Archive for April, 2008

The Roots of My Profession

Albrecht Drurer print

Jason Kottke linked to a wonderful BBC Documentary the other day on the development of Gutenberg’s printing press. Stephen Fry goes on a quest to discover how and where the original press was created. He also works with master printers and a type founder to re-create a copy of the press and cast some type. I have seen pictures of a matrix used to cast lead type, but have never seen how one works.

You can’t watch it on the BBC website (unless you are in the UK) but it is available in six parts on YouTube: part one, two, three, four, five, six.

I hope to somehow get this all in one place and show it to my students how this whole thing started. Without Gutenberg, I wouldn’t have a job.


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The State Fair Sheiks

Airbrshed Sheikhs

All of the public schools in the UAE put images on the walls that surround the grounds. One of the schools down the street recently switched to a boys middle school and have been putting up new pictures. This one caught my eye because it looks like it is an airbrush image that you would find in an orange and red tent at the state fair. Maybe even a prize if you can pop three balloons with the darts. People in the US want Elvis, people in the UAE want Sheik Zayed (right) and Sheik Kalifa (left). Too bad it’s not on black velvet.

When I have access to Flickr I plan to create a photo group that highlights the images from Emirati public school walls.

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Proof of Ownership

tinted window in the UAE

Here in the UAE there is a custom that many people follow after purchasing a new car. They leave all of the import and pricing stickers on the windows and also all of the plastic on the seats. I have heard different reasons for this, one is to improve the resale value of the car and the other is the status symbol of having just bought a new car. Whatever the reason it is really strange to see brand new Range Rovers, Mercedes and BMWs worth upwards of $90,000 running around town with imports stickers on the windows and plastic on the seats. But the picture above illustrates something I had not seen before today. This person actually had the window film cut to go around the import sticker. Look at this detail image:

window tint detail

It is a bad tint job, but still amazing in that the owner wanted to show that this is a new car AND still black out the windows. Amazing.

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