Evil Seeds from Space

As beautiful and wondrous as the cloud stars are, we must not forget that they also contain dangers.

Just as the enchanted world of the coral reef holds both spectacular sights as well as some of the most ferocious predators found in the sea, cloud stars have been known to have sinister things lurking in their shadows too.

Early on, both space probes as well as Earth based sensing equipment detected small clusters of highly radioactive debris inside a number of cloud stars.

Just as some trees have thorns, these radioactive masses emitted sharply focused, intense beams of ionizing radiation in the form of gamma rays.  The actual number of these “jellyfish” clusters is quite small yet would pose a significant threat to probes and of course to the crews of a manned space craft.

Ironically, these radioactive masses also have the potential to play the role of navigational beacons as their radioactive beams are so focused that they can easily be used in the way a magnetic compass utilizes the directional aspects of the Earth’s own magnetic field.  Barring that, they also serve as their own lighthouses as they’re easily detected by onboard sensors which all spacecraft already routinely employ to avoid radiation hazards in space.

(Images made in Kandid using the Affine thing in grayscale.)

Nanosphere

Yeah, I can see it.  I can see them.  Street lights, apartment buildings; a bustling city on a grain of rice.  The tail lights of cars; the gritty sidewalks and the busy people.  There’s sky too.  A bit.  The smog gives it a golden glow.  A dirty golden glow.  It’s five o’clock in the afternoon and it’s winter.  In the shadows you can see the night.  People going home.  But some of them are not too tired to see the great dirty city and the dots, connected, that make up the bigger dot.

It’s a thousand streets and sidewalks; electric wires and railings; data flows and networks.  This is the x-ray of the city – everywhere in one place.  The abstract is real because that’s what our minds see.

Howler Stars

Although cloud stars have only very recently been discovered, it is already apparent that there are many kinds of them.

One of the most recent types added to the list are the howler variety.

Howler stars received their name because of their characteristic radio frequency emission which when received on standard radio-telescope equipment resembles a howling noise similar to wind or the suction sound associated with a whirlpool.

It’s not understood how a cloud star can also be a radio frequency emitter (RFE) because, once again, their low density eliminates the usual sources by which normal stars emit light, heat and all other types of electromagnetic radiation.

One possibility that’s been suggested is that cloud stars that “howl” don’t actually create the radio transmissions themselves like a pulsar does but rather only alter the signal produced by another star just like a pocket of gas can act like a prism when regular light from another source is passed through it.

This is similar to one of the theories used to explain the existence of cloud stars themselves, that being resonances or eddies in the gravitational fields of stars which creates areas of stronger than normal gravity where gas and other matter subsequently collect yet without the presence of any mass which would normally be necessary to create such a gravitational field.

In fact some astronomers at first referred to these cloud star formations as “sargasso” stars in reference to the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic Ocean, a central area where debris becomes trapped due to the ocean currents which revolve around it and independently of any influence by land.

Candle Ships

While still in the very early planning stages, NASA has released plans for a space ship that is powered entirely by the energy released by a single wax candle.

Owing to the weightlessness of space and the complete lack of drag which slows down terrestrial aircraft, the actual energy requirements of space travel are relatively small.  So small in fact that a small, efficiently designed craft could theoretically travel at 1,000 mph using no more than 1,200 Joules — the energy released by a 400 gram candle in one hour.

As is often the case, however; the Candle Ship is competing for research and design dollars with another similar project called the Boxing Ring Ship.

The Boxing Ring Ship utilizes the heat given off by the human body during strenuous exercise.  Enclosed in a special room whose special walls absorb heat and convert it into electricity, two astronauts would literally fight it out in order to power their space ship and reach their destination.

Owing to the design of the Boxing Ring Ship, a much larger crew would be required but they would not have to be so carefully picked or trained.  In fact, a ship with a particularly poorly trained crew and much less discipline may actually move faster and generate more energy than the average well-trained and highly selected crew which NASA currently favors for all its missions.

The Boxing Ring Ship came about as a spin off from the Screaming Crew Ship which was powered by the sound waves generated by the crew screaming in a specially designed compartment made to collect vibrations and convert them into electric power.  Early on however, it was found that crew members had much less endurance when it came to screaming than fighting and so the Boxing Ring method was substituted.

