A Gallery of Averaged Newspaper Front Pages

Image averaging is a powerful tool for revealing patterns in large sets of visual data, and one subject to which I’ve been interested in applying it for a while is the newspaper front page.  Every newspaper has a layout that remains fairly consistent from day to day while simultaneously varying to accommodate whatever the day’s…

Griffoynich: A Real Cipher That Mimics Voynichese

The Voynich Manuscript has been called the world’s most mysterious book, and with good reason.  An illustrated codex written on vellum carbon-dated to the early fifteenth century, it contains page after page of text in a unique and unidentified script, provisionally called “Voynichese,” that has frustrated efforts at decipherment by seasoned cryptanalists for many decades. …

Time-Lapsed National Park Webcams: Monitoring the Shutdown

On January 12, 2019, the ongoing federal government shutdown became the longest in United States history.  One of its casualties has been our national park system, if we’re to judge from reports of rampant litter, feces, and vandalism.  I was curious to see how the National Park Service air quality webcams have been faring. In…

Automatic Caricatures and Antifaces

The art of drawing caricatures might seem quintessentially human, but computers too can exaggerate the differences between any given face and a “normal” face, and they can also work out the opposite of a given face—sometimes called its “antiface”—which is less intuitive, and not a feat I think human artists have ever attempted freehand.  In…

Of Dreams and Patent Medicine

Early narrative phonography was as creative and conceptually groundbreaking in its way as early narrative film.  Take just one example: Muggsy’s Dream (1908).  The audio presented here was transferred from a cylinder in my collection by Dan Figurelli and Melissa Widzinski of MDPI on the Endpoint Audio Labs Cylinder Playback Machine (to get some practice…