From Babadook to BabaDong.

Well, there’s scary for you. :D

Behold the BabaDong, a high quality silicone dildo. The Babadong has a sturdy base, so you can strap it on and take it anywhere! Don’t worry if it gets dirty on your adventures (which it most likely will…) because the BabaDong is dishwasher safe! The BabaDong has a length of 7.5 inches from base to tip and a girth of 5 3/4 in. around it thickest part. This campaign is for PRE-ORDERS. The BabaDong will only go into production if the minimum goal is met. IF NOT EVERYONE WILL BE REFUNDED.

If you’d like to read more about this project, and/or support it, head on over to the BabaDong gofundme page.

The Museum of Failure.

Oh, this is absolutely grand, and you can read all about it, and see more at The Creators Project, or just head over to The Museum of Failure in Helsingborg, Sweden. On July 13th, the museum will be having a failed beer tasting:

July 13 / 19:00 – 21:00

Explore the world of good, bad and experimental beer with Brygghuset Finn  www.brygghusetfinn.se

The Museum is also on tour, and will be doing pop ups in Gothenburg, Sweden, Istanbul, Turkey, Miami Fl, USA, New York City, USA, and Stockholm.

Pollution Popsicles.

All images © Hung I-chen of Polluted Water Popsicles.

Initially appearing to be a new artisanal food trend, these popsicles are actually a creative approach to spreading awareness of Taiwan’s issue of water pollution. The project, entitled ‘Polluted Water Popsicles’, was initiated by Hung I-chen, Guo Yi-hui and Cheng Yu-ti–a group of art students from the National Taiwan University of the Arts. To create the popsicles, the young artists collected water samples from 100 locations in Taiwan, with each sewage specimen then frozen and set in polyester resin for preservation. The project is successful in its innovative and deceptive conceptual approach–each counterfeit ice treat contains waste and domestic refuse extracted from the samples, 90% of which was plastic. The students also designed wrappers for the popsicles, and their work has been recognised by the Young Pin Design Award, as well as being exhibited at Taipei World Trade Center’s Young Designers Exhibition 2017.

All images © Hung I-chen of Polluted Water Popsicles.

Polluted Water Popsicles.  Via iGNANT.

Cool Stuff Friday.

Archive Dreaming from Refik Anadol on Vimeo.

Archive Dreaming, a stunning project, and one I hope becomes a reality before I die, because it would be an amazing experience! You can read all about this, and see more at The Creators Project.

Minutiae Photos.

There’s a new app in town, but it’s not like other social media in any way. This one is to document entirely mundane moments of your life, and you don’t get to do it at any given time.

Thus was born Minutiae, an anonymous photo-sharing app that, unlike uber-serious photography apps, encourages people to embrace the boring and mundane instead of meticulously sculpting the digital replica of their everyday lives.

Once a day, at random, all participants receive an alert to take a photo simultaneously, regardless of time zone. After taking the photo, the user is paired with a random stranger somewhere in the world who also just took a photo, and they are given 60 seconds to browse their chronological timeline or that of the stranger with whom they were matched. When the minute expires, the app shuts down, and the users must wait for the next alert to use the app again. Beyond the anonymity and its focus on the quotidian, Minutiae also prevents users from following anyone.

Despite Minutiae being a fully functioning app, Adolfsson and Wilson agreed that it should really be an artwork in and of itself. As Wilson tells Creators, it helped that they had a bit of a Swedish Arts Council funding instead of venture capital, so they were able to make what they see as a collective embrace of global mundanity.

“Our thesis is not that social media is ‘bad,’ just that it ends up making us look at the world, and documenting our experiences, in a very particular way,” says Wilson. “Through our use of Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat, etc., we are in the continuous process (often unconsciously) of refining filters that determine how we capture our lives… Minutiae frees us from this pressure to perform since you no longer have the option to choose what you are documenting—connections are singular and random.”

Another way Minutiae frees users, according to Adolfsson, is by restricting the time spent on the app to one minute per day. This flies right in the face most apps, which are designed to keep users locked in for as long as possible, or returning again and again like an addict.

“The app is a tool to help participants document their own in-between moments of life,” says Adolfsson. “The type of moments that we usually don’t think of as important enough to capture.”

