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Citroëns make great hovercrafts
07.07.2014
08:08 am

Topics:
Art
Science/Tech

Tags:
Photoshop
Citroën

Citroën hovercraft
 
When I think of Citroëns, I think of the vaguely-VW-bug-like 2CV model, known in France as the “deux chevaux.” (It looks like this.) But just like Volkswagen, naturally Citroën has all sorts of models in their stable, and a few of the older models are quite sporty, lending themselves perfectly to Swedish artist Jacob Munkhammar‘s Photoshopped experiments in retro-futurism. He took a bunch of handsome photos of Citroëns and turned them into gee-whiz flying automobiles of the most adorable type.

The most poignant nostalgia is for a future that never was or will be, as these amusing photos definitely prove.
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
Citroën hovercraft
 
via Fubiz
 
Thanks Alex Belth!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Descendents of Milo: Make your own Milo with the Milogenerator app!
07.02.2014
07:37 am

Topics:
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:
Descendents

Milogenerator
 
Milo Goes to College by the Descendents is surely one of the most accessible and enduring albums to come out of the SoCal punk scene in the early 1980s. I was talking about this album just the other day—my idea was that a punk guy going to college was unusual enough to get your attention in 1982, but the contradiction wouldn’t hold today.
 
Milo Goes to College
 
The cover was a big part of the album’s magical appeal, coming complete with a cartoon mascot that could be endlessly messed with. In effect, “Milo” was the Descendents’ “Boognish” many years before Ween invented him, or perhaps their “Eddie” of Iron Maiden fame. Recognizing that “Milo” had for all intents and purposes become their logo, The Descendents used him again for the cover of their 1996 album Everything Sucks, in which Milo is reading a newspaper with the album title written on it.

We’ve all seen variations of the album cover—Milo as Dwight Schrute from The Office and Milo as Heisenberg from Breaking Bad are two that immediately come to mind. But now you can do it yourself, courtesy of the Milogenerator app on the iTunes store. Created by Marco Mantegazza, it lets you adjust Milo’s hair, eyes, face, and body to come up with dozens of generations.
 
Milogenerator
 
Here are a few examples of the app’s handiwork:
 
Milogenerator
 
Milogenerator
 
Here’s a pretty muddy clip of Descendents playing four songs in the early 1980s, including the last two tracks off Milo Goes to College.
 

 
via Noisey

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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CIA facial recognition software identifies pic of ‘unknown woman’ as Francis Bacon in drag
06.19.2014
08:47 am

Topics:
Art
Queer
Science/Tech

Tags:
Francis Bacon
John Deakin

Francis Bacon?
“Unknown woman, 1930s” (detail)—is this Francis Bacon in drag?
 
In April of this year, the British newspaper The Guardian ran a gallery of photos by John Deakin, a well-known British photographer from the postwar era who was part of the Soho circle of artists and writers centered around the Colony Room, a private drinking club, that included Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and J.P. Donleavy. Deakin worked on and off for Vogue, but his alcoholism and tempestuous personality ruled out sustained employment. Deakin had aspirations to be a painter, like Freud and Bacon, but his most resonant work came as a photographer; he died in near-obscurity in 1972, but his reputation has blossomed since then. The Guardian ran the gallery as a tie-in to a retrospective of Deakin’s work, “John Deakin and the Lure of Soho,” at the Photographers’ Gallery in London that will be on through July 20.
 
John Deakin
“Unknown woman, 1930s”
 
The final picture of the Guardian’s gallery of 12 pictures was titled “Unknown woman, 1930s.” Commenter bullshotcrummond pointed out that a press release had identified the image as “Transvestite, 1950s.” In response, another commenter, congokid, replied, “Or is it Bacon in drag?” At this point, Paul Rousseau, collection manager of the John Deakin Archive, decided to give the image a second look. He quickly determined that congokid’s remark might have merit. “I’d never considered it before, annoyingly,” he said.

