Thursday, March 10, 2011

Doodling With Science.

There are days on which school seems like, plainly put, the Worst: days when I have to tumble 10+ blocks through frigid wind for a morning Astronomy lecture, despite the fact that I have Zero enduring interest in Astronomy & moreover have been tossing & turning past sunrise the night before, over-anxious about some other academic banality. On days like these, I get predictably bitter, then guilty about being bitter, then bitter about being guilty about being bitter, & ultimately seriously consider what it would take to withdraw my tuition, put it in a series of gym bags, & hand them out to various developing countries.

Then, something like this happens:

In case you're wondering what this possibly could be—why, for example, I would get at all excited over a surprised stick figure made of hamburger meat channeling his inner BeeGee—I invite you to meet Carbon Monoxide Man. No, he's not the world's worst superhero ("What happened to them, officer?" "I don't— Aw, fuck, Carbon Monoxide Man was hiding behind the couch."), nor is he the slightly more noxious version of Chicago's Mr. Cellophane.

What he is, is molecular art.

I'm going to let that sink in for a second, then elaborate: these are carbon monoxide atoms, arranged on platinum into the shape of a man by the artist (their word, not mine) Zeppenfield, then photographed with a Scanning Tunneling Microscope.

Seriously: drawings, on a molecular level. I never thought I'd live to see the day.

Mark this, dear Reader: in 20 years, when you're sipping white wine at a swanky gallery on the Lower East Side, complaining about the clunkiness of your X-Treem Magnifying goggles, remember Carbon Monoxide Man.

Today's Headphone Fodder:

Like all somewhat morbid pre-teens, I went through the requisite Nightmare Before Christmas obsession phase—followed quickly by the requisite Poe obsession, then the "I'll wear this Hot Topic dress, but only to go to the Dresden Dolls concert" era (you know you've been there)—but, throughout all of this, I've never really liked "Sally's Song." I was always more of a "Jack's Lament" girl myself—"Jack's Obsession," too. "Poor Jack." Of course, any Elfman music is head & shoulders above most human deployments of sound, & Catherine O'Hara is basically  ideal, but regardless, I never quite came around to Sally or anything she might be singing—that is, until now.

What a fucking fantastic cover—a reinterpretation that manages to be both unpredictable (i.e., not the Marilyn Manson "This is Halloween") & still augment sentiment of the song, almost more so through reinterpretation—leaving to come back, flying by falling. Plus, fan or no, it's simply sonically lovely: the jolt cut-out of the background music in the final chorus makes my heart skip.

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