A 1:60-Scale Boeing 777 Built Entirely from Paper Manilla Folders by Luca Iaconi-Stewart [via Nina Reznick]

Inspired by high school architecture class where he was assigned to create simple paper models using cut paper manilla folders, San Francisco-based designerLuca Iaconi-Stewart went home to begin construction on an extremely ambitious project: a 1:60 scale reproduction of a Boeing 777 using some of the techniques he learned in class. That was in 2008, when Iaconi-Stewart was just a junior in high school.





Unbelievably, the project continues five years later as he works on and off to perfect every aspect of the plane. Relying on detailed schematics of an Air India 777-300ER he found online, he recreates the digital drawings in Adobe Illustrator and then prints them directly onto the paper manilla folders. But everything has to be perfect. So perfect, that Iaconi-Stewart says he’s actually built two airplanes, the one you see here and the numerous failed attempts including three tails, two entire sets of wings, and multiple experiments to ensure everything is just so.

The paper plane-making wunderkind hopes to finally wrap up the project this summer and isn’t quite sure what will happen next, but thinks an even larger 20-foot model could be an interesting next step. So far there are no plans for the completed model to go anywhere, but it would look great in an aeronautical museum or in the lobby of a certain aircraft manufacturer’s lobby. Just some suggestions. All photos courtesy Luca Iaconi-Stewart.
 (via Wired)

Andrea Bocelli in China

On May 15th, by the invitation of President Xi and First Lady Peng Liyuan, Andrea Bocelli performed at the Beijing National Stadium in front of over 1.7Billion viewers on live TV and streaming.

Andrea Bocelli and Frankie Nasso

This portion of the program was produced by Frankie Nasso, Nova Entertainment, working throughout China, Italy, the US and the UK to deliver Maestro Bocelli to a live audience filled with Presidents and Leaders from 48 Asian Nations, from Australia to Israel to Japan and beyond. 

 This was the largest government-sponsored entertainment event ever hosted in China, with over 8,000 performers on stage throughout the evening. 

The Voynich Manuscript

There are still several ancient languages modern scholars cannot decipher, like Minoan hieroglyphics (called Linear A) or Khipu, the intricate Incan system of writing in knots. These symbols contain within them the wisdom of civilizations, and there’s no telling what might be revealed should we learn to translate them. Maybe scholars will only find accounting logs and inventories, or maybe entirely new ways of perceiving reality. When it comes, however, to a singularly indecipherable text, the Voynich Manuscript, the language it contains encodes the wisdom of a solitary intelligence, or an obscure, hermitic community that seems to have left no other trace behind.
Composed around the year 1420, the 240-page manuscript appears to be in dialogue with medieval medical and alchemical texts of the time, with its zodiacs and illustrations botanical, pharmaceutical, and anatomical. But its script only vaguely resembles known European languages.

Recording 900 years of graffiti in Orkney's cathedral

Exterior of St Magnus cathedral

Image captionSt Magnus is a pink cathedral built by the Vikings in Orkney

St Magnus Cathedral is a giant pink building which dominates the centre of Kirkwall.
It is a much loved building, at the centre of church and community events.
But for almost 900 years, people have been expressing their affection for the place by literally leaving their mark there.
Now Orkney Archaeology Society is training up volunteers to make the first full record of all the graffiti in the building.

East window
Image captionThe east window of the cathedral features carved stonework
Skull and hourglass on a memorial
Image captionMemorials lining the nave include grotesque reminders of death and decay
Image captionInscriptions like this are what you might expect to see in a church or cathedral

There are spectacular carvings in the cathedral that are supposed to be there - from the detail of stonework in the stained glass windows, to the inscriptions and grave markers in the nave.
But it is now becoming clear that there are hundreds - maybe thousands - of much more informal marks, which have been left in the fabric of the building over centuries.
It is a tradition which started with the stone masons who built it, and who cut their symbols into the blocks of stone they carved.
And it continued through the 19th Century and until World War Two when sailors based in Scapa Flow scrawled their names, and the names of the ships they served on, on to masonry in the galleries and upper levels of the building.

Image captionSome of the graffiti is easy to spot, and carved with great skill
Image captionOther carvings become visible if you shine a torch onto them, or they are caught in a beam of sunlight
Pencil note recording grave
Image captionThis pencil note, in the choir, seems to record the position of a grave - seven feet from the pillar and two feet four inches deep

Examples of graffiti which are already known about - but which have not been fully recorded - include a carved circle, thought to be a charm to protect from harm; peoples' initials; and a pencil note on a pillar in the Choir which appears to record the position of a grave.
The plan now is for archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands in Orkney to train volunteers with the skills to find and note down every piece of graffiti in the building.
It is hoped that it might be possible to publish a record of them - either as a book, or as an online resource.

Circular charm
Image captionThis carefully carved circle featuring six petal shapes is thought to be a medieval charm
Double V graffiti
Image captionDouble V carvings like this are quite common in medieval church buildings, and are thought to refer to the Virgin Mary
Poster on stonework
Image captionAttempts by the authorities to stop people leaving graffiti have not been successful
Fake graffiti
Image captionNot all the graffiti in the building is what it claims to be. This inscription says it was left by Leif Ericson in the year 1156. Experts think it almost certainly wasn't.

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Sam Corso's Amazing and Rare Stain Glass Artwork [via Laurie Atchity-Dressman ]

Samuel J. Corso is a multi-media artist with a concentration in glass. He has been selected to participate in many juried and invitational exhibitions throughout the United States including exhibitions with the Mobile Museum of Art, the Regional Craft Biennial, The Arkansas Art Center Decorative Arts Museum and the Glass Art National.

The Town with a Subculture of Secret Tiny Doors

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, a series of what is known as ‘fairy doors’, began popping up around the area in 2005, built into buildings, shops and restaurants and quickly acquired a cult following. Father and children’s book author, Jonathan B. Wright, believed to be behind the installation of  the whimsical tiny portals, is kind of like the Banksy of fairy doors.

One of the fairy doors in Ann Arbor, outside the Peaceable Kingdom store. There’s a miniature replica of the shop behind the door built under the window display, which can also be seen from tiny windows inside the store…

It all began in 1993 when Jonathan was renovating his home and decided to install some fairy doors for his daughters (one in the fireplace and two in the kitchen). You can see the doors he built for them here. Over a decade later, he decided to go public. On April 7, 2005, the first public fairy door appeared outside Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea. Ten days later, the Peaceable Kingdom one appeared.

Ann Arbor Public Library

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