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16 December 2012

Pointless but Fantastic

2000 ping pong balls in zero gravity.

I absolutely love that they didn't warn anyone.

The Artist who Knitted a Playground

If you thought knitting a sweater required patience, try knitting a playground. That’s right—Japanese artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam challenges our understanding of what a playground can look like by creating breathtaking, interactive “sculptures” from colorful nylon ropes.

ArchDaily editor Vanessa Quirk recently sat down with Horiuchi MacAdam to learn more about her work. When asked what motivated her to start creating playspaces for children, Horiuchi MacAdam says:

"One day I was exhibiting a 3-dimensional open-work textile sculpture I had created in collaboration with a friend. Some children came to the gallery and climbed into it. Suddenly the piece came to life. My eyes were opened. I realized I wanted just such a connection between my work and people alive at this moment in time (not a hundred years from now). I realized I was in fact making works for children. It was an exciting moment for me.

"Often it is parents who are the problem. They seem to have forgotten what it was like to be a child."

I want to go there. I want to play.

Oru Kayak

Designer and founder Anton Willis grew up in rural Mendocino County, with easy access to rivers, lakes, and the ocean. In 2008, a move into a small San Francisco apartment forced his fiberglass kayak into storage. Inspired by an article on new advances in the art and science of origami, he sketched a few ideas for a folding kayak. Sketches turned into countless paper models, and over 20 full-scale prototypes. After user-testing on dozens of bays, lakes, rivers and oceans, Oru Kayaks are ready to explore the world.

This makes me wish I had good rivers near me to have a good use for this.

Whiskey Saves!

Alcohol doesn't tend to make you see more clearly, but in Denis Duthie's case a bottle of whisky literally saved his sight.

Mr Duthie, a catering tutor at New Plymouth's Western Institute of Technology, had been celebrating his parents' 50th wedding anniversary in June by having a few vodkas from a bottle his students had given him as a present.

When he walked into a bedroom in his home everything suddenly went black.

"I thought it had got dark and I'd missed out on a bit of time but it was only about half-past-three in the afternoon. I was fumbling around the bedroom for the light switch but ... I'd just gone completely blind."

12 November 2012

Android Jones

Couldn't have imagined it better. I really love Romney giving the finger, as well as some of my favorite companies in the front row. Thanks, Android Jones. Now go check out all of the other fantastic work.

Eddie Izzard is a Running God

Running into London's Trafalgar Square on Tuesday, Eddie Izzard took the last of 1.6m steps, from the 43 marathons he has completed in 51 days.

He has run at least 27 miles a day, six days a week, over the past seven weeks, covering more than 1,110 miles of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Dude, seriously, this makes me feel like the wimpiest wimp of all wimps. After a while of not running, I'm getting back into it and I whine about my feel hurting after a few miles. I can't even begin to imagine running one marathon, let alone 43 in less than 2 months.

The One World Futbol Promise

Tim Jahnigen has always followed his heart, whether as a carpenter, a chef, a lyricist or now as an entrepreneur. So in 2006, when he saw a documentary about children in Darfur who found solace playing soccer with balls made out of garbage and string, he was inspired to do something about it.

The children, he learned, used trash because the balls donated by relief agencies and sporting goods companies quickly ripped or deflated on the rocky dirt that doubled as soccer fields. Kicking a ball around provided such joy in otherwise stressful and trying conditions that the children would play with practically anything that approximated a ball.

During the next two years, Mr. Jahnigen, who was also working to develop an infrared medical technology, searched for something that could be made into a ball but never wear out, go flat or need a pump.

Mr. Jahnigen has developed a fifth generation of the ball, which is rounder than earlier versions. He carries samples around the world to conferences, potential buyers and sponsors. For effect, he crushes them and even drives cars over them. All of them bounce and hold their shape. By his estimate, the ball can last for 30 years, eliminating the need for thousands of hand-sewn leather balls that are typically donated by relief agencies.

Also, Sting payed for the development. Definitely a way to get better publicity than just doing good deeds or creating an awesome product that can be a game (pun intended) changer.

Buffy Limericks!

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans behind Waffle Meringue Productions are on a mission to encapsulate each episode of Joss Whedon's supernatural dramedy in a single limerick.

Ja', this one is for you. Enjoy.

