The Most Beautiful Nature GIFs on the Web 







It’s not everyday you discover what could be your new favorite blog, but lucky for me that day was today. A Netherlands-based visual artist named Marinus has been at the helm of his blog Head Like an Orange since October 2011. He takes short excerpts of wildlife footage and crops, loops and times them to create mesmerizing moments of life. What you see here is just from the last few days, there are literally hundreds of these and they are well worth a few minutes of your day. Go now! (via jessica olin)

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The World’s First 3D Printing Pen that Lets you Draw Sculptures 







Forget those pesky 3D printers that require software and the knowledge of 3D modeling and behold the 3Doodler, the world’s first pen that draws in three dimensions in real time. Imagine holding a pen and waving it through the air, only the line your pen creates stays frozen, suspended and permanent in 3D space. Sound like magic? Well it certainly looks like it, watch the video above to see the thing in action. The 3Doodler was designed by Boston-based company WobbleWorks who recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to sell the miraculous little devices that utilizes a special plastic which is heated and instantly cooled to form solid structures as you draw. I don’t know about you but for me this might have just won the most impulsive Kickstarter purchase in history. Check it out.

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Impressive Chalk Portrait Drawn on the Streets of Paris by François Pelletier 



Hand me a piece of chalk and a sidewalk and you’ll be lucky to get a pretty flower or maybe a few weird geometric scribbles. Hand it to François Pelletier and you’ve got something else all together. The artist is known for transferring famous paintings onto streets and sidewalks using carefully blended layers of colored chalk. Any of you art historians recognize the painting he’s holding in his hand? My friend Hrag suggested it might be William-Adolphe Bouguereau, but we couldn’t find a positive match.

Update: Turns out Hrag was right, the painting is La Treille by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. (thnx, william!)

Update: An earlier version of this post attributed this as the chalk art of ‘Horocue’. The work is actually that of François Pelletier. (thnx, philippe!)

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Massive Bird Nests Built on Telephone Poles in Southern Africa are Home to Multiple Species of Birds 










No these aren’t haystacks stuck in a phone pole. Visit the Kalahari Desert in the south of Africa and you’re bound to run into a peculiar animal called the Sociable Weaver Bird. The birds are called “social” not just because they live in organized colonies, but because they build massive homes out of sticks, grass and cotton that are home to several other kinds birds. That’s right, the nests are so large that birds of other species are welcome to setup shop, not the least of which is the South African pygmy falcon which lives exclusively inside the social weaver’s nests that often accommodate over 100 birds at at time. Via the San Diego Zoo:

The sociable weaver’s nest sees plenty of guests—a regular Kalahari Desert inn! The South African pygmy falcon Polihierax semitorquatus relies completely on the sociable weavers’ nest for its own home, often nesting side by side with the sociable weavers. The pied barbet, familiar chat, red-headed finch, ashy tit, and rosy-faced lovebird often find comfort in the cozy nesting chambers, too. Vultures, owls, and eagles will roost on the nests’ broad roof. Why are weavers willing to share the huge nest they worked so hard to make? More residents mean more eyes keeping a watch for danger. And the weavers often learn from the other birds where new sources of food can be found.

Photographer Dillon Marsh has a lovely series of weaver bird nest photographs titled Assimilation that are well worth a look. (via neatorama)

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The Silent City: Digitally Assembled Futuristic Megalopolises by Yang Yongliang 

Sleepless Wonderland, Lightbox, 2012

Sleepless Wonderland, Lightbox, 2012 (detail)

Sleepless Wonderland, Lightbox, 2012 (detail)

Sleepless Wonderland, Lightbox, 2012 (detail)

Snake and Grenade, Lightbox, 2012

Snake and Grenade, Lightbox, 2012 (detail)

Wolf and Landmines, Lightbox, 2012

Full Moon, Lightbox, 2012

Bowl of Tapei No. 03, 2012

Bowl of Tapei No. 04, 2012

Chinese artist Yang Yongliang (previously) recently released three new bodies of work that will be on view at Galerie Paris-Beijing from from March 14th to April 27th, 2013. Born in Shanghai in 1980, Yongliang is known for his sprawling photographic collages that depict the devastating effects of uncontrolled urbanisation and industrialisation. At a distance the works look like traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy but when viewed up close, the peaceful mountains and seascapes are found to be choked with buildings, factories, and machinery. The images of above scarcely convey the detail in these pieces, but look at this high resolution version of Sleepless Wonderland to get an idea. Head over to Galerie Paris-Beijing to explore more of the three collections titled Silent Valley, Moonlight, and a Bowl of Taipei. All images courtesy the gallery.

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The Street Art and Drawings of IEMZA 











French street artist IEMZA tells IdN that he treats the creation of his outdoor paintings like sketches, incorporating a hierarchy of lines both organic and faintly architectural. The artist often utilizes decaying walls as a backdrop, where the underlying structures of abandoned buildings have been laid bare and work in perfect harmony with IEMZA’s imperfect, dripping line work. His subjects are equally terrifying and beautiful: hallowed-eyed faces both haunting and sensual, and other-worldly insects or monsters that completely dominate the canvas they live on. You can see much more of his work on Facebook and Flickr.

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