Archive for December 22nd, 2010

December 22, 2010


illuminati diamond

An ambigram [am-bi-gram] is a typographical design or artform that may be read as one or more words not only in its form as presented, but also from another viewpoint, direction, or orientation.

The words readable in the other viewpoint, direction or orientation may be the same or different from the original words. Different ambigram artists (sometimes called ambigramists) may create completely different ambigrams from the same word or words, differing in both style and form.

December 22, 2010

Coca-Cola Freestyle

Freestyle is a touch screen soda fountain introduced by The Coca-Cola Company in 2009. The machine features over 100 different Coca-Cola drink products, and custom flavors. Microdosing blends one or more concentrated ingredients in 46-ounce packets with water and sweetener at the point where the beverage is dispensed, thus avoiding the use of traditional 5-gallon boxes of syrup (also known as a bag-in-a-box). Cartridges store concentrated ingredients in the dispenser cabinet and are RFID enabled. The machine uses RFID chips to detect its supplies and to radio resupplying needs to other units.

These machines include flavors not previously available to the American market including Orange Coke which was previously sold only in Russia and the Baltics, and flavored Dasani waters. The machines transmit supply and demand data to both Coca-Cola and the owner including brands sold, times of the day of sales, troubleshooting information, and service data. They also use Coca-Cola’s loyalty program to let people earn secret flavors.

December 22, 2010

Chuck Close

big self portrait

Chuck Close (b. 1940) is an American painter and photographer who achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits.

Though a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him severely paralyzed, he has continued to paint and produce work that remains sought after by museums and collectors. Ironically, while being one of the most successful portrait artists of his time, Close is also afflicted with prosopagnosia (face blindness), a condition that prevents him from recognizing people’s faces.

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December 22, 2010

Joe Camel

Joe Camel (officially Old Joe) was the advertising mascot for Camel cigarettes from 1987 – 1997, appearing in magazine advertisements, billboards, and other print media. The U.S. marketing team of R. J. Reynolds, looking for an idea to promote Camel’s 75th anniversary, re-discovered Joe in the company’s archives in the late 1980s. The caricatured camel was created in 1974 by a British artist, Billy Coulton, for a French advertising campaign that subsequently ran in other countries in the 1970s.

In 1991, the ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’ published a study showing that by age six nearly as many children could correctly respond that ‘Joe Camel’ was associated with cigarettes as could respond that the ‘Disney Channel’ logo was associated with Mickey Mouse, and alleged that the ‘Joe Camel’ campaign was targeting children, despite R. J. Reynolds’ contention that the campaign had been researched only among adults and was directed only at the smokers of other brands.

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December 22, 2010

Shadow Hand

shadow hand

The Shadow Dexterous Hand is a humaniform robot hand system developed by The Shadow Robot Company in London. The hand is comparable to a human hand in size and shape, and reproduces all of its degrees of freedom. The Hand is commercially available and currently used by NASA, Bielefeld University and Carnegie Mellon University. It reportedly costs more than $100,000. The Hand uses the sense of touch, pressure, and position to reproduce the human grip in all its strength, delicacy, and complexity.

The SDRH was first developed by Richard Greenhill and his team of engineers in Islington, London, as part of The Shadow Project, (now known as the Shadow Robot Company) an ongoing research and development program whose goal is to complete the first convincing humanoid. An early prototype can be seen in NASA’s collection of humanoid robots, or robonauts. The Hand has haptic sensors embedded in every joint and finger pad, which relay information to a central computer for processing and analysis.

December 22, 2010



novint falcon

Haptic technology, or haptics [hap-tiks], is a tactile feedback technology that takes advantage of a user’s sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, and/or motions. This mechanical stimulation aids in the creation and control of virtual objects, and enhances the remote control of machines and devices by teleoperators, such as remote surgeons and military drone pilots. The word haptic, from the Greek (haptikos), means pertaining to the sense of touch.

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