Friday, October 31, 2014

Block of Wood Transformed Into a Japanese Kokeshi Doll

Yasuo Okazaki learned the craft of making traditional "Naruko" style wooden Kokeshi dolls from his father. Ten different styles of figurines were originally made as souvenirs to sell to people visiting the local hot springs in Northern Japan.

鳴子系こけし/こけしの岡仁 from dmp on Vimeo.

Via Colossal

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

If Real Life Came With IKEA Instructions

Life would be so much easier if everyone read the same manual.

Illustrations by James Chapman
More: Buzzfeed

Syracuse’s Transylvania Twist — The Best Halloween Song You Never Heard

In 1963 Syracuse television station WNYS asked local audio tape genius Mike Riposo to write and record a pop-flavored jingle — a la The Monster Mash — for the station’s first-ever breakout star, Baron Daemon. Daemon's show was a horror series built around WNYS’ recent acquisition of a package of syndicated films that included some American International B-level horror flicks.

Riposo hired local group Sam and The Twisters to sing the song and the Bigtree Sisters to back them up. The problem was the girls, who were Mohawk Indians by birth, had never sung rock and roll before in their lives.

The youngest sister, Sandy, was so little she had to stand on a box to get up to mic level.

(My friend Thomasina passed this story along to me and she tells me that the Bigtree sisters were a big deal in Syracuse and Sandra became a rock and roll singer with her own band and worked in theatre in NYC and was a positive influence on young people during the turbulent 60s)

The Transylvania Twist became a local smash hit and the largest-selling local record in Syracuse history and still rises from the dead once a year to kick the Monster Mash’s ass.

Read the story of the recording session here


This video by Australia-based award winning cinematographer Chris Bryan is absolutely gorgeous.

SURFING @ 1000 FRAMES PER SECOND from Chris Bryan on Vimeo.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Life-Size Melting Wax House

"A pound of flesh for 50p"is a sculpture by artist Alex Chinneck. It is a two-storey house built of 8000 wax bricks that was designed to melt over 30 days. the  piece celebrates the history of an old candle-making factory situated in the area for a few hundred years.

More: HUH.

I have posted Chinneck's work in the past (here and here)

Pop-Up Cocktail Menu

I love this 3-D pop-up menu that paper engineer Helen Friel designed and constructed for the Art Deco Beaufort Bar at London’s Savoy Hotel. Turning the pages reveals an example of each cocktail offered at the bar.


Diptych Timelapse Of Paris and NYC

This time-lapse by filmmaker Franck Matellini shows the similarities that defy the 3,363 miles separating Paris and New York City, using the objects and architecture that define both destinations.

Paris / New York from MATEL on Vimeo.


The Big-Eyed Children

I remember the paintings of the children with the huge sad eyes that were ubiquitous in the 1960s. Walter Keane was feted for his sentimental portraits that sold by the million. But in fact, his wife Margaret was the artist, working in virtual slavery to maintain his success. She tells her story, now the subject of a Tim Burton biopic. It's fascinating.

Margaret and Walter pose with a selection of paintings in 1965.
Photograph: Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett

Read Jon Ronson's story: The Guardian

Monday, October 27, 2014

Art From Repurposed Weapons

American multimedia artist Michael Murphy creates complex installations from repurposed weapons which shape a homogeneous piece when they’re gathered.

Via Recyclart

Language Tree

This diagram by graphic artist and story-teller Minna Sundberg charts the development and relationships of Old World languages.


Via perfect for roquefort cheese

Origins of Designer Dogs

Via:  Holy Kaw!

Bat Orphans

This probably made the rounds ages ago but I hadn't seen it.

Trish Wimberley looks after hundreds of orphaned baby bats and rears them at the Australian Bat Clinic until they can be released into the wild.  You'd think she'd need an army of people to help but she makes do with only a few loyal volunteers.


Diversity In America

Click here for interactive map of diversity in NYC
The Journal News and, in partnership with USA Today, used census data to calculate the chance that two randomly chosen people within a given area are different by race or ethnicity, creating a Diversity Index to rank every county in the country on a scale of 0 to 100. The index was applied to population figures going back to 1960, allowing for a deep analysis of the region's and country's demographic changes.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

FIFe world show 2014

Guess what's going on in Prague right now? It's the World Cat Show with 1,600 cats from around the world in attendance. The internets might explode!

Former Churches Blessed With New Lives in Pittsburgh

In its heyday Pittsburgh built ornate Romanesque and Gothic chapels, churches and cathedrals in nearly every corner of the city. But the Steel City has been in decline and people have been turning away from organized religion. Now some savvy entrepreneurs have been purchasing many of Pittsburgh’s disused churches and adapting them into clubs, restaurants, theaters and concert venues.

