The Eye of the Needle

Essay by Ralph Rugoff

File this one under Curiosities and Wonders. The focus of this book is the microsculptures of Halgop Sandaldjian. The artistic renderings of this Egyptian-born, Armenian- raised transplant to Los Angeles literally fit inside the eye of a needle.
“An unexpected sneeze or misdirected breath could blow away a microminiature with hurricane force… Early in his career he would spend hours hunting for these missing children, carefully combing every inch of desk and floor space in his study, but eventually he realized that such searching was futile. Once a piece was lost, it was lost for good.”
This booklet was produced to complement an exhibit of his “microminiatures” at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and covers a lot of ground, as it includes the story of an intuitive and self-driven would-be violin virtuoso, a history of micro-art—including methods, philosophical ponderings, and instruction in learning to play the violin using Sandaldjian's self discovered “Ergonomic” techniques. Last but not least, the book is a work of art in itself, beautifully put together—even its smell adds to it sunique character. Curiously, there is a strange omission from the author's tour of miniature art: the flea circus, the only micro-performing art… He mentions everything else, and gets close with a mention of fleas in dresses. TC

Publisher: Society for the Diffusion of Useful Information
Paperback: 95 pages

No One May Ever Have the Same Knowledge Again: Letters to Mt. Wilson Observatory 1915-1935

Edited by Sarah Simons

In scientific crankdom the essential benevolence of the human spirit is most freely, and winningly, expressed. From the archives of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, the best museum in the United States, comes this little book containing the letters—entirely genuine letters—reprinted in that were addressed to the astronomers of Pasadena's Mt. Wilson Observatory. The correspondents set forth, briefly or at stupefying length, their delightfully inventive cosmologic theories—the Earth is flat, our bodies are linked by radio to heaven, comets are the “chore boys” of the universe—and offer them freely to a world they imagine is desperately waiting to hear them. The world, like Mt. Wilson's astronomers, ignores these non-traditional theorists, laughs at them, and sometimes breaks their hearts; but it never shuts them up, and for that we should all be grateful. “The moon is a sphere and it works the clouds by night; it is not a Planet, and should not be interfered with.” The human mind, when unleashed, is a glorious thing to behold. JW

Publisher: Society for the Diffusion of Useful Information
Paperback: 120 pages