A Blast From The Past: Episode 24

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From the archives of Amusing Planet.

What’s Cooking? - Cutaway Food Photography by Ryan Matthew Smith

Ryan Matthew Smith’s photo series “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking” is a lovely collection of photographs of different food in vivid, crisp colors. Among the numerous photos, which will be part of a book project, I stumbled upon three exceptional pieces. Ryan had taken cutaway shots of different food being cooked showing exactly what is happening in a piece of meat, noodles, or barbeque during cooking. 


Fly Geyser: A Man Made Geyser in Nevada

Fly Geyser is a very little known tourist attraction, even to Nevada residents. It is located right near the edge of Fly Reservoir and is only about 5 feet high, 12 feet if you count the mound on which it sits. The Geyser is not an entirely natural phenomenon, and was accidentally created in 1916 during the drilling of a well. The well functioned normally for several decades, but then in the 1960s geothermally heated water found a weak spot in the wall and began escaping to the surface. Dissolved minerals started rising and piling up, creating the mount on which the geyser sits, offering an eerie, out-of-the-world sight. The mound is still growing to date.


Inflatable Plastic Crowd in Movies

Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) is expensive and extras are difficult to handle, besides costing money. The Inflatable Crowd Company offers the alternative – plastic, inflatable mannequins, thirty thousands of them for use in movies where large crowd is required. The company was formed in 2002 for creating crowd scenes for the Hollywood movie Sea Biscuit. Their inflatable crowd have since appeared in over 80 feature films including many memorable ones like The King’s Speech, Frost/Nixon, American Gangster, Spiderman 3 and many more. These plastic men and women were featured in many TV shows and commercials as well.


Gunther von Hagens’s Plastinated Animal Exhibition

Plastination is a technique of preserving bodies or body parts by replacing the water and fat components by certain plastics, thereby yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most properties of the original sample. Plastination was invented by the German anatomist Gunther von Hagens in 1977, and later he founded the Institute of Plastination in Heidelberg in 1993. Dr von Hagens plastinated animals are now on display at an exhibition called “Body Worlds of Animals” at the Cologne Zoo.


Soviet Russia’s Secret Failed Moon Program

After the United States beat the Russian’s in the race to the moon in the late 70s of the last century, the Soviet lunar program was covered up and forgotten. These rare photos are from a lab inside the Moscow Aviation Institute which still houses the spacecraft and the lunar lander that was supposed to take the first cosmonaut to the surface of the moon.


The Incredible Magdeburg Water Bridge in Germany

The Magdeburg Water Bridge is a navigable aqueduct in Germany that connects the Elbe-Havel Canal to the Mittelland Canal, and allows ships to cross over the Elbe River. At 918 meters, it is the longest navigable aqueduct in the world.


The Monster Engine: Children’s Drawings Painted Realistically

Dave Devries takes sketches of monsters drawn by children purely from their imagination and renders them realistically giving them a truly devilish look. His collection of drawings and paintings form a 48-page book “The Monster Engine”.

Devries would project a child’s drawing with an opaque projector, and then faithfully trace each line. Applying a combination of logic and instinct, he then paint the image as realistically as he can using primarily acrylic, airbrush, and colored pencil.


Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street, London

The Sherlock Holmes Museum is a popular privately-run museum in London, dedicated to the celebrated 19th century detective created by Sir Conan Doyle. The museum opened in 1990 and is situated in Baker Street, bearing the number 221b – the address of the fictional detective - although it actually lies between numbers 237 and 241.


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