CUBIC CROSS CODE: Iceland’s 3D zebra crossing

Ísafjörður – VIJAY SHAH via Bored Panda

The first zebra crossings appeared on the streets of the United Kingdom in 1949, where they were introduced on a trial basis at 1,000 different locations. Originally, they were anything but zebra-like, being kitted out in blue and yellow alternating stripes, before the current standard was adopted a couple of years later.

 

These days, in much of the world, zebra crossings are an important feature in both road safety and pedestrian locomotion, but have always stuck out as rather mundane. A line of black and white stripes is not much of a crowd pleaser when you look at it. The only time zebra crossings became famous was the Abbey Lane crossing in London, which was immortalised on the front cover of the ‘Abbey Road’ album released by The Beatles in 1969. That humble north London road feature was catapulted to fame, much like the band themselves, and is still a tourist attraction.

That is until today. In 2017 a small Icelandic town decided to install a zebra crossing, mainly to keep the brakes on speeding drivers passing through the area. Ísafjörður, a fishing community in the north-west of the island, however was not interested in the bog-standard black-and-white flat road markings zebras normally use. Being Scandinavians and talented at combining function and design, the town council instead opted to create a roadside optical illusion, as beautiful as it is functional.

They painted a line of 3D stripes across the road, and using shadows, the painted stripes resemble solid rectangular white blocks that look like they are floating above the ground. This exciting development in road safety is not just aesthetically pleasing. It also gives pedestrians the feeling of floating on air as they cross the street and drivers are so entranced by the floating stripes they have to slow down to take the peculiar sight in. It is a win-win for everyone.

The 3D crossing was designed as an art installation by street painting company Vegmálun GÍH, who were requested for assistance by Icelandic environmental commissioner Ralf Trylla. Trylla drew inspiration from similar road crossings in New Delhi, India, produced by the city’s New Delhi Municipal Council, albeit with yellow ‘blocks’. The Delhiite crossings proved so successful that the council there plans to paint forty more of them. Similar crossings have also been installed in China and the Republic of Ireland.

You can see specially commissioned photographs of the Iceland 3D zebra crossing by Ágúst G. Atlason of Gústi Productions in the article by Bored Panda, which originally covered this feature, in the Sources section below. You can also see the crossing in action with the mini-documentary featured with this article.

SOURCES:

Mihaela Croitoru/Facebook

“Town in Iceland Paints 3D Zebra Crosswalk To Slow Down Speeding Cars” – Stella, boredpanda (Bored Panda) https://www.boredpanda.com/3d-pedestrian-crossing-island/?utm_source=&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=organic

VIDEO CREDIT:

“Town in Iceland Paints 3D Zebra Crosswalk To Slow Down Speeding Cars” –
Odomihoc Irepo/What’s Up?, YouTube GB (27 October 2017) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6st0j_gl-o

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AMBIGUOUS OBJECT ILLUSION: An incredible new design by Kokichi Sugihara

For centuries, optical illusions have fascinated people with their visual tricks, appearing as something and then something else, only to be something else entirely. From the ‘rabbit duck’ illusion that appeared in the US magazine Harper’s Weekly in 1892 (said to be the world’s oldest) to the Magic Eye three-dimensional cacophonies of colour that were the rage twenty years ago, optical illusions have mesmerised and shocked.

Now the deception has really gone 3D. The advent of 3D printing technology for plastics has opened up a new stream of possibilities for artists of groundbreaking optical illusions. One artist who has embraced this is Japanese academic, Kokichi Sugihara, who has released an incredible new design, titled ‘Ambiguous Object Illusion’.

 

The artwork consists simply of a blue plastic toy with holes. When turned around ninety degrees, the objects holes change from diamonds to circles without any alteration to the fabric of the design. Turn it around again and the holes suddenly increase in size as well as changing shape to triangles and a diamond with curved sides. Introduce a mirror into the mix and things get more surreal, with the object’s reflection completely different to how the real deal appears to our eyes. A closer inspection of the little plastic thingie reveals it has wavy edges, which affect how the object is perceived depending on the angle.

