Happy Birthday to the LAVA LAMP: Fifty Years of Cool Wax!

This piece was originally published July 15th, 2013.

Lava Lamp IconIn the mid-Fifties, a former WWII pilot and post-war British accountant named Edward Craven Walker was at a local English country pub called Queen’s Head along with a friend, and found himself staring at a homemade egg timer made by one of the pub’s regulars.

This particular object, which Walker described as a “contraption made out of a cocktail shaker, old tins and things” dated from WWII, and was filled with two immiscible liquids (liquids that do not mix together).

As the contents, “odd oily globules” were heated upon the pub’s stove, the wax rose and signaled that your egg was ready.

Inspired, he purchased the egg timer/lamp and worked for a decade and a half tinkering with various liquids and containers in an attempt to create a better version. He achieved his goal in 1963.

Walker filed a patent for a “Display Device” in 1965 and but had already started merchandising his creation in September of 1963 as a company called Crestworth Ltd. using the name Astro Lamp.

 

Edward Craven Walker

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MINGERING MIKE: THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF SOUL MUSIC’S GREATEST SUPERSTAR YOU NEVER HEARD

This piece was originally published January 16th, 2012.

Mingering Mike Post TemplateThe true story of Mingering Mike is as unbelievable and gloriously happily, as it is also sadly believable and poignantly bittersweet.

For a period of time there was little this amazingly talented Giant of Soul Music, with his touch of gold, did not turn into a massive success.

“Between 1968 and 1977 Mingering Mike recorded over fifty albums, managed thirty-five of his own record labels, and produced, directed and starred in nine of his own motion pictures. In 1972 alone he released fifteen LPs and over twenty singles, and his traveling revue played for sold out crowds the world over.”

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CY TWOMBLY 1928-2011

This piece was originally published August 1st, 2011.

Cy Twombly Post Template

There’s a book by art historian Christiane Weidemann, that was published in 2010 and turns up in a variety of places, from chain bookstores to Urban Outfitters.

It’s one of those overview, pleasant types of books that sits well alongside other informational reference books or makes for great bedtime reading.

This series, by a variety of authors, is entitled, 50 _ You Should Know, and allows a newcomer or even anyone with even more than a passing interest in the arts, a chance to learn more and focus in on the subjects without trying to reach too far or encompass too wide a chronological span of art history, which can be far too overwhelming.

The range of titles include 50 Paintings You Should Know (for ex. The Mona Lisa), 50 Photographers You Should Know, 50 Architects You Should Know, 50 Women Artists You Should Know and in this particular case the one by Weidemann the one entitled 50 Modern Artists You Should Know.

 
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Cy Twombly is one of those 50 Modern Artists You Should Know.

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