Archive | October 2012

Mind-Blowing Photorealistic Pencil Drawing

Italy-based artist Diego Fazio, better known as DiegoKoi, is bound to blow you away with his incredible drawing skills. One of his newer pieces titled Sensazioni is an unbelievably hyperrealistic pencil drawing of a woman that has caused people to question the truth of its medium. Is it really done in pencil? The answer is an impressively resounding “Yes!”

We often come across talented artists who use unconventional means to create realistic works of art and are bombarded with accusations of foul play but DiegoKoi quickly put the claims to rest, thanks to his wise decision to track his progress. Taking approximately 200 hours to complete the jaw-dropping photorealistic illustration, the artist kept visual record of several stages of its development.

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Introducing World’s Strongest Beer

Meet the World’s new strongest beer- a beer called Armageddon. With 65% alcohol, this drink is 130 proof. The beer is the creation of the Scottish brewery Brewmeister.

A spokesman said: “Despite being 65%, the beer has a lot of flavour – malty, hoppy, slightly sweet and lots of yeast still in the beer… …Be careful though, smelling it is probably enough to put you over the limit!”

That 65 percent alcohol by volume trumps the previous champion, a beer made by BrewDog, which was at 55 percent. They were able to achieve such a high percentage by freezing the beer, removing some of the ice that forms, while leaving much of the unfrozen alcohol (because water and alcohol freeze at vastly different temperatures).

The beer is for sale in 330ml bottles at £40.00, but there is a two week back order due to high demand.

Giant Gollum

Giant Gollum wants a fish. This 13 meter long (that is 42.6 feet) creation is found at Wellington Airport in New Zealand. Designed and produced by Richard Taylor and Weta Workshopsupervisor Rob Gillies.

Fun fact, growing up I always watched the extra feature sections on DVDs and from the Lord of The Rings DVD I learned about Weta Workshop. I quickly developed a sort of a crush on the place. I watched the videos, read articles, even looked up what it would take to work there. Unfortunately you have to be a New Zealand residant, so yeah… dream foiled.

Gollum

BATMAN’s MAD MEN of Gotham City

Here’s a couple of great pieces of fun art that mashes together the world ofBatman with the TV series Mad Men. The picture above was created by Bill Walkoand the images below were done by Cynthia “Thea” Rodgers.

SOUTH PARK Does The Avengers

For those of you who missed South Park last night, Matt Stone and Trey Parker“dressed up” as Kyle, Cartman, Stan and Kenny as The Avengers for Halloween in the episode “A Nightmare of Face Time”. Here’s a couple of screenshots showing them off in costume. In case you missed it, head on over to South Park Studiosnow to watch the episode!

Here’s the synopsis for the episode:

The boys are all ready to dress up as their favorite foursome, the Avengers, for Halloween. After months of planning their costumes, at the last minute Randy tells Stan he can’t go trick or treating with his friends. Instead, Stan has to pitch in and help his father with a new business venture.

Above the Clouds Photography

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have the power to fly like Superman? I have. And I would definitely experience the wonders of nature in their full magnificence.

One of the first things I would do is to fly through a storm and see the sunrise from above the clouds. That’s a view to remember, and you can see some more great scenes above the clouds here in these amazing images taken by some great photographers. You should really check more of their pictures simply by clicking each picture. They’ll very much appreciate it. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. Up, up and away! Cheers. 😉

Luís Riafoge

Above the Clouds Photography

Sebastian Opitz

Above the Clouds Photography

Glenn Harper

Above the Clouds Photography

Evgeni Dinev

Above the Clouds Photography

Eric Kraus

Above the Clouds Photography

Michi

Above the Clouds Photography

Edgar Moskopp

Above the Clouds Photography

Catalin Marin

Above the Clouds Photography

Andy Butkaj

Above the Clouds Photography

Gilles Monney

Above the Clouds Photography

Edgar Moskopp

Above the Clouds Photography

Anton Jankovoy

Above the Clouds Photography

Jason Hummel

Above the Clouds Photography

Jason Hummel

Above the Clouds Photography

Richard Silvera

Above the Clouds Photography

11 Mysteries of Science, Illustrated

Why do we have fingerprints? How long can trees live? Why do cats purr? Artists illustrate humanity’s most burning scientific questions.

