piece of performance art, this structure will continue to change its appearance in coming years as the light from the stellar outburst continues to propagate outward and bounce off more distant black clouds of dust. Astronomers expect the echoes to remain visible for at least the rest of the current decade.

Object Name: V838 Monocerotis

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

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The Sombrero Galaxy (also known as M104 or NGC 4594)

The Sombrero Galaxy (also known as M104 or NGC 4594) is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo. It has a bright nucleus, an unusually large central bulge, and a prominent dust lane in its inclined disk. The dark dust lane and the bulge give this galaxy the appearance of a sombrero. The galaxy has an apparent magnitude of 9.0, making it a galaxy that can easily be seen with amateur telescopes. The large bulge, the central supermassive black hole, and the dust lane all attract the attention of professional astronomers.

[edit] Dust ring

As noted above, this galaxy's most striking feature is the dust lane that crosses in front of the bulge of the galaxy. This dust lane is actually a symmetric ring that encloses the bulge of the galaxy.[5] Most of the cold atomic hydrogen gas[6] and the dust[5] lies within this ring. The ring might also contain most of the Sombrero Galaxy's cold molecular gas,[5] although this is an inference based on observations with low resolution and weak detections.[7][8] Additional observations are needed to confirm that the Sombrero galaxy's molecular gas is constrained to the ring. Based on infrared spectroscopy, the dust ring is the primary site of star formation within this galaxy.[5]

[edit] Nucleus

The nucleus of the Sombrero galaxy is classified as a low ionization nuclear emission region (LINER).[9] These are nuclear regions where ionized gas is present, but the ions are only weakly ionized (i.e. the atoms are missing relatively few electrons). The source of energy for ionizing the gas in LINERs has been debated extensively. Some LINER nuclei may be powered by hot, young stars found in star formation regions, whereas other LINER nuclei may be powered by active galactic nuclei (highly energetic regions that contain supermassive black holes). Infraredspectroscopy observations have demonstrated that the nucleus of the Sombrero Galaxy is probably devoid of any significant star formation activity. However, a supermassive black hole has been identified in the nucleus (as discussed in the subsection below), so this active galactic nucleus is probably the energy source that weakly ionizes the gas in the Sombrero Galaxy.[5]

[edit] Central supermassive black hole

In the 1990s, a research group led by John Kormendy demonstrated that a supermassive black hole is present within the Sombrero Galaxy.[10] Using spectroscopy data from both the CFHTHubble Space Telescope, the group showed that the speed of rotation of the stars within the center of the galaxy could not be maintained unless a mass 1 billion times the mass of the Sun, or 109M, is present in the center.[10] This is among the most massive black holes measured in any nearby galaxies. and the

[edit] Synchrotron emission

At radio and X-ray wavelengths, the nucleus is a strong source of synchrotron emission.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17] Synchrotron emission is produced when high velocity electrons oscillate as they pass through regions with strong magnetic fields. This emission is actually quite common for active galactic nuclei. Although radio synchrotron emission may vary over time for some active galactic nuclei, the luminosity of the radio emission from the Sombrero Galaxy only varies 10-20%.[11]

[edit] Unidentified submillimeter emission

In 2006, two groups published measurements of the submillimeter radiation from the nucleus of the Sombrero Galaxy at a wavelength of 850 micrometres.[17][5] This submillimeter emission was found not to originate from the thermal emission from dust (which is commonly seen at infrared and submillimeter wavelengths), synchrotron emission (which is commonly seen at radio wavelengths), bremsstrahlung emission from hot gas (which is uncommonly seen at millimeter wavelengths), or molecular gas (which commonly produces submillimeter spectral lines).[5] The source of the submillimeter emission remains unidentified.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Gerard Terborch, Curiosity c. 1660

Curiosity, ca. 1660
Gerard ter Borch (Dutch, 1617–1681)
Oil on canvas; 30 x 24 1/2 in. (76.2 x 62.2 cm)
The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 (49.7.38)

Although ter Borch worked in Deventer, well to the east of Holland's main artistic centers, he painted some of the most sophisticated genre scenes of his time. In this canvas of about 1660, the costumes and interior decoration represent the height of patrician taste. The anecdotal title dates from the eighteenth century. Lady at Her Toilet in the Detroit Institute of Arts was possibly painted as a pendant to the present picture.

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c. 1660
Oil on canvas, 76 x 62 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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Terborch painted a significant number of letter readers and writers. Depictions of this sort enjoyed immense popularity during this period. Since letter writing was primarily (though not exclusively) a leisure activity among the well-to-do it is not surprising that paintings of this theme were so prevalent during the decades in which the Dutch economy expanded greatly.