The Church Brew Works, a brewpub within the restored St. John the Baptist Church.
Credit Jeff Swensen for The New York Times

Below is a photo of The Priory Hotel where I recently stayed when I was in Pittsburgh. I dislike cookie cutter high rise hotels and this was exactly what I was looking for. St. Mary’s Priory, was built in 1888 for Benedictine monks. The family-owned boutique hotel is home to the pint-size Monks’ Bar, known as the smallest pub in Pennsylvania, and the aptly named Grand Hall, a sumptuous event space featuring restored Austrian stained glass windows.

Read more about creative restoration in Pittsburgh: NYT

Project Yosemite

To celebrate the glitchless installation of OS X Yosemite on my MacBook Pro I'll share this delightful video with you.
Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill backpacked 200 miles through Yosemite National Park and filmed this project over 10 months.

Yosemite HD II from Project Yosemite on Vimeo.

To view the entire story, visit

Thanks Bruce!

World's First Animal Cloning Factory

Dr. Hwang Woo Suk, 61, runs Korea's Sooam Biotech, that clones dogs for customers willing to pay $100,000. He led the team that cloned the first dog in 2005, and he’s produced more than 550 cloned puppies since, increasing the efficiency of a complicated process to a point where he can guarantee an exact genetic copy of a client’s dog, provided he has healthy tissue to work with.

This graphic shows how it is done:

Sooam has partnered with BoyaLife, a fast-growing Chinese biotechnology company with 28 subsidiaries and operations in 16 provinces. Rare breeds, dogs cloned for devoted owners, and specialized working dogs (for police and bomb-sniffing work, as well as cancer detection) will be a part of that business but the larger focus will be cloning cows to help China deal with a growing appetite for beef. 

Read more about other implications for research: Businessweek

Thanks Bruce!

Rock 'N Roll Zoo

77 animals live in this Rock 'N Roll Zoo  litho print and they are all inspired by popular music titles:

Buffalo Soldier (Bob Marley), Elephant Stone (The Stone Roses), Eye Of the Tiger (Survivor), Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat (Bob Dylan), Monkey Gone To Heaven (Pixies) Rocky Raccoon (The Beatles), Crocodile Rock (Elton John), The Love Cats (The Cure), Diamond Dogs (David Bowie), Hounds of Love (Kate Bush), Little Red Rooster (The Rolling Stones), Beetlebum (Blur) and Superfly (Curtis Mayfield).

Concept and design by Dorothy and illustrations by Tracy Worrall.

£20 plus p&p

Thanks Bruce!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

1 Flannel Shirt, 7 Halloween Costumes

Don't have a costume for Halloween? Here are a few lame ideas.

Via The Art of Manliness

RIP Jack Bruce

When I was in high school my friend's locker was in the basement and he had a little portable record player and we rocked on to Cream and Hendrix until the vice principal shut us down.

Cream - Sunshine Of Your Love live at Royal Albert Hall, London.
November 26th, 1968

Jim Darling's Window Seat Art

Los Angeles-based artist and designer Jim Darling  records the landscapes he sees from airplane windows with photographs and on Instagram, recreating them later as paintings using layered woodwork, acrylic and aerosol.

America's Heartland 2

San Francisco

More: Guardian

Friday, October 24, 2014

What Is Evolution?

Evolution is often considered a complex and controversial topic (though I can't understand why) but it's actually a very simple concept to understand.

Extracting Marble From a Quarry

This excerpt from filmmaker Yuri Ancarani's documentary Il Capo shows a boss at the quarry in Carrara, Italy  guiding his marble extraction crew with simple hand movements.

More: Gizmodo

Thanks Bruce!


This is why they call it fall

Dachshunds In Costumes

Canadians Ryan Beauchesne and his girlfriend Laurence Dionne create handmade costumes for Crusoe and Oakley, two dachshunds. The costumes include a ship captain, vampire, pirate and two monkeys with a box of bananas.

Photographs: RexMore pics: The Guardian

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Natalie Luder’s Fou Lard is 100% silk “Crepe de Chine”, digitally printed to masquerade as thinly sliced meat: ‘The French word for a silk scarf is foulard. The word is composed by fou (insane) and lard (bacon).’

Via: things magazine

Thanks Bruce!

