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May 09

Bruno Catalano – In Search of Missing Pieces

Amazing Stuff, Art Comments Off on Bruno Catalano – In Search of Missing Pieces

‘In Search of Missing Pieces’ is a series of original sculptures by French artist Bruno Catalono.

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May 06

Beach Art

Art, COOL STUFF, Photo & Pics Comments Off on Beach Art

Artist Jim Denevan makes large scale art in the sand.

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Jan 07

Perception

Amazing Stuff, Art, MUSIC & VIDEO Comments Off on Perception

Something to think about….

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:

The musician played continuously.  Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.  The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

The questions raised:

*In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*Do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.

How many other things are we missing?

Source: http://bitsofwisdom.org/2009/10/21/interesting/perception/

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Dec 22
Author: elleevee aka Lev has been a Threadless member since January 3, 2007, has scored 3209 submissions, giving an average score of 1.46.

This might be the most fun you’ll have in photoshop all year.
Presenting a tutorial to transform any image into 3D using depth maps.

Difficulty rating: 3/5 dimensions

What you will need:


● 3d glasses (red/blue lens)
● Photoshop (6.0, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4)
Step 1: Image selection

Any picture can be made 3d. But if you really want a cool 3d image you have to search for one with interesting features. I’m choosing a pic of Harper (found in the press photos for threadless) for my test as he is obviously in the zone, and also because he is creating motion with the ping pong balls. There is some good depth between him and the table including the net bottom frame. The wall also gives us some restrictions which is good.

Things to look for in your image:
● Good depth between camera and objects
● Sense of motion
● Various objects & people
● RGB image (if in cymk convert to rgb)
● Try not to get images with red, blue or white in them (as you can see in some of my tests below the red and blue mixes with the channel displacement. Greens and dark earthy colours are great.

Step 2: Setting up your Image

Open your image in photoshop and save it as a .psd document. If you’re familiar with photoshop then you know all about layers and will breeze through this part with your shortcuts.
For others here is a quick guide:

● Create a new layer from menu bar (Layer → New → New Layer)
● Name it whatever you want, or call it ‘3d’ to remember what you’re using it for.
● This layer will be used to paint over the original image.

Step 3: The Depth Map

Now the fun begins…
We’ll be using a depth map which is a grey scale representation of the distances from the camera to the objects within your image. (thanks to Rafael for the definition)
The closest object represented will be white, the farthest, black and all other objects in between will be given different shades of gray.
Study your image to locate any objects you would like to pop out in the final picture.

Step 4: Greyscaling your image (“A Whiter Shade Of Pale…”)

It’s time to brush the objects from white to greys to black.
For the people learning photoshop you can just use a hard or soft brush and work on the layer we created earlier for all your various greys. Make sure you work from white to black and greys which you can do by clicking the colour button and selecting colours on the far left of the colour picker.

For the advanced photoshop users you might want to trace the objects out with a path to get a sharper image. Fill in the paths with your various shades of grey later.

Things to watch out for:
● Make sure the entire image is covered with greys, whites and blacks
● Don’t go outside the lines of your object

Step 5: Saving your depth map

So now you have an image covered in greys. It looks pretty boring right?
This step may get a little tricky so I’ll do it in point form.

➊ Click the channels tab next to layers
➋ Select either a red, green or blue channel
➌ Right click on the chosen channel
➍ Click duplicate channel
➎ It will ask what you would like to call this channel
➏ Call it whatever you want, maybe ‘MAP’ for saving purposes
➐ Under destination, click the drop down and select NEW, also give it the name ‘MAP’
➑ Photoshop will open it as a new file (you can blur the image a little bit if you want to soften the edges)
➒ Save this file as a .psd in the same folder as the image you are currently working on
➓ Close the newly created depth map

Step 6: Applying your depth map to the original image

After going back to your original image you will want to turn off the greyscale layer that you painted over the top of your original picture.
Make sure all the channels are visible again.
As this is a menu step I’ll do point form once more.
● Click the layer of your picture
● Click channels tab and highlight the red channel by clicking it.
● Make sure all the channels are still visible but the red channel is just highlighted.
● Click the menu bar at the top for Filter → Distort → Displace

This part will require some back and forth, apple z, ctrl-z moments as you calibrate the level of 3d you need before it starts to break up. It’s kind of like a sweet spot you need to find.
Have your 3d glasses ready to test the effect of the 3d map.
As you clicked the red channel you’ll want to horizontally shift the depth map to the left. Using integer scales.
So to do this set the horizontal scale to -5
Set the vertical scale to 0 (as you don’t want it to shift up)
Make sure the displacement map option is: Stretch To Fit
Undefined Areas: Repeat Edge Pixels

Click OK. It will ask for you to choose the displacement map which should be where your original image is located on your computer. Open the one you labelled MAP (or whatever you called it)

Yo Wow! the image should be 3d!

