Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Amazing Free Solo Climb by Alex Honnold

Alex Honnold is an American rock climber who does amazing ascents of big walls without the use of any safety equipment.

In a segment of 60 Minutes, he's climbing the mountain face of Sentinel in Yosemite National Park. I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I watched this, seeing him looking into the camera smiling and whistling, and being so relaxed.

Photo credit: via

What a Drone Operator Might See in His Camera

This is what a drone operator might see in his camera when flying over Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa region of Pakistan:

In military slang, Predator drone operators often refer to kills as ‘bug splats’, since viewing the body through a grainy video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed.

To challenge this insensitivity as well as raise awareness of civilian casualties, an artist collective installed a massive portrait facing up in the heavily bombed Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa region of Pakistan, where drone attacks regularly occur. Now, when viewed by a drone camera, what an operator sees on his screen is not an anonymous dot on the landscape, but an innocent child victim’s face.

The installation is also designed to be captured by satellites in order to make it a permanent part of the landscape on online mapping sites.

The project is a collaboration of artists who made use of the French artist JR’s ‘Inside Out’ movement. Reprieve/Foundation for Fundamental Rights helped launch the effort which has been released with the hashtag #NotABugSplat.

The child featured in the poster is nameless, but according to FFR, lost both her parents and two young siblings in a drone attack.

The group of artists traveled inside KPK province and, with the assistance of highly enthusiastic locals, unrolled the poster amongst mud huts and farms. It is their hope that this will create empathy and introspection amongst drone operators, and will create dialogue amongst policy makers, eventually leading to decisions that will save innocent lives.

Children gathering around the installation:

Via Hyllat.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Incredible Shots of the Geyser Field El Tatio in Chile

Web designer and visual artist Owen Perry has taken some incredible shots of the geyser field El Tatio located in the Andes Mountains of northern Chile.

Located within the Andes Mountains of northern Chile, El Tatio is the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere and the third largest in the world. The field has over 80 active geysers and attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year who flock to see the incredible mineral formations and to bathe in hot geyser water. British Columbia-based interactive web designer and visual artist Owen Perry recently visited El Tatio and returned with these spectacular shots. Perry has a beautiful collection of travel and landscape photography you can explore over on Circa 1983.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Enjoy Your Cup of Coffee and Lower Your Risk of Getting Type 2 Diabetes

Enjoy your cup of coffee and in the meantime lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. One interesting fact in the study done by the Harvard School of Public Health is that tea didn´t have the same protective abilities against the illness:

A study released by the Harvard School of Public Health has confirmed a direct relationship between the amount of coffee a person drinks and a lowered risk for type 2 diabetes.

According to the study, those who increased their daily coffee consumption by more than one cup per day over a four-year period experienced an 11 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who decreased their consumption by more than a cup per day, on the other hand, increased their risk by 17 percent.

Researchers also collected the same data on tea consumption, but no correlation was found between the drink and the disease.

“I was really happy to see that the changes themselves were associated with risk,” said School of Public Health postdoctoral fellow Shilpa Bhupathiraju, the study's lead author. “Increasing coffee decreases the risk for type 2 diabetes, while decreasing it raises it.”

Featured image is from the article Fathers Day | Turkish Coffee by Stephanie Stamatis. Photography by Tara Pearce.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Last Temptation of Christ by Peter Gabriel

During Easter I watched the movie The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). Peter Gabriel did the soundtrack and it´s a wonderful listening. The album won Grammy Award for Best New Age Album 1990.

I´m also really fond of the cover art. It´s titled Drawing Study for Self Image II (1987) by artist Julian Grater.


NYC Type

NYC Type, originally founded in 2007 by graphic designer Jason Powers, has re-launched a new website under the creative direction of digital designer Matthew Anderson. The website is a digital gathering place for the typography and letterforms found in New York City. Currently, you can contribute by using Instagram and Twitter with the use of the hashtag #nyctype.