As The Guardian reported:
 

Searching through the archive, he was able to establish that the photo was one of a set dated 1945 (making them some of the oldest in the Deakin collection), possibly taken for Lilliput magazine, a publication with a reputation for risque photography. There were 15 images in all, and Rousseau immediately set about establishing who the models might be. “I quickly landed on his closest friends Denis Wirth-Miller and Richard (Dickie) Chopping. Denis was a painter and Dickie was semi-famous for designing the original dustjackets for the James Bond books.”

“Dickie was known to love dragging up; he was dame every year at the RCA when he became a lecturer there in 1962. And there are many references to Bacon’s interest in drag, his wearing of women’s knickers and stockings.”

Using facial recognition software developed by the CIA, Rousseau produced videos which show that the similarity between Deakin’s cross-dressing sitters and these men is, if not conclusive, then certainly startling.

 
The question of the identity of the photograph’s subject touches on issues of taboo and criminality of the era. Before the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which decriminalized homosexuality in the UK, pictures of men in drag were used in prosecutions against gay men. As a results, Deakin’s vague labeling of the photo and the fact that he never published the photo in his lifetime may relate to the important ramifications that distributing it might have incurred. As the Guardian notes, “By never publishing the photos, Deakin may have posthumously undermined his reputation as the nastiest man in Soho.”
 
Francis Bacon
 
The similarity in the facial structure is compelling, to be sure, but there is a picture of a bare-chested Bacon dating from 1952 in the same Guardian gallery in which “Unknown woman, 1930s” appears. In that picture, he looks, to my eye, a good deal younger than the person in the “drag” picture, which Rousseau has dated as 1945.

There is also the question the Guardian brings up, namely that of “cleavage”:
 

While the face is very much like Bacon’s and the mole on the model’s chest closely matches that which can be seen in the famous picture of Bacon holding two sides of meat, it is impossible to ignore the substantial cleavage.”

“Deakin was known to fiddle about with photos using basic overpainting techniques,” says Rousseau. “Or did Bacon learn to manipulate his ‘moobs’ like that from his years in Weimar Berlin?”

 
Francis Bacon
 
Here are four brief videos by YouTube user jerseyrousseau, who is presumably Paul Rousseau, comparing “Unknown Woman, 1930” to various photographs of Bacon.
 

 
More videos after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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The Orgasmatron is here at last! Chinese hospitals install hands-free sperm extractors
06.19.2014
06:00 am

Topics:
Science/Tech
Sex

Tags:
China
Orgasmatron


 
The Orgasmatron was a device in Woody Allen’s classic comedy Sleeper. It was a cabinet one (or two) could enter to induce instant orgasm, a necessity in the film’s fictional future were everyone is impotent or frigid, except Italians. And, like videophones and space travel before it, this sci-fi conceit seems to be coming (sorry, I had to) closer and closer to reality as technology marches on! Well, for men, at least.

Via ScienceDump:

Chinese hospitals are introducing a new machine which can extract sperm for donors.

According to China’s Weibo social platform the automatic sperm extractors are being introduced in a Nanjing hospital, capital of Jiangsu province.

The pink, grey and white machine has a massage pipe at the front which apparently can be adjusted according to the height of its user.

Kissless creepers with more money than allure will surely be having this technology installed in their harem of RealDolls by the time I’m done typing this sentence.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Scientific American explains jerking off

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Spurious Correlations between Nicolas Cage movies and swimming pool drownings & other weird data
05.23.2014
08:34 am

Topics:
Amusing
Science/Tech

Tags:
Tyler Vigen


 
If you like to impress friends with facts, figures and spurious correlations between food consumption, auto sales and strange deaths, then you may be interested in Tyler Vigen’s site, where this young Harvard Law student posts charts correlating bizarre unrelated data.

Tyler created his website Spurious Correlations “as a fun way to look at correlations and to think about data.”

Empirical research is interesting, and I love to wonder about how variables work together. The charts on this site aren’t meant to imply causation nor are they meant to create a distrust for research or even correlative data. Rather, I hope this project fosters interest in statistics and numerical research.

Amongst some of Tyler’s charts are “Person on ground killed in air transport accident, which correlates with Apple stock price on January 1,” “US crude oil imports from Canada inversely correlates with Deaths caused by inhalation of gastric contents,” and “Divorce rate in Utah correlates with Suicides by explosive material.”

