1. How to Freeze Soap Bubbles in Winter Weather
A craze transfixing photographers lately: capturing the freezing process of soap bubbles in winter weather yields orbs with glorious, unexpected patterning. No two bubbles are the same, and footage at Fstoppers reveals as much. They also provide extra insight and include a video from photographer Benjamin Jaworskyj—revealing that photographing these bubbles is the easy part, but landing them on the right type of surface poses the most difficulty. Naturally, it has to be very cold (so do so with caution) and there can be no wind. Smooth, icy surfaces—including very cold metal—make for the ideal resting position. Learn more at Fstoppers and enjoy the images they’ve collected.
2. The Necessity of Free Arts and Culture
Many people have been upset by the announcement from NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, wherein they instate an admission fee of $25 for out-of-state visitors. It’s easy to understand why. In a city filled with struggling artists—and every other type of worker—free art and culture matters and empowers. These are often areas for inspiration and reprieve, with open doors. This is not a loss of that, as the policy change has been put in place to avoid “charging for special exhibitions,” according to Rosie Spinks at Quartz. But it clearly reflects a new barrier to the arts within a city that doesn’t want them. The Met’s optional pricing made it a must-stop for tourists, some visiting the city for the first time. It made clear that NYC prides itself on art. Unfortunately this change acts as another demonstration of the uncertainty behind arts funding everywhere. Read more at Quartz.
3. Unveiling (Part Of) Bell Helicopter’s Self-Piloting Air Taxi for Uber
Texas-based aviation experts Bell Helicopter had a CES unveiling pertaining to the passenger drone they plan to supply Uber with, for self-piloting flights. For those paying close attention to the developments, this reveal wasn’t quite everything one could hope for. Bell debuted the cabin only, in an effort to showcase the comforts of flying in these short-range vehicles. As Fast Company makes clear, how exactly it will works is still a mystery. They note that a vertical takeoff and landing are expected, but most of the airtime, “this taxi will fly like a traditional plane with wings.” While not unveiled entirely, “a full-blown version of the craft exists and is already in test flights,” they say. Read more at Fast Company.
4. Jenga Ocean, a Game Made from Recycled Fishing Nets
Taking eco-friendly to new heights, Jenga Ocean is the first-ever game made from recycled fishing nets. Each set is produced from 25 square feet of nets sourced via Bureo’s Net Positiva recycling program, and the results don’t sacrifice design—the all-black blocks feature threatened animals hand-drawn by Lake Buckley. It can be played in the same way as the Jenga you already know and love, but there are also special edition rules focused on saving marine animals.
5. Tetra, the Microwave-Sized Countertop Dishwasher
For anyone dreaming of owning a dishwasher, the Tetra removes just about all obstacles. It plugs into any wall outlet and it costs just $299. It’s about the size of a microwave, runs in only 10 minutes and uses only half a gallon of (hand-loaded) water. Spatially, it’s ideal for a couple, or anyone living alone—with a small capacity. It’s the brainchild of tankless water heater company Heatworks and Brooklyn-based industrial design firm Frog Design. The Tetra connected countertop dishwasher was on site at CES 2018. The only real issue: it won’t be available until December. Read more at Mashable.
6. L’Oreal’s Tiny UV Sense Tracks Your Sun Exposure
Another beneficial development to debut at CES, L’Oreal’s UV Sense tracks the sunlight exposure of its wearer. It’s a battery-free wearable that connects by NFC to an accompanying iOS or Android app. It’s also quite tiny: fit for a thumbnail, at 9mm in diameter and only 2mm thick. The reusable piece affixes to its user (or its user’s accessories) through an adhesive. For 2018, it will be available “exclusively through dermatologists,” according to CNET, but they mention “a global launch is expected in 2019.” The device is expected to sell for $40 or less.
7. H. Moser & Cie. Pulls Their “Frankenstein Homage” Watch
When the ever-so-clever Swiss watch brand H. Moser & Cie. announced their Swiss Icons Watch, the industry and watch lovers made a collective gasp. In one timepiece, Moser had combined signature elements from many of the world’s most famous timepieces—a Cartier crown, the Audemars Piguet case shape, the bezel of a Rolex GMT Master II, an IWC dial, a Girard-Perregaux-inspired tourbillon and more. The brand refers to it as an homage, but one can’t help but feel that it is a parody, and an ugly one. Further, its message is powerful: it appears to Moser that innovation might be kept to a minimum within the Swiss watch industry, ignored for safe brand recognition. But that collective gasp, and plenty of criticism, has resulted in the brand retracting the watch from the market, leaving only the statement intact.
8. David Brandon Geeting’s Cannabis Photography
With plenty of sparkles, smoke and mystical tinges, Brooklyn-based photographer David Brandon Geeting has created a lush collection of images for cannabis brand Pure Beauty. The still-life photographs are subtlety colored and atmospheric—much more high-art than gimmicky. These photos (and Pure Beauty as a whole) show just how sophisticated the cannabis industry continues to become. See more at It’s Nice That.