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✇ Open Culture

Quentin Tarantino Gives a Tour of Video Archives, the Store Where He Worked Before Becoming a Filmmaker

Por Colin Marshall — 8 de Outubro de 2021, 14:00

When Quentin Tarantino hit it big in the 1990s with Reservoir Dogs, and then much bigger with Pulp Fiction, he became known as the auteur who’d received his film education by working as a video-store clerk. But like much Hollywood hype, that story wasn’t quite true. “No, I was already a movie expert,” says the man himself in a clip from the 1994 BBC documentary Quentin Tarantino: Hollywood’s Boy Wonder. “That’s how I got hired at Video Archives.” Located in the South Bay — a comparatively little-seen region of Los Angeles County later paid loving tribute with Jackie Brown — the store was, in the words of one of its owners, “one of the few places that Quentin could come as a regular guy and get a job and become like a star.”

“Me and the other guys would walk into the local movie theater and we’d be heading toward our seats and we’d hear, ‘There go the guys from Video Archives,'” says Tarantino in Tom Roston’s I Lost It at the Video Store. On one level, the experience constituted “a primer to what it would be like to be famous.” Having begun as a Video Archives customer, Tarantino wound up working there for five years, offering voluminous and forceful recommendations by day and, after closing, putting on staff-only film festivals by night. “That time is captured perfectly in True Romance,” which Tony Scott directed but Tarantino wrote, and one of those co-workers, Roger Avary, would collaborate with him on the screenplay for Pulp Fiction.

Video Archives was a beacon to all the South Bay’s “film geeks.” Then as now, most such people “devote a lot of money and they devote a lot of their life to the following of film, but they don’t really have that much to show for all this devotion,” other than their strongly held cinematic opinions. “What you find out fairly quickly in Hollywood is, this is a community where hardly anybody trusts their own opinion. People want people to tell them what is good, what to like, what not to like.” Hence the ability of the young Tarantino,  brimming with opinions and unafraid to state them and possessed of an unwavering resolve to make movies of his own, to go from video-store clerking practically straight to the top of the industry. Though he didn’t need film school — nor college, or indeed high school — he could hardly have found a more suitable alma mater.

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Quentin Tarantino Reviews Movies: From Dunkirk and King of New York, to Soul Brothers of Kung Fu & More

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Quentin Tarantino Gives a Tour of Video Archives, the Store Where He Worked Before Becoming a Filmmaker is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

✇ Open Culture

Watch “The Impossible Map,” a Short Animated Film That Uses a Grapefruit to Show Why Maps of the Earth Are Misleading (1947)

Por Josh Jones — 8 de Outubro de 2021, 11:00

There are any number of ways one might try to turn a globe into a two-dimensional surface. You could start by cutting it down the middle, as in this Vox video on world maps. You could choose volunteers and have them come up to the head of the class and peel oranges in one piece, flattening out the strips onto an overhead projector, as in this National Geographic lesson on world maps. Or, you might attack an already halved grapefruit peel with a rolling pin, as in the National Film Board of Canada’s animated short, “The Impossible Map,” above.

Each method (except, maybe, the rolling pin) has its merits, but none of them will make a 2-dimensional surface without warping, stretching, and distorting. That’s the point, in all these exercises, a point that has been made over and over throughout the years as cartographers search for better, more accurate ways to turn the Earth’s sphere (or oblate spheroid) into a representative rectangle that roughly preserves the scale of the continents. As the hands-on demonstrations show, you don’t need to remember your geometry to see that it’s impossible to do so with much precision.

A cartographer must choose a focal point, as Gerardus Mercator did in the 16th century in his famous cylindrical projection. Since the map was designed by a European for use by European navigators, it naturally puts Europe in the center, resulting in extreme distortions of the land masses around it. These have been remedied by alternate projections like the Mollweide, Goode Homolosine (the “orange-peel map”), and the 1963 Robinson projection, which was “adopted for National Geographic’s world maps in 1988,” The Guardian notes, and “appears in [a] growing number of other publications, [and] may replace Mercator in many classrooms.”

Pioneering Canadian animator Evelyn Lambart made “The Impossible Map” in 1947, several years before professor Arthur Robinson created his “Pseudocylindrical Projection with Pole Line” — for which he used “a huge number of trial-and-error computer simulations,” as the Arthur H. Robinson Map Library writes. “To this day, no other projection uses this approach to build a map,” not even most GPS mapping software, which still, in many cases, uses a “Web Mercator” projection to represent the whole Earth. But while Lambart’s film may not be technologically up-to-date, it is visually and pedagogically brilliant, explaining, with some basic narration and sliced produce, why globes still beat flat maps of the Earth every time.

via Aeon

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Watch “The Impossible Map,” a Short Animated Film That Uses a Grapefruit to Show Why Maps of the Earth Are Misleading (1947) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

✇ Open Culture

A Walking Tour Around the Pyramids of Giza: 2 Hours in Hi Def

Por Ted Mills — 8 de Outubro de 2021, 08:00

One of the first things tourists learn about the great Pyramids of Giza is how they are not far away in some remote location. Turns out they’re just photographed that way with the Western Desert as backdrop. Turn around and you’ll see not just the bustling city of Cairo, but a freakin’ golf course. The next thing tourists learn is that there’s a lot of walking if you want to take in both pyramids and the Sphinx. Hope you packed some good shoes!

Or you could sit back and watch this one-hour-and-50-minute walking tour, shot in 4K, on a chilly January morning in 2019. There’s not many tourists around for most of it, better to instill a sense of wonder and otherness as you encounter these 4,500 year old structures.

