Filtered for tortoises and galaxies

10.16, Thursday 5 Feb 2015


In Praise of the Flaneur, the stroller, the passionate wanderer emblematic of nineteenth-century French literary culture.

So CONSPICUOUS was the strolling, loitering, sauntering that around 1840 it was considered elegant to take a tortoise out walking.

What is today’s equiv online?

Showing off + self-occupation.



A lamp shade that opens and closes when the light is switched on and off.

The lampshade is comprised of polypropylene “petals” and six bi-metallic strips which are activated by the heat emitted by a bulb. Bi-metallic strips are a sandwich of copper and steel. When heated, the copper expands more than the steel causing the strip to bend.

By designer Mark Champkins, who is also responsible for telling me about tortoises on strings.


Machine with Concrete (video), Arthur Ganson.

A series of gears. The first spins at 200 RPM. The last turns one every two trillion years. Given the truth of this situation, it is possible to do anything at all with the final gear, even embed it in concrete.

This breaks my brain to look at. I can’t figure out where the causation goes.

Domino Chain Reaction.


Our solar system is part of the Milky Way galaxy, which is part of the Virgo cluster, which is part of the Laniakea supercluster which comprises 100,000 galaxies and half a million light years across.

Names of some nearby superclusters:

  • Hydra-Centaurus
  • Persus-Pisces
  • Coma
  • Sculptor
  • Hercules
  • Leo
  • Ophiuchus: Forming the far wall of the Ophiuchus Void, it may be connected in a filament, with the Pavo-Indus-Telescopium Supercluster and the Hercules Supercluster.
  • Shapley

The universe is full of these galactic superclusters, and they do not themselves cluster – they are strung out into filaments - condensation on the stretched out chewing gum of dark matter between your shoe and the street - massive, thread-like formations, with a typical length of … 163 to 261 million light years, that form the boundaries between large voids in the universe.

Some filaments are more like sheets, or walls. Here are some names:

  • CfA2 Great Wall
  • Sloan Great Wall
  • Grus Wall
  • Fornax Wall
  • Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall: The largest known structure in the universe.


Large quasar groups (LQGs) are some of the largest structures known. They are theorized to be protohyperclusters/proto-supercluster-complexes/galaxy filament precursors.

The Clowes-Campusano Large Quasar Group.

Lying at a distance of 9.5 billion light years away, the CCLQG is a cosmic decoupling of 34 individual quasars (highly luminous active galactic nuclei powered by supermassive black holes) spanning a region roughly 2 billion light-years in length, and about 1 billion light years wide, making it one of the largest and most exotic cosmic structures known in the observable universe.

It is the largest known structure in the universe from 1991 to 2011.

Back, back, back, to:

Laniakea. Our home. The name laniakea means “immeasurable heaven” in Hawaiian.

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