It’s been a long, nasty, cold, snowy, can’t wait for you to end kind of winter here in the midwest and elsewhere. The good news is the first day of Spring starts at 6:49 A.M. Greenwich Mean Time. If you want to know where you are in the world, in relation to GMT, click here. I created the image below to give you a few facts about the equinox, but if you don’t care to bend your noodle with science here’s the short sweet version.
Tomorrow the Sun passes directly over the equator so day and night are equal in length. (That’s 12 hours each if you are feeling really lazy) Starting tomorrow the days get longer until the Summer solstice around June 21st. With the longer days, the Northern Hemisphere gets warmer. Warmer temps mean less snow and ice.
“All the good and evil things that happen in the world are of no consequence to the magnitude of their scale.”
It’s Friday, and I intend to step back and watch this short film from Studiocanoe again. It is a wonderfully shot and edited 12 minute short that is based upon the work of British geographer L. Dudley Stamp. It talks about the processes by which mountains are created and eventually destroyed. While that might sound boring, it is actually quite interesting, and the footage, which was shot on location in Iceland is rather amazing. There is great informative storytelling here with calming narration, and a musical score that soothes as you watch.
OK this is cool blend of art, science and music. Before you watch the videos here is a warning from the creator of the video. If you are wearing headphones turn the volume down before playing the second un edited video so you don’t damage your hearing.
What we have below is an experiment that uses a tone generator to vibrate sand on a metal plate into distinct patterns created by the frequency of the audio. Say What? In other words Sound vibrates the plate and makes cool patterns.
“So this experiment is the Chladni plate experiment. I used a tone generator, a wave driver (speaker) and a metal plate attached to the speaker. First add sand to the plate then begin playing a tone. Certain frequencies vibrate the metal plate in such a way that it creates areas where there is no vibration. The sand “falls” into those areas, creating beautiful geometric patterns. As the frequency increases in pitch the patterns become more complex.”
Remember To Turn The Volume Down Before You Watch This.
One of the things I remember from Jr. High science classes is the lab furniture. It stands out because it had a very distinctive 1960’s flair to it, with sharp clean lines and a color pallet that was coded for each work station. I have no idea who made it or designed it, but who ever it was they did the job right. They created a distinct memory that has lasted to this day.
Dutch firm JSPR offers a line of office furniture that reminds me of those work areas from long ago. Their Retro Office series uses color blocking to create different feelings or zones within the work environment. The look of the pieces is designed to engage with the ambience of the sixties and seventies with a nod to mid-century office furniture by companies like Steelcase
Retro Office is built with all steel construction. The tops are finished with a semi gloss powder coated lacquer. The frames are finished with a matte coated lacquer. I really like how JSPR left the welds exposed as a structural design element with a minimum amount of clean up. Something about that adds visual strength to the clean lines of the frame work and top. The desks are available in 29 colors, and three configurations, and it looks like you can purchase direct from the manufacturer
Commissioned by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for their newly built research center, Patterned by Nature is a 10 foot wide by 90 foot long ribbon that winds through the five story atrium of the building. The sculpture celebrates the abstraction of nature’s infinite complexity into patterns through the scientific process.
Running on a low 75 watts of power, Patterned by Nature is made of 3600 tiles of LCD glass that animate light in patterns across scales of space and time. Animations are created by independently varying the transparency of each piece of glass.
The video below is a wonderful showcase to the piece, which I’m sure looks even more amazing in person.
“The content cycles through twenty programs, ranging from clouds to rain drops to colonies of bacteria to flocking birds to geese to cuttlefish skin to pulsating black holes. The animations were created through a combination of algorithmic software modeling of natural phenomena and compositing of actual footage.
An eight channel soundtrack accompanies the animations on the ribbon, giving visitors clues to the identity of the pixelated movements. In addition, two screens show high resolution imagery and text revealing the content on the ribbon at any moment.”
I have always been an info-graphics junkie. I used to study them in the encyclopedia as a kid, and I think that is why I am drawn to Michael Paukner’s work. Stylistically there is so much that reminds me of the info-graphics that I used to see in the “World Book Encyclopedia” when I was growing up.
Looking through his Flickr stream tends to Paukner’s work focus on many scientific themes such as space exploration, Astronomy, History, and “Junk Science” like conspiracy theories, numerology, and the zodiac.
The work is really well done, with solid visualizations of what he is trying to convey. Great color pallets, and layouts, and a really nice understanding of typography. When you look at “The Death Ray”, Paukner nails the 1930’s type style, and illustration.
This is just a small sample of his work. Be sure and check out his Flickr stream here, and read the descriptions below the images on his stream.