two cents

Girl Talk, deconstructed

Girl Talk's uncanny ability to mix together memorable parts of tons of popular songs into one, cohesive, frantic piece is mind-blowing. Wired has visually deconstructed What It's All About. Love it.

via apex exposure

3D objects from 2D pictures

Some University of Manchester researchers have come up with a really creative way to extract the depth and 3D properties from a 2D image. They take one photo with diffused light, and another with a flash, and essentially "subtract" the images to figure out the depth. They can even approximate depth from a single image using a photoshop technique. The result is stunningly accurate 3d model, with true colors and textures.

Really creative, really neat.

Read more and see the siggraph video on their site
Or the New Scientific article
Or check out the video below:

via digg


Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Very neat concept. I've installed the alpha version and it is interesting. I love the concept, and the video makes it seem a snap, but as he says, there are a few interface glitches to work out. I found it hard to actually use it, but perhaps it's because of the typical learning curve. I'd love a "blog" command which posts directly to blogger...

In any case, I love this type of thinking and these types of solutions. I really look up to the User Experience department at Mozilla.



Interesting idea for the simple Cymbolism:
Color is the ultimate tool a designer has at his or her disposal to communicate feeling and mood. Cymbolism is a new website that attempts to quantify the association between colors and words, making it simple for designers to choose the best colors for the desired emotional effect.

iPhone hologram

iHologram - iPhone application from David OReilly on Vimeo.

Amazing application by David O'Reilly
The application works by assuming a constant viewing angle (35-45 degrees), typical for when the device is placed on a tabletop. The 3d scene’s perspective is warped using anamorphosis, the same technique used in Hans Holbein’s painting The Ambassadors. This application does the exact same but updates dynamically.
Really amazing. Makes me think the iphone could be an extraordinary gaming device. I'm not really into that stuff, but the wii blows my mind, and if this could look this amazing plus move based on motion, it'd be really neat.

via korymatthew

Energy from Scrap

From the Daily Mail:
A student has built a wind turbine from scrap to help people in the developing world.

Max Robson, 22, constructed a prototype using rubbish collected from skips, tips and bins including an old bike frame and wheel bearings, the magneto from a Vespa, a battery from a Ford Fiesta and bits of wood.

Love this.

On a similar note, I love the idea of turning any sort of "wasted" energy into usable energy. Playpumps (noted before) is along these same lines. I've been trying to brainstorm other energy that is "wasted" - even down to the chair i sit in and the pressure that's exerted from me and gravity. It'd be tough to harvest, but it is technically wasted right now, right? (I call this type of talking about stuff i dont know about "Armchair Science").

But that's another reason this article intrigues me - finding cheap, innovative ways to harvest "wasted" energy...

8/22 update - just ran across this article about research that might be able to convert heat from asphalt into usable energy


Or rather "Open Source Beer"

"Free Beer is a beer which is free in the sense of freedom, not in the sense of free beer.

The project, originally conceived by Copenhagen-based artist collective Superflex and students at the Copenhagen IT University, applies modern free software / open source methods to a traditional real-world product - namely the alcoholic beverage loved and enjoyed globally, and commonly known as beer.

FREE BEER is based on classic ale brewing traditions, but with addded Guaraná for a natural energy boost. The recipe and branding elements of FREE BEER is published under a Creative Commons (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5) license, which means that anyone can use the recipe to brew their own FREE BEER or create a derivative of the recipe. Anyone is free to earn money from FREE BEER, but they must publish the recipe under the same license and credit our work. All design and branding elements are available to beer brewers, and can be modified to suit, provided changes are published under the same license (”Attribution & Share Alike”)"

A Map of Olympic Medals

The New York Times has a fascinating info visualization on the distribution of Olympic Medals thus far:
Circles are sized by the number of medals that countries won in summer Olympic Games. Use the slider to view past Olympics, or click on a country to display a list of its medal winners.
Amazing. again, via yewknee


Writing on buildings

Powers of Ten

Old School, but fascinating nonetheless

We'll See...

