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08 Apr 20:05

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists

by Christopher Jobson

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists travel nature
Vo Anh Kiet (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). Finalist: Travel. Terraced fields during harvest season. Mu Cang Chay, Vietnam, September 2012.

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists travel nature
Carol Lynne Fowler (Seeley Lake, Montana). Finalist: Americana. A champion bronco bucks a champion rider at the Helmville Rodeo. Helmville, Montana, September 2013.

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists travel nature
Sergio Carbajo Rodriguez (La Garriga, Spain). Finalist: Travel. Portrait of a young Suri boy going with his father to take care of the cattle. Ethiopia, August 2013.

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists travel nature
Graham McGeorge (Jacksonville, Florida). Finalist: Natural World. McGeorge spent a quiet 6 hours trying to get the perfect image of this eastern screech owl out of its nest. Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia, April 2013.

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists travel nature
Christopher Doherty (North Palm Beach, Florida). Finalist: Natural World. Breath at sunset, captures a sea turtle at a dive site called Black Rock. Kāʻanapali, Hawaiʻi, August 2013.

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists travel nature
Karen Lunney (Brisbane, Australia). Finalist: Natural World. During their annual migration, wildebeests are forced to find new river crossings in the Serengeti-Mara region. “The animals were being taken by the unfamiliar currents of deep water and had to struggle to get close to the far bank. There were few rocks on which to land and the initial orderly progression soon became a desperate struggle of clambering,” says Lunney. Mara River, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, September 2013.

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists travel nature
Nidal Adnan Kibria (Dhaka, Bangladesh). Finalist: Travel. Action Hero. As part of a show called “Well of Death,” a biker performs a stunt at a village fair to celebrate Rath Jatra, a Hindu festival. Dhamrai, Bangladesh, June 2012.

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists travel nature
Vincent Cheng (Burnaby, Canada). Finalist: Travel. A group of locals playing billiards by Namtso Lake. Tibet, China, June 2013.

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists travel nature
Dina Bova (Petach Tikva, Israel). Finalist: Altered Images. “Babylon—Made in Italy is inspired by the story of the Babylon tower, the painting by Pieter Bruegel and by a trip to the beautiful Cinque Terre in Italy,” says Bova. Cinque Terre, Italy, October 2013.

Smithsonian Magazine Announces 11th Annual Photo Contest Finalists travel nature
Aspen Wang (Hong Kong, Hong Kong). Finalist: Natural World. Penguins on Ice. “Although my photo hardly does justice to describing the tenuous balance in Antarctica’s ecosystem, it has served to crystallize in my memory one of the last stretches of untamed and inarticulate lands on earth,” says Wang. Antarctica, December 29, 2010.

Smithsonian Magazine just announced the finalists of their 11th Annual Photo Contest. This year’s competition saw a whopping 50,000 submissions, from which 60 finalists were selected in 6 categories including: Natural, Travel, People, Americana, Altered, and Mobile. The contest is now open for a Readers’ Choice vote which runs from today through May 6, 2014. Vote here. All photos courtesy Smithsonian Magazine and the respetive photographers.

17 Jan 12:00

The Totally-Unverifiable but Awesome Tale of Next-Level Laziness

The Totally-Unverifiable but Awesome Tale of Next-Level Laziness

Submitted by: Unknown

Tagged: navy , lazy , Story Time , quotes , military , g rated , win
02 Aug 18:45

PSA of the Day: Customer Service, It Gets Worse

Can Opener Studio's Stephen Parkhurst sheds a light on the lesser known plights of working in the customer service industry in this parody of the It Gets Better Project.

Note: this video contains some WARNING language.

Submitted by: Unknown (via YouTube)

04 May 19:05

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits

by Christopher Jobson
Traceyjpeterson

This is incredible!

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits science portraits genetics DNA 3d printing

It’s a cold January day and you’re walking down a street in Brooklyn gnawing on a piece of gum that just passed the point of flavorful into the realm of tastelessness. In a hurry, you spit it on the ground without a second thought and continue about your day. Hours later a mysterious woman arrives and surreptitiously collects the sticky gum from the sidewalk and drops it into a clear plastic bag which she carefully labels. Flash forward a month later: you’re walking through an art gallery, and there, mounted on the wall, is a familiar face staring back at you. Astonishingly (or terrifyingly) it’s a 3D print of your face generated from the DNA you left behind on that random piece of gum that now appears in a petri dish just below the portrait. A few years ago this would seem like science fiction, the stuff of films like Gattaca, but to information artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg it’s how she makes her artwork here in 2013.

