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Andrew Crago

National Museum of African American History and Culture

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The new National Museum of African American History and Culture opens on September 24. NPR covers some interesting aspects of the design (see: Yoruba crowns), and the Smithsonian previews some of the “most powerful objects.”

Off the coast of Scotland

The oil rig Transocean Winner was swept ashore in heavy storms off the west coast of Scotland. Surreal.

Olympic graphic design

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AIGA has Milton Glaser review some previous olympic imagery: “Not very successful.”

Links

Wray, CO Tornado

There’s some amazing footage out there of the May 7, 2016 tornado near Wray, Colorado. I suspect the video does not do it justice, and, without documentation, trying to describe that kind of power to someone would quickly get mystical.

As the North American plains have always been Tornado Alley, I was curious what native stories and legends there might be. This page collects a few sources. From a Kiowa account by Iseeo:

Suddenly, the leader of the party shouted for the men to dismount and prepare for a hard rain. Soon, too, with the approaching cloud, lseeo recalled hearing a -roar that sounded like buffalo in the rutting season. Sloping down from the cloud a sleeve appeared, its center red; from this lightning shot out. The tremendous funnel tore through the timber bordering the Washita. heaving trees into the air.
Some of the young men wanted to run away, but the older, more experienced Kiowas knew what must be done. They called for everyone to try hard and brace themselves. The elders drew their pipes from saddlebags and lit them. They raised their pipes to the storm spirit, entreating it to smoke, and to go around them. The cloud heard their prayers, Iseeo explained, and passed by.

The whole article is fascinating.

Venice

Fantastic digitally-stabilized drone video of Venice Beach at sunrise. The Brian Eno soundtrack pulls it all together nicely.

Links

  • The Met Museum in NYC has redesigned their map to be “digital-first.” Their post about the launch outlines some of the unique challenges in designing for interactions that happen in a real space but still need to be understood internationally.
  • Harry Bertoia made sculptures that are instruments, or perhaps instruments that are sculptures. I like how many look like cattails.

Bosch

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Calling itself an “interactive documentary,” this online exploration of Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights really does deliver. It strikes a nice balance by offering both a guided tour and the ability to explore freely. I’m a sucker for the no frills UI and Attenborough-esque narration.

Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens

A Study in Brown by Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens was a panoram “soundie”—one of the first ever music videos—created in 1940. It was shown as a bonus in movie houses between news reels and feature films. Like modern music videos, the sound was recorded separately, giving the musicians more freedom to perform. No one took advantage of this quite like the bass player, Frank DeNunzio.

Making the 1980s HBO Intro

It’s something that would be done digitally today, but the original HBO intro was shot with a model city. The production techniques are fascinating, and I can’t even believe the big brass letters.