Shape land like Slartibartfast with an augmented reality sandbox

Here's a sandbox with a topographical map projected onto it. Move sand about, and the map moves with it, like an insane tech demo of some augmented-reality version of classic God-game Populous.

Your very own AR sandbox costs $7,050 and it comes with the laptop, projector and camera rig. The software, though, is free of charge. Here's a detailed project report on the prototype if you fancy shaving a few grand off that tag. [via r/interestingasfuck]

Correction: this post originally likened the shaping of land to the activities of God. Slartibartfast is the correct object of comparison. Boing Boing regrets the error. Read the rest

Brutalist Sandcastles

Calvin Seibert makes modernist sandscastles on Coney Island. At Little Atoms, Caroline Christie interviewed him about his remarkable creations.

I like making things and tend to work with whatever is at hand. Building sandcastles at a beach to me is a very natural thing to be doing. As a child, I saw photographs of the French ski resort of Flaine. I was very taken by the brutalist buildings, designed by Marcel Breuer. Since then I have always gone out of my way to see brutalist architecture and when I build sandcastles I have them in mind.

Technique:

A five-gallon paint bucket is essential. Paint buckets are particularly rigid and have a nice sharp edge for digging with. Then it is used for carrying water. Lots and lots of water. The tools are all made of plastic. I have a couple that are nothing more than a small rectangle of 1/8-inch plastic with a beveled edge and then a couple of trowels of different sizes.

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Video: HOWTO make waterproof sand at home

YouTuber IncredibleScience has a great at-home science project that's kid-friendly: making waterproof sand. Read the rest

Video of sand grain microphotography

Last week, Cory posted about Dr. Gary Greenberg's marvelous microscope photography of sand grains. Greenberg literally wrote the book on sand grain microphotography, titled A Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Wonder. Above, is a beautiful video promo for the 2008 book. Read the rest