Thursday, March 29, 2007

Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society

Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society - World Freehand Circle Drawing Champion

Very Short List provides the commentary about this fascinating website:

The equivalent of the Internet during the Renaissance might have been a Wunderkammer, a room filled with curiosities that often featured objects imported from the New World. Now the Internet has its own Wunderkammer in the Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society Website, which culls fetching oddities from the virtual world; one such oddity is the “World’s Largest Collection of World’s Smallest Versions of World’s Largest Things” (featuring the world’s smallest representation of the world’s largest talking cow).

We first discovered one of our favorite Web videos at the Kircher Society, “The World Freehand Circle Drawing Champion.” In it, a teacher draws a huge, perfect circle almost instantly. The Society traced the historical antecedent of the demonstration to Giotto, and then compared the video to an incident in a story by Italo Calvino. It’s this depth and breadth of reference that make the site so appealing; the inspiration and namesake, Athanasius Kircher, a 17th-century scholar of the odd and wondrous, would have been pleased.


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