Thursday, 31 May 2007

Dancing Around The World

I've not seen this video of Matt Harding dancing around the world for a couple of years but it still makes me chuckle - and a bit jealous.

Edit: He's got his own site now too!

2005 Travels:


2006 Travels:

The Truth - Wii v Xbox Showdown

I have just purchased a Wii and to express his contempt for my love of "children's games", my cousin David (13) has drawn a compelling and beautiful picture demonstrating which console I should have chosen. As David explains "you will never see a drop of blood on that console please for your own sake take it back to the shop before its too late". I am almost swayed.

Gift Wrapped

For reasons I am not entirely clear about (art? humour?) this flat was gift-wrapped in pink. Got to admire the commitment to the cause.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Microsoft Surface Table Thing.

I've meant to blog about the new Surface / Table from Microsoft all day but it seemed a little dull and it's nowhere near ready for the humble consumer yet. Now I've seen the video (link below) I am a little more enthused - mainly as you can order and pay for drinks/food with it when in a restaurant (without waiting for bored waiter/ess) and that's something I've wanted to do for ages. Especially the drinks bit.












The Surface is a 30 inch table-like display (retailing at $10,000) that supports multi-touch, multi-user interface, object recognition and gestural interaction. There will be limited 2007 rollouts in T-Mobile stores, Starwood hotels, and Harrah's in Vegas.

via Gizmodo, here's a video of Bill Gates showing off his table which looks pretty nifty to me!

Spectacular Cloud Photos














It's been a while since I posted about strange clouds way back in this blog's infancy so a well overdue link to some great cloud shots. Apparently they're called Mammatus Cloud Formations. Can't imagine why.

More images on the photographer's website. Link via here (where they have more info too)!

Lego Star Wars Space Port

Well - it was the 30th birthday last weekend and I do love my Star Wars posts....

Via techeblog, these photos of a space port made from Lego are well worth yet another Star Wars blog entry in my book. Whoever built this must have had the patience of a saint. And lots of time on their hands. Plenty more pics in the link. Go on. Click it....

Alter Ego: An Update

I posted earlier this month about the Alter Ego project and here's an update!











The New Scientist has created a gallery with Robbie Cooper's narration explaining a bit about the people he's featured.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Guerrilla Gardening!

Comrades! A call to arms.

This post was inspired by a wine-induced conversation I recently had with Ken after I'd read about the Matchbox Garden. We agreed that it would be a wonderful thing indeed if we could sneak out and plant rogue seeds across the city in a very tame version of urban warfare.

I've done some "research" and discovered a couple of sites devoted to the topic (which saves me a job) and thought I'd share Guerrilla Gardening. It describes itself as the global forum for guerrilla gardeners of all shades of green (includes before and after photos) and is a generally lighthearted look at transforming on a small-scale. I also found a fun link explaining how to make Moss Graffiti.

I have also discovered that some people take this whole Guerrilla Gardening thing pretty seriously and see it as an "against the wall come the revolution" type movement. I am firmly in the planing pretty flowers camp.

Make a seed grenade! Blag some seedlings! Grab your trowel! Go transform!

The Big Donor Show

Endemol, creators of Big Brother, have made a show called the "Big Donor Show" in the Netherlands where a terminally ill woman selects one of three contestants to receive her kidneys after her death... The 37-year-old donor, identified only as Lisa, will make her choice based on the contestant's history, profile and conversation with their family and friends. Viewers can text in during the show to offer advice. The show will be broascast on BNN on Friday.

BBC news link.

EDIT: It was a hoax! The producers say it was made to highlight the shortage of Dutch donors. BBC news link.

Contemplates

From Freshwest Design, "We have collected over 200 images of anonymous figures on various Pembrokeshire beaches though out the year. We have chosen 8 of our favorite scenes to create our set of ContemPlates™. Printed onto the back of each plate are the date, time and beach of when and where we photographed the figures". They sell for £120 for a set of eight but at least they are dishwasher-safe!

Monday, 28 May 2007

Dishes for Vegetarians...