The Curiosity, completed around 1660, features three young women in an ornate interior. One sporting an ermine-trimmed jacket attentively writes a letter as another woman, identifiable as a maid because of her comparatively simple attire, peers inquisitively over her shoulder. To their right stands a young lady of extraordinary beauty and bearing. Her station and propriety are connoted not only by her luxurious garments but also by her long handkerchief. This accouterment functioned chiefly as a fashionable status symbol for upper-class women in the Dutch Republic.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Basquiat’s “Untitled (Boxer)” sells for $13.5M at NYC auction

Painted in 1982 when he was only 22, Basquiat’s “Untitled (Boxer)” epitomizes an idea that held great sway over the artist: that a champion could triumph over social and racial prejudices and establish himself as a hero. Seeing himself — a Brooklyn native of Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage — as an outsider to the mainstream art world, Basquiat was inspired by Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Leonard, and the other pugilists who literally fought their way to success. Additionally, as a dedicated student of their lives and the barriers each had to overcome, the young artist frequently incorporated his heroes’ victorious — yet still complex and vulnerable — message into his paintings. Currently in the collection of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, this particular acrylic and oil paintstick on linen lot was acquired by the rocker (and Basquiat fan) in 1999 in Vienna and will be auctioned off at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art auction Nov. 12 - 13.

(Photo: Christie’s)

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Basquiat painting sells for $13.5M at NYC auction

Thursday, November 13, 2008 8:34 AM EST
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat has been sold for $13.5 million at an auction in New York City.

The 1982 painting, "Untitled (Boxer)," was consigned to Christie's auction house by Lars Ulrich, drummer for Metallica. Christie's didn't identify the buyer.

The painting shows a black heavyweight fighter with his arms thrust in the air against a white graffiti-filled background. It surpassed its pre-auction estimate of more than $12 million.

The current auction record for a Basquiat is $14.6 million for "Untitled," which sold at Sotheby's last year.

Francis Bacon's "Study for Self-Portrait" didn't sell. Christie's says it had been estimated to sell for about $40 million.

(This version CORRECTS that Basquiat was consigned by Ulrich for sale NOT purchased by him; corrects price to $13.5 million from $14M; corrects overlines.)

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Twin Towers in US money

I just did this a couple of minutes ago and scan them to my computer...But starting out with the one its the twin towers just standing...but the higher the money the more damage to the towers are...Then the 100 dollar its just smoke left..just thought it was neat

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Result: The Pentagon ablaze

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Inverse building demolition in London via Neatorama

[Above: Inverse building demolition in London via Neatorama]

Nothing last forever and that includes the most grandiose skyscrapers, luxurious hotels and beloved sports stadiums. It seems amazing at times that so much money, energy and material is invested in structures that ultimately get torn down so quickly. Some of these demolitions are simply damned impressive while other implosions are downright frightening.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Gateway of the Sun - TIAUANACO SUN GATE

The 10 ton Gateway of the Sun is monolithic, carved from a single block of Andesite granite, and is broken right down the center. Its upper portion is deeply carved with beautiful and intricate designs, including a human figure, condors, toxodons, elephants and some symbols. Directly in the center of the gate is the so-called "Sun-god," Viracocha, with rays shooting from his face in all directions.

He is holding a stylized staff in each hand which may represent thunder and lightning. He is sometimes referred to as the "weeping god" because tears are on his cheeks. The figures flanking the centerpiece are themselves unfinished, leading investigators to wonder what could have interrupted the craftsmen working on the gate that it was left unfinished. This monolith, when first discovered, was broken in half, and was lying askew deep in silt until restored to its proper position in 1908. The Sun Gate now stands in the northwest corner of the Kalasasaya temple.

The famous carved figure on the decorated archway in the ancient (pre-Incan) city of Tiahuanaco, known as the "Gateway of the Sun," most likely represents Viracocha, flanked by 48 winged effigies, 32 with human faces and 16 with condor's heads. This huge monument is hewn from a single block of stone, and some believe that the strange symbols might represent a calendar, the oldest in the world. A huge monolithic figure, facing east in the direction of sunrise, stands as silent witness to an unknown civilization established around 2200 years ago.

There is a pre-Incan legend that speaks of Viracocha who is depicted in many forms. There is a duality about this deity, which is not unlike gods in other civilizations - the good god and the warrior side to his personality. We see him as he enlightened god in the white robes who brings knowledge and the warrior god with staves in his hands and a sun symbol around his head, not unlike the sun god Ra in ancient Egypt. As we third dimension is a duality - all things have good and evil charactistics - including the gods of all myths. Viracocha - as duality is depicted as the sun god of creation [wearing a sun crown] and the moon god.

