Tag Archives: image

See, Earth is at the Center of the Cosmos

A single image of the entire universe from 2012 has been collecting lots of attention recently. Not only is it beautiful, it shows the Earth and our solar system clearly in the correct location — at the rightful center!

Some seem to be using this to claim that the circa 2,000 year old, geo-centric view of the cosmos must be right.

Observable_universe_logarithmic_illustration

Well, sorry creationists, flat-earthers, and followers of Ptolemy, this gorgeous image is a logarithmic illustration.

Image: Artist’s logarithmic scale conception of the observable universe with the Solar System at the center, inner and outer planets, Kuiper belt, Oort cloud, Alpha Centauri, Perseus Arm, Milky Way galaxy, Andromeda galaxy, nearby galaxies, Cosmic Web, Cosmic microwave radiation and Big Bang’s invisible plasma on the edge. Courtesy: Pablo Carlos Budassi / Wikipedia.

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Pics Or It Didn’t Happen

Apparently, in this day and age of ubiquitous technology there is no excuse for not having evidence. So, if you recently had a terrific (or terrible) meal in your (un-)favorite restaurant you must have pictures to back up your story. If you just returned from a gorgeous mountain hike you must have images for every turn on the trial. Just attended your high-school reunion? Pictures! Purchased a new mattress? Pictures! Cracked your heirloom tea service? Pictures! Mowed the lawn? Pictures! Stubbed toe? Pictures!

The pressure to record our experiences has grown in lock-step with the explosive growth in smartphones and connectivity. Collecting and sharing our memories remains a key part of our story-telling nature. But, this obsessive drive to record every minutiae of every experience, however trivial, has many missing the moment — behind the camera or in front of it, we are no longer in the moment.

Just as our online social networks have stirred growth in the increasingly neurotic condition known as FOMO (fear of missing out), we are now on the cusp on some new techno-enabled, acronym-friendly disorders. Let’s call these FONBB — fear of not being believed, FONGELOFAMP — fear of not getting enough likes or followers as my peers, FOBIO — fear of becoming irrelevant online.

From NYT:

“Pics or it didn’t happen” is the response you get online when you share some unlikely experience or event and one of your friends, followers or stalkers calls you out for evidence. “Next thing I know, I’m bowling with Bill Murray!” Pics or it didn’t happen. “I taught my cockatoo how to rap ‘Baby Got Back’ — in pig Latin.” Pics or it didn’t happen. “Against all odds, I briefly smiled today.” Pics or it didn’t happen!

It’s a glib reply to a comrade’s boasting — coming out of Internet gaming forums to rebut boasts about high scores and awesome kills — but the fact is we like proof. Proof in the instant replay that decides the big game, the vacation pic that persuades us we were happy once, the selfie that reassures us that our face is still our own. “Pics or it didn’t happen” gained traction because in an age of bountiful technology, when everyone is armed with a camera, there is no excuse for not having evidence.

Does the phrase have what it takes to transcend its humble origins as a cruddy meme and become an aphorism in the pantheon of “A picture is worth a thousand words” and “Seeing is believing”? For clues to the longevity of “Pics,” let’s take a survey of some classic epigrams about visual authority and see how they hold up under the realities of contemporary American life.

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is a dependable workhorse, emerging from early-­20th-­century newspaper culture as a pitch to advertisers: Why rely on words when an illustration can accomplish so much more? It seems appropriate to test the phrase with a challenge drawn from contemporary news media. Take one of the Pulitzer Prize-­winning photographs from The St. Louis Post-­Dispatch’s series on Ferguson. In the darkness, a figure is captured in an instant of dynamic motion: legs braced, long hair flying wild, an extravagant plume of smoke and flames trailing from the incendiary object he is about to hurl into space. His chest is covered by an American-­flag T-­shirt, he holds fire in one hand and a bag of chips in the other, a living collage of the grand and the bathetic.

Headlines — like the graphics that gave birth to “A picture is worth a thousand words” — are a distillation, a shortcut to meaning. Breitbart News presented that photograph under “Rioters Throw Molotov Cocktails at Police in Ferguson — Again.” CBS St. Louis/Associated Press ran with “Protester Throws Tear-­Gas Canister Back at Police While Holding Bag of Chips.” Rioter, protester, Molotov cocktail, tear-­gas canister. Peace officers, hypermilitarized goons. What’s the use of a thousand words when they are Babel’s noise, the confusion of a thousand interpretations?

