Thursday, 28 July 2011

Wave Hello to the Next Generation of Public Bike Storage

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Wave Hello to the Next Generation of Public Bike Storage: [ By Delana in Art & Design & Technology & Gadgets & Transit & Auto. ]

You put a lot of time, energy and money into your bike, so it is understandable that you would want to protect it when parking in public. Designer Joe Mattley came up with a concept he calls WAVE: Secure Modular Bicycle Parking. It is kind of like fancy public lockers for bikes, and it is far superior to the bike parking methods most of us use today.

(all images via: Joe Mattley)

The WAVE setup includes an L-shaped door that lifts up to access the inside. Once closed and locked, the individual chambers are nearly impossible to open without a suite of specialist tools. The super-sturdy material can withstand all of the physical abuse that rowdy villagers can throw at it.

Because the entire bike fits inside a lockable chamber, thieves can’t take off with just a tire. Vandals can’t slash tires or cause any other harm to the rides. The bikes are safely kept locked away until their owners come back to retrieve them.

According to Mattley, there are a number of locking options: the owner’s own combo lock, a key or even a coin-operated lock. The concept is such a great one that we would love to see them pop up in cities. It seems like it might be difficult to manage the stalls – users could simply park their bikes there and leave them for years – so there is definitely some more work to be done on the practical side of the idea. But as far as a rough concept, the WAVE bike locker is outstanding.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

China’s Sea Of Green Algae Has Beachgoers Seeing Red

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China’s Sea Of Green Algae Has Beachgoers Seeing Red: [ By Steve in Geography & Travel & History & Trivia & Nature & Ecosystems. ]

Summer’s arrived and China‘s green menace has returned along with it… we kudzu not! The massive bloom of stringy, slimy, and smelly Enteromorpha Prolifera algae that recently infested the seashore near Qingdao succeeded in keeping most (but not all) swimmers from enjoying a day at the beach.

Green Goo Go Home!

(images via: BBC, Chinabuzz and

The east may be red, in the words of the popular Chinese government anthem, but the shocking green tide of algae that swamped beaches in the northeast part of the country is neither politically, aesthetically not environmentally correct.

(images via: Debosh, CoastalCare and China Daily)

Enteromorpha Prolifera, to give it its official name, is a form of green algae that bursts into bloom if nutritional and meteorological conditions are just right. When that happens, the results are, well, just wrong.

(images via: DailyMail UK and Yahoo News)

According to the North China Sea Branch (NCSB) of the State Ocean Administration, reports of the unsightly algae infestation began to be received in late June at the busy port and popular resort of Qingdao.

(images via: Ghana Nation, Coastal Care and SMH)

Air temperatures approaching 30°C (86°F) and water temperatures just offshore reaching 20°C (68°F) had created the perfect storm for the mother of all algae blooms. Anyone complaining about China being “slow to go green” obviously hasn’t spent a summer in Qingdao!

(images via: National Geographic, Qingdao(nese) and Reuters)

From an initial area of 330 sq km (127 sq mi), the algae bloom rapidly grew to cover a 12,400 sq km (4,790 sq mi) expanse of the Yellow Sea by June 23.

(images via: SMH)

The advent of a persistent onshore wind then drove waves of floating algae onto the beaches near Qingdao: at one point approximately 440 km (275 miles) of shoreline was subsumed in bright green goop!

A Verdant History

(images via: Qingdao(nese), and China Mike)

Qingdao’s green plague is of relatively recent origin and can be directly attributed to the exponential growth of the city of Qingdao. A little over a century ago, the city’s current location on the Shandong Peninsula was occupied by a small and sleepy fishing village.

(images via: Metropolis and Dr. Hostel)

The peninsula, however, was/is strategically located and Qingdao itself boasts a fine natural harbor. In 1897, Imperial Germany seized the environs and arm-twisted China’s decadent and decrepit government into granting the Kaiser a 99-year lease of the Kiautschou Bay concession.

(image via: Travelpod)

Development of the city and surrounding area proceeded quickly: within just a few years several large stone churches had been built, the city and port boasted clean water and electric lighting, and the Tsingtao Brewery opened for business. It all seemed too good to be true, and so it was. Shortly after World War I began, a joint Japanese-British force conquered the German concession. Given the tumultuous series of wars and revolutionary upheaval which followed, it’s a wonder any hints of Qingdao’s German heritage remain, but they do – most notably the brewery (above).

(images via: TripAdvisor/Mark Wilson and TripAdvisor/Mies)

From an original population of around 85,000 at the time of the German seizure of Qingdao, the city itself has ballooned to an astounding 7.5 million (2009) with millions more living in newly developed suburban areas.