Why do we have fingerprints? Do immortal creatures exist? How do migrating animals navigate?

In a new book called The Where, The Why, And The How, 75 artists set out to illustrate some of the biggest, strangest, most curious scientific mysteries of our time.

Golden Moon / LEAD

An art installation in Hong Kong that melds traditional construction techniques with contemporary design.

The Golden Moon is a temporary architectural structure that explores how Hong Kong’s unique building traditions and craftsmanship can be combined with contemporary design techniques in the creation of a highly expressive and captivating public event space.

It is the 2012 Gold Award winning entry for the Lantern Wonderland design competition organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board for the Mid-Autumn Festival and was on display for 6 days in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park.

The Golden Moon revisits the concept of a Chinese lantern and makes a direct link to the legend of Chang’e, the Moon Goddess of Immortality – two elements strongly associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Traditional materials for making lanterns, such as translucent fabric, metal wire and bamboo, have been translated to a large scale. A light-weight steel geodesic dome forms the pavilion’s primary structure and is the basis for a computer-generated grid wrapped around it. This grid is materialised through a secondary structure from bamboo.

Still in short supply, iPhone 5 heads to India then China

That Apple plans to fill orders in those two populous countries at the same time that it’s still weeks behind fulfilling orders in the U.S. and elsewhere leaves little hope that Apple will catch up on backorders anytime soon.

The iPhone 5 may be fresh out of stock almost everywhere, but Apple is continuing its plan to bring the device to more countries.

Apple’s newest smartphone is reportedly set to go on sale in India on Nov. 2, according to a report in India’s Economic Times on Friday. But it’s not the only big country Apple’s planning to launch in soon: on Apple’s earnings call on Thursday, CEO Tim Cook told investors that the device would hit China sometime before the end of the year. That Apple plans to fill orders in those two populous countries –at the same time that it’s still weeks behind fulfilling orders in the U.S. and elsewhere — leaves little hope that Apple will catch up on backorders anytime soon.

The Economic Times report claims that the iPhone 5 launch had been pushed back in India, but that Apple is beginning to stock iPhone 5 inventory at several retail partners in the country in time for a launch next week. “A November 2 launch is certain and the stock is expected to start arriving at the master distributors Redington India and Ingram Micro within next two to three days” and pre-ordering will kick off in the next day or so, according to unnamed sources quoted by the Times.

A month after launch the iPhone 5 is for sale in 31 countries. But the wait is three to four weeks for a new device at many carriers and retailers, including Apple itself.

There are two issues plaguing iPhone 5 supply: intense demand coupled with a tricky manufacturing and building process. The company sold 5 million of the phones the first weekend it was available, but could likely sell more if it wasn’t having trouble getting them out of the factories in China. The builder of the iPhone 5, China’s Foxconn, says it’s the “most difficult device Foxconn has ever assembled.” The complicated design reportedly requires extreme precision when it comes to assembly.

Even when asked directly, Cook refused to say on the earnings call yesterday whether Apple would bring its iPhone supply in balance with demand by the end of 2012, which coincides with the all-important holiday sales period:

I’m not projecting whether supply/demand will balance, I’m saying I’m confident we’ll be able to supply quite a few [iPhone 5 units] during the quarter. But I can’t tell when that balance occurs, i can’t say. Demand is very robust.

That answer was certainly not a “yes.” The holidays plus India coming on board will be one challenge, but China is an even bigger beast. The country and its surrounding region represented 15 percent of Apple’s revenue in the last fiscal year, or about $24 billion. Apple’s products are in extremely high demand there — this is the country, after all, in which customers rioted and threw eggs at an Apple Store when it didn’t open on time for iPhone 4S sales earlier this year.