Sugihara’s ambiguous art projects have been a hit online and in 2016 they helped him become a finalist at the Best Illusion of the Year Contest, as well as taking first place in the same competition in earlier years. A mathematician on the faculty of Japan’s renowned Meiji University, his mathematical engineering skills, combined with a love of art, has already produced novelties such as an artwork where a marble appears to be rolling uphill, and another where a circular pipe appears rectangular. Of particular note is his artwork ‘Ambiguous Garage Roof’. His interest in illusions stems from his research in the 1980s on automating the analysis of perspective drawings, including computer programmes that examined the objects featured in the designs of famous optical illusionist M.C. Escher.

The optical illusion works because the holes or cylinders are based on a shape which is halfway between a circle and a square, with the side edges formed as waves. Two sides dip up, and two sides dip down. When combined, the shape is ‘corrected’ depending on which shape is projected into the mirror. Your eyes and brain’s visual cortex do the rest. It is complicated physics and not something this poor author can adequately explain. Nevertheless this mind-frying trick is very confounding.

SOURCES:

PhysicsFun.

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

RΛMIN NΛSIBOV, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/RaminNasibov

“Kokichi Sugihara” – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokichi_Sugihara

“How Does The Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion Work? This Mystery Has The Internet Stumped — VIDEO” – Maddy Foley, Bustle (5 July 2016) https://www.bustle.com/articles/170704-how-does-the-ambiguous-cylinder-illusion-work-this-mystery-has-the-internet-stumped-video

 

 

PHOTO MOMENT: Ganesh Chaturthi – Mumbai Ganpati

 

May all of your obstacles be overcome this Ganesh Chaturthi. Image by Supriya Tiwari.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Mumbai Ganpati‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Mum_Ganpati

mum_ganpati, Instagram (26 August 2017) https://www.instagram.com/p/BYPw3HenCFY/

tiwarisupriya392, Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tiwarisupriya392/

PHOTO MOMENT: DieselWave

 

An image of trainers, a television and 1980s gaming items produced by an unknown artist for the clothing retailer Diesel. Featuring their new SKB model of trainer, the picture draws its influence predominately from the vaporwave art movement (combining pastel and bright colours, retro designs and 1980s nostalgic throwbacks), but with a slight nod to the photography trend known as ‘flat lay’.

IMAGE CREDIT:

Diesel, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Diesel/

VALUABLE SMOKE: Artist helps China turn smog into diamonds

Beijing, CHINA
VIJAY SHAH via World Economic Forum

Smog is probably one of the most useless… and dangerous things known to humanity. The thick all-enveloping clouds of chemical particulates, water vapour, smoke and other atmospheric ingredients kills thousands of people globally per year, causes disruption to traffic and the economy and is an inescapable hazard to sufferers of breathing problems such as asthma. But now, in the notoriously polluted cities of China, they are not only fighting back, but are making a tidy profit from it too.

China has some of the most polluted aerial environments on earth. With a 1 billion-plus population and rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, as well as a determined quest to become a major world superpower, the country’s citizens pay the price for China’s great march to prosperity, enduring extremely high smog levels owing to the proliferation of factories, industrial units and slash-and-burn farming creating smoke which blows in from the countryside. In some large cities, including the capital Beijing, smog occurs almost on a daily basis, and is particularly evident in the summer months. One nationwide smog incident in late 2015 sparked red alerts and health warnings in ten cities, and the dirty air is thick enough to reach California, thousands of miles away in the Pacific.

 

However an artist from the Netherlands has proposed a novel solution that could not only rid cities in China, and in other rapidly developing nations, of their peasoupers, but also provide a boost to the diamond industry, turning a killer into a sparkler.

Dutch national Daan Roosegaarde is the in-charge of the Smog Free Project. The premise of the project is simple. First erect a seven metre tall tower which looks like it was made from window blinds and resembles a portly windmill. The tower draws in the polluted air and purifies it. As it does so, the carbon from the smog is extracted and compressed into carbon, the building blocks for organic life and the core ingredient of diamonds. The tower transforms the carbon dust into valuable gems, in a process that takes just thirty minutes. Beijing’s smog alone is 32 per cent carbon particulates, which will mean a lot of gems. The towers are, not surprisingly considering the background of their designer, influenced by Dutch architectural styles, and are intended to not look too obtrusive or space-consuming, a form of functional urban sculpture.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions, Roosegaarde told the assembled delegates and press: “It started with a dream,”

“The dream of clean air for everyone.”

The idea for the Smog Free Project first formed in Roosegaarde’s imagination when he was observing Beijing’s notorious smog from a hotel window.

