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17 December 2013

White Elephant

Swiss artist Sipho Mabona is attempting to elevate the concept of origami as performance art with an Indiegogo campaign to help him realize his whimsical ambition to fold a life-size elephant from a single sheet of paper.

Mabona expects the process will take about two weeks. The project will require three assistants and the elephant will be shored up by an aluminum frame and sealed with white acrylic paint. He plans to set up in a local art venue and provide a live online video stream of the process. If all goes well, he hopes to repeat the performance in other venues.

And I thought completeling a Senbazuru was difficult. At least it was a manageable size.


I am amazed how inexpensive these really are. Only $100, compared to high end sunglasses that do nothing but show you like to pay for a brand and cover the sunlight in only one shade? Bargain! you can keep your rose colored glasses, I'd prefer to see the world as a cacophony of rainbows.

Soo Sunny Park

Soo Sunny Park: Unwoven Light from Walley Films on Vimeo.

If I ever have some sort of very tall loft, with lots of natural light streaming in, an installation such as this by Soo Sunny Park would be ideal. I could star at this for hours and hours, just watching how the sun moves across it and the light changes. Absolutely beautiful.


“These cheeses are meant only as ‘food for thought,’ ” Agapakis said. “What we hope is that after the first visceral response of ‘ew,’ we can start to think more about the intersections of human and microbial cultures.”

“Culture” in two ways, that is.

“Cheese is a wonderful artifact with which to demonstrate how ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ are not merely inseparable, but fully implicated in one another,” Heather Paxson, anthropologist and author of The Life of Cheese and toe bacteria donor, said.
I can understand the breast milk. I can understand the smelly and donkey. I cannot understand or stomach the idea of maggot cheese. I can't eat rice because it reminds me of maggots, and at least rice doesn't move.

23 October 2013

Empathy helps kids understand sarcasm

“It’s a very tricky thing to recognize that people are deliberately hiding what they mean,” Pexman says. “Children have to listen and look beyond the words to what’s in the mind of the speaker and the emotion they’re trying to convey. Empathy seems to help children get beyond the literal meaning of the words.”

Pexman and her colleagues wondered why some kids got the joke earlier. They suspected that children who were more empathetic might be quicker to recognize the contradiction between what was being said and the tone and expression of the person saying it....

When the researchers correlated the empathy findings with the responses to the puppet shows they saw a clear role for empathy: the more empathetic kids were, the more likely it was that they’d correctly identify sarcastic comments in the puppet shows.
I'd love to see the results of this across a larger group over a longer time. I'd be curious to see how this differs across cultural and class upbringings, as well as whether this understanding of sarcasm has any impact as to how the kids employ both sarcasm and empathy as they age.

What Averaged Face Photographs Reveal About Human Beauty

As per the finding that 32 faces are seen as more attractive; I used this as the threshold for the amount of faces to average. The selection of images to use was based on my own criteria: facing forward, eyes looking into the camera, limited facial expression, decent size and decent colouration.

For each ‘category’ (Male and female, attractive and unattractive) I aligned and resized the images, until the internal features of the face (eyes, nose, lips and chin) were as aligned as feasibly possible. Then they were averaged....

What’s interesting is that attractive male and female faces seem to have similar structures and similarities. When aligning the images in Photoshop; I could see that faces which appeared completely different actually have similar basic proportions. You can see this in the averages and in relation to conformity with the Marquardt mask.

The most interesting aspect, to me, is the incoherence seen in the ‘unattractive’ averages. Attractive faces seem to conform to a basic attractive structure, with little variance of internal features. Unattractive faces have more varying features – this would explain why the unattractive averages are less coherent.

Knitting + Running = Knunning?

Let’s get the obvious question about David Babcock’s unusual feat of skill and endurance out of the way first:

No, he doesn’t worry about putting his eye out.

During Saturday’s Kansas City Marathon, the graphic design professor from the University of Central Missouri broke the Guinness world record for longest scarf knitted while running a marathon.
Seeing as how I can barely put one foot in front of the other without falling over, I am extremely jealous of this ability.


Dallas led all markets in smartphone and tablet penetration: 76% of its residents own and use a smartphone; 48% own and use a tablet. New York City is last on the list for smartphone adoption (48%), while Atlanta has the fewest tablet users (30%).

SOASTA’s survey showed that 91% of smartphone owners in every market are likely to delete or uninstall mobile apps they purchased if they didn’t work properly or had frequent technical issues. Again, Dallas was highest at 97%.

