The Inspiring Artwork of Paper Engineer Matt Shlian (and How It’s Inspiring Nano-Scientists)

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Matt Shlian started school as a ceramicist… but it was only when he realized that he was “interested in everything” that his work really took off. He creates sculptural artworks from flat pieces of paper that show the incredible diversity of the medium while creating beautifully inspiring forms. They are also doing something rather surprising: inspiring scientists.

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Art On The Ground: Postmodern Landscapes By Charles Jencks

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Charles Jencks’ sinuous sculptures are no ordinary walk in the park. A celebrated postmodern architect, designer, and theorist, Jencks tows the line between design, science, and nature to create dramatic forms that swoop across the the British landscape he calls home.

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Exploding Lightbulbs Filled With Colorful Surprises

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Not every artist is able to do art full time, but the need for that creative outlet never goes away. Scientist Jon Smith of Wide Eyed Illuminations is one example of this. The self-taught photographer learned the art scientifically- through experimentation, trial and error. His specialty is filling light bulbs with random, often colorful materials, and capturing them just as they shatter (after he shoots them), releasing all of their contents in an explosive burst. Why lightbulbs? Smith loves that they are such a common household object that most people ignore them- he loves giving them life and energy- out of their normal element and showing people the amazing moment that is normally unseen when one shatters.

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Otherworldly Sound Absorbent Research Facility

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Scientists are always creating unique controlled environments to test products and hypotheses, but sometimes creating these conditions becomes just as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. English photographer Alastair Philip Wiper gives us an inside look at such facilities, finding their “unintentional beauty”. In an exhibit called Solar/Anechoic, Wiper artistically photographs the world’s largest solar furnace and the anechoic chambers at the Technical University of Denmark. Show here is a selection of photos from the echo-free chambers used to take transmission measurements between microwave antennas and measure how much noise different audio devices make. From some angles the carbon filled foam spikes, look like freshly sharpened blue pencils- until you see them in scale and realize how massive they are.

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Moving Atoms: Making The World’s Smallest Movie

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Grab some popcorn, because you are about to see the World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film (Guinness World Records approved)! Created by IBM researchers, the movie stars 5,000 carbon monoxide atoms magnified over 100 million times on a scanning tunneling microscope. The team moved actual atoms frame by frame to tell the story of a boy named Adam and his atom! To keep the atoms still, the conditions were -260 degrees centigrade. Moving atoms, not only makes a fascinating little movie, but the implications for atomic memory in computers that will come from this research will allow devices to get even smaller.

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Graphic Shows How Google Glass Works

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By now you’re familiar with seeing fantastic videos filmed while people use Google Glass. From sharing sunset moments on top of skyscrapers to skydiving while streaming live video, the glasses-like device looks poised to revolutionize the way we both experience and interact with the world. But, among so many other questions about the system that we don’t know yet, how does Glass work? Although we’re treated to video based mockups of the clever looking UI seen on the tiny glass block the devices sport, there isn’t much mentioned about how you actually see the picture. Artist Martin Missfeldt recently pulled together documents on Glass’ design – including the patent itself – and has made a revealing infographic explaining how it focuses the picture on your eye.

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Beautiful Microscopic Photography of the Elements

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Photographer R. Tanaka of Japan enjoys taking photos of landscapes, cats and elements from the periodic table. Through his lens and eye he captures the mystery of each element he photographs. Photos of Bismuth, Osmium and Thallum are just a few of the many elements he focuses on.

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Colorful Quotes and Thoughts, Visualized

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We simply love these hand drawn graphics based on quotes from literary and science greats. Each is an insightful look into the nature of humans and the nature of the universe. Produced as part of an ongoing series called Illuminating Quotes, Visualised by Maggie Appleton, each is a window into wisdom from around the world.

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Test Tube Chandeliers Inspired By Marie Curie

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Test tubes are no longer just for the laboratory with this innovative new home design. Pani Jurek, a designer from Poland, has created a simple, yet awesome chandelier using plywood, a bulb, and lots of test tubes. The coolest part about the design is that the possibilities are endless- put different colored liquids in each tube for every holiday, keep it lively with little plant specimens or flowers, show off your dead insect collection, etc. Jurek created a one-tiered and a two-tiered version of this design; I would have loved to have one in my science classroom. The plant displays look beautiful and each flower gets its own little water supply to keep it alive.

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Visualizing the Russian Meteor Blast

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For those that missed it (and considering the massive impact few could), a huge meteorite hit earth last week in Russia. In the land of the dash camera, videos far and wide captured the very rare event in its full shining glory – a missile like streak through the sky and an incredible window breaking crash following soon after. For the Russian population the event was one that stirred memories of the not so distant past, one of the tree flattening Tunguska event in Siberia just over 100 years ago. That blast was the largest impact event on earth in recorded history.

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