nonTROPPO.org

August 28, 2002
Sustainable? "Here is a great use of a weblog":http://www.dailysummit.net/ - keep a tab on what is going on in Johannesburg, updated several times a day... See individual entry…
Posted by Ian at 07:28 PM
Form and Function - a gecko's tale... !(left)http://nontroppo.org/blog/images/gecko.jpg ! The "gecko, that most aesthetic and beautiful":http://www.gekkota.com/ of our cold-blooded brethren, is well known for its proficiency at climbing many surfaces. Having watched geckos walking smooth polished marble as if they they were horizontal rather than vertical, I always wondered how they can adhere to such a wide variety of surfaces. "I was not the only one to have wondered this":http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2002-08/lcc-sph082202.php and the gecko has finally given us the secret to its abilities - van der Waals forces!: bq. "Geckos have millions of setae--microscopic hairs on the bottom of their feet. These tiny setae are only as long as two diameters of a human hair. That's 100 millionth of a meter long. Each seta ends with 1,000 even tinier pads at the tip. These tips, called spatulae, are only 200 billionths of a meter wide--below the wavelength of visible light."
"'Intermolecular forces come into play because the gecko foot hairs split and allow a billion spatulae to increase surface density and come into close contact with the surface. This creates a strong adhesive force', says Autumn." "A single seta can lift the weight of an ant. A million setae, which could easily fit onto the area of a dime, could lift a 45-pound child. If a gecko used all of its setae at the same time, it could support 280 pounds." See individual entry…
Posted by Ian at 12:14 PM
August 26, 2002
inside outside !(right)http://nontroppo.org/blog/images/edgewareman.jpg! Photography has the great ability to capture, in a concrete moment, the felt subtelties of an individual experience. "Here are a series of portraits":http://www.simonhoegsberg.com/ taken by Simon Hoegsberg very close my own home of people lost in their own private spheres while walking in a very public place. Reminds me of an American photographer who uses placed lights on streets to illuminate a small spot, when someone walks past they are captured with a flash of light in an otherwise inky darkness. Both highlight the often enormous gap between our inside and outside worlds... p(spacer).   See individual entry…
Posted by Ian at 01:29 PM
August 25, 2002
Colours II !(right)http://nontroppo.org/pictures/colours/3.jpg! Here is another of my photos from the "colours gallery":http://nontroppo.org/pictures/colours/, this one was taken when I was in a cage filled with polystyrene cubes with only a UV light for company!!! The closed cage had a wind-generator below it and you would be enveloped in a maelstrom of glowing cubes!!! Very cool kinetic sculpture... The scanning of this image was quite poor unfortunately, thus the colour range (from blue to,well, um blue) is compressed down making the electronic file less appealing than the original print.
Camera: Lomo LC-A Film: Jessops 100ASA cheap slide film (cross-processed) p(spacer).   See individual entry…
Posted by Ian at 03:49 PM
Outstanding hypocrites Amazingly, the Americans have "strongly condemned Russia":http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/2214995.stm over its alleged air-raid attacks in the lawless regions of Georgia bordering Chechnya. They criticise the Russians, and claim they are "deeply concerned" by the loss of life of innocent civilians (1 killed and 5-7 injured). Yet they are still fighting their private war against the "ghosts in Afghanistan":http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-1969367,00.html in which estimates ranging from "350 to 4000 civilians":http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/comment/story/0,11447,770999,00.html were killed, and an unknown number more who would have died through disrupted Aid supply during the military operation. "Further reports of torture being used":http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0824-01.htm against 'suspected' terrorists (i.e. some of the 1200 racially targetted Arabs held incommunicado for many months) underline the staggering hypocrisy of the 'regret' of the loss of Civilian lives/fundamental human rights. "The emerging reports of horrific human-rights abuses":http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,1284,776841,00.html of executing captured soldiers by the American led allies in the Afghan war adds a really strong kick to such DOUBLESPEAK... See individual entry…
Posted by Ian at 09:56 AM
August 24, 2002
Colours I !(right)http://nontroppo.org/pictures/colours/1.jpg! I intend to start adding some of my photos to the blog weekly, with some background information on each one. Here is the first, a rather abstract image. I remember walking back from Soho at about 2am and seeing a shop with some coloured lights in the window. I took it moving the camera slowly along the glass in one direction during the exposure time (around 10 seconds). This shows the advantages of night-photography without using a flash, and most of the "'colours' series of images":http://nontroppo.org/pictures/colours/ I have are taken this way.
