Photographer Vanessa Ahlsborn's Machete Project "is an ongoing portrait and object archive that showcases the diversity of this blade style and the beauty of its users. Despite their fearsome reputation in western news media and popular culture, the machete is an extremely versatile and commonplace asset for many people across the world. By documenting the everyday user for whom the machete is an invaluable tool, the project seeks to question the viewer's assumptions about the machete, and by extension, the people who use it." [more inside]
A treasury of poorly designed things.
In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica
, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment
. There are location challenges
, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons
. [more inside]
Enter some text about your interests or research topic into the Serendip-O-Matic,
and get an intriguing array of related images and primary sources from the Digital Public Library of America
, and Flickr Commons
. A One Week | One Too
allows you to explore a virtual, computer-generated 3-d universe from your browser. Background, screen shots and hardware requirements
. (Requires WebGL and a little time to load on slower computers.) [more inside]
"My intentions here are simple: avoid discussions about what exactly constitutes Chinese photography, evade overwhelming information, and instead visually examine the role that such photographs play in shaping China’s image
(English, French, Chinese). Some whimsical — Alain Delorme Totems
, others moving — Song Chao Miners
, Migrant workers
Memphis-based photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero has long been aware of strangers making fun of her behind her back due to her size. So aware, in fact, that she has turned the whole concept into a full-blown photography project
. Titled Wait Watchers, the series consists of Morris-Cafiero’s self-portraits in public in which strangers can be seen in the background giving her strange looks and/or laughing. More photos at her website
The Everyday Sexism Project
collects user-submitted reports from women to document their day-to-day experiences with normalized sexism, including sexual harassment and job discrimination. Entries can be submitted at the site, in an email to founder Laura Bates or to their twitter
account. [more inside]
Run away from Michel Foucault.
Cameron Kunzelman is a games journalist and creator. He has made a little web game where you try to evade the French historian. His blog
. His twitter
. More Kunzelman Previously
NextNature's Koert van Mensvoort writes about
Ukranian woman, Valeria Lukyanova
, who is a
body artist also known as the Human Barbie. Believed to be fake, she's proven herself
to be a real live human being. He takes this opportunity to remind us about Anthropomorphobia – the fear of recognizing human characteristics in non-human objects, in an essay exploring the
Twilight between Person and Product.
publishes a new, printable PDF featuring an original poetry & visual art collaboration every month; they've beeing doing it since 2005.
You can even become a vector
for this distributed, "serendipitous" press.
The music video for "Come and Go (featuring The KickDrums)
" (vimeo, best viewed in widescreen)
features "various buxom ladies in pink tank tops," and it's a little wider than average. That's because it was shot on a single-point capture 360° panoramic video camera
. Directed by Alan Wilkis, who suggests
we "think of it as ULTRA widescreen… as if you’re looking in all directions at once." Free downloads of the song (and three remixes) are available at Soundcloud
. (Via) [more inside]
The year was 1945. Two earthshaking events took place: the successful test at Alamogordo and the building of the first electronic computer. Their combined impact was to modify qualitatively the nature of global interactions between Russia and the West. No less perturbative were the changes wrought in all of academic research and in applied science. On a less grand scale these events brought about a [renaissance] of a mathematical technique known to the old guard as statistical sampling; in its new surroundings and owing to its nature, there was no denying its new name of the Monte Carlo method (PDF). -N. Metropolis
Conceptually talked about on MeFi previously
, some basic Monte Carlo methods
include the Inverse Transform Method (PDF)
mentioned in the quoted paper, Acceptance
Sampling (PDFs 1
), and integration with
importance sampling (PDF)
"24 Hours of Reality
will focus the world’s attention on the full truth, scope, scale and impact of the climate crisis. To remove the doubt. Reveal the deniers. And catalyze urgency around an issue that affects every one of us.” — Al Gore on the worldwide event to broadcast the reality of the climate crisis. The Climate Reality Project will live stream starting at 7pm CT on September 14. [more inside]
The American Festivals Project
takes you along on two guys' National Geographic-funded
2008 tour of the "small, hidden, and bizarre" festivals
celebrated all over the United States. Through photos, video
, and a blog
, discover Rattlesnake Roundup
, Okie noodling
, an American Fasnacht
, the Idiotarod
, and plenty more
. [more inside]
, powered by Google: explore museums and galleries
from around the world in the same way you explore cities with Street View and click on a painting (or select one from the list) to view a high quality scan
. [more inside]
The Smiths Project.
71 Smiths songs recorded in 1300 hours, in 1 year, in billions of layers of 1 voice, by 1 woman. [more inside]
— Nine years ago, young photographer Dane Shitagi
walked up New York City’s Broadway towards the highly patronized and well known STEPS dance studios
in search of a ballet dancer who could help him begin his project: to capture images of ballerinas in urban environments. Those images first started appearing on Blogspot, but have since migrated to Facebook
Artist Sarah Musi sent little pieces of art
to forty-five artists
, along with a tiny blank canvas for them to create something and return it. So far she has received six back
has a dream: The Giant Spider Robot Project
. First he needed some infrastructure; a Palacial Megadome
(with trampoline floor
) in the woods, his own hand made road
, a Banana Building
, and of course his own lumber mill
. He also recently started the Adventure Builders Club
for anyone else who likes building stuff. Whole lots more videos in his channel
Meet Meet Eater
, a plant
that sustains itself through Facebook interaction
. This project was created by designer and artist Bashkim Isai
as a university project
to explore the idea of "affectionate computing"
and currently sits at digital hub The Edge
in Brisbane, Australia. Meet Eater has a good sense of humour
, but also perhaps a drinking problem
Face your pockets.
