Friday :: Feb 22, 2008

The End of The World As We Know It (And other Friday fun)

by Turkana

New York Times:

Over the past decade, the leisure activity most closely associated with corporate success in America has been in a kind of recession.

The total number of people who play has declined or remained flat each year since 2000, dropping to about 26 million from 30 million, according to the National Golf Foundation and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.

More troubling to golf boosters, the number of people who play 25 times a year or more fell to 4.6 million in 2005 from 6.9 million in 2000, a loss of about a third.

The industry now counts its core players as those who golf eight or more times a year. That number, too, has fallen, but more slowly: to 15 million in 2006 from 17.7 million in 2000, according to the National Golf Foundation.

(h/t Will Bunch)

Science Daily:

Like X-rays let doctors see the bones beneath our skin, "T-rays" could let art historians see murals hidden beneath coats of plaster or paint in centuries-old buildings, University of Michigan engineering researchers say.

T-rays, pulses of terahertz radiation, could also illuminate penciled sketches under paintings on canvas without harming the artwork, the researchers say. Current methods of imaging underdrawings can't detect certain art materials such as graphite or sanguine, a red chalk that some of the masters are believed to have used.

The team of researchers, which includes scientists at the Louvre Museum, Picometrix, LLC and U-M, used terahertz imaging to detect colored paints and a graphite drawing of a butterfly through 4 mm of plaster. They believe their technique is capable of seeing even deeper.

In March, the scientists will take their equipment to France to help archaeologists examine a mural they discovered recently behind five layers of plaster in a 12th century church.

Associated Press:

A frantic search for four stolen Impressionist paintings led to a most unlikely place: the parking lot of a mental hospital just a few hundred yards from the scene of the crime.

There, in the back seat of an unlocked car, a painting by Claude Monet and another by Vincent van Gogh were found Monday in perfect condition, authorities said Tuesday.

The paintings, worth $64 million combined, were still under the display glass used by the private museum from which they were stolen in a Feb. 10 armed robbery, museum director Lukas Gloor said.

"I am incredibly relieved that two paintings have returned," Gloor said. "We're very happy that both the paintings are in absolutely impeccable shape."

The other two paintings taken from the E.G. Buehrle Collection — by Paul Cezanne and Edgar Degas — remain missing, police said. Together, the four paintings are worth an estimated $163 million.

And I imagine Bush will now want to invade Titan.

Turkana :: 6:28 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!