My mother lives in a high-rise in downtown Philadelphia. We were talking on the phone last week when she suddenly stopped and said, in a wondering voice: "Look at that. It's a dirigible," accenting the second syllable: di-RIG-ible. (My mom is elderly.) I realized later it was the Conan blimp, a brilliant viral marketing gambit for the upcoming Conan O'Brien show on TBS. The blimp is fitted out with a number of whiz-bang bells and whistles, including the capability to auto-check in at Foursquare, if you go for that sort of thing. And I wondered: Where does an idea like this come from? The blimp itself was designed by Blue Sky, an Atlanta agency, with web design and social-media stuff by Breakfast, a New York firm with an appealing retro-futuristic sensibility. It shouldn't be surprising, I guess, that the lightbulb moment for guys like these came when somebody sat up straight and blurted out: "A blimp!" Or maybe, in this case, "A dirigible!" And in a sense, the roots of the Conan blimp go back, way back, all the way back to May of 2010. (All right, maybe that's not so far back, but things move so fast nowadays.) That's when Breakfast rigged, for the New York design event MunNY, an iPad-controlled video blimp. It was 52 inches long, silver, and video-enabled (of course it was) and it circled the MunNY afterparty at a dizzying height of about eight feet, beaming a live feed back down to the skinny, well-dressed crowd below. What was it Springsteen said — "From small things, mama, big things one day come."
There used to be a name for people who carried around equipment that could handle almost anything at a moment's notice: Boy Scouts. Now, we're all carrying everyday essentials that will hopefully help us MacGuyver our way out of any sticky situation. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the fight against COVID. KeySmart has… READ THE REST
Here is a thing of beauty: the highly praised theatrical show "In & Of Itself" has been made into a film. Performed and created by Derek DelGaudio, directed by Frank Oz, this is something truly magnificent. Derek DelGaudio is a world-renowned magician and sleight-of-hand artist, but this show is no typical magic show. Living up… READ THE REST
Above is "The Expected One," painted by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller c. 1860. While Gerald Weinpolter, CEO of the art agency austrian-paintings.at, insisted to Vice that the painting depicts a woman "off to church holding a little prayer book in her hands," we all know she's actually a time traveler playing with her iPhone 12. READ THE REST
With everyone stuck in COVID quarantine for much of the year, online sales for Amazon and other retailers have gone through the roof. That means more and more packages coming right to your door, to the sheer delight of a more loathsome brand of COVID opportunist: the porch pirate. Thieves taking off with delivered packages… READ THE REST
In the past few days, the U.S. Air Force rolled out new tools fueled by machine learning to help stem the spread of misinformation about COVID. Additionally, the Library of Congress has launched a project on how to use machine learning to better cross-reference all 170 million items in its overflowing archives. Every day, we… READ THE REST
The Apple Watch is a great addition to any tech arsenal–until it runs out of juice, that is. Then, you have to go about the process of recharging. Of course, the Apple Watch only recharges via wireless charging, meaning it can sometimes end up being pretty inconvenient to power up, especially if you're out and… READ THE REST