Man Etches Name In Sand, Visible From Space

   Gross opulence or a severe case of vanity it may be, but it's hard not to be impressed by this huge piece of graffiti. Or is it mega-landscaping? Or a new waterway? Frankly, it could be any of the above.

   Measuring 1,000 meters high, and two miles wide, the name "HAMAD" has been etched into the island of Al Futaisi just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The letters are dug so deep that they form an artificial waterway when filled with seawater and it is so large that it can be easily spotted by satellite -- this landmark will be around for some time to come. So, who is Hamad? That would be the 63 year-old billionaire Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.

   As a member of the ruling family of the oil-rich nation, Hamad is used to living it large. He built a pyramid to house 200 of his personal cars. He also built the world's largest truck, large enough to build four bedrooms in the cabin. Oh yes, and he has a motor home shaped like the Earth, exactly one-millionth the size... of the Earth.

   Out of interest, you can see "HAMAD" yourself by typing the coordinates "24.3442, 54.3255" into Google Earth or Google Maps.


Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

This lively RSAnimate, adapted from Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.

via: RSABlog


Shake the Dust

Here is some inspiration for the day. Anis Mojgani really makes you think about the human nature in his poetic lyrics on the stage.


Object Vibrations - 1000 frames per second

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Here is some cool footage of various objects vibrating, shot at high speeds.


Resonance - Abstract Geometry & Audio

   Resonance is the vision of SR Partners - a collaborative project with over 30 independent visual and audio designers / studios. The aim was to explore the relationship between geometry and audio in unique ways.

   Animators and Audio Designers were paired up at the beginning of the project and were given the guidelines to create a piece between 12 and 20 seconds and in HD quality, the rest was up to them.

   Basically this is eleven minutes of pure abstract awesomeness put into one video for your enjoyment. For best results please view in full screen HD and with volume up.


Haboob - Intense Sandstorm Formation

Haboob moving across the Llano Estacado toward...Image via Wikipedia

   A haboob (Arabic هبوب) is a type of intense sandstorm commonly observed in arid regions throughout the world. There is almost no visibility in close proximity when inside the area covered by the haboob (as can be seen in the video below).
   During thunderstorm formation, winds move in a direction opposite to the storm's travel, and they will move from all directions into the thunderstorm. When the storm collapses and begins to release precipitation, wind directions reverse, gusting outward from the storm and generally gusting the strongest in the direction of the storm's travel.
   When this downdraft, or "downburst", reaches the ground, dry, loose sand from the desert setting is essentially blown up, creating a wall of sediment preceding the storm cloud. This wall of sand can be up to 100 km (60 miles) wide and several kilometers in elevation. At their strongest, haboob winds can travel at 35-50 km/h (20-30 mph), and they may approach with little to no warning.

via: YouTube
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Visualized Twitter Activity from Japan after Earthquake

twitterImage by xotoko via Flickr

Here is a very interesting pattern of twitter activity just right after the big earthquake that hit Japan on 11th of March 2011.
Personal messages 
On Twitter, we saw a 500 percent increase in Tweets from Japan as people reached out to friends, family and loved ones in the moments after the earthquake. The video below shows the volume of @replies traveling into and out of Japan in a one-hour period just before and then after the earthquake. Replies directed to users in Japan are shown in pink; messages directed at others from Japan are shown in yellow.


10 Cameras + 1 Tesla Coil = 70 Megapixel Bullet Time Lightning.

Lightning simulator questacon05Image via Wikipedia

This was one of the more challenging projects that Rob Flickenger had to do and it took him a while. He had to build a physical mount to hold all of the cameras, wire them together to a repurposed PC power supply, recompile CHDK to eliminate as many unnecessary camera keystrokes as possible, write some scripts to facilitate taking and retrieving the photos, then shoot the actual photos without accidentally frying the whole rig. And, of course, build and operate the Tesla coil itself, edit together the stills, and compile the whole thing into a possibly entertaining video.

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