Most researchers favor the Candle Ship design although it has been suggested that a combination of all three would add greater reliability.

Isle of the Dead

It’s not such a great image, but I posted it because of it’s interesting similarity to Bocklin’s Isle of the Dead.

Bocklin’s painting is surreal, and yet there is really nothing overtly surreal; the effect comes entirely from our mind.  Which is why I find abstract or semi-abstract works are the most expressive and powerful works of art.  They look like something real; but they look like something  more than just real.  There is something unpredictable and unnatural about the alien hand that made them — that is, the computer algorithm.  This Isle of the Dead was painted by dead things — a machine.

Still, Bocklin’s painting is a fine example of the greatness of what I call, “Handmade Art” — the human stuff.  He has really captured the dreamlike vision he saw in his mind.

Iterated Isle of the Dead 2.  Sounds like a trashy horror movie sequel.

The images were made in Kandid — spontaneously and mysteriously, like an island on the horizon where there should be none.

Cloud Star

Pictured above is an image of a recently discovered Cloud Star.  Although theoretically impossible due to their low density, the Cloud Stars are ready for display and discussion at the beta level.

Early speculation has determined that these Cloud Stars are not actually stars in the normal sense as their surface temperature is relatively quite low.  While they do emit a significant amount of microwave and infra-red radiation, it is considered to be at a level which is not harmful to human life and in fact may be very complementary to it.

A Cloud Star can best be described as a low density energy emitting gravitational field (LDEEGF).  Within the cloud cosmic rays and other forms of radiation common in space are greatly reduced in the same way that Earth’s atmosphere shields us from these dangers and makes space suits unnecessary.

Since Cloud Stars have such a strong resemblance to an atmosphere without a planet, it has been suggested that it may be possible to build space stations there or even inhabit the surface of small planetoids that are already there with a minimum of effort since the environment is much more sheltered and much less inhospitable than the lunar surface or that of asteroids in ordinary space and therefore life support systems would be less complex and less expensive to provide.

(Images made in Kandid using the Iterated Function System (IFS) Affine Transformation.  Text from my own imagination.  But who knows?  Perhaps it’s possible.  It’s nowhere near as crazy as relativity or some of that other “science” stuff.)

Ground to Perfection

As with all digital effects or filters, one can never go too far.  There are no rules, just common ways of doing things.  Why a digital camera program like Showfoto should have a set of distortion filters to start with suggests that it’s perfectly ordinary to do non-ordinary things when you’re working in the digital medium.

The blockwave filter is the one I like to use most.  (Actually it’s the only one I use from Showfoto’s plugin repertoire.)  It has two sliders; one to make the blockwave pattern smaller and the other to do something pretty much the same thing.  It doesn’t really matter how they work; what matters is what they do to the image.

If you set the top one to its maximum, 100, and the lower one to over 30, then you get the scratchy surface texture that you see here.  It’s almost like a kind of blur effect except it has a lot of irregularities in it.  It’s the irregularities that make it interesting.  They make it creative.

Although I’m sure this kind of imagery isn’t for everyone, I find it rather intriguing.  Showfoto has a border feature too.  Using the default setting of 10% and the color white, I find it adds a very classy look to these otherwise rough, primitive things.

Painters like Turner and in a few cases, Whistler, made some very interesting, almost abstract renderings of real things, mostly storms or dark, smudgy night time scenes.  I find these images here, although they certainly aren’t in the same artistic category, have the same vivid yet also abstracted quality to them. They suggest so many things although, at first glance, its easy to shrug them off as mere smudges.

Art’s a funny thing, but if we try to think about the experience of it I think we’ll come to a solid and confident understanding of what it is and also what it isn’t.  Art is uniquely human and associated (mostly) with civilization and all that is noble about human living (reflection, criticism, expression, beauty, creativity..).  Studying it, I suspect, is probably much more practical and profitable than most people would think.  Art is way of being.

Sure, go ahead and laugh.

The Chromosomes of Clouds!


Image made in Kandid.  Below in simple XML format are it’s “chromosomes”.  Far out, eh?  Apparently they can be “edited”.  Which of course raises all sorts of moral and ethical issues.  Do we have the right to change the Mona Lisa’s hair and eye color?  All of a sudden, pushing buttons and turning dials became a lot more complicated.