09 November 2012

Best Inventions of the Year 2012

Personally, I don't think they should have added the Curiosity rover to this list. Yeah, it proved to be a fantastic tool, but I'd think it should have been on the list last year upon it's debut before launch. Otherwise, it seems to be a pretty decent list of accomplishments.

08 November 2012

Things I Want #090091.2

This chair by Fiona Roberts might be the chair of my dreams. The only drawback is that I've never been such a fan of the wingback-ish style, and the brown leather isn't doing it for me. Make it slightly more modern, and I would display this as the centerpiece of my home forever.

Challenge Detroit

They'll live in Detroit. They'll work in Detroit. They'll play in Detroit. They'll give in Detroit.

Can 30 creative thinkers make a difference to a city in need? A Detroit economic and entrepreneurial development organization called The Collaborative Group is betting on it.

Devastated by the collapse of the auto industry that fueled the region's growth, Detroit has fallen into dire straits. The city, which has a poverty rate of 37.6 percent, is the poorest major city in America. Residents are moving out in droves: Detroit's population has shrunk by a quarter in the past decade.

Led by the vision of The Collaborative Group board member Doyle Mosher, the group's Challenge Detroit initiative is focused on building a young, educated workforce in the region, starting with just 30 people.

Sculpture of Choi Xoang

These painted polymer clay figures by Seoul-based artist Choi Xooang are nothing short of remarkable. Xooang is attempting to draw attention to human rights abuses in Korea, and seeing these somewhat macabre, stunted figures unable to see or speak, it’s hard to dispute that.

06 November 2012

Election Night

And for all my complaining, there are a few times being a liberal in Texas really feels good. Or smug. It could easily be smug.

Nonetheless, hell yeah. Thanks, country, thanks for not being everything I always feared you were. I might have screamed out in happiness, or thrown my hands in the air, or done an elaborate jazz hands routine. Or none of all of the above. Prove it.

It is a good night. :)

23 October 2012

Vegetables = Happiness

It’s a new research finding likely to be protested by 5-year-olds everywhere: People who eat more vegetables and fruits are significantly happier than those who eschew such foods.

Dartmouth University’s Daniel Blanchflower looked at the eating habits of 80,000 British citizens. He, alongside two British researchers, saw that mental well being — satisfaction with one’s life on a scale of one to 10 — rose alongside each serving of produce consumed daily.

Brussel sprouts make me happy. Spaghetti squash makes me happy. Vegetables are amazing. I concur with the results of this study.

Ten Best Hiking Trails in the World

I want to hike them all. You know those lofty dreams you have that are unlikely to come true? Hiking all over the world has always been one of mine. Yes, cities are awesome and there's all kinds of culture to immerse yourself in, but to me, there's nothing like quite like being out in the open and being able to see the countryside of new places. Maybe it's the Boy Scout in me, or maybe I'm just an idiot. But nonetheless, I've always wanted the time and money to do things like these trails.

I am kinda sad to see the Appalachian Trail wasn't on the list.

09 October 2012

Damned if you do.....

In health news: Credible outlet the Daily Mail cites a study (without links) that 50% of parents drink every week, 60% of those thought it had no effect on their children. Obviously, they should all have their children removed as these results are incredibly disturbing.

Also, released evidence of a study that cracking your neck raises you likelihood of stroke, which is completely new and damning evidence and not at all the same as released in 2003.

 Obviously, I would be a model parent as long as I have a good life insurance policy.


32 metronomes all set off at different times on an off kilter base find synchronization. It seems so simple and yet, enticing.

Glass art by Jon Kuhn

Where the majority work with molten or blown glass, Mr. Kuhn works in cold glass that is cut, polished, and fused into a myriad of shapes from the inside out. The result is a sculpture that takes in surrounding light, then reflects and refracts it back into space much like a fine diamond. No two are alike, and once created they appear to change color and radiance when viewed from different angles and lighting. His desire is to continue creating beautiful works, every one unique, bringing light and joy to those who experience them.

Some of his work is displayed at Gallery Mack at Western x Lenora. Next time in Seattle.....


Hiroshima’s Shintaro Ohata is one of those artists who shows us everyday scenes in a manner we haven’t seen it before. Resplendent with emotion, Ohata’s sculptural paintings are an amalgamation of two- and three-dimensional art, in which a 3D sculpture is placed in front of a 2D painting that serves as its backdrop. It’s as though the characters depicted in the scene have jumped free of their backgrounds and into real life.

Art on Drugs

Artist Bryan Lewis Saunders conducted a bizarre experiment. For several weeks, he took a different drug every day and made a portrait of himself under the influence.

Not sure how much is real versus how much is gimmick, but nonetheless, I like it. But seriously, how is he alive with that many drugs ingested?

12 August 2012

Hot to Build your Creative Confidence

How to Build Your Creative Confidence by David Kelley.

Really interesting talk. I watched this and then felt I should hug my parents for keeping every single piece of art we ever made, even that one weird little dinosaur I didn't actually make, I won for making the best art piece in 3rd grade.

How We Spend Our Money

..Nothing new, but still interesting to see side by side.


"Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among stones." -Charlotte Brontë

..via Steve. Unfortunately, growing up in Texas, seeing people like this throughout my life, it makes me more angry than sad.

I'm a Runner

When I run barefoot, I put my shoes on my hands. Running around with shoe-hands looks a little weird.
Cool. Cool, cool, cool.

30 June 2012

Exercise Will Change Your Life

In surveys, a consistent 30 to 35 percent of people report moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity. But in the past few years, researchers have begun to outfit study participants with devices that record movement, and the truth has come out: Fewer than 5 percent of adults are doing the recommended level of activity.


The moral of the story is, you can choose to get old before your time.

Jesus Popcicles

"Each piece is a personal interpretation of some aspect of American life, be it celebratory, critical or simply observational. The exhibition intends to question what the American life is, whether real or perceived," according to a news release from the gallery.

His frozen cocktails stand as a symbol, he said, an invitation to "drink the Kool-Aid" that he feels so many religious zealots are stirring up. He hopes the Popsicles will remind the gallery's visitors to take their religions - whatever they may be - a little less seriously.

The Way We Live: Drowning in Stuff

What the researchers gleaned was an unflinching view of the American family, with all its stresses and joys on display. They’ve organized their findings into a book, scheduled to be available next week, called “Life at Home in the 21st Century.” It’s full of intriguing data points about the number of possessions the families owned (literally, thousands), much of it children’s toys. Women’s stress-hormone levels spiked when confronted with family clutter; the men’s, not so much. Finally, there was a direct relationship between the amount of magnets on refrigerators and the amount of stuff in a household.

I have 32 magnets on my fridge, I also own a lot of craft supplies, books, and too many clothes. I'd be interested in seeing a large scale study on that point alone.

18 June 2012

ISS Star Trails

Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit relayed some information about photographic techniques used to achieve the images: “My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes. However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image. To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do. I take multiple 30-second exposures, then ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.”

Because, really, how many people have the opportunity to take long exposure pictures from space?


Indeed, the woman's mouth had been essentially inseminated.
This really seems like the ultimate revenge by the squid for getting eaten.

Google Hiking

At a demo event last week, Google showed off the Street View Trekker, a backpack-mounted camera that the company is using to get detailed footage of trails where cars can’t tread.

I'm not really so sure how I feel about this. It seems great for looking at places I have no intention of visiting, but totally would kill the experience of seeing somewhere for the first time.

Running False Claims and Pointless Litigation

THE CLAIM: Running is cheaper than therapy.

THE RULING: Not necessarily, said an Illinois appellate court judge in February's landmark "American Psychological Association v. Cafe Press" decision. This claim rests on a number of dubious assumptions, the judge ruled, including a given runner's mental health insurance coverage and/or co-pay; the number and location of races that runner may enter in a typical year; and that runner's penchant for buying shoes and jackets and GPS watches beyond what he or she really needs. As a result, retailers peddling shirts, hoodies, or stickers emblazoned with this quote are on very thin ice.

19 May 2012

Cornelia Konrads

Gravity defying art by Cornelia Konrad. If you suspend the knowledge that wires are involved, you can almost believe they are actually floating.

Don't Visit if you have Epilepsy

http://squareeater.com Also best to visit if you have taken your contacts out so they don't dry out.

Why I Run Alone

For every woman who wants to make her running mates into bar mates, I suspect there is another who runs to be alone with herself, a singular state that may be attainable only on the trail, far from the demands of home and office. All running requires is a pair of shoes and the will. Group running means co-ordinating schedules and slotting yet another event into the daily grind, sullying the sport’s autonomy, which is the best thing about it....