But now we need to shift the blue channel in the opposite direction to make it more 3d.

So repeat the steps for the blue channel that you used on the red channel. However this time instead of setting horizontal scale to -5, set it to 5, as it needs to go to the right. Select the same map again and the image should be 3d!

Now you can undo a few times and try stronger shifting on the displacement values, try doing from 1-10 and see how extreme the displacement effects the image.

Step 7: Find a New Image & Repeat!

Keep practicing on different images, and adjusting different horizontal values to get the 3d effect to pop better.
For more advanced 3d effects you can also use gradients to simulate perspective and vanishing points which are effective on walls and roads.

Some more pics:

Read more please visit  Source: Threadless

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Apr 26

Peru Modern Architecture – if only I could decide what’s more fascinating: the house or the location?

The only thing that rivals the awe-inspiring cliff-top view in Punta Misterio, Peru, is the amazing Lefevre Beach House designed by Longhi Architects. Overlooking the waters of the Pacific Ocean, this contemporary home blends raw nature and modern innovation, landscape and architecture. Built into a rocky cliff, this cool house boasts sand-garden roofs that bring a bit of the desert landscape into the design. Contemporary stone tiles surround a rooftop lap pool – a luxury oasis in this desert setting. And cantilevered over the edge of this cliff, a glass box boldly hangs above the ocean, connecting desert, water and architecture. Inside, expansive windows invite the magnificent outdoors in. Beyond the views framed by expansive windows and sliding glass doors, nature comes alive inside this house on the rock walls, sleek stone floor tiles, skylights, and the balconies and terraces that wrap the home’s facade. Longhi Architects
via Arch Daily
photo credit: CHOlon Photography

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written by Pinewood Design

Apr 22

toilet-paper-loudreams

Jacquet Fritz Junior creates some amazing face sculptures with used toilet paper rolls.

Continue reading for more:

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Mar 10

YouTube is blocking all premium music videos to UK users after failing to reach a new licensing agreement with the Performing Right Society (PRS).

Premium music videos will not be accessible to UK YouTube users

Thousands of videos will be unavailable to YouTube users from later on Monday.

Patrick Walker, YouTube’s director of video partnerships, told BBC News that the move was “regrettable”.

Steve Porter, head of the PRS, said he was “outraged… shocked and disappointed” by YouTube’s decision.

In a statement, Mr Porter said the move “punishes British consumers and the songwriters whose interests we protect and represent”.

The PRS has asked YouTube to reconsider its decision as a “matter of urgency”.

The body, which represents music publishers, added: “Google has told us they are taking this step because they wish to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing.

“This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS for Music and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties.”

Mr Walker told BBC News the PRS was seeking a rise in fees “many, many factors” higher than the previous agreement.

He said: “We feel we are so far apart that we have to remove content while we continue to negotiate with the PRS.”

“We are making the message public because it will be noticeable to users on the site.”

Videos will begin to be blocked from 1800 GMT with the majority of them made inaccessible over the next two days.

YouTube pays a licence to the PRS which covers the streaming of music videos from three of the four major music labels and many independent labels.

Stream online

While deals with individual record labels cover the use of the visual element and sound recording in a music video, firms that want to stream online also have to have a separate deal with music publishers which covers the music and lyrics.

In the UK, the PRS acts as a collecting society on behalf of member publishers for licensing fees relating to use of music.

YouTube stressed that it continued to have “strong partnerships” with three of the four largest record labels in the world.

Mr Walker said the PRS was asking for a “prohibitive” rise in the cost of a new license.

While not specifying the rate the PRS was seeking, he said: “It has to be a rate than can drive a business model. We are in the business for the long run and we want to drive the use of online video.

“The rate they are applying would mean we would lose significant amounts of money on every stream of a music video. It is not a reasonable rate to ask.”

New deal

YouTube has also complained of a lack of transparency by the PRS, saying the organisation would not specify exactly which artists would be covered by any new deal.

“That’s like asking a consumer to buy a blank CD without knowing what musicians are on it,” a statement from YouTube UK says on its official blog.

YouTube is the world’s most popular online video site but has been under increased pressure to generate more revenue since its purchase by Google for $1.65 billion in 2006.

“We are not willing to do this [new licensing deal] at any cost,” said Mr Walker.

He said the issue was an industry-wide one and not just related to YouTube.

“By setting rates that don’t allow new business models to flourish, nobody wins.”

Services such as Pandora.com, MySpace UK and Imeem have also had issues securing licence deals in the UK in the last 12 months.

