8 Minutes

Alexander Whitley is the choreographer of 8 Minutes on the main stage of Sadler’s Wells, London during the summer.

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It is done in collaboration with solar scientists from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the title refers to the length of time it takes for the sun’s light to reach the Earth.

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Whitley has incorporated quotes about astrophysics into the soundtrack, and has managed to create something that feels concrete and ungraspable at the same time, much like the universe.

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London’s Evening Standard praises the way 8 Minutes merges dance, visuals and music as equal partners. Daniel Wohl’s score pulsates with solar energy while Tal Rosner’s hypnotic digital projections feature lava-like waves, inky black views from space and a sizzling red sun.

Mobiles

There is a new exhibition of mobile sculpture by Alexander Calder at the Whitney Gallery in New York. Scientist can monitor the changes. The resulting patterns mean that Calder’s art can be extended to create new rhythms, shapes and relationships.

Double-click on the image below.

Cats

Nature, June 22 p 480 reports that C. Ottoni et al have recently found two evolutionary lineages of cats through the Neolithic, 10,000 to 5,000 years ago.

They analysed DNA from more than 200 specimens of cat remains from Asia and Africa, from two separate lineages.

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One of these first appeared in sw Asia and had spread into Europe by 4400BC. The other began in Egypt, home of the Bastet goddess culture that spread north into Greece.

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It is unlikely that cats were domesticated in these early stages of cat migration. But they did live in human communities to control vermin and other pests, as they still do in modern Greece.

Renovation

Scientific advances in materials science and image analysis enable the work of renovation tackle more ambitious challenges. A recent example of this is the Hudson Theatre in Manhattan.

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One of Broadway’s oldest surviving theatres, first opened 114 years ago, has been renovated and reopened earlier this year –

05HUDSON3-jumbo-v2.jpg— with Jake Gyllenhaal in the revival of “Sunday in the Park With George”. It becomes Broadway’s 41st and newest playhouse, 114 years after it became one of Broadway’s first. Then, it opened with a production of “Cousin Kate” starring Ethel Barrymore.

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The theater was built by Henry B. Harris, above left, who ran it until 1912, when he perished on the Titanic. His wife, Renée, also above, survived and returned to New York to operate the theater. She became one of Broadway’s first female producers but she lost it to foreclosure in the Depression.

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Located on 44th Street just east of Broadway, the ornate theater has led a life as various as Manhattan itself, with stints as a TV studio (1950s), a reborn theater and then a porn palace (’60s), a rock venue (’80s), and, for the last 20 years, an event space for Millennium Hotels.

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After the renovation by the Ambassador Theatre Group of Britain the Hudson is ready to be a showplace again and one of the few new theatres on  Broadway.

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Hokusai’s volcano

At the British Museum, there is an exhibition of the popular paintings by Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849). There are several images of the Fuji volcano.hokusai_highlight_fuji_1000.jpg

They are symbols of natural power and human vulnerability.  Hokusai’s infatuation with Mount Fuji was much more than an admiration of its beauty. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter told that a goddess placed an elixir of life at the top of the peak, and thus the mountain was a secret source of immortality, as well as a secret reason for Hokusai’ obsession with the mountain.

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This gave him a chance to explore and experiment with its beauty. hokusai_highlight_snowy_1000.jpg

A section through a present-day volcano shows its hidden structure:

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Cross-section through a stratovolcano (vertical scale is exaggerated):

  1. Large magma chamber
  2. Bedrock
  3. Conduit (pipe)
  4. Base
  5. Sill
  6. Dike
  7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano
  8. Flank
  9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano
  10. Throat
  11. Parasitic cone
  12. Lava flow
  13. Vent
  14. Crater
  15. Ash cloud

By Jupiter

Some early findings from NASA’s Juno mission are published today in Science magazine (papers by SJ Bolton et al and JEP Connerney et al). They present some of the pictures from the orbiter that arrived at Jupiter last July. The familiar stripes appear to be hot bands seen through layers of cloud:

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The top and bottom of Jupiter are pockmarked with a chaotic mélange of swirls that are immense storms hundreds of miles across.

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The planet’s interior core appears bigger than expected, and swirling electric currents are generating surprisingly strong magnetic fields.

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Auroral lights shining in Jupiter’s polar regions seem to operate in a reverse way to those on Earth. There appears not to be an entirely solid or gaseous core to the planet. One clue to what is at the core is a belt of ammonia that may be rising around the planet’s equator.

What they report is nothing like Jupiter Ascending, the 2015 film, written, produced and directed, by The Wachowskis.

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By Jupiter was a Rogers and Hart musical production in New York during 1942. Such human creativity is not a patch on what NASA is finding.

Ice

USM Modular Furniture presents an exhibition by Swiss photographer Daniel Schwartz. The black and white photographs can be viewed from May 4-26, 2017 in the USM, New York Soho Showroom. ds.jpg.1280x680_q90_crop.jpgThe images feature glaciers in Switzerland, Pakistan, Peru and Uganda.

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Glaciers form a dynamic system. Due to man-made climate change, they are rapidly losing surface area and mass with far-reaching consequences. Glaciers serve as reservoirs of water as well as serving as an archive of climate history.

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Daniel Schwartz presents the glacier as a place of remembrance – confronting loss by exposing the past – and as a stage that reveals the future as it recedes.