Hurricane Irma strips the Carribean islands of its greenery

Satellite images published via NASA:

Hurricane Irma churned across the Atlantic Ocean in September 2017, battering several Caribbean islands before moving on to the Florida Keys and the U.S. mainland. As the clouds cleared over places like the Virgin Islands, the destruction became obvious even from space.

These natural-color images, captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite, show some of Irma’s effect on the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. The views were acquired on August 25 and September 10, 2017, before and after the storm passed. 

The most obvious change is the widespread browning of the landscape. There are a number of possible reasons for this. Lush green tropical vegetation can be ripped away by a storm’s strong winds, leaving the satellite with a view of more bare ground. Also, salt spray whipped up by the hurricane can coat and desiccate leaves while they are still on the trees.

Irma passed the northernmost Virgin Islands on the afternoon of September 6. At the time, Irma was a category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds of 185 miles (295 kilometers) per hour. According to news reports, the islands saw “significant devastation.”

Newly processed photos of Jupiter taken by NASA’s Juno probe

Via Kottke:

Seán Doran shared some recently processed photos of Jupiter that he worked on with Gerald Eichstädt. The photos were taken by NASA’s Juno probe on a recent pass by the planet. These are like Impressionist paintings…you could spend hours staring at the whirls & whorls and never find your way out. There are more images of Jupiter in Doran’s Flickr album, including this high-resolution shot that you can download for printing.

An artist enlivens the city with his whimsical shadow artworks

Via Design You Trust:

Damon Belanger, a local artist from San Carlos, created the stencil designs for his latest art project at his home before heading to downtown Redwood City where he draws it out in chalk and paints the design on the sidewalk. A dark gray paint gives the illusion of a strange shadow attached to everyday objects. A parking meter’s shadow becomes a monkey’s hangout or bike racks begin sprouting flowers.

The artwork has caused many people to do a double take because at first glance the shadows seem to blend in well with everyday life. Beth recalled seeing a father and daughter walking down the street and while the father didn’t notice anything, the daughter spotted the flower shadows on the sidewalk.

How to use your cell phone flashlight for dramatic night photography

Frank Myrland, writing for Digital Photography School:

Whether you’ve packed your camera bag light or are simply looking for a creative way to make a picture work in extremely dark conditions, your mobile phone flashlight is a surprisingly capable and adaptable lighting tool.

Directional light is often what makes or breaks a photo. This isn’t just for photographers using flash. Natural light photographers can spend years learning how to properly position their models in relation to the sun and natural reflectors in order to create pleasing lighting on the subject.

Using a cell phone flashlight allows you to bring the light on your model in from an angle, which can be used to add dimension, enhance textures and create a sense of drama.

Pretty amazing results from the only tool you have with you at all times; head up to the link for the full tutorial.

Pentagram isn’t really helping Samsung by rethinking its design language

A profile of ‘How Pentagram helped Samsung rethink its design language’ by Katharine Schwab of Fast Company:

Samsung isn’t known for its UI design, but the company is now trying to change that, and boost its brand, with a signature interface style that debuted on its new S8 phone. To design it, Samsung called in the heavyweights: the New York-based design firm Pentagram

While Samsung phones typically rely on standard Android UI, the company wanted to differentiate itself with its interface for the S8 as a way of strengthening its overall brand. In comparison to the chunky, colorful design of Android, the S8’s interface is sleeker and more abstract–part of the company’s efforts to make the phone look elegant and timeless.

To satisfy this brief, Pentagram partner Eddie Opara and his team took inspiration from the phone’s widely admired industrial design. Opara’s central design concept, which he calls “Light and Line,” comes from these curved edges.

The biggest challenge for Opara and his team, who had never worked on a phone interface before? “It’s everybody in the world,” 

Samsung may be playing to its strengths here – relying on distribution and outsourcing elements of the design to other agencies but I can’t help but think this is the primary reason the user experience feels so disjointed. The front-end hardware and software itself are executed via two different approaches to design, leave alone integrating the complete package, no matter how much inspiration one draws from the other [which I may argue, should actually be working in tandem.]

