Say it with Skyscrapers!

Here’s a whimsical use for Google Maps. You type out your message and geoGreeting finds aerial sat pics of buildings with the letterforms of your message. Your recipient gets a link to an animated map where the buildings are located, in sequence, spelling out your “geogreeting.” Fun.

[Via O’Reilly Radar]


Fabric Made from Magnetic Tape

Street Tech’s Court Lensman Jay Townsend send us a link to this fascinating project by an artist named Alyce Santoro. For her “Sonic Fabric,” she weaves 50% prerecorded cassette tape and 50% cotton together to create a fabric that can be made into clothing, handbags, flags/banners. You can then play the (literally) recorded material by running a tape head over the surface of the fabric. With all the talk of SPIME and cradle-to-cradle object tracking, this is a cool and unique way of decoding the history of a recycled material’s previous incarnation(s). (“Hey, I found out today that the armpit of my jacket was once a best-selling Country Western song.”)


Dorkbot DC Event: Wednesday, Sept 27

This Wednesday (09/27/06, 7pm – 9pm), the third gathering of Dorkbot DC will be held at Provisions Library, 1611 Connecticut Ave. NW. Guest presenters will include multimedia artist Roberto Bocci and interactive music composer Jason Freeman. Thomas Edwards will also give a follow-up to his “Sensors You Should Know” from last meeting with “Microcontrollers You Should Know.” There will also be a show and tell. I’ll be showing off my Turbot BEAM robot as part of that. I hope to see some Street Techies there.

For more info, check out the Dorkbot DC homepage here.

Frog Dissection Kit as a Fashion Statement

Jack Spade, preferred clothier of preppified metrosexuals everywhere, has a Frog Dissection Kit for sale in their stores, complete with a real vacuum-seal formaldehyde frogger, ready for you to deconstruct.

Gross. I mean, I’m all for so-bad-it’s-good grade school nostalgia, but what’s next, 21 Club serving tainted Salisbury steak and succotash on cracked fiberglass trays to bring back those precious lunchroom memories?

[Via Cool Hunting]

MacArthur “Genius Awards” Just Announced And…

…inexplicably, I’m not on the list. But don’t despair. Other worthies are, and a number of them do interesting science and technology. Among the grantees:

* Victoria Hale, who …founded… a nonprofit pharmaceutical company that seeks to develop low-cost drugs for malaria and other diseases that are widespread in developing countries.

* James Fruchterman, who… adapts technologies to help raise literacy rates and improve the lives of low-income people worldwide.

*Kenneth Catania,… A neurobiologist, his study of the star-nosed mole and other mammalian insectivores provides insights into the organization and evolution of the sensory cortex.

*Kevin Eggan… a developmental biologist whose work on the use of nuclear-transfer and stem-cell technologies could lead to therapeutic applications for diseases such as Parkinson’s and insulin-dependent diabetes…

Read the whole piece in The Chronicle.

Vinyl for the Birds

This picture of Dutch sound artist Jeroen Diepenmaat’s work was found on We Make Money Not Art. It’s a stuffed bird whose beak plays back the music on the vinyl.

Jeroen has some other clever sound pieces on his site. The one below, called “Loop, Loop,” plays music as these devices are rolled around the gallery. Bundles of records are used as the wheels.

Each sound installation page includes an audio clip.

Graffiti Research Labs at Ars Electronica

Interesting piece on We Make Money Not Art about the talk that James Powderly and Evan Roth of Graffiti Research Labs gave at Ars Electronia. You may know GRL’s work from the LED Throwies pieces in Make Vol. 6, on the Make blog, Instructables, etc. I wasn’t really aware of what was behind these. Powderly is a robotics engineer, Roth a Parsons grad who had a fellowship at the Eyebeam OpenLab. They see themselves as engineers who want to create technologies that aid urban artists (taggers, street artists, protest artists, etc.). They want to provide artists with the technology and tools to create urban art that can compete with the technology employed by corporate advertisers. In the talk, they ran through some of the artists that inspire them. We Make Money has pics and links. There’s also a link to a podcast of the talk.

Fighting the Spam Robots

I hadn’t realized until Gareth pointed it out to me just HOW many spam comments were lurking in our story archives. I ran a query yesterday that deleted some 4000+ of crap posts selling viagra, cialis, clorapewhatever. And they’re being added at the rate of approximately 1 every 30 seconds. So until we can figure out a good way to nip this in the bud, I’m turning on comment moderation. If you’ve got a legit comment to make, BY ALL MEANS please do so, and we’ll do our best to approve them all. Hopefully we can turn moderation off once the spam problem’s been tackled.

Gareth Adds: I’m on here most of the day and into the night, so legit Comments should get approved almost immediately.

Tim Adds: Well that had exactly zero effect, so I’m turning moderation back off. Grrr.

Design Norway’s Art Museum, with LEGOs!

Sometimes, news makes you happy, puts a smile on your face, makes you feel a teeny bit better about the human condition. Sometimes, such a soul-tickle comes from an unexpected place, like the land of the ice and snow (and a brief UPI item).

The National Art Museum of Norway, in Oslo, needs a design for their new addition. They’ve opened the design process to the public. To give everyone some handy brainstorming tools to work with, they dumped a gigantic pile of LEGO bricks, several tons of them, in the empty lot next door. Video of the public playing in the bricks and of their LEGO creations, in addition to serving as inspiration for the new building addition, will become part of an exhibit at the Contemporary Art Museum in October. Ah hell, why don’t they go ahead and just make the addition out of the LEGOs!

Thanks, Jay!