1. Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Contest – Some awesome designs for small apartments; lots of DIY fabrication and experimentation. “For the 8th year, we invite you to wow us with photos of your wonderfully compact home and insider tips for living well in under 1000 square feet. Join us today – send in an entry, start choosing your favorites and support your picks by sharing them with your friends.”
2. Smart Computing Islands on Everyday Surfaces – The UW’s Interaction Design program has teamed up with Intel Labs to create interactive digital displays that project onto ordinary things like countertops and desks. The smart technology can recognize objects placed on the surface, like ingredients, and provide a menu that offers suggested recipes, shopping lists, and more. Pretty amazing stuff.
3. Repainted Greek Sculptures – In case you missed it, apparently ancient Greek statues weren’t the white, idealized forms we see today. Instead they were painted with bright colors and complicated patterns, to the point where they can seem gaudy or kitsch compared to what we’re used to. As bizarre as it seems, archeologists are convinced that this was the aesthetic of ancient temples and plazas. It makes us rethink a staple of Western history and culture, but I think it also humanizes the ancient Greeks and makes them more relatable.
4. Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern – The London art gallery Tate Modern is currently featuring an exhibit on the work and life of influential Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Kusama’s work is fantastic, mind-bending, and often somewhat dizzying. Using patterns and lights, she manipulates space and perspective in original and disorienting ways. At 84 and mentally unstable as a result of her life and work, she lives voluntarily at a mental institution in Tokyo, but works during the day at her studio across the street. She is a truly fascinating and talented artist.
5. Map of Global Forest Heights – Using LIDAR, a satellite-based laser technology that bounces light off the earth and measures its return time, scientists are now able to map the heights of forests around the world. This is hugely important, because it lets us understand where the oldest and largest trees are, allowing more targeted conservation efforts and more nuanced understandings of forest carbon sequestration.