She Can Leap Tall Buildings

Mothers get one day out of the year to be celebrated for all they do. They’re unsung heroes every other day of their lives and they’re saddled with the most thankless of tasks. They fed us, clothed us, raised us, and sometimes they did it all on their own. Frankly, putting up with us for years seems like a Herculean task on its own, but many of our mothers did it, and they did it with a lot of love. Paying tribute to the modern mothers of the world is photographer Heidi Lender, with a photoset appropriately titled She Can Leap Tall Buildings.

Vending Machine Accepts Hugs as Currency

In Singapore this week, hugging a Coca-Cola vending machine will get you a free soda. No, it’s not a sudden outreach from the robots we’ve created. It’s part of a campaign started by Coca-Cola called, appropriately, the ‘Open Happiness’ campaign. It’s not the weirdest campaign Coca-Cola’s taken on and it certainly doesn’t trump Pepsi’s social networking vending machines. Still, it’s raising eyebrows and bringing a little joy all over Singapore.

Cardboard Crime Scenes in Berlin

Some of the best and most entertaining art is the result of creating just for the fun of it. It’s the sort of feeling that created spontaneous art galleries, collaborations, and flash mobs. It’s art with joy and it bring a special charm to whatever it touches. We’re fond of installations that add a touch of humor and whimsy to a scene, and that is just what German-based artists Maria Luján and Wolfgang Krug created recently all around Berlin.

The Knife is a project where Luján and Krug stage some comically oversized murders all over the city, using some rather harmless material. The weapon is a highly detailed huge knife made only out of brown cardboard. For detail, a nice splotch of red blood made from red paper gushes from the victim--one of them. It’s a fun and surreal photo opportunity for the artists to see what kind of crime scenes they can create using the space surrounding them, a really strange weapon, and themselves. However, the real kick comes from drawing in an audience, which the two have certainly done. The two choose some conspicuous spots to frame some of the murders. A bus stop, sidewalk, stairwell, and alley have all served as crime scenes.

The Cybertecture Mirror

It’s easy to get jealous of sci-fi worlds where the future has become way more advanced than it ever will. The Jetsons are going to get their flying cars and sky houses in about 40 years. Most every other fantastic future movies and video games told us about already started happening once we hit the 2000s. Yes, a lot of those are some pretty grim future scenarios, but what we’re really jealous of are the gadgets. Instant transportation and touch screens everywhere are what we’ve been thinking up for the future for years. Little did we know that some of that future tech was already here, making its premier in Hong Kong.

The Super Hot T-Rex

It’s Spring! The sun is finally out for more than a few hours at a time, trees, however few in the city, are bursting back to life, and the streets are full of spring dresses and pasty shoulders, finally seeing some action after months of hibernation. Just when we finally thought we could stop huddling around our radiators hoping for some warmth, the most awesome heating device in the world was created. We know your eyes are still adjusting to the light, but feast your eyes on the coolest radiator ever the be invented: The Super Hot T-Rex.

This conceptual radiator was designed and created by Art Lebedev Studio. Founded by Artemy Lebedev, this Russian studio is known for its offbeat and quirky designs and is dedicated to industrial and graphic design. The studio has already created some strange and really cool household items, but this T-Rex skeleton might just take the cake. The Thermosaurus is made of cast iron and is installed like a normal central-heating radiator. It’s even energy-savvy due to the distribution the cast iron skeleton creates.

April Fools’ Day Roundup 2012

Spring is finally sort of kind of in the air and we’re finally getting a little bit of that warm weather energy back. Anyone in the spirit of things put that new energy to good use this weekend pranking the living daylights out of their friends. Sunday was a free pass for tricks, and a Get Out of Jail Free card for consequences. Most of us are patiently waiting for the best of this weekend’s festivities to show up on Youtube, but they’re not the only place featuring the best April Fools’ Day tricks.

DeviantArt, to prank its browsers, temporarily replaced some of its images’ thumbnails with mandatory cat facts. Kodak’s site temporarily offered a way to print custom LIVE kittens. Even AdBlock got in on the action and displayed pictures of cats instead of the advertisement being block. It was a big year for cats on the internet. However, not to be outdone, ThinkGeek once again provided some fake products we wish we could have. There was an Admiral Ackbar talking fish, an inflatable captain’s chair from Star Trek’s Enterprise, the Technomancer Digital Wizard Hoodie, Hungry Hungry Hippos for the iPad, Minecraft Peep Creeper treats and more.

Check out the commercials for Google Maps for the NES and Hungry Hungry Hippos for the iPad below!

We Know That Feel, Bro

It’s rare to find a set of art that’s a combination of adorable, heartwarming, and humorous. Chris Gerringer, however, is here to start our weekend right, with over 20 illustrations of characters we’ve grown to love, bonding over some shared misfortune. The “I Know That Feel, Bro” series borrows its title from a meme made popular on the video game board on 4chan and, for better or worse, made its way out to Reddit, Tumblr, and just about every major social network.

While the phrase may be watered down and a little overused, Gerringer breathes new life in it with his particular spin. Each illustration is a quirky little puzzle until viewers put together why the two characters are having a little moment. Some are easy to put together, like The Hulk and Kermit the Frog’s reason for bro-fisting it out, while others take a little longer to piece together, like Sonic and Captain Planet. With over 40 characters commiserating, though, it’s hard not to find a few favorites, even for the most stone hearted among us.

Movie Villains After Retirement

A good movie villain is one whose memory still brings a chill up our spines. Great movie villains are the ones that had us checking under beds, in closets, and boarding up windows as kids. Be it monster, murderer or Martian, the ones that nearly made us wet the bed became our standard for fear well into adulthood. They might have even evolved into some of our favorite villains ever. Life goes on, though, after the credits roll. If no one made sure your villain was dead at least 3 times, odds are good he or she went on with their lives.

Villains, like many of our heroes, don’t usually stay permanently young. Outside of comics, where characters tend to stay the same age for decades to keep readers coming, we can assume our heroes and villains went on to live long lives after the big “The End”. They may have settled down, married, and even turned their villainy into a fulfilling career. Italian photographer Federico Chiesa explores the lives of villains in their golden years through portrait. The well-known photographer worked with Carolina Trotta, who created the stunningly accurate make-up work, visual effects, and styling for the scenes.

The Self-Powering Robotic Jellyfish

On a list of things we thought we would need a robot version of, jellyfish were somewhere around the absolute bottom. Science, however, works in some mysterious ways. Our latest advancement in technology is a robot that continuously propels itself, without really ever having to come back into human contact for a recharge. It just so happens that the creature whose shape best suited the experiment happened to be one of our prettiest and most gelatinous sea critters.

The “Robojelly”, which thankfully comes without any stinging power, is bell-shaped and relies on a combination of oxygen and hydrogen gases to contract and release its appropriately jelly-looking “muscle”. This “muscle”, according to an abstract featured in the April issue of Smart Materials and Structures consists of “nano-platinum catalyst-coated multi-wall carbon nanotube sheets, wrapped on the surface of nickel—titanium shape memory alloy.” While that’s practically Schi-Fi jargon for many to take in, the important part is that this combination makes the device capable of moving around in water. It makes its structure very close to that of a living jellyfish.

Joel Robison’s World of Books

There isn’t much in the world that can capture the feeling of being happily lost in the world of books. The journey to worlds we may never see is one that can start at any age. Simply picking up a book opens us up to new ideas and makes us a part of stories more grand than the universe we know. It’s hard to capture the years of wonder lining our bookshelves. That, however, hasn’t stopped a brilliant Canada-based photographer from trying, and making parts of that sensation wonderful and real.

Joel Robison, also known as boywonder (a user name we’re pretty fond of), creates some wonder of his own with photos based around the world of books. He explores both the comfort of reading and the worlds books open up for their readers. Paper dragons, whales that travel through pages, and worlds imbued with the magic created by books are only a few of the sights to see in the boy wonder’s photography. His self-portraits are at once cozy and mystifying. Tea cups and books welcome the viewer into a world just ever so slightly different for our own. In some pictures, Robison is tiny and the world is big. They capture how vast and engulfing some story worlds are--how small we are when peeking into worlds that are not our own, worlds that may not exist.