The first film of a total solar eclipse has been restored by specialists at the British Film Institute (BFI) and made available for viewing. The film was taken in North Caroline in 1900 by Nevil Maskelyne. Maskelyne was a British man who was a magician turned film-maker. He took the film as part of a Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) expedition.
The film is from the archives of the Royal Astronomical Society, and it has been carefully and painstakingly restored. Conservation experts at that institution went over the film frame-by-frame to restore it to 4k.
This film is from Maskelyne’s second attempt to film a total solar eclipse. His first attempt was in 1898, when he travelled to India to photograph the event. Alas, that film can was stolen from him and its fate is unknown.
Filming the eclipse was a difficult task for Maskelyne. He had to build a special telescopic adapter for his camera to do the job. According to the BFI and the RAS, this film is Maskelyne only surviving work. And it’s kind of eery, in a way.
Maskelyne’s transition from magician to videographer made sense in the Victorian age. At that time, science, magic, and the paranormal all mingled together in the minds of many. There were many charlatans at work then, trying to photograph the spirit world and conjure up the dead and whatnot. Of course, they may not have known they were charlatans. Anything seemed possible in that day and age.
But Maskelyne was different. He was a professional illusionist and a member of The Magic Circle, a British organization dedicated to the art and entertainment of illusion and magic. (There’s even an award named after him.) But he also had a strong belief in science and actually tried to expose fraud. He founded the Occult Committee, a group dedicated to exposing fraud.
In any case, Maskelyne was not the only illusionist to become a film-maker. Some illusionists took to creating “magical” films as part of their stage shows. But Maskelyne proved to be a little different by actually working with the RAS to capture these astronomical events.
“Film, like magic combines both art and science,” said Bryony Dixon, silent film curator at the BFI. “This is a story about magic; magic and art and science and film and the blurred lines between them. Early film historians have been looking for this film for many years. Like one of his elaborate illusions, it’s exciting to think that this only known surviving film by Maskelyne, has reappeared now.”
“Harnessing 21st century technical magic, this 19th century attraction has been reanimated. Maskelyne wanted a novelty to show at his magic theatre, what better than the most impressive natural phenomenon of them all,” said Dixon in a press release.
According to the RAS, Maskelyne thought of himself as a scientific investigator. Like many others in the Victorian age, he was keenly interested in illusions, spiritualism and various other phenomena. But he was also fascinated by astronomy, and that fascination led to him becoming a member of the Royal Astronomical Society. Good thing he did.
The RAS realized early on that astrophotography was important, and in 1887 they appointed a permanent committee to handle a growing astrophotography collection. This film forms part of that collection.
“This is a wonderful archival discovery: perhaps the oldest surviving astronomical film, it is a really striking record of both early cinema and late Victorian eclipse observing,” said Dr. Joshua Nall, Chair of the RAS’s Astronomical Heritage Committee. “The BFI are ideal partners, they’ve done a fantastic job digitally restoring the film and it’s great that it will be available for anyone to view free of charge as part of their trove of Victorian cinema.”
The fact that the film is grainy and jittery just adds to its appeal as an historical item.
In August 2017, viewers captured so many images and films of the total solar eclipse in the United States that UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory stitched over 50,000 of them into one giant “Megamovie.” But back in 1900, when a similar eclipse crossed the U.S., there was only person pointing their movie camera at the sky. Now, the Royal Astronomical Society has rediscovered that oldest surviving eclipse footage, restoring the 120-year-old film and putting it online for the first time.
Surprisingly, the eclipse wasn’t captured by a professional astronomer but a famous magician, Nevil Maskelyne, who along with a partner ran the Egyptian Hall, London’s oldest magic theater, according to Meghan Bartels at Space.com. Maskelyne was an early film buff and amateur astronomer. In fact, magic and astronomy ran in his blood. His father was John Nevil Maskelyne, also a magician and early film pioneer, who claimed to be the descendent of the fifth British Astronomer Royal, also named Nevil Maskelyne.
In the late 19th Century, the emerging technology of film or “living images” became popular side attractions at magic theaters. The Maskelyne’s even used film in some of their magic tricks and began making their own movies. The father and son designed their own version of an early movie projector to reduce the flicker that plagued other machines. Maskelyne was also an early pioneer of slow-motion film, and at one point, Britain’s War Office enlisted his help to analyze artillery shells in flight.