With its relaxing bobbing-head camera and its immersive field recording soundtrack—headphones are recommended—the video tours the entire ancient area, starting with the Mortuary Temple of Khafre, then moving to the two main pyramids, the cemetery, the smaller pyramid of Menkaure, and ending on the Sphinx. There’s even room for a horse ride, although as it’s sped up, it turns out to be rather comical. It’s also a delight to hear the occasional camel make themselves known.

Open Culture has written about the Pyramids of Giza several times. We’ve linked to the massive Digital Giza Project; shown a 3-D reconstruction of what the pyramids looked like when they were originally built (they were gleaming white, for one thing); followed a 3-D tour *inside* the pyramid that is quite spine-tingling; and highlighted an introductory course of Giza and Egyptology. The only remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World continues to inspire a new generation of archaeologists, and this walking tour is as close as your browser can get to being there. ProWalk Tours’ YouTube site also offers many other pleasant walks, from the ancient to the modern. They’re worth checking out.

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the Notes from the Shed podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

A Walking Tour Around the Pyramids of Giza: 2 Hours in Hi Def is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

✇ Open Culture

An Animated History of the Ottoman Empire (1299 – 1922)

Por Josh Jones — 7 de Outubro de 2021, 14:00

History is selective. Or, rather, it’s selected by those in power for their own uses. Nowhere do we see this more than in nationalist re-imaginings of an imperial past, whether it be British, Roman, or, in the case of modern Turkey, Ottoman. “Much has been written,” notes Time magazine’s Alan Mikhail, “about [Turkish president Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s attempts to ‘resurrect’ the Ottoman Empire or to style himself a sultan.” Erdogan’s turn to hardline Islam has been inspired by one particular sultan, Selim I, under whose rule, “the Ottoman Empire grew from a strong regional power to a gargantuan global empire.” Mikhail compares Selim to another historical figure famed for single-minded intolerance: Andrew Jackson, a hero of the former United States president.

Erdogan’s characterization of the Ottoman Empire sometimes seems to have more in common with early European ideas about the empire than its ideas about itself. European writers in the 16th and 17th century linked the Ottomans with Islamist repression, an Orientalist take on Turkish power as a dangerous yet seductive new enemy. “The glorious Empire of the Turkes, the present terrour of the world,” wrote Richard Knolles in his 1603 Generall Historie of the Turkes, “hath amongst other things nothing in it more wonderful or strange, than the poore beginning of itselfe….” These same sentiments were echoed in 1631 by English writer John Speed, who described the “sudden advancement” of the Empire as “a terrour to the whole world.” Likewise, Andrew Moore in 1659 wrote of “this barbarous Nation, the worlds present terrour,” a nation with a “small & obscure beginning.”

All empires have small beginnings. In the case of the Ottomans, the story begins with Osman I, a tribal leader of obscure origins who founded the Empire in Anatolia some 300 years before the authors above put pen to paper. (The word “Ottoman” derives from his name.) A series of conquests followed, the most dramatic occurring in 1453 when Mehmed the Conquerer entered Constantinople, effectively ending the Byzantine Empire, an event you can see highlighted in the video above, an “entire history of the Ottoman Empire” — all 600 years of it — from 1299 to 1922. Such an extended period of conquest and influence led, of course, to a variety of views about the nature of the Ottomans, not least among the Ottomans themselves, who saw themselves not as Muslim invaders of Europe but as the rightful heirs of Rome. Indeed, educated Ottomans referred to themselves not as “Turks,” a word for the peasantry, but as R?m?, “Roman.”

In many ways, the Ottomans — bloody conquests, slavery, genocides and all — took after the Romans. “Obviously they saw value in spreading religion,” says David Lesch, professor of Middle East history at Trinity University in San Antonio. But they did not share the narrative of a “clash of civilizations” favored by European writers of the time, and certain revisionists today. “The Ottoman Empire saw itself as very much, even more so a European empire than a Middle Eastern empire. And they took a very tolerant view toward non-Muslims since for most of the Ottoman Empire — especially when it was at its largest — most of its population was non-Muslim. It was in fact Christian.” The observation brings to mind the central claim of Turkish scholar Nam?k Kemal’s influential essay “Europe Knows Nothing about the Orient,” in which he writes that European scholars have failed to understand the “true character such as ours, which is so close to them that … it might as well be touching their eyelashes.”

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

An Animated History of the Ottoman Empire (1299 – 1922) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

✇ Open Culture

A Brilliant Demonstration of Magnets & the Promise of Levitating Trains (1975)

Por Josh Jones — 7 de Outubro de 2021, 11:00

For a brief time in the 1980s, it seemed like trains powered by maglev — magnetic levitation — might just solve transportation problems everywhere, maybe even replacing air travel, thereby eliminating one of the most vexing sources of carbon emissions. Maglev trains don’t use fuel; they don’t require very much power by comparison with other sources of high speed travel; they don’t produce emissions; they’re quiet, require less maintenance than other trains, and can travel at speeds of 300 mph and more. In fact, the fastest maglev train to date, unveiled this past summer in Qingdao, China, can reach speeds of up to 373 miles per hour (600 kph).

So, why isn’t the planet criss-crossed by maglev trains? asks Dave Hall at The Guardian, citing the fact that the first maglev train was launched in the UK in 1984, after which Germany, Japan, and China followed suit. It seems to come down, as such things do, to “political will.” Without significant commitment from governments to reshape the transportation infrastructure of their countries, maglev trains remain a dream, the monorails of the future that never materialize. Even in China, where government mandate can institute mass changes at will, the development of maglev trains has not meant their deployment. The new train could, theoretically, ferry travelers between Shanghai to Beijing in 2.5 hours… if it had the track.