“On Saturday, I could see the world around me, the cars, the trees, the people. But on Wednesday it was completely covered in smog, with pollution, and that image made me a little bit sad.”

Determined to free people from being forced to stay inside during smoggy days and to give them freedom to breathe safe air, he began planning the project.

Tests done in Beijing have shown the technology does work. Areas where the towers were tested were found to have air 70 to 75 per cent cleaner than places which did not have them. The success of the tests was picked up on by Beijing’s city government who have decided to endorse the artist’s project. Roosegaarde will now tour other cities in China to display the virtues and benefits of the towers.

The diamonds produced by the Smog Free Project will be used in jewellery making and the profits made ploughed back into the project, particularly in funding the construction of more towers.

SOURCES/VIDEO CREDIT:
World Economic Forum, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/worldeconomicforum/
“Why turning China’s smog into diamonds isn’t as crazy as it sounds” – Rachel Hallett, World Economic Forum – Industry Agenda (27 June 2016) https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/why-turning-smog-into-diamonds-isn-t-as-crazy-as-it-sounds?utm_content=buffer507f2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Rosa Ortiz.

BANKSY IN CALAIS: Secretive street artist leaves Steve Jobs painting at refugee camp

Calais, FRANCE
VIJAY SHAH via The Wrap

Guerilla artist Banksy, famed for his powerful street art laced with socio-political commentary, has resurfaced again, this time at the notorious refugee camp, dubbed ‘The Jungle’ in Calais, France, online magazine The Wrap and the New York Times reported yesterday.

As the debate on the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis reverberates across Europe and much of the world, the Bristol artist, famed as much for his guarded anonymity as for his works of many of which have sold for several thousand pounds, left behind an artwork on a wall in the Jungle, depicting the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, whose father was said to have emigrated from Homs in Syria to the United States shortly after World War II.

(c) Banksy via The Wrap

 

The technology visionary is shown in his characteristic black turtle neck top and denim carrying a sack over one shoulder and holding a vintage Apple monitor in the other hand. The look in his face mirrors the same of many Syrian and other refugees, who often face dangerous trips across open seas and walking thousands of kilometres to reach safety in Europe.

Job’s birth father, a Syrian named Abdul Fattah Jandali, met Job’s mother one summer in his native hometown and later emigrated to the US.

“We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources, but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant,” Banksy said in a statement. “Apple is the world’s most profitable company, it pays over $7 billion a year in taxes — and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”

Nowadays, the debate about allowing Syrian refugees to settle in the United States has became increasingly negative, in comparison to places such as Germany and Canada, where refugees have been largely welcomed with open arms, including one planeload of refugees who were greeted by the Canadian prime minister himself. In the recent light of the tragic San Bernardino killings, where a foreign-born health service worker and his wife gunned down fourteen of their colleagues last week, and comments about banning Muslims from American territory made by presidential candidate Donald Trump, a recent poll among American state governors said that thirty-one were not open to allowing refugees to move to their states, according to The Wrap.

Banksy’s artworks, nearly always done in public areas using traditional stencils and paints have commented on everything from rampant consumerism, the credit crunch, politics, the war on terror to social media, celebrity culture and the British monarchy.

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
bar Yehudit, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/SMCADMAN
TheWrap, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/TheWrap
“Banksy Creates Steve Jobs Portrait to Support Syrian Refugees” –  Tim Kenneally, The Wrap/The Wrap News Inc. (11 December 2015) http://www.thewrap.com/banksy-creates-steve-jobs-portrait-to-support-syrian-refugees/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Banksy Creates Steve Jobs Portrait to Support Syrian Refugees” –  Tim Kenneally, The Wrap/The Wrap News Inc. (11 December 2015) http://www.thewrap.com/banksy-creates-steve-jobs-portrait-to-support-syrian-refugees/

DIWALI 2015: New HEM festive graphic unveiled

In celebration of the festival of lights, Diwali, which arrives this year on the Wednesday, 11th of November and which coincides with Armistice Day in the UK, the Half-Eaten Mind has unveiled a special commemorative graphic.

The graphic is part of a long tradition on the blog for what is termed in the business as ‘homemade graphics’. Every Diwali since 2013, HEM’s blogger and editor Vijay Shah uses his graphic designs skills to produce special edition graphics which serve as not only a bit of fun and celebration, but also as a tip of the hat to the talent that goes on behind the scenes.