This is what social psychologists call social facilitation: your performance on certain tasks improves when you do them with others, or in front of an audience. Runners set records not during training, but in races, buoyed by other runners and the observing crowd. But the participant must be good at the task for social facilitation to kick in. If the subject isn’t skilled, the effect of the audience is social inhibition – a decrease in speed and accuracy....

I run to reach that blankness as the sun comes up, or in the middle of the day, when, if I’m locked in to the groove, even the traffic becomes invisible. Slogging through many kilometres to find flow and then running into a flock of chipper, chattering runners – possibly literally – is jarring; it’s like the cast of Glee crashing the Buddhist temple...
I completely get this article. I run trails to alleviate the boredom of pavement, and I will pretty much do anything to avoid other peoples interaction as much as possible. I leave the mp3 player for the gym so I can hear the dogs and bicycles and other people to shorten the time I'll have to spend with the people around me.

Or, maybe I just don't like people. I had to talk to three (THREE!) people at the grocery store today, and while walking out, I was realizing how that was way more than I had prepared myself mentally for. One day, there's a chance I might just become a full blown agoraphobe.

Dew Covered Dandelions

UK-based photographer Sharon Johnstone uses her macro lens like a key to open the fascinating world of little things. She comes back with a beautiful collection of macro photographs showing tiny drops of dew on dandelions. “With macro photography I escape to another little world. I love exploring the tiny details in nature that often get over looked. I love finding beautiful colours and abstract compositions within nature and can even get passionate about photographing moss or a blade of grass. I think I am at my happiest when I am crawling around on my hands and knees exploring a small patch of moss dripping with sparkling dew in the early morning sun.”
Beautiful. Also, I want her camera/lenses.

16 April 2012

Good Thing I Never Grew Up

50 things to do before you're 12

 I've never heard of conkers. But, I guess it's never too late to stay 12 forever.


Just imagine drinking from a cup made from human hair, or looking into a mirror designed with a bioplastic crafted from actual human locks. It may sound a little rich for some but the innovative new material is challenging designers to think about sustainable materials – what could be more sustainable than using materials shed from our own human bodies?
Sanitize the hair and sand the edges so they aren't fuzzy, and this strangely doesn't bother me at all.

Original Mud Run DFW

So, the pictures are already up and have circulated around work, it has already been posted by others that participated on Blogger/Facebook/wherever, and I am behind the times for it, but Saturday, a group of us from work ran a mud run. It was, by far, one of the most fun events I have ever done. We signed up for the 5k, but due to untrained volunteers, an unmarked course, and our desire to not turn around, we ran the 10k instead, which turned out to be a fantastic thing. All of the best obstacles were in the second half, and I think we really would have missed out having only done the shorter race. Sure, half the group was too sore to move the next day, but that's an acceptable price.

I bought a waterproof camera to use between the group, which turned out to be a fantastic idea. Somehow, we all completely managed to bypass the sign in booth, so we didn't get our bibs (which really should have been in packet pick up but weren't), but since those were really only for photo ops, none of us cared to try to go back and get them.

The good of the race: People really help each other out, whether they know them or not. Everyone is in it together, so there really is a feeling of support. On the floating bridge, there was a girl who was having a really hard time getting across; balance was off, and because she fell once, she lost her momentum and the cycle continued. Rather than laugh or be awkwardly silent watching, everyone in line for that obstacle cheered and clapped encouragement. I know she was terribly embarrassed after, but several people congratulated her sincerely on the other side. The obstacles (mostly) allowed multiple levels of fitness to compete, although short people like myself definitely have a disadvantage. And it really, really was a hell of a lot of fun.

The bad of the race: The loudly, blatant obvious: a man died while swimming the river one the first crossing. Cause of death hasn't been released, but that crossing was incredibly frightening. We've had rains before the race, the guide ropes were so loose and bogged down by people on them that they were almost useless, and there were way too many people in the water. During our crossing, there was one lifeguard platform in the middle of a too-wide river, people ahead of us were standing on the rope, which made it about 3 feet underwater for anyone behind them. I'm not a strong swimmer, but I've never had a problem staying afloat before, but I needed help, which my guys were wonderful with. Our race was hours before the incident, and it seems like lifeguard attendance dissipated after 10am.