Perhaps someday the world will catch up with maglev trains, an idea over a century old. (The first patents for maglev technology were filed by a French-born American engineer named Emile Bachelet in the 1910s.) Until then, the rest of us can educate ourselves on the technology of trains that use magnetic levitation with the 1975 video lesson above from British engineer and professor Eric Laithwaite (Imperial College London), who “deconstructs the fascinating physics at work behind his plans for a maglev trains, which he first modelled in the 1940s and perfected in the 1970s,” notes Aeon. “Well-regarded in his time as both a lecturer and an engineer, Laithwaite presents a series of demonstrations that build, step by step, until he finally unveils a small maglev train model.”

Laithwaite’s small-scale demonstration would eventually culminate in the first commercial maglev train almost a decade later at Birmingham Airport. Here, he begins where science begins, with an admission of ignorance. “Permanent magnets are difficult things to understand,” he says. “In fact, if we’re absolutely honest with ourselves, we don’t understand them.” The good professor then briskly moves on to demonstrate what he does know — enough to build a levitating train. Learn much more about the history and technology of maglev trains at How Stuff Works, and keep your eyes on the Northeast Maglev project, a developing Superconducting Maglev train that promises travel between New York and Washington, DC in one hour flat.

via Aeon

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

A Brilliant Demonstration of Magnets & the Promise of Levitating Trains (1975) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

✇ Open Culture

How to Make Comics: A Four-Part Series from the Museum of Modern Art

Por Colin Marshall — 7 de Outubro de 2021, 08:00


A painting? “Moving. Spiritually enriching. Sublime. ‘High’ art.” The comic strip? “Vapid. Juvenile. Commercial hack work. ‘Low’ art.” A painting of a comic strip panel? “Sophisticated irony. Philosophically challenging. ‘High’ art.” So says Calvin of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes, whose ten-year run constitutes one of the greatest artistic achievements in the history of the newspaper comic strip. The larger medium of comics goes well beyond the funny pages, as any number of trend pieces have told us, but as an art form it remains less than perfectly understood.  Perhaps, as elsewhere, one must learn by doing: hence “How to Make Comics,” a “four-part journey through the art of comics” from the Museum of Modern Art.

Created by comics scholar and writer Chris Gavaler, this educational series begins with the broadest possible question: “What Are Comics?” That section offers two answers, the first being that comics are “cartoons in the funnies sections of newspapers and the pages of comic books” telling stories “about superheroes or talking animals” — or they’re longer-format “graphic novels,” which “can be more serious and include personal memoirs.”

The second, broader answer conceives of comics as nothing more specific than “juxtaposed images. Any work of art that divides into two or more side-by-side parts is formally a comic. So if an artist creates two images and places them next to each other, they’re working in the comics form.”

That second definition of comics includes, say, Andy Warhol’s Jacqueline Kennedy III — a work of art that conveniently happens to be owned by MoMA. The museum’s visual resources figure heavily into the whole “How to Make Comics,” in which Gavaler explains not just the process of creating comics but the relationship between comics and other (often longer institutionally approved) forms of art. And to whatever degree they juxtapose images, the works of art in MoMA’s online collection — rich as so many of them are with action, character, narrative, humor, and even words — offer inspiration to comic artists budding and experienced alike. The better part of two centuries into its development, this thoroughly modern medium has the power to incorporate ideas from any other art form; the high-and-low distinctions can take care of themselves. Enter “How to Make Comicshere.

via Kottke

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

How to Make Comics: A Four-Part Series from the Museum of Modern Art is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

✇ Open Culture

A Guitarist Rocks Out on Guitars Made from Shovels, Cigar Boxes, Oil Cans & Whisky Barrels

Por Josh Jones — 6 de Outubro de 2021, 14:00

When Keith Richards felt he’d gone as far as he could go with the six-string guitar, he took one string off and played five, a trick he learned from Ry Cooder. These days, the trend is to go in the opposite direction, up to seven or eight strings for highly technical progressive metal compositions and downtuned “djent.” Traditionalists may balk at this. A five-string, after all, is a modification easily accomplished with a pair of wire-cutters. But oddly shaped eight-string guitars seem like weirdly rococo extravagances next to your average Stratocaster, Tele, or Les Paul.

Ideas we have about what a guitar should be, however, come mostly from the marketing and public relations machinery around big brand guitars and big name guitarists. The truth is, there is no Platonic ideal of the guitar, since no one is quite sure where the guitar came from.

It’s most easily recognized ancestors are the oud and the lute, which themselves have ancient heritages that stretch into prehistory. The six-string arrived rather late on the scene. In the renaissance, guitars had eight strings, tuned in four “courses,” or pairs, like the modern 12-string, and baroque guitars had 10 strings in five courses.

Closer in time to us, “the jazz guitarist George Van Eps had a seven-string guitar built for him by Epiphone Guitars in the late 1930s,” notes one brief history, “and a signature Gretsch seven-string in the late 60s and early 70s…. Several others began using seven-string guitars after Van Eps.” Russian folk guitars had seven strings before the arrival of six-string Spanish classical instruments (two hundred years before the arrival of Korn).

Meanwhile, in the hills, hollars, and deltas of the U.S. south, folk and blues musicians built guitars out of whatever was at hand, and fit as many, or as few, strings as needed. From these instruments came the powerfully simple, timeless licks Keef spent his career emulating. Guitarist Justin Johnson has cultivated an online presence not only with his slick electric slide playing, but also with his tributes to odd, old-time, homemade guitars. At the top, he plays a three-string shovel guitar, doing Keith two better.

