Design Music

A Retro Boombox Candle by Cent LDN Recreates a Hip-Hop Classic in Creamy Wax

April 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images via Cent LDN

Turn that Root Down into a meltdown with the first-ever candle replica of the boombox so iconic it’s simply referred to as “The King.” Cent LDN just released a retro design modeled after the legendary JVC RC M90 boombox—you might recognize this iconic device from LL Cool J’s Radio album cover and multiple photoshoots for the Beastie Boys. The hand-poured candle weighs more than four pounds, which is just a fraction of the actual electronic’s 22, burns for 100 hours, and is molded in cream-colored soy wax that’s both biodegradable and vegan.

Pick up one of the hip hop classics in the Cent LDN shop, where you’ll also find a Spalding basketball, and follow the London-based company on Instagram to watch for new releases. (via Plain Magazine)

 

 

 



Animation

Save Ralph: A Stop-Motion Animation Critiques the Devastating Impacts of Animal Testing

April 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

Note: This video contains brief, simulated animal testing that might be disturbing.

Meet Ralph, a modest rabbit whose life revolves around his role as a product tester. A new stop-motion animation follows the creature throughout a typical day as he struggles to brush his teeth, shudders from back pain, and undergoes a painful round of trials for various beauty-related goods. Opening with his descriptions of the extensive damage already sustained to his hearing and sight, “Save Ralph” is the latest campaign for the Humane Society of the United States and a poignant and heartbreaking critique of animal testing.

Sprinkled with moments of levity, the mockumentary-style animation features a high-profile cast Taika Waititi voices the main character, and Ricky Gervais is the interviewer, with shorter vocal appearances by Olivia Munn, Zac Efron, Pom Klementieff, Rodrigo Santoro, and Tricia Helfer—and is a collaboration with Arch Model Studio. Watch the full campaign above, and find out how to fight the issue on the Humane Society site. (via Short of the Week)

 

 

 

 



Design

A Chart Chronicles the Colors of Mister Rogers' Cardigans from 1969 to 2001

April 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

Image © Owen Phillips

It’s a beautiful day for a chronological look at the colorful range of cardigans beloved television host Fred Rogers slipped on during each episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Starting with blue near the beginning of the show’s run—the soft-spoken icon seems to have favored more pastels during these early days—the chart spans all the way to the red he wore for his last airing on August 31, 2001. Rogers’ legacy is synonymous with the cozy garment, many of which were hand-knitted by his mother. One is part of the collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Pick up a print of the graph, which was created by Owen Phillips who runs the data-centric F5 Newsletter in honor of Rogers’ birthday on March 20, from the F5 shop. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Animation Art

An Uncanny Animated Short by Fernando Livschitz Twists Mundane Scenes into Bizarre Alternatives

April 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

Argentinian director Fernando Livschitz (previously), who helms Black Sheep Films, is back with a surreal short film that envisions everyday activities and scenes with a slightly unsettling spin. Infused with Livschitz’s distinct penchant for humor and absurdity, “Anywhere Can Happen” is set to a rendition of “What a Wonderful World” by Reuben and the Dark and AG and descends into an uncanny universe of galactic rollercoasters, dimension-traveling trains, and oversized hands keen on manipulating the landscape. Watch the animated short above, and find more of Livschitz’s cleverly bizarre projects on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Light Casts a Magical Glow on the Residential Hills of Los Angeles in Paintings by Seth Armstrong

April 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Purple Mountain” (2020), oil on wood panel, 48 x 36 inches. All images © Seth Armstrong, shared with permission

“Color and light are basically all I think about when I’m painting,” says Seth Armstrong. Working with oil paints on wood, the Los Angeles-based artist renders the sloping hills of his native California county in bold, saturated tones. Depicting the staggered houses and vegetation in the glow of golden hour or just after sunrise, Armstrong balances both hyperrealism and more sweeping, gestural strokes. He includes the occasional candy-colored hue to veil the densely populated landscape—the artist notes that small details can be difficult to perceive when not viewing the works in person—with a layer of magic. “The paintings do become, for me, more than a depiction of light and color,” he writes. “But that’s a personal relationship we have.”

A limited-edition print of “Purple Mountain” releases on April 12 through Unit Drops, and Armstrong will have a solo show at Unit London this fall. Check out his Instagram for a larger collection of his paintings and glimpses into his home studio, where he works alongside ceramicist Madeleine Pellegren. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

“5:30,” oil on wood panel, 12 x 12 inches

“Green House” (2020), oil on wood panel, 14.5 x 14.5 inches

“Pink Moment” (2020), oil on wood panel, 12 x 12 inches

“November” (2020), oil on wood panel, 19.75 x 27.5 inches

“September” (2020), oil on wood panel, 18 x 18 inches

“March” (2020), oil on wood panel, 36 x 36 inches

 

 



Documentary Science

Chasing Ghosts: A Short Documentary Debunks a Long-Held Theory About What Pollinates the Ghost Orchid

April 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

What insect has the ability to extend down into the nearly foot-long nectar tube of the ghost orchid? For generations, that question has interested researchers who’ve speculated that the giant sphinx moth, which has a proboscis that often exceeds 10 inches, was one of few species with a tubular tongue that could reach the sticky pollen nestled inside the endangered flower.

Shot during the course of three years, a short documentary by Grizzly Creek Films follows researchers committed to proving this hypothesis. It draws on Charles Darwin’s 160-year-old studies about orchids’ evolution, particularly in relation to one species in Madagascar about which he famously said, “Good heavens. What insect could suck it?” In  “Chasing Ghosts,” the team wades into the buggy swamplands of south Florida alongside snakes and alligators to reach a grove of cypress trees, where the white flowers wrap themselves high among the boughs. There they installed cameras to capture the first-ever photograph of the giant sphinx moth probing the ghost orchid.

In total, the mission logged 6,800 camera hours and 52,173 images taken in both Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and Fakahatchee Strand and recorded five species capable of pollinating the delicate plant. Surprisingly, the same event that they sought to capture—the giant sphinx moth with its proboscis reaching into the elusive flower—actually debunked researchers’ long-held hypothesis and set them on a new course of study to determine how this plant continues to reproduce.

Watch the full documentary above, and find more of the Montana-based studio’s adventures into Yellowstone and the rugged landscapes of the southern United States on the Grizzly Creek Films’ site and Vimeo. You also can follow its discoveries on Instagram.

 

A giant sphinx moth near a ghost orchid

Peter Houlihan holding the giant sphinx moth