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Planet

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 15:00
    Wu-Tang Rapper GZA Delivers TED Talk About Science Education #makereducation

    Rapper GZA of Wu-Tang Clan promotes science education in this awesome TED Talk, from Time.

    “Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green?”

    The Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, a.k.a “The Genius,” a.k.a. Gary Grice just gave a TEDxTeen Talk as the latest viral address in his campaign “to provide a model for students to communicate the information learned from their science teachers.”

    As Wu-Tang’s dozen or so active members are busy finishing the iconically absurdist rap group’s 20th anniversary reunion album, it just so happens that GZA is also leading Science Genius, an “urban science initiative” that he cofounded with Rap Genius and Christopher Emdin of Columbia University’s Teachers College. The project weaves lyricism and artistic conception into the science curricula of 10 public New York City high school classrooms.

    While many musical artists are known to promote public funding of arts education, GZA and his bandmates have long been obsessed with the many mind-blowing phenomena of the universe. “Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green?” he asks. “Why is metal a conductor of electricity, and wood is not; but you’re more likely to be struck by lightning when standing under a tree?”

    “These are questions that require science to answer.”

    Read more.


    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 15:00
    Prank Call and Response: April Fools’ Projects from Readers

    FAKE coverSee our favorite April Fool's jokes, and send us your own.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 14:50
    Can we design machines to automate ethics?

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    Can we design machines to automate ethics? by Tom Chatfield @ Aeon.

    For the French philosopher Paul Virilio, technological development is inextricable from the idea of the accident. As he put it, each accident is ‘an inverted miracle… When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck; when you invent the plane, you also invent the plane crash; and when you invent electricity, you invent electrocution.’ Accidents mark the spots where anticipation met reality and came off worse. Yet each is also a spark of secular revelation: an opportunity to exceed the past, to make tomorrow’s worst better than today’s, and on occasion to promise ‘never again’.

    Read more.

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 14:29
    REMINDER: HARDWARE HANGOUT with Brady Forrest TONIGHT Tuesday 7pm ET 4/1/14 #makerbusiness @brady @highway1io @PCH_Intl #Hardware #startup #incubator

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    Come meet and ask questions on our next HARDWARE HANGOUT with Brady Forrest. Brady runs Highway1 and helps shepherd startups of all backgrounds into their Accelerator program. He also co-founded Ignite – a geek event which has spread to over a hundred cities worldwide.. PCH is a large supply chain management company with primary operations in Shenzhen. It ships $10B of product annually. Highway1 helps you get your prototype ready for market. Based in SF, they are a four month program & currently hosting 11 companies – primarily consumer. The next class runs Mar-Jun. More about Brady – he is Vice President at Highway1, PCH International’s incubator program. A prolific speaker and maker on the geek scene, Brady can be found at speaking engagements around the world, inventing new forms of transportation at Burning Man, or creating in the Highway1 San Francisco workshop. Additionally, Brady writes for O’Reilly Radar, tracking changes in technology.

    Things we’ll be asking!

    • When/if makers should crowdfund?
    • When do you hire certain roles?
    • What are the hidden gotchas?
    • When/should you go to China?
    • How?
    • The role of opensource

    Post your questions here, on G+, join live and more!. Click here for the Google+ Hangout page (you can start asking your questions now too).

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 14:05
    High Voltage Image Making by Phillip Stearns @pixelform

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    High Voltage Image Making by Phillip Stearns.

    A project exploring the use of electrical discharge as a means of creating images in photographic media. High Voltage Image Making is a developing body of work that started with the Retinal Pigment Epithelium and Other Vision Technologies, Real or Otherwise Imagined and has grown to include Polaroid Type 55 @ 15KV. The project explores and extends the expressive capacity of instant photographic film technology beyond its ability to capture images of the world through the application of high voltage and various chemical agents. These treatments approach the film technology as a recording media, capable of creating images from physical, electrical, and chemical transformations. The project takes its cues from artists such as Man Ray (photogram), Pierre Cordier (chemigram), Marco Breuer (scratched expose and developed c-prints), Chris McCaw (sunburned prints) and Hiroshi Sugimoto (static discharges on photopaper).

