360 Music Videos Are Here: Google Tech Puts You in Control

What if while watching a video you could look anywhere you wanted? We’ve all imagined it… and now that dream is here. Google recently introduced 360° video playback. Just move your phone around (or use arrows on your browser) and you’ll get a virtual reality panoramic view of the filmed world. It’s super trippy and we think it’s going to be a big deal.

Tools of the Trade: 8 Creators and the Pens, Pencils and Markers They Love

Being creative doesn’t take any specific tool, but after years of work and exploration we all develop our favorites. Maybe the ink from that pen flows just right or makes the perfect tiny dots. Maybe that marker has the color with the most punch. You know what’s best and so do these artists using pens, pencils or markers. We rounded up 8 from past features to learn which tool they like to keep close, and what kind of work they’ve used them for.

Ira Glass Gives You All the Motivation You Need to Be Creative

The creative struggle is, in a word, miserable—especially when you’re first starting out. It doesn’t matter if you’re entering a new field or just trying to master a new skill; the urge to create, to try something new, is too easily overshadowed by fear of failure. Although you know you have talent, you’re too afraid that what you make will suck. Next time you find yourself struggling with feeling stuck and frustrated by what you’re creating, take a look at this video. (And bookmark it while you’re at it.) 

Gamechangers: Honoring Content Creators Breaking Away from the Norm

I have no memories of the days of giant ad agencies, martini lunches, and art departments that actually used sketch books to create ads. I never had anyone like Don Draper as a boss. I wasn’t even alive in those golden days of huge budgets and captive audiences. Times have changed—dramatically—since the advent of instant communications, online video, Google analytics, and follower counts. Things are more efficient than ever but somehow often more ineffective than ever.

#BrandCrush: Wilton Cakes Has a Super Sweet Social Presence

Although it’s been around for 85 years, Wilton Cakes is not your grandma’s baking company. The cake-decorating company is known for its baking supplies and cake inspiration, but in the era of Pinterest, food porn, and a billion baking blogs, it’s hard to keep ahead of the flock. Still, this brand has been in the baking game for a long time, and they know how to keep it sweet.

From their vibrant Instagram to Pinterest tutorials, Wilton has created a community for baking experts and newbies alike—no matter where they are on social. For a brand that is all about creativity, they are definitely eating their own cake. Here’s why they’re killing it on social. 

Hollywood Street Characters Captured At Home

Just take a walk down Hollywood Boulevard and you’ll quickly figure out why the area is often dubbed ‘Hollyweird’. Part of what makes the place so strange and special are the many colorful street performers that dot the street. Some lookalikes impersonate famous movie stars, others don masks and become iconic cartoon characters, but what fascinated photographer Ken Hermann was their private, personal lives. Who were these people at home?

A True Picture of Population Density

Look up a city’s urban density on Wikipedia, and you know you’re only getting a small slice of the story. There’s no way exactly 27,857.9 people live in every square mile of New York City – some areas are far more packed, some are relatively empty (at least when it comes to living space). Perhaps the best way to get a true picture of where people live is to check out the residential density per square kilometer. That’s what these 3D maps from LSECities visualize, giving us a unique look at 9 world cities and their distribution of people. Each map here looks at a 100 x 100 kilometer square, and quickly reveals how factors like topography and the location of public transport have influenced the growth of these places.

30 Critically Endangered Species, 1 Beautiful Geometric Interactive

No matter how you put it together, we are in the midst of a huge extinction event. Almost as fast as we can categorize them, species are disappearing around the world… but there is some hope. Species In Pieces is a striking interactive visualization by Bryan James which assembles 30 critically endangered species out of CSS polygons, then shares the hopeful data on how groups are working to bring them back from the brink.

We’re About to Visit Pluto For The First Time. Here’s an Incredible Video to Celebrate

Right now, a great milestone in human exploration is taking place. NASA’s New Horizons, the fastest spacecraft ever created, is speeding towards Pluto for a rendezvous on July 14, 2015. The visit will beam back images of the dwarf planet for the first time in over half a century of space exploration.