1. In Defense of Toulouse-Lautrec
To celebrate his would-be 150th birthday, radical French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was celebrated in the latest Google Doodle. For those not already familiar with Toulouse-Lautrec, the tech giant’s bleak portrait of the progressive painter, printmaker and illustrator may create the wrong picture. Though he’s known to many for his work at the Moulin Rouge, the Guardian argues that the reach of Toulouse-Lautrec’s artistic influence extends much further than Google’s pop culture cliche may depict.
2. US Currency Redesigned
For his master’s thesis at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland, Travis Purrington re-imagined the dated look of US currency. Passing on the iconic images of past presidents, Purrington drew up an entirely new set of images focusing on science and technology, which have always been so closely linked to America. One side of the new bills feature detailed black-and-white drawings of microscopic building-blocks (think blood cells or a circuit board) while the reverse side offers colorful examples of their grandest manifestations. Wired examines the process behind Purrington’s design.
3. Renaud Marion’s “Air Drive”
Ever since he was a child, photographer Renaud Marion dreamed of piloting a flying car. Since we’re still (unfortunately) dependent upon rubber tires and asphalt, Marion decided to envision his idea of future transport. On view now at MAD Gallery in Geneva, Switzerland, his “Air Drive” series features nine wheel-less autos hovering effortlessly inches above the ground. But there’s a twist: each hovercraft is a take on an old, vintage classic.
4. Kohler’s Odor-Friendly Toilet
Tired of your poop actually smelling like poop? The team behind Kohler’s Purefresh Toilet Seat understands. Looking to add to the magic that is the modern toilet, the established porcelain producers have designed a toilet seat that combats odor right at the source. When possible aroma offenders sit on the Purefresh, an air filter automatically activates dispersing either a fresh laundry, avocado spa or garden waterfall scent to neutralize the odors. The seat operates on D batteries and also features an LED light, making it nighttime-friendly.
5. Squeaker’s LED Pet Collars and Leashes
New PetTech startup Squeaker is hoping to make dog-walking a little more user-friendly. After nearly being close-lined by a dog-walker with an extendable leash, Squeaker founder Christopher Forcucci thought it was time that pet accessories caught up with the rest of the tech world. Dog-Milk sat down with Forcucci to learn how his Tron-like LED leashes and collars are helping to reduce runaways while possibly saving some lives too.
6. Beats in Space’s Crazed Caller
Tim Sweeney has been running his eclectic NYC radio show, “Beats in Space,” every Tuesday night since 1999 and has yet to miss a week. Since then, he’s captured the attention of not only music lovers and artists, but one frequent caller who identifies himself only as “Victor Washington Heights.” The anonymous caller’s messages range from Bond-villain to proud, drunken uncle, and while Sweeney admits they freaked him out at first, “Victor Washington Heights” has become as integral to the show as many of its weekly guests. Crane.tv gets Sweeney’s take on the peculiar relationship.
7. Steve Diggle’s Favorite Films
Winter (read: Polar Vortex) is here and it’s probably the only time staying home to binge on TV shows and movies is socially acceptable. Since you’ve probably already exhausted your Netflix queue, Steve Diggle of the legendary UK punk band The Buzzcocks has offered up a few of his favorite films to help you get through the snowy season and live it up indoors.
8. Library Discovers Shakespeare First Folio
A Shakespeare First Folio was recently discovered at a small public library in St. Omer, France. With only 233 of them known to have survived, First Folios are among some of the rarest books in the world, and since each one is slightly different, their minute incongruities offer a valuable glimpse into the playwright’s mind. Keep an eye out for the newly discovered tome to be on display in St. Omer sometime next year.
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