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In other news…

We interrupt this program to bring you an utterly off-topic, yet utterly amusing message:

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History, Animated, Quick and Uneuphemistic

The moon hoax, why Nixon lost the debate, and what dinosaurs have to do with Gerald Ford and a chicken.

Despite our general dismissal of history as a boiling pot of mistakes that humanity never learned from, we have to admit it offers a great and telling tale or two. And the History Channel is out to prove it.

The Great and Telling Tales of History is a brilliant series of 1-minute films in which history’s walking encyclopedia, historian Timothy Dickinson, tells us, in a grandfatherly voice and an endearing British accent, little-known and fascinating facts about the history of politics, pop culture and the world at large.

Jimmy Carter and the Killer Rabbit

But what makes the films truly marvelous is that we’re taken through the unexpected twists and turns of history by artist Benjamin Goldman‘s wonderful animation — dark and delightful at the same time, every bit as full of unexpected twists and turns as the stories themselves.

The Brain

The talks aren’t just mere recaps of history, either. They’re full of Tim Dickinson’s own, often unapologetic and unorthodox, theories about the world — like the rather snarky short on drugs, in which he shares this uneuphemistically true sentiment about human nature:

The point is, we are fundamentally dissatisfied with our standard biological condition, and we’ll find one way or another of altering it.

Jimmy Carter and the Killer Rabbit

Some of our favorites: Jimmy Carter vs. the Killer RabbitThe Brain, The Strange Case of Mary Toft, and Charles Darwin.

Charles Darwin

>> via Coudal

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Retro Revival: The Depths of Soul

An elderly Englishman, a copyright violation, and 25,000 explorations of music’s deepest obscurity.

Retro revival is everywhere. We see it today’s web design trends, we see it in Fashion Week’s latest output, and we see it in retro-inspired artists taking SXSW by storm. But the only way to do the trend right is to be inspired by all the right things, the deepest and most authentic roots of what we now call “retro.”

That’s where Sir Shambling’s Deep Soul Heaven steps in — an immense archive of rare and unreleased “deep soul” (a unique musical genre that explores deep human emotion and existential philosophy in the unlikely realm of “popular music) from the Golden Age of soul between 1960 and 1980.

Sir Shambling's Collection

The project comes from an eccentric elderly Englishman who goes by “Sir Shambling” and whose obsession with black music began about 35 years ago and resulted in a personal collection of over 25,000 records. Most of them are B-sides and rarities from music history’s most indulgently obscure heroes. And many of them are available as free mp3’s, digitized from the original 45’s for your culturally enriching pleasure.Blind Am I

As you can guess, this goes against the legal grain of copyright law and P2P filesharing — but Sir Shambling shares a certain conviction with us:

The widest possible exposure to music is the best way to keep it alive, to promote interest in the artists themselves and to generate activity in the legitimate reissue business.

Well said, Sir.

The collection spans an enormous spectrum of music — from such impossibly obscure records as the 1969 “Blind Am I” from Chicago-based group Uptight Sound Creation‘s first and only record, to Tommy Soul‘s unexpected cover of classic soul ballad “I Need Someone (To Love Me)” from the mid-60’s. Then there’s the astounding vault of articles that an leave any music geek paralyzed with exuberance.

So go ahead, dive into the heart of soul — you’ll be mesmerized and bewitched and inspired in ways you didn’t know existed.

via Very Short List

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The Real Beauty Industry

Sight, sound, motion, and more beauty than your beholder eyes can handle.

The notion of beauty is among the most subjective, abstract concepts out there. (Despite what the cookie-cutter “beauty industry” may tell us.) Advanced BeautyAdvanced BeautyBut every once in a while, something comes by that is so fundamentally sublime in concept, execution and emotional charge that it’s hard to contest its beauty.

Case in point: Advanced Beauty, an ongoing exploration of digital art influenced by sound. A collaborative project between artists, programmers, musicians, architects and animators, Advanced Beauty offers a wonderland of sight and sound through a series of audio-reactive “video sound sculptures,” creating a moving sensory experience in what’s become known as sisomo — the powerful intersection of sight, sound and motion.

And while the work by all the artists collaborating on the project is truly phenomenal, we particularly dig Fernando Sarmiento from Argentinian animation and character design get-up Pepper Melon (whom you may recall from the critically acclaimed Mama Lucchetti TV spot that made the creative rounds last month) and their fascinating sound sculpture for Advanced Beauty.

Pepper Melon: Advanced Beauty

Another brilliant, could-be-a-bit-over-our-head-but-fantastic-nonetheless effort: Enerugii, a responsive, generative sound sculpture by Karsten Schmidt of London-based design studio PostSpectacular — a hybrid idea merging volumetric modeling with marker shapes that only respond to certain user-defined dynamics to produce a truly hypnotic piece that sweeps you up with sound, tosses you into a sea of shape and color, and leaves you floating in the fluidity of the moment.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/1197991[/vimeo]

Go ahead, explore the artists for yourself. And check out the Advanced Beauty podcast on iTunes, spotlighting some of the most compelling works from the project.

Thanks, Michal

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