Here's a great new game: Find the ThingX among a sea of ThingYs... It began with a panda in a picture full of snowmen. Then a cat in a flock of owls. (YOLO: You Obviously Like Owls) Another panda, hidden among elephants (harder than you'd expect). More pandas among Star Wars Stormtroopers and Black Metal Rockers. Also, for Star Wars Fans and all movie lovers, one Oscar among dozens of C3POs. A literal Easter Egg among bunnies. Some puzzles like these are easier (and less creative) than others. And the latest and greatest: find a certain celebrity/candidate's hair in a pile of tribbles.
Kennedy Elliott, graphics editor at The Washington Post presents a broad, graphics-filled overview of how humans perceive data graphics. [Links to Medium, not WaPo.]
Optical illusions are not universal, and the differences in how we perceive them can help us to understand cognition. The famous Müller-Lyer illusion is not universal, but differs by culture, with some African tribes unable to see the illusion at all - possibly because of differences in environment. Individuals with autism seem less sensitive to the Sheppard's table illusion, which might help improve an understanding of the condition. Differences in responses are possible because different illusions trick your brain in different ways. BBC has a great history of the evolution of optical illusions, and, finally, here are some auto-kinectic illusions, because they are awesome.
Asha Leo of Refinery29 travels around the world to learn about international fashion subcultures and the way fashion affects society worldwide. So far she's met Gothic (and other) Lolitas in Amsterdam, Moroccan expat culture, hijra in India, Hasidic designers in Brooklyn, Korean matchy-matchy fashion for couples, and the highly colorful world of Japanese decora.
Blair Bogin is a Chicago based performance and visual artist who creates videos/performances about things like living in your apartment, playing Rock Paper Scissors, and monologues on putting things in your mouth. [more inside]
George "DarkAngelØne" Redhawk is legally blind, and "likes to play with pictures” to create surreal animated gifs. His full archive contains more than 1000 images. (Some may be NSFW).
Originally released on the PSP system in 2010 the first Danganronpa game called Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ( (ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生) developed and produced by Spike Chunsoft . It featured a classic whodunit game where the MC (Makoto Naegi) a Japanese teenger found himself stuck in a strange high school setting with a unique cast. [more inside]
What color is this dress? is a really strange phenomena currently seen taking over twitter, as people see a blue dress with black lace while others insist it is white with gold. So far, no one can tell why exactly it is happening, other than it is baffling for both sides.
Writing - from the PhD research blog Deathsplanation:
"I almost went to college to study art. I even interviewed for a place. I had a portfolio and everything. That was more than a decade ago and honestly, I can’t even remember if I got in. But I didn’t go. Things changed, life took a drastic turn, and I wanted to leave everything behind. And so I did. I ended up at university, pursuing another passion of mine: archaeology; history, anthropology. [more inside]
"I have never strayed that far from art. It’s always been there, in my life. But recently, it’s been a lot more… present."
Deep Visual-Semantic Alignments for Generating Image Descriptions. A model that generates free-form natural language descriptions of image regions. Holy crap.
Two approachable visual presentations of simple neural networks: one showing how a soft activation function allows the successive layers of a neural network to distort the input until the different classes are separable, and the other showing how a hard step activation function can be represented as carving out polygons in the space of inputs. Don't be intimidated by the rather condensed summaries above- the actual articles are very readable.
Every year, the Neural Correlates Association announces the world's three best optical illusions. Out of a number of finalists, the 2014 winners have been announced: 1) The Dynamic Ebbinghaus, 2) Flexible Colors, and 3) a Turn in the Road [animated gif version]. There are also a list of best illusions from all years, as well as winners from 2013, 2012, and previous posts. Of course, if there was a lifetime achievement award, it would need to go to Akiyoshi Kitaoka, inventor of some of the most amazing recent illusions: rotating snakes (seriously, this is amazing), possibly the best color illusion ever (with instructions on making them), and also Lady Gaga covers. Also, for no good reason, here are 20 more good ones.
Visual Patterns. Here are the first few steps. What's the equation?
Motion-Induced Blindness plus 105 other Visual Phenomena & Optical Illusions.
The sound of silence - Research by Dr. Chia-Jung Tsay published in PNAS suggests that top musicians are judged as much for the visual aspects of their performances, as much as for the aural ones, regardless of the experience level of the listener or judge
We've all seen it. The off-white UAV is seen side on, nose tilted slightly down, a stubby missile caught at the moment of launch beneath it, a blue and grey landscape of treeless mountains behind it. There's no motion blur and none of the markings on the aircraft have been obfuscated. It's a perfect shot. Except for one or two details. [more inside]
The Cleveland Memory Project is an archive of photos, postcards, videos, recordings, clippings, ebooks, personal papers, maps and other historical "goodies" about the city. "It's a collaborative endeavor of many local historical societies, public libraries and government agencies who have mounted their own local history." On Flickr. [more inside]
Cat responds to rotational optical illusion. The illusion in question. But why does it work? Link to the actual paper.
Broadsided Press 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.
Los Angeles-based electronic artist Nosaj Thing has collaborated with with the artist/scientist, Daito Manabe (previously) and Creators Project (info) to produce a stunning and graceful audio/visual feast for his new single "Eclipse/Blue", which features Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead on vocals.
