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Book of maps by storytellers and artists


A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers is a beautiful art-book of spectacular illustrated maps:

From the publisher's site (where you'll find lots more images):

Drawing a map means understanding our world a bit better. For centuries, we have used the tools of cartography to represent both our immediate surroundings and the world at large—and to convey them to others. On the one hand, maps are used to illustrate areal relationships, including distances, dimensions, and topographies. On the other, maps can also serve as projection screens for a variety of display formats, such as illustration, data visualization, and visual storytelling. In our age of satellite navigation systems and Google Maps, personal interpretations of the world around us are becoming more relevant. Publications, the tourism industry, and other commercial parties are using these contemporary, personal maps to showcase specific regions, to characterize local scenes, to generate moods, and to tell stories beyond sheer navigation. A new generation of designers, illustrators, and mapmakers are currently discovering their passion for various forms of illustrative cartography. A Map of the World is a compelling collection of their work—from accurate and surprisingly detailed representations to personal, naïve, and modernistic interpretations. The featured projects from around the world range from maps and atlases inspired by classic forms to cartographic experiments and editorial illustrations.

A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers (via Kottke)

Albania is riddled with decaying Soviet-era bunkers


Wired's Pete Brook talks with Dutch photographer David Galjaard, author of the 2012 Aperture Foundation/Paris Photo First Photobook Award-winning book Concreso, a photo-essay on the insane "bunkerization" practiced by the paranoid Soviet Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. Hoxha built a one bunker for every four Albanians, 24 per square kilometer, and now the country has no idea what to do with all these decaying, apocalyptic concrete blobs.

“I’m telling a story about a country and I’m using bunkers as metaphors,” says Galjaard. “Albania is an Eastern country but it wants to be part of the West. It has one foot in each, and the split is sort of unnatural. Albanians still have not found their identity so they struggle with the past, but also struggle with the future. And future for them is being part of Western Europe.”

The Communist leader Hoxha rose to power in 1944 as leader of the Party of Labour of Albania and ruled until his death in 1985. Hoxha was on constant alert for political threats and maintained his position with routine immobilization, imprisonment and eviction of his people and political opponents. Hoxha’s suspicions also extended beyond Albanian borders and the bunkers, which number 24 to every square kilometer, and were built in preparation for a multi-front war Hoxha expected from invading countries, East and West. Every citizen in Hoxha’s plan was a reservist. Twelve-year-olds were trained to fire rifles. The bunkers never saw action.

Today, Albanian authorities are at a loss for what to do. The reinforced concrete domes are as difficult to repurpose as they are to destroy. Tourists are fascinated by the bunkers strewn like confetti across scenery, but for locals they’re a largely uninteresting, if obstructive, part of the landscape.”

Paranoid Dictator’s Communist-Era Bunkers Now a National Nuisance [Pete Brook/Wired]

Things, organized neatly: a kentucky site for knollers


Things Organized Neatly is a Tumblr devoted to excellent knolling photos in which things are, well, organized neatly. Zomg, but this tickles something vulnerable in my hindbrain. Show here: a RepRap (in bits), and Cannoli in Buenos Aires.

Things Organized Neatly (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Puritanical ice-cream clothes


My goodness, but the Ice Cream Colors in this 1949 Puritan Sportswear ad look sytlishly delicious. Not entirely puritanical, either.

Dairy Contest

Caturday

Two cat portraits shared in the BB Flickr Pool by reader __AK__.

Read the rest

Have yourself 3D-scanned and turned into a human gummi


FabCafe, a 3D printed confectioner in Shibuya, Tokyo, is offering nine lucky blokes the chance to have their bodies 3D scanned and rendered in gummi, the most wondrously magical of all the edible substances. It's in honor of White Day, the Japanese give-your-female-lover-a-present holiday on March 14 (they also did custom chocolate-lollies of one's 3D scanned head for V-Day). These are so amazingly amazing and they point the way to a future where cheap scanners will render entire rooms as voxels to be output in gummi, wherein you can pay to be encased while you slowly, deliciously eat your way out. Coming soon to a Shibuya Love Hotel near you (maybe).

Chew on this: FabCafe lets you create a gummy replica of yourself for White Day (via OhGizmo)

Houses carved out of blocks of books


"Built of Books" is a series of sculptures from Dutch artist Frank Halmans -- houses carved out of blocks of stuck-together books.

dutch artist frank halmans explores themes of domesticity and memory through his sculptural installations. his series 'built of books' employs vintage publications - the selected titles have no particular meaning and are not exceptional literary works - which he arranges into stacks. lining them up along shelves, he carving windows and doors through each, creating sets of imaginary buildings and interiors in each section of volumes. in a way these spaces which he slices through the books, stand as a metaphor and the idea of moving through something, whether it be a literary passage, or a physical expanse.

built of books [Andrea/Designboom]

(via Neatorama)

Hooves


Etsy seller Oonacat makes custom fetish boots with hooves -- demon hooves, unicorn hooves -- that go for $900 a pair. Great for playing naughty podiatrist and agonized fetishist. There are also horns.

