Napkins today are mundane and practical, made from paper or cheap factory cloth and folded, if at all, hastily into a rectangle. In the past, napkins weren't just for wiping hands or protecting clothing — they were works of art...
Eating implement, folding, with three-pronged fork, spatula, pick, spike and knife. A.D. 201 — A.D. 300
In 1925, the Federation of British Industry created a series of silent films meant to document various aspects of British industrial work being done at the time. Included in that series was a film on the work of Oxford University Press. Oxford University Press and the Making of a Book. (SilentLinkYouTube)
Le Crimp (mostly en français) is a French collective that explores organic and abstract geometric [ I | II | III ] (PDFs) approaches to the art of origami. Read the white papers, browse the gallery or watch videos of artworks being made or being used in still-motion animations
Foldit - Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players
Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists. The structure of a protein causing AIDS in rhesus monkeys had not been discovered in 15 years of attempts. Players of a videogame did it in ten days. Foldit, the game in question. Abstract. Previously, previously.
Giang Dinh uses the wet folding origami technique to make faces, animals, figures, and even miniatures.
Towel folding robot folds towels. Stacking ensues. Robot designer Pieter Abbeel's interesting commentary here.
The Small Science Collective creates mini-zines about SCIENCE. Each zine downloads as a PDF. Learn about DNA computing, rediscover cephalopods, or host a bot fly. More information is available on the collective's accompanying blog. (via)
Got some spare time? Then let's learn origami! Check out this large collection of origami designs (suitable for beginners too), and here's some instructional origami videos to help you along.
Eric Joisel may be the greatest living origami artist. Here is how he does it. Here is a short documentary about him.
Burning discs for a friend? Fold your own double CD case to put 'em in. Several other templates previously discussed here. [via TRFJ]
After viewing this incredible video (.wmv) from China I am folding laundry like a pro (via Linkfilter)
Astonishing geometric art using only folded paper plates, from Bradford Hansen-Smith at wholemovement. View the gallery of fantastic polyhedral creations, and learn how to do it yourself. (For more fun with paper plates, see also Paper Plate Education: Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate.)
An unfinished work representing a centuries-old mystery and containing an encrypted signature, Pythagorean philosophy and celestial numbers... Could it be the new Neal Stephenson novel? Actually, it's Johann Sebastian Bach's "Art of Fugue", believed by some to have been conceived as "absolute music" never intended to be played at all. Artist Elizabeth Harington has created a lovely and loving visual interpretation of the work in the form of 14 folded sculptures (nicely presented by Colophon).
Bored at the office? Put some of that paper to good use: make some paper airplanes. Those two links should keep you busy for a few days (be sure to try out Nick's Plane. Possibly the best paper plane there is. Thank you Nick, who ever you are..), but if you're looking for something a little flash, you could try folding one of these.
All right, I'll admit it. I've never known how to fold a fitted sheet. A quick web search on the topic brought me to these instructions, which I tried, and failed miserably at. I need pictures! Isn't this what the WWW is for ... non-pornographic pictures? Or am I forever doomed to balling the damn things up and tossing them to the rear of my linen closest, where no unsuspecting guest will find it and discover my terrible secret? I guess I could give the things up and just go for hospital corners. Martha Stewart, help me!
Distributed computing projects are everywhere. Wired reports a new European project similair to a US initiative that is an explosive moment in the development of computing brainpower, equivalent to the point when mammals leapt ahead of the dinosaurs. What other cool distributed projects are there?