Amazing Video Clips Visually Isolate the Flight Paths of Birds

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Chances are if you’ve on the internet over the last few years you’ve run into a few amazing bird murmuration videos, like this one from Islands and Rivers or the one we featured on Colossal from Neels Castillion, where countless numbers of starlings flock together and move almost impossibly in concert. Artist Dennis Hlynsky, a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, wondered what would happen if he could better trace the flight paths of individual birds, what kinds of patterns would emerge from these flying social networks?

Hlynsky first started filming birds in 2005 using a small Flip video recorder, but now uses a Lumix GH2 to record gigabytes of bird footage from locations around Rhode Island. He then edits select clips with After Effects and other tools to create brief visual trails that illustrate the path of each moving bird. Non-moving objects like trees and telephone poles remain stationary, and with the added ambient noise of where he was filming, an amazing balance between abstraction and reality emerges. The birds you see aren’t digitally animated or layered in any way, but are shown just as they’ve flown, creating a sort of temporary time-lapse. Above are three of my favorite videos, but he has many more including the movement of insects, ducks, and other animals.

DIY Printable Paper Typewriter Calendars

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Back in the day I used to do a nice roundup of cool calendars, but didn’t have time this year. Luckily Design Milk, Cool Hunting, and Freshome have you covered if you’re still looking for a way to track 2014 on paper. Etsy also has a solid list of calendars that includes this awesome DIY Printable Paper Typewriter Calendar (alternate design) in the form of a miniature typewriter from the folks at Mumbai-based SkyGoodies. It’s a downloadable PDF that you print, cut and fold for just $5. Fun! (via Green Chair Press)

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A Maldives Beach Awash in Bioluminescent Phytoplankton Looks Like an Ocean of Stars

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While vacationing on the Maldives Islands, Taiwanese photographer Will Ho stumbled onto an incredible stretch of beach covered in millions of bioluminescent phytoplankton. These tiny organisms glow similarly to fireflies and tend to emit light when stressed, such as when waves crash or when they are otherwise agitated. While the phenomenon and its chemical mechanisms have been known for some time, biologists have only recently began to understand the reasons behind it. You can see a few more of Ho’s photographs over on Flickr.

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Architectural Renderings of Life Drawn with Pencil and Pen by Rafael Araujo

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Caracol

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Double Conic Spiral, process

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Double Conic Spiral. Ink, acrylic/canvas.

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Calculation (Sequence) #2. Acrylic, china ink/canvas.

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In the midst of our daily binge of emailing, Tweeting, Facebooking, app downloading and photoshopping it’s almost hard to imagine how anything was done without the help of a computer. For Venezuelan artist Rafael Araujo, it’s a time he relishes. At a technology-free drafting table he deftly renders the motion and subtle mathematical brilliance of nature with a pencil, ruler and protractor. Araujo creates complex fields of three dimensional space where butterflies take flight and the logarithmic spirals of shells swirl into existence. He calls the series of work Calculation, and many of his drawings seem to channel the look and feel of illustrations found in Da Vinci’s sketchbooks. In an age when 3D programs can render a digital version of something like this in just minutes, it makes you appreciate Araujo’s remarkable skill. You can see much more here. (via ArchitectureAtlas)

Update: Rafael Araujo prints are now available in the Colossal Shop.

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Stainless: Hypnotizing Slow-Motion Footage from Trains Pulling into Stations

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These videos by Adam Magyar are one of those things that are difficult to explain verbally, but as soon as you see it, you realize how completely amazing it is. Filmed in Tokyo, New York and Berlin, Magyar positioned himself on trains as they pulled into subway stops, filming the waiting crowds at 50 frames per second using a high speed camera. The resulting footage creates an uncanny feeling as the train is clearly moving quickly through the station, but the people seem to remain motionless. Any of these scenes wouldn’t seem out of place in a Ron Fricke film. To learn more about how Magyar filmed them, head on over to PetaPixel. (via The Fox is Black)

Update: There’s another great piece about Magyar’s work over on Medium.

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Ornate Embroidery Patterns Stitched into Metallic Objects

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Greed, 2012. Metal spoon, cotton, Cross stitch, drilling. Photo courtesy Modestas Ežerskis.

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Life is Beautiful, 2005. Metal lid, cotton. Cross-stitch, drilling. Photo courtesy Modestas Ežerskis.

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Life is Beautiful, 2005. Metal lid, cotton. Cross-stitch, drilling. Photo courtesy Modestas Ežerskis.

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Bucket of Light, 2010. Sunflower, 2010. Metal parts, cotton, wire, bulb. Cross-stitch, drilling, welding. Photo courtesy Modestas Ežerskis.

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Every Stick Has Two Ends, 2012. Shovel parts, wood, cotton. Cross-stitch, drilling. Photo courtesy Modestas Ežerskis.

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Daily Bread to Give to as Today, 2009. Metal bowl, cotton. Cross-stitch, drilling. Photo courtesy Modestas Ežerskis.

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After Party, 2013. Tin can, cotton. Cross-stitch, drilling. Photo courtesy Modestas Ežerskis.

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Between City and Country, 2009. Metal bucket, watering can, milk can. Cross-stitch, drilling. Photo courtesy Modestas Ežerskis.

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Rococo, 2007. Metal plate, cotton. Cross-stitch, drilling. Photo courtesy Modestas Ežerskis.

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In an attempt to subvert traditional embroidery culture, Lithuatian artist Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė applies standard floral and decorative patterns found in embroidery magazines to metallic objects like plates, spoons, lamps and even car doors. The juxtaposition of functional objects emblazoned with traditional textile work is certain unexpected and little amusing, an aspect Severija further illustrates with some of her more humorous pieces depicting cigarette butts embroidered at the base of a tin can, or the skewed reflection of a person’s mouth on the edge of a spoon. From an essay on her work by Dr. Jurgita Ludavičienė:

Employing irony, Severija conceptually neutralizes the harmfulness of kitsch’s sweetness and sentimentality. Irony emerges in the process of drawing inspiration from the postwar Lithuanian village, with which artists have lost connection today, or from the destitute Soviet domestic environment, which women were trying to embellish with handicrafts, no matter what kind of absurd forms it would take. The intimacy of indoors freed from all tensions is the essence of coziness, that is crystallized in Severija’s works as cross stitch embroidery on various household utensils not intended for it.

You can see much more of her embroidery work right here.

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A Lion Made from 4,000 Pieces of Hammered Metal by Selçuk Yılmaz

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Created from nearly 4,000 pieces of metal scraps, Aslan (Turkish for Lion), is a recent sculpture by Istanbul-based artist Selçuk Yılmaz. The piece took nearly a year of work and involved hand-cutting and hammering of each individual metal piece. The final work weighs roughly 550 pounds (250kg). While we’ve seen dozens of artists use multiple components to create a final form, it’s worth noting how well the bent mental lends itself to the final shape of this impressive cat. You can see much more of his work on Behance.

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