07 October 2013

Hint, Don't Fall on your Face

Running in Texas is a delicate balance. It's 90+ degrees from April to October (if you're lucky), so good weather is the best thing ever. Saturday brought a cold front, and a 40º drop to 55º (Fahrenheit, for you Canadians). It was bliss. Absolutely bliss. I was able to put on a jacket, sweat and unzip said jacket. I heard a little girl say she could see her breath when she got out of the car. Although doubtful, in Texas, we celebrate the little things. Such as dropping 2 minutes off each mile because even if the humidity was over 80%, I didn't feel like the air was liquid lava.

This week the weather is a high of 85º. I thought this was amazing. My run this afternoon was amazing; the woods were shady, cool, ground was spongy wet, and my time was amazing for my laziness and trail running. I was looking forward to more of the same this week.

Unfortunately, I am the clumsiest person ever, and should be permanently wrapped in bubble wrap. I was doing so well, until that stupid little tree stump this afternoon tripped me up. Jerk. Plus side, my ankles are almost totally okay, which is a new thing. Downside, stupid knees.

Please wish me luck. I need to run. I need to not keep hurting myself. I need everyone to send me bandages and anti-inflammatory drugs.


Nuance from Marc-Antoine Locatelli on Vimeo.

Siblings Are Why You Drink

Children with faster verbal development may be more likely to have alcohol problems as adult, according to a new study....

In addition to the earlier talkers and readers drinking more, they also found that the more verbally-proficient group was four times as likely to get drunk at least once a month compared to their counterparts.

Though the behavior might sound alarming, the authors noted that the verbally-skilled twins' frequent drinking was not enough to categorize them with a drinking disorder. No connection was made between being the first speaker or reader and a propensity for alcohol addiction.

The study authors hypothesized that while higher intelligence may make people pause to think of the consequences, it may also make them more willing to try more risky things.

Also, verbal intelligence in particular makes people more social, and in fact, the study authors discovered that the earlier speakers and readers had more friends than the twins that had less verbal prowess. In turn, that could make them more likely to be in more social situations where there is alcohol.
Thanks Ja', for making sure I read fast by not waiting for me to finish a page before you turned it. Totally fair when you were only 4 years older. Also, does it count as social if I drink while knitting things for other people?

Astronaut Sews Dinosaur Toy from Space Station Scraps

"Made in space!" Nyberg, an Expedition 37 crewmember, exclaimed in her caption for a photo of the toy giant lizard she uploaded to the pinboard-style photo-sharing website Pinterest. "I made this dinosaur for my son last Sunday, September 22."

10 September 2013

Finding the Comfy Spot

Use a French Press to add Flavor to your Beer

Many would say that Old Rasputin is the gold standard for Imperial Stouts. Adding in the aroma, and taste, of freshly ground coffee turns this beer into an alcoholic Americano. Boost the roastiness with a little smoked oak for a drink that's not for the faint of heart.

How to do it: Coarsely grind one tablespoon of your favorite coffee and add to a French press. Add 1/4 cup smoked oak pieces (from your local homebrew store or online. Pour 12-ounce bottle of Old Rasputin over the mix and let infuse for 3 minutes.
I'm not a beer person, so they all sound rather disgusting. But I love the possibilities. Can;t be worse than the ubiquitous pumpkin flavor in everything this time of year.

The First Taste

A delightful look at children taking their first taste of some challenging foods. Filmed in high speed, stunning clarity, this film allows us to almost see the thoughts of these children on their faces.

Polixeni Papapetrou Photography

I think I've seen the future. And the future is my nephew CLBC as seen with his mother, below.

Pinstripe Dress Pant Sweatpants

Now here's our latest curious combination of designs and materials: Pinstripe Dress Pant Sweatpants, the executive edition of our super-comfy originals.
At first glance, Pinstripe Dress Pant Sweatpants look like exquisite wool trousers. Which they are, except for the wool part. Now look closer; better yet, put on a pair.

For only $128!

18 April 2013


I pretty much had this conversation today.

The Clothing of the Future

For years, scientists have been looking for alternatives to synthetic fibres like nylon and lycra, or spandex, which are made from oil - a non-renewable resource.

Hagfish slime has the potential to provide a natural and renewable alternative.... "I think the name might be a bit of a deterrent," he says. Not to mention the word "slime".

But one day this ancient slime from the depths of the ocean could be woven into the very shirt on your back.

I can't help but imagine the feel to be like those sticky hand toys we'd play with as kids.

100 Rules of Dinner

Coming from the blog Dinner, a Love Story, are the author's 100 rules for cooking.

11. No need to sift. Whisking is just as effective.
42. There is no such thing as owning too many little bowls.
63. Clean as you go. Seriously, I can’t stress this enough.

