What do you think an apple core is? What’s the thing we throw away?
It is a ghost. If you eat your apples whole, you are a hero to this ghost. If you do not, you are barely alive. Come experience vitality.
Earlier this year, in “How to Eat Apples Like a Boss,” a video by Foodbeast, the Internet was promised the gift of confidence in apple-eating. Elie Ayrouth ate an apple starting at the bottom, proceeding to up to the top, and finishing with a wink to the camera, as a boss does. Eating as such, Foodbeast said, the core “disappears.”
I do them one better and say that it never existed. The core is a product of society, man. There is a thin fibrous band, smaller in diameter than a pencil and not bad to the taste. If you eat your apple vertically, it is not noticeable to taste.
GIFs as we know them may date from the 1980s; as analog concepts, though, they’re much older than that. The principles of motion-making were recognized by Euclid. Starting in the 1800s, scientists and inventors and hobbyists began experimenting with technologies that would fool the eye into perceptions of motion. In 1832, the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau invented a device he called the phenakistoscope (from the Greek phenakizein, “to deceive or cheat”)—a rod-mounted disc that, when spun, created the illusion of motion. There was also the thaumatrope, a double-sided card that simulated motion when it was twirled between two pieces of string. There was also, in 1879, Muybridge’s famous zoopraxiscope.
As new technologies created new venues for motion graphics, artists eagerly took advantage of them. The earliest GIFs—GIFs in spirit, before there were GIFs in practice—ranged in content, like their digital counterparts, from curiosity to artistry, from the banal to the brilliant. Which is a fact appreciated by Richard Balzer, who has spent the past 40 years accumulating a collection of early animation technologies. Balzer, the subject of a great profile in The Verge, has spent the past five of those years curating a virtual museum of his collection—including drawings and photographs of the 19th-century animations he’s gathered, as well as images of the technologies themselves. And he has begun converting those early moving images into GIFs that he has, in turn, posted to his Tumblr.
The animations range, awesomely, in style and tone.
Read more. [Image: The Richard Balzer Collection]
We live in an age of great GIF ubiquity. The animated images, receptacles of small, silent feeling, news, or art, are everywhere and here to stay. GIFs are malleable yet sharable, concise yet context-free.
They’re also trapped online: Introduced in 1987, the Graphic Interchange Format is a product and prisoner of the digital world.
Or are they? A new project is trying to liberate GIFs from the digital world with the help of one old, weird, 20th-century technology.
Read more. [Image: Hwang and Binx]
The U.S. Census Bureau works with a lot of data. That makes sense, because they have a lot of data! So they need a tool to collate it, organize it, sort through it, sniff through it… a weasel-like tool… a…
A Data F.E.R.R.E.T.T. Data F.E.R.R.E.T.T. is the tool you use to sort through US Census data. To advertise it, the Census Bureau has a data ferret GIF
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
The new service GifHell tracks the most viral animated GIFs.
Archiving! Annotating! Anthologizing! Assembling your own GIF Alexandria
Aristotle called laughter an “ensouling mechanism,” and the academic discipline of humor studies has built itself upon the assumption that laughter is a quintessentially human response to the socio-cultural discourse of humor. Laughter is offered as proof of our exceptional status as thinking social creatures; we are "the only animal that laughs." GIFs that feature sniggering squirrels, cackling cartoon toasters, and rollicking robots would seem to undermine this selfish view of laughter as an exclusively human activity. But even worse, the laugh-loop GIF disassociates laughter from humor. By severing laughter from the context that incites it, the laugh-loop GIF reveals that laughter is not only a consequence of its sociocultural coordinates, but also a weird object in itself. Laughter, it seems, is not ‘for us’ but has its own alien being that has hitherto been masked by its everydayness.
Last week an asteroid known as 4179 Toutatis passed by Earth at a relatively close distance, as far as these things go. As it tumbled in space, getting as near as 4.3 million miles or 18 times the distance from us to the moon, NASA’s 230-foot-wide Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, California, captured radar data that showed the giant rock’s spin. NASA scientists then collected that data into a short film, which we present to you as Tumbling Asteroid GIFs, for your enjoyment and/or terror.