An Incredible Pattern Hidden Inside A Meteorite

Widmanstätten pattern

Last week, I wrote about a wonderfully animated video by Al Boredman. Instead of simply highlighting the great animation, I took the opportunity to whine about some of the buildings that made the cut and some that didn’t. So I was dismayed, but not surprised, when I realized I was one of several people complaining about a fantastic video for a pretty flimsy reason. It reminded me how cantankerous people can be when talking about architecture, or maybe it’s not unique to the subject and everyone online is pretty much always cantankerous. So this week I’ve decided to highlight things I’ve come across recently that are simply amazing. No detractions. The first amazing thing is a pattern hidden inside a meteorite.

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Alex Dent

May 28, 2013 / By

Space Suit of the Week – SMATIK’s Dead Astronauts

dead astronauts - SMATIK - andre ljosaj

There is a wonderful scene in WALL-E of the spaceship Axion re-entering Earth’s polluted and desolate atmosphere; space waste is littering the planetary field surrounding the pale blue dot and suffocating it. Immediately seeing SMATIK’s Dead Astronaut wallpaper, I remembered this scene with great clarity.

There is currently 19,000 pieces of debris larger than 5cm and another 300,000 pieces smaller than 1cm that is hovering around our homeland. Space junk consists of a wide range of material left behind from the quest of space exploration – spent rockets, old satellites, etc. This growing beehive of debris that may collide with operational spacecrafts and other bodies.

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Alana Zimmer

May 24, 2013 / By

Space Suit of the Week: 2001: A Howard Johnson Space Odyssey

2001 A Space Odyssey - Howard Johnsons Childrens Menu - 1968 4

2001 A Space Odyssey - Howard Johnsons Childrens Menu - 1968 5

Let’s do launch! This week we’re serving up an intergalactic adventure from 1968 care of the hotel chain Howard Johnson, which gives a child friendly look at the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. John Sisson, on his blog Dreams of Space, recently scanned in a menu and comic book which was released by HoJo as a promotional tie-in, featuring iconic moments from the film.

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Alana Zimmer

May 17, 2013 / By

Photographer Peter Hoffman Documents an Oil Spill

Peter Hoffman Fox River Derivatives Gasoline Photography

Peter Hoffman Fox River Derivatives Gasoline Photography

These photos aren’t the end product of some sweet new Instagram filter, but of gasoline.

Photographer Peter Hoffman traveled along the Fox River in Illinois, photographing the river’s meandering surface through rural and suburban areas. Before he developed the film, Hoffman drowned the negatives in gasoline and then set them on fire, throwing water to halt the process just before the film was completely destroyed. Hoffman uses fossil fuels to disturb his film in order to reflect the very real environmental disturbances caused in the pursuit of oil. He specifically cites the Deepwater Horizon Spill in a statement about the series and in further commentary about his work he says:

“I wanted to transfer that feeling I had, which was maybe something like a sense of powerlessness or dread, to the image making process. I wanted to lose control, having the resulting work border on ceasing to exist in any recognizable form.”

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Alex Dent

May 14, 2013 / By

David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station

David Bowie's "Space Oddity" recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station

Movies set in space are cool, but actually being in space is the coolest. That’s why Commander Chris Hadfield is probably the coolest guy on eart… orbitting earth. Technically he’s now back on earth, but before you left the International Space Station he did what no other had done before: recorded a music video in space.

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Bobby Solomon

May 13, 2013 / By

Space Suit of the Week: The Loopy Lunar Eyes of Paul McCartney

richard avedon - paul mccartney - 1965 - harpers bazaar

Forget British Invasion – this songwriting superstar’s sights are higher. No wonder The Beatles set the standard for crazy obsessed teenage fans. If Paul McCartney’s puppy eyes can’t melt the icy surface of Europa – I don’t know what can.

McCartney’s portrait was shot in 1965 for Harper’s Baazar by Richard Avedon – this same issue featured Jean Shrimpton as a Mod astronaut on its cover. The issue was complied to be a guidebook to the cultural now.

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Alana Zimmer

May 10, 2013 / By

Science Cures AIDS! Again.

HIV particle modeled by Visual Science

When I graduated from architecture school, I knew almost nothing about science or the body. As an example, I though our digestive system simply separated food into solid or liquid and then pushed both down toward our no-no parts. I was amazed to learn about how food is broken down and either absorbed or excreted. Somewhere in this lesson, I picked up the tidbit that pee actually comes from your blood. Yeah… your blood. Grossly simplified, the nephrons in your kidneys filter blood, removing waste products and send them down to your bladder. In the microgravity of space, your bones don’t need to be as sturdy, so osteoclasts start acting on your bone matrix, leeching calcium and sending it into your bloodstream. The calcium is removed and excreted. So not only does pee come from your blood, but an astronaut can pee out his or her bones.

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Alex Dent

May 9, 2013 / By

Typefaces for People with Dyslexia

Typefaces for People with Dyslexia

I was really fascinated by this article about a typeface designed specifically to help people with dyslexia make fewer reading errors. Folks who have dyslexia tend to have trouble reading because the text doesn’t sit still; their brains flip, rotate and rearrange letters while they try to make sense of the words. This apparent movement stems from structural differences in parts of the brain, and I was surprised to learn that there are quite a few typefaces designed specifically to address this disorder. There are likely many more, but I easily found Open Dyslexic, Dyslexie, Lexie Readable and Read Regular.

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Alex Dent

May 6, 2013 / By

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