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Friday, July 31, 2009

Florida's Marijuana Boom: House-Grown, and Potent

Marijuana plants grow under hot lights and an irrigation system in the kitchen of a private residence
Marijuana plants grow under hot lights and an irrigation system in the kitchen of a private residence
Carisa McCain / Mississippi Press / AP

California may be the center of the marijuana trade and the controversies over its legalization. But Florida has surpassed it in one important category: the Sunshine State is now the country's leader in indoor marijuana cultivation. It is a potent distinction because most of the marijuana grown this way is cultured hydroponically — that is, mostly without soil and with a carefully calibrated cocktail of chemicals and lighting — to create some of the highest level of highs on the market.

In 2006, Florida law enforcement here discovered 480 homes growing marijuana indoors. Last year, 1,022 grow houses were busted. "This isn't your grandma's marijuana," quipped a Miami-Dade narcotics officer at one bust as he tossed garbage bags stuffed with confiscated marijuana into an unmarked police truck. Levels of THC — the agent in marijuana that produces feelings of euphoria, and in some users mild hallucinations and paranoia — have risen dramatically because of indoor techniques. Thirty years ago, most marijuana contained about 7% THC. Today, indoor growers boast THC levels of 25% or higher thanks to the additional care that indoor plants receive. (See pictures of 4/20, the unofficial pot holiday.)

Indoors, high-powered lights that stimulate growth can remain on all day, their nourishing rays reflected off the metallic-coated paper covering walls. The chemical fertilizers used are just as powerful and nourishing, spawning fast-growing plants that produce more THC than those raised outdoors. (See pictures of America's cannabis culture.)

TIME accompanied undercover agents on a recent bust on a quiet street of a working-class Miami suburb. As soon as the agents enter the front door, they know they've acted on a good tip. The pungent smell of plant life fills the air. The ceiling of the master bedroom is a constellation of high-powered lightbulbs emitting a nourishing glow onto what officers estimate is more than 100 lb. of particularly potent marijuana plants with a street value upwards of $800,000. (See pictures of stoner cinema.)

While most of the marijuana is freshly cut and drying on a clothesline stretched across the room, pots of smaller plants still months away from maturing line the walls. An irrigation system supplies water and chemical fertilizers to the plants via a hose that runs into the adjacent bathroom, where the toxic brew used to accelerate plants' growth is dumped down a drain.

On the Florida market, a pound of indoor grown marijuana goes for upwards of $4,000. But in the Northeast, the best market for Florida growers, the same marijuana goes for about $8,000 a pound. Unlike their closest regional rivals, Florida growers can produce up to four crops annually.

"These operations are mushrooming all over the state of Florida," says State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle for Miami-Dade County, the de facto capital of the state's indoor pot industry. Taking these operations down is dangerous work. Some growers stockpile automatic weapons to protect themselves — and to fend off thieves who are after the valuable crop. (Watch TIME's video "Medical Marijuana Home Delivery.")

Miami Police Major Charles Nanney says informants played a crucial role in the success of a statewide crackdown in June that resulted in the seizure of 6,828 marijuana plants and 120 residential marijuana labs over the course of a few days. Among the best tipsters, they say, are electricians paid big money by growers to wire the sophisticated network of lights and air conditioners used to cool plants and subject them to round-the-clock illumination. The energy-chugging networks require an expert's touch to bypass the electric meter and tap straight into the grid. A sharp increase in electricity used to be a telltale sign of a grow house. Some growers have caught on, however, and are learning to mask their energy profile.

Money-laundering is an attendant crime. But so is trafficking in undocumented migrant workers. A single marijuana growing operation can consist of a dozen homes or more, requiring many hands to tend to the plants. And when arrests are made, those taken in are often neither the homeowner nor the person named on the lease. The actual operators usually elude capture. Still, workers are lured by the promise of a piece of the profits and rent-free living, sometimes raising children among the deadly high-voltage lights and other potential life-threatening apparatuses associated with indoor marijuana. (Read "Is Marijuana the Answer to California's Budget Woes?")