The Phone Call

This short film by Mat Kirkby won the Best Narrative Short prize at the Tribeca Film Festival. A young woman (Sally Hawkins) who works in crisis helpline office takes a call from a distraught man (Jim Broadbent). It's a very touching piece of work.

THE PHONE CALL - Starring Sally Hawkins & Jim Broadbent from mat kirkby on Vimeo.

Via Kottke

RBMA 'Terri Hooley'

"During the 1970's, Northern Ireland was seen as a musical wasteland. Bands struggled to get recognition and found it difficult to be heard because of geography and politics. There were few outlets for people to go to hear new music and socialise in a worry free environment. Terri Hooley changed all that. He sparked a punk revolution that put Belfast back on the musical map."

RBMA 'Terri Hooley' from Motherland on Vimeo.


The Diatomist

Klaus Kemp is inspired by the Victorian fascination with newly accessible microscopes, which showed previously invisible specimens such as the single cell algae diatoms, of which there are hundreds of different types in the world.

The Diatomist from Matthew Killip on Vimeo.

Says Kemp: "“I was immediately struck by the beauty and symmetry of diatoms. The symmetry and sculpturing on an organism that one cannot see with the naked eye astonished me, and after 60 years of following this passion I can still get excited from the next sample I receive or collect.”

More: The Dish


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Neil Young's Watercolors of Classic Cars

In cars and in music, Neil Young has never been afraid to try something new. He learned to paint watercolors to go along with his new memoir, Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars and didn't let his colourblindness get in his way.

1930 Rolls-Royce Shooting Brake ‘Wembley’
After finishing a tour with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Young bought himself to a
1930 Rolls-Royce Shooting Brake. It soon after broke down in Belgium.
At the same time, Young writes, his relationship with actress Carrie Snodgrass was
 breaking down as well.

1959 Lincoln Continental Mark V
Young’s love for classic cars and the environment came together with his 1959 Lincoln
Continental Mark V Convertible. In 2008, Young assembled a team to convert the 6,200-pound
car to run on electricity and biofuels. ​

1951 Willys Jeepster
Young would drive through the Santa Cruz redwood forests in his 1951 Willys Jeepster.
He bought it in Santa Ana in 1968 for $750. Despite the “raggedy” convertible top and
 “funky” gear-shift linkage, Young immediately knew he wanted it.


Via Blort

The Evolution of the Desk

A team at the Harvard Innovation Lab has illustrated the evolution of the office desk circa 1981with cork boards, rolodexes, dictionaries and fax machines cluttering its surface to today's uncluttered desk with a laptop and smart phone.

Engineering: Anton Georgiev

Actual vintage items were sourced by the team of photographers and entrepreneurs:the macintosh classic, corded phone, fax machine, globe, corkboard, polaroid camera, and rolodex were all purchased through individual sellers on ebay, while the rest of the items were found unused in basements and at garage sales.

Via: WebUrbanist

Sperm Whales Power Napping

Rare footage from the nature series Big Blue captures a pod of sperm whales sleeping vertically, floating in a state of suspended animation.

Via TwistedSifter

Menswear Dog

Menswear Dog (aka Bodhi) is a 5 year old shiba inu living in NYC who loves to model men's clothing and reportedly earns about $15,000 per month. (If my pets made that kind of dough I' would have retired a lot earlier and my house would have new windows and doors.)

According to his Tumblr "His interests include never washing his selvage denim, lurking around Soho for someone to notice his steez, and sniffing fine a$$ bitches."

Elegant or casual, Menswear Dog can do it all.



This Kickstarter Project gives you a little more storage room in the icebox by suspending your bottled drinks from its ceiling. bottleLoft, the world's first magnetic bottle hanger for your refrigerator, frees up space and makes your refrigerator cooler! I think it's a great idea.



This Chocolate Dress Is Delicious Couture

At The Chocolate Show London, a Chocolate Fashion Show presented stunning couture outfits made and inspired by chocolate. The dress below was created by Downton Abbey costume designer, Caroline McCall, and required 132 pounds of chocolate to make.

If I wore a dress like this I'd be sure to carry a stick to beat off would-be nibblers.


Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman-Hughes, 1972 and 2014

When Dorothy Pitman-Hughes' father was beaten nearly to death by the KKK she turned to activism to help others. She teamed up with fellow feminist Gloria Steinem to found the Women’s Action Alliance, which created the first battered women’s shelters in history. They attacked women’s rights issues through boots on the ground activism, problem solving, and communication. Together they started Ms Magazine in 1971.

That same year photographer Dan Wynn took this photo (below) of Steinem and Hughes signalling their solidarity with the raised-fist salute first popularized by members of the Black Power movement. Today it  resides at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Earlier this year they recreated the pose for photographer Dan Bagan.