Founded in 2007, is a website built around community-sourced content. It is our belief that stories only get richer with the addition of new voices and perspectives. So, what you see now is the first iteration in an ongoing effort to build a platform for open, multi-dimensional online storytelling — it is our attempt to re-envision what storytelling in the 21st century can be: something accessible, educational, and fun.

Currently, NYC TYPE's images are generated by Instagram users utilizing the #nyctype hashtag. Soon, it will incorporate content of a higher fidelity, such as SLR-generated images, video, geo-tagging, and even traditional editorials.

The site is designed and built by Matthew Anderson and Daniel Hunninghake, with the support of a small group of advisors.

NYC Type´s fundraising video at Kickstarter:

Featured image illustration for NYC Type by Able Parris.

Story via @helenrice.

Related reading:

The Multi-Task Table That Will Store Both Your Magazines and Your Beloved Cat

Ruan Hao of Hong Kong’s LYCS Architecture has designed a beautiful "multi-task" table called CATable. It will not only store your magazines, but your cat aswell.

If your cat keeps distracting you from work by sitting on your laptop keyboard or batting at your hands, the CATable, designed by Ruan Hao of Hong Kong’s LYCS Architecture, is the perfect solution. The desk features a smooth workspace on top with a warren of cubby holes just big enough for a kitten to crawl through below.

Cats’ characteristic curiosity is “greatly satisfied through repetitively exploring the unknown path behind the hole,” the designer writes. “It is a table for us, and a paradise for cats.”

It’s the ultimate blogger desk: play with your cat and get some writing done at the same time. When you’re ready for a break, just scoop the feline out and put it back on your lap.

Get that camera out of my face:

Images via Freshome.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Documentary Waterwalker by Bill Mason

The documentary Waterwalker by Canadian Bill Mason, who was a naturalist, artist, canoeist, author and filmmaker, captures the very essence of the majestic Canadian wilderness. Albert Ohayon who is the English film collection curator at The National Film Board of Canada, has written a lenghty piece about the making of the film:

The finished film was blown up to 35mm and screened for the first time at the Montreal World Film Festival on August 25, 1984. Response was muted and the NFB (which held all the distribution rights) opted to sell the film to television. Mason had always wanted the film to play theatrically, as he believed the big screen was the only way he could truly share the awe and wonder of Lake Superior with his audience. He convinced IMAGO to buy the theatrical rights from the NFB. They then rented one of the theatres at the Rideau Centre in Ottawa to show the film. It was a big hit, playing to sold out audiences for six weeks. As a result, Waterwalker was bought by Creswin Films and released theatrically throughout Canada in the fall of 1986, to positive acclaim. The film was also nominated for best feature documentary at the Genie Awards but lost to another NFB film, Final Offer.

An American distributor also picked up Waterwalker for theatrical showings stateside and eventually television sales were made to a dozen countries including Italy, China and Iran (as well as Canada, of course).

I invite you to view this film and share in Mason’s beautiful journey. Perhaps you will be deeply touched by its message like I was—or perhaps not. In either case, the beautiful images and haunting Bruce Cockburn music are sure to make a lasting impression on you. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Marvelous Light Show Inside Gasometer

A creative team based in Bremen, Germany has installed a marvelous light show inside Gasometer Oberhausen:

German creative studio Urbanscreen have just unveiled ‘320 Licht,’ a massive light projection inside the cathedral-like interior of the 20,000 square meter Gasometer Oberhausen in Germany (the same space that housed Christo’s Big Air Package last year). Urbanscreen utilized both the ceiling and 320 degrees of the interior space of this former gas tank to project a 22-minute loop of digital animation with 21 high-powered Epson projectors.

“This experience is based on the vastness of the Gasometer,” sound designer Jonas Wiese told the Creator’s Project. “We tried to work with that expression to make the space bigger and smaller, to deform it and to change its surface over and over while not exaggerating and overwriting the original effect of the room.” He continues, “the age of the screen is coming to an end, digital interfaces will dissolve and merge into the social space [...] we poetically contribute to this through art.”

