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March 19, 2013

Universal Construction Kit — Free, the way we like it

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From an April 4, 2012 post on con.ca: "Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) has released the Free Universal Construction Kit, a series of adapters that allow complete interoperability between 10 popular construction toys. Where were you guys a decade ago?!"

F.A.T. Lab and Sy-Lab are pleased to present the Free Universal Construction Kit: a matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between 10 popular children's construction toys. By allowing any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems — enabling radically hybrid constructive play, the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities for kids. As with other grassroots interoperability remedies, the Free Universal Construction Kit implements proprietary protocols in order to provide a public service unmet — or unmeetable — by corporate interests.

[via reader jowoobay]

March 19, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Transforming Vanitas Painting" — 3-hour loop of animated dead frog decomposing brings $108,000

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But wait, there's more: Three of the loops [screenshot above] were sold to collectors at the European Fine Art Fair, currently ongoing through March 24 in Maastricht, Netherlands.

Each of the three videos by Rob and Nick Carter sold for about $108,000.

From the artists' website: "Following on from their celebrated time-based work "Transforming Still Life Painting," this work is an homage to another Dutch Golden Age painting, this time by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Younger, made once again in collaboration with The Moving Picture Company. Bosschaert’s original painting is a rare and unforgettable vanitas scene that depicts a dead frog with flies. In the Carters' three-hour sequence, the dying frog passes from the last stages of life into a long period of decomposition."

Don't fret: The loop exists as an edition of 12, so I'm sure there's still one available if you just can't live without it.

[via the Wall Street Journal]

March 19, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Adjustable Prescription Glasses

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Wrote Roy Furchgott in the New York Times, "Adlens is about to introduce a pair of inexpensive eyeglasses with both celebrity cachet and a technology that lets you adjust the prescription by just turning a knob."

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"Its John Lennon Collection features glasses in the round style favored by Mr. Lennon with a variable lens that can be adjusted for near, intermediate, or distant sight. The sizable knobs that adjust the lenses are removable, but you would have to keep them handy if you often want to change prescriptions."

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"The glasses... become available in April at a price of $80. They work by using fluid to change the shape of a membrane inside the lens, which changes the prescription."

"In a test, the ophthalmologist Ryan Beveridge, using a lensometer, found that the glasses delivered on the declared corrective power of minus 4.5 diopters to plus 3.5 diopters. That means correction from fine print to scenic overlooks."

"The doctor said the glasses were good for people with presbyopia, an inability to focus, especially on items that are close, which is often addressed with bifocals or trifocals. Virtually everybody will get presbyopia, usually after age 40. 'These will work for a majority of people,' Dr. Beveridge said of the Adlens glasses. But not everybody. People with astigmatism, for instance, an abnormal curve of the cornea, will not be helped much by the adjustable focus."

"Dr. Beveridge called the design 'a good start,' although he noted some lens aberrations and distortions. For that reason, he said, the Lennon glasses may be best used as a backup."

March 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Twitter's languages of New York mapped

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From The Guardian : "Who speaks which language on Twitter in New York? This map by the imaginative UCL data team maps 8.5 million tweets, captured between January 2010 and February 2013. Thanks to the data analysis work of trendsmap it shows how Manhattan is the most multilingual area, with a particularly high concentration around the Theatre District and Times Square. Other areas where tweet density is high such as Newark, Jersey City, and the Bronx see a big drop off where it comes to the pure number of languages being spoken."

March 19, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Drapes in a Box

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From the Wall Street Journal:

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Window coverings can be a headache to install. Poles, cables, hooks. Brackets, rollers, blinds. It's no wonder people reach for the bed sheets.

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Danish textile company Kvadrat turned to Paris-based designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.

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Ready Made Curtain, the Bouroullec brothers' new "instant window treatment" system is simple to install and takes the indecision out of décor.

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"Everything's in the box," said Erwin Bouroullec, "so you won't be afraid to do it on your own."

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Two minimal oak boxes suspend a high-strength cord from which reusable clips suspend a roughly 4.5-by-10-foot length of fabric, alterable with scissors.

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Choose from two fabrics (wool and a "nonwoven") and three colors (dark blue, red, and white).

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From $440; apply within.

March 19, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

OpenCola — "A true soda drink for the masses"*

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From Wikipedia (entry in its entirety below): "OpenCola is a brand of open source cola, where the instructions for making it are freely available and modifiable."

From OpenCola: "Making soft drinks is not for the faint of heart. As with any food-prep, failure to observe hygeinic principles, follow directions, and exercise common sense can have grave consequences. OpenCola, Inc. assumes no liability for any problems that arise out of the use of this document. Proceed at your own risk. Improper use of cola can result in blunt trauma, puncture wounds, physical illness, mental illness, caffeine dependency, dental necrosis, acid reflux, death, devastation, and random tax audits."

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*Evgeny Morozov in the New York Times

March 19, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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