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Incredible and Experimental Ceramics Work by Curt Hammerly

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This eye-catching Voronoi Mug is by Curt Hammerly, a Colorado-based ceramicist.


Hammerly starts with 3D modeling software, then produces his own molds, which I'm guessing are done with a 3D printer. Here you can see how he applies the glazing, both inside and out:

Hammerly experiments relentlessly. "I'm constantly trying new things, a certain percentage of it works," he told Denver Life Magazine. "Over the past four or five years, just testing hundreds of different things per month has led to the place I am at."

Have a look at one of these experiments, this incredibly intricate mug:

And these translucent porcelain lamps:

Hammerly's mold game is strong:

Check out more of his stuff here.




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bluebec
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New species of flying pterosaur reptile discovered in outback Queensland fossil dig

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Soaring above the dinosaurs, flying reptiles described as "demonic pelicans" once navigated their way above a vast inland sea covering central Australia.

The 100-million-year-old fossilised remains of one such creature have been identified as a new species of pterosaur, powerful flying predators with wingspans of up to 12 metres.

PhD candidate Adele Pentland led a research team from Curtin University which identified the new species as Haliskia peterseni.

Their peer-reviewed study, published in Scientific Reports/Springer Nature, identifies an "intense looking" predator that captured oceanic prey in a 60-centimetre jaw full of spike-shaped teeth.

"The group that I work with have sort of been called demonic pelicans. Haliskia peterseni had a 4.6-metre wingspan – that's bigger than the largest bird we have around today, bigger than any species of albatross."

Ms Pentland said the exciting discovery of the most complete pterosaur skeleton found in Australia added valuable information to the national fossil record.

A lucky find

The remains of the newly identified species were first discovered in 2021, dug from the fossil-rich soils of outback western Queensland by Kevin Petersen, who curates fossil museum, Kronosaurus Korner.

Long before birds took wing, pterosaurs were the first vertebrate animals to fly. 

When Mr Petersen saw the remains poking out of the ground at Kronosaurus Korner's public dig site near the town of Richmond, he immediately recognised them as belonging to a pterosaur.

He said he was thrilled the fossil had finally been confirmed as a new species.

"I'm getting pretty excited — it's hard to explain, a bit of relief that it's finally all over and it's definitely a new species," he said.

"The whole time you're sort of nervous."

Kronosaurus Korner sits in a part of Queensland once covered by the shallow Eromanga Sea, and Ms Pentland said it was an area renowned for its significant fossil deposits.

"I've never seen anything like it in Australia. In Richmond, really it's low effort, high reward," she said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if someone digging at these public dig pits outside of Richmond found something even more complete. I think it's only a matter of time."

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bluebec
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Largest Protestant US group condemns IVF in win for anti-abortion movement

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The largest Protestant group in the US has condemned the use of in vitro fertilization, a move that is sure to inflame the already white-hot battle over IVF and reproductive rights in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v Wade.

On Wednesday, during the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, delegates voted in favor of a resolution that urges Southern Baptists “to reaffirm the unconditional value and right to life of every human being, including those in an embryonic stage, and to only utilize reproductive technologies consistent with that affirmation”.

The resolution in effect calls on the Southern Baptist Convention – a group that includes nearly 50,000 churches and almost 13 million members – to avoid IVF.

The success of the resolution is a major victory for the anti-abortion movement, swathes of which have long opposed IVF on the grounds that providers create embryos that are not implanted in a woman’s uterus or are set aside after being screened for genetic anomalies. It also advances the tenets of “fetal personhood”, a movement to enshrine embryos and fetuses with full legal rights and protections that, if fully enacted, would rewrite vast swaths of US law.

The Catholic church already officially opposes IVF, but the issue has not historically loomed as large among Protestants. Majorities of both white non-evangelical Protestants, white evangelical Protestants, and Black Protestants all support access to IVF.

The Wednesday resolution suggests that this support may be in flux, since the Southern Baptist Convention has long been seen as a barometer of US evangelicalism and its future.

IVF has been in the national spotlight since the Alabama state supreme court ruled earlier this year frozen embryos qualify as “extrauterine children”, a decision that led many IVF providers in the state to temporarily cease work. Although the 2022 overturning of Roe v Wade cleared the way for attacks on IVF, many in the state and across the country were shocked by the ruling and its implications.

This week, the US Senate is expected to vote on a bill that would codify a federal right to IVF. Although the bill is not expected to pass, Democrats in the Senate are hoping to get Republicans on the record opposing an infertility treatment that is widely popular.

As part of the anti-IVF resolution, the Southern Baptist Convention called on its members to “promote” adoption.

“Couples who experience the searing pain of infertility can turn to God, look to Scripture for numerous examples of infertility, and know that their lament is heard by the Lord, who offers compassion and grace to those deeply afflicted by such realities,” the resolution added.