This is from Charlie Wilson's War in reference to the defeat of the evil Russian empire by American support of Afghanistan (including Bin Laden and the Taliban):
There a Zen Master in a small town. A boy of the town received a horse as a birthday present from his father when he was little and all the townsfolk said, "That's good". The Zen Master said, "We'll see." Then the boy fell off the horse and hurt his leg and all the townsfolks said, "That's bad". The Zen Master said, "We'll see." Then there was a war and the boy didn't have to go off and fight because of his leg, all the townsfolk said, "That's good." The Zen Master said, "We'll see...".
This has been bouncing around my brain for a few months now. Given perspective to politics, faith, God, relationships, everything.


perspectv is a neat little site that aggregates current nationwide political sentiment by monitoring mainstream media, alongside blog and twitter posts. It graphs this data in really interesting ways - even alongside more traditional state and CNN polls. As one might expect, the vast majority of tweets and blogosphere mentions are for Obama, and I wouldnt doubt most of the McCain posts are negative. Curiously the race via electoral vote stays close. Makes me wonder about who is voting which way and why.

I remain the ever-coveted swing voter this season. I have major problems with each candidate and truly can't see myself pushing the button for either in November. Regardless, this is a neat site. Interesting way to gather info, interesting ways to present it, and executed in a very functional (and fun) way.

via yewknee via daniel


I've got soul

Beautiful. Thrilling. Brilliant. Nike seriously makes the games more exciting for me. How amazing/bizarre is that? A company giving me goosebumps. Love the Killers song even more now.

Water Writing

I believe this is canal city in Japan. I love that it's beautiful AND can communicate things to the viewer. So amazing.

Magnetic Fluid Science/Art

No moving parts. Just magnetic fields and a metal-infused fluid. Trance-inducing work by Sachiko Kodama

Particularly intrigued by this girl's background. Physicist who made her way into art, but has a passion for both. Sort of between traditional fields, but carved out a space for herself. I'm inspired by this.

via digg

"The Mojave Experiment"

"The Mojave Experiment" is an ongoing Microsoft marketing piece where (supposedly):

"We disguised Windows Vista as codename "Mojave," the "next Microsoft OS," so regular people who've never used Windows Vista could see what it could do - and decide for themselves."

The site is pretty neat - compelling and fun to use.

I've been forced to use Vista for the past few months (thankfully using a bootcamp/parallels hybrid), and my reaction to it is mixed.

Nathan once told me that the best day of a PC owners life is the day he gets the computer - after that, it's all downhill. It tends to be the opposite with a Mac user (especially a convert).

I wonder if that's what we see here - they just show these people the flashy stuff off the bat, and people react positively to it. Or perhaps the stuff that ordinarily would be hard to find/use (which is why normal people dont feel the same as these people). As a matter of fact, I notice much of this is a demonstrator showing someone how the product works rather than the person using for themselves. I wonder if they had to do it themselves what the reaction would be.

I admit I like some of the visual elements of Vista, and some of the new tools. What is infuriating is actually having to USE it for something. That's where you see all the UI flaws that Apple has so masterfully thought through. My gut is telling me that's what we're seeing here in these reactions.

2 cents.

via Yewknee

Live Maps "Bird's Eye" View

The new "Bird's Eye" view in MS live maps is pretty neat. The perspective is kind of skewed so you can see the roads plus the buildings in a way that's more meaningful than a strictly overhead view.

via Daniel and Kelly over at Cloudbrain


Publicis & Hal Riney

Another killer Ad agency portfolio, another unusual, innovative interface. If you have a webcam, you can control the site via hand gestures, which in practice is interesting and fun, although sometimes frustrating. The responsiveness is surprisingly good, although at times slow. Their work and style is great too.

I love these interfaces for pushing the bar. Do I think it's the best, most usable ever? Probably not. But it's creative and makes me think about all the other possibilities...and I LOVE that.

Try it: Publicis & Hal Riney

Dorm Light Snake & Pong

If this is real it totally rules.

via Brandon

Box office visualization

Totally great information visualization for how movies have performed over time. The strength in graphing info in this way (especially this one) is being able to present lots of info to be digested easily and at once. In that sense, Xach was very successful.

The only way I'd improve on this would be on rollover to show what the current weekend was out of the total amount to date (i.e. iron man 98.6m of 315.6m) to get a sense of how important an opening weekend (or any weekend) was for the total.

Love it.

via digg



While i think this is really cool and kind of a segway v2, I still can't think of a use case for these things. Where would I ever use it? Where would the general public use it? Cops, maybe...park rangers, etc, ok. Perhaps i'm not the target...

via wired via digg

GOOD: Oil Addiction

First off, this is visually stunning, remarkably clear and fun to watch. I was expecting propaganda, but left impressed how they generally stick to the facts. The Justice song is icing on the cake.

Reminded of it by Nathan