Made by Cy Kuckenbaker
Made by Cy Kuckenbaker
Have you always wanted to experience poverty, but never felt like going through the hassle of interacting with an actual poor person? Emoya Luxury Hotel in South Africa offers vacationers an empathy-free way to experience an “authentic” life of hardship – if your definition of hardship includes free WiFi. According to the site:
A Shanty usually consists of old corrugated iron sheets or any other waterproof material which is constructed in such a way to form a small “house” or shelter where they make a normal living. A paraffin lamp, candles, a battery operated radio, an outside toilet (also referred to as a long drop) and a drum where they make fire for cooking is normally part of this lifestyle.
Just like stamp collecting or golf, grinding, abject poverty with limited access to electricity and sanitation is a ‘lifestyle’ to which anyone can aspire. Hold your next corporate retreat in this ersatz slum and wonder with your colleagues why poor people are always so miserable if they’ve got under-floor heating and optional breakfast.
Recently, a number of talented artists have put their Photoshop skills to use adding color to many famous historical photographs. From Charles Darwin to World War II, there is a whole thread on Reddit now dedicated to expanding our perception of history by adding color to it. Despite widespread press coverage of this new phenomenon, one question has not been asked yet: Are these colorized photographs still real? Are they still photographs?
Image via Mads Madsen
An astounding tangle of multi-colored water flowing throughout 18 arteries represents what happens every day in the pulsating heart of Tokyo. This is how Takatsugu Kuriyama, from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, creates a 3D map of the subway system of the Japanese capital, visualizing the city as a creature.
Because date rape drugs are odorless, colorless and tasteless, victims don’t normally realize they’ve been attacked until it’s too late. In a clever, necessary bit of information decoration, the founders of DrinkSavvy are working to invent disposable cups, straws and stirrers that change color in the present of date rape drugs.
DrinkSavvy’s products detect the common drugs GHB, rohypnol and ketamine, acting as discrete chemistry kits during a night out drinking. Though it’s a sad commentary on the world that this technology is even needed, anything that prevents rape should be put into widespread use. If Drinksavvy holds up in real-life scenarios, there’s no reason their goods shouldn’t become standard at clubs and bars.
What would the world look like if Wi-Fi waves were visible? American artist Nickolay Lamm gives us the answer by visualizing an idealized map of Wi-Fi data transmission over Washington, DC.
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For smartphone bird watchers. Peculiar image of the week. Via Nerdsraging.com.
Floris Kaayk is an innovative and visionary Dutch artist and filmmaker who focuses on futuristic visions, fantasies and concepts. His work visualizes technological progress, showing both positive and negative consequences. Read more »
These trails you see are not airplane contrails in the next natural sky. This peculiar image, taken with a slow exposure, shows seagulls flying in the sky over Rome.
Via NBC News
The News Machine is a contraption that explains the news distortion that happens when a message is broadcast through different media. The starting point is a tweet sent from a tablet, then the 140 character sentence is echoed through different media filters and into print. The transmission alters the original tweet slightly through slight mistranslations between the filters. The final result is a twisted version of the original source.
What would a caveman make of this optical illusion? He might simply conclude we are living in a Society of Simulations. Peculiar image of the week.
Dave Lee, a technology reporter at BBC News, experimented with hiring a women for $5 in order to get the coveted Facebook status: ‘In a relationship with’. “Sophia” – not her real name – offers her services as a make-believe girlfriend through the website Fiverr. According to Lee, many men hire fake girlfriends to look better on social networking sites or to make their exes jealous. Though Sophia was not real, for a few days she was “real” to Lee’s friends and acquaintances on Facebook.
Over at the New York Times, a recent article exposes the clever and surprisingly immoral ways the food industry manufactures foods to rival hard drugs for their addictive potential. Well worth the read, the article discusses “designer sodium”, the genesis of the ideal kid’s lunch, and the search for the morphine-like “bliss point” in soda. One scientist’s description of Cheetos, in particular, highlighted the extraordinary detail that goes into what we see as a normal, familiar food:
“This,” Witherly said, “is one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet, in terms of pure pleasure.” He ticked off a dozen attributes of the Cheetos that make the brain say more. But the one he focused on most was the puff’s uncanny ability to melt in the mouth. “It’s called vanishing caloric density,” Witherly said. “If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there’s no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever.”
Nearly all widely available foods, from Cutie clementines to the dozens of Pringles flavors, have been exquisitely manufactured to appeal to our primal need for salt, fat and sugar, and for our just-as-ancient yearning to get the most calories for the least amount of labor. We’re all hungry and lazy. Anyone looking to introduce new and untested food – in-vitro meat, for instance – would do well to remember that food science has already perfected the art of hooking consumers on whatever they care to feed us.
Photo via Flickr user Bunches and Bits.
Now that our cooler friends can Instagram, tweet, and FourSquare the heck out of every underground concert and speakeasy cocktail, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has become a persistent problem for the less-hip. But there’s hope for those who would rather spend their Saturday nights watching re-runs of Downton Abbey than heading downtown to the newest brewpub.
The new application CouchCachet promises to give you the fully-booked, in-the-know life you so desperately wish to present. The app is a full-service social booster: Not only does it check you in to the trendiest places in your neighborhood, it also periodically tweets obscure lyrics and photos of hipsters in skinny jeans. As one of the quotes from the site says: “I can finally be who I want you to think I am”. And what you are, along with the rest of the internet, is mostly an algorithm.
Via the New York Times.
Virtual for real. Thanks to artist Jason Freeny we can now study the full anatomical model of the legendary comical species Mus Mickylus. Thanks Ronald.
Will this one day be public disease number one? For now, it’s our peculiar image of the week. Thanks Frits.
Sure, there’s a pill to make your sweat smell like roses, but what about a pill that makes your poop look sparkly? Part of a high/low culture collaboration with Tobias Wong and Ken Courtney, Gold Pills are a $425 indulgence that promise to fleck your doo with bits of 24K gold. First exhibited in 246 and Counting at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, these pills are now available in an unlimited edition from the CITIZEN online store.
Why does your food look different in advertising than it does in the store? A Canadian McDonald’s marketing manager tries to answer this common question with a behind-the-scenes videos, providing insight into the fastfood behemoth’s ”photo-kitchen”.