Category Archives: Technology

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And now, for something completely different..

Planet Earth was the most expensive documentary ever commissioned by the BBC and now there’s an even pricier follow up.

Life the new documentary by the BBC picks up where Planet Earth left off, and will be airing on the Discovery Channel at 8 p.m. on Sunday March 21, 2010. The documentary is 10 hours long and will air in two-hour episodes. It was not cheap to film.

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This may have something to do with the super fancy high-definition cameras used to capture the various life forms of our little planet. For instance, capturing the smallest creepy crawlies required an Ionix camera the size of a tube of lipstick. Gyroscopic stabilization allowed the crew to keep cameras steady in vehicles, even on bumpiest terrain, to keep up with traveling herds of animals.

It also took extreme perseverance on the crew’s behalf, after living in snake and rat infested huts in Madagascar. Not to mention the hours of tracking animals.

The effect of this toil? Letting the viewer get up close and personal as a frog the size of a thumbnail takes care of her young, or a glimpse of Komodo dragons (a terrifying bunch) take down and devour a buffalo.

After Life, Human Planet and Frozen Planet will be released in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Human Planet is about indigenous cultures and their relationship to the environment, while Frozen Planet focuses on the north and south poles. It’s still unclear whether Discover Channel will pick these up.

The BBC already started airing Life late last year; it was in their agreement that they would air the documentary first. The Discovery Channels airing will be the North American premiere. The only difference between two channels is the narration; David Attenborough on the BBC and Oprah Winfrey on Discovery.

After the influx of otherworldly CGI content, it’s refreshing to see something a little more, well, lifelike.

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Filed under Documentary, Films, Technology

Typographic Photobooth

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If your face was a font, what would it look like?

No we’re not kidding.

Do you think you’d have more of the clean curves of a Helvetica or do you think you’d be more of a classically balanced Georgia?

For those of you who don’t know what you’d be (or are still confused) may we present, TYPEFACE.

TYPEFACE is a custom software that analyzes your facial dimensions and then translates them into a type design. Each individual typeface can also be tweaked slightly by simply changing your facial expression. To make things even easier, individual fonts can be saved and exported by pdf.

The program is still a work-in-progress, but a downloadable version will be available soon. Keep checking this website for details.

While I’ll embarrassingly admit we did enjoy that whole change-your-face-into-a-50s-grad-photo thing, this is so much cooler.

– Alexa P Gray

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Filed under Art/Design, Technology

Tourbillon Cell Phone

To those who know what a Tourbillon mechanism is, you’re very smart. For those who don’t, it’s the mechanism used to power many 19th century watches, without the use of electronics…Got that? Also, it’s now in a cell phone.

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The not yet released Celsius X VI II cell phone incorporates Remontage Papillon technology, meaning it runs mechanically, no electronics. That’s right, none.

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This complex, hand finished, 550 mechanical-part mind bender uses a mechanism that mimics the movements of a butterfly in order to power the phone. Complicated? Yes. Functional? Completely.

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The inner workings of the phone are not only attractive to look at–it bares almost all–but the mechanism is powered simply by opening the phone. Seems easy enough now, doesn’t it.

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Three years in the making, this otherworldly piece of modern machinery is set to release in a few days at the prestigious Baselworld, 2010.

The complex simplicity of the Celsius makes it very attractive and we can’t wait to see it in action.

– Tim Morse

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Lomo Camera goes high-end

photo from lomography

Capture your golden moments with a Lomo LC-A+Gold special edition camera. For everyone who loves a good looking tech toys, this camera is for you.

 Twenty-four carat gold leaf gilding, smooth leather wrapping, and an original Russian Minitar lens, beautiful wooden casing, and a unique number guaranteeing authenticity—we know, you’re drooling, us too.

photo from lomo

 Only 130 are being produced making them super duper, insert key word, exclusive. They retail for $600USD, so it may not be something you buy on a whim, but, should definitely be on your list of must-haves. The plastic Lomo cameras have been around since the 80’s, and were popular because they were cheap. Who doesn’t love a good cheap toy?

Get ready to snap dreamy photos, full of the saturated colours just like the original ones.

 Well the new guys aren’t cheap, but they sure are pretty.

-Melissa S. Robinson

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Hydro Floors

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Personal indoor pools will always be at the lap of luxury, but Hydrofloors will take it to the next level.

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The pool pimps at Hydrofloor designed a ‘walk on pool.’ Not like walk on water, but a the floor actually sinks down and fills with water at the touch of a button.  Hello future, technology, you are so nice to us sometimes… In effect you can go from dance party to pool party in less than an hour. Not too shabby.

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And the nice thing is, when you aren’t using the pool it blends in with the rest of the floor, making it virtually unnoticeable.

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The “nearly invisible” system can be adjustable to whatever water level you like, you want a wading pool, done. A swimming pool, done. You can even adjust different parts of the pool to different heights, shallow end for the kiddies and deep end for the adults. Just be sure that after you elevate it, you give it some time to dry out before you break out your dancing shoes…

-Tim Morse

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Filed under Architecture, Art/Design, Gadgets, Interior Design, Technology

Playing red light, green light in the shower?


photo from waterpebble

After a long day, most, if not all of us, look forward to having a long hot shower—the kind that turns you into a prune. Just thinking about it can make you sigh with want, but too much of anything, is never good. That feeling of guilt for spending an hour, or more, in the shower sets in, and you wonder, how much is too much?

photo from waterpebble

 Introducing the Waterpebble, a small translucent device shaped like a pebble, monitors water going down the plug hole when you shower. It memorises your first shower, and uses it as a benchmark for the coming ones. Then the LED illuminates, and is pretty much like a traffic light telling you when to get out. Green, enjoy that hot beating water, yellow get ready to wind it down, aka, get that condition out of your hair, and red, turn the tap off stat!

 From that moment on, Waterpebble automatically fractionally, reduces your shower intake, shortening your showers, basically it’s a no brainer: set it, and forget it. Not too bad huh…

 Say goodbye to wrinkly fingers and toes!

-Melissa S.Robinson

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