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This is NOT a Frog.


Italian self-taught artist Johannes Stötter takes camouflage and body paint to a whole new level. What you see above looks like a beautiful photograph of a colorful frog on a verdant leaf. However, it is actually five people meticulously painted and positioned by Stötter to look exactly like the frog. read on

Bon Voyage Aquaflage


October 2017 will mark the 241st birthday of the US Navy. Coinciding with this historic event, on October 1st, 2017, the US Navy will no longer issue aquaflage. The anticipated retirement of aquaflage will not be met with sadness or hoarding. Quite the opposite—the aquaflage uniforms have been called the “dumbest uniform ever.” In fact, for the past ten years, the Navy Secretary has been well aware of our sailors’ negative opinions regarding these uniforms (aka blueberries). Sailors have claimed that the uniforms were hot, uncomfortable, and worst of all, were flammable.

Aquaflage seemed conceptually perfect since blue camo seemingly reinforced the Navy/water relationship. However, from a practical standpoint, the color selection served no purpose—unless our sailors wanted to blend into their surroundings after falling overboard. Aquaflage is an excellent example of a good idea which was not fully vetted.

As with everything, there are probably a few sailors who prefer blue camo over green. For them, the Navy has established a three year transitional period before aquaflage is officially retired. These holdouts should be careful, avoid open flames and—in the case of burning— suppress the instinct to jump overboard to extinguish the flames.

No Man’s Sky: A Game as Big as the Universe


I’ve been curiously following the development of an incredibly ambitious video game called “No Man’s Sky” since its first appearance in December of 2013. Sony officially announced the game as a Playstation 4 console exclusive at E3 2014. No Man’s Sky has been described as a space exploration game with elements of crafting, space combat and ground combat. The main point of the game, though is to explore the universe and travel to its center. Players start with a spaceship on a planet at the edge of the game’s known universe and they have to slowly upgrade their ship and equipment to make it from star system to star system. They will run into danger along the way, as each planet is procedurally generated, and may have a toxic or radioactive atmosphere as well as dangerous terrain and wildlife. Players can also run into alien factions in space that may want to fight you in space combat. read on

Weather Service Steps into 21st Century


For as long as we’ve seen weather alerts, the National Weather Service has used capital letters. This was due primarily to the limitations of early telegraph technology, started in 1849 by the Smithsonian Institution. The time has finally come, however, for this helpful government agency to stop yelling at us in the electronic age. I was pleased to learn that NOAA’s Weather Service now publishes its forecasts in upper and lower case letters. So relax, that rain forecast for Saturday will just be a passing shower, not a category 5 hurricane.

Setting Them Free


SeaWorld has been on the defensive ever since reporters and scientists began accusing the park of poor animal care practices. For example, the orca whales were found to have suffered physical injuries from chewing on metal grates, overexposure to the sun, and interactions with aggressive whales. Then the movie Blackfish came along, featuring underground footage and interviews that show often cruel treatment to the whales in captivity, the difficult lives of the trainers, and the fact that several people have been killed by the orcas.

So, the adventure park had to change. A new print and TV ad campaign shares the news that the orcas currently at SeaWorld will be the last generation, as they have ended their breeding program. Gone, too, are the orca theatrical programs. Also displaced is the orca in the SeaWorld logo, which now features an abstract fish. Glad to see they’ve set the real—and 2D—orcas free.

Walk on Water

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 9.02.48 AM

We’ve missed our chance, but for 16 days—from June 18 through July 3—conceptual artist Christo gave everyone a chance to walk on water.

With “Floating Piers,” the Bulgarian-American artist fulfilled a decades long dream. Originally conceived in 1970 with his partner Jeanne-Claude, Christo brought the idea to fruition on Lake Iseo in Italy, about an hour and a half northeast of Milan. read on

Robot Love

Meet Pepper, an autonomous talking humanoid robot developed by SoftBank Robotics. Created as a business tool to assist with customer service applications, Pepper has been given the ability to perceive human emotions through our verbal and nonverbal cues. Unlike other robots, and some humans for that matter, Pepper has proven to be able to respond appropriately in business environments as well as in social situations. It seems as though we humans could learn a lot from Pepper. You can meet Pepper by watching a video demonstration.

It Takes a Village

Krustyo Tonev, poses in front of a mural depicting himself next to the German chancellor Angela Merkel, in the Bulgarian village of Staro Zhelezare on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. The sleepy village of Staro Zhelezare in central Bulgaria is harnessing the power of celebrities, hoping for an economic revival through art. Outdoor murals in the village feature local people alongside celebrities on their homes. Homeowners are depicted with personalities such as Pope Francis, Queen Elizabeth II, Angela Merkel, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Barack Obama and Fidel Castro. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

Staro Zhelezare, Bulgaria, is probably the last place you’d think to find Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher, or Angela Merkel. But here they are, oversized and in black and white, on walls all over town, along with deceased greats like Princess Diana, Che Guevara, Steve Jobs, and Brigitte Bardot. The entire village is being used as a canvas for Polish artists Ventzislav and Katarzyna Piriankov. Even more interesting, the artists have painted portraits of local residents right next to the celebrity heads. Here’s to Yanko Mitev, Krustyo Tonev, and Stefana Gospodinova—enjoy your 15 minutes, and maybe 15 years if the paint lasts that long, of fame. read on

True Blue


Colorists are probably bursting their buttons over this scientific mistake. An Oregon State chemist and his team were in search of a new material to be used in the electronics industry when they unsuccessfully superheated a mixture of manganese oxide with other compounds. Their disappointing results created something truly extraordinary. A shade of blue that is not only pleasing to the eye, but also is reflective, easy to produce, durable, safe and – because of its reflective properties – may even be energy efficient. How lucky! Even better, more colors may be on the horizon. I can’t wait to see the new colors that Mas Subramanian and his team accidentally discover. My only hope is that a creative person is added to their team. Only scientists would call a fantastic shade of blue “AYInMn Blue,” which is a total letdown.


New Name for 169-Year-Old Company


Last month, Tribune Publishing changed its name and logo. The new name is tronc, which stands for Tribune Online Content. As with many traditional media companies, Tribune is trying to show customers, and investors, that it is successfully shifting from print to digital. As with previous big ticket brand revamps like Tropicana and The Gap, reviews are decidedly negative. “It sounds strangled.” “It looks like the secret love child of the Windows 95 and Soul Train logos.” “My eyeballs just threw up.” The true test of a good logo is to evaluate it in six months and a year. Will reaction still be negative? Or will it grow on you? I hope to weigh back in sometime in 2017.

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