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  • 31074.0843

    Dean Falk, rebel paleontologist, discovered a discrete difference between extinct gracile and robust hominids that lived 2.5 million years ago. The robust lived in trees, with arms and legs of equal mass and ate mostly plant-life. The gracile lived on the savannah, where they faced dangerous predators, and adapted by running faster on powerful legs bi-pedally, and this allowed their arms to become the focus of their motor cortex. What she found may be the best evidence of where humans evolved from. Orchestrating hundreds of sources, Falk weaves the discoveries as a series of detective's eurekas. The shift from knuckle-walking to bipedalism involved transitions from forest to savanna, vegetarian diet to carnivorous, and a shift in how the body and brain cools itself (standing on two legs decreases exposure to the sun by a major percentage). Along the way, cranial blood-flow both shifts to certain key areas (speech) and adapts itself for a type of emergency cooling system that defaults when body heat reaches dangrous levels. The book is essentially a diagrammatic exploration of the chimp-hominid-human evolutionary "braindance", a pre-history for all neurologists, the book is a masterpiece of paleoneurology. Issues like balance and movement alert readers to the potentially limitless abilities of the bipedal mind. Her final chapters involve chimp and human agression (we get this from chimps who exhibit a gleeful rage fighting over food), calling us to become aware of the rationale for anger, murder and potetial for eventual self-destruction. Falk takes on the established, slumbering academics that ruled over the human missing link and the results involve amending their error-filled zoological family tree.

  • 31066.1826

    Korg's masterpiece device (and iPad program) is a loop manager with a Saturday Night Fever unicolor track-pad. The dial accesses 200 instruments and distortions and beat structures, all played by gliding fingers across the pad. Only the limitations of the MIDI, which restrict its greatest functions as local, keeps an orchestra out of its reach, but no doubt later generations of this will have deeper MIDI control. It slums as a techno-beat machine, but soars as an exotic loop management device. As a riff on Mattel products via Japanese electronics, the object is a dream come to life. Every child should be taught this. Even better, there are two of them...the second one (in red) is an effects processor, it makes no sounds on its own.

  • 31056.0957

  • 31053.1223

  • 31039.1033

    Memory Gets a Jolt

  • 31038.0842

    An excerpt from the New York Review of Books's We're more unequal than you think:

    Using US Census reports, I estimate that since 1985, the lower 60 percent of households have lost $4 trillion, most of which has ascended to the top 5 percent, including a growing tier now taking in $1 million or more each year.1 Some of our founders foresaw this happening. “Society naturally divides itself,” Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist, “into the very few and the many.” His coauthor, James Madison, identified the cause. “Unequal faculties of acquiring property,” he said, inhere in every human grouping. If affluence results from inner aptitudes, it might seem futile to try reining in the rich.

  • 31036.2252

  • 31027.2144

    Jerome Agel, Buckminster Fuller, McLuhan, Fiore, Herman Kahn, and assorted other characters reinvent the book as the message paperback of the 60s and it sells for $2.45. While McLuhan and Fuller enjoyed long-lasting notoriety (their paperbacks were merely the mass-marketing side of their fame), unsung hero Jerome Agel created some of the most inventive new journalism as portable rapid fire non-fiction. His Signet original The Making of Kubrick's 2001 included photocopies of torn tickets stubs demanding refunds, complaints by scientist Freeman Dyson about the acting, as well as a study of the initial rejection days after the film's release by established critics. Most reviews are full length. The critical shellacing chapter is followed by one of re-reviews, sudden reversals of critics, a few merely days after their first drubbing. And then, in the chapter "The Good Stuff," came John Lennon's famous claim on WBAI, that he sees it every week at the Loews, and suddenly the tide had turned. Space Odyssey shifted from failed mainstream property to the youth cult charm of the summer of love. The book shadows esoteric data with camera printing reports and detailed imagery that reveal effects secrets. The book came with a bravura 96 page centerpiece of images.

    This book from Princeton Architectural Press compiles their various pulp-visual styles and edits them into a sharp documentary paperback, the first of its kind. The first of its size. (including selections from McLuhan, Fuller, Herman Kahnciousness, The Making of 2001). Unironically priced: $19.95

  • 31026.1913

    This scant black and white masterpiece photo book, like another black and white photobook Wisconsin Death Trip, is composed of entirely found negatives, culled from historical, industrial and governmental archives (the defense industry is well in evidence). Evidence, made of some of the greatest late 20th century images of American photography, is precisely how future anthropologists will assess our near past. Specifically it will act as an introductory map to our various archives of visual data which will acompany very complex factual data, from a time/era without very much filming/taping ability. Each image the tip of an iceberg of thousands upon thousands of negatives. Services might even rebuild motion events from a series or even a single still of an experiment, and discover what really went wrong. Documentary movies will probably be made from stills in the future, tracking algorithms can spot each speed of a street in motion's objects, render them for seven seconds. The blur has micro blurs in the negative. Evidence will come to life. First published in 1977 (the equally great Wisconsin Death Trip was published 1974). Reprinted recently.

     

  • 31025.1030

    An excellent tech-piece in Gawker.