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State Library Victoria Discovering Dewey – 641.5 and beyond

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Most of the books and magazines in our collections, and those in many other libraries – particularly for non-fiction – are arranged by the Dewey Decimal Classification system. First published in 1876, this numerical system for organising knowledge has been republished 23 times. Ongoing revisions continue and OCLC, the organisation that manages Dewey, are inviting contributions to make Dewey more global and inclusive in the way it classifies material in library collections.

As staff working with the collections, we are very fortunate to spend time in the stacks, browsing the shelves. It can be difficult to imagine from a catalogue record, what may arrive when you submit a request for a book. As you can see from the snapshots below – it varies greatly!

In exploring some of the titles below, to share some recipes – I discovered that May Byron was a prolific author and poet, as well as producing a selection of recipe books – including the just republished: The Great War cook book: From trench pudding to carrot marmalade.

Byron’s Vegetable book, first published in 1916, surveys the history of vegetables for the table:

Our ancestors of the Middle Ages – such as were well to do – did not – indeed take much notice of vegetables, except as salads… the Elizabethans expended their ingenuity and their appetite upon fish, flesh and fowl… meanwhile the poor folk made shift to eke out their scanty meals with any sort of green stuff. During the nineteenth century they reached perhaps their maximum of variety…[today] the list available in the greengrocers shop… is quite extraordinary in its limitations… on the Continent and in the United States a much wider range is proffered. 1

Continental European cookery was first published in Poland in 1934, and again in 1947. Many of our current concerns about the relationship between food and health are set out in the foreword:

… the importance of food as an indispensable factor to the health of mankind is very often underrated… Cookery is in danger to become the cookery of a mechanised civilisation and the desire to save time and economise the efforts of the housewife, limits the preparation of food to the reheating and seasoning of manufactured products… it can be explained but not justified. 2

The book includes a rich array of recipes, with short ingredient lists and succinct instructions.

A bright yellow cover encloses Maria Kozslik Donovan’s Continental cookery in Australia, first published in 1955. This book, and her later work, The Far Eastern epicure: a culinary journey to the Far East with original recipes and drawings, were among a number of early books to introduce more varied culinary traditions to Australia.

Donovan arrived with her family in Melbourne in 1953. She ran a cookery school and published a weekly cookery column in The Age, before departing for Italy in 1961. 3 Epicures’ corner included a weekly recipe and some background for the dish – from Linzer torte to filets de poisson a la meuniere. The snapshot below shows some more of the variety of culinary traditions included in our collections.

The spines also display the multiple generations of labelling in evidence – the handwritten, and typed, and unorthodox spine relabelling as well – as is the case on Foods of the foreign-born. This caught my eye, but the content wasn’t what I expected. Published in 1922, Bertha M Woods, a dietitian, published widely on the importance of good nutrition and its role in health, and how best to maximise those opportunities, particularly in relation to migrant communities:

There is much we may learn from these people and, equally much for them to learn from us with profit. A dietitian has never been so honored, in college or out, as she will be by these foreign-born people when once she talks to them of their familiar foods.4

Published in numerous reprints since 1848, Henriette Loffler, later joined by Theodor Bechtel produced this comprehensive tome (below) with over 3,500 recipes. Written in paragraph style, with the ingredients incorporated into the method, and printed in traditional German script, the book includes the full array of foodstuffs, with illustrations in both colour and black and white.

This small volume (below) took my eye and upon closer examination, I found it was published in the year the then Melbourne Public library opened.

Eliza Acton published her Modern cookery, in all its branches: reduced to a system of easy practice, for the use of private families in 1845. Dedicated to ‘the young housekeepers of England’, her opening sentence informed her readers of the aim of the book:

The proper and wholesome preparation of our daily food, though it may hold in the estimation of the world but a very humble place among the useful arts of life, can scarcely be considered an altogether unimportant one, involving so entirely, as it does, both health and comfort.5

Acton notes the previous resistance to ‘innovations in general… and of strangers in particular… happily for ourselves we have ceased to be too bigoted, or too proud to profit by the superior information and experience of others.’6


Expanding on the chapter on bread, The English bread-book, published in 1857, was a thorough exploration of flours and bread production that sought to encourage home baking and warned of the ‘systems of adulteration and its consequences’. The quantities of bread baked are alarming – a peck, the unit of measurement here – is approximately 9 litres of volume.