The state's real estate catastrophe contributes to the problem as well. Captain Joe Mendez from the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), says operators flush with cash are attracted to the abundance of cheap homes in Florida, particularly in Miami-Dade, which leads the state in foreclosures. While Florida's legitimate economy continues to flail, the HIDTA captain says indoor marijuana is thriving even though law enforcement is arresting more people every year. Says Mendez: "If the economic downturn remains as it is, I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel."

'Alien' prequel takes off: Ridley Scott attached to return as director


Twentieth Century Fox is resuscitating its "Alien" franchise. The studio has hired Jon Spaihts to write a prequel that has Ridley Scott attached to return as director.

Spaihts got the job after pitching the studio and Scott Free, which will produce the film.

The film is set up to be a prequel to the groundbreaking 1979 film that Scott directed. It will precede that film, in which the crew of a commercial towing ship returning to Earth is awakened and sent to respond to a distress signal from a nearby planetoid. The crew discovers too late that the signal generated by an empty ship was meant to warn them.

The deal gives Fox another chance to keep the "Alien" franchise alive. There were three sequels to Scott's original, but it is the first time the director has set his mind on directing one.

Spaihts has become a go-to-guy for space thrillers. After Keanu Reeves became attached to his Warner Bros. sci-fi script "Shadow 19," Reeves hired Spaihts to write the space journey epic "Passengers," which is berthed at Morgan Creek. That script got Spaihts the meeting with Fox and Scott Free, and he won the job with an "Alien" reboot take that the studio and Scott loved.

Fox has separately hired him to rewrite "The Darkest Hour," which Timur Bekmambetov to produce with Tom Jacobson. Spaihts is writing "Children of Mars" for Disney and Scott Rudin, and he will follow by rewriting "St. George and the Dragon" for Sony and Red Wagon.

Incredible watercolour paintings by boy aged just SIX

By Andrew Levy

A street scene from the paintbrush of a child usually involves triangle-topped boxes for houses. And often an unnaturally large dog.

But Kieron Williamson's attempts are so beautifully rendered that artists ten times his age will be filled with envy.

Experts have said that the six-year-old's atmospheric paintings, which began with harbour scenes and expanded to include rural vistas, animal portraits and landmarks, have perspective, shadow and reflections that demonstrate an ability well beyond his years.

Kieron Williamson watercolour

Streets ahead: One of the stunning watercolours by six-year-old Kieron Williamson. The only hint that this is a child's work is the slightly wobbly signature

He is even preparing for his first exhibition in a gallery near his home in Holt, Norfolk.

His mother, Michelle, said: 'Until last year he didn't draw anything and in fact we had to draw dinosaurs for him to colour in.

'The turning point was when we took our first family holiday to Devon and Cornwall last May and he liked the boats and scenery. He asked for some plain paper and started drawing his own stuff.

Keiron Williamson, from Holt, Norfolk

Prodigy: Kieron was inspired to start drawing boats on a family holiday in Devon and Cornwall

Kieron Williamson

Sunday art school: Kieron's watercolour of a local church

'At the time, they were like the drawings of most five-year-olds but he really took off after going to some art classes.'

Mrs Williamson, 36, a nutritional therapist, is married to art dealer Keith, 43. The couple also have a daughter, Billie-Jo, five.

'We often think about why Kieron has chosen art in this way and I think it's because we live in a top-floor flat and we have no garden or outside space, so perhaps he's had to create his own scenery,' she said.

Norfolk watercolour by Keiron Williamson, six

'Faultless': One of Kieron watercolours captures weathered cottages in a Norfolk street with a tremendous sense of perspective

Kieron Williamson

A walk in the park: One of his many atmospheric rural scenes

Kieron appears to agree. 'I like painting because it's fun and inspiring. It makes me think of places I can't see,' he said. His talent was recognised by a family friend, artist Carol Ann Pennington, who offered to give him lessons.

