Love fauna? Love the Force? Well, prepare to feel more than a disturbance in it: Animals with Lightsabers photoshops blazing plasma swords into the paws of what are, arguably, already pretty well defended creatures. The result, thus, gives them an even more deadly edge. Ever seen a curious dog yelp after a cat or some other smaller animal scratches his nose? Here’s betting that this Black Lab, above, doesn’t have a clue what’s coming next.
Though I’ve never ridden the London Tube, I ride the New York City subway system all the time. So, this graphic by Samuel Arbesman, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard studying computational sociology, hit me like a little blitz of genius.
an attempt to approach our galaxy with a bit more familiarity than usual and get people thinking about long-term possibilities in outer space. Hopefully it can provide as a useful shorthand for our place in the Milky Way, the ‘important’ sights, and make inconceivable distances a bit less daunting. And while convenient interstellar travel is nothing more than a murky dream, and might always be that way, there is power in creating tools for beginning to wrap our minds around the interconnections of our galactic neighborhood.
Since you’re looking, the red arm, in the Orion belt, pictures Sol, the scientific name of our own star, the Sun. Heading left, the Orion Nebula is the next stop, 1,344 light years away. In other words, traveling 186,282 miles a second, it would take you over 1300 years to get there. Better pack a lunch.
Artist Jennifer Maestre makes profound, polychromatic, biomorphic sculptures from colored pencils, like Aurora, above. As she explains on her web site, to fashion her art,
I take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpen them all and sew them together.
The resulting shapes
were originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin. The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion. The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences.
That’s “The DoChoDo Zoological Island,” above, a fantastic rendering of an environmentally neutral structure, designed by Brussels-based JDS/Julien De Smedt Architects, from the retrospective of their work, Agenda.
But it’s the Weebee that got him into author Mimi Zeiger‘s Tiny Houses. In it, Zeiger documents what appears to be a burgeoning movement, seemingly driven toward answering one poignant question: What is the absolute least amount of space that I need to take up in order to live, and by which I can meaningfully reduce my burden on the planet?
With the opposing, little-lamented “McMansion” boom now made disgustingly quaint by the housing crisis and collapse, “the desire to downsize and be more ecologically and economically prudent is a concept many are beginning to embrace,” says her book’s web page.
Tiny Houses, thus, runs whole hog with this notion, featuring modular as well as prefab homes all the way from a relatively palatial 1187 sq. ft….down to a sliver of 10, though most would agree that her Casulo “house” really stretches the limits of that word.
However, Zeiger’s point is not only to present compelling design, but to have
people challenge themselves to live “greener” lives. By using a thoughtful application of green living principles, renewable resources for construction, and clever ingenuity, these homes exemplify sustainable living at its best.
Mimi Zeiger is the guest today on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, April 25, at 2 pm ET.
You can hear her ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.
According to the Associated Press, Houston TX is being overrun by a tenacious breed of ant that, among other talents, ruins electrical equipment.
The hairy, reddish-brown creatures are known as “crazy rasberry ants” — crazy, because they wander erratically instead of marching in regimented lines, and “rasberry” after Tom Rasberry [right], an exterminator who did battle against them early on.
“They’re itty-bitty things about the size of fleas, and they’re just running everywhere,” said Patsy Morphew of Pearland, who is constantly sweeping them off her patio and scooping them out of her pool by the cupful. “There’s just thousands and thousands of them. If you’ve seen a car racing, that’s how they are. They’re going fast, fast, fast. They’re crazy.”