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 14:00
    Students Create A Motor Control Shield For Self Balancing Robots #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg

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    Students from UC San Diego create a motor control shield for Beaglebone Black. via Make

    A group of students from The University of California, San Diego created a motor control shield for the BeagleBone Black. The shield can be used in projects like self-balancing vehicles (as shown in the video above), drones, or robots. Amy Szeto from Texas Instruments was demoing the board on the floor of International CES 2014 along with a few other maker-friendly products.

    “When WowWee approached the lab we looked at a number of different things we could do with them. One of the things that came up was what is now MiP. I took lead on the development of the first prototype, which was Arduino-based. I did all the programming, the electrical and the design work. This was about a year and a half ago. I then have been working with WowWee on the production model, teaching them how balancing works, helping them get all the right components together, making sure it has good balancing performance with the low cost toy-grade components and that the toy hits a great price point.

    Once we were working towards getting the production version’s details together, my professor wanted to start on the educational side of things. With all the work that was done on MiP, we had a much better understanding of what needed to be done to make a small Segway-like vehicle that hit a low price point. So my professor, Thomas Bewley, one other PhD student, Nick Morozovsky, and I started work on the first educational MiP called MyMiP. Much of what I had done for MiP went into MyMip. And we ended up successfully teaching the first hands on controls course based around MiP.

    Some time later after the completion of the course, we began to look at what we wanted to do for next year’s course. It was at this time that we made the decision to pursue the BeagleBone Black as I had taken Arduino to its limits to do MiP. We wanted students to be able to do more after the class then just get a mobile inverted pendulum balancing. We wanted them to be able to start adding some level of autonomy. For this new project, James Strawson, a new PhD in lab at the time, took lead. James went ahead and took the educational MiP to the next level resulting in BeagleMip.”

    Read More


    BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kitsEach Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 13:01
    E-Waste Quadcopter Lifts Your Spirits While Keeping Costs Down

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    The advancement of Quadcopters and their capabilities over the last few years has been amazing. Unfortunately, the price point to get into the sport with a decent size, non-toy, vehicle is still several hundred dollars. And what’s the fun with buying one when you can built it?!? Strapped for cash and feeling the same way, [Hans] over at the hackerspace Knackatory decided to build a quadcopter from e-waste.

    The + shaped frame is made from lightweight plywood. It’s pretty obvious that the main rotors are PC Fans, 140mm in this case. Normally, these wouldn’t be able to create enough lift to get out of their own way except the on-board 24v Dewalt cordless tool battery bumps up the fan speed to 15,000 rpm. The one orange fan allows the operator to maintain a visual reference to which side of the ‘copter is forward.

    An Arduino running MultiWii control software is the brains of this UAV. The MultiWii software uses the sensors from part of a Nintendo Wii remote to sense orientation and movement. While there is no hand held transmitter with this quadcopter per se, communication to the host computer is handled by a wireless router running OpenWRT. The router is the gateway that allows the Arduino and Ethernet Shield combination to communicate through the Hackerspace’s wifi network. Flight plans are pre-programmed. Admittedly, the real time control through computer keyboard commands needs a little work. The team plans on interfacing a regular USB game controller with the software.

    Making stuff out of e-waste is a great way to recycle. Remember this e-waste 3D Printer?

     

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    Filed under: drone hacks

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 13:00
    Macro Shots Of An Insects Wings #ArtTuesday

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    The beauty of macro butterfly wings by linden gledhill

    biochemist and photographer linden gledhill has captured a mesmerizing series of images which study the structure of butterfly and moth wings. using various levels of magnification, the macro shots zoom in on what is an incredible and kaleidoscopic visual: the intricacy and delicacy of insects’ wings. specimens of varying species and physical characteristics are collected, documented and later photographed using an automated macro focusing rail. forming an iridescent quilt, the scales layer in depth, volume and chroma, shimmering and glittering in a multidimensional composition. at the range of enlargement gledhill shoots the images at, they are near impossible to recognize as the physical characteristics of the flying species, but instead transform into dazzling perspectives on a part of the natural world.

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    argema mittrei moth wing scales

    See more

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 12:00
    Time travel Tuesday #timetravel a look forward at the Adafruit, maker, science, technology and engineering world

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    Time is a flat circle. ~Rust Chole


    2025 – The NYU BFA program starts feeding directly into Adafruit’s manufacturing department.

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    So you went $300,000 into debt to get your film/creative writing/musical theatre degree? Why not put it to good use in Adafruit’s manufacturing department! Learn how to solder all while slowly chipping away at those student loans.


    2032 – Becky Stern becomes the first person to receive a hair transplant made of neopixel strips.

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    Becomes hands down winner of “World’s Shinest Hair”.


    2046 – Disney makes Dune: The animated musical for kids starring Adabot!

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    The film opens to rave reviews- Frank Herbert fans are finally satisfied with a movie version of the novel.


    2057 – Adafruit releases AdaFruit – an new strain of starfruit that enables humans to solder electronic components to their skin upon consumption.

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    It’s still in it’s testing stages but we tried it ourselves and it doesn’t hurt that much.


    2059 – Scientists discover that what everyone thought was pink is actually blue; Limor invents time travel so she can re-dye her hair.

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    Time travel has other uses too, I guess.


    2500 – Phil and Limor wake up from their cryogenically frozen state; See Dune for kids 17 and decide to freeze themselves again.

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    It wasn’t as good as the first 16.

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 11:00
    If You Let Them Build It, They Will Learn: An ode to and inside look at library makerspaces #makereducation

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    In this piece, Laura Fleming at worldsoflearning.com, covers the historical and practical side of the modern library makerspace. She emphasizes their importance for both students and educators and provides some tips on how to create create a makerspace of your own.

    It is my belief that every child has the right invent, tinker, create, innovate, make and do. This belief is what drove my mission to establish a makerspace here at New Milford High School. I am very proud of the fact that our makerspace transcends academic potential, social barriers and even language and development. Students of all levels can take full advantage of the resources and activities in this space. I often see students taking it upon themselves to help their peers and to inspire their peers to experiment, make and do. Our space sometimes is filled with our engineering and conceptual physics students, but also our english language learners and special needs students. We truly have democratized the tools and skills necessary to design and make things that were of interest to our students while, at the same time, exposing them all to a new world of possibilities. My makerspace is learner-driven and exploits the idea of experiential learning. It is a mash-up of differentiated learning experiences combining traditional elements and new technologies…

    …The layout of our makerspace consists of ‘fixed’ stations and ‘flexible’ stations. The fixed stations are areas that are out in our makerspace all of the time for students to just walk in and sit down at and engage with. These include our littleBits bar, our Take-Apart Tech Station (or ‘breaker space’), our Lego table, our Makey-Makey station, and our 3-d Design and Printing station. The impetus behind choosing these to be our fixed stations was that I wanted to include activities that students would be able to start and complete during their limited time in the space as well as have them be able to do so independently, with little instruction on my part. This informal learning piece has been key in students wanting to visit the space and engage with the activities here on their free time…

    …All good teachers today have to acknowledge that they are also learners, and setting up a maker space in your library is a great way to ensure that you, the teacher, cannot only learn new things from the space but to do so openly with your students, to let them see you and respect you as a learner just like them!

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    Read more.


    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 10:01
    Stretch Bike Hauls All

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    Need to haul some stuff? Got nothing to haul it with? Then fashion yourself a cargo bicycle! We’ve seen cargo bikes before, but none quite like this one. Built from a German “klapprad”, [Morgan] and his father fashioned a well constructed cargo bicycle which is sure to come in handy for many years.

    They started by cutting the bike in half and welding in a 1 meter long square tubing extension. The klapprad style bicycle is made from thick metal stock, making it sturdy and easy to weld. This process also make it a true “stretch” vehicle as opposed to one that replaces the front end in order to keep the handle bar assembly near the rider.

    Along with some nicely done woodwork and carbon fiber, they used parts from an old mountain bike including a front fork, front bearing and handlebar, tubing from an old steel lamp, a kickstand from a postman motorcycle, and a kitchen sink to complete the build. It should handle well so long as the weight of the cargo is not heavier than the weight of the driver.

    Filed under: transportation hacks

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 10:00
    From the Forums – Beaglebone Black SPI with Microchip 25LC512 #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg

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    “Maddox” on the Adfruit Forums shared Beaglebone Black SPI with Microchip 25LC512:

    As a learning experience, I got a little microchip flash chip (25LC512) working with my BBB. I thought the steps I went through and performance observed could be useful to others, so I wrote a blog post about the details here with links to the git repo for code and performance traces from my Saleae logic analyzer (wonderful tool).

    Synopsis:

    SPI through libsoc library can issue commands every ~100 usec (observed between 77 and 125 usec). Random 1 byte reads can complete every ~100 usec as well. 128 bytes can be transferred from the BBB to/from the 25LC512 in ~200 usec. A long block of sequential reads run at about 640 KB/s….

    Read more.

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    BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kitsEach Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 09:00
    Artist and Light Engineer Jim Campbell’s Sculptural LED Light Installations

    Jim Campbell’s Sculptural LED Light Installations:

    Artist Jim Campbell details the inspiration and custom electronics behind his new series of light installations currently on display at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York City. The exhibition ranges from LED panels that project ultra low-resolution Kodachrome home movies, to topographic LED sculptures created from transparent, molded resin.

    From The Creators Project:

    Even the Lumiére Brothers would glow over the work of artist and light engineer, Jim Campbell. The prolific pioneer of patchwork bulb-wiring’s career spans three decades, and his work keeps on getting better—the artist’s newest works have been called “consummate” and “transformative” by Art Daily after their debut this month at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery. It goes without saying that the mastery of his specific genre of low resolution re-imagings, communicated through programmed bulbs and LEDs, is a practice thirty years in the making.  

    Good thing he’s got a retrospective show coming up. Rhythms of Perception, the artist’s first major exhibition in a New York museum, brings a survey spanning his career in contemporary art to the Museum of the Moving Image on March 20, from his earliest pieces to his project in Madison Square Park and his new work, showcased in our documentary on the luminary (above!)….

    Read More.

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  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 09:00
    Artist and Light Engineer Jim Campbell’s Sculptural LED Light Installations #ArtTuesday

    Jim Campbell’s Sculptural LED Light Installations:

    Artist Jim Campbell details the inspiration and custom electronics behind his new series of light installations currently on display at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York City. The exhibition ranges from LED panels that project ultra low-resolution Kodachrome home movies, to topographic LED sculptures created from transparent, molded resin.

    From The Creators Project:

    Even the Lumiére Brothers would glow over the work of artist and light engineer, Jim Campbell. The prolific pioneer of patchwork bulb-wiring’s career spans three decades, and his work keeps on getting better—the artist’s newest works have been called “consummate” and “transformative” by Art Daily after their debut this month at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery. It goes without saying that the mastery of his specific genre of low resolution re-imagings, communicated through programmed bulbs and LEDs, is a practice thirty years in the making.  

    Good thing he’s got a retrospective show coming up. Rhythms of Perception, the artist’s first major exhibition in a New York museum, brings a survey spanning his career in contemporary art to the Museum of the Moving Image on March 20, from his earliest pieces to his project in Madison Square Park and his new work, showcased in our documentary on the luminary (above!)….

    Read More.

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  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 08:00
    This video will show you how neon signs are made #makereducation

    This video takes a behind the scenes look at the making of neon signs.

    Read more.


    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 07:30
    This video is made of 800+ laser engraved frames on a solid block of maple #ArtTuesday

    Here at Adafruit we’re huge fans of laser engraving everything. That’s why we were super impressed by this intricate video from Vimeo user Nando Costa.

    …”The New America” is a short animation in which every frame was created by laser engraving its unique artwork onto a solid block of maple. Once complete, the entire sequence of +800 frames was then photographed and assembled into this motion piece.

    This piece was funded by really kind friends and supporters via Kickstarter. After many unforeseen issues and delays, the entire process took about two years.

    As seen in the video, each frame is unique. Aside from the design of each frame itself being distinct, small variances that naturally occur in the laser engraving process as well as the different wood grain of each frame naturally created subtle shifts of the position of the artwork. An effect that I was particularly interested in and that could naturally be achieved in digital assembly, but that I was much more excited about re-creating with real objects.

    The abstract storyline showcased in this piece is a concoction of a variety of ideas and can perhaps be described as a union between concepts and experiments born during the Situationist movement and real life events experienced during the last few years in American society. Particularly the duality between the economic downturn and the shift in values and beliefs of many citizens.

    Read more.

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 07:00
    Raspberry Pi Quake III Bounty Claimed

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    For the Raspberry Pi’s second birthday, the Raspi foundation gave us all a very cool gift. Broadcom released the full documentation for the graphics on one of their cellphone chips and offered up a $10k prize to the first person to port that code over to the graphics processor on the Pi and run Quake III. The prize has been claimed, forming the foundation for anyone wanting a completely documented video core on the Pi.

    The person to claim this prize is one [Simon Hall], author of the DMA module that’s in the current Raspbian release. Even though Quake III already runs on the Pi, it does so with a closed source driver. [Simon]‘s work opens up the VideoCore in the Pi to everyone, especially useful for anyone banging their heads against the limitations of the Pi platform.

    You can get your hands on the new video drivers right now, simply by downloading and compiling all the sources. Be warned, though: recompiling everything takes around 12 hours. We’re expecting a Raspbian update soon.

     

    Filed under: Raspberry Pi

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 07:00
    FreedomBone: How to turn your BeagleBone Black into a personal communications server #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg

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    Bob Mottram made this great tutorial on how to turn your BeagleBone Black into a FreedomBox-like personal communications server.

    If you look at it from an engineering perspective, an iterative perspective, it’s clear that you have to try something rather than do nothing.

    – Edward J. Snowden

    Today many of us rely upon “free” services in the cloud, such as Gmail, Facebook, Google+ and so on. It might appear that these services are indispensible infrastructure of the modern internet, but actually they’re not strictly needed and the amount of value which they deliver to the average internet user is very marginal. It is possible to be a citizen of the internet and yet not use those things – to disintermediate the most well known companies and cut out their prurient or merely cringeworthy business models.

    FreedomBone is a personal home communications server based upon the BeagleBone Black hardware. It’s small and cheap and will allow you to use email, have your own web site and do social networking in a federated way without needing to rely upon any intermediary companies other than your ISP.

    You should consider doing this if you are a freedom-oriented sort of person and you want to maintain sovereignty over your information. Laws in many places in the world consider you to have relinquished any property rights over data which you put onto a server not owned by youself (i.e. owned by a third party, such as Google or Facebook).

    If you don’t like the idea of having all your communications intercepted and investigated by the Surveillance State then you should consider running a FreedomBone. If your profession involves maintaining confidentiality as an essential feature, such as legal or medical services, counselling, teaching or any sort of activism then you should consider running a FreedomBone.

    See the full tutorial here.


    BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kits

    Each Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here at Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!

  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 06:30
    Lotus Dome light installation responds to your movements #ArtTuesday

    Fubiz posted about this beautiful sculpture made from “smart flowers” called Lotus Dome.

    In the Sainte Marie Madeleine church located in Lille, the Dutch design studio Daan Roosegaarde made a light installation in the shape of a dome with hundreds of lotus metallic lights which respond to the movements of the human body. An interactive and organic sculpture is to discover.

    Read more.

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  • Mardi, Avril 1, 2014 - 06:00
    The Beauty of Japan’s Artistic Manhole Covers #ArtTuesday

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    Colossal has a bunch of pictures of these incredibly cool looking manhole covers found all over Japan. What a beautiful way to brighten up the streets.

    Japan is a country full of amazing art. Some of it is housed within museums and galleries while others are right underneath our feet. I’m talking, of course, about Japan’s peculiar obsession with manhole covers. Just about anywhere in the country you can find stylized manhole covers, each more beautiful and intricate than the next. For the past several years photographer S. Morita has traveled around Japan photographing artistic manhole covers.

    As to why this phenomenon developed, signs point to a high-ranking bureaucrat in the construction ministry who, in 1985, came up with the idea of allowing municipalities to design their own manhole covers. His objective was to raise awareness for costly sewage projects and make them more palatable for taxpayers.

    Thanks to a few design contests and subsequent publications, the manhole craze took off and municipalities were soon competing with each other to see who could come up with the best designs. According to the Japan Society of Manhole Covers (yes, that’s a thing) today there are almost 6000 artistic manhole covers throughout Japan. And according to their latest findings, the largest single category are trees, followed by landscapes, floral designs and birds – all symbols that could, and surely did, boost local appeal.

    Read more.

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