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Creator or Destroyer: Photography, Drugs, and Substance Abuse

Creator or Destroyer: Photography, Drugs, and Substance Abuse

Drug and alcohol addiction often go hand in hand with art. Painting has Van Gogh and Pollock, poetry has Coleridge and Ginsburg, music has The Beatles and Jim Morrison, and novels have Burroughs and Welsh. I was, however, surprised by how little information I could find about photographers’ substance abuse. Where are the in-depth books about photographers that were inspired or crushed by their addictions?

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NASA Turns Space Photos Into Music

NASA has a new project that turns space photos into sounds. Using sonification, images obtained from telescopes are turned into “music” that sounds like what you’d hear when your operating system boots up.

The creative project is being carried out by scientists at NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

“Telescopes give us a chance to see what the Galactic Center looks like in different types of light,” NASA writes. “By translating the inherently digital data (in the form of ones and zeroes) captured by telescopes in space into images, astronomers create visual representations that would otherwise be invisible to us.

“But what about experiencing these data with other senses like hearing?”

Sonification is the process of translating data into sound. Starting on the left side of images and moving toward the right, NASA’s sonification system reads in the vertical rows of pixels and creates sounds that represent the position and brightness of things seen.

“The light of objects located towards the top of the image are heard as higher pitches while the intensity of the light controls the volume,” NASA says regarding the Milky Way photo and music in the 1-minute video above. “Stars and compact sources are converted to individual notes while extended clouds of gas and dust produce an evolving drone.

“The crescendo happens when we reach the bright region to the lower right of the image. This is where the 4-million-solar-mass supermassive black hole at the center of the Galaxy, known as Sagittarius A* (A-star), resides, and where the clouds of gas and dust are the brightest.”

Here are the sounds created from other photos:

Now NASA just needs to release these songs as galactic ringtones for our smartphones.

(via NASA via Laughing Squid)