Zef, a wonderful endlessly-improvisable color doodling program by Patakk, gif-maker extraordinaire, sent us on an unexprected psychedelic journey and we found ourselves curiously refreshed.
fridge + duct tape + tablet-or-phone….
A strangely swell idea, low on style (though it sure beats those ugly water dispensers.)
It reminded us of the great video Jesse Rosten made showing how-to secure an ipad to just about anything using velcro, possibly a slightly more elegant and practical solution to the one above.
(Video link here.) Gangnam Style, South Korean hip hop artist PSY’s video was so insanely over-the-top, it went viral. But the original is not nearly as funny or amazing as this brilliant hack YouTube user Moto2h made with it: he took away the music and added in some sound effects to PSY’s a capella blather.
…We hope it brings you a big ongoing fatso laugh…
Related posts: morning haiku: christopher walken via jim meskimen
peep show gif: funny, risqué, slightly x-rated
(green) porno break! (+ porno house gift???!!!)
7 principles of comedy/design/creating anything
(Video link here.) As an artist in residence at MIT, Trevor Paglen worked with materials scientists to develop an ultra-archival disc of images, capable of lasting in space for billions of years. He meant this disc to contain a “cultural mark”, that would portray our world long after it might have disappeared altogether. He interviewed scientists, artists, anthropologists, and philosophers to consider what such a cultural mark should be, and ultimately settled on 100 photos. The disc of photos will be sent into space this month.
To be sure, they are an odd assortment. You can check out some here, and in the The Last Pictures, a book that has been made about the project. One of our favorites: read more…
As we’ve mentioned, ‘the improvised life’s laboratory is something of an homage to plywood. We’ve used it for many things, from window sills to cabinets to floors. We love the stuff, and are constantly hatching plots in our head for furniture, housewares, endless inventions. So we are smitten with carpenter and author Philip Schmidt new book PlyDesign which presents 73 ideas for sleek, smart home furnishings that you can make from off-the-shelf sheet materials using only basic hand and power tools. It features designs contributed by more than 50 creative builders across North America for tables, stools, workstations, benches, laptop stands, shelves, art panels, organizers, headboards, and more.
Our friend Jody Lotito Levine sent us an email filled with images, some of them really wondrous. With them came this message:
…from my former boss and dear friend recovering from pancreatic cancer: he says his ipad has been so healing and connective -
We mention it on the heels of our post about disconnecting from electronic devices – and taking downtime from them – to give our selves a rest. As much as we feel the need for that, we also are heartened daily by what we tap into on the internet, through the extraordinary explorations, exchanges and connections that occur through ‘the improvised life’. For us the gist is, read more…
There are a lot of online drawing tools, but most of them feel too complicated to be of much use to us. Diagram.ly, on the other hand, couldn’t be easier. If you’ve ever needed to throw together a quick diagram for a report and been stymied by the lack of options or user un-friendliness of Microsoft Word, you’ll find this to be a great (and free!) alternative. We’ve been using it to sketch out some storage space, but see its potential for many free-form design projects. For the more business-minded, the folks at alternativeTo point out that it would be great for organizational and work-flow charts. And certainly kids who just want to play around with shapes could have some fun with it too! It’s a perfect combo-platter: practical AND playful…
Via the always great Swiss Miss, again
Related posts: ed emberley’s drawing book: make a world
the best fabric pen for ‘drawing just for fun’
design your own textiles
the wirecutter’s trustworthy technology reviews
a wondrous ipad app for kids and adults
Even though it’s not our fault, the vast amounts of junk mail we get makes us feel frustrated and guilty. So much paper going to waste. Try and warp your head around this: the Wall Street Journal reports that 82.5 billion pieces of “advertising mail” were delivered by the U.S. Postal system in 2010.
Years ago there was an internet service that would alert catalog companies that you wanted to opt-out, although it seems to have disappeared. But Unconsumption has just alerted us to a next-generation service that might do something similar. PaperKarma is a new app (for iPhones, androids, and Windows phones) will contact the source of your junk mail and “remove you from their mailing list.” All you have to do is a take a photo of the piece of junk mail in question. The key is to take a picture that highlights the name of the company sending the mail, like in the photo below. read more…
This morning, a friend alerted us to the great flash site jacksonpollock.org where you can make your own Pollockesque action paintings with clicks and whorls of your mouse. We found it strangely relaxing, like some high-brow video game; it took our mind totally OFF what we’ve been worrying about to follow (our own) unexpectedly wild movement of color on the screen. read more…
Studio 360 recently aired a story about garage inventors; people who are innovating, pushing the boundaries of science, and creating without government funding or hi-tech labs. Garage inventors tend to be really smart and really tenacious; sometimes they come up with incredibly useful-to-the-world inventions, like William Kamkwamba who created electricity-generating windmills out of scrap parts in his poor African village; sometimes the inventions are the focus of a personal passion that not everybody sees as useful, from submarines-built-for-one to Miroslav Tichy‘s brilliant homemade cameras (above), created out of need and the belief that “you have to have a bad camera” to make compelling photos. But we’re most interested in the mindset that makes a person a self-propelled inventor. We especially liked this example:
Rachel Zimmerman works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, but she was an amateur inventor first. In seventh grade she created the Bliss Symbol printer, which allowed people with cerebral palsy to communicate quickly. “The nice thing about being 12 years old is that nobody is telling you what you can and can’t do.”
Practicing thinking like a kid is clearly one of the keys to innovative thinking. If you forget what you’ve been told you can or cannot do, the world opens up. Suddenly, there are more possibilities…
We’ve discovered that many of our readers have the “garage inventor’ mentality (whether they have a garage or not). They practice thinking outside-the-box to devise solutions to everyday problems. read more…
We find ourselves spending a lot of time sifting through product review websites as we try to make smart purchases. This can be a tedious process, and often we end up more unsure of what we’re looking for than when we started. That’s why we were really excited to discover The Wirecutter ,”a list of only great technology”. Run by Brian Lam, a former Gizmodo and Wired writer, the site lists “the best” in gadgets, from phones and TVs to cables and wireless music, to vacuum cleaners and electric toothbrushes.
We came across the site while researching portable hard drives, and really loved the layout of Lam’s reviews.Lam names the Lenovo Thinkpad USB 3.0 Secure Hard Drive as the best, but gives a thorough explanation of his choice and offers a couple of cheaper options that he still recommends. At the end of his write-ups, he includes a list of the “best sources” on his product choices, so you have easy access to a few other reputable reviews and his evaluation process.
Best of all, we like the way he thinks. read more…
We’re just a few days into 2012, but apparently the future is already here. Our resident futurist, Stuart Mason Dambrot, sent us a bunch of amazing and fun science and technology finds, making us wonder what the next year has in store for all of us.
We’ve talked about vertical gardens, but a vertical forest takes the idea to a whole other level. This 27 story forest designed by Stefano Boeri is currently under construction in Milan. We wonder about the ecosystems that will develop in a man-made vertical forest?… read more…
Time Magazine has come out with their 50 best websites of 2011. We find that their lists are often chock full of useful stuff—last year’s list introduced us to Wakerupper, which schedules wake-up calls (.5 each after a few free ones) which we rely on to stop pressing the snooze alarm and get us out of bed).
Here are our top five from this year’s 50: read more…