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Friday, July 1, 2011

Vladimir Nabokov: The Nostradamus of emoticons

[Hawt. -e]
Vladimir Nabokov: The Nostradamus of emoticons: "In a 1969 interview with the New York Times, Vladimir Nabokov inadvertently drifted into futurism by presaging the basic idea behind emoticons. (Via Amos Zeeberg)

Do wrinkled fingers help us grip?

Do wrinkled fingers help us grip?: "'Wet fingers and toes eventually wrinkle, and this is commonly attributed by lay opinion to local osmotic reactions. However, nearly a century ago surgeons observed that no wrinkling occurs if a nerve to the finger has been cut. Here we provide evidence that, rather than being an accidental side effect of wetness, wet-induced wrinkles have been selected to enhance grip in wet conditions.' — From 'Are Wet-Induced Wrinkled Fingers Primate Rain Treads?,' a recently-published paper co-authored by Mark Changizi.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Art carved out of books

Art carved out of books: "
Kylie Stillman carves beautiful art out of thick books and tall piles of same. I love this effect -- it would be insanely awesome to typeset a series of books to accommodate this kind of cutting, and then sell them one at a time, requiring the whole set to realize the effect.

Kylie Stillman

(via Neatorama)


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Raising funds for "Super Street Fire," Toronto Site3 hackspace's magnificent real-world mind-activated flamethrower game

Raising funds for "Super Street Fire," Toronto Site3 hackspace's magnificent real-world mind-activated flamethrower game: "

Arnon sez, "Super Street Fire (Championship Edition) is the latest project at Site3, the same folks who created interactive fire installations like The Heart Machine and Flux & Fire (all viewable at This time, we're combining mind-activated flame-effects and power-glove control to let people live their fire-bending dreams! Electronics and controls have all been tested and are go, but we need help for the full-scale install, and are down to the last couple of days before our fundraising period ends and we lose the existing pledges! Pyrokinesis and immersive video-games! What could POSSIBLY go wrong?!'

Each participant wears a pair of gloves that reacts to specific gestures, and a headset that reads their brain activity. A punch or throwing motion will send a single wave of fire towards the other player's side; raising a hand in a blocking gesture will create a stationary pillar of fire that will block the oncoming wave; a consistent focused thought will send a rapid pattern of flame across the entire ring. The participants get to fight in the ring for one minute, while observers watch the patterns of colored fire they create. The playing field is a full circular ring where attacks can come from either side. Players can try to win by making simple moves, or looking for moves inspired by video games they played long ago...

Super Street Fire : Turbo Championship Edition

(Thanks, Arnon!)


Wyoming's corporation mills manufacture privileged artificial "people" to order

Wyoming's corporation mills manufacture privileged artificial "people" to order: "

Dan 'Mediactive' Gillmor sez, 'Looks like corporations (i.e. the people who control them) have more rights to privacy in America than regular citizens.

This terrific investigative piece by Reuters (co-reported by one of my colleagues at Arizona State University) exposes yet another dirty secret of corporate America's power over federal and state governments. They don't need to go to the Caymans and other such havens to create nearly impenetrable secrecy. They can do it right here at home by using pathetically weak state laws -- plainly weak by design -- to hide sometimes sleazy doings.

It's yet another example of the way the deck has been stacked by corporate America in its own favor.'

A Reuters investigation has found the house at 2710 Thomes Avenue serves as a little Cayman Island on the Great Plains. It is the headquarters for Wyoming Corporate Services, a business-incorporation specialist that establishes firms which can be used as 'shell' companies, paper entities able to hide assets.

Wyoming Corporate Services will help clients create a company, and more: set up a bank account for it; add a lawyer as a corporate director to invoke attorney-client privilege; even appoint stand-in directors and officers as high as CEO. Among its offerings is a variety of shell known as a 'shelf' company, which comes with years of regulatory filings behind it, lending a greater feeling of solidity.

'A corporation is a legal person created by state statute that can be used as a fall guy, a servant, a good friend or a decoy,' the company's website boasts. 'A person you control... yet cannot be held accountable for its actions. Imagine the possibilities!'

Among the entities registered at 2710 Thomes, Reuters found, is a shelf company sheltering real-estate assets controlled by a jailed former prime minister of Ukraine, according to allegations made by a political rival in a federal court in California.

Special Report: A little house of secrets on the Great Plains
(Thanks, Dan!)


Archipod: prefab garden offices

Archipod: prefab garden offices: "Archipod

I once had a job where the company, which was based in a house, built me an office in a prefab shed in the backyard. I liked it a lot, but it didn't have the pop futuristic appeal of an Archipod! But it wasn't $34,000 either.
'The Pod' is an insulated sphere of approx. 3m in diameter.

Constructed predominantly from timber, the world's most replenishable construction material, insulated to a standard exceeding that of current Building Regulations. The structure is prefabricated in sections small enough to be carried through a house. So no matter where you live, we'll be able to get the 'Pod' onto your site.

Archipod (Thanks, Gabe Adiv!)


Monday, June 27, 2011

Bloopdy wooden grid sculpture looks neat

Bloopdy wooden grid sculpture looks neat: "jongrye_06.jpeg

Artist Cha Jong Rye 'focuses on the dialectical relationship between wood and land, material and nature on the surface of her sculptures. There is a sense of poise and connectedness within the allotted spaces of these forms. Each component of the whole is masterfully carved to create part of a larger modular work reminiscent of an elaborate puzzle or topographical contour map.'

Notes about the artist [Hada Contemporary via Illusion 360]