The world’s best known logos drawn by hand

Thursday, 28 May, 2015

What a talent to possess, to be able, as London-based type designer and illustrator Seb Lester can, to draw, by hand, the world’s best known logos. More of his work can be found at his Instagram page.

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Sometimes the best way to fit in is to not at first fit in

Thursday, 28 May, 2015

Talk about turning a weakness into a strength… being an outsider, an outcast, one who has been ostracised from a social group for whatever reason, has certain advantages, namely the ability to manipulate, or wield a significant degree of influence over the emotions of others:

Throughout human history, note Northwestern University psychologists Elaine Cheung and Wendi Gardner, ostracization has been personally painful, and sometimes life-threatening. Finding a way back into the safety of one’s tribe (or, perhaps, a way to attach yourself to a different social unit) is imperative. Their research, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, suggests this desperate need somehow activates our latent ability to display a key component of emotional intelligence. In short, it enhances our ability to make people like us.

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The first twenty one days of the life of the bee in timelapse

Thursday, 28 May, 2015

Working for National Geographic, and in conjunction with the University of California, Davis, US photographer Anand Varma has recorded this incredible footage of bees developing into adults in their hexagonal brood cell within a hive, and offers an explanation as to what is happening in this TED talk.

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You may be a shadow worker but not realise it

Thursday, 28 May, 2015

By conducting our banking transactions online, booking travel in the same way, or scanning our own groceries, we have become shadow employees of the companies that we transact with. I’d never quite looked at these sorts of things that way, rather just seen it as the advance of good old fashioned automation.

I define shadow work as all the unpaid jobs we do on behalf of businesses and organizations: We are pumping our own gas, scanning our own groceries, booking our travel and busing our tables at Starbucks. Shadow work is a new concept, so as yet, no one has compiled economic data on how many jobs we, the consumers, have taken over from (erstwhile) employees.

For my part there’s a definite convenience in being a “shadow employee” however. I can book flights at whatever hour of the day suits me, rather than only during certain shop hours, or buy a dozen chocolate bars (say) at the supermarket with my groceries, and not have to concern myself with the weird looks of the check-out operator.

Certainly jobs are being lost as a result, but opportunities are emerging in other areas. Someone still has to deliver the increasing amounts of stuff we’re ordering online, or staff the ever proliferating coffee shops that we are so fond of hanging out in.

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Might this be a flag that speaks for Earth?

Wednesday, 27 May, 2015

International Flag of Planet Earth on Mars

If we ever are to begin colonising other planets and moons in the solar system, and who knows, one day, even further afield, the undertaking would surely be an international effort. And if we were ever to a plant flag on one of those distant bodies, we would need one that represented the planet, not a single nation.

Enter then the International Flag of Planet Earth, as designed by Stockholm based art director Oskar Pernefeldt, an emblem that embodies Earth’s lifeforms and its biosphere.

Centered in the flag, seven rings form a flower – a symbol of the life on Earth. The rings are linked to each other, which represents how everything on our planet, directly or indirectly, are linked. The blue field represents water which is essential for life – also as the oceans cover most of our planet’s surface. The flower’s outer rings form a circle which could be seen as a symbol of Earth as a planet and the blue surface could represent the universe.

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A history of Industrial Light & Magic by those who were there

Wednesday, 27 May, 2015

While it’s possible you may not have heard of film visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic, or ILM, you’d have witnessed dozens of instances of their work in the movies you’ve seen. I sometimes wonder how some films might look had ILM not come along… for example, would film producers still be using mattes today?

To mark the forty years since the inception of ILM, film directors including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, J.J. Abrams, James Cameron, plus many others who were part of ILM, talk through the company’s history.

As it turns 40 this year, ILM can claim to have played a defining role making effects for 317 movies. But that’s only part of the story: Pixar began, essentially, as an ILM internal investigation. Photoshop was invented, in part, by an ILM employee tinkering with programming in his time away from work. Billions of lines of code have been formulated there. Along the way ILM has put tentacles into pirate beards, turned a man into mercury, and dominated box office charts with computer-generated dinosaurs and superheroes.

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Last night I saw a classic on the train to the coast

Wednesday, 27 May, 2015

Image by Alexey Kondakov

A couple of times now I’ve thought I’ve seen a Mona Lisa on the bus or the train. Now I know I wasn’t imagining things. Ukrainian artist Alexey Kondakov blends elements from classical works of art with contemporary photos, creating a surreal collection of images in the process. See more of his work on his Facebook page (login required).

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How would you score a dissertation without punctuation?

Wednesday, 27 May, 2015

A Canadian Doctor of Philosophy candidate, Patrick Stewart, took the less that usual step of submitting his fifty-two thousand word plus dissertation without any punctuation. And to be sure, he didn’t do so merely to save time, or printer ink.

A 61-year-old architect from the Nisga’a First Nation, Stewart explains that he “wanted to make a point” about aboriginal culture, colonialism, and “the blind acceptance of English language conventions in academia.”

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A coffee maker that will light up your days and nights

Tuesday, 26 May, 2015

The lengths that people will go to brew a cup of coffee… here’s a method that involves using light globes to create a vacuum-powered coffee machine. Could this be a case of the journey being just as exciting as the destination? Whatever, the brew as seen at the six minute and fifty second mark looks good enough to drink as is.

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The appreciation of latte art, it’s all a matter of taste

Tuesday, 26 May, 2015

Latte, or coffee art, is part of the latter day cafe experience. Even cappuccinos, that will be sprinkled with a concealing coat of chocolate, come off the coffee machine with a pour-crafted design in the froth.

But here’s a question, a rather pivotal question in-fact, does this artwork detract in anyway from the taste of the coffee? Matt Perger, writing for The Barista Hustle, sets out a procedure for finding out.

The three most common commandments of Latte Art are contrast, symmetry and central placement in the cup. This trio, by their nature, result in a bold ring of crema around the edges of the drink. Whether this ring is made of pure crema, brown coloured milk, or a mix of the two is up to your coffee and technique. What’s certain is that this ring is intensely flavoured and definitely impacts your perception of the drink.

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