Update:  The photographer of the 2014 image left this comment below: "To support their important work visit Proceeds from the sale of the iconic image will go to support Dorothy Pitman Hughes and her causes, including her nonprofit Charles Junction Historical Preservation Society, LLC.

Via Ferocious Sprout

Monday, October 20, 2014

The 5 sketchiest dishes in New York City

Strip club pasta, bowling alley haute cuisine and more! The New York Post reviews meals served at venues you might not expect food to be served.

Rating: ★★
Verdict: We’ve heard that some strip clubs, including the Penthouse Executive Club in Hell’s Kitchen, have amazing food. At NYC Gentlemen’s Club, the pasta was rudimentary at best, with soggy noodles and a canned-sauce taste, reminiscent of a school cafeteria lunch. For both dancers and food, you have better options.


Crowd Dynamics Test Using Miarmy for Maya

Miarmy  (read My Army) is a Human Logic Engine based Maya plugin for crowd simulation, AI & behavioral animation, creature physical simulation and rendering. Don't understand what that means? Me either but this video by Dave Fothergill vfx demonstrates what can be done with it:

I've fallen, and I can't get up! from Dave Fothergill vfx on Vimeo.

Thanks Bruce!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Deep-Fried Maple Leaves Are a Popular Snack in Japan

Maple Tempura is a fall delicacy that originated 1000 years ago in Japan.  Before you grab the rakings from your back yard for a tv snack here is the process:

  • The leaves are  selected and preserved in salt barrels for over a year. 
  • Then, they’re removed from the salt and dipped in a batter made from flour, sesame seeds and sugar. 
  • These batter-coated leaves are then deep fried for over 20 minutes, until crisp.
  • Enjoy!

Via: I Have Seen The Whole Of The Internet

How It's Made - Jawbreakers

You'll never put another one of these in your mouth after seeing how they're made.

Thanks Bruce!

Graffiti Artist Has Fun With Graffiti Removal Guy

A graffiti artist has an ongoing dialogue with the graffiti removal guy that continues each time his work is erased. This is how it begins:

See the rest of the story at Imgur

He Is Scarface

Scarface, Singapore's feline celebrity, is not just another pretty face. In fact his face is covered with scars from fights with other street cats. He was rescued and treated for the wounds on his face. Once healed, his photos were posted to Facebook, where, as of this day, he has  2K likes. Fondly known as Scar, his page says his favourite activities include eating, sleeping and bullying the dog.

Via I Have Seen The Whole Of The Internet

Only Female Aboard Doomed Mary Rose Was Actually Male

Nearly 500 years ago Henry VIII's ill-fated flagship, the Mary Rose sunk killing the crew and Hatch, the ship's dog.

Hatch's remains were excavated from the Tudor ship after it was brought to the surface of the Solent in 1982 and went on display four years ago at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. The scrappy sea dog was thought to be the only female aboard the ship but DNA testing of the crew has revealed the that Hatch was a actually a male.

Sally Tyrrell of the Mary Rose Museum said: "Study of the 179 crew recovered from the ship confirms that they were all male, suggesting the historic preference for an all-male crew on board an active warship can be taken back to the 16th century – including the ship's dog."

More: The Independent


Dutch inventor Nico Nijenhuis has created a flock of remote-controlled falcons and eagles to rid croplands, airports, dumps and the like of geese, gulls and other pesky birds. The robobirds use flapping wing flight as a means of propulsion, with a flight performance comparable to real birds.

In a series of test flights at waste sites in the Netherlands, prototype Robirds reduced pest bird populations by up to 75 percent over time. Tests at airports—birds collided with aircraft in the United States some 11,300 times in 2013 alone—are set for spring of next year.

More: Clear Flight Solutions
Via Smithsonian

Friday, October 17, 2014

Grand Canyon Just A Big Hole With Views

ShadowBun has matched text from one-star Yelp reviews of national parks with pictures of the parks.

More: imgur


"Photoshopping" in the 1930s

Joan Before

Photographer George Hurrell shot the above portrait of actress Joan Crawford as a publicity shot for the 1931 film Laughing Sinners. He then passed the photograph to a retoucher named James Sharp, who spent six hours smoothing skin, removing spots, and erasing wrinkles. Sharp used a retoucher machine, which backlit and vibrated the original negative, allowing Sharp to physically smooth out the film using a pencil. Below is the retouched photo:

Joan After

This animated GIF created by Redditor 1SweetChuck shows the changes: