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From Open Culture: Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla Epic Rap Battle

by | Posted June 2nd, 2013

Who is the ultimate “Electric Genius” or science nerd? Was it Thomas Edison or his rival Nikola Tesla? Epic Rap Battles of History created a video that pitted the two inventors against each other. Previous Epic Rap Battles of History featured Ghandi vs. Martin Luther King, Jr, Mozart vs. Skrillex, and even Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates. Even if you’re impartial to either inventors, the video is worth the watch.

Source: Open Culture

From My Modern Met: 3D Book Sculptures Convey Artist’s Emotion

by | Posted June 1st, 2013

A graphic designer from the UK, Thomas Wightman, has created a series of sculptures created from pages in a book to depict the feelings of people suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD. My Modern Met wrote an article about his three pieces and why he chose to use a book as his medium and what it symbolizes in terms of relating to someone with OCD. Each sculpture shows a different emotion associated with obsessive compulsive disorder.

“Plagued by Doubt features a swarm of typography insects, eating away at the book just as OCD can eat away at a person who does not seek treatment.”

The Future of Storytelling Across Media Boundaries

by | Posted May 30th, 2013

On May 29 and 30, a variety of professionals from all around the world are meeting for the second annual StoryDrive China conference in Beijing. Hosted by the Frankfurt Academy of Arts (who host the Frankfurt International Book Fair each year), StoryDrive China “is the first all-media platform in Asia dedicated to exploring new forms of collaboration and business models across media boundaries.”

Matt Costello, a multimedia author who has worked across a variety of media fields including writing and scripting and designing best-selling video games (Doom 3, Pirates of the Caribbean, Rage), is one of this year’s speakers at StoryDrive. He recently interviewed with Publishing Perspectives where they discussed the event and the future of storytelling as a whole.

The motto of StoryDrive China is “Tell your story differently.” Costello believes a good story, at its core, “should exist on all relevant media, each bringing its own facet of the story and the characters.” How the story and characters are conveyed is how the audience or user or reader will experience it. He thinks the film and TV industry will start to embrace the second screen in years to come and many companies are incorporating different technologies to make a “storytelling” experience better for the user. Overall, the way professionals and artists from various industries tell stories are changing how we see and interact with the world and the vision they have for storytelling.

From Cool Infographics: New Map Showing the World’s Submarine Internet Cables

by | Posted May 30th, 2013

You don’t have to be a cartographer to understand this map or even to create it. Telecom Egypt recently sponsored a project through TeleGeography that created a map depicting all the current active lines of international and US internet cables.

“Cables depicted include all active international and U.S. domestic cables.  In-service cables have an announced Ready for Service (RFS) date by December 31, 2012.  Planned cables include those actively under construction and those that have announced they were fully funded as of year-end 2012.”

It’s design gives it a hand-drawn look, and there is an interactive website with all the lines, as well.

This can also be purchased as a 36” x 50” poster for $250.

Source: Cool Infographics 


From Creative Bloq: Japanese Art Created Entirely from Microsoft Excel

by | Posted May 29th, 2013

Yes, you read that title correctly. Japanese artist Tatsuo Hourichi creates beautiful Japanese masterpieces using Microsoft Excel’s AutoShape feature. Creative Bloq featured him on their website; Hourichi “believes that Microsoft Excel is an excellent tool, and that quality art needn’t require complicated and expensive software.” For those who are like myself and think Microsoft Office software is the bane of your existence, maybe we should reconsider what can be done with a seemingly simple computer program. You never know what you can create! 

From Brain Pickings: How to Master Productivity and a “Creative Routine”

by | Posted May 28th, 2013

As writers, designers, and thinkers, we often wonder about the creative process of famous writers, designers, and thinkers. We often try to fine tune our own creative process or figure out better ways we can work and write and create. Brain Pickings recently featured a new book on their website titled, Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind. Edited by Behance’s 99U editor-in-chief Jocelyn Glei, Manage Your Day-to-Day “features contributions from twenty of today’s most celebrated thinkers and doers.” Whether it’s advice, quotes, or general thinking processes, this book explores features of creativity, including break creative blocks, stop procrastination, and “[defy] the demons of perfectionism.”

The Art of Science

by | Posted May 7th, 2013

Poetry is brought to life through a myriad of ways: spoken word, dance, performance, etc., but has recently been unexpectedly mixed with robotics. While it might not sound like these two subjects would go hand in hand, educator Sue Mellon has found it to be a rewarding combination.


Image via Mind/Shift

The dioramas are the student-made visual representations of the poetry. Due to the help of the robotics, lights will flash and colors change when a student says a certain word in the poem (for example, saying “water” triggers a blue color in the diorama to deepen). Working on a physical project based on poems helps the students connect with, and understand more deeply, the poetry they are studying.

To me, it also says that perhaps these categories aren’t as separate as they seem. Often, we mark a separation between things like “science and math” vs. “the arts.” What is so intriguing about robotic poetry, then, is that it’s not only innovatively teaching students how to connect with words, but it also shows us that we shouldn’t make such a distinction between the “categories,” since there is inherently art in science, and science in art.

Read the full article from Mind/Shift here