Monday, August 17, 2015

Answer: Finding things from other cultures

Let's talk about the simplest first.  

Clearly, figuring out Challenge #2 from last week (from whence do these posts come?) was pretty straightforward.  So let's talk about that first.  Recall the Challenge: 

2.  What are these posts for?  Who built them, and why?   

Click on each of these images to see the photo in full resolution.  
As several SearchResearch readers quickly figured out by examining the EXIF data (see one of our earlier discussions about reading EXIF data) that these posts/sculptures are very near the California coastal village of Gualala (map link).  The lat/long I extracted from these images is 38.757103, -123.517256 

Looking at the map, I saw "Gualala Point" there, so my first query was: 

     [ Gualala Point sculpture ] 

which quickly led me to the Sakha Cultural Festival (Wednesday, June 18 thru Sunday, June 22, 2015) and tells me that these posts are actually created by Sakha woodcarvers and are called Serge, which act as both a horse hitching post as as a ritual object for ceremonies.  They were installed at the Gualala Point Regional Park the week of June 15 and dedicated on Sunday, June 22. Visit the web page to see more images of the serge and video of the carvers making them.  (Apparently there's also a set of serge at Fort Ross and the Gualala Art Center, although I haven't seen them.)  
The carvers are from Sakha, a region of Russia that is roughly the size of India, but holds only about 100K people.  The Yakuts people are from Sakha, and were early settlers in this part of California in the 1820s where they hunted and did lots of work with other Russian immigrants, trappers, and traders. 
In any case, this wasn't too difficult to figure out.
Search Lesson:   When searching for a localized target, grabbing the EXIF metadata with lat/long and THEN searching for other obvious features (e.g., the name of the park the target is located within) can lead to a rapid resolution.  Be sure you know how extract EXIF from image--it's immensely handy.  

HOWEVER... the mystery of the first Challenge from last week continues to grow.  WHAT IS THIS THING?  
As you recall, Elin told us the story of having seen a striking optical device when she was just a kid in Denmark, and wondered if we could help her find it.  So far.. we haven't had success.
Her Challenge was: 

1.  WHAT is the name of this device that Elin describes?  Can you figure out who made (or still makes) them? 
And since this is so up-in-the-air, I'm going to leave this Challenge open for a bit longer.  Like many of you, I've been poking various Danish friends, hoping that someone will know a Danish optician or ophthalmologist, OR someone can connect me with a Danish museum of optical instruments.  
But so far, no luck.  
I've even tried searching .DK site in Danish (using Google Translate to give me query terms like antik Optiker enhed , and Optiker udstyr... but those didn't pan out.  I suspect that some of the clues we've found (e.g., the cobalt blue background, or the image of the keratometer) will be useful... we just don't know how yet. 
So, carry on SearchResearchers!  Neither I nor Elin know the answer.. yet! 
Search on! 

1 comment:

  1. Couple of my thoughts about this challenge. If your friend was able to give a rough sketch of what she remembers we could be more certain that we understand the description.

    From this challenge I learned that in the 50's and 60's there was a big push to make glasses a stylish accessory instead of an inconvenience. Promotion was not necessarily accepted in America but this may well have been the case in Europe. Marketing may have been behind this tool. Just thoughts to consider.