I have no idea how these people got their heads wedged into their scanners, or why.
The Mandolin & Unicycle Project
is a thesis project from Matt Manos
"I have always wanted to learn how to ride a unicycle, and I have always wanted to learn how to play the mandolin, so the most logical conclusion I came to was to learn how to play the mandolin while riding the unicycle. In one month." The project blog starts here
A Moment in Time: On April 8, the New York Times Lens photography blog asked
to take a photo at a particular date and time
: Sunday, May 2, at approximately 15:00 (U.T.C./G.M.T.), then submit it for an upcoming interactive online gallery. 13,000 images were submitted, 10,000 have now been posted online. [more inside]
Ozark Medieval Fortress
– Thirty masons, carpenters and stone carvers authentically dressed, will work all year round for twenty years, the time required to build a fortress in the Middle Ages.
: spice up those boring travel photos by mefi's-own-Clipperton
izing yourself. [via mefi projects
] [more inside]
, physicist, nuclear scientist, and designer of the deceptively tiny Davy Crockett nuclear recoilless rifle
, is not quite as famous as one of his other projects: nuclear spacecraft propulsion.
was intended as an interplanetary (and eventually interstellar) vehicle which could achieve Earth orbit with a series of 800 nuclear explosions, each detonated about a second after the other below the spacecraft. It would propel itself through space in a similar fashion, carrying many orders of magnitude more mass than chemical rockets such as the Saturn which would ultimately take men to the moon.
Taylor and others intended a mission to Mars by 1965, but the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963
destroyed all hope to see Orion take flight.
For the interested, "The Curve of Binding Energy"
goes into much more detail, including the U.S. Air Force's plan to turn Orion into a nuclear space battleship (!).
A youtube video of an Orion concept test using conventional explosives is here
(flight footage begins around 0:23).
All you need is love
- from 156 countries, all at the same time. Join in the chorus
; each video leads to a 5-cent donation from Starbucks to the RED Global Fund for AIDS in Africa.
From bagpipes to xylophones,
Dennis Havlena's legendary website will show you how to make musical instruments, cheaply. Some of them sound pretty good
In light of the recent tragic death
of a cyclist in Toronto, even normally well-balanced MeFites have polarized
in the bikes vs. cars
But according to Guillermo Penalosa
, the fight is really about better urban design. He helped to radically reinvent the transit and parks infrastructure
of Bogata, making it of the best cycling cities in the world
. The recent changes to Broadway in New York
were influenced by Bogota's success.
Gil now advises the Project for Public Spaces
and is Executive Director of Walk & Bike for Life
. Their solution to the pedestrians vs. cars vs. bikes battle is simple: better urban planning
(previously on MeFi
) that gives everyone their own safe space. Not sure if your city's infrastructure is up-to-snuff? Apply the 8/80 rule
In the meantime, keep safe out there
Alex Kralie, a film student, was shooting his student project in 2006. It was never completed, due to what Alex called "unworkable conditions", and his friend and classmate talked Alex into handing over the raw footage.
The name of the film was to be Marble Hornets
, and that's the name of the youtube account used to released interesting or odd snippets from Alex Kralie's aborted film.
Marble Hornets Introduction [more inside]
"The Public School
is a school with no curriculum. At the moment, it operates as follows: first, classes are proposed
by the public (I want to learn this or I want to teach this); then, people have the opportunity to sign up for the classes
(I also want to learn that); finally, when enough people have expressed interest, the school finds a teacher and offers the class to those who signed up." A project of Telic Arts Exchange
- An ongoing project devoted to discovering all the words
and everything about them. [via]
The Millennial Project is a comprehensive plan for space development, beginning with the terrestrial cultivation of an environmentally sustainable civilization and Post-Industrial culture and culminating, far in the future, in the colonization of our immediate stellar neighborhood. The TMP2 project is specifically a project of the Living Universe Foundation community to continually update and revise the content of the original plan as described by Marshal T. Savage in his book The Millennial Project. [more inside]
We already talked
(self-link, sorta) about Zeitgeist: The Movie
. Its author, Peter Joseph, recently released Zeitgeist: Addendum
. (beware: last two links are two hour movies) This time, it’s about money and debt, scarcity and resources. The first, financial part may look like an extended Ron Paul
ad, but then there’s a sudden turn towards resource-based utopian techno-communalism, and an endorsement for The Venus project
. It seems to me like "Kropotkinian anarchism meets The Matrix". In these rough times
, is it time for a big leap? [Also announced: The Zeitgeist Movement
, still not active]
I get a cut of your good Karma if you win.
So Google has committed $10 million to fund up to five ideas selected by their advisory board.What's the kicker? Anyone can submit an idea. [more inside]
I Love My Life The Way It Is
. A collection-in-progress of unscratched scratch-off lottery tickets, the project is the brainchild of Ali Alvarez, who hopes to collect at least 8000 tickets, enough to fill a 12x12 room from floor to ceiling. Alvarez is soliciting donations of unscratched tickets from volunteers around the world, and has posted pictures of some of the ones received so far. The idea of an unscratched lottery ticket makes some people "a little crazy," but Alvarez hopes the collection will cause people to explore the ideas of "getting your hopes high, dreaming, escaping, and then usually being let down." Via.