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17 Mar 13:13


17 Mar 11:10

How To Sharpen Pencils

by swissmiss


“You can sharpen a pencil without a pencil sharpener, but you can’t sharpen a pencil without a pencil.” How to Sharpen A Pencil. Made me laugh.

(via Coudal)

23 Apr 04:57

Shakespeare's popularity (in the UK)

       At YouGov they offer Shakespeare 400 years on: every play ranked by popularity, as they surveyed 1661 adults and asked: "Which, if any, of the following Shakespeare plays have you ever read or seen ?"
       Romeo and Juliet easily tops the list, the only play which more than half the respondents had seen/read; Hamlet is a somewhat surprising distant (31 per cent) fourth -- and I was very surprised that King Lear didn't even break the top ten.
       (See also the full(er) survey breakdown (warning ! dreaded pdf format !). Among the observations there: Scottish respondents were less likely than the national average to have seen/read Macbeth -- and far behind Londoners; the only play male respondents were more likely to have seen/read than female ones was ... King John (3 per cent to 2), while several plays were far more likely to have been seen/read by women (notably Romeo and Juliet (62:40) and As You Like it (21:10)); and a far-above average (5 per cent) of Londoners answered 'Don't know' (9 per cent).)
22 Apr 12:04

Moonrise, Alice Springs. 22 April 2016

by Bob Gosford


Moon close

Just to the east of Alice Springs is a large patch of Crown land that is littered with car-wrecks and tracks used by trail-bike riders and four-wheel drivers looking to test–or wreck–their suspension.

It’s a hilly patch of red dirt and scrub and I perched myself on a low hill earlier this evening with one of my big lenses and waited for the full moon to rise.

This is what I saw …

Moon rising 2 colour wide

Moon rising half 3 Colour vert

Moon rising 1 colour

02 Mar 16:31

Tokyo City Recreated Using 10,000 MUJI Products

by Johnny

Japan thing of the day!


If you own anything from minimal lifestyle retailer MUJI you’ll know that their products are designed to precise calculations and specifications, often with architectural elements, allowing them to be stacked, layered and lined. Taking advantage of these characteristics, a creative agency has recreated many of Tokyo’s iconic landmarks and buildings using only MUJI products.

The installation–part of a joint-campaign to promote Tokyo as well as one of Japan’s most iconic retailers– will be traveling to Taipei and then New York.


a close-up of the iconic Shibuya Crossing

muji-tokyo-products (1)

Using everything at their disposal from pencils and erasers to desk organizers and notebooks, creative agency dot by dot, with the help of TASKO, recreated some of Tokyo’s most iconic locations such as Shibuya Crossing and Tokyo Tower, creating a vast and intricate installation from over 10,000 MUJI products. They even show a breakdown of which products were used.

The installation is going to be on display in the Taipei MUJI store from March 5 – March 15, 2016. It will then travel to New York where it will be on display at the new 5th Avenue MUJI store from March 19 – April 26, 2016.


a close-up of an unidentified temple in Tokyo


muji-tokyo-products (3)



20 Apr 18:57

The history of the top chess players over time.

by ericmortensen


The history of the top chess players over time.

23 Mar 19:57

The Package

18 Apr 23:27

Fantastic Vocab


these are all so cromulent !

Fantastic Vocab:

Online dictionary of new words created by a bot, put together by Greg Borenstein

18 Apr 18:07

A roller coaster simulation of inflation-adjusted crude oil prices, 1946-2015

by Chris Blattman

This is a really great way to communicate data!

28 Feb 13:35

Macchina Poetica converts sounds into onomatopoeic words and...



14 Apr 00:00

DailyDirt: Everyone Has Blindspots

by Michael Ho
A few years ago, there were some video demonstrations about perception and how when you're focused on looking for one thing, you can completely miss seeing obvious other things (like a gorilla or other monkey business). People tend to rely on vision a lot (unless you're Daredevil), but it's not always the most reliable sense. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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12 Apr 15:59

Flowing Landscape GIFs By 25th Century

by Jessica Jungbauer

Artist duo 25th Century created a series of flowing GIFs capturing the movement of natural streams and breezes in landscape photographs titled ‘Formless’. According to Luke Ighile and Ayla El-Moussa, the people behind 25th Century, the moving images were originally created to quiet the mind in our everyday life. Speaking about the inspiration behind their project, the duo says: “To be formless is to be flexible. Able to crash through like waves yet also be as subtle as an afternoon breeze. To be formless is to be in tune with what and who you are: an infinite potential.”

formless_art-01 formless_art-02 formless_art-03 formless_art-04

All images © Luke Ighile, Ayla El-Moussa

12 Apr 12:46

Mystery Tourism

by Juan


04 Feb 21:43

Japan’s 72 Microseasons Now Available as an App

by Johnny

Japan 72 Microseasons

What season is it right now? Winter? Wrong. Technically, it’s the 1st week of February, which means it’s “Spring Winds Thaw the Ice” (東風解凍). What about next month? You say Spring? Wrong again. March begins with “Grass Sprouts, Trees Bud” (草木萌動) and ends with “The First Cherry Blossoms” (櫻始開). I am, of course, going off of Japan’s ancient calendar, which is divided into 24 seasons and 72 microseasons.

