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1957’s ‘House of the Future’—according to Monsanto and Disney
02:16 pm



Photo: Ralph Crane, LIFE Magazine
From 1957 to 1967, in Anaheim’s Disneyland, there existed the “House of the Future,” a creation of the plastics division of Monsanto, in order to demonstrate the wondrous uses to which plastic would be put in the decades to come. Today the house seems like a relic, a path not taken, much like Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 concept that was unveiled at the Montreal Expo in 1967.

Monsanto’s house was also called the “Plastic Mushroom,”  owing to its design, it seems, which required that four wings flare out from a concrete stump in the center. (As with The Jetsons or Star Wars, gee-whiz futurism apparently resides in buildings being perched on top of other things.)

The Monsanto domicile was featured in a November 11, 1957 story in LIFE about “New Shapes for Shelter” in which the following description appeared.

“Plastic Mushroom,” Monsanto Chemical Co.‘s experimental house, consists of only 20 molded pieces. Whole house rests on a 16-foot-square block of concrete. The four wings are cantilevered from utility core in center. Floors and ceilings are foot thick, of rigid urethane foam set between reinforced plastic panels. The 1,300-square-foot house has two bedrooms, living room, family room, kitchen and two baths. All fixtures, like bathtub and sinks, are molded plastic.

After the “House of the Future” was torn down in 1967, Disneyland visitors were deprived of the chance to tour it for themselves—until now! The Disney History Institute (not affiliated with Disney) recently posted a “Virtual 360° Flythrough” on YouTube that will allow you to take a tour of the premises. After you hit play, you have the option of grabbing the frame and swiveling your point of view around so you can see everything in the home. It’s best if you keep the point of view directed at the direction you’re moving, most of the time.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Artist carves pearls into teeny-tiny skull jewelry
12:52 pm



Normally I’m not a fan of skull jewelry designs, but these intricately carved pearl skulls are really, really well done. Tokyo-based jewelry designer, Shinji Nakaba, creates these delicate-looking skull rings and skull brooches.

I’d love to see an entire skull pearl necklace by Nakaba, but sadly I didn’t see one on his website. Hopefully he sees this and considers making one. Now that would be a statement necklace! Exquisite stuff, but since no prices are listed, I’m assuming the prices must be astronomical.




More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Are you cucumber or a carrot? Wrap your meat in fruit and veg for the optimum fitting condom!
11:43 am



In a triumph of design, Guan-Hao Pan, a student at the National Taipei University of Technology has created this adorable (and functional!) condom series using fruits and vegetables for sizing models. Love Guide Condoms gives you five options, from biggest to smallest you have cucumber, carrot, banana, turnip and zucchini. Obviously fruits and vegetables aren’t standardized, but it’s not a bad system to measure your meat. The nutritious theme of these rubbers is based off the Chinese proverb, “hunger and lust are only natural,” and yes they’re as “green” (yuk yuk) as possible, with biodegradable packaging, as opposed to the non-biodegradable foil that’s used most commonly.

The array of sizes is intended to help men choose a correctly-fitted condom, as incorrect sizing can actually result in breakage or slippage (no word on how you will prevent men from vanity sizing). Also, the condoms are placed over a tiny nub in the package, so that the user will be less likely to put it on inside out (big no-no, can also cause breakage), and so that removing them requires the pinching on the reservoir tip (something you should always do)!


More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Cradle yourself in retro-futurist comfort: Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chair
09:15 am



It’s what the 2060s looked like in the 1960s.

Ever since the Ball Chair (sometimes called the Globe Chair)  was first created in 1963 by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio, it’s been a standard set-design to indicate “high-tech” or “the future.”. It’s been used in such iconic works as The Prisoner television show and the 1996 Tim Burton film Mars Attacks!

Somehow, the spherical shape suggests a futuristic quality that can’t be matched by more conventional, angular furnishings. But according to Aarnio, he actually designed the chair for his own home:

The idea of the chair was very obvious. We had moved to our first home and I had started my free-lance career in 1962.

We had a home but no proper big chair, so I decided to make one, but some way a really new one. After some drawing I noticed that the shape of the chair had become so simple that it was merely a ball. I pinned the full scale drawing on the wall and sat in the chair to see how my head would move when sitting inside it. Being the taller one of us I sat in the chair and my wife drew the course of my head on the wall. This is how I determined the height of the chair. Since I aimed at a ball shape, the other lines were easy to draw, just remembering that the chair would have to fit through a doorway.

After this I made the first prototype myself using an inside mould, which has been made using the same principle as a glider fuselage or wing. I covered the plywood body mould with wet paper and laminated the surface with fiberglass, rubbed down the outside, removed the mould from inside, had it upholstered and added the leg. In the end I installed the red telephone on the inside wall of the chair. The naming part of the chair was easy, the BALL CHAIR was born.

Of course, anyone who knows the truth about this spherical, hollowed-out chair understands that it exists primarily as a backdrop for photographing models. Someone figured out long ago that a beautiful model sitting in a Ball Chair is a thing of future-mod perfection. Somehow, it just always seems to work. Here are a few examples of that retro-futurist perfection captured by the lens:



More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Male ‘manikins’ so realistic you might not need a ‘real’ man again
09:59 am



Male “manikin” (hat and cheap vodka not included)
So-Cal company Sinthetics are the folks responsible for these fully articulated, anatomically correct sculpted “manikins” (a word the company coined themselves) that are so lifelike, that they may make you may swear off the boring, old real thing.
Mr. William manikin with guitar
“Mr. William manikin” in a sensitive moment
Prices start at $5,900 for Sinthetics’ male dolls which includes a complimentary “gel buttocks upgrade.” And it is the upgrades that Sinthetics offers that make their individually hand-made manikins truly one-of-a-kind. Here’s a price list of some of my favorites:

Freckles: start at $50 and go up depending on placement, density and amount

Tan Lines: $250 for bottoms-only and $500 for the top. Any style you would like!

Custom teeth (!), labia or nipples all start at $150

Custom Eyes: start at $300 and are done by Sinthetics own “professional” eye maker. Animal and monster eyes are also available (Squeee!)

Extra penises (for the male dolls) are $99 and up depending on the upgrade

Thigh Modifications: $150 - $350 depending on which option is selected

Sinthetics also makes female manikins with customizable “honey pots” (which Sinthetics will happily replace for FREE every 13 months, yipee!) as well as a synthetic penis (which according to Sinthetics’ site are mostly cast from actual penises) that is so REAL looking, you might want to replace your own saggy, worn out one with Sinthetics six-incher. More slightly NSFW photos of Sinthetics lifelike manikins follow.

“Gabriel” manikin with blonde wig and 80s party attire


“Gabriel” manikin with dark hair and a “friend”
More ‘manikins’ after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Barbie Swiss Army knife
11:09 am



American parents have become increasingly nervous about sharp objects over the generations, and I think it’s time the culture eased up a bit. I’m not saying toddlers should be wielding machetes (although that is totally a thing in quite a few cultures), but a simple pocket knife was a pretty significant part of my own childhood (even if its actual use was limited to absentmindedly whittling sticks to points). At the same time, there are aspects of more traditionally “girly” toys that I think are great too, so why not combine them in one handy-dandy multi-tool/toy? Behold, the DIY Barbie Swiss Army knife, brought to you by Instructables user Mikeasaurus, who says of his unholy union:

Empower young girls to expand their horizons beyond playing with stereotypical gender reinforcing toys by combining a everyone’s favourite pink girl-centric doll with something a little stabby.

A multi-tool is hidden inside the torso of the Barbie, where the blades can be pulled out from a slit in her side. The body also separates at the waist to reveal a screwdriver hidden in the legs. The two halves of this doll are connected by magnets, so she holds together when fully assembled. Barbie never looked so good!

I doubt these are actually particularly safe for kids—a knife mounted in a doll’s abdomen is probably a bit less stable (and therefore more dangerous) than the knife alone, but it’s so darn cute and creepy, I may just have to make one to keep in my purse. You know… for protection.

Via Instructables

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
You can’t have sci-fi movies without corridors, lots and lots of corridors
01:42 pm



Dune, 1984
Who hasn’t had the experience of chancing upon an unexpectedly empty passageway in a subway station or an airport and thinking, “Maaaan, they should really use this place for a sci-fi movie!”

I’ll bet you that Serafín Álvarez has experienced that feeling. He’s been running his blog Sci-Fi Corridor Archive since 2012, and in that time he has posted pictures of notable and not-so-notable corridors from a whopping 192 science fiction movies spanning the entire history of sound-enabled cinema (the earliest movie in the set is Yakov Protazanov’s Aelita, from 1924).

There really is something about corridors that seems to describe sci-fi in a way that wouldn’t be true of, say, westerns, gangster movies, gladiator movies, musicals, pirate epics, and hard-boiled crime flicks. Indeed, the image of a hermetically sealed passageway that clearly connects two other chambers floating precariously in space is very close to the heart of the sci-fi that we all know and love. 

