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Skyline Shades

Skyline Shades

The Ukraine company HoleRoll has these ace blackout blinds for windows.  Through (I assume) laser cutting fabric and material, you get a gorgeous shadow/lightbox view of either the Manhattan Skyline, the London Skyline, or the general night sky.  Unfortunately, the prices are quite high – $178 for one pane of the panel.  That’s the base price, before you put measurements in and choose other options.  I can tell you this much, I’m not about to spend over $500 on window shades – for a single room.  They look high quality, I bet I could make my own though.


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Interesting views of Light

This is a pretty interesting experiment in art and light from Akinori Goto.  The short video below shows the process.

It’s neat, sort of a modern version of the Zoetrope.  This wouldn’t be possible without 3-D printing.  Or at the very least, it would be insanely difficult to construct.

This next video shows a much more elaborate setting – a ballet dancer.  It looks so fluid and natural.  I hope to see more of these in the future.

{Futility Closet}

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The Birth of a UFO

Gone are the days when these things could be explained away as swamp gas reflecting off the planet Venus.  No, with the advent of cheap, highly maneuverable “drones” people can do all sorts of things.  At night, with a 1,000 watt LED bar attached to the bottom of it, and individually controlled and colored LEDs on each arm, you can create some pretty ace videos.  To a bystander however, they look eerily similar to the traditional UFOs.

I gotta say though, the resulting video is pretty ace.  (That’s twice I’ve used ace in this blog post).  I really like the video of the bridge.  It looks like a render doesn’t it?!

{Hacked Gadgets}

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1 Trillion Frames per Second

Light is the fastest thing we currently know about.  It travels at 6.7 times 10 to the 8 miles per hour.  That’s fast.  Wicked fast.  Researchers at MIT have come up with a  hardware and software camera that can record at 1 trillion frames per second.  By firing a laser for less than a trillionth of a second, they are able to watch the light travel over time and illuminate objects.

The still life photograph was nice, but I really like the coke bottle one.  One of the interesting side effects of this is because of the hyper speed of the camera, the distance the photons of light have to travel relative to the camera sensor is important.  You see this towards the end with the colorized wave image of the coke bottle.  That’s where the software comes in.  They have to modify the resulting image so that the waves are in the right order chronologically.

Pretty neat.  One of the few TED talks I’ve been able to make it through all the way (partly because it’s only 10 minutes) and understand everything they said in.  You should watch it.



Making a Chandelier

Crystal Chandeliers are kind of out of place in the modern home now.  Electrical light is cheap, and bright so there’s no need for multi-armed small lighted things to hang over dining room tables.  That doesn’t keep them from being pretty cool though.  The above How It’s Made video goes through the manual process of making a gigantic crystal chandelier.  It truly is gigantic though, weighing in at 150lbs 3 foot wide 24 armed monster.  It looks pretty solid though.  I’m particularity interested in the strength of those twisted arms.  It’s impressive how much the crystal glass can hold.

Unfortunately though, things like this just aren’t appreciated as much anymore.  Few modern houses can use something this ornate, and even more, all the little lights there are annoying.  Hopefully they have upgraded their process to use LEDs instead of regular incandescent bulbs.


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Star Ceiling

Instrucable user redsunsoft has created a nice simple how to on making a star field ceiling.  However, his instructions aren’t for something permanent, or difficult to build, he actually used relatively cheap materials and made something that can move with him (since he’s currently renting this place).

back of star field

He attached a cheap set of fiber optics he bought on eBay to a cheap particle poster board he bought at Target.  He lightly sprayed white spray paint on the front side so that it looks normal durring daylight hours, and drilled holes so the fiber optics would light up those stars at night:

star fiber

All in all I think this is a pretty neat way to get a simple star field to put over a child’s bed.

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Artist Christ McCaw uses the intense light of the sun to literally burn in the exposure of his photographs.  It all started when he overslept while taking a long night exposure and the resulting image had burn marks from where the sun was rising.  He used that idea, and decided to make dedicated exposures of the process.  It’s neat how you can see when heavy clouds came in and stopped the burning, and when the intense sun bled the burning around the edges.

Sunburned GSP #782 (Arctic Circle, Alaska), 2014

He decided to travel to Alaska, where in the summer, the sun is perpetually in the sky.  Over the course of many days, he took various long exposure shots and was able to show the continuous arc of the sun.  Again, it’s pretty neat, you should check out his other work.

{National Geographic}

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May the 4th Be with You

Jedi Jaws Lamp

The above lamp was made by redditor marveldeadpool.  Yes, they made it themselves.  It’s pretty rad if I do say so myself.  He said it was Spielberg vs. Lucas, but it’s only Jaws vs. Star Wars.  He should have totally added E.T., or a Raptor.  I mean, there are 2 things representing Lucas.  But, alas, now there are choices for his second version of the lamp.

Here’s a view of the back of the lamp, with Millennium Falcon cursing around the edge that I mentioned before.


Check out the full imgur album.  Yes it’s tacky, but it’s also rad, he sells some of his art on his Etsy page, but not the lamp it looks like.  Check out that art on his website.

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Imgur user baconeverywhere2 has created a LEGO Lamp.  It’s more of a LEGO Obelisk with some LED strips inside it than what you would consider a traditional lamp.  It measures just over a yard tall (37.5 inches to be exact), and uses a mind-boggleing 25,000 bricks.  That’s too many.

LEGO lamp 1

It looks cool, and all the harsh light from the LED strips is filtered by the holes, but I bet this thing is a bitch to clean.  Dust doesn’t like to remove itself from LEGOs, and all the open spaces are dust magnets here.

LEGO Lamp 2

The curves look nice though, and it sort of looks like a mini LEGO skyscraper.  I bet that’s what the builder was trying to go for.  He claims that it would only cost about $300 to build, I’m sure that’s true but I bet that LEGO doesn’t like when people by 25,000 of the same 3 bricks.  I’m sure it messes with their production and supplies.

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Interactive Chandelier

EDISON from IDEO on Vimeo.

How would you like a Chandelier that’s not really a Chandelier, but more of a grid of light bulbs on strings that move up and down based on 3rd party input.  Be it custom code, or responding to live feedback from the room it’s installed in, or the internetz itself, the bulbs move up and down and get dimmer or brighter based on some custom software written specifically for it.

It’s pretty interesting, but it seems excessive.  And as soon as one light stops working, or one motor burns out, it will start to look crappy, and 2nd rate.  However, that’s the case with most things that aren’t taken care of.  So hopefully this is taken care of.