(images via: DailyMail/AP)

The city’s port is one of China’s busiest and the beaches that run along the Shandong Peninsula’s south-facing shore are hugely popular with vacationers from across northeastern China. Unfortunately, Qingdao’s economic success is negatively impacting its appeal as an unspoiled getaway.

(images via: Qingdao(nese) and ChinaBuzz)

As the city grew, its infrastructure was hard-pressed to keep up. As well, agricultural activity on the peninsula resulted in nitrogen-rich runoff being swept into the bay and ocean. The combination of organic effluent from fertilizer and sewage with warm marine temperatures acted to produce algal blooms of ever-increasing size.

(images via: YachtPals)

The problem gained worldwide attention in 2007 and 2008 when wall-to-wall algae blooms threatened to inundate training and competitive facilities for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

(images via: and Telegraph UK)

Thousands of fishermen, students and “sea police” were dragooned into clearing the algae from the shoreline and over 100,000 tons of noisome seagrass were removed, allowing the Games to go on.

(images via: Sulekha, and Mirror UK)

Even the army was drafted (so to speak) into what became an all-out, epic effort to save the sailing venue – and save face for China in the bargain. Join the army and see the world? I’m guessing a lot of the PLA’s raw recruits figured they had a better chance of invading beaches than cleaning them up.

A Blooming Shame

(images via: China Daily, CRI and Global Times)

Just what is this algae, seagrass or seaweed? Enteromorpha Proliferaso is a form of algae that grows to resemble seaweed. Its long branches and kelp-like fronds help it clump together into huge, floating rafts of vegetation that casts a dark shadow on the sea life below.

(images via: Yahoo News)

As the algae dies and sinks to the seafloor it can spark creation of vast “dead zones” as the bacteria digesting the dead algae suck the oxygen out of the seawater.

(images via: ChinaBuzz and China Daily)

Found on seashores all over the world, Enteromorpha Proliferaso known in Hawaii as Limu ‘ele‘ele and is said to be edible… though considering the nutrients it grows on might cause one to lose their appetite. Unlike the algae in Red Tides, Enteromorpha Proliferaso isn’t toxic… just messy, smelly, annoying… and very, very green.

(images via: DailyMail UK, Charlottesville Greenstone Blog and The Dirt)

Slime and stink notwithstanding, thousands of Chinese vacationers weren’t about to let a little (or a lot) of seaweed deprive them of their cherished dip in the ocean. You know, the ocean… that cool, clear, liquid underneath the rippling carpet of green slime?

(images via: IB Times and National Geographic)

Some beachgoers appear to be somewhat acclimated to the algal overgrowth, with one child enthusing “It is like the green grass. It feels so soft.”

(images via: Scott Brauer)

Meanwhile, local authorities seem to be in denial regarding the problem. “We don’t know where it originated and why it’s suddenly growing so rapidly,” said Professor Bao Xianwen from the Qingdao-based Ocean University of China. “It must have something to do with the change in the environment,” Bao speculated. Gee, ya think?

Pie in the Sky? Not in Dubai! 8 Mind-Blowing Projects

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Pie in the Sky? Not in Dubai! 8 Mind-Blowing Projects: [ By Marc in Architecture & Design & Technology & Futurism & Travel & Places. ]

Dubai is one of the wealthiest of the 7 arab emirates, and it isn’t averse to funding projects that boggle the mind. Where else can one go skiing in a desert? Or buy an entire island in the shape of a continent? Lavish wealth and a willing-to-do-anything attitude has brought well-deserved fame to this gorgeous city.

World Islands

(Images via dailymail, islands-guides, realestatewebmasters)

2.5 miles off the coast of Dubai, there now resides an impressive archipelago of well over 100 small islands in the shape of the world’s continents. Despite incredible initial interest, there is as of yet, only one building on the islands (a show home). Despite allegations that the islands are sinking back into the ocean, the developers continue to remain hopeful that construction will continue.

Ski Dubai

(Images via mountainyahoos, holidaydestinations4all, dubaiforums, skidubai)

Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort with over 22,500 square meters of prime skiing area. With a 60 meter-high indoor mountain, and 5 different ski slopes, it’s fun for all skill levels. The resort continues to be a prime destination for locals and tourists alike.

Dynamic Tower

(Images via inhabitat, worldarchitecturenews, thefirstpost)

A planned 80-story skyscraper in downtown Dubai, the dynamic tower is awe-inspiring because of its absolutely unique design. It is the only skyscraper in the world that will have independently rotating floors. Each floor is pre-fabricated to help in construction, and once set into motion, each floor will go through a full rotation every 90 minutes.