She said: 'I have known Kieron since he was a baby but I had no idea he had it in him.'

His hero is Norfolk landscape artist Edward Seago, who died in 1974. The late Queen Mother was an avid fan, and bought many of his paintings.

Watercolour by Keiron Williamson, six

Evocative: Another of Kieron's paintings captures light, reflections and a flight of birds above beached boats


Compare and contrast: A windmill, as committed to canvas by Kieron

Obviously keen to follow in his footsteps by courting royal patronage, Kieron said: 'I'm going to send one of my pictures to Prince Charles. I've already sent one to the Queen but I haven't had a reply yet.'

An exhibition of his work will go on display on Sunday - two days before his seventh birthday - at Mrs Pennington's gallery, The Last Picture Show In Town.

Watercolour by Keiron Williamson, six

Light touch: Washes of colour say it all in this landscape by the dedicated artist


Country scene: River marshes are brought to life with careful brush strokes

Art expert Jeremy Green, owner of The Canon Gallery in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, said of Kieron's work: 'It is unusual to see someone of that age painting with such definition and in such a stylistic way. Normally they would be splashing colour all over the place.

'Some of these watercolours have a very rigid structure as if he has been painting in that style for some time. They are very good, there's no doubt about it.'

• Kieron's work is on show at the Last Picture Show In Town, Cromer Road, Holt, Norfolk, from Sunday.


Country life: A village scene interpreted by Kieron

Read more:

Street Urinal Makes Public Peeing Practical


This is the Axixa, and here in Barcelona, we need it. The ceramic, water-stain shaped device is a public urinal. It even comes in pee-yellow.

Public urination is a big problem in my hometown: hordes of drunken tourists, all filled up with nowhere to go. Bars won’t let you use the restrooms unless you are a customer, there are almost no public toilets (a few porta-potties at the beach is about the size of it), and because the locals have some taste, there aren’t even many branches of McDonald’s, the default public bathroom for much of the world.

The Axixa is a design by Mexican Miguel Melgarejo, and could be deployed cheaply and easily on any city wall. Inside there is a traditional U-bend water trap leading to a drainage pipe. The outside could actually be any shape, but a yellow streak of piss seems appropriate enough. But would people use them? If you are desperate enough to pee in the street anyway, we doubt you’d be too embarrassed to use the Axixa instead. I just hope that the local government sees this and turns the design from concept into reality.

Axixa, a hygienic way of peeing on the walls [The Design Blog]




This is the trailer for The Box, from Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly, who hopes to rebound from the commercial failure of Southland Tales. It stars James Marsden, Frank Langella, and Cameron Diaz, who may have given away a big plot secret at Comic Con (go ahead, I know you’re thinking it, “Cameron Diaz reveals the mysteries of her box all too easily.”). Suffice to say, the plot involves a stranger, Langella (ella ella, eh eh eh…), showing up to struggling couple Diaz and Marsden’s house with a box and a proposition: press the button on the box and get a million dollars cash, but someone somewhere in the world who you don’t know will die.

I realize I’m not the best audience for this “dilemma”, especially not today when I’ve spent at least three hours alternately getting screwed by NYC public transportation, searching for a wireless connection, and getting caught in a downpour with my laptop. A million dollars for killing a stranger? Pff, I’d kick a baby into traffic on the off chance it’d make me feel better. Just give me a reason, junior.

Smart Parking Meters Hacked — Free Parking For All!


LAS VEGAS — Scofflaws could hack the smart cards that access electronic parking meters in large cities around the United States, researchers are finding. The smart cards pay for parking spots, and their programming could be easily changed to obtain unlimited free parking.

It took researcher Joe Grand only three days to design an attack on the smart cards. The researchers examined the meters used in San Francisco, but the same and similar electronic meters are being installed in cities around the world.

“It wasn’t technically complicated and the fact that I can do it in three days means that other people are probably already doing it and probably taking advantage of it,” said Grand, a designer and hardware hacker and one of the hosts of the Discovery Channel’s Prototype This show. “It seems like the system wasn’t analyzed at all.”