Apple has repeatedly reminded us that this is the company’s fastest rollout of a product yet. But that rollout hasn’t been without problems that could potentially sour customers on the brand if forced to wait weeks or months for something they’ve paid for. Granted, having outsize demand for your latest product is a problem most companies would kill to have.

Wait a minute. Is this an Apple store?

In Microsoft’s pop-up store in Times Square store today, there was a little confusion, a little curiosity, and a lot of resemblance to another big tech company.

Microsoft opened a pop-up store in New York’s Times Square to promote and sell its new Windows operating system and its Surface tablet.

This week marked a pretty big time for Microsoft. It launched Windows 8 and its new Surfacetablet, and it also opened up its first stores — albeit temporary — in New York.

But the reaction to all three has been a little mixed. It’s uncertain what sort of demand Windows 8 will see, and reviewers say the company’s Surface is innovative but lacks apps.

In the stores, meanwhile, there’s a little confusion, a little curiosity, and a lot of resemblance to Apple.

The software giant officially unveiled Windows 8 yesterday during a New York event. To bring more attention — and garner more sales — it opened two temporary Windows Stores in New York, one in Times Square and the other in the Time Warner Center near Central Park.

Visiting the Times Square store felt a little like deja vu. Everything from the floors to the employees looked a lot like the fixtures in Apple’s iconic stores. Windows Store workers were wearing brightly colored shirts that say “Click in and do more,” and all had badges around their necks with their name.

The Windows Store itself featured large signs on the walls showing close-ups of Surface and minimal amounts of text, and demo stations were set up neatly around the room for customers to actually try out the tablet and its keyboard options. The Surface tables were pretty busy, though the Windows 8 table looked pretty lonely.

Both Manhattan locations are in heavily trafficked areas, which means the store clientele is a sort of hodgepodge of tourists, businesspeople, and Microsoft fans. In the Times Square location this morning, all of the visitors really wanted to see the Surface, but there also was some confusion about what it’s capable of doing.

One of Microsoft’s pop-up stores is in the Manhattan’s busy Times Square.

Microsoft employees patiently walked customers through demos and tried to explain the benefits of the Windows RT system. But no, they admitted, it doesn’t do some things consumers are used to doing on Windows, like playing certain games.

For some people, that didn’t matter. Melinda George, manager of the store, wouldn’t provide CNET with sales details, but she did say the store is running low on certain Surface products.

“We’re selling out fast,” she said.

One such buyer, Mark (who declined to give his last name because his boss thought he was on a bathroom break), said he owns Apple products and likes them, but he wanted something with broader functionality than the iPad — namely, access to more traditional PC applications.

He shrugged off concerns about legacy compatability and a shortage of apps, saying that happens with every new platform. And he noted that people always seem to find something to criticize about Microsoft.

“Microsoft could come out with immortality and people wouldn’t be a fan,” he said.

And Carlos Vargas and Federico Comes, lawyers from Puerto Rico in town on business, each bought a Surface after first considering the Barnes & Noble Nook.

“The Nook is fine is you really just want an e-reader,” Vargas said. But he wanted to access Office and other programs through his device.

Federico Comes and Carlos Vargas get a demo from a Windows Store employee.

Most people seemed pretty absorbed by the Surface, with one couple from out of the country saying they didn’t have time to talk because they wanted to focus on checking out the device.

And some of Microsoft’s own execs were checking out the store and new device, as were employees from partners like B&N.

The Times Square store opened at 10 p.m. ET yesterday, welcoming about 600 waiting customers, according to a Microsoft spokeswoman. At 10:30, Microsoft had a steady flow of visitors, and a security guard told CNET that about 1,000 people had entered the store between 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

How many of those became Surface buyers is unclear. But if Microsoft’s main goal was getting attention for its new OS and device, it appears to have succeeded.