“The Marble Machine is a handmade music box that powers a kick drum, bass, vibraphone and other instruments using a hand crank and 2,000 marbles. With dozens of beautifully carved wooden parts, tracks, pulleys and funnels for collecting and rerouting spent marbles, it’s a true work of art and though marble machines as an art form of their own have a long and complex history, Molin’s is one of the best.”
Most of American life is driving somewhere and then driving back wondering why the hell you went.
— John Updike, Rabbit at Rest
I feel like this is something I would enjoy doing with my time. It’s both functional and beautiful, and like all the best art you can live lost in the details.
Look, making you happy is out of the question, but I can give you a compelling narrative for your misery.
— Bob Mankoff, The New Yorker
Part of the exhibit Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms & Armor at the Cincinnati Art Museum. I love Japanese culture, and their swords in particular, so I had to visit. From the description:
Large ken, like this one, were once used as weapons by yamabushi, religious hermits living in seclusion in the mountains. Provincial lords hired yamabushi as couriers of secret messages because they could travel undetected throughout Japan on mountain routes known only to them. Yamabushi also fought alongside samurai in battle. Some became professional spies, known as ninja.
For years, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society, sought recognition for a new category of cloud called the “undulatus asperatus.” People around the world had been sending him pictures cloud formations, but they had no official name. Nine years later, the World Meteorological Organization finally recognized the clouds in the updated version of the International Cloud Atlas, the first new addition in over half a century.
I don’t know if I’m excited for it, or horrified.
"Love seeketh not itself to please, Nor for itself hath any care, But for another gives its ease, And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair." So sung a little clod of clay Trodden with the cattle's feet, But a pebble of the brook Warbled out these meters meet: "Love seeketh only Self to please, To bind another to its delight, Joys in another's loss of ease, And builds a Hell in Heaven's despite."
— William Blake, “The Clod and the Pebble”