1551, from Modern Latin Utopia, literally “nowhere,” coined by Thomas More (and used as title of his book, 1516, about an imaginary island enjoying the utmost perfection in legal, social, and political systems), from Greek ou “not” + topos “place”. Extended to any perfect place by 1610s.
“Shadows and other signs of life” is a title of an Andy Warhol book I just saw on someone’s coffee table, reminded me of these images I came accross when grabbing Abu Dhabi textures.
which reminded me of a project from a while ago that looked at humans revealed in much more detail by shadows when shot from outer space, but I couldn’t find it, only this post:
Shadows are often edited out of the satellite images used for GIS and maps because they obscure what’s really there. They can be edited out fairly easily because, like clouds, they are always moving and images of the same area from different times of day can be easily combined filling in the shadow area with the pixels from anther time. Shadows and clouds are alike in this way, having to do with obscuring and revealing, light and darkness, and are signs of life of a sort, as much as stillness is a sign of death, the change connoting metabolic cycle of the planet as opposed to bionic inertness.
“This 1828 caricature shows a woman looking into a microscope to observe the monsters swimming in a drop of London water. In the 1820s, much of London’s drinking water came from the Thames River, which was heavily polluted by the city sewers that emptied into it.”
Vue is a software application used to generate terrains.
The first software to use fractal geometry to generate realistic landscapes was Bryce, initially developed by Ken Musgrave, a student of mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot. Bryce was turned into a commercial software in 1994. The term “fractal” was first used by Benoît Mandelbrot in 1975. Mandelbrot used it to extend the concept of theoretical fractional dimensions to mathematically modeling natural patterns. They are described as ‘self-similar’ meaning they look the same at different scales. Since then fractals became the most common way to generate landscapes and other natural forms. Fractal landscape “is a surface generated using a stochastic algorithm designed to produce fractal behaviour that mimics the appearance of natural terrain”.
Vue combines a few fractal tools to simulate a wide range of patterns. Procedural terrains in Vue are ‘resolution-less’: the details are finer the closer the camera is to the mesh (as opposed to standard terrains where the resolution is baked into the mesh).
Here’s one from 1874, in a book called The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite.
Image: Library of Congress
Trevor Owens, a special curator for the library’s Science Literacy Initiative writes:
The images in this book are mostly photographs of plaster models based on observations of amateur astronomer James Nasmyth. Most of the images in this book are modeled on their direct observations, but this one represents the view of the Earth from the moon. Part of considering the moon as a world, a place like Earth, required this kind of shift in perspective. Seeing the Earth eclipse the sun from the Moon makes it feel much more like a real world.
In 1893, the book Astronomy for Beginners featured this image of Earth from an unnamed viewpoint in their chapter on “Visitors.”
The word Miasma comes from ancient Greek and means “pollution”.
The miasma theory held that diseases such as cholera, chlamydia or the Black Death were caused by a miasma, a noxious form of “bad air”, also known as “night air”. The theory held that the origin of epidemics was due to a miasma, emanating from rotting organic matter.
The miasma theory was accepted from ancient times in Europe, India, and China. The theory was eventually displaced in the 19th century by the discovery of germs and the germ theory of disease.