Can’t get enough of these videos from AsapSCIENCE. Here’s an earlier one from the Your Brain On Drugs series entitled marijuana. I was pretty stoned when watching it and ended up cracking up at the funny cats – total highlight for me. Can’t remember the gist, but you should definitely check it out. (Text Via) (slyt)
Blackboard Sketching by Frederick Whitney, Director of Art, State Normal School, Salem, MA, 1908. [more inside]
Are you the type of person who, when flipping through a book or scanning a website, immediately searches for the diagrams or charts because you'd rather absorb the information visually than have to read a bunch of text? If so, then you are probably a visual learner and you may find Useful Charts helpful. The goal is to present useful information in the form of study charts so that students, teachers or simply those interested in increasing their general knowledge can absorb the information quickly and visually.
Bill Bollinger was an important post minimalist sculpture in the late 1960s and early 1970s. One of a generation of people who changed what sculpture meant. [more inside]
Geometrically the irrationality of the square root of 2 means that there is no integer-by-integer square whose area is twice the area of another integer-by-integer square. A visual proof that the square root of 2 is irrational (not found in previous visual proof post.)
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]
Which place looks safer? Which place looks more unique? Which place looks more upper-class? MIT is crowdsourcing a "perception network" to analyze people's subconscious judgments about urban spaces. Preliminary results for Boston, New York City, Vienna, Salzburg, and Linz (Austria). [more inside]
A thread full of proofs without words at MathOverflow and quite a lot more of them courtesy of Google Books.
Visual.ly, the most daring start-up in visualization after the previous demise of Swivel and other "social visualization" ventures.(*) has infographics which explain typography, dollar bills. and evolution of the geek.
Natalia Fabia Inspired by light, color, punk rock music, hot chicks and sparkles, Fabia is fascinated with “hookers”, which fuels her paintings of sultry women. (A bit NSFW)
Since November of 2008, the Uncertain Times tumblr blog been offering a daily ragtag of unique, eclectic, intelligent eye-candy, over 8,000 wondrous posts. Bookmark and lose some hours exploring it! [more inside]
The Noun Project collects, organizes and adds to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world's visual language, so they may be shared in a fun and meaningful way. The goal is to collect and organize all the symbols that form our language into one easy-to-use online library that can be accessed by anyone. All the symbols on their site are completely free to download, and can be used for design projects, architecture presentations, art pieces — just about anything.
Pictorial Janus (SLYT)
Clio Visualizing History seeks to illustrate the unique role of visual images in American history. That history is rich with images taken by women, and of women. Frances Benjamin Johnston photographed a diverse sample of Americana from politicians to mine workers, socialites to factory women, and public institutions. She was a peer of many, including Gertrude Käsebier and the Allen sisters. [more inside]
Escher Circuits. What if you could compute the output of complex algorithms just by viewing an image?
Our everyday visual perceptions rely upon unfathomably complex computations carried out by tens of billions of neurons across over half our cortex. In spite of this, it does not “feel” like work to see. Our cognitive powers are, in stark contrast, “slow and painful,” and we have great trouble with embarrassingly simple logic tasks. Might it be possible to harness our visual computational powers for other tasks, perhaps for tasks cognition finds difficult? I have recently begun such a research program with the goal of devising ways of converting digital logic circuits into visual stimuli – “visual circuits” – which, when presented to the eye, “tricks” the visual system into carrying out the digital logic computation and generating a perception that amounts to the “output” of the computation. That is, the technique amounts to turning our visual system into a programmable computer.
Stargate Studios opened in 1989, and has been doing visual effects for some the most successful tv shows of the past few years such as Heroes, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy and 24. Green screens allow them to artificially blend and create scenes that you wouldn't expect. Their official website has more on their Virtual Backlot and other Tech Demos.
The Virtual Window Interactive is a toy based in, and an advertisement for, The Virtual Window, a theoretical Visual Studies text authored by Anne Friedberg, who passed away this week at age 57. If you're like me, the first thing you'll realize is that your native aspect ratio is faulty already.
See What You Think. Information Is Beautiful.
"I want our type to jump, scream, whisper and dance..." Ebon Heath and His Visual Poetry. "When I close my eyes I can see the words of great poets like Rakem or Tupac flying thru the air and dancing with the same physicality my body instinctually feels. My mobiles attempt to create a visual sense of rhythm and flow that is alive, not contained." This interview with Heath breaks down his Stereo.type and Purge projects. [more inside]
Lens is the new photojournalism blog of The New York Times, presenting visual and multimedia reporting — photographs, videos and slide shows. A showcase for Times photographers, it will draw on The Times' own pictorial archive, numbering in the millions of images and going back to the early 20th century. Features in their first week include: Essay: Slow Photography in an Instantaneous Age, about what it means to shoot on large-format film in the digital age; Showcase: A Prom Divided, a multimedia feature about a segregated prom in 2009 south-central Georgia.
The winners of the 2009 Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest. And past years. (ante)
The Tarantino Mixtape from Eclectic Method is not the first mashup to cross the audio/video copyright streams, but they are pretty good at it.
via the always excellent giavasan [more inside]
via the always excellent giavasan [more inside]
Graffiti Project in Kenya Slums — more than a year after he took the original pictures, French photo artist JR has returned to Kibera, Kenya. He was reunited with the women who had accepted to be part of his WOMEN project at the end of 2007 (previously). 2000 square meters of Kibera slum rooftops have been covered with photos of their eyes and faces. Most of the women will have their own photos on their own rooftop and the material used is water resistant so that the photo itself will protect the fragile houses in the heavy rain season. They are on view from the railway line that passes above them, and will be visible for Google Earth. (via Africa.Visual_Media)
They call themselves Visual Journalists. Prime among them is the Bombay Flying Club, a group of photo-journalists who are using the latest web and flash technologies to frame their online news gathering and documentary storytelling. [more inside]
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