...not. From Tom Schmelzer, these sculptures are enough to put you off eating meat - at least the cow one certainly does. More pics if you click on the number five, which will make more sense if you follow the link!


















Another offering, this time from Jongeriuslab takes the same theme but makes it. Umm. Wetter looking.












(thanks to Fun Forever)

Orchid - Clothes Hooks

From designer Charlotte Lancelot comes this coathook in red or pink that was inspired by (I guess!) the shape of an orchid. Not quite sure why they merit a post but they are pretty so what the hell.













Mobility scooters a hit with tired tourists in Vegas









"In increasing numbers, Las Vegas tourists exhausted by the four miles of gluttony laid out before them are getting around on electric "mobility scooters."

Forking over about $40 a day and their pride, apparently healthy tourists are cruising around Las Vegas casinos in transportation intended for the infirm."

Link here!

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Subway Systems of the World











Artists at Fake is the New Real have mapped subway systems from around the world at the same scale, one kilometer=seven pixels, devoid of any other information. It clearly shows which cities are well planned and commuter friendly and which are not (hello Beijing!)

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Hidden History of the Coalition Provisional Authority

From Salon is this article called "The secret Iraq documents my 8-year old found". The U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority, which formerly governed Iraq, accidentally published Microsoft Word documents containing information never meant for the public. This information was discovered by the simple application of the "track changes" tool within Word.

"Presumably, staffers at the CPA's Information Management Unit, which produced the weekly reports, were cutting and pasting large sections of text into the reports and then eliminating all but the few short passages they needed. Much of the material they were cribbing seems to have come from the kind of sensitive, security-related documents that were never meant to be available to the public. In fact, about half of the 20 improperly redacted documents I downloaded, including the March 28 report, contain deleted portions that all seem to come from one single, 1,000-word security memo. The editors kept pulling text from a document titled "Why Are the Attacks Down in Al-Anbar Province -- Several Theories."

Read the source material (with and without changes) here.

Mommy's Chairs

Inspired by children’s 2-dimensional drawing (no shit), Mommy's Chairs are made of bent steel rods in uncertain, shaky lines. They come in four shapes/colours with a pricetag of £285.

Photoshop Phriday - Kid's Books

From SomethingAwful, photoshopped kid's books gone bad... Twisted, twisted genius. I'd tell you which ones made me laugh out loud but then you'd know I was a sicko.

TwitterLit





I recently stumbled upon TwitterLit which is a nice little daily distraction. Every twelve hours the first line of a novel is posted along with a link to amazon so that you can see what book it's from (and buy it, of course!). I've added a couple of books to my "to buy" list based on fab first lines and it's a pleasant time-waster too.

Friday, 25 May 2007

100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers

This montage shows 100 scenes from 100 different films where each scene has someone saying a number starting at 100 and counting down to one. Enjoy playing "Spot the Film". Most frustrating... Full list here from the creator if you just have to know.

Trafalgar Square Goes Green

This is not a photoshopped image - from the BBC, Trafalger Square has been covered in turf and I think it looks very nice indeed! The turf was laid out as part of Visit London's campaign to promote green spaces and villages in the city. It's sadly not a permanent feature of the square as it'll be taken to Bishop's Park after only a couple of days.

Fine Art as Adverts

From Worth1000, a photoshop competition with the rule "take a piece of fine art and turn it into an ad for a company of your choice." With humour the focus of the ads, there are some very inspired entries on the site.

Star Wars Paper-Craft

I realise that, at times, this blog appears to be collated by an avid Star Wars fan.... But... Just. Could. Not. Resist. This. Post.

Look! Downloadable Star Wars paper-craft! You can make an incredibly detailed AT-AT Snow Walker! They also have a whole pile of other designs for your downloading fun should you become too addicted that includes a TIE-Interceptor, the Millennium Falcon (of course) and the Starship Enterprise (which isn't Star Wars but looks impressive!)

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Passive Aggressive Notes

This blog made me laugh. It's (given the title of this post, perhaps not surprisingly) a collation of passive aggressive notes left by housemates/ cow-workers/ etc.

