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Sunday, 31 May 2015
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Hurricanes, and tropical cyclones more generally, are dangerous forces of nature that damage even the most well-developed societies. In the US, the devastation caused by hurricanes can last for years. When it comes to the conditions required for hurricanes to develop, some scientists are concerned that an increase in ocean warmth caused by climate change could have unforeseen consequences. But there has been debate over precisely what those consequences will be. Fewer or more hurricanes? Greater hurricane strength?
A team of scientists has performed a new exploration of the global tropical cyclone response to ocean warming. This study specifically examines the frequency, intensity, and activity of cyclones with a lifetime-maximum wind speed exceeding 17 m/s (about 37 mph—well below the 75 mph threshold for a category 1 hurricane).
The scientists analyzed the influence of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), which indicates naturally fluctuating ocean temperatures in the equatorial pacific (El Niño), as well as the overall sea surface temperature (SST), which indicates global ocean warmth. Overall, the global mean SST has increased by 0.3°C over the past 30 years.
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The fashion industry's greatest night will happen in a few hours. I was treated to an early preview of the Metropolian Museum of Art's costume institute exhibit that will be the star of the 2015 Met Gala. China: Through The Looking Glass was one of the most spectacular fashion exhibitions I have ever seen.
The morning started with remarks by Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute's curator and film director Wong Kar Wai, who also served as the exhibit's artistic director while reigning queen of Vogue Anna Wintour presided over the ceremony.
The displays were stunning. Many of the museum's antique archive pieces of Chinese garb were presented alongside contemporary couturier pieces that were clearly influenced by them. Groupings included looks that took traditional motifs and embroideries as its muse. There was a beautiful room of pottery inspired gowns.
"Through the looking glass" is actually a paraphrased translation of a Chinese idiom referring to the reflection of the moon. There was a room set up to look like a garden with a reflecting pool. The ceiling was a digitally animated moon progressing through its different phases while water droplets fell. The mirrored surface was the perfect stage to show all sides of the sculptured silhouettes of this gallery.
As a fashion fan, couture fan, Met museum fan, I loved this beautiful exhibit. However, as an Asian-American, I wondered where all the actual Chinese contributions were? Of course, director Wong Kar Wai's vision of the exhibit was tremendous and very heavily promoted. Within the exhibit itself, I found that 90% of the "fashion" looks were by Western designers. They were paired with Chinese antiques, but there was no discussion of how much China contributes to modern fashion. How many of the Western design labels who were celebrated here are produced in China.
Of course, no exhibition on Chinese designers could be without Vivienne Tam who is the most prominent brand to bridge traditional and modern pop culture with Chinese motifs. A few exceptions included amazing pieces by Guo Pei and Laurence Hu. Otherwise, there were endless looks from Yves Saint-Laurent, Givenchy and John Galliano for Dior. While I can't argue with the beauty of the gowns themselves, John Galliano lost his position at Dior for the embarrassment of his verbal attack of racist Asian slurs. Design notes from Yves Saint-Laurent demonstrated how the brand loved the exoticism of oppressed classes like coolie and slant-eyed sketches that would be very offensive today.
There was an entire gallery of how Yves-Saint Laurent's Opium brand influence spread the love of the Asian aesthetic and a small gallery of Paul Poiret using Orientalism as his trademark trend. The percentage of European and American designers appropriating Chinese culture was presented in a way that seemed to say that the Chinese culture was only validated as a design force only after Western designers chose to steal it. This seemed very much in line with Hollywood's prevalent "Great White Hope" approach to movies featuring any other ethnicity (think The Last Samurai).
Actress Gong Li, has also been heavily promoted in all the press releases leading up to tonight's Met Gala as co-host. No doubt there will be more Chinese nationals at this gala than ever before. However, how many Chinese guest has Anna Wintour invited before or will invite after this year?
Many of the most important designers of today's fashion scene are Chinese, like Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Philip Lim, Anna Sui. I saw a hat by Jason Wu, but otherwise, I did not see any other pieces representing these designers for today. How about the technology, the innovations, the current trends from Chinese designers that don't fall neatly into the cliche idea of "Chinoiserie"?
There was a gallery of Anna May Wong, one of the very few movie stars of any prominence from the early part of the 20th century. If one is looking for a gorgeous Asian Hollywood star to be inspired by, she would be the one. There was a costume worn by her and similar gown inspired by that era. While it looked beautiful, the thought that came to mind was how little progress we have seen for Asian actresses considering how many years have passed.
I'm looking forward to seeing the red carpet from tonight's Met Gala for China Through the Looking Glass. I'm hoping that there will be a contemporary representation of the history shown at the exhibit today. While artistic and fashionable, this exhibition was breathtaking, culturally, there is still a long journey ahead.
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In the story of the Marvel Universe superhero known as the Hulk, exposure to gamma radiation transforms scientist
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The jellyfish tank is the first environment I always run to when visiting an aquarium. I’m drawn to the luminous quality of the underwater creatures’ bodies, as well as their inclusion in a scene that appears to need no sources of artificial light. Glass artist Rick Satava was also captivated by these creatures in the late 80s, and after a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium he began to experiment with sculptures that mimicked the experience of a jellyfish’s elegant glide through the water.
Satava began selling these sculptures in 1990, and by 2002 he was crafting about 300 pieces of work a month. The bright jellyfishes he creates are suspended in the glass that surround them, yet each still appears as if their tentacles are rippling through the water. The glass blown approach works perfectly when translated to the round bell-like shape of the jellyfish’s body, as their natural appearance looks like brightly blown glass.
