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ART
“I am a Visual Person, I Just Can’t See”

Award-winning photographer Pete Eckert has been drawing large attention to a cause that hits home for him—the treatment and acceptance of blind people in society and the workplace. His aim was to bridge a gap he felt was based on little substance. “Blind folks face a glass front door. We can look into the workplace but aren’t allowed to enter” he remarks, musing over the stigma associated with blindness.

Eckert had been a sculpture artist studying architecture and working as a carpenter when his sight began to fail him. He was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa and would soon lose his vision completely. At the time, it seemed worlds were being closed off, sealed away in a world he could no longer see. Eckert made the best of his remaining eyesight. He finished his degree, became a black belt, got married and moved to Connecticut, which seemed easier to traverse for someone who was blind. Still, frustration over not being able to find a job he was more than qualified for sent him searching for different mediums. First he worked with wood, and then he chanced on a camera from the 50s owned by his deceased mother-in-law. “I found the camera fascinating and discovered it had an infrared setting. I thought a blind guy doing photos in a non-visible wavelength would be amusing. I was hooked. I knew nothing about film or manual cameras” he writes.

ART
A Disney Take on Superman


Robb Pratt, a Disney heavy weight animator with Pocahontas, Hercules, and Tarzan under his belt, took on a little project he’d had in the back of his mind for a long time. What he made was an homage to the Man of Steel himself, and although it’s a little under a minute long, it’s a marvel of animation on the web. The film is produced and storyboarded by Pratt and he is joined at the animation table by only two others.

It’s a testament to classical animation. Smooth and clever, every movement in the film is eye-catching and has the audience hungry for more. In it, a Metropolis similar to the early 40s setting of the first comics and animated shorts by Max Fleischer is attacked by a giant robot, and it’s up to Superman to save the day. Clark Kent, journalist for the Daily Planet-- who is completely unrelated to, though suspiciously sounds like-- our titular hero, is voiced by John Netwon. Newton himself starred as Superboy in the 80s T.V. series, The Adventures of Superboy. Even the music itself is taken from the live-action Superman serial, and is composed by Mischa Bakaleinikoff. Pratt notes that the Superman seen here is meant to be a composite of all of the actors who have portrayed him.

GADGETS
Catholic Church Approves Confession App

It seems lapsed church-goers will be able to feel less guilty for skipping church for Sunday football. Pope Benedict XVI and Catholic church officials in both the US and UK have approved of a two dollar App for the iPhone that makes confession as simple as a few taps on a touch screen.

The program goes through the sacraments and the user selects ways in which he or she has sinned. They may also factor in things like age, sex, and marital status.

However, if all of this sounds a little too close to the indulgences of yore, don’t call in St. Peter just yet. The confession App is not meant to replace the act of confession. It was only made to encourage those using it to reflect on their past transgresses and consider the way they live a little more deeply. It is a tool to help prepare for the sacrament of reconciliation.

LIFESTYLE
Roof-Top Tents for Road Trips

Gizmodo editor, Joel Johnson, has tested out a travel necessity that’s become extremely popular in Europe. The roof-top tent, a portable tent attachable to one’s car roof, has become the go-to option for camping gear. It’s compact, fuel-efficient, and less likely to go to waste than its fellow accessories. While a success overseas, it hasn’t quite made it to the U.S.

Luckily, Johnson found and imported one of his own and tested it out for his readers. The hard-shell tent opens with four gas struts and includes an aluminum ladder for users to climb up to their tiny new habitat. That’s a lot less set up than a store-bought tent that has to be pitched into the ground. It is also a lot less in terms of tools that have to be transported and used. The roof-top tent comes with a small mattress, though it does not provide an extreme amount of warmth. Johnson suggests taking a few blankets and a sleeping bag to put inside. However, that’s a safe precaution to take when setting up any tent, as night in the out doors is often much colder than peple usually imagine. The tent itself is also surprisingly well-protected against the wind.