This year’s image is derived from a wallpaper offered by HappyDiwaliGreetings.in and created via image design site piZap. It features three symmetrical and stylised diyas (lamps) arranged over Paisley patterns in a nod to traditional north Indian art. The design carries the official HEM branding as well as a QR code which when scanned with a suitable app on a mobile phone, can take the viewer to the blog.

The graphic will be featured on the HEM social networks nearer the occasion.

The Half-Eaten Mind would like to wish our readers, supporters and the Community a very happy Diwali in advance.

IMAGE CREDITS:
“Beautiful HD Happy Diwali Greetings Images of Diyas” – Celebrate Diwali With Us/Kopasoft (14 August 2015) http://happydiwaligreetings.in/beautiful-hd-happy-diwali-greetings-images-of-diyas.html
“Vector – Pattern” – CanStockPhoto/Can Stock Photo Inc. http://www.canstockphoto.com/pattern-7404553.html
piZap http://pizap.com/

PHOTO MOMENT: Grenada underwater slavery memorial

An underwater memorial to the victims of the Atlantic slave trade, situated off the coast of the Caribbean island of Grenada. It pays respects to the thousands of people abducted from Africa to be enslaved in the Americas who were thrown overboard to perish in the Atlantic Ocean after becoming sick or rebelling. These sombre heads with their eyes closed in peace form part of the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park, the world’s first sea-based sculpture gallery and a poignant reminder of when it was considered acceptable to trade in our fellow humans.

Made available via Sunshine Su.

SOURCES:
A Higher Knowledge, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/AHigherKnowledge
Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park http://grenadaunderwatersculpture.com/
IMAGE CREDITS:
A Higher Knowledge, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/AHigherKnowledge

MAMAG: International Modern Art Austria Biennale

MAMAG Modern Art Museum, a specialist art gallery in Austria, has announced it will be hosting the International Modern Art Austria Biennale exhibition and festival on the 14-30 August 2015, the museum‘s website has announced.

The board of trustees for the museum, based at the Schloss Hubertendorf (castle) in Blindenmarkt, a small town around 5 kilometres from Amstetten in central Austria, have organised the first ever such biennale for contemporary arts in Austria in a bid to increase networking and exposure to those engaged in the artistic life. The event will also offer up and coming contemporary artists across Europe and the world a unique and sympathetic chance to showcase their best pieces to a discerning international audience.

(c) MAMAG

 

The Schloss, which is a large stately home built in 1614 by a local knight, Georg Löffler on old farming lands and a disused mill, was chosen as the Biennale’s venue by MAMAG for its rustic charm, and its relevance as a European hotspot for old and new art and culture, according to the museum’s website.

Details on which artists will be exhibiting are not yet available as the Biennale is still in the very earliest stages of preparation. However the company’s Twitter account has a pinned tweet dated the 11th April, calling on artists to enter submissions for the Biennale this August. Visitors are also being offered free entry during the festival’s opening hours of 11:00 am to 6:00 pm local time.

The MAMAG museum is a privately owned art museum for modern and contemporary art in Lower Austria. Much of the pieces held in situ are by local Pop Art artist Tanja Playner. The museum regularly organises special exhibitions on modern art, photography, scenic views and panoramas, lithographic works, sculptures and mixed media contemporary art.

MAMAG will also be playing host to the International Modern Art Fair of Austria at the Schloss Neuberg in Loeffelbach on the 11-19 July, 2015.

HEM 3rd anniversary banner pizap.com14293560242241

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
Schwarzenegger Fans, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/arnold_fanclub
“International Modern Art Austria Biennale” – MAMAG Modern Art Museum http://www.mamag-museum.com/international-modern-art-austria-biennale-1/index.html
“CASTLE HUBERTENDORF” – Franz Aigner Properties LLC/Aigner rental of properties http://www.aigner-properties.com/real-estate/aigner-schloesser-gmbh/84-castle-hubertendorf
“MAMAG Museum english” – MAMAG Modern Art Museum http://www.mamag-museum.com/mamag-museum-english/index.html
MAMAG Museum of Art, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/mamag_museum 
IMAGE CREDIT:
“International Modern Art Austria Biennale” – MAMAG Modern Art Museum http://www.mamag-museum.com/international-modern-art-austria-biennale-1/index.html