This weekend I came across a couple of videos that seemed to have a common bond, that of masters and their crafts. It’s been said that it takes 10 years to master something, be it a language, Photoshop or something random like juggling. The guys above in these videos, Chad Robertson and Peter Welfare, excel in their fields because they’re passionate about what they do.
Mr. Robertson co-owns Tartine, a bakery in San Francisco where he hand makes the bread every day, in fact, the restaurant is now famous because of it. Mr. Welfare on the other hand is the president and head inkmaker at The Printing Ink Company. These are pretty much on opposite ends of the spectrum yet their both still masters of what they do. They take extreme care in their methods and their craft is more akin to art than labor.
If you have the time watch both of these videos and soak in some inspiration.
Willy Verginer is an Italian artist and a wood working genius. Born in 1957, Mr. Verginer has exhibited his pieces all over the world and in my opinion they’re amazing. It’s incredible to me that he can sculpt such life like figures out of wood but how playful all of them are, with bright splashes of color and the odd placement of his pieces. I’ve never seen anyone create work like this before and I’d love to see these in person.
I’m such a liar; we aren’t even looking at a space suit this week. But what this should really be called sounds dumb: the space suit precursor of patented naval redundancy engineering… of the week. Let’s just call it the Patented Engineering by the Navy Intended for Space (P.E.N.I.S.) of the week.
I’m still a liar. The above suit was never intended for elevations beyond the airspace traversed by high-altitude jets (called uncontrolled airspace at elevations above 60,000 feet), and at such altitudes air is so thin that calling it airspace is really just another lie. The suit above is designed to protect pilots flying around in such an air(less)space. And yet, the suit is redundant by design. The primary means of protection from the dangerously low ambient pressure at 70,000 feet is the pressurized cabin. But things can go wrong, so the protection from decompression is duplicated by means of a pressure suit like the one above.
The idea to engineer “back up plans” into a system is called redundancy. Interestingly enough, in some vital systems aboard the space shuttle, components are not merely duplicated but triplicated. This means that three independent components would have to fail sequentially for the overall system to fail.
What began as a redundant protection for pilots became the basis for the suits worn by astronauts during the Mercury mission and for Gemini mission. It is absolutely insane how quickly the technology that enabled us to fly higher and higher evolved. Just 66 years before Neil Armstrong took a small step, the Wright brothers took a wobbly, but controlled flight across some field in North Carolina. In the six and a half decades between the two events, we learned how to not only travel the nearly 240,000 miles to the moon, but how to leave our biosphere and return safely to it.
And P.E.N.I.S. helped.
P.S. Big thanks to Matt for suggesting this week’s suit! And big thanks to John, a friend who attended the Air Force Academy and helped explain airspace terminology to me. He also reminded me that any airspace above 10,000 feet is dangerous.
If the popular tumblr Dream Cats is anything to go by, feline friends are very à la mode at present. Perusing the work of London-based triple threat photographer, illustrator and graphic design student Boya Latumahina (who works under the pseudonym Zippora Lux), I too started to fall under the kitty spell – even though I am usually a dog person. Joining two of her favourite things – Hubble telescope photographs and cats – Latumahina has brilliantly presented kittens as celestial beings. To my mind, it’s a perfect match: the hypnotising mysticism of the constellations matches the strange beauty of the moggies.
In her final year at Central Saint Martins, Latumahina has plenty of other goodies to check out on her portfolio.
A couple weeks ago the Palace of Versailles had 15 of it’s rooms filled with new and exising pieces from Japan’s most famous current artist, Takashi Murakami. I’m a huge fan of Murakami’s work so I think it’s amazing that the Palace agreed to house his work, though some of the more traditional folks aren’t very happy. I personally think they’re being extremely close minded and need to let a little culture into their lives… anyhow, since I live in Los Angeles it’s not very easy to pop over to Frankce, so thankfully the folks over at OFIVE.TV have made a video of the exhibit and posted it for the world to see. I think it looks like a great show and it makes me happy that I saw his show at the LACMA here in Los Angeles while I had the chance.