Grand and fellow researcher Jake Appelbaum present their findings Thursday afternoon at the Black Hat security conference (.pdf) here. The researchers did not contact the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency or the meter maker prior to their talk, and asked reporters not to contact those organizations ahead of their presentation, for fear of being gagged by a court order. At last year’s DefCon hacker conference, MIT students were barred from talking about similar vulnerabilities in smartcards used by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority after the MBTA obtained a restraining order. They spoke with Threat Level about their findings prior to the presentation.

“We’re not picking on San Francisco,” Grand said. “We’re not even claiming to get free parking. We’re trying to educate people about … how they can take our research and apply it to their own cities if they are trying to deploy their own systems or make them more secure…. Cities all over the nation and all over the world are deploying these smartcard meters [and] there’s a number of previously known problems with various parking meters in other cities.”

San Francisco launched a $35-million pilot project in 2003 to deploy smart meters around the city in an effort to thwart thieves, including parking control officers who were skimming money from the meters. The city estimated it was losing more than $3 million annually to theft. In response, it installed 23,000 meters made by a Canadian firm named J.J. MacKay, which also has meters in Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Canada, Hong Kong and other locales.

The machines are hybrids that allow drivers to insert either coins, or a pre-paid GemPlus smart card, which can be purchased in values of $20 or $50. The machines also have an audit log to help catch insiders who might skim proceeds.

To record the communication between the card and the meter, Grand purchased a smartcard shim — an electrical connector that duplicates a smartcard’s contact points — and used an oscilloscope to record the electrical signals as the card and meter communicated. He discovered the cards aren’t digitally signed, and the only authentication between the meter and card is a password sent from the former to the latter. The card doesn’t have to know the password, however, it just has to respond that the password is correct.

The cards sold in San Francisco are designed to be thrown out when the customer has exausted them. But the researchers found that the meters perform no upper-bounds check, so hackers could easily boost the transaction limit on a card beyond what could legitimately purchased. They could also program a card to simply never deduct from the transaction count.

“We’re residents of San Francisco and our taxes are going towards a broken system that they could potentially be losing money on and we pay the consequences of that,” Grand said.

Other cities around the country are using smart meters and electronic pay boxes built on different kinds of systems and varying implementations. Some are centrally controlled through a wireless network, while others are stand-alone units, like the ones in San Francisco.

Last May in Chicago, some 250 new electronic pay-and-display parking boxes made by Cale Parking Systems suddenly stopped working one day in the city’s central business district. The machines stopped issuing tickets that drivers were required to place on their dashboards. It took technicians most of the day to get the machines working again, and initially some were concerned that the systems might have been hacked.

In 2001 in New York, the city’s 7,000 MacKay Guardian smart meters were found to have a glitch that would allow someone with a TV remote to reset the time left on a meter to zero, leading drivers to be ticketed for exceeding their limit. All that was required was for someone to point a universal remote at a meter’s infrared sensor and hold down a button for more than a minute.

Appelbaum says that type of attack could be a nightmare for a driver who’s ticketed or towed because someone reduced the time on their meter. “[Even] when the machine is saying something that is actually factually wrong, you have no recourse,” he says, because the machine is assumed to be right.

The researchers say they’ve barely scratched the surface of parking meter hacking. They didn’t retrieve and examine any code to conduct their attack, though doing so would have given them more insight into other ways to attack the cards and meters, including the audit logs. They also didn’t examine the PDA that parking control officers use to communicate with the meters to change the rates, extract logs and perform other functions.

“If we had access to one of these [PDAs], if we could figure out the communications protocol that a legitimate administrator would use, that’s a completely different set of attacks that we would love to look at,” Grand said.

Examining the meters themselves could yield additional vulnerabilities that might allow someone to conduct other kinds of attacks, such as propagating a virus from meter to meter via the smart cards or a meter minder’s PDA. There is also the possibility that vulnerabilities exist in other types of meters, such as the pay-and-display payment boxes that accept credit card payments. In the case of the latter machines, the researchers say an attacker might be able to skim credit card data from it in real time by tapping the bus on the reader. An attacker would need physical access to the circuitry, but the payment boxes are secured with mechanical locks that are known to be pickable.