Nevil Maskelyne’s obsession with film eventually combined with his enthusiasm for astronomy, a passion which led him to become a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Maskelyne was keen to show that new technologies, like film, could be used to aid in scientific research. He decided to film a total solar eclipse, designing a special telescopic adapter for a movie camera, according to Lisa Grossman at Science News. In 1898 he travelled to India and succeeded in filming a total eclipse there. However, the Royal Astronomical Society writes in a press release, that film canister was stolen on the trip home, and the film was never seen again.
Undeterred, in 1900 Maskelyne journeyed to North Carolina, funded by the British Astronomical Association, to capture the eclipse of May 28. He successfully completed his observation and got the film home safely. Maskelyne likely showed the footage at his theater, and a one-minute fragment of the event ended up in the archives of the Royal Astronomical Society, which began collecting astrophotography images in the 1870s.
“Maskelyne wanted a novelty to show at his magic theatre, what better than the most impressive natural phenomenon of them all,” Bryony Dixon, a silent film curator at the British Film Institute (BFI), says in the press release.
The film is the earliest known movie of an astronomical event and the only surviving film by Maskelyne. The Royal Astronomical Society partnered with the BFI to restore each frame of the film and scanned it at 4K resolution, creating the digital version released online.
“Film, like magic combines both art and science. This is a story about magic; magic and art and science and film and the blurred lines between them,” Dixon says. “Early film historians have been looking for this film for many years. Like one of his elaborate illusions, it’s exciting to think that this only known surviving film by Maskelyne, has reappeared now.”
The film is available online as part of a trove of Victorian-era films released by the BFI. It was also shown today at the Royal Astronomical Society headquarters as part of celebrations surrounding the centennial of a 1919 solar eclipse.
While the film secures Maskelyne a place in history as the first astro-filmmaker, he’s also known for another first. In 1903, Guglielmo Marconi was scheduled to give a demonstration of his newfangled radio, which he claimed could send Morse code messages securely over the airwaves. Before the event at the Royal Institution could begin, however, the radio picked up a Morse code message that said “Rats, Rats, Rats,” as well as a poem disparaging Marconi. Maskelyne, a radio tinkerer as well, had been paid by a telegraph company to learn how to interfere with the radio communication and embarrass Marconi, making the incident the first known technology hack. Sadly, Maskelyne didn’t also film Marconi’s reaction.
OGUNQUIT, Maine — When the historic Ogunquit Playhouse was built 86 years ago as a seasonal summer theater, there were no sinks in the backstage bathrooms, no insulation in the building, and no zoning regulations in town. Only one of those things has changed in nearly a century.
Today, the Playhouse still has no sinks in the dressing room bathrooms, and no insulation, but it sits in five different town zones, none of which are compliant for the non-profit theater.
“When we hosted the Bushes, Barbara Bush poked her head out of the bathroom backstage and said, ‘Really? this is it?’ I had to hand her a bottle of Purell,” said Ogunquit Playhouse Executive Artistic Director Brad Kenney.
Question 5 on Ogunquit’s June 11 town ballot will create a new zone for the Playhouse, Shoreland General Development 3, which will bring the property into compliance, protect it as a non-profit performing arts theater into the future, and pave the way for a major renovation and expansion project. Over recent months, six public meetings were held to answer questions and meet the concerns of town officials and the community before the Select Board unanimously approved sending the proposed zoning change to voters at its April 16 board meeting.
Playhouse officials will hold two more public information sessions next week, at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 6, and at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 10 to share information and field questions from residents prior to the vote. Those sessions will be held at the Ogunquit Playhouse.
“We welcome questions. We want to hear from people. We want to get the information out there to everyone,” said Kenney.
John Lane, former owner of the Playhouse, created the Ogunquit Playhouse Foundation and transferred ownership of the theater and grounds to the non-profit foundation in 1997 to ensure that it would survive as a summer theater. Lane died in 2000 and Kenney came onboard a few years later.
“The property needs to be zoned for the Playhouse to protect it for generations to come. It was handed to the Foundation from John Lane and he did the best he could to see that it would remain a playhouse. But if it ever left the Foundation, or the Foundation ceased to operate, whoever gets their hands on this property could do anything with it, unless this zoning passes and protects it,” Kenney said.
Kenney and Marketing Director Cheryl Farley have read the rumors circulating on social media — everything from expanding the buildings to cover the entire Playhouse property, to building a restaurant onsite. None are true, they say. While conceptual plans for the expansion have been shared, nothing is definite.
“People think it’s already designed and that they are voting for specific elements, which simply isn’t true. It’s just about zoning. We need the zoning change first, that’s all this is about,” Kenney said.
Kenney said Playhouse staff and the Foundation board began looking at stewardship of the theater several years ago, and started talking about “what we are going to leave behind for generations to come.”
“We did charrettes and we asked people what they want it to be and what will define it,” Kenney said.
The Playhouse’s new mission statement was born from those visioning sessions, as were the concepts for the expansion project.
“Building upon a legacy of leadership in American theatre, the Ogunquit Playhouse produces world-class performances, cultivates new works for the stage, and preserves an iconic and historic playhouse for future generations,” the mission statement reads.
Plans for the multi-million dollar expansion were shared with the Planning Board in January, when it was discovered that the Playhouse was non-compliant.
“We stopped everything at that point,” Kenney said. “We started working with (attorney) John Bannon, and met with the town and asked them what we needed to do. We asked them how do we protect the river and this historic building, and yet be compliant.”
The Ogunquit Playhouse Foundation board has been working on a strategic plan for the past several years, which includes updating and expanding facilities. Proposed upgrades will preserve the iconic front lawn and look of the Playhouse, while bringing much needed amenities and enhancements to theater.
Upgrades include ADA requirements and basic life and safety standards, Kenney said. Currently, there are no sinks in the restrooms backstage, the “tight” lobby offers no restroom facilities for someone in a wheelchair without having to go outdoors, and the Playhouse’s housing facilities are aging rapidly and there are not enough of them to house actors.
Plans also currently include returning a fly tower to the Playhouse, Kenney said, that is estimated at 85 feet in height. The original fly tower, which allows scenery and backdrops to “fly” up and be quickly changed during shows was destroyed in a hurricane in 1950.
Kenney said the plans would incorporate the historic scene shop located toward the back of the property.
“We are visioning taking this historic scene shop, which has been signed by set designers over the years, many of whom moved on to incredible careers on Broadway, and we want to lift it up and adjoin it to the playhouse as part of the master plan to enhance the audience experience,” Kenney said. “We feel passionately about preserving this.”
Farley said the zoning change is critical to the survival of the Playhouse.
“If these improvements can’t be made, the potential for the theater to decline is great,” she said. “It was built as a leading American theater by a prominent Broadway producer. It deserves to be a state-of-the-art theater. It was always run and owned by innovative and extraordinary leaders in the theater, and that’s its legacy,” she said.
“She’s one of the most beloved theater buildings in the world, not in the county, but the world,” Kenney said. “The historic artistic heritage is second to none. We need to restore her to the caliber she once was.”
The proposed zoning ordinance change will appear as Question 5 on the town warrant for voters on Tuesday, June 11. Voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Dunaway Center on School Street.
As you move through the Sargasso Nebula in Void Bastards, boarding ships whenever something piques your interest, you’re going to get into situations where your health is low.
The good news is that there are numerous ways to restore your health in Void Bastards. The bad news is that it’s pretty much impossible to restore all of your health on a whim.
When on the Sargasso Nebula map, you restore a bit of health each time you make a move providing you have food. If you don’t have food, you’ll actually lose a bit of health when moving. You can also choose to remain stationary and rest if you like, which doesn’t use your fuel but does consume food. The amount you heal each day by consuming food can be increased by 50% by unlocking the Colon Cleanser upgrade on the Workbench.
Another the only other way to restore your health in Void Bastards is to visit a Xon ship, which more often than not have a theatre in them. You’ll be able to spot Xon ships on the Sargasso Nebula map as they are blood red. Board one, locate the theatre using the map and head there. You’ll be able to restore a large amount of health instantly for free. You can also authorise the machine to temporarily boost your max health.
Each week we’ll be bringing you the step-by-step daily selfcare routines of some of the biggest names in wellness.
Dr Alexandrides Yannis, Harley Street plastic surgeon and founder of 111Skin, is responsible for all those face and eye masks celebrities like Bella Hadid, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Kim Kardashian post selfies of on Instagram.
With outposts in Harrods, Harvey Nichols and at the Bulgari Spa, he’s also a passionate advocate of cryotherapy and was one of the first people to bring the treatment to London. More recently, he launched the UK’s first heat chamber in the famous department stores.
Here, he shares his wellness rituals…
I wake up and do some deep breathing and stretching – especially if I’ve been operating the day before – to stretch out the muscles and encourage the blood flow around the body. I’ll then take a stroll and take my son to school.
The day starts with a tall glass of water with lemon to rehydrate. My family are big on breakfasts – we always have plenty of fresh fruit, eggs, coffee and freshly squeezed juice and my personal favourite – a family pancake recipe made from oats, cottage cheese, Goji berry powder and almond milk, which is free from heavy fats and carbohydrates. They’re packed with just the right nutritional balance to give me the energy and drive for the day ahead. I take mine with Greek honey from my family farm in Crete and some thick Greek yoghurt and fresh berries.
