I love my Kindle like a small pet companion who never leaves my side… like an adorable text filled hedgehog. But there’s one kind of book that my Kindle will never be able to complete with: the epic coffee table book.
It’s no wonder Kramer was so enamored. A great coffee table book is like a passport to eyeball drunken wonderment. Here’s five I love so much, I say screw the coffee table and would happily tuck them into bed at night.
This Is Mars: What? This is? Holy shit. NASA’s Rover images are printed in high resolution in what amounts to page after page of astonishing space themed joy. ($64.99)
London Underground Maps: Art, Design and Cartography: The tube is the best networked transportation system in the world, so it’s no wonder it has a rich and beautiful history. But really, it all comes down to maps, people. So many amazing, beautiful maps. ($51.64)
The Wes Anderson Collection: My love of the Wes way is not undocumented here, but this book is a joy because it’s got so many interviews with the master mixed with hand drawn storyboards and doodles which are basically in existence to function as some kind of low level Zoloft for film nerds. ($39.99)
The Art of Movie Storyboards: While we’re on the topic of film, why not spend another minute diving into the amazing artistry of storyboards. There’s nothing quite like seeing a favorite movie through a simple black and white sketch. If you don’t love it, well, I don’t get it. ($30.46)
The Flower Recipe Book: This might strike you as an odd choice. I have literally never spoken of flowers here before. But is there anything more enchanting than a wonderful bouqet? Who doesn’t feel more glamorous whilst in the presence of a lovely collection of blooms? Suddenly, this once foreign, but admirable, concept is a possible skill I can acquire all thanks to this gorgeous guide. ($16.63)
This is one of those cool things I get to make from time to time. I worked on this video for a client, but I wanted to share it with you because it combines so many of the things we talk about here: science + art + music + inspiration. Oh, and NASA. In this case, NASA’s global temperature data.
Dan, the student featured in the piece, is a welcome reminder to scientists everywhere that thinking more creatively about the presentation of dense data and scientific analysis can be beautiful. He took NASA’s temperature data and charted it to music, which he could then play on his cello. He named it A Song of Our Warming Planet. And it’s lovely.
Shameless plug time: If you know of someone in need of video services, please direct them to my business website: lizgiorgi.com
One of my life dreams is to go to Kennedy Space Center and do the Astronaut training for a day. It just seems like one of those ridiculously awesome experiences that you can’t get anywhere else. However, it’s unlikely I’ll be having an astronaut experience anytime in the very near future, so why not just pretend?
Admittedly, I have no idea if this is what an astronaut would wear when they aren’t decked out in space gear, but this is what *I* would wear on office days if I were an astronaut.
My love of space is probably overly documented around here. But I just can’t help myself. The vastness of it. The unknowns. The knowns. They all mix together in galaxies and clouds and moons and suns and they feel like some version of heaven.
The words on the design say, “It’s Possible.” When you’re a creative soul, sometimes all the possibilities in front of you can be paralyzing. But knowing that you are able to take the risk, make the art and give it a shot… that’s a gift. Your dreams are possible. And I think that’s why NASA gives me so much hope. In all the vastness of space, a few solitary dreams of wild dreamers brought a man to the moon and a nation to their screens.
Perhaps this is why I so consistently surround myself with space images and one of the easiest ways for me to do that is with backgrounds on my devices. So today, I offer up some Windows 8 Tablet Backgrounds in these spacey designs:
From NASA: “The ring-region Saturnian moons Prometheus and Pan are both caught “herding” their respective rings in this image. Through their gravitational disturbances of nearby ring particles, one moon maintains a gap in the outer A ring and the other helps keep a ring narrowly confined.”
From NASA: “This new view of spiral galaxy IC 342, also known as Caldwell 5, includes data from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. High-energy X-ray data from NuSTAR have been translated to the color magenta, and superimposed on a visible-light view highlighting the galaxy and its star-studded arms. NuSTAR is the first orbiting telescope to take focused pictures of the cosmos in high-energy X-ray light; previous observations of this same galaxy taken at similar wavelengths blurred the entire object into one pixel.”
The images are courtesy of NASA’s “Image of the Day Gallery” - which is a favorite place of mine on the World Wide Web. Bookmark it. It’s beyond wonderful.
Disclosure: I was given a Windows 8 Tablet to use as part of Intel’s Tablet Crew blogger outreach program. I was compensated to be part of this program. If you are interested in my thoughts on the product (Windows 8 Acer Iconia W5), you can read my review here. If you want to see what other bloggers think of Windows 8, check out #tabletcrew on Twitter.
When I started to think about how I might like to decorate my tree this year, I could focus on only one thing:
Why isn’t it Christmas already - I want to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special!
And so that became my inspiration. Space! And the TARDIS and Firefly.
I really could have gone on and on with this theme, but a girl has got to try and keep things manageable. So I hope you love them!
This set of four printable ornaments is easy enough to understand:
First, download the PDF (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SET!)
Did you download them? Good. Now:
You’ll get four ornament printables:
Two Doctor Who themed varieties: one with the TARDIS, pictured above, and a “Bow Ties are cool” themed ornament.
One Firefly ornament: Mal says the darnedest things in the show. And “Mighty Fine Shindig” is one of those things. And honestly, that’s what the holidays are too, right? Mighty Fine!
One NASA ornament: I am in love with this galaxy image from NASA. I’m also a big fan of this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” It’s something to keep in mind year round.
Happy holidays lovelies!
*Note: when you click on the link, your virus software will try to scan it. Hit “Download Anyway” - it will make your life easier.