Further up, some “Porch Swing Slidin’” with a six-string cigar box-style guitar engraved with a portrait of Robert Johnson. Above, hear a stirring rendition of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on an oil can and a slide solo on a whiskey barrel guitar. Finally, Johnson rocks out Ray Charles on a three string cigar box guitar, made mostly out of ordinary items you might find around the shed.

You might not be able to pluck out Renaissance airs or complicated, sweep-picked arpeggios on some of these instruments, but where would even the most complex progressive rock and metal be without the raw power of the blues driving the evolution of the guitar? Finally, below, see Johnson play a handmade one-string Diddley Bow (and see the making of the instrument as well). Originally a West African instrument, it may have been the very first guitar.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

A Guitarist Rocks Out on Guitars Made from Shovels, Cigar Boxes, Oil Cans & Whisky Barrels is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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Gustav Klimt’s Iconic Painting The Kiss: An Introduction to Austrian Painter’s Golden, Erotic Masterpiece (1908)

Por Colin Marshall — 6 de Outubro de 2021, 11:00

Not long ago I stayed in a hotel by the train station of a small Korean city. In the room hung a reproduction of Gustav Klimt’s Die Umarmung, or The Embrace. This at first struck me as just another piece of culturally incongruous décor — a phenomenon hardly unknown in this country — but then I realized that its sensibility wasn’t entirely inappropriate. For the room was in what belonged, broadly speaking, to the category of South Korea’s “love hotels,” and Klimt, as Great Art Explained creator James Payne puts it, “placed sexuality at the forefront of his work.” The artist had that in common with Sigmund Freud, his fellow denizen of fin de siècle Vienna.

With paintings like Die Umarmung, Klimt pushed the boundaries of what Freud called “the misunderstood and much-maligned erotic.” Payne cites those very words in his new video on Klimt’s much better-known work Der Kuss, or The Kiss.

Completed in 1908, the painting shows both the artist’s penchant for “allegory and symbolism” carried over from his younger days, as well as his mature ability to transform allegory and symbolism “into a new language that was more overtly sexual and more disturbing.” For these and other reasons — its nearly life-size dimensions, its liberal use of actual gold — The Kiss has for more than a century been an un-ignorable work of art, even “an icon for the post-religious age.”

As in his other fifteen-minute videos, Payne manages to discuss both technique and context. Here the “deliberate contrast between the realistically rendered flesh and the two-dimensional abstract ornamentation creates an effect almost like photo montage.” The figures’ clothes offer “a visual metaphor for the emotional and physical expression of erotic love,” and their close framing echoes Japanese woodblock prints, from which Payne notes that Klimt (like Van Gogh) drew great inspiration. He also traces the aesthetic roots of The Kiss through Edvard’s Munch’s eponymous painting, and Auguste Rodin’s even earlier sculpture. “Once considered pornographic and deviant,” Klimt’s was later “put on display in one of the imperial palaces” — and even today, on the other side of the world and in a much humbler context, it retains its romantic power.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Gustav Klimt’s Iconic Painting The Kiss: An Introduction to Austrian Painter’s Golden, Erotic Masterpiece (1908) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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Albert Camus on the Responsibility of the Artist: To “Create Dangerously” (1957)

Por Josh Jones — 6 de Outubro de 2021, 11:00

Literary statements about the nature and purpose of art constitute a genre unto themselves, the ars poetica, an antique form going back at least as far as Roman poet Horace. The 19th century poles of the debate are sometimes represented by the dueling notions of Percy Shelley — who claimed that poets are the “unacknowledged legislators of the world” — and Oscar Wilde, who famously proclaimed, “all art is quite useless.” These two statements conveniently describe a conflict between art that involves itself in the struggles of the world, and art that is involved only with itself.

In the mid-twentieth century, Albert Camus put the question somewhat differently in a 1957 speech entitled “Create Dangerously.”

Of what could art speak, indeed? If it adapts itself to what the majority of our society wants, art will be a meaningless recreation. If it blindly rejects that society, if the artist makes up his mind to take refuge in his dream, art will express nothing but a negation.

And yet, grandiose ideas about the artist’s role seemed absurd in the mid-twentieth century, when the question becomes whether artists should exist at all. “Such amazing optimism seems dead today,” writes Camus. “In most cases the artist is ashamed of himself and his privileges, if he has any. He must first of all answer the question he has put to himself: is art a deceptive luxury?”

Women artists have also had to consider the question, of course. Brain Pickings’ Maria Popova quotes Audre Lorde’s call for artists to “uphold their responsibility toward ‘the transformation of silence into language and action.” Ursula Le Guin believed that art expanded the imagination, and thus the possibilities for human freedom. Both of these writers were politically engaged artists, and so it’s little wonder that we find similar sentiments in Camus’ speech from decades earlier.

To make art, Camus writes, is to make choices. Artists are already involved, as Shelley declared, in shaping the world around them, whether they acknowledge it or not:

Reality cannot be reproduced without exercising a selection… The only thing needed, then, is to find a principle of choice that will give shape to the world. And such a principle is found, not in the reality we know, but in the reality that will be — in short, the future. In order to reproduce properly what is, one must depict also what will be.

The most eloquent, enduring expressions of future thinking are that which we call art. Even art that seeks to depict the fleetingness of nature freezes itself for posterity.

Art, in a sense, is a revolt against everything fleeting and unfinished in the world. Consequently, its only aim is to give another form to a reality that it is nevertheless forced to preserve as the source of its emotion. In this regard, we are all realistic and no one is. Art is neither complete rejection nor complete acceptance of what is. It is simultaneously rejection and acceptance, and this is why it must be a perpetually renewed wrenching apart. 