Henrietta C. McGowan published her Keeyuga cookery book in 1911, writing to encourage independence and healthy and economical eating. She gave suggestions for example, on how to set up to cook as a single person in rooms, listing these essential pantry items: self raising flour in a 4 lb tin, Cerebos salt, a jar of coarser salt, a tin of tea, a tin of pepper, a bottle of vinegar, a bottle of Mildura olive oil, a tin of coffee, a 2 lb tin of rice, and a small tin of curry. 7

Another concern for McGowan was how women could support themselves, and the book included recipes for women who might make a living from cooking. ‘We now come to a class that has been kept well in mind while this book was being written – the class made up of women who sell foodstuffs for a living.’ 8 Success here meant there was always a good living at her fingertips.

Together with Margaret Cuthbertson, McGowan published Woman’s work: a guide to the nature, terms and conditions of many kinds of work for women.

The shelf below includes some more contemporary books – with Kylie Kwong and Poh Ling Yeow – alongside the Gentle art of cookery, by Hilda Leyel and Olga Hartley and the Kookaburra cookery book compiled by the Lady Victoria Buxton Girls’ Club.

Leyel and Hartley encouraged shopping and cooking with the seasons, embracing vegetables and treating them more respectfully than just boiling them. They saw this more proper treatment as ‘the guiding line between good and indifferent cooking’.9. The book, with recipes, was often written as prose and counted on a familiarity with methods and flavouring. It was ‘not intended to be an elementary handbook on cookery’ but had been ‘written for those who appreciate the fact that good cooking is one of the attainable amenities of life if extravagance is eliminated’. 10 Leyel went on to found the Herb Society in 1927.

The Lady Victoria Buxton’s Girls’ Club was founded by Lady Victoria, wife of the South Australian governor in 1898. The Kookaburra cookery book (above), a compilation of recipes, was produced as a fundraising effort to improve facilities at the hostel. This copy is inscribed with birthday greetings to Miss Westerman from her colleagues at Yarram School, 2 February 1945.

This is just a tiny glimpse of the richness on offer at 641.5 and beyond – you can visit the same number on our open access shelves in the Redmond Barry Reading Room and the La Trobe Reading Room, or visit your local public library to discover more. The diversity in culinary offers has broadened markedly over the years, and our collections now include recipe books from Turkey, China, India, Thailand, Italy the Middle East and more.

References

  1. Byron, M, 1916, May Byron’s vegetable book: containing over 750 recipes for the cooking and preparation of vegetables, Hodder and Stoughton, London, UK, p 3
  2. Disslowa, M, 1952, Continental European cooking: practical cooking guide (realised and adapted by J W Rybotycka; E. A. Martin trans) [5th ed], Tern, London, pp 9-10
  3. Brien, D L, 2013, ‘The cookbooks of Maria Kozslik Donovan’, TEXT 17 (Special 24), p 1–7, viewed 12 December 2023, doi: https://doi.org/10.52086/001c.28283
  4. Woods, Bertha M, 1922, The foods of foreign-born in relation to their health, Whitcomb & Barrows, Boston, p viii
  5. Acton, Eliza, 1849, Modern cookery, in all its branches: reduced to a system of easy practice, for the use of private families, Longman, Brown, Green and Longman, London, p vii
  6. As above, p vii
  7. McGowan, Henrietta C, Keeyuga cookery book Keeyuga cookery book, 1911, Lothian, Melbourne, p 7
  8. As above, p 2
  9. Leyel, C F and Hartley, Olga, 1935, The gentle art of cookery, Chatto and Windus, London, p 31
  10. As above, p vi
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bluebec
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The 2024 Drone Photos Awards

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The nominees for the 2024 Drone Photos Awards have been announced; here are a few that caught my eye:

drone photo of a highway crossing a frozen lake

drone photo of a crowded bull ring in Mexico

drone photo of a flock of white birds flying across a green expanse

drone photo of a small town in the snow

Photos by (from top to bottom) Sheng Jiang, Roberto Hernandez, Silke Hullmann, and Hüseyin Karahan.

Tags: best of · best of 2024 · drones · photography

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This Crazy On-Body Camera Rig Provides Pivoting POVs

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The Steadicam, invented by Garrett Brown in 1975, revolutionized cinematography.

The SnorriCam, invented by Icelandic filmmakers Einar & Eiður Snorri (a/k/a the Snorri Bros) in the mid-'90s, offloaded the camera to the actor's body. A sort of hands-free selfie stick, it allows the filmmaker to fix the actor in the center of the frame as they move around. Everyone from Darren Aronofsky to Marvel Studios has used it.

Test footage from the '90s:

More recently the Snorri Bros invented a follow-up, the SnorriCam Sputnik:

This ingenious rig allows for footage of both the actor and the actor's POV, thanks to the pivot:

Here it is being used on the set of Bad Boys 4:

Confusing fun fact #1: Despite operating as the Snorri Bros, and despite having identical last names and similar first names, Einar & Eiður Snorri are actually not related.

Confusing fun fact #2: There are apparently two different ways to pronounce "Eiður." I can't reproduce either of them.



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