You can see and read more at The Creators Project. Minutiae.

Metalliferous Streams from Eric Bellefeuille on Vimeo. All I have is WOW.

Paris at night by Roberto Estupinián.

Amazing, exquisite photos of Paris at Night.

Oh, Almost.

The embroidery on the shirt is done. Finally. I swear, the small things can take bloody forever and ever. Not quite finished, the dread wash test is up next, here’s hoping it survives well. The designs are from Urban Threads.  Serpents are 6″ x 5″, little black heart 2.5″ x 2″. Shirt is Liz Claiborne, bought at Goodwill, natch. Click for full size.

© C. Ford.

Alright, That’s On The Creepy Side.

The Deep Sea Diver Giant marionette began his journey through the city starting in the Old Port Friday afternoon. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC).

While I delight in gigantic, mechanical spiders and dragons, I’m not so delighted with gigantic humans. We naked apes are a dangerous species, and seeing humongous, mechanical humans leads me more towards uncanny valley. I don’t find the idea of human giants charming. That said, they were all over Montreal for the 375th Birthday celebration.

Giant marionettes are taking over parts of Montreal starting this morning, with a larger-than-life street performance as part of the city’s 375th anniversary bash.

The marionettes, one of which is five storeys high, were made by a French company called Royal de Luxe. They made their Montreal debut today, winding their way through the city streets and along the river.

You can read and see more here.

Namahage!

Etsuko Ichihara’s Namahage in Tokyo.

In Japanese folklore there exists a beast-like deity called the Namahage. It can be found all over Japan, taking on different appearances and even names depending on the region. Although harmless, it exists to scare those who are lazy or wrongdoing out of their bad habits. Inspired by this tradition, media artist Etsuko Ichihara decided to create a modern-day version of the Namahage specifically for Tokyo, and unleash in onto the streets of Shibuya, Harajuku and Akihabara.

In the traditional Japanese ritual, men would dress up in demon masks and parade through town, visiting houses along the way. They typically yell phrases like “Are there any crybabies around?” or “Are naughty kids here?” But the Namahage have been known to admonish adults too. And by acting as a scary rule enforcer, Namahage played the important role of strengthening family and community ties. This became a critical part of Ichihara’s “Namahage in Tokyo,” a city where many young Japanese men and women immigrate too from rural Japan, hence diluting the bonds between family and community.

Ichihara’s Namahage is quite spectacular simply as a costume. Its mask consists of a camera and drone, perfect for scanning and locating lazy gamers and otaku. It’s the work of sculptor Hiroto Ikeuchi. The rest of the costume too, in which Ichihara collaborated with fashon label chloma, is beautiful in its modern interpretation of a traditional deity.

This is all so wondrous and imaginative! I enjoyed every moment of the videos, and what great gods to play with, too. Some very nice knife wielding, too!  I loved the imagining of Namahage in Tokyo to have incorporated a camera, given the large role surveillance plays in all our lives anymore. That would definitely make Namahage’s job easier. Via Spoon & Tamago.

Time to Finish.

Time to finish up this shirt which has been awaiting my attention in the cedar chest. It’s tedious, all done in one and two strand, but it will be nice to be able to wear it, so to work! Click for full size. The designs are from Urban Threads.  Serpents are 6″ x 5″, little black heart 2.5″ x 2″. Shirt is Liz Claiborne, bought at Goodwill, natch.

© C. Ford.

Affordable Quadcopter Kits.

BW® DIY F450 4-Axis RC QuadCopter MultiCopter Frame Airframe Kit.

The latest MAKE newsletter has a good rundown of the top 5 affordable quadcopter kits. Drones are fun, but they are also on the spendy side, so it’s good to know exactly how to spend your money.

Drones have become so popular that lately it seems everyone has one. Why wouldn’t they? Today’s models are practically flying on their own, creating breathtaking images and videos, and offering a fun way to get away from your daily tasks and problems.

However, since you are reading this, I guess you are not here to talk about the ready-to-fly (RTF) drones, right? You are more of a DIY kind of a person who would rather spend your hard earned free time messing with the parts and tools, and customizing your bird to be a unique reflection of your personality.

