So if you previously spent your Friday’s dreaming of women in bikinis wrestling and pulling each other’s hair, then yea, consider this your 4th dream layer in Inception.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Painted Hills, Oregon Sunrise
Photograph by Glenn Traver, My Shot
Sunrise on the Painted Hills at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Painted Hills, Oregon. I had to travel three hours on very rural winding country roads in the dark, with steep drop-offs to get there for this opening shot of the day!
(This photo and caption were submitted to My Shot.)
Photos by Amber Isabel
A Dutch company has unveiled what it believes to be the first commercial dyeing machine to replace water with supercritical carbon dioxide—a pressurized form of the gas with unusual liquid-like properties. Heated up to 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressurized to 74 bar, CO2 takes on the characteristics of both a liquid and a gas, allowing for the dissolution of compounds such as dyes. For DyeCoo Textile System’s purposes, scCO2 is heated to 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressurized to 250 bar. Behaving as both a solvent and a solute, the supercharged carbon dioxide penetrates textile fibers and disperses the preloaded dyes without extra chemical agents.
LOAD OF GAS
Once the dyeing cycle is complete, the CO2 is gasified to recover the excess dye. Unburdened, the clean CO2 cycles back into the dyeing vessel for reuse, a maneuver that saves energy, water, and the heavy metals that comprise much of the toxic runoff into our planet’s polluted waterways, according to DyeCoo.
Once the excess dye is recovered, the clean CO2 cycles back into the vessel for reuse.
DyeCoo’s waterless innovation, which the company has branded DryDye, took 11 years to develop. Its parent company, FeyeCon, previously engineered scCO2 systems for industrial applications, including chemical extraction in pharmaceutical production.
The process isn’t without its limitations, however. DyeCoo is currently only able to dye scoured (or prewashed) polyester fabric, although the company notes that it’s working on a version that will dye unscoured fabric, as well as reactive dyes for cellulosic textiles made from plants.
Netherlands-based designer Fioen van Balgooi, for one, was inspired. Determined to show her fellow designers the potential that this new dyeing technique holds, van Balgooi conceived of the “No H2O,” a drapey, cowl-neck blouse that eludes to the rippling effect of water.
Fioen van Balgooi’s “No H2O” is a drapey, cowl-neck blouse that eludes to the rippling effect of water.
The garment, along with photos of the DryDye process, will be on view at the Audax Textile Museum in Tilburg from September 25, 2010 to January 30, 2011.
At 16, Lindsay Phillips came up with the idea for a flip-flop with interchangeable straps during art class. Today, she's running a $30 million company.
Back-to-school season is upon us, and even the best students need a little motivation to trade the beach, summer camp and carefree days for the classroom. But what if you could turn a school project into a $30 million business? That's exactly what Lindsay Phillips, the creator of SwitchFlops, did.
Now 25, Phillips came up with the idea for SwitchFlops at 16, as part of a high school art project. Today, her company -- Lindsay Phillips -- employs 35 full-time staffers and is projected to bring in $30 million in revenue this year.
The idea is simple -- SwitchFlops are sandals with interchangeable straps. So instead of buying several pairs of sandals, customers can instead own one sandal with multiple straps. In the wake of the Great Recession, a 3-in-1 shoe (or, heck, 50-in-1) is tailor-made for shoppers on a budget.
The basic sandal itself costs $35, and additional straps are $12. Officially launched in 2007, SwitchFlops are now sold in more than 4,000 stores around the world, and Phillips' line has evolved into other footwear like ballet flats, wedges and espadrilles. The company also makes shopping bags, scarves and sandals for children. Lindsay Phillips, the company, is currently building an overseas office.
It didn't hurt that Phillips, at the ripe-old age of 23, had the wisdom to know what she didn't know -- and brought aboard a CEO, Jeffrey Davidson, 50, who has a lot of experience in growing companies.
Which isn't to take away anything from Phillips, who had the initiative and vision at age 16 to craft her art into something with commercial potential. She made some flip-flops -- ceramic flip-flops that had straps with "fun, funky buttons" on them. "It made sense when I came up with this idea," says Phillips, who grew up in Tampa, Fla. "Everyone wore flip-flops to school, all the time."
Her parents proudly displayed the colorful sandals in their house. And guests noticed. One woman even tried to put them on. "They're ceramic," Phillips told her, but the teenager suddenly had the idea that she should make some actual flip-flops.
"I bought some fun buttons and tried to put them on some sandals, but they kept falling off when I'd go to the beach, so I came up with Velcro, and started lining it to the shoes," says Phillips, who gave out her prototype sandal straps to family members and friends.
It was just a hobby at first, until a relative said, "This is really an amazing idea. You need to patent this."
"I'm 16," Phillips replied. "I really don't know what a patent is. Can you help me?"
She wound up going to a sympathetic but skeptical patent attorney, who told her to do some research and make sure there wasn't anything similar already on the market. If she couldn't find anything, he said he would work with her. She did her research, turned up nothing, and to the attorney's astonishment, he couldn't find anything either. They began the process of applying for a patent. It took four years.