To understand art as purposelessly divorced from the world is to misunderstand it, Camus argues. This is the misunderstanding of “a fashionable society in which all troubles [are] money troubles and all worries [are] sentimental worries” — the self-satisfied bourgeois society “about which Oscar Wilde, thinking of himself before he knew prison, said that the greatest of all vices was superficiality.”

Art for art’s sake is the doctrine of a “society of merchants… the artificial art of a factitious and self-absorbed society,” Camus declared. “The logical result of such a theory is the art of little cliques.” Or, to a degree Camus could not have imagined, we have the entertainment industrial complex of art for commerce’s sake, which in the 21st century can make it nearly impossible for art to thrive. (As actor Stellan Skarsgård recently said in public comments, the problem with the film industry is “that we have for decades believed that the market should rule everything.”)

Therefore, the question before Camus, and no less before artists today, is how to “create dangerously” in a society “that forgives nothing.” The question of whether or not art serves a purpose is a false one, he suggests, since “every publication is a deliberate act,” and therefore purposeful. The real question, for Camus the philosopher, “is simply to know — given the strict controls of countless ideologies (so many cults, such solitude!) — how the enigmatic freedom of creation remains possible.” If only arriving at such knowledge were so simple. Camus’ lecture has recently been translated by Sandra Smith and published in the short volume, Create Dangerously: The Power and Responsibility of the Artist. You can read a section of the lecture at Lithub.

Camus’ speech was presented on December 14, 1957 at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, shortly after he won the Nobel Prize.

via Brain Pickings

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Albert Camus on the Responsibility of the Artist: To “Create Dangerously” (1957) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

✇ Open Culture

Medieval Tennis: A Short History and Demonstration

Por Ayun Halliday — 5 de Outubro de 2021, 14:00

British You Tuber Nikolas “Lindybiege” Lloyd is a man of many, many interests.

Wing Chun style kung fu…

Children’s television produced in the UK between 1965 and 1975…

Ancient weaponrychainmail, and historically accurate WWII model miniatures

Actress Celia Johnson, star of the 1945 romantic drama Brief Encounter

Evolutionary psychology

…and it would appear, tennis.

But not the sort you’ll find played on the grass courts of Wimbledon, or for that matter, the hard courts of the US Open.

Lloyd is one of a select few who gravitate toward the version of the game that was known as the sport of kings.

It was, according to a 1553 guide, created, “to keep our bodies healthy, to make our young men stronger and more robust, chasing idleness, virtue’s mortal enemy, far from them and thus making them of a stronger and more excellent nature.”

Henry VIII was a talented and enthusiastic player in his youth, causing the Venetian Ambassador to rhapsodize, “it was the prettiest thing in the world to see him play; his fair skin glowing through a shirt of the finest texture.”

Henry’s second wife, the ill-fated Anne Boleyn, was also a fan of the sport, with money riding on the match she was watching when she was summoned to the Privy Council “by order of the King,” the first stop on her very swift journey to the Tower of London.

The sport’s roots reach all the way to the 11th and 12th centuries when monks and villagers in southern France were mad for jeu de paume, a tennis-like game predating the use of racquets, whose popularity eventually spread to the royals and aristocrats of Paris.

The game Lloyd tries his hand at above is now known as Real Tennis, a term invented in the 19th-century to distinguish it from the then-new craze for lawn tennis.

Mention “the sport of kings” these days and most folks will assume you’re referring to fox hunting or horse-racing.

Mind you, real tennis is just as rarified. You won’t find it being played on any old (which is to say new) indoor court. It requires four irregularly sized walls, an asymmetrical layout, and a sloping penthouse roof. Behold the layout of a Real Tennis court by Atethnekos, compliments of  English Wikipedia:

Compared to that, the Tennis Department‘s diagram of the familiar modern set up seems like child’s play:

Other cognitive challenges for those whose version of tennis doesn’t extend back to medieval days:  a slack net; lopsided, tightly strung, small raquets; and a gallery of waist-high screened “hazards,” that are spiritually akin to pinball targets, especially the one with the bell.

The handmade balls may look similar to your average mass-produced Penn or Wilson, but expect that each will be “unique in its particular quirks”:

They are not perfectly spherical and these seams stick out a little bit more here and there, which means that the bounce can be rather unpredictable. Because these are heavier and harder, they don’t swerve when you spin them in the air very much, but when they hit a wall and get a decent grip, the swerve can send them zinging off along the wall to great effect.

Once Lloyd has oriented viewers and himself to the court and equipment, Real Tennis pro Zak Eadle walks him through serving, scoring, and strategy in the form of chases.

Quoth Shakespeare’s Henry V:

His present, and your pains, we thank you for:
When we have match’d our rackets to these balls,
We will, in France, by God’s grace play a set,
Shall strike his father’s crown into the Hazard:
Tell him, he made a match with such a wrangler, 
That all the Courts of France will be disturb’d with chases.

Even non-athletic types could find themselves fascinated by the historical context Lindybeige provides.

If you’re moved to take racquet in hand, there are a handful of Real Tennis courts in the USA, UK, Australia, and France where you might be able to try your luck.

The sport could use you. Estimates indicate that the number of players has dwindled to a mere 10,000. Surely someone is desperate for a partner.

Delve further into the world of Real Tennis on the International Real Tennis Professionals Association’s website.

Check out some of Lindybeige’s other interests on his YouTube channel.