In fact, I would argue that the witty 1999 classic Galaxy Quest was more or less commenting on this fact, seeing as how a good portion the scenes you probably remember best seem to take place in anonymous hallways.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, 1977

2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968

Alien, 1979

Flash Gordon, 1980

Solaris, 1972

Tron, 1982
Tons more excellent sci-fi corridors after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Antisocial skate decks fit for the coming apocalypse
10:33 am



Black Metal Chicks skate deck series
“Black Metal Chicks” skate decks (art by Ben Horton)
Pro skateboarders Jon Allie, Jon Goemann, Matt Mumford and Anthony Schultz are a few of the masterminds behind a series of skateboard decks decorated with in-your-face dystopian commentary and images. And I can’t get enough of them.
Antisocial skate decks
Working with Slave Skateboards (styled as $LAVE, a division of Black Box Distribution), each of the pro skaters contributed designs, to different collections over the last few years, and they are really something to behold in all their antisocial glory. In an interview with Thrasher Magazine back in 2010, Allie was asked about his widely perceived “negativity” and had this to say in response:

Yeah. I get that, but I guess I’m too straightforward. There was a time when 
I was probably a little too negative, but that was when I was younger. Fuck. I’m tough on myself, too. The negative comes out and I probably look like I’m being too negative. I have a really dry sense of humor. I laugh. All my friends know. But people who don’t know me are probably thinking, “What the fuck’s wrong with this guy?

Looking at the decks that follow, it’s not hard to conceive that a bit of negative energy was expressed during the creative process. But that is what makes them so fucking great. So strap on your helmet, it’s going to be a bumpy, slightly NSFW, ride.
Pet Peeve skate deck series
“Pet Peeve” skate deck series (art by Ben Horton)
End of the World skate deck
“End of the World” skate deck
Warmonger skate deck
“Warmonger” skate deck (featuring the infamous mug of Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld)
Sharing is Caring skate deck (From the
“Sharing is Caring” skate deck (from the “Helping Hand” series)
Always try to make new friends skate deck (from the
“Always try to make new friends” skate deck (from the “Helping Hand” series)
If you can't Beat them Join Them skate deck (From the
“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” skate deck (from the “Helping Hand” series)
A Good Citizen pays his debts skate deck (from the
“A Good Citizen pays his debts” skate deck (from the “Helping Hand” series)
Works well with others skate deck (from the
“Works well with others” skate deck (from the “Helping Hand” series)



Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The Pantone Cafe, for the designer dork inside us all
02:23 pm



A café that organizes its offerings according to the Pantone color?  Yeah, it does seem like Monaco would be the kind of place where that could happen.

The Grimaldi Forum is a conference and congress center on Larvotto, the beach that dominates the northern section of Monaco.

On its website there is an oddly incomplete message that runs as follows: “Pantone Café, pour en voir de toutes les couleurs! C’est le bar de l’été au Grimaldi Forum… Venez vous rafraichir sous la pergola extérieure ou sous la grande verrière!”

Which more or less means: “Pantone Café, so you can see all the colors! This is the bar of the summer at the Grimaldi Forum ... Come refresh yourself in the outdoor pergola or under the glass roof!”

If you’re in Europe, hop on your #14-4809 Vespa and ride on over there for a delicious Tomato Red Mozza White #18-1660 sandwich or a Vibrant Orange #16-1364 juice!








via Internet Magic.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Wanna geek out over badass experimental color vinyl? We found the Instagram you’ve been waiting for
10:48 am



So I have this friend, Heather Gmucs. Heather’s an extremely cool lady with an extremely cool job—since 2010, she’s run the presses at Cleveland, OH’s Gotta Groove Records, the record pressing plant near where I live. Somehow, and thank the gods for it, despite Record Store Day’s semi-annual pigpile of fake collectibles keeping pressers nationwide really damn busy all the time, she still manages to allot the time and resources to experiment, explore new techniques, play around with color, and generally just figure out what it’s possible to do with pressed vinyl as a visual medium. She often posts her successes on her Facebook page, and I always look forward to seeing her work whenever she has something new to show off. She does some utterly, brainfuckingly wonderful stuff.

Heather, who served in the oughts as the bassist for the excellent band HotChaCha and currently plays in the also quite superb Goldmines, will tell you she’s not an artist, and with the utmost respect, I couldn’t disagree more. And indeed, in a perplexing but happy defiance of her own denial of artistry, she and her co-worker/protégé Sarah Barker have begun an Instagram called “Wax Mage,” devoted to their custom color vinyl experiments. The pair intends to soon establish Wax Mage as a boutique label dedicated to custom color pressings of curated V/A compilations, and to the sale of some of their exploratory test pressings as art objects—consider me first in line, bug-eyed, manically waving a wad of cash around when this happens. The vinyl renaissance of the last several years has been accompanied by a wider investigation into the creative use of the record press itself, and if you’ll forgive me for seeming biased in favor of a pal, Gmucs and Barker are doing some of the coolest work I’ve seen.

Heather was kind enough to take time out of her day to talk with DM about her work:

Dangerous Minds: You had a manufacturing background before Gotta Groove? I dimly remember at practice you mentioning factory work. (Disclosure: Heather and I played in a band together for ten weeks in 2008, which is a long story in itself.)

Gmucs: Yes. I’ve always done warehousing and manufacturing. When I found out that HotChaCha had their first record pressed in Cleveland, I just HAD to see the operation, I knew I had to work for GGR. Like I didn’t have a choice. They weren’t hiring so I lined up a “tour” of the factory and walked in with my resumé.

DM: Nice! So the record pressing industry is busy as hell lately. How do you even find the time to do so many experiments with color?

Gmucs: Vince Slusarz, the owner, is probably the coolest guy I know. He encourages it. Whenever we create a new cost effective/repeatable design he tries to sell them. The whack shit we’re doing now has been built on those early experiments, learning to do splatter and 1/2 ‘n 1/2 records in the early days. Those are like an industry standard, we want to set ourselves apart from the normal wax.

DM: Yeah, I have some splatter vinyl from the 80s, I know that pre-existed. But what you’re on about is totally different. I kind of had a light bulb moment when I got that incredible looking Unconscious Collective album and assumed you made it, and you told me you didn’t—I realized that you’re a part of something that’s happening all over your industry, now that plants are revving up again and there are younger techs doing that work, there are lots of new techniques that seem to be happening. But I wonder—since the technology of physically stamping out records one at a time hasn’t changed at all, why do you think that kind of experimenting you’re doing didn’t happen in the psych era? Seems like that would have been the natural time for all the crazy experiments to happen in vinyl! What’s different about today that it’s happening now as opposed to then?

Gmucs: Honestly, I think we’ve come from a digital era where nothing seems really tangible anymore. We are experiencing massive amounts of life from all over the world and never leaving our houses. That information and imagery is filling our brains but we still have nothing to hold. I think thats one solid reason for the comeback of the vinyl industry in general, but also a comeback for the artist, musician, and record buyer. It’s something to hold, to see, to hear. As a press technician putting out 5000 records a day I get a lot of crazy ‘what if’ thoughts—I still want to try to press a slice of Spam and eat it for lunch—what if I mix this color and that color, what if I don’t heat this material at all, what if I could make this record a different color on each side… No one at GGR has ever done anything like this before so I think that’s why Vince wants to push the limits. Record labels are asking the plants if they can do certain things with vinyl, I think that’s how it started really, with the labels wanting certain designs/colors and plants are responding to that.

DM: Does some of it have to do with the quality of colored vinyl itself improving? I remember in the past it was always a truism that black was the high mark for sound quality, and you took your chances with color. But now color seems like half of what I can buy, it’s everywhere, and people are seeking out the most insane-looking stuff.

Gmucs: I think that back then it was more of a commodity and treated as such, like an assembly line, MAKE AS MANY WIDGETS AS YOU CAN AS FAST AS YOU CAN! I do think though that, chemically, the color formulas are better, allowing for better flow in the plates which equals better sound quality in the end product. The materials are still quite different from one another though, and it requires a lot of know-how to make them sound good together.

DM: I see, thus the need to make time for all the experimenting.

Gmucs: Yes, and what’s been happening lately is that people are requesting me to press for them and requesting a handful of whatever I come up with. That’s what really is allowing the experiments.

DM: Do you have a single favorite experimental color record you’ve ever pressed?

Gmucs: Yes, I have a fave. I can’t recreate it either, I’ve been trying for over a year. I made it for the band Mr. Gnome. I know exactly how I did it, but can’t make that design happen again like that.

Um, hell yeah, if that was reproducible I’d probably request that, myself.

If you should happen to be getting records pressed at Gotta Groove, it’s possible to request that Heather or Sarah press your run and see what you get. It could very well be something like the following:

More wild-ass colorful vinyl after the jump…...

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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