Monday, 21 May 2007

The Deathstar lands in Dubai?

This new building looks suspiciously like the Deathstar to me....

The architects, however, correct this misunderstanding "Unlike the traditional high-rise building, the design for the Ras al Khaimah Convention and Exhibition Centre accommodates all primary functions, such as the convention centre, hotel rooms, apartments, offices and retail space in a giant sphere"

Ah. A giant sphere! Not the planned destruction of life as we know it then. Nice park too.













PC World's Top 20 Products of 2007

It being only May doesn't seem to matter to the folks at PC World and they've released their 2007 Top 20 products a tad early. A surprise absence is the iPhone (do they know something we don't?) but a nice summary of some Hot Stuff to drool over.
  1. Google Apps Premier Edition (Web applications)
  2. Intel Core 2 Duo (desktop CPU)
  3. Nintendo Wii (game console)
  4. Verizon FiOS (Internet service)
  5. RIM Blackberry 8800 (smart phone)
  6. Parallels Desktop (virtualization software)
  7. Pioneer Elite 1080p PRO-FHD1 (plasma HDTV)
  8. Infrant Technologies ReadyNAS NV (network-attached storage device)
  9. Apple Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" (operating system)
  10. Adobe Premiere Elements 3 (video editing software)
Dammit - I still want a Wii. :(

If you want to read the next ten follow the link as I am now bored of typing! Also see Most Anticipated and Reader's Pick. Not wives. Pick.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Tide Chandelier - Stuart Haygarth

I am in lust. This gorgous art piece by Stuart Haygarth retails at around $10,000 and is one of a limited edition of ten. The tide chandelier is created from clear and translucent objects, primarily made of plastic, collected from the Kent coastline. Check out his other "recycled" art.

Piracy for Dummies (Arrrrrrrr)

From Crunchgear, an Essential Guide to Piracy by "master pirate" Vince Veneziani. It's a useful summary me hearties, although (of course) I don't condone stealing. Now - where did I put my rum?












Related link: Zeropaid

A Fair(y) Use Tale

This is a Disney parody explanation of Copyright Law and Fair Use from Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University. He's cut together short clips from dozens of Disney cartoons, using words and short phrases to explain how copyright works - including a segment on why he chose to pick on Disney.

Parachute Wedding Dress

From the Smithsonian, this wedding dress was made from a nylon parachute that saved the groom's life during World War II. Maj. Claude Hensinger (a B-29 pilot) kept the parachute and used it as a way to propose to Ruth in 1947. He presented it to her and suggested she make a gown out of it for their wedding.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Prefab Houses

Nichole Dotin and Eric Olson plan to build a modernist prefab and are clipping their own pictures of favourites on their Do Research blog. Not all are very green but it's a great collection of pics and rather makes me want a house in a forest/lakeside setting!

The Lazy Environmentalist

From Treehugger: an interview with Josh Dorfman, author of "The Lazy Environmantalist" and founder of Modern Green Living.

Climate Change: A Guide for the Perplexed

The New Scientist has written a round-up of the 26 most common climate myths and misconceptions.

"Our planet's climate is anything but simple. All kinds of factors influence it, from massive events on the Sun to the growth of microscopic creatures in the oceans, and there are subtle interactions between many of these factors. Yet despite all the complexities, a firm and ever-growing body of evidence points to a clear picture: the world is warming, this warming is due to human activity increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and if emissions continue unabated the warming will too, with increasingly serious consequences."

They also include an article on assessing the evidence. It makes interesting reading!

Star Trek flat sold!

Tony Alleyne spent years (and £100,000) transforming his one-bedroom studio flat in Hinckley, Leicestershire into a painstakingly precise replica of a Star Trek ship... Tony's now managed to sell his flat on eBay for £425,000 - five times the property value - which is just as well as the enormous cost of re-modelling had caused him to go bankrupt.















Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Penguin Travels 3,100 Miles

A Magellan Penguin has swam/waddled the 3,100 miles from its native Magellan Islands home in southern Chile to the Peruvian Paracas national reserve. Park officials are concerned that it'll be rejected hy the native Humboldt penguins living on site and are contacting their colleagues in Chile to try to send it home.

According to the BBC, the explaination is that the penguin seems to have become "somewhat confused".

Video from Reuters here.

Pointless Desk Gadgets

Both "gadgets" are utterly pointless but made me chuckle so one post coming up!

First up we have this Mr P Tape Dispenser. Mr P comes in black, white, blue and green and is a snip at $25.












Next up is the cat's arse pencil sharpener.... I think that the picture explains the product offering! Apparently the cat goes "meow" when you erm insert your pencil. A treat at just £6.95.

Monday, 14 May 2007

What Would Google Say?

From Eco-Chick:

"I love creative projects, and this one is interesting. Entitled “What Would Google Say?” the site’s creator put together the first 200 images that come up under a Google image search for global warming, and set it to music. This is like a digital version of found art, and is a really interesting concept for stepping back and understanding how we (literally) view a concept. Check it out!"

Can you write a "Loo Book"?

Long Barn Books is looking for THE BEST NEW LOO BOOK and to that end they are running a competition that is now open for entries and closes on the 14th June. Initially they only want outline proposals via email and if they want to proceed they may commission your book. The proposal should be suitable for a small format hardback of 150 pages or so. Emails to editorial@longbarnbooks.com if you've got a good idea.

What they're not looking for is clones of previously successful titles (Schott`s Miscellany, Does Anything Eat Wasps?, Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit?, etc), books of jokes or books about toilets/bottoms/etc.

Whilst this last caveat has blown most of my ideas out of the water, I shall keep thinking about it.

(Oh - they are also running a first novel competition but I suspect that the chances of me writing a masterpiece by mid-June are pretty slim indeed!)

Offshoots Permaculture Project, Burnley

Offshoots in Burnley is a community project which provides a working example of how a successful garden can flourish using green technologies in this modern age. It was set up in 1997 in what was the walled, kitchen garden of Towneley Hall and features solar and wind powered buildings, a kiln for making charcoal, a wildlife pond and reed bed, compost toilet, cob building with oven, organic vegetable production, tree nursery, community composting project, backyard demonstration and bee keeping.










On a much smaller scale, there is a local sustainable living initiative called Grow-Our-Own (GO2) which I keep meaning to get involved in. They provide help and support for people in Norwich to encourage them to grow their own food in an allotment space or in their own garden as well as running a Pick You Own scheme for those who can't.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

China's Water "Quality"

From the Guardian last week, this picture shows Xu Jiehua (r), the wife of the detained Chinese environmental activist Wu Yilong, sitting behind water samples collected by Wu Yilong from Chinese urban rivers and lakes. The violent colours in some of the bottles are the result of dumping textile-colouring waste into the water system.













Here's a related article from Treehugger.

The Night Sky Over Death Valley

From NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day site comes this 360-degree full sky panorama which was taken in Death Valley - one of the darkest places left in the continental USA. Click on the picture to see the BIG version.







[Edit: Today's pic of the Cat's Eye Nebula is pretty impressive too!]

Crazy for Corks

At last a solution for my collection! From the lovemyearth blog, some ideas on how to recycle your towering collection of wine and champagne corks...

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Alter Ego - Photos of Gamers and their Avatars

Robbie Cooper's Alter Ego project collected seventy photos of gamers and paired them with their in-game avatars and put them into a book called Alter Ego: Avatars and their Gamers. Gamers from across the world are represented and the gap between fantast and reality can be quite stark.

BBC Gallery One
BBC Gallery Two













Tolkien collector builds Hobbit house library

Asked to design a fitting repository for a client’s valuable collection of J.R.R. Tolkien manuscripts and artifacts, architect Peter Archer went to the source—the fantasy novels that describe the abodes of the diminutive Hobbits. The hobbit house was built in the grounds of the clients home and incorporated an existing dry stone wall to create a feeling of it growing out of the site. I am very jealous and want one!
