If your brain isn’t cluttered-up with all the other stuff out there on the Internet, then you might want to collect a few of these spurious correlations for future use.
 
66drwncagesprcorr.jpg
 
Number people who drowned by falling into a swimming-pool correlates with number of films Nicolas Cage appeared in.
 
11gerausuisprcorr.jpg
 
German passenger cars sold in the US correlates with Suicides by crashing of motor vehicle.
 
22actwhesprcorr.jpg
 
Total number of Political Action Committees (US) correlates with people who died by falling out of their wheelchair.
 
33creamotosprcorr.jpg
 
Per capita consumption of sour cream (US) correlates with motorcycle riders killed in non collision transport accident.
 
44chebedsprcorr.jpg
 
Per capita consumption of cheese (US) correlates with number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets.
 
55amemurdsprcorr.jpg
 
Age of Miss America correlates with murders by steam, hot vapours and hot objects.
 

 
H/T Popbitch

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Dance routine with drones is beautiful and technically impressive
05.22.2014
08:03 am

Topics:
Dance
Science/Tech

Tags:
dance
drones


 
As the most recent advancement in push-button warfare, it can be difficult to think of drones as anything more than flying child-murdering combat robots. This Tokyo performance by Japanese dance troupe Eleven Play manages to utilize drone technology for art and beauty, while simultaneously depicting all of its potential insidiousness. 

At first the dancers interact cautiously and experimentally with the drones, then the machines become more active and more threatening. With no control over the increasingly volatile technology, the women flee the stage in fear. In the end, the only ones left dancing are the drones themselves. It’s beautiful and dramatic and there’s a trippy light display and flying robots—what more could you want?
 

 
Via psfk

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Destroy millions of dollars’ worth of Ai Weiwei vases in new video game
05.22.2014
06:22 am

Topics:
Art
Games
Science/Tech

Tags:
Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei
 
Many of you reading this will recall the incident of last February in which a gentleman named Maximo Caminero destroyed a very valuable vase by the internationally famous Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei at the Perez Art Museum Miami.

Ai Weiwei and dropped vases were linked well before Caminero committed his act of artistic vandalism, which might in fact be regarded as a form of hommage—indeed, Caminero has said as much. For, nearly two decades earlier, Ai Weiwei did much the same thing in order to elicit a reaction. In his 1995 photographic triptych Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, Ai Weiwei does precisely what the title indicates, getting butterfingers with a 2000-year-old relic. These three massive pictures were hanging just a few feet away from Caminero in the Perez Art Museum Miami, so his claim to be perpetrating hommage seems highly credible.
 
Ai Weiwei
 
You might even say that “Ai Weiwei and dropping valuable vases” constitutes one of the most exciting new artistic genres of our era. According to Chin-Chin Yap, in 2012 “Swiss artist Manuel Salvisberg created a photographic triptych called Fragments of History, which depicts Uli Sigg in an almost identical stance to Ai’s in Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn. Here, Sigg drops the famed Coca-Cola Urn [a work by Ai Weiwei] that has long been one of the central pieces of his collection.”
 
Manuel Salvisberg
 
If I’m understanding this game correctly (and if we follow the logic of a certain conceptual-art exchange purportedly performed by Macaulay Culkin and Ryan Gosling last week), the next step in the sequence would be for Ai Weiwei to destroy an invaluable urn created by Manuel Salvisberg, or possibly by Maximo Caminero.

Be that as it may, a video game designer called Grayson Earle has broken this closed loop by creating an online video game called “Ai Wei Whoops!” in which the player repeatedly drops 2D images of Ai Weiwei vases on the ground, which then go smash. After that the tally of “approximate property damage” increases by some number in the neighborhood of a million dollars (it isn’t always the same number).

