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Saturday, July 24, 2010

HOWTO make spider-silk thread

HOWTO make spider-silk thread: "

Love the spiders in your garden? Put the little critters to work for you by turning their abandoned silk webbing into thread: '
I have also encountered many abandoned webs, which gave me the idea of harvesting these out-of-use webs for their silk. Having walked into so many webs, I know how unbelievably strong and stretchy their threads are. Spider silk, in fact, is the strongest fiber ever discovered. Spider silk is stronger than steel, for its diameter; that is, a thread of steel would be weaker than a thread of spider silk of the same size.'

How to make Spider Silk Thread

(via Craft)


Colin Christian's "silicone lady art"

Colin Christian's "silicone lady art": "

Above, two works by artist Colin Christian. Matthew Bone has a neat post up about this guy at Nerdist.

A hopeful idealist, the women of Colin's armada are the amalgams of the many beautiful icons that he grew up worshiping, sanded and painted to a shiny perfection to match the streamlined clothing and provocative space gear that adorn his ladies. Though one could dismiss the work as being too sexy or kitschy, these sculptures embody what it's like to be a child, to see the world as a beautiful shiny egg to crack, one where sexuality, cooperation, and advancement are not hindered by closed mindedness or cynicism; basking in the embryonic glow of cinema and television has allowed Colin to create a 3-dimensional manifestation of how he sees, or hopes to see where technology, art, and science can take us. 'As a species we must embrace technology in the right way, and leave this planet... When we leave our genitals will come with us, eventually spacesuits will get sexier.'

(via @matthewebone)


Mila's Daydreams: mom photographs what her baby might be dreaming

Mila's Daydreams: mom photographs what her baby might be dreaming: "

Adele Enersen in Helsinki says, 'This is my maternity leave hobby. While my baby is taking her nap, I try to imagine her dream and capture it.'

Mila's Daydreams

(via Laughing Squid/Matt Haughey)


Ant drinking from a rain drop

Ant drinking from a rain drop: "

(Via Nothing to Do With Arbroath)


Excellent NY Times article on Sissy Bounce

And then something remarkable happened. The crowd — just about evenly divided between men and women — instantly segregated itself: the men were propelled as if by a centrifuge toward the room’s perimeters, and the dance floor, a platform raised just a step off the ground, was taken over entirely by women surrounding Freedia. The women did not dance with, or for, one another — they danced for Freedia, and they did so in the most sexualized way imaginable, usually with their backs to her, bent over sharply at the waist, and bouncing their hips up and down as fast as humanly possible, if not slightly faster. Others assumed more of a push-up position, with their hands on the floor, in a signature dance whose name is sometimes helpfully shortened to “p-popping.”

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What can I say?

the image

Coffee table made from old computer parts

Coffee table made from old computer parts: "500x_circuit_board_table.jpg

This coffee table made from old computer parts is both pretty and geeky.

It's mainly made up of boards/drives from old Intergraph 6000 series machines built in the late 80s early 90s. They had nice big boards. It was a good way to keep around my first real computer after I could no longer find parts to keep it working, an Intergraph 6880 with Edge II graphics. I learned computer modeling, rendering and animation on it and think of it as a mentor. There are also old 2800 baud modem parts and other random parts collected over the years.

No real pattern other than just getting it all to fit together like a puzzle. The LED lights along the perimeter worked out better that I had hoped. I have it wired so it automatically goes on when it gets dark.

The News is Broken [via Make]


Cheap nanomaterial won't grow bacteria

Cheap nanomaterial won't grow bacteria: "

A paper in ACS Nano describes the use of graphene (nanoengineered, one-carbon-atom-thick material) as an antibacterial surface: 'Such graphene-based nanomaterials can effectively inhibit the growth of E. coli bacteria while showing minimal cytotoxicity. We have also demonstrated that macroscopic freestanding GO and rGO paper can be conveniently fabricated from their suspension via simple vacuum filtration. Given the superior antibacterial effect of GO and the fact that GO can be mass-produced and easily processed to make freestanding and flexible paper with low cost, we expect this new carbon nanomaterial may find important environmental and clinical applications.'

Graphene-Based Antibacterial Paper

(via Medgadget)


101 Patterns for Influencing Behaviour Through Design: Oblique strategies for changing and controlling behavior

101 Patterns for Influencing Behaviour Through Design: Oblique strategies for changing and controlling behavior: "

Dan Lockton, the technology scholar whose Architectures of Control in Design has been one of my favorite reads for several years now, has just released a deck of Creative Commons-licensed cards called '101 Patterns for Influencing Behaviour Through Design.' They are an outcome of his research toward his Ph.D., a set of illustrated cards showing how design can be used to change, prevent, or encourage certain behaviors. Mitch Kapor quipped that 'architecture is politics,' and Dan's research is the proof of it: the way that spaces, objects and systems are designed heavily influence (or even determine!) the way that we live our lives around them. They serve as both suggestions and critiques, showing how spaces and objects are designed to control us for better or for worse.

Dan sells the decks as a neatly boxed set of 117 cards for £24.50, or you can download them and share them for free. This is quite possibly the most provocative set of quick-read, random-access idea-bombs I've seen.

Download the cards

Order the cards

(Thanks, Dan!)


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Radiohead hits covered on ukelele: Amanda Palmer

[You KNOW you want it. Trust me, it's worth it. 84 cents (or more). -Egg)

Radiohead hits covered on ukelele: Amanda Palmer: "

Punk cabaret diva
Amanda Palmer today released a 7-track digital album of Radiohead ukelele covers. Choose from 320k mp3, FLAC, and other formats, download for all of a whopping 84 cents. Includes many of my own favorite Radiohead tracks: Fake Plastic Trees, High And Dry, No Surprises, Idioteque, Creep, and Exit Music (For A Film).

Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele

( via Kristie Lu Stout)


Top Secret America: 2-year investigation by Washington Post into huge, post-9/11 security buildup

Top Secret America: 2-year investigation by Washington Post into huge, post-9/11 security buildup: "

The Washington Post today unveiled a two-year investigative journalism project, 'Top Secret America.'

To ensure that the country's most sensitive duties are carried out only by people loyal above all to the nation's interest, federal rules say contractors may not perform what are called 'inherently government functions.' But they do, all the time and in every intelligence and counterterrorism agency, according to a two-year investigation by The Washington Post.

What started as a temporary fix in response to the terrorist attacks has turned into a dependency that calls into question whether the federal workforce includes too many people obligated to shareholders rather than the public interest -- and whether the government is still in control of its most sensitive activities. In interviews last week, both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and CIA Director Leon Panetta said they agreed with such concerns.

The Post investigation uncovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America created since 9/11 that is hidden from public view, lacking in thorough oversight and so unwieldy that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

Top Secret America project home. Story archive here, and interactive map here. More about the project here.