 Basically, I agree with a bunch of the ones on the list from Jenny, but I find almost all of Andy's to be worthless. I guess I just don't like the same flavors. I don't care for ice, I don't salt my water, garlic and spinach are amazing, and baking doesn't resemble homework.

 My personal few rules:
  • Always double (or triple) the garlic. 
  • There's always room for more vegetables in any recipe. 
  • Take the time to properly caramelize onions. 
  • Coconut oil is only acceptable if you can completely hide the flavor.
  • Penthouse

    The American Tract Society Building is one of the oldest surviving skyscrapers in NYC. Tucked away inside is a four-story, 6,500-foot expanse with full panoramic views of the city. It had never been inhabited, until now.

    It has a climbing wall, and an 80 foot slide. I'll move in tomorrow!

    How to Talk to Your Child

    According to the New York Times and other American news outlets, the "Providence Talks" programme will be based on research carried out by two psychologists from the University of Kansas, Betty Hart (who died last year) and Todd R Risley, who in 1995 published their findings in a book called Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children. The results of these studies were striking. After six years of data collection and analysis, they established that while "professional class" children hear on average 2,153 words per hour from their parents, children whose parents were on welfare – the "Precariat", as the BBC might have described them – hear just 616 (television didn't count; it was found to have an adverse effect).

    Thus, while the wealthier child will be treated to a near-constant stream of cooing commentary, poorer parents tend to limit their interactions with their babies to commands such as "Put away your toy!" and "Don't eat that!" This meant that by his third birthday, the poorest child will have heard around 30 million fewer words than his middle class counterpart.
    Coming from a background where talking and reading was a vital part of each day as a child, I find the idea intriguing. However, I think "If everyone talked to their young children the same amount, "there would be no racial or socioeconomic gap at all"." is just naïve.

    What’s Your Dinosaur Personality?

    I totally played this multiple times until I got the T Rex picture. Although, I agree with the anything but a high five.

    08 March 2013

    Sleep of the Beloved

    What happens to lvoers while they are sleeping? Is it a sleeping just next to each other, each on his own, or is there a sharing of certain places or emotions? Is is a nocturnal lover's dance, maybe a kind of unaware performed tenderness, or does one turn the back on each other? Is there a conjunction with the other, with one's self?

    "the sleep of the beloved" was born as my diploma in 2010 at the university of applied arts Vienna and has become an ongoing long-time project.

    Each picture of the sleep of the lovers is one long-time exposure. The exposing time is 6 hours, from midnight until 6am. The room with the bed is in my studio-apartment, I am at no time of the expose in the room myself. I just light the candles, set up the stage.

    How might "your beloved sleep" look like?

    Interesting concept, however, I don't know how comfortable I would be letting people sleep in my bed for the sake of art.

    Remote Controlled Migraine Relief

    Most sufferers of brutal migraine and cluster headaches are all too familiar with the warning signs of an approaching attack, but a California biotech company says it has created a device that can potentially stop the crippling pain as easily as flicking a switch.

    Developed by Autonomic Technologies Inc., the therapy has successfully completed a trial of its technology on European patients with cluster headaches, also known as “suicide” headaches, the Redwood City, Calif., company said Tuesday.

    The same device is being trialed for use on migraine headache patients in Europe, and the company plans to offer it for patients suffering from cluster and migraine headaches in the United States, too.

    During trials of the device in Europe, 67 percent of cluster headache patients were relieved of pain within 15 minutes – a far cry from hours or days some people suffer from cluster headaches, which are more severe than migraine headaches.

    This seems like a much better option than my current 'hide in a dark room with pillows over my head' process.

    Knitting Burns More Calories than Sex

    That’s according to a new study released by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which debunked popular myths about sex as a major calorie burner. The study concluded that the perception of sex as a fat-burning athletic activity was based around sexcapades lasting an hour or more, but that’s not the reality of most American sex lives. Brace yourselves for the truth, people: Americans have sex for “an average time span of six minutes per sexual encounter.”

    That’s pretty depressing, and it only gets worse. Those six minutes only burn 21 calories. To put that in perspective: you burn twenty-five calories in ten minutes just by standing up. Your grandma burns fifty-five calories by knitting for half an hour, and most of those calories are from yelling at her grandkids to find her dentures.
    So, the moral of the story here is have longer sex. And all my knitting totally excuses the sitting on my butt for hours at a time while watching The West Wing. At least I am being productive.