ART
Celebrity Graffiti


MTO, a famous guerrilla graffiti artist, has created a trend in celebrity graffiti across urban areas in Europe and the United States. The French artist based in Berlin has been creating these clever and eye-catching pieces of work since 2008. They are each, like a signature, MTO's footprint in the graffiti world and his style changes much like a letterer graffiti artist's would. The only change is the face he is spray painting.

His collection spans from musicians to actors in expressive scenes from movies, often cult classics. They are usually a stark blend of black, white, and gray surrounded by a halo of red or the MTO tag. To see such expressive characters frozen in time against such a cold color palate evokes quite a puzzle for the eyes, and it's no surprise that his work has gained a lot of notoriety. However, MTO is careful when creating anything to always be respectful of the art space that may belong to a local. He sat down with a reporter from FatCap to answer some questions about his art and its intention. Of graffiti's place as a street art he says:

ART
Impossible Shots!

Over at Pxleyes, their blog writers have put together 36 of some of the most surprising and amusing photos composed without the aid of Photoshop. In an age where retouching is used for the slightest details of a picture and some of the biggest internet phenomena have been created by those ever so handy tools, it’s refreshing to see the amazing emerge from simpler resources. These photos require quite a bit of imagination and work on the part of the photographer and subject and are infinitely delightful on the eyes.

The small gallery showcases the funny, mind-boggling, and downright miraculous. Many play with perspective. Others showcase impossibly daring feats and shots. The final few even toy with clouds and capture shapes we’d often envision for ourselves on rainy afternoons. The results are at the very least inspiring and have the comment section debating over exactly how each photo was made. Some are so flummoxed they're calling the article's bluff on whether the photographers stayed away from Photoshop or not.

WEBSITES
Geek Chic Gifts for Her

With less than two weeks until Valentine’s Day, time is running out for would-be gift givers and those hoping to make a romantic move. Suppose that sweetheart is a little less Donna Karen and a little more Dr. Who, and things might not be as simple as candy or perfume. Well, we decided to spread a little love ourselves by providing some Valentine’s Day options worth looking into.

For the Music Meisters: Tunes for Two

There’s no better romantic gesture for the music lover than wanting to share their passion. Both practical and cute, the Tunes for Two really gets the message across in a sweet way. It’s a heart-shaped headphone splitter that’s compatible with any device that uses a 3.5 mm headphone socket. That means it’s safe to use with most MP3 players, computers, and audio devices. At $11.95 and coming in both pink and red, it’s a thoughtful little gift that goes a long way.

GADGETS
Scientists Create Invisibility Cloak

Shuang Zhang, a University of Birmingham researcher, has developed an invisibility ‘cloak’ with the help of some calcite crystal. The calcite becomes transparent and conceals whatever is hidden within it when seen through a filtered lens. So far it is only small enough to conceal objects roughly the size of a paperclip. However, scientists are excited, as it could be a step toward far greater uses.

The obvious applications seem to be military-specific. After all, there is no better form of camouflage than invisibility. Many argue that the calcite crystal could prove a much more successful way to go undetected than the current earthy tones that have helped the military for years.

LIFESTYLE
MyClean.com

It’s genius in simplicity for busy Manhattan-dwellers in desperate need of house keeping. MyClean, an online cleaning company, makes scheduling and finding the right cleaner for your apartment fast and easy. Gone are the problems of calling different companies for price quotes and haggling for the schedule you need!

MyClean offers a simple way to get quality cleaning. Simply register, schedule the dates and times you’d like your home or office to be cleaned, and you’re set. Payment can be made by credit card, making the process all the more simple!

GADGETS
Batman: Arkham City News

In an interview with Gamespot, Sefton Hill, game director for Rocksteady, announced that the world of Arkham City will be 5 times as big as the original Arkham Asylum game. With the original’s environment being fairly large for a storyline usually limited to the titular area of Arkham Island, this news has fans excited and curious. Arkham City carries a lot of potential for gameplay and storyline, especially when considering the rogue gallery of the Batman comics, cartoon shows, and movies.