“Seeing is believing” was an early entry in the canon. Most sources attribute it to the Apostle Thomas’s incredulity over Jesus’ resurrection. (“Last night after you left the party, Jesus turned all the water into wine” is a classic “Pics or it didn’t happen” moment.) “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” Once Jesus shows up, Thomas concludes that seeing will suffice. A new standard of proof enters the lexicon.

Intuitive logic is not enough, though. Does “Seeing is believing” hold up when confronted by current events like, say, the killing of Eric Garner last summer by the police? The bystander’s video is over two minutes long, so dividing it into an old-­fashioned 24 frames per second gives us a bounty of more than 3,000 stills. A real bonanza, atrocity-­wise. But here the biblical formulation didn’t hold up: Even with the video and the medical examiner’s assessment of homicide, a grand jury declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Time to downgrade “Seeing is believing,” too, and kick “Justice is blind” up a notch.

Can we really use one cherry-­picked example to condemn a beloved idiom? Is the system rigged? Of course it is. Always, everywhere. Let’s say these expressions concerning visual evidence are not to blame for their failures, but rather subjectivity is. The problem is us. How we see things. How we see people. We can broaden our idiomatic investigations to include phrases that account for the human element, like “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” We can also change our idiomatic stressors from contemporary video to early photography. Before smartphones put a developing booth in everyone’s pocket, affordable portable cameras loosed amateur photographers upon the world. Everyday citizens could now take pictures of children in their Sunday best, gorgeous vistas of unspoiled nature and lynchings.

A hundred years ago, Americans took souvenirs of lynchings, just as we might now take a snapshot of a farewell party for a work colleague or a mimosa-­heavy brunch. They were keepsakes, sent to relatives to allow them to share in the event, and sometimes made into postcards so that one could add a “Wish you were here”-­type endearment. In the book “Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America,” Leon F. Litwack shares an account of the 1915 lynching of Thomas Brooks in Fayette County, Tenn. “Hundreds of Kodaks clicked all morning at the scene. .?.?. People in automobiles and carriages came from miles around to view the corpse dangling at the end of the rope.” Pics or it didn’t happen. “Picture-­card photographers installed a portable printing plant at the bridge and reaped a harvest in selling postcards.” Pics or it didn’t happen. “Women and children were there by the score. At a number of country schools, the day’s routine was delayed until boy and girl pupils could get back from viewing the lynched man.” Pics or it didn’t happen.

Read the entire story here.

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Keep Those Old Photos

google-search-photos

Chances are that when you are feeling sentimental or nostalgic you’ll head straight for the old photographs. If you’ve had the misfortune of being swept up in a natural or accidental disaster — fire, flood, hurricane — it’s likely that  the objects you seek out first  or miss the most while be your photographs. Those of us over the age of 35 may still have physical albums or piles of ancient images stored in shoeboxes or biscuit tins. And, like younger generations, we’ll also have countless pictures stored on our smartphones or computers or a third party internet service like Instagram or Pinterest — organized or not. We hold on to our physical and digital images because they carry meaning and store our connections. A timely article from Wired’s editor reminds us to keep even the bad ones.

From Wired:

The past 12 months sucked. Over that span I lost my grandmother, a childhood friend, and a colleague. Grief is a weak spring; if there’s not enough time between blows, you don’t bounce back. You just keep getting pushed down. Soon even a minor bummer could conjure deep sadness. I took comfort in photos: some dug out of boxes but most unearthed online.

One particularly low evening, I sat on the couch reading my departed friend’s blog. I’d read it before—beginning to end, a river that spanned years and documented her battle with illness. This time I just scanned for images. I sat there frozen. My wet face locked into the glow-cone of my laptop, captivated by an unexpected solace: candid photos.

The posed pictures didn’t do it for me; they felt like someone else, effigies at best. But in the side shots and reflections, the thumbnail in a screencapped FaceTime chat, I felt like I was really seeing her. It was as if those frames contained a forever-spark of her life.

“A posed image can never be the same as when someone’s guard is down.” So said Costa Sakellariou, a photography professor at Binghamton University whose course I took the summer of my second junior year. I enrolled in it to make up credits that I was too busy getting wasted to accrue during the regular academic year (helluva student, this guy), but the experience ended up being really important to me.

Costa would have us use manual film cameras for street photography. We’d set our aperture to a daylight-friendly f/16, prefocus at 3 feet, then go downtown to ambush pedestrians. “A candid photograph captures the intersections of life,” he’d say. Well, he said something like that back then, but he said exactly that when I called him to talk for the first time in 15 years.

