Oct 282012

Hey, happy Sunday. It’s THAT’S METAL! time. Time for pics, videos, and news items that I thought were metal even though they’re not music.

I have seven items for you today.


The first item is that horrifying creature at the top of the post. Actually, it’s not really a monster. It’s an Old English Bulldog named Coraline. Sexy beast, isn’t she?

I’ve used some pics by photographer Seth Casteel in a previous THAT’s METAL! installment. He takes photos of people’s pets. But he also takes pics of dogs like Coraline underwater, usually while they’re going after a tennis ball. Dogs are like that. If you threw a tennis ball into a pool for a cat to chase, the cat would look at you as if to say, “Really? You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me.”

Since the last time I used some of Seth Catseel’s photos from his Underwater Dog series, he’s come up with some new ones, and he also now has a book of them for sale. In addition to the fact that the quality of the underwater photos is amazing, they continue to capture man’s best friend looking really scary and really alien, which of course makes them really metal.


I have Phro to thank for this next item. It boggles my mind. Speaking of which, one of these days I need to look up where the word “boggle” comes from.

Anyway, here’s my best effort to summarize a much longer and completely fascinating story, which you can read in detail at The Atlantic: In 1877 Thomas Edison invented a phonograph that played sounds recorded on pieces of tinfoil. One of the first recordings was made for a demonstration on June 22, 1878, in St. Louis.

The sounds trapped on that piece of tinfoil (which you can see above) haven’t been heard since the night of that demonstration. For most of its existence, there has been no device that could play the foil, and even if there had been, doing so would have likely ruined it because the foil is now so old and fragile.

Enter modern technology:

“This summer, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, physicist Carl Haber and his team were able to create a 3D picture of the foil whose topography could then be translated into sound using techniques of mathematical analysis and physical modeling to calculate how a needle would have played the recording.”

In other words, they were able to play the sounds captured on the tin foil without ever touching it.

“This is the oldest recording in the United States and anywhere in the world that was made as a reproducible recording that’s ever been played [in modern times],” Haber said. “This was very, very close to the moment of Edison’s invention — just a few months after Edison’s invention.”

And you’re about to hear it:

From The Atlantic story: “These early recordings are the earliest instances of a technology that has shaped just about every aspect of life. Recorded sound gave rise to the music industry, of course, but that’s just the half of it; ethnographic research, field recording, journalistic interviews, historical research — all of these capabilities trace back to Edison, his foils, and, later, his wax cylinders. With his invention in 1877, Haber said, ‘Edison really transformed the world.'”


Now we move from the sublime to the ridiculous, because after all, we’re getting close to Halloween.  Halloween is the most metal of holidays, and therefore everything associated with it is also metal, right?  Well, that’s my theory and I’m sticking with it.

From the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York City on October 20, 2012:


Okay, so maybe that wasn’t right down the middle of the metal highway, but even if a bulldog’s butt isn’t metal, wolves are unquestionably metal. In fact, in my opinion, they’re in the running for the title of Most Metal of all creatures. In Battle Ground, Indiana, there’s a 75-acre facility called Wolf Park, which is currently home to 14 wolves. The wolves are “domesticated” — or at least as domesticated as a wolf can get.

In the following video, a professional photographer named Monty Sloan tries to take some pics of the Main Pack at Wolf Park in 2009. They may be comfortable around humans, but they still sound pretty fuckin’ metal.

(via The Presurfer)


Redwoods are the tallest and one of the most massive species of trees in the world. Huge redwood forests used to spread along the California coast. But a logging boom began in about 1850. At that time, redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) of the California coast. Decades of unobstructed clear-cut logging decimated the forests.

Eventually state parks were established in an effort to preserve what was left. By the time Redwood National Forest was established in 1968, nearly 90% of the original redwood trees had been logged. Today, the Redwood National and State Parks combined contain only 133,000 acres (540 km2) of redwood forest

The following are a series of photos from the 1915-era, capturing lumberjacks at work among the redwoods in Humboldt County, California, when tree logging was at its peak. The photos are part of the Humboldt State University Library Special Collections, a series of pictures from northwest California from the 1880s through the 1920s taken by Swedish photographer A.W. Ericson. They left my mouth hanging open at the magnificence of the trees . . . and the decimation of them, too. More pics can be seen here.



This is a photo of the next item, known as The Lotus Dome:

It’s an installation created by Dutch artist Daan Roosergaarde and consists of hundreds of ultra-light aluminium flowers. Interestingly, this very modern piece of art was constructed in the centuries-old atmosphere of Sainte Marie Madeleine Church in Lille, France. When people interact with the dome, it lights up and the flowers open with a metallic rustle. I thought this was very cool . . . and literally metal. Watch what happens:

More info about the Lotus Dome and more photos of it can be found here.