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Feb 23

Oscars 2009: Slumdog Millionaire, Best Film 

What a night for Danny Boyle and crew. Wow. I’ve slightly lost count but I think that’s eight Oscars out of a possible nine for Slumdog Millionaire.

Producer Christian Colson does the speechifying honours for this one, thanking the usual all and sundry, with the cast and crew all on stage with him (pictured) – including someone’s kid, a child of maybe 10.

A huge result tonight for British cinema, with Kate Winslet‘s victory added to the runaway success of Slumdog. 

Oscars 2009: Sean Penn takes Best Actor

penn
What an opening line to his acceptance speech – “You commie homo-loving sons of guns“, says Sean Penn, taking the award for his portrayal of gay-rights activist and politician Harvey Milk in Milk.

He also gets another couple of good lines in – first he acknowledges that he sometimes “makes it hard for you to appreciate me“, a reference to his sporadic assaults on paparazzi.

Then he becomes the first winner this year to go overtly political in his speech, slating anti-gay marriage campaigners.

He comes across pretty well, to be honest. Rather assumed he’d be an unbearable luvvie. But he seems all right.

Oscars 2009: Kate Winslet takes Best Actress

winslet
She’s got it!
After what felt like an eternity of former winners telling us how great all the nominees are, they open the envelope and – yes, it’s Kate Winslet.

And her speech is pretty sensible. She didn’t have a complete meltdown, anyway. She is panting like she’s just run three miles to get to the stage, but most of the words she’s saying are at least coherent and strung together in grammatically accurate sentences.

Called all her fellow nominees “goddesses”, which was a little over the top, but had quite a good line when she said “I don’t think any of us can even believe we’re in a category with Meryl Streep“. Streep in the audience doing a good magnanimous-in-defeat face.

Oscars 2009: Danny Boyle takes Best Director

danny
Told you.
Well, that’s been coming. Best Director award goes to Danny Boyle (pictured) for Slumdog Millionaire, which – weirdly, for a low-budget film set in Mumbai and only partly in English – felt inevitable.

He comes bouncing on stage, explaining that he promised his kids when they were young that if he ever won an Oscar he would accept it in the spirit of Tigger out of Winnie The Pooh. Rather sweet.

Then he becomes the first winner this year to go overtly political in his speech, slating anti-gay marriage campaigners.

He comes across pretty well, to be honest. Rather assumed he’d be an unbearable luvvie. But he seems all right.

Here are the winners, as they are announced, at the 81st Academy Awards, which are being held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on 22 February.

Best supporting actress: Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
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Also nominated: Amy Adams – Doubt; Viola Davis – Doubt; Taraji P Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler

Best original screenplay: Milk
Also nominated: Happy-Go-Lucky; Wall-E; In Bruges; Frozen River

Best adapted screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Doubt; Frost/Nixon; The Reader

Best animated feature film: Wall-E
Also nominated: Bolt; Kung Fu Panda

Best animated short film: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Also nominated: Lavatory – Lovestory; Oktapodi; Presto; This Way Up

Art direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Also nominated: Changeling; The Dark Knight; The Duchess; Revolutionary Road

Costume design: The Duchess
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Australia; Milk; Revolutionary Road

Make-up: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Also nominated: The Dark Knight; Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Changeling; The Dark Knight; The Reader

Best live action short film: Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Also nominated: Auf der Strecke (On The Line); Manon on the Asphalt; New Boy; The Pig

Best supporting actor: Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Also nominated: Josh Brolin – Milk; Robert Downey Jr – Tropic Thunder; Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt; Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road

Best documentary feature: Man on Wire
Also nominated: The Betrayal; Encounters at the End of the World; The Garden; Trouble The Water

Best documentary short subject: Smile Pinki
Also nominated: The Conscience of Nhem En; The Final Inch; The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306

Visual effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Also nominated: The Dark Knight; Iron Man

Sound editing: The Dark Knight
Also nominated: Iron Man; Wanted; Slumdog Millionaire; Wall-E

Sound mixing: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; The Dark Knight; Wanted; Wall-E

Film editing:Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; The Dark Knight; Frost/Nixon; Milk

Best original score: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Defiance; Milk; Slumdog Millionaire; Wall-E

Best original song: Jai Ho – Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: Down To Earth – Wall-E; O Saya – Slumdog Millionaire

Best foreign language film: Departures – Japan
Also nominated: Revanche – Austria; The Class – France; The Baader Meinhof Complex – Germany; Waltz With Bashir – Israel

Best director: Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: Stephen Daldry – The Reader; David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon; Gus Van Sant – Milk

Best actress: Kate Winslet – The Reader
Also nominated: Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married; Angelina Jolie – Changeling; Melissa Leo – Frozen River; Meryl Streep – Doubt

Best actor: Sean Penn – Milk
Also nominated: Richard Jenkins – The Visitor; Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon; Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Frost/Nixon; Milk; The Reader

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Feb 13

VALENTINE: See this amazing love from above gallery:

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A heart-shaped coroal reef in Australia has been photographed by satellites, helicopters and planes.

