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A Stopgap as Design Curiosities becomes Curiosity and Curiosities

curiosityandcuriosities

In an effort to bring more unique and thoughtful content to our site we’ve been discussing and working on what changes we need to make. As those changes are taking place behind the scenes, and to let you know that we are still here, you can find us at Curiosity and Curiosities. We are sharing visual content daily as a stopgap for this transition.

Curiosities: MOON

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MOON is 1/20 million scale 3D replica four years in the making. It was recently funded on kickstarted and every aspect was thoroughly researched and designed. The globe was created using data from NASA’s lunar reconnaissance orbiter mission, and the setup recreates lunar phases as seen from Earth. You can view the actual lunar phase, manually choose one, or see a complete synodic month in 30 seconds.

Curiosities: Photographs of Mount St. Helens Erupting

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On May 18, 1980 Mount St. Helens erupted, becoming the first major volcanic eruption in the States since 1915. Keith Stoffel was attending the Yakima Gem and Mineral Show as a representative of the Division of Geology and Earth Resources for the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA DNR). He and his wife Dorothy charted a plane that day with pilot Bruce Judson, unknowing of what was to come. From their vantage point they watched the volcano erupt, narrowly escaping thanks to the efforts of Judson. They captured a few photographs (including the one above) and Keith later summarized what he saw in a WA DNR paper (PDF):

Within a matter of seconds, perhaps 15 seconds, the whole north side of the summit crater began to move instantaneously. As we were looking directly down on the summit crater, everything north of a line drawn east-west across the northern side of the summit crater began to move as one gigantic mass. The nature of movement was eerie, like nothing we had ever seen before. The entire mass began to ripple and churn up, without moving laterally. Then the entire north side of the summit began sliding to the north along a deep-seated slide plane. I was amazed and excited with the realization that we were watching this landslide of unbelievable proportions slide down the north side of the mountain toward Spirit Lake. We took pictures of this slide sequence occurring, but before we could snap off more than a few pictures, a huge explosion blasted out of the detachment plane. We neither felt nor heard a thing, even though we were just east of the summit at this time. Dorothy saw the southern portion of the summit crater begin to crumble and slide to the north just after the initial explosion.

From our viewpoint, the initial cloud appeared to mushroom laterally to the north and plunge down. Within seconds, the cloud had mushroomed enough to obscure our view. At about this time, the realization of the enormous size of the eruption hit us, and we focused our attention on getting out of there.

They were not the only plane in the sky that day. A private plane flown by a former fighter pilot had been divereted to Seattle with his family, on return from vacation. In no apparent danger, he flew near the eruption and captured these photographs. His Grandson recently shared them (r/pics), but doesn’t have all the details of the day at the present.

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Curiosities: Notes Left with Children at the NY Foundlings Hospital

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Due to hardship and poverty, the abandonment of infants in New York in the late 1860’s was unfortunately not a noteworthy occurrence. The beginnings of the New York Foundling Asylum of the Sisters of Charity was brought by the need of mothers and fathers with no options left. Response was immediate, a baby was left with Sister Irene and her two companions before their preparations were even completed. A large number of babies followed, and their institution grew to support them over time.

Pinned notes often accompanied these infants and offered a glimpse of the heartbreak the parents or custodians must have felt when leaving their child behind. The New York Historical Society has a small collection of these notes from the Foundling Asylum which they have shared in a few albums on their Flickr page.

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Curiosities: Examples of Penmanship & Typography from the BHL

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A consortium of botanical and natural history libraries, the Biodiviersity Heritage Library is working towards digitizing their collections of public domain journals and books. It is an endless resource of images and information that can be used freely, depending on its copyright status. Delving through the collection led to an unexpected discovery of many beautiful examples of penmanship and typography.

※ The images above were edited for DC, originals are below.

Purple Magnolia
Melanocephalis
Flabellatus
Gemellata
Vesicatoria
Xyridaceae
Penguin
Der Penguin
Le Penguin

Biol. bentr.Am
Wild Sweet Pea
Field Museum
The Sea
The Goosebeek’d Whale
Dahlias
Pigeon Blondinette Noir
Noir Pigeon Satinette