Rem Koolhaas’ Convention Center

(Images via lauracarrathurs, treehugger)

This planned project is located in one of the neighboring emirates to Dubai, and while it calls to mind the Deathstar from Star Wars, it would serve a much less intimidating purpose, as an indoor convention center in Ras al-Khaimah.

Diamond Ring Hotel

(Images via flixya, superdailymegacool)

A lot of crazy ideas are thrown around in Dubai and the other Arab Emirates, but few rival this proposed project. With what appear to be rotating hotel rooms, it’s an amazing concept, and one it would be fantastic to see made real.

Hotel Burj al-Arab

(Images via dubaihotel, e-architect, thatsweird, home-designing, venere)

The Burj al-Arab is a 5 star rated hotel that stands on an artificial island in Dubai. The 4th tallest hotel in the world, its unique design on the outside is more than matched by the opulence displayed on the inside.

Arch Bridge

(Images via amazing-world-info, luxury-insider, sizzledcore, io9)

Dubai likes to do it big! This proposed arch bridge would be over 1 mile long and 12 lanes wide. It is set to stand nearly 700 feet tall. Construction is set to begin in 2012, and judging from the size of the undertaking, will take quite some time to complete.

Anara Tower

(Images via archdaily, uaerush, inhabitat)

One of the saddest abandoned projects in Dubai, the Anara tower was planned to look like a giant wind turbine and stand 135 stories tall, with a garden every 27 floors. Canceled in 2009, hopefully this project will be picked up again at some point. In Dubai, anything is possible.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Pet Planters: Indoor Green-Roofed Homes for House Pets

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Pet Planters: Indoor Green-Roofed Homes for House Pets: [ Filed under Furnishings & in the Decorative category ]

Just as the simply-pitched A-frame house has evolved in eco-friendly ways (often with more unique roof styles), so too are houses for dogs, cats and birds, with some getting greener roofs along the way.

Aside from catchy contemporary curves and non-symmetrical shapes, these multi-funcitonal pet dwelling-and-planter combinations are a nice space-saving way to grow plants inside while housing a petite best friend or two.

Jardin Chic specializes in the slightly-strange and eye-catching when it comes to indoor and outdoor furniture designs.

Still, this series of conceptual and real explorations into animal habitats might be their most clever work to date – now if they could only start to accommodate larger dogs, multiple levels and/or multi-pet housing, who knows how far the series could go.

More Money, More Art: 32 Currency Creations

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More Money, More Art: 32 Currency Creations: [ By Steph in Architecture & Design. ]

Money art, including sculptures and collages made of coins or paper cash, proves that currency can be worth even more than its face value. These 32 works by 14 (more) artists were created by welding coins together, laser-cutting cash, painting on dollar bills and even just plastering an entire room with them. From stunningly detailed portraits to jaw-dropping stop-motion videos, these works of art range from social commentary to pure fun.

Portraits & More by Mark Wagner

(images via: escape into life)

Swirling, intricate portraits and drawings of beetles and human anatomy are among the most awe-inspiring works of artist Mark Wagner, co-founder of the Brooklyn Artists Alliance. Says Wagner of his choice to work with currency, “The one dollar bill is the most ubiquitous piece of paper in America. Collage asks the question: what might be done to make it something else? It is a ripe material: intaglio printed on sturdy linen stock, covered in decorative filigree, and steeped in symbolism and concept. Blade and glue transform it-reproducing the effects of tapestries, paints, engravings, mosaics, and computers-striving for something bizarre, beautiful, or unbelievable . . . the foreign in the familiar.”

London 2012 Sign Made from Coins

(images via: this is colossal)

It took several 2D and 3D artists to stack 31,010 coins into an enormous ‘London 2012′ sign for Cadbury’s Race Season, a challenge to find the world’s fastest racers. UK Agency Pretty Green decided to make the process of creating this sculpture a race, too – they sought ‘the world’s fastest coin stackers’ and were able to create the sign within 5 days.

My Money, My Currency by Hanna von Goeler

(images via: if it’s hip it’s here)

Artist Hanna von Goeler blocks out large areas on dollar bills, leaving only select details behind. Says the artist, “My currency work originated in California, while I was studying at UC Davis. I was very interested in camouflage at the time. This interest led me to create my first paintings on dollar bills, between 1992-94, in which I camouflaged/painted images onto and into bills. A death in the family led me to the east coast, and faced with the costs of living in New York City on an artist’s budget, I continued to paint on money.”