He’s still at Binghamton, his students still shoot film (mostly), and he’s not super-sanguine about the direction photography is taking. It’s too controlled, too curated, too conceptual. “People have chosen to abandon the random elements,” he says. If you look at your Instagram feed, you’ll see he’s right. Though photos on ephemeral platforms like Snapchat are less carefully constructed, the Internet’s permanent record is full of poses and setups.

This got me thinking about my photographic legacy. I post about a half-dozen pics a week—mostly on Instagram, mostly staged. When I’m gone, my survivors will only know the artful shots of motorcycles, fourth-take selfies with my wife, scenic vistas, and the #dogsofwired.

Read the entire story here.

Image courtesy of Google Search.

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Images: Go Directly To Jail or…

open-door

If you live online and write or share images it’s likely that you’ve been, or will soon be, sued by the predatory Getty Images. Your kindly editor at theDiagonal uses images found to be in the public domain or references them as fair use in this blog, and yet has fallen prey to this extortionate nuisance of a company.

Getty with its army of fee extortion collectors — many are not even legally trained or accredited — will find reason to send you numerous legalistic and threatening letters demanding hundreds of dollars in compensation and damages. It will do this without sound proof, relying on the threats to cajole unwary citizens to part with significant sums. This is such a big market for Getty that numerous services, such as this one, have sprung up over the years to help writers and bloggers combat the Getty extortion.

With that in mind, it’s refreshing to see the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York taking a rather different stance: the venerable institution is doing us all a wonderful service by making many hundreds of thousands of classic images available online for free. Getty take that!

From WSJ:

This month, the Metropolitan Museum of Art released for download about 400,000 digital images of works that are in the public domain. The images, which are free to use for non-commercial use without permission or fees, may now be downloaded from the museum’s website. The museum will continue to add images to the collection as they digitize files as part of the initiative Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC). 

When asked about the impact of the initiative, Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, said the new program would provide increased access and streamline the process of obtaining these images. “In keeping with the Museum’s mission, we hope the new image policy will stimulate new scholarship in a variety of media, provide greater access to our vast collection, and broaden the reach of the Museum to researchers world-wide. By providing open access, museums and scholars will no longer have to request permission to use our public domain images, they can download the images directly from our website.”

Thomas P. Campbell, director and chief executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said the Met joins a growing number of museums using an open-access policy to make available digital images of public domain works. “I am delighted that digital technology can open the doors to this trove of images from our encyclopedic collection,” Mr. Campbell said in his May 16 announcement. Other New York institutions that have initiated similar programs include the New York Public Library (map collection),  the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the New York Philharmonic. 

See more images here.

Image: “The Open Door,” earlier than May 1844. Courtesy of William Henry Fox Talbot/The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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Mind the Gap

The gap in question is not the infamous gap between subway platform and train, but the so-called “thigh gap”. Courtesy of the twittersphere, internet trolls and the substance-lacking 24hr news media, the thigh gap has now become the hot topic du jour.

One wonders when the conversation will move to a more significant gap — the void between the ears of a significant number of image-obsessed humans.

From the Guardian:

She may have modelled for Ralph Lauren and appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia, but when a photo of Robyn Lawley wearing a corset appeared on Facebook the responses were far from complimentary. “Pig”, “hefty” and “too fat” were some of the ways in which commenters described the 24-year-old. Her crime? Her thighs were touching. Lawley had failed to achieve a “thigh gap”.

The model, who has her own swimwear line and has won numerous awards for her work, responded vehemently below the line: “You sit behind a computer screen objectifying my body, judging it and insulting it, without even knowing it.”

She also went on to pen a thoughtful rallying cry for the Daily Beast last week against those who attacked her, saying their words were “just another tool of manipulation that other people are trying to use to keep me from loving my body”.

The response to her article was electric and Lawley was invited to speak about thigh-gap prejudice on America’s NBC Today. In a careful and downbeat tone, she explained: “It’s basically when your upper middle thighs do not touch when you’re standing with your legs together.”

The Urban Dictionary website describes it in no uncertain terms as “the gap between a woman’s thighs directly below the vagina, often diamond shaped when the thighs are together.”

The thigh gap is not a new concept to Lawley, who at 6ft 2in and 12 stone is classified as a “plus-size” model, and who remembers learning about it aged 12. But the growth of Instagram and other social media has allowed the concept of a thigh gap to enter the public consciousness and become an alarming, and exasperating, new trend among girls and women.

A typical example is a Twitter account devoted solely to Cara Delevingne’s thigh gap, which the model initially described as “pretty funny” but also “quite crazy”.

Selfies commonly show one part of a person’s anatomy, a way of compartmentalising body sections to show them in the best light, and the thigh gap is particularly popular. What was once a standard barometer of thinness among models is now apparently sought after by a wider public.

The thigh gap has its own hashtag on Twitter, under which users post pictures of non-touching thighs for inspiration, and numerous dedicated blogs. The images posted mirror the ubiquitous images of young, slim models and pop stars in shorts, often at festivals such as Glastonbury or Coachella, that have flooded the mainstream media in recent years, bringing with them the idea that skinniness, glamour and fun are intertwined.

There is even a “how to” page on the internet, although worshippers of thin may be disappointed to find that the first step is to “understand that a thigh gap is not physically possible for most people”.

Naomi Shimada began modelling at 13, but had to quit the industry when her weight changed. “I was what they call a straight-size model – a size 6 – when I started, which is normal for a very young girl.

“But as I got older my body didn’t stay like that, because, guess what, that doesn’t happen to people! So I took a break and went back in as a size 14 and now work as a plus-size model.”

Shimada is unequivocal about where the obsession with the thigh gap comes from. “It’s not a new trend: it’s been around for years. It comes partly from a fashion industry that won’t acknowledge that there are different ways a woman should look, and it comes from the pro-anorexic community. It’s a path to an eating disorder.”

Caryn Franklin, the former Clothes Show presenter who co-founded the diversity campaign All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, is quite appalled. “We now have a culture that convinces women to see themselves as an exterior only, and evaluating and measuring the component parts of their bodies is one of the symptoms.

“Young women do not have enough female role models showing them action or intellect. In their place are scantily clad celebrities. Sadly, young women are wrongly looking to fashion for some kind of guidance on what it is to be female.”

Franklin, who was fashion editor of style magazine i-D in the 1980s, says it hasn’t always been this way: “I had spent my teen years listening to Germaine Greer and Susie Orbach talking about female intellect.

“When I came out of college I knew I had a contribution to make that wasn’t based on my appearance. I then landed in a fashion culture that was busy celebrating diversity. There was no media saying ‘get the look’ and pointing to celebrities as style leaders because there wasn’t a homogenised fashion look, and there weren’t digital platforms that meant that I was exposed to more images of unachievable beauty.”

Asked whether the fixation on skinny thighs is a way of forcing women’s bodies to look pre-pubescent, Franklin says: “This culture has encouraged women to infantilise themselves. When you are so fixated on approval for what you look like, you are a little girl: you haven’t grown up.”

For many, the emergence of the thigh gap trend is baffling.

“About four hours ago, as far as I was concerned a ‘thigh gap’ was something anyone could have if they stood up and placed their feet wider than hip distance apart,” wrote Vice journalist Bertie Brandes when she discovered the phenomenon.

“A thigh gap is actually the hollow cavity which appears between the tops of your legs when you stand with your feet together. It also means that your body is underweight.”

Other bloggers have responded with a sense of the absurd; feminist blog Smells Like Girl Riot recently posted a diagram of a skeleton to show why the ischium and the pubis cannot be altered through diet alone.

Shimada, now 26, is about to launch her own fanzine, A-Genda, which aims to use a diverse range of models to show young women “something healthy to aspire to”.

“When I was a really young model there were girls who used to talk about the pencil test, which is when you measure the depth of your waist against the length of a pencil, and back dimples, when the lack of fat would create concave areas of skin,” she says. “But I don’t even think this kind of thing is limited to the fashion industry any more. It’s all a big mess. But we all have to play a role in making it better.”

Franklin also wonders: “When did everyone become so narcissistic? What happened to intellect? My sense of myself was not informed by a very shallow patriarchal media that prioritised the objectification of women – it was informed by feminism.”

Lawley signed off her call to arms with a similar acknowledgement of the potential power of women’s bodies.

“I’ve been trying to do just the opposite: I want my thighs to be bigger and stronger. I want to run faster and swim longer. I suppose we all just want different things, but women have enough pressure as it is without the added burden of achieving a ‘thigh gap’.

“The last thing I would want for my future daughter would be to starve herself because she thought a ‘thigh gap’ was necessary to be deemed attractive.”