The California-based artist uses a technique in his sculptures called “glass-in-glass,” which consists of a glass sculpture being dipped into a second, molten glass layer. You can find Sativa’s sculptures within dozens of galleries nationally as well as a few locations internationally including Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. (via My Modern Met)
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When companies try to “build a better mousetrap,” the process can involve lots of internal studies and tests
The post MaterialsLab Improves How We Conduct Research On Earth and in Space has been published on Technology Org.
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Analysis of a widely-publicised Science paper has found evidence that the data used the in the research was faked (PDF).
The study, by researchers Michael J. LaCour and Donald P. Green, claimed that a short conversation with a gay canvasser could persuade people in favour of gay marriage, significantly more than a conversation with a straight canvasser. The paper reported that the effect was found to last in 3-week, 6-week, and 9-month follow-ups, and could be passed on to other people living in the same household.
While working to replicate and extend the original research, David Broockman and Joshua Kalla uncovered problems with the data used by LaCour and Green. They were initially surprised at how high the response and re-interview rates were in the original paper’s data, and launched a small test run of their planned extension study.
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The fashion design students were mentored by top designers in the industry, like Reem Acra for evening wear, Nicholas K, Tess Giberson and Victoria Bartlett. The graduates also had the opportunity to work with and win awards for Best Use of Color with magazine Siempre Mujer and designing with cotton with the Cotton Inc. Awarrd.
|Best looks from the Future of Fashion 2015|
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As part of an exhibition of new artworks at bitforms in New York, artist Daniel Rozin (previously) designed the PomPom Mirror. The device relies on motion sensors and 928 faux fur pom poms manipulated by 464 motors to create a mirror reflection of the viewer in real-time. The PomPom mirror is one in a long series of similar interactive installations that utilize motorized arrays of moving objects like wooden pegs, trash, or even folding fans, that generate moving silhouettes in response to movement. Descent With Modification at bitforms runs through July 1, 2015. (via Booooooom)
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Yesterday engineers at the Large Hadron Collider successfully collided several tightly packed bunches of particles at 13 trillion electronvolts.
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Saturday, 30 May 2015
Ellie Davies' studio is the forest, creating magical, fairytale-like stills throughout the UK. Davies has been exploring this terrain for the past seven years, attempting to uncover the complex interrelationships between landscape and the individual.
Davies creates both temporary and non-invasive interventions within each forested scene. By incorporating pools of light, smoke, and craft materials she places the viewer in the liminal space between reality and fantasy, a re-exploration of the natural world around us. In her series Stars, the artist overlays her own photography with stars plucked from imagery taken by the Hubble space telescope. These mystical images are created in order to encourage pause, and provoke thoughts about how landscapes influences our identity.
Davies lives in London and received her MA in Photography from London College of Communications in 2008. She is represented by several international galleries including A.Galerie in Paris, Crane Kalman Brighton, Sophie Maree Gallery in The Netherlands, Brucie Collections in Kiev, and Art Gemini, Singapore. Recently Crane Kalman Gallery Brighton took her work to the Photo London Art Fair at Somerset House from May 21st through 24th, 2015. (via Kateoplis, My Modern Met)
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I've been busy designing for a gap I found in the market place. There doesn't seem to be much for IT Project Teams so I've been busy with nameplates like this one for systems analysts.
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While visiting the island nation of Palau earlier this month, a diver shot this impressive footage while snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake, a small body of water inhabited with an estimated 13 million golden jellyfish. Every morning the entire jellyfish population migrates from the east side of the lake to the west side, and then back again in the afternoon, causing a near constant flurry of activity as seen in the video. Unlike most jellyfish, this particular species has such a mild, almost undetectable sting that it can’t be felt on human skin, making it possible to swim through the school without being harmed. You can read a bit more about them in this fact sheet (PDF). (via Reddit)
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Friday, 29 May 2015
Javier de Riba spray paints abandoned buildings, but not in the way you might imagine. Instead of working on the interior or exterior walls of the buildings he finds, de Riba spray paints the floors, mapping out bright geometric patterns both large and small. The patterns de Riba creates look exactly like tiled floors, making it seem like an element of the building’s past has been elegantly restored.
Like a screen printer, de Riba works layer by layer, first painting the entirety of the space he plans to cover, then working one colored stencil at a time to build up the tile-like effect. The end result is a trick to the eyes both with materials and placement, one never expecting that spray paint formed the intricate patterns on the dusty floors.
The artist and creative designer was born in Barcelona and has worked as an art director in various agencies and studios. His current job is at Reskate Arts & Crafts Collective, a company that develops graphics and communication projects with a focus on sustainability and humane treatment. (via Junk Culture)
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There are many hazards out there, eager to disrupt and dismantle the mighty machines we send out into
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Louise Zhang's Slosh Samples look like floating paintings, three-dimensional depictions of 2D abstract work. The bottles contain brightly colored fluids that separate and congeal, containing everything from polymer clay to flubber. At first one is delighted by the bubblegum colors that fill the vessels, yet after a quick inspection the grotesque nature of what lurks inside is easily revealed.
Both Zhang’s sculptures and paintings happily represent blob-like forms and revolting textures. The work seems excited to repel its audience after it has seduced them with its saturated neon hues, a palette that could be described as cute or playful. Zhang’s website compares her playful works to childhood cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants or Ren and Stimpy—television shows that invite our minds to interact with slime, slop, and snot.
Zhang is a Sydney-based artist currently working on her MFA at UNSW Art & Design and partaking in a residency with Throwdown Press. The artist’s first solo exhibition Plomp was held at Artereal Gallery in 2014. Zhang has described her work as “evocative of confectionery—the gooey, the sticky, and the sensation of sweets melting,” which brings to mind the sweet and sugary installations of Pip & Pop. (via Zannaka)
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