I consider myself somewhat of a robot fan, and there are few automatons you could show me that I wouldn’t think are pretty damn cool in some capacity or another. However, there are some robots out there that, no matter how awesome you usually think robots are, are absolutely, seat-wettingly scary. The vast majority of these tend to be humanoid, skirting the phenomenon of the Uncanny Valley with varying degrees of unsettling success. No matter much closer they might bring us to having a completely realistic human robot, there’s simply no excuse for taking some of these android abominations out in public. [Read more...]
Stirring international controversy last week was the front cover of the May 21, 2012 edition of TIME magazine, which depicts Jamie Lynne Grumet, an American blogger and mother, breastfeeding her three-year-old son, Aram. Photographed by Martin Schoeller, the image has provoked intense debate concerning not just attachment parenting but also the appropriateness of the cover.
But this isn’t the only time the front of a magazine has stirred the pot and spun debate; indeed, countless rag covers have left constipated readers and non-readers alike with the urge to shout, complain and criticise. So, let’s leaf our way back through the many pages of publishing history, and take a look at ten of the most controversial magazine covers ever to grace a newsstand’s magazine rack and ever to shock and appall unsuspecting subscribers. [Read more...]
If you were a teenager in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s, you may recall playing a few rounds of Space Invaders at your local arcade, heroically battling the alien menace from behind the decreasingly sound security of your ever-deteriorating final bunker. If so, you may be interested to know that a silver ring heavily influenced by the classic arcade game is available for purchase online.
Designed by Amsterdam creative studio Tjep, the Invader Aiko Ring has a pixelated face intended to have a striking resemblance to the extraterrestrial foes featured in the game. [Read more...]
A frequent visitor to the jam-packed corridors of YouTube is an ongoing trend that some people refer to as a “pop culture megamix” and what other, more sensible individuals call a “supercut.” “What is a supercut?” I hear you curiously questioning. Well, a supercut is usually defined as a video montage that exists to highlight and bring attention to an overused plot device or line of dialogue that has at some point or another plagued either television or cinema screens, or sometimes both. The montage typically acts as an overblown compilation of examples of a certain hackneyed movie/TV cliche being used by lazy screenwriters, with mini clips pasted together with monotonous/hilarious repetition. A supercut can also be person-specific (focusing on one actor or filmmaker’s quirks and tropes) or centred on a single TV show or movie.
The trend’s origins can be traced all the way back to 2006, after which it went viral, with hundreds of very imaginative and highly entertaining supercut videos uploaded to YouTube ever since. Below are twenty of the finest, assembled in no particular order. [Read more...]
Here are some playgrounds that will make you want to be a kid again, or at least make you wish there wasn’t a social stigma against grown adults gleefully frolicking around a children’s play area sans one’s children. Designed by Monstrum, a Danish firm founded by Ole B. Nielsen and Christian Jensen, these playscapes are by far the most remarkable I’ve ever seen. Located all across Europe, their stunningly imaginative features range from the fantastical (a spider web netscape strung up below a giant spider) to the dreamlike (a blue-and-red-striped playscape seemingly designed by Dr. Seuss) and also to the slightly creepy (the bendy playhouse pictured above looks a bit haunted and/or hungry).
They’re practically art installations just as much as they are play areas, and Monstrum is certainly very enthusiastic about them. “MONSTRUM believes that playground design should be a reflection of the world surrounding us,” says their official website. “We see the world as a place full of colour. We meet boys that like pink and girls that likes trees, so why only play on a monkey frame and a sandbox, when you can play in a moon crater or a submarine or a giant spider or an enormous snail or a Trojan horse or a rocket or an ant or a princess castle. The fantasy is infinite.” [Read more...]