The story of 'cool'

Etymology is fascinating! Follow the journey of the slang word "cool" from its early days to now in this whiteboard video by linguistics expert Arika Okrent.

(Neatorama) Read the rest

Crazy-cool vintage Aloha shirt: Tikis wearing Shriner fezzes

Check out this sweet mid-century Aloha shirt. It's got tikis wearing red Shriner fezzes. I bet it would have some stories to tell, if it could.

If you look closely at the fabric, you'll see the acronym of "aaonms." That stands for the "Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine," the official name of the Shriners.

Looking this sharp comes with a price. This particular Hawaiian shirt, size unknown, is selling for $225 at Etsy shop vintagedame. An XXL one goes for $485 at the Hana Shirt Company. They report it is a "Hawaii Shriners Convention" shirt. Read the rest

Artist's nail art self-portraits include hair

Makeup artist Dain Yoon likes to push the envelope with her work, and her new nail portraits complete with real hair are definitely doing that. Read the rest

Find out what makes things cool

Think you know how to make something cool? Mid-century industrial designer Raymond Leowry sure did. He's behind some of the most iconic pieces of American culture, including the Coke bottle and the Shell logo.

In this video, Derek Thompson of The Atlantic shares Leowry's effective MAYA (Most Advanced. Yet Acceptable) principle. The trick is this, Thompson says:

To sell something surprising, make it familiar. To sell something familiar, make it surprising.

Science even backs him up. Read the rest

Notorious B.I.G. sculpture is actually a giant paper coil

Felix Semper paid tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. in the only way he knew how: by sculpting a slinky-esque coil of flexible paper into a remakably lifelike work of art. Read the rest

This enormous whirlpool fountain is hypnotic

The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore has lots of cool features, but this whirlpool fountain outisde their shopping area could keep some visitors transfixed all day. Read the rest

This LEGO riff on Van Gogh’s famous self-portrait is a great optical illusion

Artist Geoffroy Amelot created this Lego-centric replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous self-portrait.

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Skittles trick turns plate into a rainbow

Simple DIY rainbow magic with Skittles candies. Form a circle with Skittles on a plate (colours should be in repeated order, preferably according to colours of the rainbow e.g. purple, green, yellow, orange, red), then pour hot water over them. Wait for the magic to unfold right in front of your eyes

Also funny are the various YouTubers attempting to replicate the effect only to end up with a brownish mix of melted candy slime on their plate. Read the rest

These are some of the coolest corny nerd sidewalk chalk drawing signs we've ever seen

“So I've been drawing sidewalk signs for my friend's bar for almost a year,” says IMGURian Ollie Wolff Pruitt aka littlewolff4h. Read the rest

Watch 32 out-of-sync metronomes magically synchronize

The magic of physics.

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A place to easily publish encrypted messages on the web

The Encrypted Page Maker lets you paste in a HTML document, pick a password, and then hosts the resulting page at its own site. Simple public publishing, with the source code available in the page source.

The contents of you page is compressed using LZString.js and optionally encrypted using mjsCrypt.js, and stored in the hash of a loader URL. The page loader reads the contents of the URL hash and decrypts and expands the page, setting the value of body.outerHTML. Scripts will work as they are compiled and executed after the page is loaded. Cookies and localStorage will not work between pages as they are both wiped clean when the page loads.

The encryption is unproven, and may only act as a deterent. This page and the loading pages are served over HTTP without SSL so do not trust it with actual confidential infomation. This is a toy. I hope you can have fun with it. All source code is freely avaliable in the page source.

I hope you like long URLs! The author has some other cool toys at their homepage -- Ascii to Icon is great. Read the rest

Canada is Cool

Canada is Cool is a beautiful canvas-based single-serving website that, to my mind, successfully establishes the fact that Canada is cool. There are shirts to buy. Read the rest

WATCH: Gentleman recovers old drone using new drone

YouTuber Harrisen Howes made the mistake of letting a drunk friend crash his drone on a neighbor's roof. Solution? Use a new drone to save the old one. Read the rest

Real-life eyeshine surgery trial

In the Chronicles of Riddick series, a shiner is an outlaw who has undergone eyeshine surgery to give them night vision. That same thing, incredibly, is happening in a garage in a small town in central California: Science for the Masses is a group of biohackers who have successfully tested a procedure giving its brave/foolish test subject the ability to detect shapes in a no-light environment. Read the rest

A Book of Mojo, on Indiegogo

The Book of Mojo is a webcomic whose creators hope will become an animated series or feature. The main character, Creepy, is an African-American girl with magic powers; and her unlikely partner, Mojo, is a 7-foot tall man of stone with no memory. Read the rest

The new VW California van you can't have in California

Here's a new protest movement for all you old Hippies out there: "Bring the T5 VW Camper to USA". This sweet ride is like a Robocop update of the old VW bus, full of RV-like amenities including a fold-out bed, a sink, refrigerator and fold-out table; perfect for that cross-country drive to discover the soul of America you've been meaning to take. Read the rest

Sign Game: tricks of the trade from a professional sign painter

It’s always fun to cruise through Fantagraphics’s store in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. You never know what you might stumble across amid the new comics releases, independent zines and assorted odd runs and old stock there. I happened upon a copy of Justin Green’s Sign Game (ST Publications and Last Gasp Of San Francisco). It's an 80-page paperback collection from 1995 of the monthly comic strips Green did for the sign painter’s trade newsletter Signs of the Times from back in the 1980s and 90s.

As detailed in Green’s comics, that was a turbulent time of transition for sign painters. Just as desktop publishing and digital photography transformed the graphic design and photography businesses (ask bankrupt Kodak about that!), the dawn of the computerized vinyl letter cutting machines undid the business of hand-lettered and painted signage.

Each densely rich comic takes on one arcane aspect of this dying art, from the ins and outs of doing gold leaf lettering, or how to wield a mahlstick, to the fine points of font design and brush technique needed for painting on the corrugated surface of metal trucks. Green’s sardonic tone and hilarious perspective also illustrate each hard won lesson of running a business, filled with characters like hard-boiled artists, chiseling customers, and back-biting competitors.

As a comic, Green’s one-page masterpieces employs a myriad of graphic techniques: send ups of Johnson Smith & Co. catalog layouts, Goofus and Gallant-ish profiles, Dick Tracy Crimebsuters comic crooks, and an endless supply of cartoon lettering intro panel gimmicks that ape plexiglass, peeling vinyl letters and stencils. Read the rest

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