I try to exercise every day and mix my regime with a focus on high intensity training. The days I’m in the clinic for consultations, I will go for a run around Battersea Park in the morning or a session at KX Gym or a quick workout with the Insanity DVD. If it’s a surgery day, the mornings start early at the hospital and so I’ll opt for a run at the end of the day. It’s a great way to clear the mind after a long day in the operating theatre. My wife and I have two young sons as well so the weekends tend to involve some sort of physical activity too.
As a plastic surgeon, I consult with patients every day and advise that one of the most important steps in a skincare regime is to cleanse the face in order to keep the skin clear and healthy. Personally, I cleanse twice a day using our 111SKIN Cryo Pre-Activated Toning Cleanser as it’s a dual product to both cleanse the skin, gently removing any dead skin cells to encourage cell regenerations, and it also tones the skin too. I follow this with the 111SKIN Cryo Activating Hydra Gel as it absorbs quickly and protects against environmental aggressors throughout the day.
I try to always take a few quiet moments before the day starts. I like to think of all the good from the day before, reflect on the day ahead and make a plan for the day with a determination to make it the best and most, importantly, a happy day.
Lunch is always high protein, low gluten for me to avoid the afternoon slump so I tend to opt for a fish or meat option with brown rice or brown pasta.
I try not to snack but sometimes, the body craves it and so I will have a mix of nuts, dates and raisins – it’s actually a great snack prepared by one of the therapists in our clinic!
I always try to find time for a quick walk to get some fresh air and stretch my legs, whether I’m in surgery or at the office in consultations, or abroad in meetings with our stores and teams internationally. I find that it gives my mind and body a quick reboot and I can go back feeling reinvigorated.
I enjoy variety at dinner time. I don’t restrict myself in any particular way so I’ll most often have meat, chicken or duck being particular favourites, or fish.
I tend to stay away from alcohol, on a day to day basis, perhaps a glass of red wine at dinner. However, of course, if I’m at an event or a celebration of some sort, I will enjoy. I’ve always lived by the rule – everything in moderation.
In the evening, I cleanse my face to remove any residue on the skin from the day and to ensure that my moisturiser will be effectively penetrated into my skin. I then finish off with a deep moisturiser, my favourite being our 111SKIN Nocturnal Eclipse Recovery Cream that enables the skin to recover from daily pollutants for smooth and hydrated skin.
I’ve never had a problem falling asleep. We don’t have a TV or any monitors that emit radiation in our bedroom and I keep it very dark and quiet at night time – the perfect environment for me to get a great night’s rest.
If my schedule permits, I prefer a bath with crystals and salts as I find it’s not aids muscle recovery, but it’s also calming too. The days I may be more rushed, I’ll have a shower with an invigorating scrub.
I take the full spectrum antioxidant, 111SKIN Radiant Skin Beauty Dose every day. The vitamins and minerals work in synergy to boost levels of Glutathione which is the body’s most potent antioxidant. Glutathione support the body’s natural defence mechanisms and delays the signs of ageing as well.
I have massages on a weekly basis, sometimes even several times a week depending on my operating and travel schedules. I also try to pop to our Spa/Clinic at the Bulgari Hotel for a 111CRYO facial which I find a great boost to the complexion. We also take regular holidays too with the family, my favourite being the time we spend in Greece with friends and family where we eat well, swim, hike and laugh a lot.
I always make sure I have a few sessions every week in the 111CRYO chamber and brand new Heat Pod at either Harrods or Harvey Nichols. I have an active lifestyle on top of my heavy surgical and travel schedule and so I find the anti-inflammatory and muscle recovery benefits vital to my weekly routine. It also invigorates both the mind and skin, so it’s a great pick me up between surgery and the rest of my life. I’ve also tried acupuncture on and off for several years
If I’m feeling jet lagged or particularly tired, I will also have a 111 VIT-A-DRIPFUSION at my clinic at 111 Harley St. The selection of vitamin IV infusions are specifically catered to each person’s needs so I can get exactly the pick me up I need. My favourite combines B vitamins, magnesium and energy boosting amino acids which restore balance from the inside ensuring that not only do I look healthy but I feel it too.
I always advise my patients at the clinic that the best thing you can ever do for your skin is ensure you are first and foremost looking after yourself from the inside to out, i.e. drinking enough water and eating a balanced diet. Subsequent to that, a skincare regime tailored to your specific needs using potent ingredients is vital.