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WEIRD SCIENCE
Mars Has Tectonic Plates

With the Curiosity landing, there’s been a surge of interest a certain red planet we’re now roaming via robot. It might be too early in the week for learning, but pull up a chair, because what we learn about Mars may help us to understand our home planet a little better. An Yin, UCLA’s Earth and space sciences professor, discovered that Mars was more than likely experiencing plate tectonic movement while observing the Martian canyon, Valles Marineris.

His hunch was a pretty good one, and it's no wonder. An Yin is no stranger to the workings of plate tectonics. The man has conducted geological research in the Tibetan Himalayas, where two of our seven major tectonic plates meet, forming the mountains themselves. He noticed not only plate movement on Mars, but that this movement was quite similar to the early Earth’s tectonic plate movement, while analyzing satellite images of Mars. He spoke of his discovery with Mars Today:

ART
Can’t Get It Out of My Head

As the work week winds up, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind. Anticipating the weekend can make the hours go slower. We promise we won’t tell that you’re sneaking a peek at the internet to pass the time. In fact, we’ll introduce you to a great artist who also has a lot on her mind too.

French photographer Emmanuelle Brisson is known for doing unique portraits that capture a mood or state of mind. Because of this, her work is filled with some of the most wonderful variety we’ve ever seen. The people she captures are sometimes stark, cold, distant and wrapped up in a mood so well we can almost feel it being pulled out of ourselves. Other times her work is fun, humorous, and colorful. For her project, “Can’t Get It Out of My Head”, the mood seems to travel between the two extremes. After all, what’s on her mind is quite literally on display.

WEIRD SCIENCE
The Curiosity Lands Successfully on Mars’ Surface

The Olympics weren’t the only big events for America this week. In fact, it’s been a pretty huge week overall. The Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars early August 6th, to the delight of just about everyone. The Curiosity, one of NASA’s most advanced rovers is a moving laboratory on rocket boosters, equipped with cameras and ready to explore the surface of Mars. It’s a marvel of technology and it makes space exploration that much more real for everyday people. It means immediate feedback and learning about the planet. It’s as close as we can get, for now, to actually being there.

ART
The Underground New York Public Library

The subway system in New York is the great unifier. It’s the only place in the city where people from all walks of life, with entirely different destinations, and not one word to say to one another are in a pretty intimate space. It’s not just complaining about train delays that bring people together, however. According to photographer Ourit Ben-Haim, it’s the worlds we escape to in a good book on those trains that brings us together as well.

Ben-Haim loves reading and she loves seeing others read. There’s something magical about a person engrossed in a good book. The image was inspiring enough that in 2008 Ben-Haim snapped a photo of a person reading on the subway with her cell phone camera and it spawned a project that’s been going on for years and now has a huge following of people who check daily for more. The idea is simple, but it captures so much about Ben-Haim’s subjects, and about New York itself.

WEBSITES
The ‘Unbaby Me’ Chrome Add-on

Fulfilling your daily dose of weird things from the internet, we bring you Unbaby.me. It’s a Google Chrome extension that works with your Facebook to filter a very specific thing: babies. More specifically, it filters out babies from your Facebook feed and replaces them with things the extension finds cooler. What’s cooler than babies? It seems it’s kittens, bacon, puppies, robots, tattoos and possibly Nutella.

Maybe the pressure’s on from relatives to start a family, maybe your friends just had a baby and that means at least 100 pictures of said baby per day clogging your Facebook feed, or maybe babies just gross you out for some reason. The internet has your solution, and while a filter for constant Instagram updates, pictures of food, or really bad memes might have been a bigger hit, it’s a solution for constant baby updates. The extension seems to have a collection of really popular images on the internet that immediately swap out image updates that have key words, including “so adorable”, “precious”, and of course, “baby”. It’s the brain child of Yvonne Cheng, Chris Baker and Pete Marqui, each New Yorkers who were apparently sick of baby updates from friends.

ART
aMAZEme: The Maze of Books


Fans of literature may find it easy to get lost in a world of books. They’re also a little more into the metaphorical than straight forward, but thanks to brilliant Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo, it’s something readers can literally do. The installation, called aMAZEme, is an intricate maze built entirely out of books.

From now until August 26, lucky crowds in London can visit the Southbank Centre can explore the maze first hand. The colorful and detailed maze is something wonderful to explore and might even be a little more difficult than your standard corn maze because anyone inside will find themselves distracted by the wonderful books at every turn. It’s just one aspect of the London 2012 Festival, but it is definitely one of the most rare and eye catching experiences visitors can look forward to.

ART
Not Myself Today: The Wall of Moods

It’s rare that we stop and assess what sort of mood we’re in. No one really ever thinks to search their feelings before their morning commute into work (Who are we, Luke Skywalker?). It sounds silly, maybe even frivolous. We even resign ourselves to “fine, how are you?”s in conversation. That’s fine on the surface, but it’s also a reminder that our society isn’t great about talking about feelings, or addressing them. It becomes a problem when so many people suffer from things like depression and there’s still very little knowledge about its symptoms that are commonly known.

ART
[VIDEO] Stop Motion Mario Animation Created With Post-It Notes

Stop motion animation has brought us some of the most stylized and cool-looking animated shows and movies. It spawned Gumby, Wallace and Gromit, and shaped The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s an art form that takes a ton of time and patience. Each increment of movement has to be captured by the camera. It’s almost like slowly repositioning a person and taking pictures of them over and over again.

Stop motion lovers and video game lovers alike will appreciate the stunning amount of effort that went into this one minute piece of animated goodness. FinalCutKing has brought a Super Mario level to life using just Post-It notes. How many, you say? Just 7,000. Mario takes a trip all around an office wall, literally bursting to life from what seems to be a computer emulator. His typical coin collecting, Goomba smashing, journey quickly becomes out of the ordinary, though.

WEIRD SCIENCE
[VIDEO] The Most Spectacular Night View of Earth

Beautiful time lapse videos are almost a dime a dozen now that cameras are quickly catching up to the skill and patience of photographers.That’s great news for star gazers like us, who could go through hundreds of those and still be filled with wonder. NASA themselves, of course, can’t help to get in on the action. They’ve delivered some of the most stunning footage of space we’ve ever seen, and rightly so.

This week, however, NASA has topped even themselves. Footage taken from the International Space Station is usually enough to create a healthy dose of awe. Knate Myers, an extremely talented photographer from Albuquerque, took things to the next level with his time lapse compilation of footage from the International Space Station. The shots were processed in Photoshop and the noise was removed to produce crystal clear motion. The video Myers put together doesn’t just show us the light of the stars, but the light here on Earth.

ART
Surreal-ity: The Photography of Kylie Woon

There are plenty of photographers whose work can catch our eye in an instant. There’s nothing quite like the world viewed through another person’s lens. Even the most simple photo tells a story, reveals parts of the photograph bit by bit. Kylie Woon, a brilliant young photographer, tells more through her camera than words could say. Her work is an exploration of emotion through a surreal filter.

Woon’s photography is dream-like in the best of ways. They aren’t just pictures filtered through dreamy mid-day colors. Kylie Woon creates worlds of floating, flying disappearing and more. They’re a combination of motion and stillness. Some almost seem like frames of animation, placed closely together. More often than not in these surreal shots, she is the subject of her own scrutiny. She explores an emotional spectrum with each shot, from the whimsical to the grim. In a blog entry on Perspectives, she compares her journey to a lens being zoomed in and zoomed out: