This is Not OK, Cupid

Online dating has really revolutionized romance over the years. For those who could never find someone that shared the same interests or truly clicked or simply couldn’t find the time for dating, alternatives like Match.com or free sites like OKCupid became the answer. Now online dating has become so common that there’s hardly a person left who raises their eyebrow when told a couple “met online”.

However, that doesn’t mean the experience is always a walk in the park. This is the internet, after all. It’s the easiest place to make new friends and the easiest place to find creeps. One site has decided to shine a light on some of the weirdest (and funniest) messages sent through OKCupid. This is Not OK, Cupid is a Tumblr that allows users to submit the strangest messages they’ve ever received on the dating site.

Lady Gaga and 50 Cent Load Up on Bre.ad

Those who love websites with character limits like Twitter are already familiar with URL shorteners. These sites compress the amount of letters used to share a website or video link online and they’re free and available to anyone. Sites like TinyURL compress links against a no-frills backdrop quickly and with ease.

But celebrities like Lady Gaga and 50 Cent are pairing up to endorse a new URL shortening service with a little more flair and a little less redirecting from their own pages. Bre.ad bills itself as a personal billboard, since users can write a comment and upload a picture that will be seen by anyone who clicks their link before being redirected. They are already calling these little shout-outs "toasts", promoting it as a cool new way to share your favorite things with style. Sharing shortened links does become even easier since all the user has to do is type “bre.ad/” in front of any URL they’d like to share with friends and its kept personal in a way that made Myspace and Facebook fun for its users.

The only problem is that Twitter and Tweetdeck have already advanced far enough to shorten URLs into user-friendly hyperlinks. The service is going to heavily rely on celebrity backing and the appeal of making your friends see a custom piece of text and an image before being redirected to the intended site. With a giant corporation like Pepsi already backing the effort and big name celebrities already signing on, though, it might just be a success.

Cardboard Helmets Beat Out Plastic

Now that the heat wave has passed, bike riders are out enjoying the nice breeze and scenery. New York City, however, and many like it across the U.S., are a nightmare to cyclists. Traffic is packed, patience runs low, and too many reckless drivers pay no heed to anything smaller than a car on the road. Luckily, cyclists have armor against serious injury on the road.

Well, it seems they don’t. The standard plastic helmet used by nearly every cyclist today only protects one’s head during a crash 16% of the time. This frightening statistic prompted the creator of the Kranium, Anirudha Surabhi, to do some lateral thinking. What he realized was that a much better helmet that could absorb much more of an impact could be created with every day corrugated cardboard. Even more impressive is the finding that unlike their popular counterpart, cardboard helmets are not rendered useless after one impact. One Kranium helmet passed the British Standard test for helmets 5 times in a row. From Surabhi’s page:

The Super Heroes at Home Project

The Superman, for example, is a Superman collector and has been a fan since childhood. His collectible can be seen in the background of his home, an image that on the surface seems pretty funny because the viewer imagines Superman as such a fan of his own fame that he collects relics of it. In a statement for Flavorwire he notes:

“While I photographed Batman, a family pulled over to take his picture,” he writes. “He strode up to them with super hero confidence and the children approached him with awe. He was Batman because he was Batman to them. Then later, in his apartment, when he’d taken off his mask and cape and was reheating leftovers in the microwave, he was merely ordinary. I could see what drew him back to Hollywood Boulevard.”

The Ricoh PX: A Waterproof and Dirt-Resistant Camera

The Ricoh PX is shockproof for falls up to 1.5 metres and sports a 16 megapixel CCD sensor and a 5X optical wide zoom lens. It is fit to compete with some of the best compact digital cameras around and is dust and dirt resistant thanks to the lightweight casing that surrounds it. It sports a 2.7" scratch-resistant LCD screen for users to view photos on. The camera also comes with many easy to use features compact digital camera fans have come to love, according to their press release:

My Potholes: Turning Road Menaces into Art

Photographers Claudia Ficca and Davide Luciano are the two extremely creative minds behind My Potholes, a project that creates fantastic scenes centered around the menacing black tar pits that are potholes. Inspired by a few too many run ins with potholes on a drive through their Montréal neighborhood, the two decided to turn the everyday nuisance into something fun. Armed with their imaginations and cameras, they made tiny new worlds based around simple bits of pavement.

Soon the project grew to include many of their friends and Claudia and Davide have taken their project to different cities, including Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles. The whimsical scenes are not photoshopped. They are planned and set up entirely by the two photographers, who take to the street and create the scenes with their subjects amidst uninterrupted traffic. Brave and exceedingly clever, the two have changed the way many see potholes and inspired so much creativity.

Childhood Photos Recreated as Adults

In the photography community a recent trend among some professionals and hobbyists alike is to find an old photo and recreate it in the present. It is an exercise that focuses on attention to detail in a photo, but the practice goes beyond that. Photos from the past highlight just how much people and places have changed over time. It’s an exercise that not only hones the skills of the budding photographer, but serves as an excercise in introspection as well.

Gizmodo has challenged photographers of every kind to recreate a chosen photograph from childhood. Even iPhone Hipstamatic users were welcome to try to recreate that moment in time. As always, submitters were encouraged to include a brief description and story behind the photo’s inspiration, and the method the photographers used to create the desired scene. It could be as complex or as no-frills a photo as possible, so long as it stuck to its source material.

The Nintendo Wii U

The Wii U looks much like the original Wii, but sports a controller that’s been garnering a lot of attention and controversy. It sports a 6 inch touch screen and looks like a cross between a hand held console like the PSP or DS and a tablet like the iPad. The demonstration at E3 showed that most games can be switched over from the television screen to the tablet. The touch screen also acts as another interactive experience, boasting the same motion controls as the WiiMote as well as several creative uses for the screen. Toggling back and forth between T.V. and hand held screen seems to be extremely simple and the new system boasts HD graphics.

However, this doesn’t seem like enough to justify buying an entirely new system. With tablets already popular and quickly becoming more affordable, the Wii U’s new controller is already at a disadvantage. It isn’t portable and must be used within range of the home console device. Many also find it hard to imagine too many uses for the device that would not be awkward or clunky. So far the controllers seem to be limited to one per console, with very few rumors of the controller being sold on its own so that families can add more. This means only one player will be able to make use of the advantages the new controller provides. Some investors have already begun to pull back from Nintendo as a result of their conference at E3, but it's much too early to draw any conclusions based on the news.

Super Mamika: The Grandma Superhero

A few years ago, Sacha Goldberger and his grandmother made waves in the photography and arts community with a fantastic set of photos depicting an elderly superhero at her post. The story behind it was a touching one. Frederika, 91 years old, had once been a hero in Wold War II. She spent her 20s hiding and protecting as many Jewish people she could from Nazi forces. She would hide as many as possible and move them to different locations to throw off anyone suspicious of her activity. She fled from Hungary to France, forced to leave her homeland under penalty of death.

Where to Find the Big Game News from E3 2011

This is a big week for video game fans. Electronic Entertainment Expo started today with Microsoft’s conference. For those not in the loop, E3 is the place to be for video game plans in the next few years. It’s where new consoles make their debut and the biggest hits of the next few years get announced. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, bring out their best in stiff competition with one another. News of a new Halo game and a reboot to the franchise excited Xbox 360 fans early this afternoon and an extended look at the new Batman: Arkham City confirmed that the sequel to the fan favorite would be even better than the original. New games that made use of the interactive Kinect were announced. The hardcore and casual gamer were both catered to. The Kinect, with its Wii-like controllers, will be getting a whole slew of new games. It will be host to an array of games ranging from hardcore shooters to interactive children’s games. EA, the company known for its sports titles, will be announcing the release of some new titles and its plan for the next few years in mere minutes from now.