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Follow her @AyunHalliday

Medieval Tennis: A Short History and Demonstration is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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The Beach Boys’ Lost Concert: Watch the Band Perform Their Classics at Their Zenith (1964)

Por Colin Marshall — 5 de Outubro de 2021, 11:00

In early 1964, there could hardly have been an American teenager ignorant of the Beach Boys. Singing in immaculate harmonies about surfing, hot rods, girls, and root beer — as well as various combinations and permutations thereof — they soon found themselves riding an unprecedentedly high wave, so to speak, of postwar teen culture. On the other side of the pond, the Beatles had been hard at work playing to demographically similar, also-enraptured audiences. In February of 1964 the Fab Four arrived in America, and their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show alone put them on at least an equal footing there with the Beach Boys.

“The next opportunity for your average American Beatlemaniac to see the Beatles perform would have been at the movie theater watching the Beatles’ Washington D.C. concert at the Coliseum on a closed circuit broadcast on March 14 or 15, 1964,” says the blog Meet the Beatles for Real. “This was the first time in history that the closed-circuit was used for a concert. Previously, it had only been used to show boxing matches.”

The direct-to-theaters broadcast also included shorter opening acts Lesley Gore and the Beach Boys, the latter of whose performance was thought lost until its rediscovery in 1998. In the video above, you can see its entire 22 minutes at an audiovisual quality well exceeding most concert films of its era.

Beginning with “Fun, Fun, Fun,” the Beach Boys play a variety of early numbers that would turn out to rank among their most beloved songs, also including “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Surfer Girl,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” and “Shut Down.” (“Long Tall Texan” would only be properly recorded 32 years later, with the late country singer Doug Supernaw.) The set even features “In My Room,” whose melancholic break from the surfing-cars-girls spectrum offered a sign of things to come from the group’s musical mastermind Brian Wilson. Unsuited to the stress of stardom, he would recuse himself from live performance the following year. This show thus marks the onstage zenith of the Beach Boys’ classic lineup of the Wilson brothers Brian, Carl, and Dennis with Al Jardine and Mike Love. But as makers of classic albums — and classic albums pushed to heights of ambition by competition with the Beatles — they’d only just begun.

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Watch Lost Studio Footage of Brian Wilson Conducting “Good Vibrations,” The Beach Boys’ Brilliant “Pocket Symphony”

Enter Brian Wilson’s Creative Process While Making The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds 50 Years Ago: A Fly-on-the Wall View

Paul McCartney vs. Brian Wilson: A Rivalry That Inspired Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper, and Other Classic Albums

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Beach Boys’ Lost Concert: Watch the Band Perform Their Classics at Their Zenith (1964) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

✇ Open Culture

Footage of the Last Known Tasmanian Tiger Restored in Color (1933)

Por Josh Jones — 5 de Outubro de 2021, 08:00

Last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that nearly two dozen wildlife species would be removed from the endangered species list, as CNN reported, including the ivory-billed woodpecker, “the Bachman’s warbler, two species of freshwater fishes, eight species of Southeastern freshwater mussels and 11 species from Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.” This is not good news. The animals have been delisted because they’ve been added to a list of extinct creatures, one that grows longer each year.

Most of us have seen few, if any, of these animals and cannot grasp the scope of their loss. What does it mean to say there are no more Bachman’s warblers left on Earth? Species wiped out by climate change, overfarming, overfishing, or the encroachment of humans and invasive species can feel far away from us, their loss a distant tragedy; or extinction can seem inevitable, like that of the Dodo or Sicilian wolf, creatures that seem too fantastic for the world we now inhabit. So too, the dog-like marsupial Tasmanian tiger — or thylacine — an animal that lived as recently as 1936 when the last representative of its species, named Benjamin, died in captivity in Australia.

The thylacine looks like an evolutionary oddity, too weird to survive. But this judgment is a misapplication of Darwinism as egregious as the idea that only the “fittest,” i.e. those who can take good beating, survive. The day Benjamin died, September 7, has been commemorated in Australia as National Threatened Species Day, which raises awareness about the hundreds of plant and animal species close to extinction. The day also celebrates the hundreds of species found nowhere else in the world, animals that could come to seem to us in the near future as strange and exotic as the thylacine — a fascinating example of convergent evolution: a marsupial canid that evolved completely independently of wolves, dogs, and other canine species with which it had no contact whatsoever until the British arrived.

Found only on the island of Tasmania by the time of European settlement, thylacine populations were destroyed by disease, dogs, and, primarily, human hunters. Before the final member of the species died, they were kept in zoos and captured on silent film by naturalists like David Fleay, who shot the black-and-white footage just above of Benjamin at Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, Tasmania. In the video at the top, we can see the same footage in vivid color — and full digital restoration — thanks to Samuel François-Steininger and his Paris-based company Composite Films.

Sent an HDR (High Dynamic Range) scan of the film by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), François-Steininger had to make a lot of interpretive choices. Next to “original skins preserved in museums,” the NFSA notes, his team “had to rely on sketches and paintings because of the lack of original color pictures or footage that could be used for research.” While there are 9 short film clips of the animals from the London and Hobart zoos, these are all, of course, in black and white. “Written descriptions of the thylacine’s coat gave them a general idea of the tints and shades present in the fur, information they supplemented with scientific drawings and recent 3D color renderings of the animal.” The results are incredibly natural-looking and startlingly immediate.