Japan 72 Microseasons

An app called 72 Seasons has recently been translated into English, and is available for free in the app store. It syncs with the old 72 season calendar and updates about every 5 days, pinging you (if you allow it) with every new microseason as you enter it. It won’t, however, sync with climate change.

And not only does it give you the microseason but a whole bunch of poetic information like the seasonal word (this week is risshun, or ‘first spring’), seasonal fish (Spiny Lobster!), seasonal vegetable (Butterbur anyone?), seasonal star and even seasonal activity. And each is accompanied by a beautiful illustration or photograph. I was honestly surprised that a free app could come with such high-quality content. (We were not paid to say that. It’s just how we feel.)

Japan 72 Microseasons

So how did Japan even develop 72 microseasons? The app developer, Utsukushii Kurashikata Institute, explains:

The path of the sun as seen from Earth creates a zodiac, 360 degrees divided into 24 15-degree sections, each one given a name to depict the seasonal changes through the year… And beyond that, each season of the 24 season calendar was then divided again into three more, to create the 72 season calendar. Each of these 72 seasons lasts just five days or so, and the names of each season beautifully depict the tiny, delicate changes in nature that occur around us, year in year out.

Utsukushii Kurashikata Institute (Beautiful Living Research Lab) is a joint initiative between ad agency Dentsu and publishing company Heibonsha. The project aims to show a lifestyle that incorporates  age-old Japanese wisdom into contemporary life.

Japan 72 Microseasons

25 Mar 15:11

Coastline across the ocean, from where you’re standing

by Nathan Yau

Beyond the Sea

A couple of years ago, Eric Odenheimer wondered: If you stand on the beach looking out to the ocean and traveled straight until you reach land, what country would you reach? He only used latitude though. However, in real life, coastline is jagged and points in all directions, so you don’t always face east and west. Cartographer Andy Woodruff took these directions into account and drew a more accurate picture.

For each continent, Woodruff drew a map that shows coastal points around the world that point directly to that continent. For example, the above shows everywhere that points directly at Australia and Oceania.

As per usual, data that more closely represents real life is more interesting.

See the maps for other continents, along with some geographic geometry.

Tags: Andy Woodruff, coastline

17 Mar 10:01

Trump reviews

by Mark Liberman

@LitCritTrump has taken up the Trump Insult Haiku form as an instrument of literary evaluation. My favorite:

See also

[h/t Lawrence Evelyn]

08 Mar 18:49

rubyetc: I feel like we haven’t spoken enough about how much...


I feel like we haven’t spoken enough about how much bra shopping can piss off

03 Mar 02:00

Masterpiece Mashups: Classic Art Gets the GIF Treatment

by Steph
[ By Steph in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

van gogh gif

Vincent Van Gogh is having a good pop culture week on the interwebs with multiple humorous GIF treatments and stunning animations of his works exposing classic art to new generations. In this series, artist Kajetan Obarski (known as Kiszkiloszki) mashes up masterpieces by the infamous Dutch painter and others with contemporary life, bringing them firmly into the computer age.

gif 3

gif 7

gif 8

gif 11

Leonardo da Vinci gleefully photoshopping a range of different animals into his ‘Lady with an Ermine,’ Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel God plays pool, a 17th-century lady rocks out with a skeleton and Van Gogh himself receives a very insensitive gift. There’s chocolate flinging, baby throwing and sexting gone awry, not to mention the inevitable conclusion to Magritte’s men falling from the sky.


gif 2

gif 9

gif 10

gif 1

classic art memes

Classic art has gotten a big cultural boost lately thanks to projects that appeal to our sense of humor, like the excellent Classical Art Memes. While more conservative art historians may lament that the works aren’t being appreciated in their original context, as the artists meant for them to be, these projects have centuries-old paintings flying around the internet like cat videos, so it’s hard to complain.

Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

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Chances are, you recognize these images, even though they’re simply arrangements of a few dozen colored LEGO bricks. Squint your eyes, and three of the ... Click Here to Read More »»

3D Printer Bot Creates Perfect Replicas of Classic Paintings

You can’t really get a feel for a Rembrandt painting by looking at a flat print – there’s just so much detail missing in the texture of the ... Click Here to Read More »»

Masterpiece Mashup: Genre-Crossing Digital Art Compositions

Diverse artistic disciplines from graphic design to architecture come together, crossing boundaries and merging eras, to bring the likes of Marina Abramovic ... Click Here to Read More »»

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[ By Steph in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]

28 Feb 18:00

Cheese Map by Jennifer Davick US Dairy Export Council to support...