“From looking at previous meters we know there is no anti-tamper mechanisms or any secure hardware design techniques once you have physical access,” Grand said. “If you get physical access, you can just tap onto lines. . . . and a lot of parking meter companies are assuming no one will ever get physical access to the device.”

Photo: SF parking meter with smart card. (Jon Snyder/Wired)

Dissolving Bikini is the Ultimate Revenge Gift

A German company has invented a marvelous new bikini that disappears once a girl puts it on and takes a swim.

The sexy swimsuit disappears by dissolving in water, leaving a woman completely nude and embarrassed. The sexy black swimsuit looks like a real bikini, feels like a real bikini and fits like a real bikini. The only difference is it’s made from a material that completely melts away after a few seconds in water.

Named the "Get Naked Bikini," the item is being marketed as the ultimate form of revenge for recently-dumped dudes. The bikini has upset women's rights groups, with one campaigner, Rosmarie Zapfl, saying, “It is an absolute insult to women that this has been invented.”

It sounds like Ms. Zapfl needs a gift to calm her down. May we suggest a new bikini?

Dark Roasted Blend: "Star Wars" for Your Mind, Heart and Soul

The original glamorous large-scale space adventure refuses to die

It's time we wrote about Star Wars Craze again (see our coverage in Part 1 and Part 2).

Many utterly mind-boggling art pieces and original creations saw the light of day since our last round-up, and many devoted fans sent us great pieces of trivia and images that we simply can not ignore. Besides... the fundamental story of Good and Evil, questions of destiny and personal redemption remain strong in this "space opera" franchise, even though they were significantly diluted recently by light-weight and cheesy offerings.

We'll start with the poster that is not that well-known: 1978 Japanese dub version, featuring the Millennium Falcon in all its glory -

(image via)

The proto-dewback rider from 1975 science fiction magazine art by Ron Cobb. This was an inpiration for classic Star Wars lizards -

art by Ron Cobb, 1975, image via

Also don't miss a pile of almost-lost (newly-discovered) original concept art by Ralph McQuarrie! This is for example, an unused promotional T-shirt design and a poster based on original McQuarrie concepts (see some more here)

click here for this unbelievable Star Wars Tribute by Disney.....

Scientists Drill a Mile Into Active Deep Sea Fault Zone

By Hadley Leggett Email Author


In the first deep sea drilling expedition designed to gather seismic data, scientists have successfully drilled nearly a mile beneath the ocean floor into one of the world’s most active earthquake zones.

Researchers aboard the drilling vessel Chikyu — meaning “planet Earth” in Japanese — used a special technology called riser drilling to penetrate the upper portion of the Nankai Trough, an earthquake zone located about 36 miles southeast of Japan. By collecting rock samples and installing long-term monitoring devices, the geologists hope to understand how stress builds up in subduction zones like Nankai, where the Philippine Sea plate plate is sliding beneath the island of Japan.


Riser drilling involves encasing a deep sea drill in a giant metal tube, called a riser, that extends from the ship down to the drilling site, effectively bolting the ship to the sea floor. The researchers circulate lightly pressurized mud down through the drilling tube and back up through the riser.

“One of the key benefits is the pressurized mud keeps the wall rock from collapsing on the drilling pipe, which allows you to drill deeper and with better control,” geologist Timothy Byrne of the University of Connecticut wrote in an e-mail. “For example, nearly perfectly vertical holes or steeply inclined holes can be drilled,” wrote Byrne, who co-led the project.

Using a riser also makes it easier to send core samples and cuttings, or small chips of rock collected during drilling, back up to the surface.

The Nankai Trough last ruptured twice in 1944 and 1946, generating earthquakes greater than magnitude 8 that shook the region and caused deadly tsunamis. Since then, the two plates have continued to move, but the boundary between them has been locked, causing pressure to build.