I’m just gonna quote the description of the photo up above as it appeared at The Telegraph.  Also, painted nude people are metal.  As are unpainted nude people.

“Body-painting artist Emma Hack piled 17 naked models up on the floor before arranging their arms, heads and legs into the shape of a small hatchback. She covered them in shades of blue, white, black and silver paint to highlight every detail, including the alloy wheels and number plate…and she even made it look like the car had been involved in a small shunt [?] by exposing the ‘engine’ and leaving the front ‘bumper’ hanging off.”


And that’s what I have for you in this installment of THAT’S METAL!  Enjoy the rest of your fucking day.


  25 Responses to ““THAT’S METAL!” – BUT IT’S NOT MUSIC (NO. 66)”

  1. Knowing that those Redwoods used to exist but will never be seen again is probably the most depressing thing I’ve thought about today.

    But dog butts make everything better, right?

    • The forests that still remain in the parks are stunning, but the thought of 2 million acres of them, including trees that were probably even older and more titanic than what remains . . . yeah, it’s a downer.

  2. Man, that lotus dome would look great on the NCS complex near the beer pool or the NCS Vortex.

    • There’s a motherfucking vortex????

      • What, you missed that discussion?

        The plan was to run some of the beer to a custom made vortex fountain, kind of like the one you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxvHVREQogY

        Even though I have limited skills in the field, I even started working on blueprints for the NCS complex. Maybe one day I’ll be able to get more done so Islander, the lorises and those of us who survive the eventual construction can see what it could actually look like when it’s done.

        • Ohhhhhhhhhh! Yes, now I remember.

          For some reason, I thought you meant a time vortex. For going back in time to hunt velocirapors with out bare hands. Because we are that fucking metal.

          • Well, that would be cool to have too. But I don’t think beer – no matter how good – is enough to power something like that. And really, people would bitch about velociraptor fighting anyway, since there’d probably be the stepping on of prehistoric butterflies involved and some science nerds think that would really fuck things up.

            • Bah! Damn nerds always getting in the way.

              I say we throw them through the vortex first, just to give the raptors the impression that they’ll have a fighting chance.

              Also: I bet if we replaced the beer with cheap bourbon, we could get it working. Either way, we’ll be too drunk to tell the difference. Or at least I will. Fuck you guys.

  3. That pile-of-naked-people-painted-as-a-car thing really freaks me out for some reason. It’s partly because, holy shit, that’s a pile of naked people, and I can’t stop myself from imagining I’m it getting an incredibly awkward boner.

    I’ve been to Redwood National Forest once. Motherfuckers, we gotta protect the shit out of that shit. It’s more important that throwing a bag on your dick before fucking the community goat.

    That recording by Edison, I just want to say, is fucking horrifying at 3 am in the dark.

    All the doggies make it better though. I managed not to poop my pants.

  4. Item One: Yay! More dogs looking freaky underwater! One’s sister is “loving” it, by the way. 😀 [She adores dogs.]

    Item two: Despite the profoundness of the task, one can’t help but think “You guys have had 3D scanning for years now; and you’ve gotten around to digitizing the first recording only now?! Well, don’t just stand there; get on the next records!”

    Item three: One’s sister is enjoying this one much more that oneself, in contrast to the first item. One simply can’t bring oneself to laugh at a costumed dog arse… 😐

    Item four: Which creature would you say is the most metal?

    Item five: Seeing it in black & white rather than colour hits it in so much harder. 🙁

    Item six: HOW DOES IT WORK?! (@A@ )

    Item seven: People painted and posing as a metal machine is kinda metal. But, unpainted nude people aren’t always metal. No, they’re not… (._. )

    • The problem with doing something like audio is making sure you get enough data to work with. In the case of this foil, the “sample rate” probably wouldn’t have been a problem, but technicians who’ve been using lasers and ultra high resolution scans (some up to a gigapixel) of records or master plates still haven’t been able to make a lengthy audio file yet, unless something’s changed within the past year or so. Not only do you need a good, crisp image to work with, you also need a good algorithm to decipher the variations, both side to side and up-down, assuming we’re talking about standard cuts in mono or stereo; odd speeds, binaural (no, it’s not the same as stereo) or quadraphonic and many other variants only complicate things further. Depending on the source material, there may be additional material in the disk’s groove or damage to the walls to take into consideration.

      Now, I haven’t read much on 3D scanning, while 3D printing is something I may be dabbling with in the future, but I would think that either way, you have to decide just how detailed you want to go and allow interpolation to take care of the rest – your smoothing levels, tesselation, crap like that. You can probably get away with a lot less detail in 3D scanning than using images and lasers to preserve an old audio recording. There’s only so many points you can plot – and only so many you need to.

      Why waste the time to get a billion vertices for something when thousands would do? That doesn’t work for the audio scans.

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