They say inspiration can strike anywhere and for Dewey-Hagborg that moment happened while sitting in a therapy session. While staring at a framed print on the wall she began to fixate on a tiny crack in the glass into which a small hair had become lodged. As her mind wandered she began to imagine who this seemingly insignificant hair belonged to, and more specifically what they might look like. After leaving the session she became keenly aware of the genetic trail left by every person in their daily life, and began to question what physical characteristics could be identified through the DNA left behind on a piece of gum or cigarette butt.

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits science portraits genetics DNA 3d printing
Sample Location 6. January 6, 2013 at 12:25pm; Wilson ave. and Stanhope St. Brooklyn, NY; MtDNA Haplogroup: D1 (Native American, South American); SRY Gene: present; Gender: Male; HERC2 Gene: AA; Eye Color: Brown

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits science portraits genetics DNA 3d printing

Stranger Visions is the result of her fascinating if slightly disconcerting line of questioning and experimentation that lead to the creation of 3D printed portraits based on DNA samples taken from objects found on the streets of Brooklyn. Dewey-Hagborg worked with a DIY biology lab in Brooklyn called Genspace where she met a number of biologists who taught her everything she now knows about molecular biology and DNA. Via an interview with the artist:

So I extract the DNA in the lab and then I amplify certain regions of it using a technique called PCR – Polymerase Chain Reaction. This allows me to study certain regions of the genome that tend to vary person to person, what are called SNPs or Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms.

I send the results of my PCR reactions off to a lab for sequencing and what I get back are basically text files filled with sequences of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs, the nucleotides that compose DNA. I align these using a bioinformatics program and determine what allele is present for a particular SNP on each sample.

Then I feed this information into a custom computer program I wrote which takes all these values which code for physical genetic traits and parameterizes a 3d model of a face to represent them. For example gender, ancestry, eye color, hair color, freckles, lighter or darker skin, and certain facial features like nose width and distance between eyes are some of the features I am in the process of studying.

I add some finishing touches to the model in 3d software and then export it for printing on a 3d printer. I use a Zcorp printer which prints in full color using a powder type material, kind of like sand and glue.

The resulting portraits are bizarre approximations of anonymous people who unknowingly left their genetic material on a random city street. So how accurate are the faces created from this genetic experiment? The artist likes to say they have a “family resemblance” and no, unlike the scenario depicted above, a person has never recognized themselves in any of her exhibitions. Yet. There are some things such as age which are virtually impossible to determine from DNA alone, so Dewey-Hagborg casts each portrait as if the person were around 25 years of age.

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits science portraits genetics DNA 3d printing

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits science portraits genetics DNA 3d printing
Sample Location 2. January 6, 2013 qt 12:15pm; 1381 Myrtle ave. Brooklyn, NY; MtDNA Haplogroup: H2a2a1 (Eastern European); SRY Gene: present; Gender: Male; HERC2 Gene: AA; Eye Color: Brown

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits science portraits genetics DNA 3d printing

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits science portraits genetics DNA 3d printing

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits science portraits genetics DNA 3d printing

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits science portraits genetics DNA 3d printing

Stranger Visions: DNA Collected from Found Objects Used to Create 3D Portraits science portraits genetics DNA 3d printing
Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg with a genetically derived self-portrait.

Dewey-Hagborg will be giving a talk with a pop-up exhibit at Genspace next month on June 13th, and QF Gallery on Long Island will host a body of her work from June 29th through July 13th. You can follow the artist via her website and also her blog. All imagery courtesy the artist. (via smithsonian)

05 Apr 18:00

Build an Affordable, Custom Pantry Shelving System with Pipes

by Melanie Pinola
Click here to read Build an Affordable, Custom Pantry Shelving System with Pipes Plumbing pipes and wood boards make for great customized shelves, whether you're building a massive storage unit and built-in desk or simple bookshelves. This project shows off the potential for inexpensive pipes and wood as pantry shelves. The customization means you can neatly organize all sizes of containers and maximize your wall space. More »


26 Mar 15:18

Fan Made ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Poster Depicting Aged Original Trilogy Characters

by Justin Page

Star Wars Episode VII Fan Poster by Adam Schickling

New York-based illustrator Adam Schickling has created an awesome conceptual movie poster illustration for the upcoming J.J. Abrams directed film, Star Wars: Episode VII. It depicts an aged group of characters from the original trilogy. Adam spent 4 weeks creating this hand-drawn and painted piece, which was done in a style similar to classic Star Wars posters by artist Drew Struzan.

via THE FIRE WIRE, The Awesomer