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Phineas Gage

Posted in America, Daguerre, History of Photography, Photography by Rollfilm on September 10, 2009

Phineas Gage

Phineas Gage

Phineas P. Gage (July 9?, 1823 – May 21, 1860) was a railroad construction foreman now remembered for his incredible survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying one or both of his brain’s frontal lobes, and for that injury’s reported effects on his personality and behavior—effects said to be so profound that friends saw him as “no longer Gage.”

Long known as “the American crowbar case”—once termed “the case which more than all others is calculated to excite our wonder, impair the value of prognosis, and even to subvert our physiological doctrines” —Phineas Gage influenced 19th century thinking about the brain and the localization of its functions, and was perhaps the first case suggesting that damage to specific regions of the brain might affect personality and behavior.

Gage is a fixture in the curricula of neurology, psychology and related disciplines, and is frequently mentioned in books and academic papers; he also has a minor place in popular culture. Relative to this celebrity, the body of known fact about the case is remarkably small, so that historically it has been cited in support of mutually incompatible theories of the brain. A survey of accounts of the case has found that even modern scientific presentations are often exaggerated and distorted in significant ways, frequently contradicting the established facts.

Discovery of a daguerreotype portrait of Gage—”handsome…well dressed and confident, even proud,” and holding the tamping iron which injured him—was announced in July 2009 (see right). One researcher points to it as consistent with a “social recovery” hypothesis, under which Gage’s most serious mental changes may have existed for only a limited time after the accident, so that in later life he was much more functional, and socially much better adapted, than has been thought.

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Peter Funch: “Babel Tales”

Posted in America, Digital Photography, Manipulation, New York, Photography by Rollfilm on February 3, 2009

Peter Funch is combining several shots of the same place to a single-image-street-mashup, which is almost surreal.

funch

Peter Funch - Babel Tales - "Smoking Smokers"

www.peterfunch.com

The LIFE photo archive

Posted in America, History of Photography, Journalism, Media, Photography by Rollfilm on November 28, 2008

The LIFE photo archive can be accessed online from now on. Google is hosting “millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.” [1]

Most of these images have a pretty good resolution – at least when it comes to images on the web.

Soldier holding tattered flag of the Eighth PA Infantry, during Civil War.

Soldier holding tattered flag of the Eighth PA Infantry, during Civil War.

A bedraggled Mrs. Bates cooking over a stove w. her cat eats fr. a can in the basement slum apt. she shares w. her husband at 210 E. 98th St.

A bedraggled Mrs. Bates cooking over a stove w. her cat eats fr. a can in the basement slum apt. she shares w. her husband at 210 E. 98th St.

Migrant mother Florence Thompson & children photographed by Dorothea Lange.

Migrant mother Florence Thompson & children photographed by Dorothea Lange.

Follow this link and have a look at the LIFE archive.

[1] images.google.com/hosted/life

Oh yes!

Posted in America, Photoblog, Photography by Rollfilm on November 6, 2008

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Tom Waits – “Glitter & Doom”

Posted in America, Music, Tom Waits, Video by Rollfilm on June 21, 2008

Tom Waits at a press conference for his upcoming tour “glitter & doom”.