320 Licht is part of the exhibition The Appearance of Beauty and will be on view through December 30th, 2014. Watch the included video above from the Creator’s Project to learn more about how it all came together.

I wish my city Gothenburg will transform their gasometer Gasklockan into something equally creative. It was once used for the music video Glorious with Andreas Johnson:

Featured image copyright by Thomas Machoczek.

Artist Creates Incredible Photographs Out of Mold

Seeing the work of Swedish artist Hans Jörgen Johansen is like visiting a landscape in a parallel universe. What you see in his images is mold that he has grown out of flour and bread and later taken photos of. Nothing is manipulated in Photoshop, it's all down to camera angle and lightning, and the result is incredible! He talks about his work process in a Swedish paper:

At first glance, many of the photographs appear to be arranged horticulture, but the landscapes are models that Hans Jorgen Johansen in most cases has built up of mold. It is an advanced process to create each photograph. From start to finish, it can take between one and two months to create a piece.

"It takes at least a ten-day for just the mold to be fine."

On a table that is about two square feet, he creates patterns of organic materials that will turn into mold. Hans Jorgen Johansen primarily uses wheat flour but also bread that he´s watering so that it will "grow" well.

"Nothing is manipulated in Photoshop. Everything is done on the table which I later set with light and shoot."

Blood – series Element:

Ashes – series Element:

Houndstooth – series Vanitas:

Grease – series Element:

Metamorfos 0803:

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Image credit: Via Liljevalchs and Kalmar konstmuseum.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Audio Acupuncture by iAwake Technologies

After my post What's In Your Bag, I got intrigued by one of the products in Helen Rice's bag, Audio Acupuncture by iAwake Technologies. As a fan of Hemi-Sync products, I was happily surprised to find out that their product can be listened too in various ways, and you still will enjoy all the benefits.

The Energy Alchemy Series contains very powerful subtle energy frequencies specifically arranged to enhance consciousness, instill peace, lift mood, and assist conscious connection with deeper spiritual awareness.

What is unique about the Energy Alchemy Series is that it contains NO brainwave entrainment, a first for iAwake Technologies, so you DO NOT need headphones AND you can play it SILENTLY and still generate this powerfully positive field of subtle energy.

Audio Acupuncture contains soundtracks embedded with a unique energetic signature of the human acupuncture meridian map, which optimizes the healthy flow of qi through all the acupuncture meridians.


Bugatti Veyron Races Against Fighter Aircraft Eurofighter Typhoon

The race between the Bugatti Veyron and the fighter aircraft Eurofighter Typhoon in BBC TopGear, is one of the more visually pleasing races I´ve ever seen. Fasten your seatbelt!

But, if you haven´t seen it yet, don´t miss out on Ken Block´s airfield rallying. Stunning!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

What's in Your Bag?

What's in your bag? Photographer Jason Travis tries to give us an insight into people's lives with his Persona diptych series, by taking photos of the things people carry in their bags.

When he began taking photographs in November 2007, for his Persona diptych series, Jason Travis set out to catch up with old friends, learn more about new friends, and, most significantly, to capture a portion of their lives in terms of what each individual considered essential enough to carry around with them everyday.

James carrying the vintage American Express travel bag:

Helen Rice, founder/creative director/orderizer at Fuzzco:

Juan Carlos in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica:

Josh Nissenboim, founder/creative director/calculator at Fuzzco:

Featured image: Portrait of Marc.

Related reading:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Eight Weeks to Happiness

The documentary How to be Happy follows three volunteers as they take part in a unique 8–week happiness course designed by British psychologist Robert Holden.

The Happiness Project became a household name in 1996 when the BBC broadcast a BBC QED documentary called How to be Happy. Five million viewers tuned in to watch three volunteers, Caroline, Dawn, and Keith, embark upon a unique 8–week happiness course, designed by Dr Robert Holden. Their progress was monitored each week by a team of independent psychologists and scientists. The results were remarkable. The scientists hailed the course as “a genuine fast-track to happiness.