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Is this the most romantic garden in the world? The heart hedges are located in the North Rhine-Westphalia, Waltrop in Germany.

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Tupai Island in French Polynesia would be the perfect destination for Valentines Day as it is shaped as a perfect heart.

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A field in the shape of a heart in Germany gives farmers new hope for love.

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A heart-shaped island in Walchensee, Germany makes the small Bavarian town a romantic desitnation.

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Jan 21

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What’s the most recognised logo in the world? It would probably be Google’s if only they could stick to one. Yet as the world’s most popular search engine tries out a new favicon, Craig Smith says the old branding rulebook is being rewritten.

 

It’s not the size that matters, it’s how often you use it. So the thinking goes at Google, which has just revealed the design of its latest favicon – the tiny logo that shows any web user, on any web browser, anywhere in the world, precisely whose internet “real estate” they are currently residing upon.

An example of a favicon can be seen at the top of this page (so long as you are using an up-to-date enough web browser). Just in front of the URL http://news.bbc.co.uk/… there is a small BBC logo. That 16×16 pixel square is the size of the favicon in question, if not the scope.

Now consider that, at the website owner’s discretion, the logo appears on every single one of its pages that the world’s web population loads. For Google that amounts to upward of 1, 200 million individual searches. Every day.

Add to that its Google News, Google Images, mobile search and multitude of other online services. Suddenly the favicon takes on an importance that belies its fingernail-sized dimensions, and the motivation for Google to roll out its third design in less than a year, as it attempts to get its favicon right, becomes clear.

Google’s journey to this latest multi-coloured graphic identity charts a course through some of the unique challenges of favicon design, and through those of logo design in general. The world’s leading search engine, whose very name has been adopted as the generic term for finding pages on the web, has achieved web domination without ever having had an actual logo.

Magic Eye style

Think of Google visually and you will probably picture the letters that make up the word Google, picked out in bright primary colours. In the designer’s lexicon, rather than being a logo, Google has a logotype – albeit a very successful one around which it is famed for creating ever-changing topical “doodle” themes.

What Google has so far lacked is the sort of universally recognised icon that identifies a Mercedes-Benz car at distance or, in technology terms, the Apple computer or Yahoo web page – all logos that these brands use as their own favicon, not least because they fit the diminutive dimensions. The word Google, by contrast, would not reduce and still be legible.

Cue the new Google favicon – a rainbow of differently shaped blocks. A bit like one of those “hidden” Magic Eye pictures popular in the 1990s, not everyone will immediately see that the Google favicon blocks interlock to form a “g” shape.

That hardly matters. The design makes best use of favicon limitations and is a marked evolution of Google’s previous iterations – a small blue “g” on a white background since June of last year, and a capital “G” before that.

While the old branding rulebook would discourage such regular, radical overhauls, reeking as it does of indecisiveness and inconsistency, in the digital world such rules are temporary, at best.

Steve Plimsoll, of brand consultancy FutureBrand, says the traditional rules on corporate identity are starting to look a little tired.

Mighty morphin logos

“Logos are set to become fluid, ever-changing, customisable, even personalised entities and Google is the first global brand that understands this,” says Mr Plimsoll, who is head of digital.

“We are going to have to get used to the idea of our brands changing frequently, and when we do, every three months will seem like the dark ages.”

If you don’t like the new look, then, you can wait or, more proactively, send the company your own design. When Google unveiled the small ‘g’ last year, the company’s head of search products & user experience, Marissa Mayer, hinted at a transitory solution, saying “by no means is the one you’re seeing our favicon final; it was a first step to a more unified set of icons” and inviting users to contribute ideas.

The new favicon is based on a design sent in by André Resende, a computer science undergraduate student at the University of Campinas in Brazil.

It may sound indecisive, even amateurish, but the fast-changing nature of Google’s digital world dictates it. While the billions of pages of Google’s branded “real estate” is the headline figure, its real focus is to keep pace with users’ mobile phones, computer task bars and web bookmarks in such a way as to keep directing them effortlessly back to Google – using the favicon as their guide.

For the world’s biggest search engine, the world’s smallest signpost is one of its most valuable assets.

Craig Smith is a marketing author and editorial director at publishing agency Velo

From BBC

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