World's Highest Swing

The World's Highest Swing (called "Game for Brave People") has been set up on an 1,100ft TV tower in Harbin City, China. Lucky customers sit on the steel seat and swing out over the city, beyond the edge of the platform.









This picture makes me feel really quite ill - just looking at the swing brings on vertigo!

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Race for Life

Eerk - today is R-Day.

R-Day is the day when this blogger drags on her tracksuit bottoms, digs out her ancient trainers, dons a pink t-shirt and joins thousands of other women to run the Race for Life and raise funds for Cancer Research UK. This year I'll be running with my mother, sister and eight-year old neice. I am quite sure that Georgina will beat us all by miles.

Soon I'll be writing "my" names to put on my back and I am quite sure it'll be a very teary moment. I don't often get personal on this blog, but this one is worth a mention.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Festival Woes Solved?

I am considering attending the three day Latitude festival this summer however I've been far too disorganised to arrange civilised accomodation. Then I read about Travelpod....




















An offering from Travelodge, renters will be surrounded by creature comforts such as a double bed, bedside tables, lights, duvet, pillows, a dressing table, mirror, chair and toilet, all for a very reasonable 26 quid per night. Sadly the roll out to festivals is not until next year so I might have to still buy a tent :(

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Choices, Choices

What is a girl to do with all these home media options on the market...?

First up we have the AppleTV. Sounds (and looks!) good but there are some things I just don't like about it. It just feels too restrictive and as if it's not really there yet. Something about being so closely tied into iTunes grates and makes this a no-no.

Then there is the Tivo Series 3 but I am just not sure about the price. Plus I've never really got into Tivo so it's a bit of a blur to me.

Just announced is Vudu - connects straight to your TV with no need for PC or cable box to enable p2p movie downloads straight from the studios. The box is about the size of a hardcover book and delivers video streamed in MPEG-4, which is upscaled to HD. It has HDMI, composite, and S-Video ports. All of which means very little to me but sounds good although at the moment it's not clear how big the hard drive is or if you can add on content you already have.

Alternatively there's plans afoot for the PS3 but pretty unclear atm exactly how these compete.

Or I could buy something like this Ziova CS505 instead to upscale existing content and it works with Mac/PC and saves the need to burn content to disc to watch....

Too many choices. Although on reflection I note that none are a blu-ray or HD-DVD player. Interesting.

All I need is a pool....

Now that the sunshine is regularly bathing Old Blighty, my thoughts turn to summer fun and these two products caught my eye. First up is a floating cabana which seats up to six people and has a tethered cooler to keep your drinks erm cool and a remote controlled drinks tray to ensure you can access them. A mere $300.










Next is a floating golf game at which you can chip velcro balls. Slightly twisted as if you miss you have to get into the water to retrieve your balls. I could have phrased that better.












As I say - I just need a pool now!! Oh - and a garden big enough to put it in.

Electronic House - Home(s) of the Year

Whilst it is clear that money is of no object to these guys, this annual award goes to the home that most perfectly displays "a mix of electronics and design." The Electronic House Homes of the Year Award covers 14 categories and features everything from a garage that's been converted into an entertainment retreat to a rec room where drinks are served from the helm of an old Chris-Craft boat....

Map of Online Communities

From net-comic XKCD comes this map of online communities and related points of interest (click on the pic to make it BIG). Full of in-jokes and sly references and in an authentic map format. Buy the poster here or read the comic here!

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

LED lights

Drift was founded in the summer of 2006, by Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, both graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2005. With their LED lights they have taken a new slant on traditional lighting.














Fragile Future is "a modular light system overgrowing the wall. One module is a visible circuit with little lights. This module is easy to attach to the next one (in seven different ways), while the switch-leg will continue. So it is possible to create a composition from just a few, up to 50 modules, according to the space and atmosphere." Fragile Future comes with two different types of light. One is an exclusive version and uses leds in real dandelion. The other is less fragile and shockproof.

Fractal Art

Just lots of pictures of fractals which I liked!