(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Samuel Morse

“All good things must come to an end”*…

Rusty Foster reports that…

Matt Bors announced that The Nib is shutting down after its retroactively ironically themed final issue, “The Future.” “The Nib has published more than 6,000 comics and paid out more than $2 million to creators.” It will be replaced by: nothing, just another void where independent cultural criticism used to be…

Today in Tabs

The Nib will be online through August; you can still enjoy it’s extraordinary offerings (and buy its issues) until then. Happily Rusty’s Today in Tabs continues– one hopes for a long, long time…

[Image above: from KC Green‘s “This Is Not Fine,” on The Nib]

*  Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde

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As we bid a fond adieu, we might recall that it was on this date in 1844 that inventor (and celebrated painter) Samuel F.B. Morse inaugurated the first technological competitor to the post when he sent the first telegraph message:  “What hath God wrought?”  Morse sent the famous message from the B&O’s Mount Clare Station in Baltimore to the Capitol Building.  (The words were chosen by Annie Ellsworth, the daughter of the U.S. Patent Commissioner, from Numbers 23:23.)

Morse’s original apparatus

source

Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 24, 2023 at 1:00 am

“The best way to preserve a child’s vision is to let them see things their way rather than yours”*…

Kira Cook contemplates a series of photos taken by kids of their (unaware or surprised) parents…

… somehow, these malevolent images are borne from the tiny fingers and eyes and perspectives of the ones who love us… most?!

Children, of course, know little to nothing about “crafting” a good portrait. They know naught of symmetry, or contrast, or depth of field. They do, however, know the specific power of finally having control over the rectangular device normally glued to their parents’ hands. They pound that round red button at will, capturing images from their abbreviated heights, their lilliputian thumbs obscuring the lens, often blurring the image with their relentless movement.

These pictures remind us that while we study our children, they study us back. Before we speak, we see. For months before spoken language ever enters the relationship, a child gazes upon its mother for hours, every day. The gaze of the child is the least judgmental, the most accepting. When a child takes a portrait of their parent, there is an absence of so many of the elements that inherently exist in the portraits an adult makes. There is no moralizing, for one. No manipulation. They don’t bother to hide or deny the aspects we normally do in photos. In fact, unlike in every other photographic example, there is a total absence of forethought or editorializing…

More (and more on the) unflattering portraits that do what kids do best, wholeheartedly engage with the present moment: “The Humbling Tyranny of the Photos Our Kids Take of Us,” from @kirahesser in @romper.

* Jacob Liberman

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As we say cheese, we might recall that it was on this date in 1839 that Samuel Morse, a professor of art and painting at the University of the City of New York (now New York University) in Paris to promote his invention of the telegraph, met with Louis Daguerre.

Morse was fascinated by Daguerre’s daguerreotype—the first practical means of photography.  Morse wrote a letter to the New York Observer describing the invention, which was published widely in the American press and stoked broad interest in the new technology. On his return to New York, he taught classes in the technique to his colleagues at NYU and others– including Mathew Brady, one of the earliest photographers in American history, famous for his depictions of the Civil War.

Portrait of Samuel Morse taken by Mathew Brady, in 1866 (source)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 25, 2023 at 1:00 am

“From the moment I picked up your book until I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.”*…

 

idea_sized-codex1-add-ms-43725

Codex Sinaiticus (4th century, eastern Mediterranean)

 

“Codex” is just the Roman name for a book, made of pages, and usually bound on the left. Its predecessor was the scroll or book roll, which was unrolled as you read. The codex is manifestly superior: one can hold many volumes (from the Latin for book roll, volumen); codices have a built-in cover for protection; and pages that can be numbered for reference, from which arose a cornucopia of tables of contents and indices.

The codex didn’t catch on until surprisingly late in the ancient world. The early Christians, however, took to the codex with singular enthusiasm. Wider adoption of this form seems to have corresponded to Christianity’s spread. In the 4th century, no less a figure than St Augustine illustrates the difference between a codex and a roll – and the nagging ‘Christianity’ of the codex.

Not yet baptised, in his garden where he had been reading, Augustine tells us he heard a child’s voice chant: ‘Tolle Lege!’ (‘Take up and read’). So he grabbed his book and flipped to a random page. His eyes lit upon a passage in Paul’s ‘Letters to the Romans’. The words he found were the key to his conversion. The book couldn’t have been a roll: it was a codex of the Gospels. But many of his other, often non-Christian books, were rolls.

Virtually all ancient Christian texts were codices, and with each new scrap pulled from the Egyptian sands, this has been confirmed, rare exceptions ‘proving the rule’. Historians have concluded that, while Christians probably didn’t invent the codex, their scribes had gifted the general use of it to the Roman world and, in so doing, passed it, and much of what survives of Classical literature, on to us. But an inability to explain the exact origin and nature of this ‘Christian codex’ clouds every investigation, and for good reason: this conclusion is wrong. While nearly every early Christian text is a codex, not every early codex is Christian…

The fascinating story in full: “The birth of the book: on Christians, Romans and the codex.”

* Groucho Marx

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As we turn the page, we might send speedy birthday greetings to Samuel Finley Breese Morse; he was born on this date in 1791.  After establishing himself as a successful painter, Morse returned to a school-day obsession, electricity, and began to experiment with using it to communicate…  sufficiently successfully that he is now less well remembered for his (then celebrated) art work, than for his success as contributor to the development of the single wire telegraph– which revolutionized global communications— and as the co-developer of Morse Code.

220px-Samuel_Morse_1840 source

 

Written by (Roughly) Daily

April 27, 2019 at 1:01 am

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