Carved Cash Sculptures by Scott Campbell

(images via: this is colossal)

Scott Campbell’s laser-cut currency sculptures are absolutely jaw-dropping. In a 2011 exhibit called Noblesse Oblige, Campbell, a tattoo artist, cut graphic forms into stacks of cash, making a statement about privilege and the waste of money.

Intricate Currency Collages by C.K. Wilde

(images via: artichoke yink press)

Vibrant and amazingly detailed, these currency collages by artist C.K. Wilde are made of money from around the world. They’re so colorful, it’s easy to forget that it takes untold hundreds or thousands of dollars to produce them. Says Wilde, who is also a co-founder of the Brooklyn Artists Alliance along with Mark Wagner, “Through the ages art has borne witness to the suffering that power inflicts upon the powerless. Wilhelm Worringer wrote that art is, ‘Creation in order to subdue the torment of perception.’ So while some dream and wage war, art continues to offer an alternative view – a world defined by its capacity for compassion and communion rather than destruction and death.”

Insert Coin Stop Motion Animation Video

(images via: this is colossal)

This hypnotic stop-motion animation video was created using thousands of coins against a black fabric background. The two artists work as quickly as possible, pushing the coins around on the base to form various patterns. It took about 7 weeks to complete this video.

Carpenter’s Tools by Stacey Lee Webber

(images via:

This set of carpenter’s tools, made entirely from cut and bent pennies, is just one example of the stunning coin sculptures made by artist Stacey Lee Webber. The metalsmith spends countless hours bent over coins in her studio, punching out details and using both the positive and negative cut-outs to form new objects. “Coins are more than currency, They are metal objects that hold historical tales as they are passed through the hands of millions of people on a daily basis,” Webber says. “In my artwork I have highlighted the personal history of coins by using them as a material to make art objects. I have chosen to construct objects out of pennies, quarters, nickels, dimes and foreign coins that reflect the often disregarded physical struggle the everyday blue collar laborer undergoes to earn the value of these stamped metal discs.”

Money Dress by Dave Cole

(image via: clayton parker)

1,000 one-dollar bills were used to form ‘Money Dress’, a sculpture by Dave Cole. Cole made the bills into continuous strands and used them to knit the dress in a pattern of a Vera Wang gown.

Pop Culture Cash by James Charles

(images via: my modern met)

The familiar faces on American paper currency are transformed into faces that are just as recognizable – but far more modern. James Charles turns George Washington and Abe Lincoln into the Tin Man, Spock, Yoda, an Oompa Loompa, Mr. T, Iggy Pop and many other pop culture figures. Experimenting with ink and papers that are virtually identical to those used by the U.S. Mint, Charles even alters the text below each figure, adding sayings like ‘Pity the Fool’, ‘Tea Party MILF’ and ‘Chicken Choker’.

Fruit, Animals & Architecture by Won Park

(images via: behance)

Origami artist Won Park uses dollar bills to create tiny sculptures of telephones, apples, pigs, buildings, cars and more. This series was part of a rebranding effort for Payment System Group.

Currency Rings by Sophie Kemp

(images via: sophie kemp)

Artist Sophie Kemp wanted to give money away – but do it in an unusual fashion. “I decided to take the cold cut process of giving people money and enhance the experience of this action. I decided to take a dollar bill and use origami folds to make it into a ring as the giving of a ring has such emotional connections. I then made these rings out of 12 different currencies.”

Dollar Bill Koi by Mizu Kami and Won Park

(images via: mizu kami)

Noted currency artist Won Park came up with the design for this intricately folded origami koi fish made from a dollar bill, which was physically created by Mizu Kami.

$100,000 on the Guggenheim Museum Walls

(images via: my modern met)

When artist Hans-Peter Feldmann won the Biennial Hugo Boss Prize, bestowed by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for achievement in contemporary art, he was awarded $100,000 and a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim. This is what he chose to do with both. 100,000 dollar bills cover the gallery walls and pillars. “I’m 70 years old, and I began making art in the ’50s,” Mr. Feldmann told the NY Times .“At that time there was no money in the art world. Money and art didn’t exist. So for me, $100,000 is very special. It’s incredible really. And I would like to show the quantity of it.”

Sofa Made of Coins by Johnny Swing

(images via: freshome)

This gleaming sofa, a sculpture called ‘All the King’s Men’ by Johnny Swing, is crafted from welded coins on a steel support. It took thousands of half-dollar coins to create this 97-inch-long work of art.