Speaking of imagination, [Melvin the Machine](http://vimeo.com/40539993) is a short film, about four or five minutes, about a Rube Goldberg machine that travels in two suitcases and does nothing more than stamp a postcard with “Wish you were here” and then affix postage. Well worth the watch.

Like The Unfinished Swan, Melvin the Machine came to me via [The Verge](http://www.theverge.com/).

Images of the Week

A collection of images from this week’s news and events:

Japanese Spacecraft Ikaros Deploys it Solar Sail

The Japanese Spacecraft Ikaros Successfully Deployed Its Solar Sail

The Last Shuttle Liftoff

The Last NASA Space Shuttle Lifted Off

John Howe's Imagining of "Lord of the Rings"

John Howe’s Imagining of the Opening Events in “The Lord of the Rings” — for some reason this image just captured my imagination. I think it’s the combination of the gathering storm in the far background, the sunlit valley in the middle, and the wizard’s urgent strides in the foreground. Few painters these days work all three grounds like the Dutch Masters once did. And I have long loved the work of Brueghel et al.