The race really was not well set up. Half of our waves 5k runners were told to keep going and ran the 10k, there were 10 year old Young Marines manning a lot of the stations, and absolutely no one at others. Some of the more potentially dangerous obstacles were miles from any sort of help, without anyone manning them at all. I see the company running the race getting sued pretty much any day.

We all managed to get through the race with very little injury; I have some bruised elbows and knees.

And this post has gone on way too long. Photos on Flickr stream to the left if anyone is interested, I supposed the rest was all just babble and ranting.

24 March 2012

Paper Torso

A torso with removable organs for the Science Lab of the International School Nadi, Fiji Islands built entirely from 200gms/sqm white card.
PDF folding instructions for many of the organs available. Amazing artistry, and extraordinary skill required.


Posters designed that hit a little too close to home sometimes.

Green Whiskey?

Scottish company Celtic Renewables is turning the byproduct waste from whiskey distillation into usable product, showing that there is a profitable method to eliminate the problems caused by normal production.

Here's how it works: To make Scotch whiskey, you take barley, separate out the sugar, add water and yeast, and ferment it. The result is similar to beer. The next step is to distill the alcohol from that beer in pots. Set it to age in wooden casks, and a few months later, you have whiskey.

The problem is that the process creates a lot of byproduct: First there are the remains of the barley, called draff. And when you distill the alcohol, you're left with a liquid called pot ale, which is hard to dispose of because it contains biological components that can acidify ecosystems, along with traces of copper that are leached from the pots. Celtic Renewables makes a soup out of the pot ale and draff. Then—through a fuel-making fermentation process that was developed during the leadup to World War I but fell out of favor when it couldn't compete with petroleum—the company converts the stuff into biobutanol fuel, animal feed, and acetone.

Animatronic Cat Ears

Tutorial for animatronic cat ears. For the cosplayer in your life.

21 March 2012

World Water Day 2012

Water is Life. Today millions scavenge for water and billions don't have a toilet. You can help.

No speech. Just...if you can, or choose to....help.
My organization of choice: charity:water. I've given to this group for years, they do amazingly wonderful things.

Other links:
World Water Day
The Atlantic's In Focus Photo Essay
Global Water Challenge

10 March 2012

Make a Fire

David Mach‘s incredible sculpture called The Devil is made entirely out of matches. The part that is more fascinating is not just the sculpture itself, but watching it burn and then seeing it take a different form – match sculpture to charred sculpture. Be sure to watch the video at the end where you get to see the before and after form of The Devil.

One Is the Quirkiest Number

True, the benefits of living alone are many: freedom to come and go as you please; the space and solitude to recharge in a plugged-in world; kingly or queenly domain over the bed.

Still, as TV has taught us, the single-occupant home can be a breeding ground for eccentricities...In a sense, living alone represents the self let loose. In the absence of what Mr. Klinenberg calls “surveilling eyes,” the solo dweller is free to indulge his or her odder habits — what is sometimes referred to as Secret Single Behavior. Feel like standing naked in your kitchen at 2 a.m., eating peanut butter from the jar? Who’s to know?

For people who are comfortable and even good at living alone, there is often another concern: a fear that the concrete has set, so to speak, on their domestic habits and that it will be difficult to go back to living with someone else.

Take out the personal references, and this entire article has become my life. I used to always be jealous of people who lived alone, as I had gone from parents, to dorm, to parents, to relationship. Living alone for the last 2 and a half years has been an absolutely amazing experience in figuring myself out. And I have completely become one of these people, although not yet quite to level described. Here's hoping I can learn to reintegrate if the situation occurs.

Chain Sculptures

The incredible ‘works of Seo Young Deok are clearly inspired by the shapes of the human body, but artists have been sculpting masterpieces based on our natural curves for hundreds of years. What makes this Korean designer special is the material he uses for his unique creations – bicycle chains. Miles of metal chains, to be exact, welded in such a way that they recreate the human body to the finest details. Deok says he finds inspiration for his art in crowded markets, and metro or bus stations, but also in Buddhist sculptures and paintings, which he has alway admired. “I like Asia Beauty” he says, “so most features of my work seem to take an Asiatic pose”.