On this date in 1891, Thomas Edison filed patents for the first motion picture camera and viewer.
He called the camera the Kinetograph, and dubbed the viewer the Kinetoscope. The camera contained a spool that held a 50-foot-long continuous roll of 35-millimeter film. The image was recorded by means of a revolving cylinder with a narrow slit that allowed light in to expose the film at regular intervals.
Viewing these early movies followed a similar process: the viewer would look through a peephole and the cylinder would revolve, illuminating individual photographs in rapid succession.
A perceptual phenomenon called “persistence of vision” tricks the brain into thinking you’re seeing a seamless depiction of movement, when you’re really looking at a series of still photographs.
In the ordinary weather of summer with storms rumbling from west to east like so many freight trains hauling their cargo of heat and rain, the dogs sprawl on the back steps, panting, insects assemble at every window, and we quarrel again, bombarding each other with small grievances, our tempers flashing on and off in bursts of heat lightning. In the cooler air of morning, we drink our coffee amicably enough and walk down to the sea…
Today is the birthday of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury. Born in Waukegan, Illinois in 1920, he is the author of many books of science fiction, including The Martian Chronicles (1950) and Fahrenheit 451 (1953).
As a boy, he loved reading, especially Edgar Allan Poe and The Wizard of Oz. When he was 12, a traveling carnival came to town, and he met a magician named Mr. Electrico. The magician thought Ray was the reincarnation of a friend of his who had died in his arms in World War I. Later, at the show, Mr. Electrico touched people in the front row with his electrically charged sword, making their hair stand on end. Bradbury says that “When he came to me, he touched me on the brow, and on the nose, and on the chin, and he said to me, in a whisper, ‘Live forever.’ And I decided to.”
Edward Hopper — the American artist of such classic paintings as “Nighthawks” and “Early Sunday Morning” — is about to receive an honor from the U.S. Postal Service.
On Aug. 24, a new postage stamp based on his circa-1935 painting “The Long Leg” will be unveiled at a public ceremony at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, where the original artwork resides. The new “forever” stamp is the latest in the Postal Service’s American Treasures stamp series, which also includes homages to Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt and John James Audubon. The stamp features a cropped image of Hopper’s original painting.
"The Long Leg" depicts a boat sailing against the wind near Provincetown, Mass. It is one of many paintings that the artist dedicated to lighthouses and other aspects of maritime life in New England. Hopper was born in Nyack, N.Y., and spent many summers in Cape Cod. He died in 1967 at age 84.
This isn’t the first time that a Hopper painting has been turned into a stamp. Hopper’s “The Lighthouse at Two Lights” served as the inspiration for a 6-cent stamp in 1970 commemorating the 150th anniversary of Maine statehood.
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity:
Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
For a man cannot lose either the past or the future; for what a man has not, how can any one take this from him?
These two things then you must bear in mind:
One, that all things from eternity are of like forms and come round in a circle, and that it makes no difference whether a man shall see the same things during a hundred years or two hundred, or an infinite time.
And the second, that the longest liver and he who will die soonest lose just the same.