Caroline, Dawn, and Keith each made positive breakthroughs while on the course. Scientists continued to monitor their progress for six months after, and they concluded that, “The positive results were lasting.” How so? One reason may be that the scientists discovered the happiness course had changed the hard wiring of the brain. Professor Richard Davidson, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who measured the brain function of the volunteers over the course of eight weeks, concluded: “This happiness training not only changes the way you feel; it actually changes the way your brain functions.

The How to be Happy documentary has since been shown in 16 countries to over 30 million viewers. Today, The Happiness Project is thriving. Each year we participate in a rich program of public workshops (including the 8-week happiness course), corporate consultancy (with brands like Dove and Virgin) media events, and ongoing research. Robert Holden, Ben Renshaw, Avril Carson, Ian Lynch and other members of the Happiness Project team continue to create new offerings—all of which you can read about at this website.

The documentary:

Further reading:

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Simple and Easy to Use Self-Management System

Jake Lodwick has created a simple and easy to use self-management system. Decide what you need to do, type and print it out. No modifications! (See video below)

This is Jake Lodwick's self-management system. Every week, he uses this site to print a PDF with the things he wants to do (and not do) that week. Then he tapes it to a wall and puts a check or an X in each box as the week goes on.

Every week, fill out the form on the right to make your own. In a matter of months, you'll be a high-performing, self-directed Überperson – guaranteed!

An interesting lecture with Jake discussing how the system came into existence and his experience using it:


Replaced the Drugs with a Runners High

Meet Nick who replaced the drugs with a runners high:

Rock bottom is when you've lost everything, including a place to call home. When his addiction to drugs became too much, Nick hit bottom hard. The change he desperately needed was Back On My Feet, a non-profit that uses running as a tool of empowerment for those experiencing homelessness. By exercising with other people with similar struggles, Nick (and others like him) gained confidence and self worth: two vital ingredients for a life of independence, employment, and most importantly, happiness.

Related reading

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sweden's Northernmost Candy Kiosk

Imagine that you have to drive 14,5 miles when craving for some sweets, or you just have to satisfy with eating some syrup or a piece of meat. This is the case for the family Mannela, who lives in Sweden's northernmost village Keinovuopio, Kiruna. The Swedish chocolate brand Marabou had a solution to all of this and built and shipped to them their very own candy kiosk.

I rarely eat sugar myself, but think this is genius marketing. The video makes me feel good seeing the family's joy, not to mention the beautiful scenery of Kiruna.

Woman Found Homeless Jesus

Artist Timothy P. Schmalz´s installation with the Homeless Jesus statue has generated a lot of buzz. I hope his work will help change the perception of the homeless.

This 'Homeless Jesus' statue has found a home after similar works were rejected from cathedrals in New York and Canada, but not all are welcoming it with open arms. The moving work by Timothy P. Schmalz has provoked diverse responses since being installed at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Davidson, N.C.

Rev. Doctor David E. Buck, the church rector, sees it as an evocative combination of beauty, art, and religion. "It's Jesus representing the most marginalized of society," he told NBC Charlotte. "We're reminded of what our ultimate calling is as Christians, as people of faith, to do what we can individually and systematically to eliminate homelessness. Part of a faith commitment is to care or the needy."

Child comforting Jesus:

However, others think it is in poor taste. Cindy Castano Swannack called the police the first time she drove by the realistic bronze statue, explaining to NBC Charlotte, "I was concerned for the safety of the neighborhood." She protested, "Jesus is not a vagrant, Jesus is not a helpless person who needs our help."

NBC Charlotte news coverage:

Image with Rev. David E. Buck sitting next to Jesus via National Public Radio. Found via deathandtaxes.

Child comforting Jesus via Episcopal News Service. Photo taken by Alleen Barber.

Related reading:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Documentary Sign Painters

Sign Painters is a documentary about the sign industry and the skilled artists involved.

Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features the stories of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States. The documentary and book profiles sign painters young and old, from the new vanguard working solo to collaborative shops such as San Francisco’s New Bohemia Signs and New York’s Colossal Media’s Sky High Murals.

There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.

The film should be released soon since initial date was set to March for DVD and digital format according to the official Facebook page.

Via @jasonsantamaria.

Related reading:

Heartwarming Photography from Russia

I love this set of images by photographer Elena Shumilova from Russia.

These wonderful photographs by Elena Shumilova plunge the viewer into a beautiful world that revolves around two boys and their adorable dog, cat, duckling and rabbit friends. Taking advantage of natural colors, weather conditions and her enchanting surroundings, the gifted Russian artist creates cozy and heartwarming photography that will leave you amazed.

The boys in the photographs are the photographer’s sons and the animals belong to the farm she runs. “I largely trust my intuition and inspiration when I compose photos. I get inspired mainly by my desire to express something I feel, though I usually cannot tell exactly what that is” Shumilova explained to BoredPanda.


Rural settings, natural phenomena and the changing seasons seem to be the greatest stimuli in her works. “When shooting I prefer to use natural light – both inside and outside. I love all sorts of light conditions – street lights, candle light, fog, smoke, rain and snow – everything that gives visual and emotional depth to the image,” the photographer said.

Morning Fog:

Shumilova told us her passion for photography manifested in early 2012 when she got her first camera. Her most recent equipment includes the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera and a 135mm lens. As a mother who doesn’t want to miss out on her growing children, she says she shoots every day and processes the images at night.

The Letter:

First image is named Dust.

Elena Shumilova galleries on Flickr and 500px.

Story via Hyllat.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Huge Selection of NYC Images

Walk in New York is the name of the blog with a huge selection of NYC images, everything from vintage up to modern.

Lower N.Y. from Coenties Slip 1910:

Mike´s Shoe Repair at New York Street, Bronx. Look at the painted letter S at the sign. Love details like that:

Manhattan Bridge Tower in Brooklyn, New York City in 1974 by Lyon Danny. Via US National Archives.

First image shows the Queensboro Bridge in 1910 by Eugene de Salignac. Via The New York City Department of Records.

Thanks to Walk in New York for the gathering of pictures.

Related viewing:

Firefighter Saving a Kitten

Since this is an ad for GoPro, I thought this was fake at first. After looking into the story, I found it to be true. But sad to say, the story had a sad ending. Despite the fact, the video affected me deeply. Love and kindness, what could possible go wrong with that?

Months ago, a video taken by a Fresno, California firefighter went viral. With a GoPro camera attached to his helmet, firefighter Cory Kalanick captured footage of his heroic animal rescue.

After firefighters had extinguished a burning house, Kalanick went into the home to survey the scene for anyone, or anything that needed rescuing. Upon entering a room, he found an unconscious kitten lying on the floor. He immediately grabbed the cat, rushed outside and managed to resuscitate it with an oxygen mask and a bottle of cold water – all was captured on tape. The video made headlines and all rejoiced and cried over the valiant efforts of Corey.

Recently, the footage was recut as an ad for GoPro’s HD HERO3 camera and has, once again, become a viral sensation. What many didn’t know was that the kitten, named Lucky, was taken to an emergency vet the day of his rescue. Later that night, it passed away due to lung damage caused by the smoke.

Via Hyllat.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

6 Hour Workday

I´ve been a strong supporter of a 6 hour workday for a long time. I share the same views as those expressed in the article. We will be more productive by working less hours and at the same time be healthier. In the long run it will save the company money and increase profitability, keep the employees happy, all without having to cut the paycheck.

A Swedish city has embarked on an experiment in limiting the workday to six hours in an effort to improve productivity.

A section of employees of the municipality of Gothenburg will now work an hour less a day than the seven hours customary in the Scandinavian social democracy famed for its work-life balance.