This hobby, as you probably already know, tends to go hard on your budget, and demands a certain level of understanding of the subject. This is exactly why I decided to help out and talk about the affordable quadcopter kits that will not make you rob a bank in order to afford them.

Before I get to the actual kits, you need to know how to find the one most suitable for your needs.

Wander over to Make for the full review!

Lovely, Sharp, Pointy Stuff.

There was a knife I had planned to order for myself, but in the way of things, Mister’s birthday sneaked up on me, and as I didn’t quite have the money saved for the sharp and pointy I wanted for him, I hastily ordered this one for him. Beautiful  knife, and I love that marlin spike. Folded, 4.5″, Spike, 3″, Blade, 3″. Mister is happy, and that’s all that matters. Click for full size.

© C. Ford.

Cool Stuff Friday.

When the makers of the live-action remake of Kiki’s Delivery Service needed bicycles for the film they turned to one man: Nobuyuki Tani.

Beautiful, gorgeous bicycles! There are definitely three of them I’d like to have, if wishes were fishes and I had a net.

In his studio in Chigasaki, a coastal city in Kanagawa an hour Southwest of Tokyo, Tani hand-assembles all his bikes. With a careful attention to detail and an emphasis on materials, Tani sculpts his unique creations into functional, ridable works of art. He was commissioned to create all the bicycles for the live-action adaptation of Kiki’s Delivery Service (2014). Tani created the fantastical flying bicycle but also the bread maker’s bicycle and Tombo’s regular bicycle.

Tani also collaborated with Ishinokura Shoten to create 3 models that are produced at larger quantities. Vintage parts procured from around the world come together with custom-parts to create 3 distinct rides that are both beautiful to look at, but entirely functional. With just the right amount of whimsy, these bikes look like they’ve come right out of some imaginative fairy tale.

Pictured above is the “Matiere” model (158,000 yen). It’s a geographically neutral city bicycle that is all about materials: wood, leather and iron.

You can read and see more at Spoon & Tamago.

Ever wonder about soy sauce? Wonder no more!

screenshots from the film “The Birthplace of Soy Sauce”.

Soy Sauce is said to have originated in China and then brought over to Japan by a Buddhist monk who settled down in current-day Wakayama Prefecture in 1254. Using the abundance of clear, spring water from the town of Yuasa he began producing a type of miso that he had learned about on his travels that had been used to preserve vegetables. A byproduct from this process – a liquid that collected in the barrels of the miso paste – was soy sauce. And this is how the town of Yuasa became the birthplace of Soy Sauce.

In a masterfully-produced short film, Japanese filmmaker Mile Nagaoka walks us down the streets of Yuasa and into a traditional soy sauce manufacturer that’s still producing soy sauce almost exactly the same way it was made more than 750 years ago. You can almost smell the rich, fermenting flavors of soy sauce waft out of the screen.

After originating in Yuasa, Soy Sauce is thought to have made its way to Kansai, where it became popular. In fact, there is documentation of a large 18,000 liter (about 4800 gallons) shipment of soy sauce from Wakayama to Osaka in 1588. What is thought to be Japan’s first Soy Sauce manufacturer had opened shop just 8 years earlier and is actually still in business.

Via Spoon & Tamago.

Last Light from Colin Rich on Vimeo.

The NatGeo Travel Photographer of the Year comp is up and running! Get those photos in, people!  The Grand Prize is a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos Islands!

The Joy Of Cooking: Miniature Food.

These are amazing, and wonderful to watch.

There are books on the wall, a table in the middle of the room, a plant, maybe a floor lamp or two. But something doesn’t feel right in this room, like it’s a set. Suddenly, a gigantic hand reaches into the frame, revealing that the room was indeed a set built entirely in miniature form. The chopping board is maybe the size of a pinky; the knife slightly smaller. This is the world of Japanese miniature enthusiast and YouTuber ‘Joken’ aka AAAJoken, or triple-A Joken.

Currently a member of the YouTuber management agency UUUM, Joken got his start by introducing toys for kids and creating stop motion animations using those toys. But since 2014 he’s created over 200 videos on a YouTube channel called Miniature Space. In it, he creates all kinds of miniature Japanese meals like tempura and okonomiyaki, but also everyday foods like spaghetti carbonara and corn dogs.

You can read and see more at Spoon & Tamago.