Are the thylacine, Bachman’s warbler, and other extinct species victims of the Anthropocene? Will our children’s children children watch films of polar bears and koalas and wonder how our planet could have contained such wonders? Geological epochs deal with “mile-thick packages of rock stacked up over tens of millions of years,” Peter Brannen writes at The Atlantic, and thus it overstates the case to call the last four centuries of climate change and mass extinction an “Anthropocene.” The word names “a thought experiment” rather than a span of deep time in Earth’s history. But from the perspective of critically endangered species — maybe to include, eventually, humans themselves — the transformations of the present seem squarely focused on our reckless behavior and its effects on habitats we never see.

We are far less important to geological time than we think, Brannen argues, but it does, indeed, seem up to us at the moment whether there is a future on Earth filled with plant, animal, and yes, human, life:

We haven’t earned an Anthropocene epoch yet. If someday in the distant future we have, it will be an astounding testament to a species that, after a colicky, globe-threatening infancy, learned that it was not separate from Earth history, but a contiguous part of the systems that have kept this miraculous marble world habitable for billions of years.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Footage of the Last Known Tasmanian Tiger Restored in Color (1933) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

✇ Open Culture

Facebook Whistleblower Offers an Unprecedented Look at How the Company “Chooses Profits Over Safety”

Por OC — 5 de Outubro de 2021, 07:54

On Sunday night, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook data scientist, appeared on 60 Minutes and revealed that she left the company with a trove of private Facebook research–research which shows, she contends, that the company knowingly amplifies hate, misinformation and political unrest, all to keep people engaged and outraged, and thus their advertising money machine rolling. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Initially, she gave the company’s leaked documents to the Wall Street Journal, and they became the basis of the podcast series The Facebook Files. According to the Journal, “Time and again, the documents show, Facebook’s researchers have identified the platform’s ill effects. Time and again, despite congressional hearings, its own pledges and numerous media exposés, the company didn’t fix them. The documents offer perhaps the clearest picture thus far of how broadly Facebook’s problems are known inside the company, up to the chief executive himself.”

Watch the 60 Minutes interview above. Then stream the Facebook Files on WSJ’s site, Spotify and/or Apple. Episode 1 appears below:

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Facebook Whistleblower Offers an Unprecedented Look at How the Company “Chooses Profits Over Safety” is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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The Problem of Journal Supplements in a Sharing World

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“Evidence of Me” Becoming “Evidence of Us”: A Case Study of the Policy, Processes, Donor Relations and Responses of Selected New Zealand GLAM Institutions to Personal Donations of Collections and Artifacts

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Using Book Tasting in the Academic Library: A Tale of Children’s Literature, Collaboration, and an Increased Appetite for Books

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How Diverse is the Academic Library Children’s Picture Book Collection? Using Diverse Bookfinder’s Content Analysis, Demographic Data, and Historical Bibliographies to Analyze a Picture Book Collection

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Por Summer Durrant — 13 de Agosto de 2021, 03:14
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✇ Cerámica Wiki - Cambios recientes [es]

Estado vítreo

Por 189.172.183.13 — 4 de Outubro de 2021, 00:35

Página reemplazada por « ¨{{En}}:{{Wp|glassy state}} Vítreo Vítreo Categoría:Vidrios»

← Revisión anterior Revisión del 00:35 4 oct 2021
Línea 1: Línea 1:
El '''estado vítreo''' es amorfo, caracterizado por la rápida ordenación de las moléculas para obtener posiciones definidas.
 
   
Tradicionalmente se ha considerado que la materia podía presentarse bajo tres formas: la ''sólida'', la ''líquida'' y la ''gaseosa''. Nuevos medios de investigación de su estructura íntima -particularmente durante el siglo XX- han puesto al descubierto otras formas o ''estados'' en los que la materia puede presentarse. Por ejemplo el estado [[mesomorfo]] (una forma líquida con sus fases emécticas, nemáticas y colestéricas), el estado de [[plasma]] (o estado plasmático, propio de gases ionizados a muy altas temperaturas) o el estado '''''vítreo''''', entre otros.
 
 
Los cuerpos en ''estado vítreo'' se caracterizan por presentar un aspecto sólido con cierta dureza y rigidez y que ante esfuerzos externos moderados se deforman de manera generalmente elástica. Sin embargo, al igual que los líquidos, estos cuerpos son ópticamente isótropos, transparentes a la mayor parte del espectro electromagnético de radiación visible. Cuando se estudia su estructura interna a través de medios como la [[difracción de rayos X]], da lugar a bandas de difracción difusas similares a las de los líquidos. Si se calientan, su [[viscosidad]] va disminuyendo paulatinamente –como la mayor parte de los líquidos- hasta alcanzar valores que permiten su deformación bajo la acción de la gravedad, y por ejemplo tomar la forma del recipiente que los contiene como verdaderos líquidos. No obstante, no presentan un punto claramente marcado de transición entre el estado sólido y el líquido o "[[punto de fusión]]".
 
 
Todas estas propiedades han llevado a algunos investigadores a definir el estado vítreo no como un estado de la materia distinto, sino simplemente como el de un ''líquido subenfriado'' o líquido con una viscosidad tan alta que le confiere aspecto de sólido, sin serlo. Esta hipótesis implica la consideración del estado vítreo como un estado metastable al que una energía de activación suficiente de sus partículas debería conducir a su estado de equilibrio, es decir, el de sólido cristalino.
 
 
[[Imagen:SiO2 1.jpg|thumb|250px|Figura 1: Cristal organizado de SiO<sub>2</sub>]]
 
En apoyo de esta hipótesis se aduce el hecho experimental de que, calentado un cuerpo en estado vítreo hasta obtener un comportamiento claramente líquido (a una temperatura suficientemente elevada para que su viscosidad sea inferior a los 500 poises, por ejemplo), si se enfría lenta y cuidadosamente, aportándole a la vez la energía de activación necesaria para la formación de los primeros corpúsculos sólidos (siembra de microcristales, presencia de superficies activadoras, catalizadores de nucleación, etc.) suele solidificarse dando lugar a la formación de conjuntos de verdaderos cristales sólidos.
 
