Amazing

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Amazing Design

A Project Aims to Create the World’s Largest Hanging Garden Since Babylon Within the Branches of a 114-Foot Tree

March 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

The French masterminds of mechanical delight, Les Machines de L’ile, have an ambitious new project underway. L’Arbre aux Hérons (The Heron’s Tree) is set to be the largest hanging garden built since ancient Babylon, spanning over 160 feet in diameter and reaching 114 feet into the sky. Their Nantes-based team describes the historic muses behind the project:

Inspired by the worlds of Jules Verne and Leonardo Da Vinci, it is an unprecedented artistic project. After the Grand Elephant and the Machine Gallery in 2007, the Carousel of the Sea Worlds in 2012, the Herons’ Tree is the third phase of the Island’s Machines. Coming out of the minds of François Delaroziere and Pierre Orefice, it will be located along the banks of the Loire River, a few meters away from the house Jules Verne spent his teenage years in and where Jean-Jacques Audubon grew up and drew his first herons.

Les Machines de L’ile have been working on The Heron’s Tree since their inception in 2007, and in the spirit of democratic discovery, their team of skilled craftspeople have been sharing the prototypes with visitors to the Machine Gallery. The sketches and mock-ups for the project include a giant steel tree topped with two herons that each carry twenty passengers on circular flights. Half of the tree’s twenty-two branches can be traversed on foot by visitors, and all of the branches will support hanging terraces of plants and gardens to create a lush ecosystem. The tree itself will be set in an old granite quarry on the cliffs of Brittany.

The goal is to open The Heron’s Tree in 2022, and two thirds of the 35 million euro project cost is being covered by public funding. Les Machines de L’ile is seeking to fund the rest through crowdfunding: you can contribute via Kickstarter. You can also track the project’s progress on Facebook.

A small-scale prototype

A prototype branch

Prototype herons

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Digital rendering of walkways

 

 

 



Amazing Dance Music

Spike Jonze Directs Mind-Melting New Dance Video for Apple

March 7, 2018

Christopher Jobson

There is perhaps no other director who can blur the lines between art and advertising like director Spike Jonze. From his 2016 hit dance video for KENZO perfumes all the back to his early ads for Levi’s, the Oscar-winning director has an extraordinary ability to present contemporary dance against stunning visual backdrops. Enter his latest short for Apple HomePods: Welcome Home featuring English musician and dancer FKA twigs rocking out in her apartment to a new Anderson .Paak track called ‘Til It’s Over.

It appears the 4-minute short was filmed largely using practical special effects to create colorful sets that stretch out like a skewed digital glitch. Mum’s the word on exactly how Jonze filmed the piece, but we’re sure to hear more in the coming days about how exactly it all came together. (via Adweek)

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

Photo of a Single Atom Wins Top Prize in Science Photography Contest

February 13, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Image © David Nadlinger / Oxford University

You might need your glasses for this one. Quantum physicist David Nadlinger from the University of Oxford managed to capture an image that would have been impossible only a few years ago: a single atom suspended in an electric field viewable by the naked eye. The amazing shot titled “Single Atom in an Ion Trap” recently won the overall prize in the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) science photo and imaging contest. You can see the atom in the shot above, the tiny speck at the very center.

To be clear, the photo doesn’t capture just the atom, but rather light emitted from it while in an excited state. From the EPSRC:

‘Single Atom in an Ion Trap’, by David Nadlinger, from the University of Oxford, shows the atom held by the fields emanating from the metal electrodes surrounding it. The distance between the small needle tips is about two millimetres.

When illuminated by a laser of the right blue-violet colour the atom absorbs and re-emits light particles sufficiently quickly for an ordinary camera to capture it in a long exposure photograph. The winning picture was taken through a window of the ultra-high vacuum chamber that houses the ion trap.

Laser-cooled atomic ions provide a pristine platform for exploring and harnessing the unique properties of quantum physics. They can serve as extremely accurate clocks and sensors or, as explored by the UK Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub, as building blocks for future quantum computers, which could tackle problems that stymie even today’s largest supercomputers.

“The idea of being able to see a single atom with the naked eye had struck me as a wonderfully direct and visceral bridge between the minuscule quantum world and our macroscopic reality,” shared Nadlinger. “A back-of-the-envelope calculation showed the numbers to be on my side, and when I set off to the lab with camera and tripods one quiet Sunday afternoon, I was rewarded with this particular picture of a small, pale blue dot.”

You can follow more of his discoveries—large and small—on Twitter. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Amazing Photography

A Top Floor Sprinkler Leak Creates a 21-Story Tower of Icicles on a Chicago Fire Escape

January 11, 2018

Christopher Jobson

All photos © Andrew Hickey.

Late last week, a bitter cold snap that swept across the U.S. brought temporary chaos to Chicago’s south loop when a sprinkler system failed atop a 21-story hotel and storage facility. Water cascaded down a fire escape and quickly froze into a tower of ice. Street art photographer Andrew Hickey stopped by and captured some shots of the amazing sight before it was cleared up a few hours later.

 

 



Amazing Animation Music

A Kinetic Block & Marble Track Perfectly Synchronized with Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers”

January 10, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Kinetic artist Mark Robbins of DoodleChaos made waves across the internet a few months ago when he perfectly synced a custom course from the Line Rider game to Edvard Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King. As astounding as it was to watch the digital game and audio sync up, Robbins took things a step further by making a series of IRL Rube Goldberg-like contraptions with marbles, blocks, and magnets that plays perfectly with Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers. The feat required listening to the waltz hundreds of times which he says resulted in him “going a bit crazy.” If you liked this, also check out YouTube user Kaplamino.

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

A Remarkable Timelapse of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch

December 26, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Last Friday SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket that illuminated the sky above Southern California in a spectacularly unusual way, leaving many unsuspecting people to wonder if they were witnessing a comet, an attack, or the end of days. SpaceX founder Elon Musk acknowledged the bizzare atmospheric effect but didn’t help clarify things much.

Photographer Jesse Watson was in nearby Yuma, Arizona to film a timelapse of the launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Having never filmed a rocket before he wasn’t sure quite what to expect, but this 40 seconds of footage was well worth the effort. PetaPixel has some additional details about how Watson managed to get the shot.

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

Transient: An Extraordinary Short Film That Captures Lightning at 1,000 Frames per Second

December 5, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Filmmaker and photographer Dustin Farrell spent over a month this summer traveling some 20,000 miles for the sole purpose of filming thunderstorms around the United States. Using a pricey Phantom Flex4K high-speed camera he filmed lightning strike after lightning strike at 1,000 frames per second, resulting in the impressive footage that shows the remarkable complexity of electricity in the atmosphere. Most of the footage in the final cut was shot around Farrell’s home state of Arizona.

“Lightning is like a snowflake. Every bolt is different,” shares Farrell. “I learned that lightning varies greatly in speed. There are some incredible looking bolts that I captured that didn’t make the cut because even at 1000fps they only lasted for one frame during playback. I also captured some lightning that appear computer generated it lasted so long on the screen.”

You can catch a few more of his short films here. (via PetaPixel)