Samsung’s forking of Android is also playing against the tide. I don’t know whether this is a strategic decision to keep people hooked on to their ecosystem, but their on screen navigation buttons of ‘back’ and ‘multi-tasking’ are inverted by default. That’s also an element of the user interface, which Pentagram probably had no say in. And the “chunky, colourful” design is the current aesthetic of Android. Like it or hate it, your apps will look more out of place when looking at the entire app drawer, with Google and other third-party apps encouraged to follow that direction. Design guidelines are there for a reason. Google doesn’t adhere to them in iOS either, and its apps looks totally out of sync on the iPhone.

For some reason, phones haven’t gone the same way as PCs. Android works on similar lines to Windows – it’s not about leveraging software and hardware integration; it’s about gaining scale, affordability and choice. Samsung should focus on the essentials i.e. hardware, distribution and add-on software and services that complement Android, not fight it.

The International Space Station just photobombed the solar eclipse

Johnny Simon, writing for Quartz:

The hotly anticipated total solar eclipse passed over the United States on Monday (Aug 21). Heading southeast, it passed over a narrow and long swath of the country. Also making an appearance—as it often does for astrophotographers—was the International Space Station.

Captured by NASA photographer Joel Kowsky while looking up from Banner, Wyoming, perfectly timed images show a tiny ISS passing in front of the sun.

Rope artworks that simulate tree roots and the nervous system

Christopher Jobson, writing for Collosal:

Artist Janaina Mello Landini (previously) continues to produce dizzyingly complex installations and canvas-based sculptural works comprised of unbraided ropes that branch out like tree roots. The fractal-like artworks have developed over a period of six years as part of her “Ciclotrama” series, a word she coined that combines the root word “cycle” and the Latin word “trama” meaning warp, weaving, or cobweb.

Saudi Arabian Airlines refuses to fly passengers who ‘expose’ arms or legs

Soo Kim, writing for The Telegraph:

Saudi Arabian Airlines (also known as Saudia), the national carrier of Saudi Arabia, has warned passengers about the way they dress, stating that those who are “clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers” could be denied boarding.

The restrictions apply to “women exposing legs or arms, or wearing too thin or too tight clothes and men wearing shorts exposing legs” as well as passengers who are barefoot, the airline’s website states.

The dress code, which has provoked outrage on social media, is refered to within a list of rules about passengers’ code of conduct on the website.

Well, Saudia is taking all these pains to maximise your comfort:

Saudia states that it “takes all the measures it possibly can to maximise passengers’ comfort and convenience” and its website advises passengers to “wear comfortable clothes when you travel. Tight-fitting clothes may naturally cause some discomfort and it is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothes instead.”

Ironically (though comparative terms are always misleading):

Saudi Arabian Airlines, which launched more than 70 years ago, operates flights from London Heathrow to Jeddah, Riyadh and Yanbu. Earlier this year, it was named the ‘World’s Most Improved Airline’ at Skytrax’s annual World Airline Awards, ranked 51st (up from 82nd last year) among the world’s best airlines. 

Concrete ribs and brickwork walls

Eleanor Gibson, writing for Dezeen:

Concrete ribs extend across the brick walls of this house on the outskirts of Brasília, Brazil, which Bloco Arquitetos has designed as two pavilion-like structures linked by an outdoor path.

Solid brick walls are slotted between the concrete structure, echoing the material palette the architects used for a house extension for a family in Brasília.

The architects left the materials exposed to reflect the building techniques of the local area, and to save time on extra finishes.

“We have decided to use the expression of the materials in its raw state, accepting the imperfections of the local manual labour and its limitations,” the architects explained.

“The idea was to minimise the extensive labour that is normally used for the finishings such as plaster or paint and to have materials that would age well without the need for constant maintenance.”

Thought 1: Building looks great.

Thought 2: “Accepting imperfections of local manual labour and limitations”? It’s very hard to judge the threshold of quality of workmanship in Brazil, but you’d pay double the cost (and time) of a regular painted finish to get that quality of bricks in India, let alone the workmanship. And it would compromise — not embrace — the look they’re going for.

This may have been the initial intention, just as I’ve seen the desire in countless projects here in India, but I’m not convinced the end result maintains those ideals.

Site Footer