News from Japan: Robot Dogs Are Getting Funerals

Aibo was a robotic dog developed by Sony a while back. Launched in 1999 and discontinued in 2006, about 150,000 dogs were sold in total. The toy was much beloved by owners, thanks to a built-in microphone and camera that helped each dog develop a unique personality.

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But this emotional attachment has triggered a surprising phenomenon. With a lack of repair technicians available, the little robot dogs are now “dying,” so loving Aibo owners in Japan are having ceremonies to honor their passing.

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Sean Kenney Builds LEGO Sculptures Inspired by the Natural World

Sean Kenney has been using LEGOs for over a decade to make contemporary sculpture, and in the process he’s worked with millions of the tiny plastic bricks. His most recent work is featuring in his traveling exhibition Nature Connects, which includes 27 sculptures inspired by the web of life – from a small squirrel running along a fence, to a near-life sized bison that used 45,143 LEGO pieces and took 700 hours to complete.

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Rain Activated Street Art Brings Smiles to The People of Seattle

You can be mad that it’s raining or you can dance in the rain! The people of Seattle have grown accustomed to a lot of rain, but rather than letting it bring them down, they have a new reason to embrace the rain. Rainworks are street art stencils made by Peregrine Church that only show up when it rains. They feature positive messages and even a rainy day hopscotch game. With the sole purpose of making people smile on rainy days, Church is accomplishing his mission and creating new works often.

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This New Printing Process Lets Blind People “See” Art Masterpieces

In Spain’s Museo Del Prado, new technology lets blind people—and everyone—touch art masterpieces. Think of it as braille for paintings. They aren’t the original paintings themselves, of course, but rather detailed high-resolution replicas. Thanks to a new 3D-printing process called Didú, which creates physical objects the way a 3D printer would but applies particular chemicals that allow for more sensory detail when touched, viewers can experience the paintings in a new way.

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Developed by printing studio Estudios Durero, the process begins with a super high-resolution of the painting itself. According to the studio’s homepage:

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Cute Little Pathogens: Colorful Microbe Embroidery By Alicia Watkins

Many artists have been inspired by the remarkable shapes of the microscopic world. Glass blower Luke Jerram sculpted beautiful maladies out of glass and now Alicia Watkins combines crafting with science with her colorful embroidery. Germs have never looked so cute as they do in these colorful cross-stitched patterns.

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The World’s Largest Candy Carpet Is So Sweet

Forget Halloween, kids! Go to streets of Chengdu, China, to get your sugar fix from the world’s largest candy carpet. “Sweet as One,” a unique edible installation designed by Craig & Karl and curated by Hong Kong creative studio AllRightsReserved, featured more than 13 tons of candy arranged into a beautiful tapestry. Assembled meticulously by 2,000 volunteers over the course of five days, the colorful candy carpet measured 607 ft-by-23 ft (185mX7m) and weighed in at more than 13 tons.

The piece was created to raise awareness to underprivileged children in the rural areas of China and celebrate Chinese New Year in a unique way. Now that’s freaking sweet.

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Simple Paper Cylinders Form a Beautiful Sky-Gazing Experience

Sometimes the simplest of materials can create something of impressive beauty. For her graduating thesis project, Japanese art student Shoko Konishi created a structure made completely out of thick pieces of paper. From the outside it looks just fine, but climbing through the tiny door people are treated to an unusually spectacular view of the sky.

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Iconic Images Painted With Coffee by Maria A. Aristidou

We’ve featured coffee stain portraits done in a pointillist style with the bottom of a mug by Red Hong Yi, and now we are proud to present this water color style version by Maria A Aristidou. The UK artist creates a palette of shades with different brews, then dips her brush in her cups of Joe to paint coffee stain reproductions of pop culture icons. From Disney characters to The Girl With A Pearl Earring to famous celebrities, she shows her pop culture relevance and love for java.

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Dreams You Can Almost Touch. Paintings by Finnish Artist Samuli Heimonen

Finnish artist Samuli Heimonen creates surreal paintings which explore humanity’s big questions, using metaphor, and his love for animals and nature as a way to tell the story. His dreamlike imagery is highly atmospheric, yet is still able to communicate deep human emotions with near physical impact. Like any dream, the line between reality and illusion is remarkably thin.

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Bee Keeping Artist Creates A Beeswax World Map

If there’s one person who knows how to mind his own beeswax, it’s Chinese artist Ren Ri. The beekeeper/artist “manipulates the movement of bees and the formation of honeycombs to create metaphysical and hybrid sculptures, which investigate the force of nature and consequences of human intervention (Press Release).” In his latest body of work, Yuansu I: The Origin of Geometry, Ri sculpts honeycombs into the shapes of the continents, using wire and a wooden frame. He created a world map as well as some individual countries. He has been working with bees as a beekeeper since 2006 and began using beeswax as an art medium in more recent years.

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