Archive for April, 2008

Leave Me Alone Box

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Michael writes:

About 7 years ago I was reading an article on Claude Shannon and came across one of the funniest ideas I had ever heard. Claude, malady you see, discount was one of these incredibly brilliant engineers with an obviously great sense of humor. As I understand it, he, along with Marvin Minsky came up with an idea they called the “Ultimate Machine”. Basically a plain box with a switch on the top. When you flip the switch, a hand comes out of the box and flips the switch off. Thats it.

Well, after reading the article, and laughing out loud, I decided that I HAD to build one of these boxes. So simple, and yet so funny.

Leave Me Alone Box

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Science Machine

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Science Machine from Chad Pugh on Vimeo.

The 21″ x 13″ print can be purchased at my new store!

This piece inspired the login illustration that vimeo commissioned from me for their redesign earlier this year; it is still in use throughout the site. The video is a condensed time lapse of screenshots over a several month period. Total physical drawing time is close to 40 hours and I’d add an equal amount of time for concept time and readying the print. A screenshot was taken every 5 seconds, which actually results in a full 18 minute video. I’ll upload that for posterity later.

My life has changed a lot since i started this, so I thought it appropriate to include my friends, family and loved ones since they all were on my mind throughout the creative process. Enjoy!

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The construction of the Eiffel Tower

Sunday, April 20th, 2008


Any tall construction has to be engineered to with stand the forces of the wind. You can accomplish this in two ways – making something so heavy the wind could never push it over, or make your construction so sparse as to not give the wind hardly anything to push against. For the tower Gustave Eiffel – a master of iron bridges and probably the first serious student of aerodynamics – used an iron filigree such that the wind has almost no grip on it even though it is constructed of over 15,000 pieces. If melted down to the size of it’s base (about four acres) the molten iron would rise to a height of only about 2.3 inches.

Before the four buttresses met at the first platform 180 feet off the ground they had to be supported by large wooden trusses. If any of them was off by even a tenth of a degree it would mean inches of difference at the top. To solve this problem Eiffel put the temporary trusses on hydraulic jacks so the permanent sides could be adjusted slightly for the pieces that connected them.

To get the pieces up the tower a set of “creeping cranes” was employed using the future elevator rails as they were constructed. The cranes could construct about 30 feet above their position and then ascend to begin the process again.

Probably the first important work of Modernism, the tower had to give into a few Victorian aesthetics of the time. On the first platform gingerbread arches that were purely decorative were eventually removed. Also, below the first platform are arches meant to remind Persians of their bridges. These arches have no structural purpose thus some find they are a discredit to the structural simplicity – while others find them a pleasant compliment to the exterior curves. Either way the remain to this day.

Finished in 1889 (where it served at the entrance arch for Exposition Universelle) at a final height of 1,063 ft (at the antenna) it was not surpassed in height until New York City’s Chrysler Building was finished in 1930.

Wikipedia – Eiffel Tower

Thanks to Mario Salvadori’s Why Buildings Stand Up

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Memory Project in London

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

The Memory Project, which is reminiscent of a Victorian cyclorama, is recording a 360-degree panorama each minute over three days.

Members of the public can control the circular, time-slip viewing gallery, which will display about 47,000 photos.

Heat sensors detect visitors’ locations and activate monitors with the images.

As people move towards the edge of the cylinder, photos from 17 April are displayed.

When they step towards the centre, the latest images appear.

There is a better video showing it in action here

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Food that takes the shape of it’s container

Thursday, April 17th, 2008




Zach Kowalczyk has a delightful series of photographs of foods in the shapes of their container.

a look at what food has become in our society of convenience and instant gratification.

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