Man Quits Job, Converts Old Van Into Comfy Home to Travel the World

In the past, we’ve covered stories about tiny home building, alternative living spaces, and school-bus living. But living in a van to follow your dreams? That’s a new one. Meet Mike Hudson, a young English man who did what we all secretly want to do. In 2013, he decided to quit his job as a systems engineer and hit the road. First, he bought an old beat-up van on eBay, then he turned it into a comfortable space to live in for the next year.

The First and Last Frames of 55 Famous Films, Compared Side-by-Side

Out of the many shots in a film, the first and last are among the most considered. Filmmaker Jacob T. Swinney took 55 films and set those opening and closing shots side-by-side. In doing so, he reveals that many scenes are decidedly similar to one another, while others are absolutely different. What were the filmmakers trying to say with each of these beginnings and endings? Like the opening and closing of any story, each serves a purpose.

Fifty Fancy Photo-Realistic Food Drawings in Fifty Days

Creating photo-realistic drawings is no easy task, but CJ Hendry is a master. Using only black ink, she creates images that look like you could hold them in your hands. Starting in February she began an ambitious journey to draw 50 food drawings in 50 days, which she posted on her Instagram page as they were completed. Aside from the foods, she drew them on detailed designer dishware.

Bringing the Forest into the Heart of New York’s Times Square

There is an exciting campaign on Kickstarter that has already met its initial goal and is close to meeting its stretch goal. Conservation biologist Marielle Anzelone loves the nature found in Manhattan and wants to help New Yorkers realize the valuable green space found throughout the city, so she has started a project to bring a lush green forest right into the heart of Times Square in NYC. 

Google X Is About to Test Kites That Will Generate Renewable Energy

In 2013, Google X bought the groundbreaking and innovative company Makani Power, which developed high flying kites that were able to generate clean renewable energy through wind power. The kites, which are a new type of wind turbine altogether, are comprised of lightweight electronics, advanced materials, and smart software that generate energy at a lower cost than the common windmill turbines. Now, Google X has announced that it will be finally testing the innovative kites this month in various parts of the Bay Area.

Photographer Captures Life on a Bench for a Year in Barcelona

Spanish photographer Gabor Erdely came up with a simple idea for capturing some of the life in the beautiful city of Barcelona: photograph a seaside bench for a year. In the Barceloneta area of the city, Erdely faithfully took photos from a bird’s-eye view to capture the many ways the locals use the bench.

This Boy’s Best Friend Is a Magpie, and It’s Adorable

A few years ago we covered a sweet story about the friendship between a Japanese Grandma and her cat. Now, we have another touching story about a young boy from Australia and his best friend—a magpie. The bird’s name is Penguin, and she was rescued as a baby by her owner, 10-year-old Noah Bloom. Cameron Bloom, Noah’s mother, is a professional photographer who has been capturing the relationship as it blossoms.

Cool “USB Mixtapes” Bring Back the Way People Used to Gift Mixes

Back in the day, we’d make mixes on cassettes and CDs for lovers (or people we wanted to be lovers), friends, and for ourselves. But with smartphones and streaming music, that tradition has gone by the wayside. Good news for those nostalgic souls who miss the mixtape: You can now have the best of both worlds. Meet the USB Mixtape designed by Tiffany Roddis.

Product Design Teams Switch Roles For Yamaha’s AH A MAY Project

For many people, work can be boring, but by the sounds of it, that’s not the case at Yamaha. Recently, they had a clever idea for a fun experiment. As you may know, Yamaha creates both motorcycles and musical instruments and each of those categories are normally handled by their designated design department. For a project called AH A MAY (“Yamaha backwards”) the bike design team was asked to make musical instruments, while the musical instrument design team tried their hands at motorcycle design. Teams competed to see who could do a better job outside of their areas of expertise. The bike department came up with this amazing spherical drum set that would be the perfect compliment to Lady Gaga’s keyboardist’s circular rig.

The House of a Master Vertical Garden Designer

Vertical gardens have become more popular in recent years, with more and more people installing them in their homes and businesses. But one of the masters of vertical garden design, Patrick Blanc, has one of the most impressive gardens you’re likely to see. His French home is covered floor to ceiling with foliage that has grown into a veritable vertical jungle over the last 25 years.