Read the entire article here.

Image: Model Robyn Lawley. Courtesy of Jon Gorrigan / Observer.

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Cosmic portrait

Make a note in your calendar if you are so inclined: you’ll be photographed from space on July 19, 2013, sometime between 9.27 and 9.42 pm (GMT).

No, this is not another wacky mapping stunt courtesy of Google. Rather, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which will be somewhere in the vicinity of Saturn, will train its cameras on us for a global family portrait.

From NASA:

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, now exploring Saturn, will take a picture of our home planet from a distance of hundreds of millions of miles on July 19. NASA is inviting the public to help acknowledge the historic interplanetary portrait as it is being taken.

Earth will appear as a small, pale blue dot between the rings of Saturn in the image, which will be part of a mosaic, or multi-image portrait, of the Saturn system Cassini is composing.

“While Earth will be only about a pixel in size from Cassini’s vantage point 898 million [1.44 billion kilometers] away, the team is looking forward to giving the world a chance to see what their home looks like from Saturn,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “We hope you’ll join us in waving at Saturn from Earth, so we can commemorate this special opportunity.”

Cassini will start obtaining the Earth part of the mosaic at 2:27 p.m. PDT (5:27 p.m. EDT or 21:27 UTC) and end about 15 minutes later, all while Saturn is eclipsing the sun from Cassini’s point of view. The spacecraft’s unique vantage point in Saturn’s shadow will provide a special scientific opportunity to look at the planet’s rings. At the time of the photo, North America and part of the Atlantic Ocean will be in sunlight.

Unlike two previous Cassini eclipse mosaics of the Saturn system in 2006, which captured Earth, and another in 2012, the July 19 image will be the first to capture the Saturn system with Earth in natural color, as human eyes would see it. It also will be the first to capture Earth and its moon with Cassini’s highest-resolution camera. The probe’s position will allow it to turn its cameras in the direction of the sun, where Earth will be, without damaging the spacecraft’s sensitive detectors.

“Ever since we caught sight of the Earth among the rings of Saturn in September 2006 in a mosaic that has become one of Cassini’s most beloved images, I have wanted to do it all over again, only better,” said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team lead at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. “This time, I wanted to turn the entire event into an opportunity for everyone around the globe to savor the uniqueness of our planet and the preciousness of the life on it.”

Porco and her imaging team associates examined Cassini’s planned flight path for the remainder of its Saturn mission in search of a time when Earth would not be obstructed by Saturn or its rings. Working with other Cassini team members, they found the July 19 opportunity would permit the spacecraft to spend time in Saturn’s shadow to duplicate the views from earlier in the mission to collect both visible and infrared imagery of the planet and its ring system.

“Looking back towards the sun through the rings highlights the tiniest of ring particles, whose width is comparable to the thickness of hair and which are difficult to see from ground-based telescopes,” said Matt Hedman, a Cassini science team member based at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a member of the rings working group. “We’re particularly interested in seeing the structures within Saturn’s dusty E ring, which is sculpted by the activity of the geysers on the moon Enceladus, Saturn’s magnetic field and even solar radiation pressure.”

This latest image will continue a NASA legacy of space-based images of our fragile home, including the 1968 “Earthrise” image taken by the Apollo 8 moon mission from about 240,000 miles (380,000 kilometers) away and the 1990 “Pale Blue Dot” image taken by Voyager 1 from about 4 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) away.

Read the entire article here.

Image: This simulated view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows the expected positions of Saturn and Earth on July 19, 2013, around the time Cassini will take Earth’s picture. Cassini will be about 898 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) away from Earth at the time. That distance is nearly 10 times the distance from the sun to Earth. Courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Pretending to be Smart

Have you ever taken a date to a cerebral movie or the opera? Have you ever taken a classic work of literature to read at the beach? If so, you are not alone. But why are you doing it?

From the Telegraph:

Men try to impress their friends almost twice as much as women do by quoting Shakespeare and pretending to like jazz to seem more clever.

A fifth of all adults admitted they have tried to impress others by making out they are more cultured than they really are, but this rises to 41 per cent in London.

Scotland is the least pretentious country as only 14 per cent of the 1,000 UK adults surveyed had faked their intelligence there, according to Ask Jeeves research.

Typical methods of trying to seem cleverer ranged from deliberately reading a ‘serious’ novel on the beach, passing off other people’s witty remarks as one’s own and talking loudly about politics in front of others.