Here’s the Caminero video, for those who’d like to see the mayhem all over again:
 

 
via Hyperallergic

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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There is a wall of reactive mechanical phalluses because… art
05.21.2014
07:25 am

Topics:
Art
Science/Tech

Tags:
3D printing


 
While the recent death of H. R. Giger left a mechanical phallic hole in all our hearts, we can carry on in the knowledge that artists like Peiqi Su are here to fill it (heyoooooo). Su’s 3D printed kinetic sculpture, The Penis Wall, is her graduate thesis for the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. It’s also a wall of of 81 uniformly 3D printed, motorized dicks. It has visual sensors that can respond to passers-by, or it can be programmed to react to real-time data like the stock market (How’s that for some metaphorical masculinity?). Su’s attraction to the penis as a subject is both intellectual and aesthetic, but she doesn’t deny there’s some humor to her work. Her personal statement:

Why Penis

When talking about the penis with friends, I found there are a thousand “understandings” in a thousand people’s “mind.” Scary, power, ego, evil, elegant, loose-control, funny, crazy… I’m astonished to find so many contradictory feelings about the penis; as well as diverse topics around it such as feminist, man-power, freedom, politics, Wall Street and more. I hope to provide a chance for people to discuss penises and things related by creating an interactive installation.

For myself, I’m also interested in the behavior of penis. It’s soft and hard, up and down, small and large, smooth and rough. It may be the most attractive and intuitive interface.

Below is a short footage of The Penis Wall interacting with with some giggling participants, but there are a lot more videos, plus info on The Penis Wall’s construction, on Su’s Vimeo channel. Check it out, for art’s sake.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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China’s plans for a floating city are breathtakingly futuristic, cool, possibly unworkable?
05.20.2014
08:11 am

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:
China

AT Design
 
We’ve all seen some of the silly projections from earlier decades for future lifestyles that never panned out, most prominently the space age home of the Jetsons and similar inventions from the postwar era. We know how hard it is to envision with any accuracy genuinely transformative ways of living, and yet the yearning to be authentically impressed by visions of the future powerfully remains, a yearning most concisely captured by the name of the Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks.

These images here, of a floating city that may actually happen in the relatively near future, gives me that Jetson-y tingle like few things I’ve seen in a very long time. Whether these plans ever get realized or not, these images are just cool as fuck. I sure hope these self-contained cities come to pass in my lifetime.

The China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) has commissioned AT Design Office to design a floating island with an area of four square miles. The cities make use of technologies that CCCC is already using to build a 31-mile bridge to connect the cities of Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai.

AT Design Office’s proposal involves a series of prefabricated hexagonal modules that “tesselate” to create the infrastructure needed for a city on water, including a transportation network of yachts and submarines and a floating hotel and entertainment complex. Apparently AT Design is waiting for “its newest blueprint” to get “approved,” which sounds like the project may be impressively far along, but who knows, it could just be hype. Here’s a useful summary by the My Modern Met blog:
 

The Floating City will have an above ground layer and an underwater layer. There are two designated areas for greenery and gardens, plus a network of walkways and tunnels that will allow people to traverse the city. AT Design Office is opting for electric cars to reduce pollution and they have ports for submarines to dock. They also have a series of canals and waterways that will allow boats to operate as a means of transportation. The city will have a farm, a hatchery, and a waste disposal center in order to be entirely self-sufficient. AT Design Office has plans for a hotel and an entertainment hub that will appeal to residents and visitors alike. The city’s link to the outside world will be an enormous cruise dock that will facilitate travel and tourism. If this plan becomes a reality, then floating cities may very well be the wave of the future.

 
The next two images demonstrate the modularity of the city’s sections as well as the multiple systems that the deceptively simple components would encompass:
 
AT Design
 
AT Design
 
Part of the rationale for the city is green thinking; the city is conceived as “a possible eco-friendly city expansion alternative to continuing on land. With the amount of pollution, deforestation, and other detrimental environmental impacts that are a part of our current city development system, the Floating City was created as an attempt to minimize our carbon footprint for a sustainable future.”

Looking at the images, it’s difficult to imagine too many people actually choosing to live in this city; the pictures of the people living in the idyllic underwater environment particularly smack of a world that just can never be, but again: who knows? Is there any way this thing could survive a hurricane? Are sheep ever actually going to live on something like this? 
 