The measure is being self-consciously conceived of as an experiment, with a group of municipal employees working fewer hours and a control group working regular hours - all on the same pay. The groups’ performances will then be compared.

It is hoped that the experiment will ultimately save money by making employees more productive in their working hours.

Mats Pilhem, the city’s Left-wing deputy mayor, told The Local Sweden that he hoped “staff members would take fewer sick days and feel better mentally and physically after working shorter days".

Image via The National Archives. The image is named “interior view, showing office workers in the Lever Brothers office building”, ca 1959, New York City, New York by an unknown photographer.

Useful Links Covering the US Masters 2014

The US Masters is around the corner with Adam Scott defending his green jacket. I´ve created a list with some useful links covering the event.

Tournament schedule

Live stream

Live radio

Arnold Palmer´s winning putt during the 1964 Masters Tournament. Copyright Augusta National/Getty Images.


On Twitter

US Masters microsites

Image depicting Augusta National hole No.3 copyrighted by Rob Brown/Augusta National.

Medical Yoga Symposium

The Smithsonian has hosted a Medical Yoga Symposium, discussing the transformational potential of yoga and integrative medicine. One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Dean Ornish:

"We tend to think of advances in medicine as something very new and high-tech and expensive, but what we've been able to show with over three decades of research is that ... lifestyle changes, which is including yoga and meditation, can not only prevent but reverse chronic diseases," Ornish tells The Huffington Post.

Yoga's many possible health benefits -- from improved cognitive function to a lower risk of diabetes -- are well-documented. Recent studies have even suggested that yoga and meditation could influence gene expression, maybe even limiting the expression of genes associated with inflammation. This year, research also showed that lifestyle changes including improved diet, moderate exercise and less stress might actually reverse the aging process at a cellular level.

As the research suggests, practices to reduce stress and calm the mind -- in conjunction with intimacy, community and social support -- may be as important as diet and exercising when it comes to maintaining good health, Ornish explains.

Via Michelle Clemons.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Early Days of Enrolling In Ivy League Schools

An interesting read about the application process during the early days of Harvard and the Ivy League schools.

A stroll through classified ads from more than a century ago shows that college was once a buyer’s bazaar for qualified students, and universities rolled out the welcome mat and reached out for the students they coveted.

Top-drawer universities like Harvard and Columbia advertised for students steadily through August and September right up to opening day and offered entrance exams the weekend before classes resumed to give students every chance of taking and passing them.

Harvard even played down the difficulty of its entrance exam in ads, reprinted above, that it placed in The New York Times in September 1870, noting that of the 210 candidates who took its test the June before, “185 were admitted.”

In other words, nearly seven out of eight candidates who sat for the exam made the cut, a statistic that few selective colleges these days would pay money to broadcast.

Entrance to Law School, Harvard University c1900. (Source)

In an ad hovering over a pitch for cured hams on Oct. 7, 1871, Columbia Law School assured applicants that (unlike some rivals) its graduates were “admitted to the bar without further examination.”

Harvard Law opted instead to drop the names of distinguished faculty members in ads it ran from 1868 to 1871. And Yale Law School, one of the most sought-after law schools on the planet, ran ads in August 1868, a time when its own future within Yale University was rocky, regaling students with reasons to consider New Haven.

They included “access to library without extra charge,” eight weeks of fall vacation, three weeks of spring vacation and a two-week recess “embracing Christmas and New Year.” And, the ad noted, “students can enter or leave at any time.”

Image of Harvard football team 1890 via IvyGate.

Hand-Painted Murals

After seeing some amazing hand-painted murals for New Balance, I wanted to find out more about the artist who made them. Colossal Media, as stated on their website, paint large-scale photorealistic murals, art projects, advertising campaigns and more in New York City and nationwide. Their work is beautifully done and is in my opinion a great way to differentiate in todays digital world.

Behind the scenes:

Further viewing:

Featured image: Nelson Mandela mural in Williamsburg by artist Jason Coatney.

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