Viracocha, as the feathered serpent god, is one of the great mysteries of ancient American cultures. He was called Kukulkan by the Mayas, Quetzalcoatl by the Aztecs, Viracocha by the Incas, Gucumatz in central America, Votan in Palenque and Zamna in Izamal.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Violent Polar Cyclones on Saturn Imaged in Unprecedented Detail by Cassini

The Cassini mission has released some of the most detailed images of Saturn's poles yet, revealing vast cyclones churning up the gas giant's atmosphere in the north and south. These observations show very similar storms to the south pole observations imaged by the NASA spacecraft in 2006, only in far better detail. It is believed the north and south cyclones are generated by violent thunderstorms deep inside Saturn's atmosphere; water condensing inside these storms output heat, fuelling the vortex extending 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres) in diameter. The smallest features resolved are 120 kilometre (75 mile)-wide cumulus clouds rotating at velocities in excess of 325 mph (530 kph), more than twice the wind speed possible on Earth

and the mystery north pole hexagon is still there.

Cassini has wowed scientists with these brand new views of Saturn's north pole. With detail at 10-times higher resolution than previously attained, Cassini has shown that both poles have vast swirling cyclones that highlight regions of planet-wide storm activity.

"These are truly massive cyclones, hundreds of times stronger than the most giant hurricanes on Earth," said Kevin Baines, Cassini scientist on the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Dozens of puffy, convectively formed cumulus clouds swirl around both poles, betraying the presence of giant thunderstorms lurking beneath. Thunderstorms are the likely engine for these giant weather systems."

Interestingly, the northern storm observation still shows the mysterious hexagonal shape (as originally verified in 2006, after a sighting by Voyager 1 in 1980), only in far greater detail. Scientists are still uncertain why the northern cyclone should take such a stable form; the clouds within the hexagonal shape spin at high speeds without interfering with its six-sided shape.

Previous observations appeared to show an outer ring of high clouds surrounding a region thought to be clear air with a few puffy clouds circulating around the pole. These brand new images reveal a far more complex picture. The circulating clouds are actually smaller convective storms forming other, more distinct rings.

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Angel of the North by Antony Gormley

Angel of the North is a modern sculpture designed by Antony Gormley, which is located in Gateshead, England.

As the name suggests, it is a steel sculpture of an angel, standing 66 feet (20 metres) tall, with wings measuring 178 feet (54 metres) across — making it wider than the Statue of Liberty's height. The wings themselves are not planar, but are angled 3.5 degrees forward, which Gormley has said aims to create "a sense of embrace".[1] It stands on a hill, on the southern edge of Low Fell overlooking the A1 road and the A167 road into Tyneside and the East Coast Main Line rail route.

The original maquette, a life-size model from which the sculpture was created, was sold at auction for £2m in July 2008.[2]

Work began on the project in 1994, the total cost coming to £1m. Most of the project funding was provided by the National Lottery.

Due to its exposed location, the sculpture has to withstand winds of over 100 mph (160 km/h). Thus, 600 metric tonnes (661 tons) of concrete were used to create foundations which anchor the sculpture to rock 20 metres (66 ft) below.

The sculpture itself was created offsite, using Corten weather resistant steel, at Hartlepool Steel Fabrications Ltd in three parts – with the body weighing 100 metric tonnes (110 tons), and two wings weighing 50 metric tonnes (55 tons) each – then brought to its site by road. It took seven hours for the body to be transported from its construction site in Hartlepool, up the A19 to the site.

Construction work on the Angel was finished in 16 February 1998. At first, Angel of the North aroused some controversy locally — one local councillor, Martin Callanan, was especially strong in his opposition — and in the UK newspapers. It has now come to be considered by some as a landmark for the North East of England [3][4]and is one of the 12 official 'Icons of England' - albeit not of the United Kingdom.

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The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone

Is this the world's oldest surviving inscription of the Ten Commandments?

There is a fascinating old site some few miles west of a little town called Los Lunas in New Mexico. The site has been known as "Mystery Mountain" by the locals for many years. At the foot of this hill there is an ancient rock inscription. Many scholars now believe that it contains the Ten Commandments, including 3 instances of the Tetragrammaton, inscribed in old Hebrew letters.

However, conventional history teaches that the Americas were discovered by the Europeans either in 1492 by Columbus, or maybe a few hundred years earlier by the Vikings. There still seems to be an aversion among the establishment historians to even consider the idea that ancient Mediterranean peoples from the Middle East might have traveled to the Americas in the centuries before Christ. Only so-called diffusionists (14) would have accepted a different view. And yet, there it is, this inscription in New Mexico, an undeniable witness from an ancient past telling its history ...

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