Camera: Lomo LC-A Film: Jessops 100ASA cheap slide film (cross-processed) p(spacer).   See individual entry…
Posted by Ian at 11:57 AM
August 23, 2002
Intrasigents In Transit I still have some pesky little bug-creatures running (albeit delicately) through the bytes of this web-page. too busy to squeeze those engorged little arthropods between thumb and first finger (as I did to the ticks I found on my own body after leaving the Bolivian rain forest and not being able to shower/change clothes for around 6 days... they do give a very satisfying pop as they explode though!) See individual entry…
Posted by Ian at 04:31 PM
The live birth Well, this is basically the start, the initiation into the weird new form of human communication that are published, accessible journals. I'm a wee bit skeptical of this whole endeavour. It seems rather egotistical. But, then I suppose this need to vomit our feelings to the outside world (in this case ANY outside world) seems somewhat ingrained in us. Why do we have to 'express' - why must we need to have our opinions heard? I'll coagulate on that one when I've had time to absorb the novelty of this peculiar endeavour... (any bugs in my CSS page display? comment on it!) Any weblog entries previous to this one are basically 'hand-written' journal entries migrated to this elegant monstrosity. At the moment, I've only set up some templates, others are the defaults, so some pages may look strange - looks like tweaking will take some time... I also want to install a number of plugins to save time in e.g. link inserting etc. see Brad Choate's site for cool plugins for movabletype. See individual entry…
Posted by Ian at 04:19 PM
August 21, 2002
Julien Donkey Boy i've just watched julien-donkey-boy by harmony korine - and i am in a state of shock. i'm naturally susceptible to issues related to schizophrenia (my one true fear), but I genuinely entered into their world - their individual lives. it was such a beautiful visual/tone poem, both bursting with light and at it's core dark. there was that small candle of human hope withing the darkness. i don't feel ready, or care, to dissect it like some clinical post-mortem - i just want to feel. Why do "DOGMA95":http://www.tvropa.com/tvropa1.2/film/dogme95/menu/menuset.htm films have the ability to penetrate through my intellectual armour so well?? Shit, strong stuff - i feel quite bad now, not shocked by the content of the film, but by the 'existence' of the 'characters'. And not able to communicate my felt inside to the outside. But i do want to record this moment, to remind myself. words can be so banal, they reduce the complexity of the felt present to single shards of abstraction. fuck it... See individual entry…
Posted by Ian at 04:04 PM
August 12, 2002
Meteors Had a cool encounter with an old man on a street corner (wipe those filthy thoughts out of your mind....) I'd given up on seeing the shooting stars tonight, but when I saw him with his binoculars in the centre of London, I thought why not cast my gaze heaven-ward. And lo, It came to pass, that a star was born in the north, and the wise old man did utter - 'look, this is a sign, verily I say to thee', and the young man nodded in agreement. Then, another star burst forth into the heavens, and the young man was confused, and the old man was confused - and both were more confused as the third bright star leapt across gods theatre. And they did gnash their teeth,and tear desperately at their hair. And the young man did wail 'why God has thou confused us so, are we not worthy of your divine hand'. And the old man wept in multitudes. At this moment a taxi-driver stopped, and shouted, 'it's only a fucking meteor shower, you idiots'. And with this sudden jolt, both the young and the old man verily did come to their senses, and they did rejoice and laugh and hug, knowing they weren't in Arabia 2002 years ago waiting for divine providence but were two rationalist atheists living in metropolitan London. The End... See individual entry…
Posted by Ian at 04:26 PM