Watch spiderbots weave a hammock-like web


Maria Yablonina developed a system for wall-climbing robots to weave fibers into useful structures on vertical surfaces, like this hammock-like web that can support a human. The bots can even trade the threaded bobbin between units. Read the rest

Watch the wind blow with beautiful speed visualizer

Ventusky depicts gorgeous animated maps showing where the wind blows—and how fast it's blowing. Pictured above is Hurricane Matthew making landfall on Friday. Read the rest

Photochrome: keyword-generated impressionistic color palettes

Photochrome is a nifty algorithm that generates a color palette based on a keyword you enter. It compiles all images in their database tagged with your keyword and averages the results into RGB and hex values. Read the rest

Bird songs visualized as gorgeous mandalas


Design student Sugko at Sejong University used a CymaScope to visualize bird songs, with beautiful results. Read the rest

A concise appreciation of Saul Bass, film's great title designer


Andrew Saladino of The Royal Ocean Film Society put together a terrific overview of Saul Bass and his contributions to title design, made especially great by relying on footage of Bass himself describing his work and philosophy. Read the rest

Twin Peaks tarot cards


Last year, Benjamin Mackey designed an inspired collection of digital Twin Peaks Tarot cards. Now, Mackey is making the deck real through an Indiegogo campaign! From the project description:

The Magician Longs to See Tarot is a complete 78-card deck with 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana in full color. The deck combines the mystical world of Twin Peaks with visual evocations of Pamela Colman Smith's iconic tarot illustrations. The Major Arcana have manifested as some of the primary movers and shakers in Twin Peaks, while the Minor Arcana tend towards depicting infamous scenes and moments in the series. My goal is to strike a delicate balance between accurately representing the respective characters while still maintaining readability as a deck.

"The Magician Longs to See Tarot" (via Daily Grail)

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How to draw 2-point perspective with a rubber band


Christopher Jobson of Colossal says, "This quick video demonstrates how to use a long elastic string anchored at the horizon of a canvas to sketch a drawing with two point perspective. " Read the rest

Turn innocent URLs into suspicion arousing ones


Enter a URL into and it will give a "shady" URL that takes you to the same place. Here's the URL for

It also has a "trumpify" option. Here's Read the rest

Neon street mural transforms seedy South Philly side street


Percy Street is one of those irregular side streets found in older American neighborhoods like South Philadelphia. Cramped and dark, it became a favorite haunt of ne'er-do-wells until the installation of the neon-infused "Electric Street" mural. Now it's a destination of locals and tourists, and the increased traffic has tamped down the bad behavior. Read the rest

The Slider: an alluring, machined-metal worry-stone


Machinist/sculptor Christ Bathgate (previously) can't keep up with demand for his latest "pocket sculpture," a kinetic piece that's designed to be soothing to fidget with. Read the rest

On a Sunbeam, a science fictional webcomic


On a Sunbeam is a science fiction webcomic from competitive figure skater/comics creator Tillie Walden. Next year, Firstsecond will publish a memoir about her 12 years as a skater; if On a Sunbeam is representative of her work, it's a book to watch for. Read the rest

Screaming Pepe

Shoop: Beschizza - Painting: Bacon

My favorite Francis Bacon painting, Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pepe The Frog, has taken on new meaning what with all the memes lately.

When asked why he was compelled to revisit the subject so often, Bacon replied that he had nothing against Pepe, that he merely sought "an excuse to use these colours, and you can't give ordinary skin that green colour without getting into a sort of false fauve manner".

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George Pendle on the death of space art


The always-engaging George Pendle (Strange Angel, The Remarkable Millard Fillmore) has a fascinating piece on Atlas Obscura on the history of space art and NASA's (and the government's at large) current awkward relationship with the art world.

Yet when the NASA scientists asked the attendant artists to refrain from posting pictures of the meeting on social media, it seemed to sum up both a generational and a temperamental mismatch. (In an email, a NASA spokesperson said that "participating artists are free to discuss their attendance.")

From a NASA perspective, the secrecy was a budgetary imperative. In 2003, the renowned performance artist Laurie Anderson was appointed NASA’s first “artist-in-residence” with the remit of creating art about the agency’s exploration of space. Republican congressmen quickly seized on the move as a sign of wanton profligacy. “Mr. Chairman,” sputtered Representative Chris Chocola of Indiana on the floor of Congress, “nowhere in NASA's mission does it say anything about advancing fine arts or hiring a performance artist.” There has been no artist-in-residence since and the reverberations were no doubt part of the reason why NASA’s workshop at Grace Farms seemed tentative and vague.

In the not-so-distant past, though, space and art intermingled happily. Artists were crucial to NASA’s development, at times outpacing the science of space travel itself. What happened?

The above illustration is NASA concept art of a moon landing, from 1959. Read the rest

On the once and future history of clouds


James Bridle (previously) honors the The Cloud Index, "a tool for actionable weather forecasts" at London's Serpentine Gallery, with a lyrical longread about the history of clouds, science, war and computation. Read the rest

Concrete computer keyboard


Redditor ipee9932cd couldn't find a keyboard to their liking, so they built the casing of their dreams—out of cement. The brutal board weighs in at 12 pounds (yes, heavier than an IBM Model M) and "it takes some force to move it."

Being my first concrete cast, I chose not to put any rebar and want to see what happens over time. I know nothing about concrete, just did some research and went for it so we'll see what happens. It's not moving off my desk, even if I try, and when I do move it I never hold it from one edge. I was thinking about trying basalt rebar or glass fibers for the next cast...
the full gallery has 5 glorious shots of this brutal contraption, and there's an accompanying how-to gallery to show each step of the way. (Not shown is dismantling a keyboard and installing the important bits, but I guess if you're that far into custom keyboards it won't be a problem for you.) [via r/MechanicalKeyboards]

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100% CGI versions of 80s tech and toys

Mike Campau recreated Generation Gap, a CGI series of some of the most iconic items from 1980s childhoods, each one lit with gorgeous multi-hued gradients. Read the rest

The optical illusion that's momentarily intriguing the internet

cubes presents a simple "isometric" field of cubes, Q*Bert-style. Click and drag across it and the cubes will rise and fall in series of waves. They also start to flash wild colors... or do they? Yes, they do! Read the rest

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