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March 29, 2012

"Creatures of Light"

An immersive exhibition featuring nature's bioluminescence, opening Saturday, March 31 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The video up top offers a glimpse at what it took to create this unique show.

From the video's caption: "The exhibition unfolds through a series of immersive environments, beginning in a forest of bioluminescent mushrooms and taking visitors through a meadow filled with fireflies, a bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico, coral reefs, and the deep sea to highlight the ways in which different animals use bioluminescence to attract mates and prey, and to threaten predators. Along the way, see live flashlight fish and special equipment, including a scale model of a deep-sea submersible."

March 29, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Freestanding Wood-Heated Bathtub — From the folks who brought you the Dutchtub

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Back in 2004 the Dutchtub debuted to rave reviews.

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Now comes its more conventionally-shaped successor, the Bathtub.

Like the Dutchtub, it's heated by a wood fire which gradually increases the temperature of the water by simple recirculation.

Now you can have a soak — with or without a friend — anywhere you can find fuel to burn (and of course water).

€3,200.

They also sell the original Dutchtub (below),

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in case you prefer to steep yourself in nostalgia: €4,950.

March 29, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Transformer Bike Bag

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Bag might not be the right word.

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Long story short —

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even if you don't understand German,

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the native language

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of the website:

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Look at the pictures.

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€161–€189.

March 29, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Daytime Fireworks

From YouTube: "At the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar this week, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang put on his largest  'explosion event' of the last three years, utilizing microchip-controlled explosives to form incredible designs and patterns. The video we've embedded of the event is an impressive testament to how a volatile black powder explosion can be controlled and shaped by computer."

"In one, 8,300 shells embedded with computer microchips exploded in a pyramid shape over the desert."

[via Milena]

March 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Breath-powered iPhone charger

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That's different.

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Rio de Janeiro-based industrial designer João Lammoglia designed a mask, called AIRE, that uses small wind turbines to convert an individual's breath into electrical energy, so that every breath you take — even while sleeping or watching TV — will charge your phone.

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Lammoglia said the inspiration for the invention — which won a 2011 Red Dot Design Award for Design Concept —

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came from watching children blowing on pinwheels.

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[via Happy Place, The Huffington Post, and DMS, my crack Baton Rouge correspondent whose emailed link had the Subject Heading "Why???"]

March 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Vertigo Flowerpot

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Got a patio?

Have some fun and take a walk on the wild side by putting this flowerpot on your railing.

Those less inclined to risk will prefer theirs on a wall.

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In either case (Grey or White): €39.

Wait a sec... what's that music I'm hearing?

March 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak — Therapick: Audition therapists on video to find one that's right for you

What took so long?

Long story short from Caroline Winter's March 22 article in Bloomberg Businessweek: "Therapick's website has video interviews with more than 500 therapists, which visitors can use to help pick a counselor."

The best part: Free for you — each therapist pays $299 year to put their video up on the site, accompanied by text descriptions of their backgrounds and specialties.

Bonus: The audition videos are on YouTube as well, in case you prefer to do your screening there.

I wonder if mild dysphoria might be treated simply by watching a few of these freebies.

Full disclosure: I watched about 20 seconds worth of 10 or so Therapick video auditions before I happened on the one up top, which ended my virtual exploration.

If I were to have to choose a therapist from the Therapick pool, she'd be the one.

March 29, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Healing Robotic Seal

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From the website:

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Paro is the most interactive "healing pet" made to date, designed to be used for animal therapy without needing actual animals that require special attention.

It learns from you, and is truly an interactive pet in its responses as well.

Paro is modeled on a baby seal, and totally fits the part.

It's incredibly soft and lifelike, has an array of sensors, and develops a personality over time that corresponds with how people play with it.

Visit Paro's homepage for a great introduction.

A short list of Paro's functions:

• Expresses feelings though noises, body movements, and facial expressions

• Five kinds of sensors: tactile, light, audition, temperature, and posture

• Has a diurnal rhythm of morning, afternoon, and night

• Can feel being stroked and the amount of pressure

• Recognizes its name, greetings, and praise

• Imitates the voice of a real baby seal

• Can recognize the direction of sound

• Remembers interactions and adapts

• Understands when it is being held

• Can recognize light and dark

Paro's robotic movements:

• Creates highly emotional facial expressions with blinking eyes 

• Each Paro's facial expressions are unique

• Moves head multi-directionally

• Moves flippers (front and rear)

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Paro's features:

• Durable yet soft artificial fur which is anti-bacterial and soil resistant 

• Strong internal robotics that can handle long-term use

• Has an electromagnetic shield (safe for pacemakers)

• Pacifier charger (pink and yellow) 

• Manual (English and Japanese) 

• Internal rechargeable battery 

• Length: 57cm (22.4")

• Weight: about 2.7kg

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Still not sure?

Watch Paro in action.

$6,416.

March 29, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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