Cheese Map by Jennifer Davick US Dairy Export Council to support the Think USA Dairy campaign

26 Feb 16:21

A Guide for the Perplexed

by Matt Thomas

“Always take the initiative. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in a jail cell if it means getting the shot you need. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey. Beware of the cliché. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief. Learn to live with your mistakes. Study the law and scrutinize contracts. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern. Keep your eyes open. That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it. There is never an excuse not to finish a film. Carry bolt cutters everywhere. Thwart institutional cowardice. Ask for forgiveness, not permission. Take your fate into your own hands. Don’t preach on deaf ears. Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory. Walk straight ahead, never detour. Learn on the job. Maneuver and mislead, but always deliver. Don’t be fearful of rejection. Develop your own voice. Day one is the point of no return. Know how to act alone and in a group. Guard your time carefully. A badge of honor is to fail a film-theory class. Chance is the lifeblood of cinema. Guerrilla tactics are best. Take revenge if need be. Get used to the bear behind you.”

—Werner Herzog, Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed: Conversations with Paul Cronin

Filed under: inspiration, movies, quotes Tagged: Werner Herzog
20 Feb 11:15

Original illustrations by Kerby Rosanes

by abvh

Original illustrations by Kerby Rosanes

17 Feb 21:19

artistic process 

artistic process 

12 Feb 10:46

Gravitational waves: a three-minute guide

by Azra Raza

Davide Castelvecchi in Nature: 

More here.

05 Feb 09:57

Surreal Cityscapes Of Istanbul By Aydin Buyuktas

by Jessica Jungbauer

For the series ‘Flatland‘, Turkish artist Aydin Buyuktas creates surreal cityscapes of Istanbul. Inspired by Edwin Abbat’s book ‘Flatland: A Romance Of Many Dimensions’, the photoshopped images depict the metropolis from surprising perspectives. In a statement about the project, Buyuktas says: “We live in places that most of the times don’t draw our attention, places that transform our memories, places that the artist gives another dimension; where the perceptions that generally cross our minds will be demolished and new ones will arise.”

aydin-buyuktas_photography-Yeni_Cami aydin-buyuktas_photography-Basibuyuk aydin-buyuktas_photography-Buyuktas-Aydin_Bus-Station aydin-buyuktas_photography-Buyuktas-Aydin_Grand-Bazaar aydin-buyuktas_photography-demirciler aydin-buyuktas_photography-Fenerbahce_stadium aydin-buyuktas_photography-Galata_Bridgr aydin-buyuktas_photography-kaykaypist aydin-buyuktas_photography-Kurbaglidere aydin-buyuktas_photography-maltepe_stadi aydin-buyuktas_photography-Sali_Pazari aydin-buyuktas_photography-SultanAhmet

All images © AydÄ�n Büyüktaş

09 Feb 09:12

cyberphuck: kimtextileart: realindevelopment-returns: staticdi...



29 Jan 08:01

Sum of life’s parts

by Nathan Yau

Well, this is lovely.

What if you relived life's activities in big clumps? Thirty years of sleeping in one go. Five months sitting on the toilet. Based on David Eagleman's Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, this short film by Temujin Doran imagines such a life. Watch to the end.

[via Brain Pickings]

Tags: life expectancy, time use

14 Jan 13:07

Raumplan House

by Jillian Japka

Gorgeous, but mainly because of those clouds! My goodness!

The newest member of the applauded portfolio of Alberto Campo Baeza is a stunning geometry in white. Raumplan House was completed in 2015 in Madrid, Spain. The design took an allotted 12×12 meter site and divided it into four squares. These segments form the basis for the structure and each detail is formulated around them.

The layout of the living spaces is relatively simple: the communal areas are divided between the ground floor and the uppermost terrace level, with the bedrooms occupying the floors between. Several rooms incorporate outdoor spaces in the form of garden-terraces. Select openings in the façade frame the Madrid landscape, flooding the living areas with the most scenic of views. These terraces are my favourite piece of the design: they are incredibly simple, yet they provide elegant outdoor gathering spaces.

On the interior, multiple windows and skylights are positioned to follow the sun through the course of a day, thus ensuring the home is always filled with light. Shadows play a huge role in the design; they are cast playfully by the various structural geometries to create spaces reminiscent of a Surrealist painting. Overall, Raumplan House is a lovely structure that blurs the line between architecture and sculpture.

Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_8 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_13 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_4 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_15 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_11 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_12 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_14 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_6 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_2 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_5 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_9 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_1 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_10 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_3 Raumplan-House-Alberto-Campo-Baeza_7
25 Jan 13:15

Australia National Day 2016

Australia National Day 2016

Date: January 26, 2016

Doodle for Google Australia Winner 2015

For the last 10 years we’ve been running the Doodle 4 Google program in Australia -- an opportunity for school-age artists to apply their own personal artistic vision to the Google logo and transform it into a work of art. The winners then have their artwork placed on the Google Australia homepage for all to see. It’s like a young artist’s work being pinned on the biggest fridge in the country.

Past winners included Olivia Kong from Hornsby Girls High School in 2013 with her vision for “If I was an explorer”, and in 2011 Timothy Winkels from Padua College in Victoria with his vision of “My Future Australia”.

“If I was an explorer” by Olivia Hong “My Future Australia”  by Timothy Winkels

Doodle 4 Google 2015 was won by Ineka Voigt from Canberra High School in ACT, for her entry “Stolen Dreamtime”. In response to the theme of “If I could travel back in time I would …” Ineka wrote that “... I would reunite mother and child. A weeping mother sits in an ochre desert, dreaming of her children and a life that never was ...all that remains is red sand, tears and the whispers of her stolen dreamtime”.

Ineka with her winning doodle

Judges this year included leading artist Bronwyn Bancroft and ARTEXPRESS curator Leeanne Carr, who along with Google’s other judges agreed that Ineka’s tremendous art work deserved pride of place on the Google homepage. It’s a powerful and beautiful image that is not only a brilliant artwork, but helps bring attention to the critical issue of reconciliation in Australia. We’re proud to have it on our homepage today.

Posted by Leticia Lentini, Brand and Events Marketing Manager, Google Australia

Location: Australia

Tags: Doodle 4 Google, National Holiday, History

25 Jan 20:41

Glittering BlueHigh Definition video by Charles Loyd captures...

Glittering Blue

High Definition video by Charles Loyd captures images from a Japanese weather satellite that presents a night and day cycle of the earth on one day:

This is one day’s observations from Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite, animated in a loop. It shows the western Pacific, Australia, and parts of Asia, Antarctica, and Alaska as they looked on one day in mid-2015. It covers 24 hours in 12 seconds – a time lapse factor of 7,200×.

You can view the larger video and find out more here

25 Jan 18:39

Chinese Firm Now Owns The Rights To Tiananmen Square Tank Man Photo; What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

by Mike Masnick

What !!

A few decades ago, Bill Gates got involved in something of a "side project" in which he tried to gain control over the licensing rights of tons of photographs and artwork, in a project that was eventually called Corbis. Gates had a vision of licensing artwork to special digital frames in people's homes, but eventually it shifted into a standard photo licensing service. Late last week, the news broke that Gates had finally sold Corbis to a Chinese firm called Visual China Group. Part of the deal is that Corbis' main competitor, Getty Images (which is fairly well-known for its copyright trolling) will get to handle all licensing on Corbis images outside of China for a period of 10 years. Considering that this effectively gives Getty control over its largest rival's library, I wonder if the DOJ may take an interest in the deal on anti-trust grounds.

That said, there may be an even bigger issue here. And that's the fact that Visual China Group will now get control over a bunch of classic photographs concerning the 1989 student uprising in Tiananmen Square -- an event the Chinese government has gone out of its way to try to make disappear. For now, at least, you can see many such images, including the Tank Man image at this link. Here's a screenshot of some of those search results: For now, of course, the licensing deal with Getty will mean that such images are likely to still remain available outside of China (where such images are almost never seen at all). But the fact remains that the control and rights ownership is now with a Chinese company, which may decide at some point to try to restrict the rights to those images globally. We've seen some copyright maximalist supporters insist that it's ridiculous to think that copyright ever leads to censorship. But right now there's at least a pretty good reason to fear that's exactly what will happen.

Remember that, for years, US intellectual property maximalists have whined and complained that China didn't "respect" American intellectual property. And they put increasing diplomatic pressure on China to "have more respect" for patents and copyrights. In response, China quickly realized that patents and copyright were a great tool of control for the Chinese government and Chinese industry and have used it to punish foreign companies. And, if the US complains, China just points out that it's only doing exactly what the US pressured it to do. So don't be surprised if it starts using copyright in the same manner. In fact, during the big SOPA debate, it's worth noting that Chinese officials gleefully pointed out how the provisions in SOPA were basically the same as the famed Great Firewall of China.

Once again: yes, copyright can and often is used as a tool for censorship. And that's why it'll be worth paying attention to what happens to the licensing rights of these images.

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