Phillips finished high school and started college in the meantime. She majored in art history at Rollins College and minored in communications, instead of focusing on business. "My parents told me to study what I enjoy because I'd probably do business for the rest of my life," she says.
But her innovation was always top of mind. Phillips worked summers at Polo Ralph Lauren's leather goods division in New York, honing her merchandising and manufacturing skills, and traveled to Europe in a Semester at Sea program -- until she was ready to unleash her creation to the world.
The patent was granted in 2004, and after that, Phillips partnered with her mom, Liz, and began looking for a manufacturer. SwitchFlops made their first real retail appearance in January 2007 at the Surf Expo Trade Show in Orlando.
"We started with 10 straps," Phillips says. "Basic colors, but we wanted to start off with the basics, and it's been very successful. We find our typical customer owns three pairs of shoes and 10 straps, and for them to be able to go and customize them -- well, they get very excited and really enjoy doing it. We really think it's all about versatility and value."
Phillips has managed to tap into the growing customization zeitgeist. While people have always wanted to stand out from the crowd, technology has really allowed consumers to tailor products to their own tastes in recent years -- and businesses are increasingly offering an interactive, design-your-own experience.
As marketing guru Randy Gage, author of Why You're Dumb, Sick & Broke... and how to get Smart, Healthy & Rich, notes, "I was always told, 'Find a need and fill it,' but that's actually bad advice because people don't usually do what they need, but what they want. Better advice is, 'Find a want and fill it.'"
Phillips, of course, has managed to do just that. "SwitchFlops allow you to express yourself," she says. "Everyone wants to be a little unique, and while we might have the same bag, we don't want it to be exactly the same."
Phillips recalls meeting one of her customers who had eight pairs of her shoes and 30 straps, and seeing women staring at her displays like kids in a candy store, as they selected straps and matched them up with shoes. "It's amazing to be in the store and watch it happen because everyone picks out something different," she says.
And being different, of course, is the whole idea.
Geoff Williams is a regular contributor to AOL Small Business. He is also the co-author of the book Living Well with Bad Credit.
|by The Green Groove|
Boston-based architecture firm Choi + Shine designs giant electric transmission towers with lifelike features!
Nothing spoils a peaceful drive or bike ride through nature more than passing by a series of ugly manmade transmission towers. Although we can’t completely get rid of these towers because they provide us with electricity, one way that we can make them more pleasing to the eye is to give them lifelike qualities. That’s exactly what Massachusetts architecture firm Choi + Shine has done. The firm has designed a series of electrical towers that are shaped like giant humans, and they’re appropriately called “The Land of Giants.”
Inspired by the lifelike statues of Easter Island, these transmission towers are a far cry from the boring, overbearing towers that we see today. According to Choi + Shine the towers are more than just an artistic statement. The firm says on its website: “Making only minor alterations to well established steel-framed tower design, we have created a series of towers that are powerful, solemn and variable. These iconic pylon-figures will become monuments in the landscape. Seeing the pylon-figures will become an unforgettable experience, elevating the towers to something more than merely a functional design of necessity.”
The Land of Giants was submitted as an entry into the Icelandic High-Voltage Electrical Pylon International Design Competition, where it took home an honorable mention. It also won an “Unbuilt Architecture” award from the 2010 Boston Society of Architects.
Besides being one of the most popular and successful Sagas in movie History, Star Wars has also provided some of the most memorable music themes, an infamous one being the Imperial March. Here we gathered 17 various Imperial March remakes that include Tesla Coils, Musical Instruments, Hand Farts and many more. I am sure Star Wars geeks would appreciate every last one of the following, and it is highly recommended to check them all out…you will be amazed!
We already know how cool Tesla Coils are, so here are two separate examples of Imperial March Themes remakes with Tesla Coils that would makes Geeks cry.
Here we have the Imperial March Theme on a Floppy Disk and also one that is using an actual Hard Drive.
The Imperial March Arduino Style proves that Star Wars is an inner part of a Geek’s life.
I was afraid at first when I noticed there is an Imperial March remake using Hand Farts, but this version ended up being of the funniest things I have ever seen. Why? because it is actually really good
Old school Star Wars geeks would appreciate the 8 Bit version like any other, for it is retro and plays Star Wars.
A cool remake that shows what Geeks end up doing on their spare time.
The Imperial March using Musical Instruments
The Steel Drums remake would be amazing to see in any outdoor event.
The original Imperial March theme was composed by John Williams, so it is actually not surprising to see it remade by a different orchestra just as good.
The one and only Metallica has also provided tribute to the famous Star Wars theme with a heavy but awesome result.
Here we see a shift change in Buckingham Palace with a great entertaining factor for Geeks.
There were many variations of the Imperial March on guitars, but this one seemed to lead to the Dark Side.
In this remake, the drums are accompanying the theme, and the result is highly successful.
Another cool example that proves no matter what instrument you play, the Imperial March will always sound good.
Simple, elegant and definitely respectful of Star Wars.
In this example you can see the iPhone Ocarina being played using the fan’s nose, and it still ends up delivering the Imperial March well.