“We know that a locked fault is not a quiet thing, but we don’t quite understand why,” said geologist Kelin Wang of the Geological Survey of Canada, who was not involved in the research. “When we understand what is meant by locking, we can understand how energy is building up for the next event.”

The Nankai project is part of an international effort called the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, designed to investigate a variety of scientific questions through drilling. The IODP chose to drill for seismic data in Nankai because of the region’s history of recent earthquakes and the accessible location of the rupture zone. The drilling is not powerful enough to trigger an earthquake.

What is learned in Japan will help scientists understand other earthquake-prone plate boundaries, such as the Cascadia subduction zone, which extends along the Pacific coast from British Columbia to Northern California

“For us in North America, the good news is that the Nankai subduction zone is strikingly similar to ours,” Wang said. Both zones are hotter and accumulate more sediment than average. “By studying Nankai, we North Americans can actually benefit pretty directly from the project. It’s almost as if we are drilling our own subduction zone, because we’ll see a lot of the same things.”

The first drilling and sampling operations in Nankai began on May 12 and are expected to conclude on August 1. After the initial drilling stage, scientists lowered various gauges and logging instruments into the hole to measure temperature, stress, water pressure and rock permeability. Once they gather enough data, the scientists will prepare the hole for future installation of long-term monitoring equipment.

Papercraft Perfection: 10 Amazing Master Origami Artists


When a papercraft artist looks at a blank sheet of paper, they see a world of possibility in three dimensions. While the rest of us are scribbling notes, to-do lists or random doodles, these artists are forging works of architecture, machines, animals and the abstract. To celebrate the work of some of the world’s greatest papercraft artists, TheCoolist has compiled a collection of ten amazing paper folders– and some of their career’s best work. Trust us, you’ve never seen origami like this before…

Star Wars Papercraft Art


Fans of both Star Wars and papercraft should rejoice, as many of the classic vehicles of Star Wars have been reborn in paper. Take the AT-AT Walker above– this battlefield Hoth monster has been redesigned in paper to protect your desk while you are up and away. The Star Wars Papercraft Art series spans many vehicles from the films, including the Millenium Falcon, the AT-ST, the Tie Fighter and more. Check out the gallery below for a closer look… [link]

star-wars-papercraft_millenium-falcon star-wars-papercraft_at-at star-wars-tie-fighter

Hole-OnEx DIY Papercraft Pinhole Camera


If you ever plan on experimenting with pinhole photography, why not do it in style? The Hole-Onex DIY Pinhole Camera makes your pinhole experiments as stylish (and fun) as possible. Just fold this paper into the form of the Hole-Onex, aim it at your preferred subject, open the shutter and snap it shut– you’ve got a lush Lomo-style photograph from a camera you built yourself… out of paper, nonetheless. [link]

hole-on-ex_diy-pinhole-camera_1 hole-on-ex_diy-pinhole-camera_3 hole-on-ex_diy-pinhole-camera_2

Won Park Dollar Bill Origami


Won Park is a special breed of papercraft artist who uses printed money as his palette. To his colleagues and himself, Won Park is a “money folder”, and his brilliant, compelling sculptures are built with the American dollar bill, not an 8.5″/11″ sheet of legal paper. Mr. Park folds his money into beautiful forms, like the koi fish shown above, as well as the tank and camera in the gallery below. While “money folders” may be a rare offshoot from the art of papercraft itself, his work earns an important place in this list of amazing papercraft art. [link]

won-park_dollar-tank won-park_dollar-koi won-park_dollar-camera

Helen Musselwhite Papercraft Dioramas


With just a quick glance at her work, papercraft artist Helen Musselwhite is clearly a passionate perfectionist. Her papercraft dioramas spare no mistake, no miscalculation and no poor material. Mrs. Musselwhite’s work represents the spirit of nature in a paper diorama, with the animal world alive and busy amidst her art. The sheer detail and spacial awareness of Musselwhite’s papercraft is truly a thing to behold… [link]