    McNabb & Co. City Series

    The City Series is a collection of wood sculptures that represent a woodworker's journey from the suburbs to the city. Each piece depicts the outsider's perspective of the urban landscape. Made entirely of scrap wood, this work is an interpretation of making something out of nothing. Each piece is cut intuitively on a band saw. The result is a collection of architectural forms, each distinctly different from the next.

    700 Delaware Avenue

    A languishing, yellowed church in Washington D.C. underwent a dramatic transformation in every shade of the rainbow, with street artist HENSE using it like a massive urban canvas. The church is in a downtrodden area with the potential to become the city’s next arts district, and this project represents the hope for a more colorful future.
    “Taking an existing building like the church and painting the entire thing re-contextualizes it and makes it a sculptural object,” HENSE told Design Boom. “We really wanted to turn the church into a three-dimensional piece of artwork. With projects like this one, we really try to use the existing architecture as inspiration for the direction of the painting.”

    This is a great idea, and I wish it was done in more areas. Much better than knocking down everything down and building sterile condo's to re-gentrify rundown areas.


    Towering 23 feet (7 meters) into the sky, Karma is a recent sculpture installed in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art by Korean sculptor Do Ho Suh (previously). Captured here in a series of photographs by Alan Teo, the piece depicts a tower of piggy-backed men, each successively covering the eyes of the man below him, creating an illusion that the blinded tower seems to stretch to infinity like a fractal, although technically it was made from 98 cast stainless steel figures.

    3D Gummi Person for $65

    For only 6,000 yen, or roughly $65, it will take a 3D scan of your body, which is used to create a mold for the gummi stuff....The gummi-you (or me, but hopefully, you) was rolled out for a holiday called White Day, which is basically Japan’s second Valentine’s Day — women give presents on Feb. 14, and guys give them on March 14, and go figure it’s the guys who consider “tiny version of me made of gross candy” to be a really romantic gift. Or maybe it’s just the ladies who want to gnaw their boyfriends’ heads off.

    I want a jello-shot version of one of these for my funeral. No one leaves until it has been devoured.

    21 January 2013

    What's the Most Dangerous Place on Earth?

    Knitting Rocking Chair!

    shown in the ruckstuhl building as part of ECAL's 'low-tech factory' exposition during designers' saturday in langenthal, switzerland is 'rocking knit' - a design that makes the transition to the winter season a little less onerous. students of university of art and design lausanne damien ludi and colin peillex created a chair that will fashion its user a beanie as they leisurely rock back and forth, activating gears that put the machine to work as its sitter relaxes. the project is in response to the exhibition's theme, where students were required to reinterpret the idea of manufacture - deconstructing the fabrication process of a product to a slower, more considered pace. designers' saturday showcased the work in the ruckstuhl carpet factory, appropriately surrounding the work by spools of thread and feverish machinery, connecting concept and real-world techniques in a meaningful way.

    Technically, it won't be a hat unless you cut it off and tie the top off. However, I definitely need one of these to sit and rock in while knitting other items.

    Former Drunks Make Unstoppable Runners

    Many drunks won’t be swayed by the symbolism of a turned calendar page. But each year, plenty of chronic drinkers and struggling alcoholics figure that January is a chance for a fresh start. To them, I say run. You’re already pre-programmed to chew up the pavement—even tackle a marathon. In fact, you’ve spent a good chunk of your bleary-eyed, morally dubious days and nights developing the perfect toolbox: single-minded focus; endurance; tolerance for mental and physical distress; prowess at spending time alone; aptitude at navigating embarrassment....

    Check out some race photos. You’ll see plenty of runners with painful grimaces on their faces, wild sweat-flattened hair, bloody nipples, shorts billowing up to show dimpled cheek, stained crotches and wet ass cracks. And often a gait that looks decidedly zombie-apocalyptic. There may be college-era pics of you with a pair of hairy balls sharpied on your forehead or with your skirt up over your head: You are the dark, sloppy star of family lore. Your tolerance for ridicule is high.
    So that's my problem. I haven't gotten quite to full blown alcoholic yet, hence why I am such a terrible runner. Well, that or the inability to not trip and land on my face.

    New FDA Food Safety Rules

    The Food and Drug Administration on Friday proposed two sweeping rules aimed at preventing the contamination of produce and processed foods, which has sickened tens of thousands of Americans annually in recent years.

    Changes include requirements for better record keeping, contingency plans for handling outbreaks and measures that would prevent the spread of contaminants in the first place. While food producers would have latitude in determining how to execute the rules, farmers would have to ensure that water used in irrigation met certain standards and food processors would need to find ways to keep fresh food that may contain bacteria from coming into contact with food that has been cooked.
    Now it would be amazing if the rules are actually enforced once implemented.