Babies, Monks and Trampoline Pits

In the beginning of the 1960’s a new fad began to emerge in the suburbs of America. Much like it’s ’50s predecessor, hula hooping, it came and went in the night leaving those who participated with just a vague memory of its occurrence. What is this elusive fad? Trampoline Pits. Around 1960, parks full of trampoline pits began popping up all over the county. These parks were contracted in abandoned lots and full of pits with trampolines fitted across the tops. Those wanting to play on the trampolines could pay a quarter or two for a half hour of bouncing bliss. Kids would line up after school for their chance at the action and some parents would even take their kids there for parties.

Republicans vs. Democrats: Who Rallies for Science?

For years, science has helped humans make sense of the world around them. In their endless toil to understand our world, scientists have come up with simple innovations to make life easier, complex ones to get us from point A to B, insanely advanced discoveries which have led to putting a man on the moon, and miraculous ones that have saved humanity from previously incurable diseases. However, not everyone is convinced of the value that science brings to humanity.

Retro Twist: Owen Gatley’s Editorial Illustrations

Owen Gatley is making all of the right strokes with his hand-drawn vintage illustration style. Gately’s vintage style is reminiscent of something you would see in an old children’s book, with the soft pencil strokes and shading that add a lot of depth and life to his scenes. It’s always nice to see artists adding craft back into their work, which he does splendidly through mainly using hand drawn illustration. The use of bright, often primary colors teamed with conceptual images, makes his environments fun and engaging… with just the right amount of detail.

SOPA Venn Diagram

The Internet community has spoken and it appears U.S. lawmakers have listened…for now. Visual News was proud to join the January 18th black-out protest. We’re also excited to be back online sharing great visual content with you. That said, the fight is far from over. SOPA and PIPA have lost some support, but the lobbyists behind them will find new acronyms to disguise internet censorship legislation. We encourage you to stay vigilant with us in the fight against internet censorship.

Defend Our Freedom to Share (why SOPA is a bad idea)

If you are a regular reader of Visual News, you may have noticed that today we participated in what is turning out to be the largest ever internet blackout in history… a protest symbolically showing what the internet could look like if the proposed PIPA or SOPA bills pass in the US Congress. The massive voluntary shutdown garnered attention just about everywhere and was participated in by behemoth sites the likes of Craigslist, Reddit and Wikipedia. So what does PIPA and SOPA mean for our shareable internet world, and why should you sign this online letter to congress? Below, Clay Shirky delivers a brilliant talk at the TED offices, challenging us to defend our freedom to create, discuss, link and share in the digital world.

A Hobbit Home for Under $5000

With nothing more than hand tools, friends, family and a desire to avoid an expensive, unsustainable home, Simon Dale built his own. As a staunch advocate for low impact living, and with only a meager income, 32 year-old Dale decided to build a home in a hillside in Wales, one that he and his family could own outright and was sustainably hand-built directly in the middle of the forest. The design has an uncanny resemblance to Hobbit homes in the Lord of the Rings films, which has contributed to its rise in popularity.

The Say Something Poster Project

If you had the opportunity to say one thing to the next generation of youth, what would you say? The Say Something Poster Project has invited artists to do just that in the form of a poster, one that they will then donate to a non-profit organization to hang on their facility walls.

Visualization: The 2011 Highlights on Digg

Roswell Letter

Social news site Digg.com saw its share of ups and downs through 2010, particularly after the launch of V4. The tumultuous last months of that year had many wondering if the site would make it through 2011. It not only made it through but improved dramatically with the launch of hot new features and a glimmer of hope. Through the wave, one thing has remained constant: the ever-growing diversity of content.

15,000 Square Foot Urban Farm Goes Portable

Amidst the towering skyscrapers and busting New York City traffic is a mobile, 15,000 square foot urban farm, called Riverpark Farm. Born through ideas of sustainability and more portable approaches to urban farming, Riverpark Farms partnered with Alexandria Center for Life Science and Riverpark restaurant to create one of the largest urban farms in New York City. The unique farm is located on the future site of Alexandria Center’s west tower. With the downed economy, building on the site has been suspended, leaving the lot a perfect place to create an urban farm.

Flooding the Amazon for Ineffecient Energy

The jaguar in position in the Xingu river at the site of the Belo Monte dam
Logo

With a world full of over 7 billion people, many governments have trended toward desperate fixes to keep up with the increased needs of their people. Unfortunately the worlds ever increasing appetite for energy often comes at the cost of nature. In Brazil, yet another large scale energy project has been launched, the Belo Monte dam. It is planned to be the world’s third largest in installed capacity.  However, it will only produce 39% of its maximum capacity, so the majority of its effect on the environment will not even produce energy.  David de Rothschild, the adventurer behind the well-known Plastiki project, has started a new organization named MYOO to address environmental irresponsibility just like this