helen-musselwhite_cottage helen-musselwhite_butterfly helen-musselwhite_nature

Dan McPharlin Vintage Synthesizer Papercraft


Dan McPharlin uses his art to exercise two strong passions in his life– one for papercraft, another for classic vintage synthesizers. As we here at TheCoolist have a profound respect for both, McPharlin’s art has a sentimental value for us. This artist folds paper of different color and style to form the keys, knobs, faders and forms of classic synthesizers which shaped the progress of music in this century and the last. The Moogs, Korgs, Arps and Rolands of the 70s are alive again today in paper thanks to the brilliant work of a dedicated fan, Mr. Dan McPharlin himself. [link]

dan-mcpharlin_paper-music-gear_2 dan-mcpharlin_paper-music-gear_1 dan-mcpharlin_paper-music-gear_3

Ingrid Siliakus Papercraft Architecture


Papercraft artist Ingrid Siliakus does not miss a detail. Her work rebuilds some of the world’s most recognizable architectural wonders– and also forges some of her very own. With an eye for symmetry and passion for clarity, Siliakus folds paper to create amazingly lifelike representations of classic architecture. Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao, a palace in Madrid and other abstract works grace her portfolio– which is large enough to warrant hours of pleasurable scrutiny… [link]

ingrid-siliakus_guggenheim-bilbao ingrid-siliakus_sagrada-familia ingrid-siliakus_palace

Bert Simons Papercraft Sculpture Portraits


Life-like, line-heavy and decidedly creepy, the art of Bert Simons is truly unique. Mr. Simons crafts brilliant sculpture portraits with paper, printed from actual photographs and rebuilt in busts that resemble the real thing in a rather disturbing way. Simons’ work reflects the digital representation of humans from the early part of this decade– in games, digital films and otherwise. If you’re one of the few to have your face rebuilt in paper by Bert Simons, we can only imagine trying to sleep at night with a copy of yourself watching from across the room. [link]

bert-simons_papercraft-sculpture-portraits_2 bert-simons_papercraft-sculpture-portraits_1 bert-simons_papercraft-sculpture-portraits_3

Shaz Madani Papercraft Typefaces


Instead of printing his refreshing typefaces on paper, artist Shaz Madani creates his typefaces with paper. Madani’s papercraft art leaps off the blank page in three dimensions, using the paper itself to carve out his solid works. While the typefaces he creates are technically simple and bold, it is the execution and styling of these fonts that separates his work from the rest. Check out the gallery below, turn a new leaf, draw a wild card to catch up with the current thinking of Mr. Madani himself. [link]

shaz-madani_paper-typefaces_1 shaz-madani_paper-typefaces_2 shaz-madani_paper-typefaces_3

Peter Callesen Subtractive Papercraft Sculptures


Peter Callesen is truly a master of papercraft, creating realistic three-dimensional sculptures from a single sheet of paper. His art is “subtractive”, in that he builds structure from two-dimensional space and leaves the scraps behind (that is, what little isn’t used in his art forms). Callesen will carve a single sheet of paper– and from the carvings create a full-sized skeleton falling from the paper itself, while leaving a dead tree in its’ paper wake. His art must be seen to be believed, and it would take more than these images to provide justice to his genius. [link]

peter-callesen_short-distance-between-time-and-shadow peter-callesen_on-the-other-side peter-callesen_fall

Richard Sweeney Geometric Papercraft


Paper folder Richard Sweeney exhibits an unparalleled passion for geometry and symmetry in his works. His paper art curves and folds into itself to create elaborate shapes that seem impossible to build with something as simple as paper. When looking at his art, you’ve got to imagine– what if one fold goes wrong? It appears to be back to the drawing (folding) board, as Sweeney’s works show no mistakes, no flaws and nothing more than paper perfection. [link]

richard-sweeney-papercraft_3 richard-sweeney-papercraft_2 richard-sweeney-papercraft_1