These are my newest creations, and I adore these little monsters. These Hooves are created with durability, quality, and artistic kickass beauty in their design. High attention to detail is what I love most about my Hooves, be it in the intensive process and creation, to the construction process, to the high quality of the materials I use, to the professional construction of the Hooves themselves, to the hoof tracks you will leave for those to follow... And follow they will...

Oonacat ~ Heelless Hooves and Horns (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Wunda Weave carpets: 1963's must-have area rugs


The world got a little less beautiful after 1963's Wunda Weave carpets went out of vogue.

1963 Wunda Weve Carpets

New Haunted Mansion merch


Uh-oh, Disney is releasing a rather nice line of Haunted Mansion memoribilia. There goes my bank-balance. Some highlights:

The Hourglass: “I’ve wanted to make an hourglass for years,” said Cody, who is an 18-year Disney cast member. “This 7 ½-inch-tall hourglass has gargoyles from the stretching room and the famous wallpaper design on the top. White sand is more commonly used in hourglasses, yet we chose purple sand to match the overall color palette. The hourglass keeps track of about an hour.”

Candelabra: My favorite item is the candelabra, which also features a gargoyle. Cody said the base was inspired by the paneling found in the queue just after the stretching room.

Music Box: “We needed a music box because music is an important part to the attraction,” explained Cody. “This music box plays ‘Grim Grinning Ghosts,’ and draws inspiration from Madame Leota’s tombstone outside the attraction. Her epitaph is included on the inside lid.”

Pillow and Throw: “For the pillow, we considered using the chair design from the endless hallway scene,” continued Cody. “Yet we selected a simple black pillow with the phrase ‘Rest in Peace.’ The back of the pillow and the throw include the famous wallpaper design.”

Nine New Chilling, Thrilling Haunted Mansion Merchandise Items from Disney Parks « Disney Parks Blog (Thanks, Michael!)

Custom felted Star Wars spaceship mobile


Etsy seller sheepcreeknc makes major deluxe-o custom Star Wars felted mobiles to order. At $380, they're not cheap, but if you owe someone a major baby gift, this might be just the thing.

The pictured mobile is a piece I recently made as a custom order. It features a Naboo Starfighter, Tie Fighter, X-Wing, Millenium Falcon, Star Destroyer, Republic Attack Gunship, 8 orange and white planets and 1 Death Star.

This listing is for a Star Wars mobile with the same basic structure as the mobile pictured (choose up to 6 Star Wars figures or ships and 9 planets/balls). For additional figures/ships/planets please contact me for a price quote.

STAR WARS 6 Ships Baby Mobile, Customizable Star Wars Mobile, Made to Order (via Neatorama)

Marriage proposal in the form of a physics paper


Redditor bogus_wheel is a physicist in Sydney, Australia. Her boyfriend of seven years submitted a marriage proposal in the form of a physics paper that tracks their relationship (with a graph!). It is a beautiful piece of physics romance!

My boyfriend of 7 years and I are both physicists. Here's how he proposed to me. (imgur.com) (Thanks, Mark M!)

Handmade lockpicks from old bandsaw blades


The wonderful folks at the Port City Makerspace had me over to their enormous, beautiful spot this evening, and gifted me with "the keys to the city," in the form of a set of handmade lockpicks from their own Tinker Woodworks. The picks are gorgeous. Seriously.

This is a handmade set of lockpicks with a leather case. The picks are shaped out of old bandsaw blades. I chose the pick shapes based on which picks have been most useful to me in my lock picking exploits. The case is made by soaking the leather and stitching it around a form to fit the picks. The case is about five inches long and fits nicely into a jacket pocket. I can do some simple embroidery on the case similar to the key embroidery in the pictures on one of the cases, or a persons initials, etc. Contact me if you want embroidery on the case. Otherwise the case will be the plain ones depicted. The kit comes with the three picks and two different size tension wrenches.

Lockpick tool set with leather case

Amp made out of old brass instruments


The Analog Tele-Phonographer is Christopher Locke's fantastic smartphone amplifier made from salvaged, chimeraed brass instruments. Each one is different, and each one is awesome in its own way.

These devices are made from salvaged trumpets and other brass instruments, with assorted machine parts.

Analog Tele-Phonographer

Star Wars jewelry


Etsy seller Rockets and Rainbows makes clever jewelry out of Star Wars and My Little Pony toys, including the Snow Speeder ring shown here. But you can't buy that one, because I just bought it as a surprise for my wife. Don't tell her, OK?

RocketsandRainbows (via The Mary Sue)