Watch Wind And Dust Obscure The Violent Traces Of Curiosity’s Landing_

When Curiosity came burning through Mars’ atmosphere two-and-a-half years ago, it marked the planet with its landing, and the impact of shedding its sky crane, heat shield, backshell, and parachute. But the planet is recovering, obscuring the scars with unending wind and dust.

The red planet is also the dusty planet. Despite how relentlessly the Opportunity rover is creeping into its second Martian marathon, dust on its solar panels can choke its power down until wind cleans it back off. Curiosity relies on decaying plutonium dioxide for power instead of sunlight, but even so the occasional selfie makes it clear the rover could seriously use a bath. That same dust and wind is responsible for blowing away the marks of Curiosity’s dramatic landing, slowly obscuring the artificial impacts of the rover and its landing hardware.

Landing hardware imaged on August 12, 2013 to a scale of 39 cm per pixel.

When Curiosity landed on Mars, it made quite an impact between its actual landing and all the hardware it scattered across the landscape. The dark marks were easily identified by HiRISE, a camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with a processing computer protected by the Star Wars Imperial Guard.

The blast zone of the back shell and parachute are fading over time, as wind causes the parachute to float, flutter, and change shape.

The landing zone has been imaged regularly in the intervening years. The images start six days after the landing, on August 12, 2012, with another on August 17. From 2013, the images were collected on January 13 and nearly a year later on December 11. The 2014 images on April 11 and June 27 missed the location of the heat shield’s impact, but it was included in the latest image from February 28, 2015. None of the images have been processed for consistency, so reveal differences in lighting and camera angles, so shadows create the illusion of a shifting landscape.

The heat shield is not visible in frames from 2014, leading to only a five-frame sequence of fading over time

While overall the dark blast zones are fading, the most recent image from February of this year reveals that not only have the areas not faded as much as we expected in the past six months, but they might have even gotten darker. This is puzzling, and yet another thing we can add to the list of things we still don’t understand about Martian surface processes despite all the amazing discoveries and observations we’ve made.


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This Butterfly Is Actually a Robot_

The butterfly is one of nature’s most graceful creations, but with upgrades from Festo, this robotic doppleganger is better equipped to navigate large spaces. It might flap and flutter like the real thing, but this butterfly is 100 percent artificial—although the branding on the wings probably gave that away.

Festo showed off a small swarm of its robotic butterflies flying laps around the company’s headquarters. To keep them tiny, lightweight, and airborne, the bots don’t actually have any on-board sensors. Instead, twelve cameras placed around the room kept track of each butterfly using a unique infrared marker on each one.


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Akira Kurosawa – Composing Movement_

Another fantastic short cinema examination from Tony Zhou which looks at the films of Akira Kurosawa and the importance of movement in storytelling:

Akira Kurosawa – Composing Movement from Tony Zhou on Vimeo.

Can movement tell a story? Sure, if you’re as gifted as Akira Kurosawa. More than any other filmmaker, he had an innate understanding of movement and how to capture it onscreen. Join me today in studying the master, possibly the greatest composer of motion in film history.

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Guy Busted for Using ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ to Drive in HOV Lane_

There are lots of simple things you can do to get to work on time. This is not one of them.

A man in Washington was caught by state troopers using a cardboard cutout of the “Most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis ads as a passenger to fool authorities into letting him use the HOV lane.

Needless to say, it didn’t work, and he was fined.

Trooper Guy Gill Tweeted out the photo on Tuesday, giving the guy some props for trying.

“I don’t always violate the HOV lane law,” he wrote. “But when I do, I get a $124 ticket! We’ll give him an A for creativity!”

After being pulled over, the driver told the officer that the man was his “best friend.”


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Surreal Japanese webtoy lets you customize the appearance of a 3D figure to ridiculous proportions. The end results can be converted into an animated GIF for your pleasure.

Try it out for yourself here_

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Website Service Will Turn Your Enemies’ Logo Into a Penis_

First there was glitter bombing. Then there were literal bags of dicks.

Now a new company has taken the revenge service game to a whole new (corporate) level.

A startup called “Penised” promises to integrate a penis into any logo you send them – presumably one of your competitors – in order to ridicule them.

The service costs just $25 for a small image and $35 for a larger one (or the price of about 2 bags of dicks).

“Can you think of a better way to stick it to someone?” they write on their website. “No matter what age or gender, penises never get old (figuratively speaking).”

The founders are two anonymous guys who work in the tech industry building prototype apps. AdWeek recently interview them about the company and why they started it. Surprise – the idea was conceived in a bar.

“There is really no excuse anymore for any organization to not being aware and empathetic to peoples’ opinions of them and to try to make those opinions positive,” they said. “If you don’t, we are going to penis you.”

So be nice, or be penised.

And if you’re looking for a new job where you just have to draw penises on things all day, they’re also hiring a graphics designer.

Here are a few samples from their site. You can order your own and check out more examples on


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The International Space Station Experiments With Long Exposure Photography_

On April 27th 2012 the six man crew of Expedition 31 began their 62 day trip aboard the International Space Station (ISS). While in space the crew experimented with long exposure photography and the results are mesmerizing.


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Time is turned inside out_

Paintings on paper by Rupert Shrive_


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Specular Portraits _

Project from James George uses 3D scans for portraiture which transition in form and appearance, shifting in identities:

I have a writing practice: at regular intervals, in a stream of consciousness I list the current cast of characters in my life. The prominent people who are on the forefront of my mind at that time are written down by name without further description. Over the years, individuals emerge and fade away, sometimes to appear again years later. Roles of friends and lovers are filled and vacated. Ties with family members fluctuate. Specular Portraits is a new and ongoing series of portraits depicting individuals as they enter this cast of characters.

Using a process I call ‘geometric light’, figures fade and appear, shifting identities and trading places as the lights give and remove their form.


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The Astonishing Moment Lava Spills Into The Ocean, Creating New Land_

Creation is a beautiful thing, especially when it happens in front of your eyes.

In Hawaii, the Big Island’s Kilauea Volcano has been constantly erupting since 1983, dramatically creating new land as lava falls into the ocean on the island’s southern shoreline. Hawaii photographer Kawika Singson has taken some pretty big risks to show us just how mesmerizing that creation can be.

In the video above, which is part of a series Singson filmed with his GoPro over an eight-month period in 2013, Singson positions himself behind the dripping lava, looking out into the ocean, for a unique — and extremely dangerous — vantage point.


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