Two thirds put on the pretensions for friends, while 36 per cent did it to seem smarter in their workplace and 32 per cent tried to impress a potential partner.

One in five swapped their usual holiday read for something more serious on the beach and one in four went to an art gallery to look more cultured.

When it came to music tastes, 20 per cent have pretended to prefer Beethoven to Beyonce and many have referenced operas they have never seen.

A spokesman for Ask Jeeves said: “We were surprised by just how many people think they should go to such lengths in order to impress someone else.

“They obviously think they will make a better impression if they pretend to like Beethoven rather than admit they listen to Beyonce or read The Spectator rather than Loaded.

“Social media and the internet means it is increasingly easy to present this kind of false image about themselves.

“But in the end, if they are really going to be liked then it is going to be for the person they really are rather than the person they are pretending to be.”

Social media also plays a large part with people sharing Facebook posts on politics or re-tweeting clever tweets to raise their intellectual profile.

Men were the biggest offenders, with 26 per cent of men admitting to the acts of pretence compared to 14 per cent of women.

Top things people have done to seem smarter:

Repeated someone else’s joke as your own

Gone to an art gallery

Listened to classical music in front of others

Read a ‘serious’ book on the beach

Re-tweeted a clever tweet

Talked loudly about politics in front of others

Read a ‘serious’ magazine on public transport

Shared an intellectual article on Facebook

Quoted Shakespeare

Pretended to know about wine

Worn glasses with clear lenses

Mentioned an opera you’d ‘seen’

Pretended to like jazz

Read the entire article here.

Image: Opera. Courtesy of the New York Times.

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3D Printing Coming to a Home Near You

It seems that not too long ago we were writing about pioneering research into 3D printing and start-up businesses showing off their industrially focused, prototype 3D printers. Now, only a couple of years later there is a growing, consumer market, home-based printers for under $3,000, and even a a 3D printing expo — 3D Printshow. The future looks bright and very much three dimensional.

From the Independent:

It is Star Trek science made reality, with the potential for production-line replacement body parts, aeronautical spares, fashion, furniture and virtually any other object on demand. It is 3D printing, and now people in Britain can try it for themselves.

The cutting-edge technology, which layers plastic resin in a manner similar to an inkjet printer to create 3D objects, is on its way to becoming affordable for home use. Some of its possibilities will be on display at the UK’s first 3D-printing trade show from Friday to next Sunday at The Brewery in central London .

Clothes made using the technique will be exhibited in a live fashion show, which will include the unveiling of a hat designed for the event by the milliner Stephen Jones, and a band playing a specially composed score on 3D-printed musical instruments.

Some 2,000 consumers are expected to join 1,000 people from the burgeoning industry to see what the technique has to offer, including jewellery and art. A 3D body scanner, which can reproduce a “mini” version of the person scanned, will also be on display.

Workshops run by Jason Lopes of Legacy Effects, which provided 3D-printed models and props for cinema blockbusters such as the Iron Man series and Snow White and the Huntsman, will add a sprinkling of Hollywood glamour.

Kerry Hogarth, the woman behind 3D Printshow, said yesterday she aims to showcase the potential of the technology for families. While prices for printers start at around £1,500 – with DIY kits for less – they are expected to drop steadily over the coming year. One workshop, run by the Birmingham-based Black Country Atelier, will invite people to design a model vehicle and then see the result “printed” off for them to take home.

Read the entire article after the jump.

Image: 3D scanning and printing. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Seven Sisters Star Cluster

The Seven Sisters star cluster, also known as the Pleiades, consists of many, young, bright and hot stars. While the cluster contains hundreds of stars it is so named because only seven are typically visible to the naked eye. The Seven Sisters is visible from the northern hemisphere, and resides in the constellation Taurus.

Image and supporting text courtesy of Davide De Martin over at Skyfactory.

This image is a composite from black and white images taken with the Palomar Observatory’s 48-inch (1.2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope as a part of the second National Geographic Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS II). The images were recorded on two type of glass photographic plates – one sensitive to red light and the other to blue and later they were digitized. Credit: Caltech, Palomar Observatory, Digitized Sky Survey.

In order to produce the color image seen here, I worked with data coming from 2 different photographic plates taken in 1986 and 1989. Original file is 10.252 x 9.735 pixels with a resolution of about 1 arcsec per pixel. The image shows an area of sky large 2,7° x 2,7° (for comparison, the full-Moon is about 0,5° in diameter).

More from theSource here.

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