Mar 1

Chris Supranowitz is a researcher at The Insitute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Along with a number of other spectacular studies (such as quantum optics, trapping of atoms, dark states and entanglement), Chris has decided to look at the relatively boring grooves of a vinyl record using the institute’s electron microscope. Well, not boring for me.

From what I read, it’s not just a simple matter of sticking a record under a fancy microscope, as there is a lot of preparation (such as gold-sputtering the surface) and post-processing to be done. Having said that, the results are very cool:

Here is a shot of a number of record grooves (the dark bits are the top of the grooves, i.e. the uncut vinyl):

Here’s the grooves closer up – the little bumps are dust on the record:

And here’s a single groove even closer still, magnified 1000 times:

Chris also did the pits in a CD – here’s what they look like, just for contrast:

Chris decided to take the whole electron microscope image one step further, and created a blue/red 3-dimensional image of the record groove! So, if you have a pair of 3D glasses (sorry, the ones you got from watching Avatar won’t work – you need red on the left, blue on the right), throw them on and take a look at this amazing picture:

Maybe these vinyl grooves are only beautiful to an audio geek like me, but I think that these images are truly spectacular. I wonder what we’d see if it was magnified further still? Thanks to noiseforairports for the tip.

Nov 20

No-frills airline Ryanair is again at the centre of controversy – this time it’s the lack of clothing its flight attendants are wearing in a calendar shoot that is making headlines.

The Irish airliner’s annual calendar features its own flight attendants wearing little more than a black bikini.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has hit back at criticism of the airline’s raunchy cabin crew calendar by sending it to ‘anti-fun’ MEP Mary Honeyball, who last year accused the airline of forcing cabin crew to take part. The 2010 calendar aims to raise more than £100,000 for the UK charity KIDS, which provides support to disabled children.

Ryanair’s cabin crew volunteer to take part in the calendar and this year alone attracted more than 800 of the airline’s 4,000 staff applied to feature in the calendar…all for charity of course.

Proceeds of the 2010 calendar will bring the total raised by Ryanair’s stripped-down cabin crew to almost £300,000 since the first calendar was published in 2008. The 2010 edition was shot at Ryanair’s Alicante base in September. The 11,000 calendars will be sold on flights for £10. Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said, “Ryanair’s cabin crew stunners once again strip off for charity. This year’s calendar is the hottest yet and we hope to raise £100,000 to help KIDS assist even more disabled children and their families in the UK.” Kevin Williams, CEO of KIDS, added, “We are delighted that Ryanair has this year chosen to support the much valued, practical support that KIDS provides for disabled children and their families across the UK. Our thanks go to all the Cabin Crew who took part – it’s great when a bit of fun can serve such a serious purpose.” Ryanair seems to always be in trouble. Just recently it was forced to pull a promotion featuring Queen Sofia of Spain after receiving a threat of legal action.

The airline had launched a promotion across Spanish media after it emerged that Queen Sofia had flown on Ryanair.

Days after Queen Sofia’s £13 flight to London to visit her sick brother, Ryanair launched the brash ad campaign, in which Queen Sofia appeared over the slogan “Fly like a monarch”.

The half-page advert included a quote from a popular freesheet, “Queen Sofia flies low cost”, while copy accompanying the image read, “It is a privilege for us that Queen Sofia flies with the airline with the highest growth in Spain.”

Ryanair also pledged €5,000 (£4,400) to a charity of the Queen’s choice as a gesture of gratitude.

Jul 29

1. Giant LEGO Man

This giant 8-foot smiling Lego man was fished out of the sea in the Dutch resort of Zandvoort.

2. Giant Spoon

This creative giant spoon with cherry on top is located in a park close to downtown Minneapolis.

3. Giant Soccer Ball

Nike likes to use giant soccer balls in their advertising campaigns.

4. Giant Paper Plane

A company in Seattle WA, USA has a giant paper airplane above their front door.

5. Giant Milk Jug

Larger than life milk jug spotted at the Metrodome stadium in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

6. Giant Shopping Bag

This giant bag was a part of the “Unstern. Sinistre. Disastro” art exhibition in Germany.

7. Giant Razor

BIC used a giant razor and cut grass to advertise their products.

8. Giant Cigarette

Keep Britain Tidy workers installed a giant cigarette butt in London

to highlight the fact that cigarette related litter affects 78 percent of streets in the UK.

9. Giant Shoe

Creative billboard advertisement for Woodland Shoes.

10. Giant Fork

Metal sculpture peaking out of Lac Léman in front of the Alimentarium Museum in Vevey, Switzerland.

11. Giant Fried Eggs

Several large eggs were spread in Leeuwarden, Netherlands by Henk Hofstra

as a part of his environmental art project, titled “Art Eggcident”.

12. Giant Picnic Basket

Creative building in Newark, Ohio, USA looks like a giant basket.

Jul 21

Feeling a little cash poor these days? Not to worry, you’ll look like a million bucks when you whip out your Loaded! Wallet. Go for broke – impress strangers and friends alike.


Our Loaded! Wallet is printed in lifelike full-color and has a satin lined interior with lots of pockets for your many credit cards! Measures: 4.5 inches long x 3.25 inches tall.

Material: Pleather – no animals were harmed in the creation of this magnificent wallet!

Oct 29

Respectable Establishment