>>>>>>>>

<entity version=”0.1.3″>

<affineIfs version=”0.1.4″>

<calculationName>
kandid.calculation.affineifs.AffineIfsColorCalculation
</calculationName>
<coloratorName>kandid.colorator.GrayColorator</coloratorName>

<chromosome>
<ident>AffineIfs_fpy89srm_fpy89sv1</ident>

<seed>
<value>-1476873933768869005</value>
</seed>

<affineTransformation>

<ta>
<value>-0.8078796326940123</value>
</ta>

<tb>
<value>0.3415992183262049</value>
</tb>

<tc>
<value>-0.8665095157757292</value>
</tc>

<td>
<value>-0.6810577575649235</value>
</td>

<te>
<value>-0.9403440637961995</value>
</te>

<tf>
<value>0.866380668711781</value>
</tf>
</affineTransformation>

<affineTransformation>

<ta>
<value>0.5409631958673375</value>
</ta>

<tb>
<value>-0.7611719665286025</value>
</tb>

<tc>
<value>0.5510192836824293</value>
</tc>

<td>
<value>0.9069959289458356</value>
</td>

<te>
<value>-0.716705713305507</value>
</te>

<tf>
<value>-0.4671494870652151</value>
</tf>
</affineTransformation>

<affineTransformation>

<ta>
<value>-0.5579078438050391</value>
</ta>

<tb>
<value>0.8255291862070842</value>
</tb>

<tc>
<value>-0.8535702361806812</value>
</tc>

<td>
<value>-0.516281828782152</value>
</td>

<te>
<value>0.4415096117785988</value>
</te>

<tf>
<value>-0.9357091828192161</value>
</tf>
</affineTransformation>

<affineTransformation>

<ta>
<value>0.4806579818379102</value>
</ta>

<tb>
<value>0.32709449403487967</value>
</tb>

<tc>
<value>0.8321460062121662</value>
</tc>

<td>
<value>-0.9183863550411135</value>
</td>

<te>
<value>-0.5271962939268007</value>
</te>

<tf>
<value>0.023523470067522867</value>
</tf>
</affineTransformation>
</chromosome>
</affineIfs>
</entity>

Mystic Cloud of Wisdom!

It’s just one of the many tricks that Kandid, the funky java program does.  This one was pulled from its Affine IFS Grayscale magic hat.  If you look at enough of these they start to get irritating, but sometimes they are very startling and surreal like this glowing cloud in a black sky.

Here’s another that has no particular feature of interest but has a strange ghostlike, appartion appearance.  To me it looked like some Roman galley with oars sticking out and military banners held up.  But it also has a passing resemblance to a building filled with scaffolding and rebar and about to have concrete poured into its forms — in a nightmarish sense.

And everywhere –the mysterious vapours.

It gets crazier.  You can “breed” the images and mix their “chromosomes” together!  It’s called Genetic Art.  I call it The Island of Dr. Moreau.jar (Java ARchive).

The Persistence of Neighbours

I like the Dali-esque, melting clocks and propped-up bones style the image has.  This is a strangely carved, vegetable-like stucture and the scribblings in the sky up beyond it are just as cryptic and engrossing as the subject in the foreground — a potato-ey thing.

Here’s another with a slightly different twist of the dials on the blockwave filter.  It looks more like potato pillars and the sky seems to doing some building of its own.  Let’s look at where the image came from.  When making art from pushing buttons and turning dials, I only push buttons and turn dials; I don’t draw stuff like real artists do.  I don’t have time for that; and why reinvent the wheel, anyhow?

This is not quite the very beginning of the image; it’s been India Inked to provide a workable texture and surface detail for the blockwaving machine in Showfoto that created the distored images up top.

Here is the original image as I found it in a BBC website newstory on the most recent chapter in the ongoing dealings between Russia and the Ukraine with respect to natural gas.  It’s probably a stock photo and could have come from anywhere in the world that has pipes with gauges, sunlight and sky.  I saw some real potential in the image particularly the colors, but the clearly defined object was also compelling.

I like this sort of scavenging thing.