AT Design
 
AT Design
 
AT Design
 
AT Design
 
AT Design
 
AT Design
 
AT Design
 
AT Design
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Viagra induces fractal growth in mushrooms
05.14.2014
08:09 am

Topics:
Drugs
Environment
Science/Tech

Tags:
mushrooms
Viagra

boletus.jpg
Photo of Boletus edulis by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT
 
The Boletaceae family of mushrooms “display a phallus-like morphology formed by a stalk a cap,” or a shaft and a bell-end to you and me. When these mushrooms were given the pharmacological compound “Sildenafil,” used for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction as Viagra, scientific researcher Gabriele Losa discovered that the synthetic drug increased fractal growth.

Boletus edulis, a Basidiomycete of the Boletaceae family, can be found gathered around beechwood trees (Fagus) in Ticino, an Italian district in the southern part of Switzerland. In his studies, Losa noted some similarities in the “phallus-like morphology” of the mushrooms may be influenced by “various environmental agents, including growth factors and complex molecules such as polyphenols and other antioxidants.”

Some analogies had also been noted between “Sildenafil” (Viagra) and the “chemical structure of natural polyphenols, flavonoids and many other cyclic compounds as rosamarinic acid abundant in macro-fungi, which exhibited an antioxidant free-radical scavenging activity.” Such changes prompted an investigation into the possible growth effects on Boletus type mushrooms by Sildenafil. In other words, researchers gave a selection of mushrooms Viagra, and some others a placebo, to see if the drug would affect their growth.

The results showed the mushrooms given Sildenafil had “a significant growth increase as expressed by numerical desnity [#B/m2], which ranged from 0.15 at time zero to 0.5 at day 14 of treatment, whilst it remained stable around 0.2 without significant changes in the control domain.”

Knowing the role of sildenafil on certain parts of the male human body, one can easily hypothesize an analogous effect on other, rather different biological targets such as Boletus mushrooms. According to such a hypothesis, in these mushrooms, a strengthened lymph drawing and water afflux suitable to permeate the roughage tissue, thus favoring both firmness of stalk and smoothness of cap. If so, then the effect induced in mushrooms might mimic the polymorphous effect observed in human males.

But how to explain the observed diverging behavior? On the one hand, the numerical density [#B/m2] increased by 35%, proving a significant growth of Boletus after fourteen days of treatment. On the other hand, the height dimensions of specimens treated with Sildenafil were found smaller than those of control area, with data interval ranging between 6.5-8.1 cm and 7.4-9.6 cm respectively.

Hence in this experimental system the growth rate was inversely related to Boletus height. The fractal dimension values recorded on the cap and stalk border outlines of Boletus mushrooms deserved a critical comparison with data recovered in the living realm; in the former fractal dimension values ranged between 1.10 and 1.23 rather close to fractal dimension values recorded on contour profiles of most biological structures and cell tissues, notably liver cells, healthy lymphoid and white blood cells, leukemic circulating cells, oocytes, immature astrocytes and neuronal cells, all characterized by a similar degree of irregularity (Losa & Nonnenmacher 1996). Unfortunately, fractal dimension data on mushrooms have never been calculated (or at least have not been reported in the scientific literature).

To sum up: The numerical density (#B/m2) of the mushroom was increasing with time, i.e. from 0.15/m2 up to 0.5/ m2 at day 14 of treatment, while the fractal density reduced from 1.23 to 1.11. Thus, there was a significant reduction of border profile complexity and irregularity in Boletus mushrooms that were treated with Sildenifil, a drug that provokes penile erections in human males.

And the conclusion?

Our investigation highlighted the main fractal principle which rests on the unlimited iteration of a unit fragment as a chief generator, either determined or unknown, until completion of the whole structure. The same principle serves to explain the fractality of growth mechanisms, the irregularity of morphological structures and the complex dynamics of living processes which occur at different spatial and temporal scales in connection with the principle of the recursive genome function (Pellionisz 2008), all the phenomena implicated in growth and maintenance of the fascinating and mysterious kingdom of mushrooms.

Fascinating indeed, and you can read the complete paper here, and below, this is what mushrooms on Viagra look like. None too appetizing…
 
viagramushrooms.jpg
 
H/T Nerdcore, via Improbable Research
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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