 
Todo parece indicar que los cuerpos en estado vítreo no presentan una ordenación interna determinada, como ocurre con los sólidos cristalinos. Sin embargo en muchos casos se observa un ''desorden ordenado'', es decir, la presencia de grupos ordenados que se distribuyen en el espacio de manera total o parcialmente aleatoria.
 
 
Esto ha conducido a diferentes investigadores a plantear diversas teorías sobre la estructura interna del estado vítreo, tanto de tipo geométrico, basadas tanto en las teorías atómicas como en las de tipo energético.
 
[[Imagen:SiO2 2.jpg|rigth|thumb|250px|Figura 2: SiO<sub>2</sub> en estado vítreo]]
 
 
Según la teoría ''atómica geométrica'', en la sílice sólida cristalizada el átomo de silicio se halla rodeado de cuatro átomos de oxígeno situados en los vértices de un tetraedro cada uno de los cuales le une a los átomos de silicio vecinos. Una vista en planta de este ordenamiento se esquematiza en la figura 1, en la que el cuarto oxígeno estaría encima del plano de la página. Cuando esta sílice pasa al estado vítreo, la ordenación tetraédrica '''se sigue manteniendo a nivel individual de cada átomo de silicio''', aunque los enlaces entre átomos de oxígeno y silicio se realizan en un aparente desorden, que sin embargo mantiene una organización unitaria inicial (véase la figura 2).
 
 
No obstante, ninguna de estas teorías es suficiente para explicar el comportamiento completo de los cuerpos vítreos aunque pueden servir para responder, en casos concretos y bien determinados, a algunas de las preguntas que se plantean.
 
 
Las sustancias susceptibles de presentar un estado vítreo pueden ser tanto de naturaleza inorgánica como orgánica, entre otras:
 
 
*Elementos químicos: Si, Se, Au-Si, Pt-Pd, Cu-Au.
 
*Óxidos: <math>SiO_2, B_2O_3, P_2O_5</math>, y algunas de sus combinaciones.
 
*Compuestos: <math>S_3As_2, Se_2Ge, S_3P_2, F_2Be, Cl_2Pb, IAg,(NO_3)_2Ca</math>.
 
*[[Silicona]]s (sustancias consideradas como ''semiorgánicas'')
 
*Polímeros orgánicos: tales como [[glicol]]es, [[azúcar]]es, [[poliamida]]s, [[poliestireno]]s o [[polietileno]]s, etc.
 
 
 
 
{{Trad-arriba}}
 
   
 
¨{{En}}:{{Wp|glassy state}}
 
¨{{En}}:{{Wp|glassy state}}
✇ Cerámica Wiki - Cambios recientes [es]

Primera Internacional

Por 186.183.4.48 — 3 de Outubro de 2021, 01:36

← Revisión anterior Revisión del 01:36 3 oct 2021
(No se muestra una edición intermedia del mismo usuario)
Línea 1: Línea 1:
[[Archivo:FRE-AIT.svg|thumb|right|Emblema del Consejo Federal de España de la AIT]]
+
[[Archivo:FRE-AIT.svg|thumb|right|Emblema del Consejo Federal de España de la AIT|vínculo=Special:FilePath/FRE-AIT.svg]]
 
La '''Asociación Internacional de los Trabajadores''' ('''AIT''') o '''Primera Internacional''', fue la primera gran organización que trató de unir a los [[trabajador]]es de los diferentes países.
 
La '''Asociación Internacional de los Trabajadores''' ('''AIT''') o '''Primera Internacional''', fue la primera gran organización que trató de unir a los [[trabajador]]es de los diferentes países.
   
Línea 56: Línea 56:
 
* Huelga como instrumento de lucha.
 
* Huelga como instrumento de lucha.
 
* Abolición de la propiedad privada de los bienes de producción y de los ejércitos permanentes.
 
* Abolición de la propiedad privada de los bienes de producción y de los ejércitos permanentes.
  +
*
   
 
== Véase también ==
 
== Véase también ==
✇ Cerámica Wiki - Cambios recientes [es]

Feldespato

Por 187.135.244.35 — 1 de Outubro de 2021, 22:15

← Revisión anterior Revisión del 22:15 1 oct 2021
(No se muestra una edición intermedia del mismo usuario)
Línea 47: Línea 47:
 
| var6text =
 
| var6text =
 
}}
 
}}
 
Los '''feldespatos''' son un grupo de [[mineral]]es formados por [[silicato]]s dobles de [[aluminio]] y de [[calcio]], [[sodio]], [[potasio]], algunas veces de [[bario]] o mezclas de esas bases. Es de la familia de los [[tectosilicato]]s.
 
 
Forman el grupo más importante de la corteza terrestre ya que constituyen el 60% de esta.
 
 
Es un material no plastico.
 
 
   
   
Línea 60: Línea 53:
 
Su nombre proviene del alemán, Feld y Spat, el término feldespático hace referencia a los materiales que contienen feldespatos.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feldspar#Etymology Feldspar]. Wikipedia.</ref>
 
Su nombre proviene del alemán, Feld y Spat, el término feldespático hace referencia a los materiales que contienen feldespatos.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feldspar#Etymology Feldspar]. Wikipedia.</ref>
   
  +
''Magnético tras calentar''
 
   
 
== Composición ==
 
== Composición ==
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