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Archery Tag is every bit as mental as it sounds

Posted by admin on Dec 31, 2015 in geekery, Strange events

Archery_tag

People as a rule, are big fans of combining sports to create something new and wonderful — think trampoline dodgeball, chessboxing and artistic cycling. But the latest fitness mashup pushes ingenuity to new levels. Archery Tag is a cross between laser tag, dodgeball and paintball, and combines hand-eye coordination with the thrill of hunting — but in this scenario, you are both the prey and the hunter, which involves running and shooting people with bows and arrows.

Indiana-based John Jackson developed archery tag in 2011 after being inspired by foam pieces at a product meeting. He wondered, wouldn’t it be fun to “put these on an arrow and shoot [each other] with it?” then went home and 3D-printed prototypes. And afterward discovered that it was really, really fun. He posted a YouTube video demonstrating the game, and received so much interest that he trademarked the name, and started licensing out his equipment.

The rules of archery tag vary from location but the basic tenets involve two teams of five people facing off across a tennis-sized court, a 20-foot safety zone between them. When the whistle blows, the goal is to hit your opponents and knock out their targets. Each player is equipped with a custom recurve bow, arrows and a face mask (for safety). Read more…

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The Rise of The Sparkly Stoner

Posted by admin on Dec 5, 2015 in geekery, style

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Bongs, babes and blunts are part of cannabis’ heritage, but with weed gaining in popularity with young millennials, what’s the sparkle-loving stoner to do? It’s easy to find pipes decorated with skulls, but what about girlie greenies?

The lack of appropriately pretty cannabis accessories was the inspiration for 26-year-old Madison Alvarez’s creation of Miss Mary Jane Co., a store that caters to the “blunt bae.” We’re talking pipes adorned with lipstick kisses, Hello Kitty rigs (for doing weed dabs) complete with glass red bows, martini-glass-shaped rigs garnished with glowing green olives, and a bright yellow Smokemon spoon with the tagline “Gotta smoke ’em all!” (That’s a Pokemon reference, if you weren’t clear.)

“Hello Kitty has been a part of my life since I was a little girl,” Alvarez says. “How can someone not smile when they see [this]?” The pop culture influences are everywhere, from the pastel colors to the rig designed to look like Adventure Time’s Finn. Plus, an adorable necklace dabber that resembles a pink Sharpie. Read more…

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21st century jousting for millennials

Posted by admin on May 18, 2015 in Animal Oddities, geekery, Strange events

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It is a scene ideally suited for Medieval times. A dark knight adjusts his visor, raises his lance and focuses, laserlike, on his opponent, the “white” knight, sitting astride his mount. The flag goes down and they charge, lances straight, bodies tensing against the weight of their custom-fit armor — often 200 pounds of solid steel. The bout, though, isn’t old; it’s happening at the Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Music Festival in Mississippi in November. And lest anyone forget that we are in modern commercial times, Guinness (one of the festivals sponsors) has its logo on both knights’ armor.

Looking for a new form of entertainment, or considering the next crazy physical challenge? Jousting is growing in popularity in the U.S., both at Renaissance fairs and formal tournaments. One of its leading advocates is Canadian-born Shane Adams, who captained one of the teams at the Scottish festival. For years, he used to set up his own jousts, but he wanted the sport to be taken seriously, so in the 1990s he competed and twice won a jousting event at ScotFest in Colorado. “The style of jousting was white armor,” he says. “That means you wear 100 pounds of chainmail.” So far Adams has broken his hands, wrist, and dislocated his shoulder. And there are reports of jousters dying. But Adams wants the sport to stay physical, he believes it won’t get respect if it tries to be “historical.” Read more…

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The Dazzling World of High Tech Hula Hooping

Posted by admin on Apr 21, 2015 in geekery, news


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When Lauren Shaw starts hula-hooping, jaws drop. But it’s not her sinuous motions capturing attention, it’s the flashing light show created by her spins. Dazzling lightscapes and hip-swirling rainbows transform her movements into art performance. This is the next generation of high-tech hoopery: LED “smart” hoops.

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Five years ago, then-real estate agent Shaw was bored and decided to try hooping as a hobby, and she soon tapped into the online communities — 20,000-plus people in the Unity of Hula Hoopers Facebook group and a big YouTube hoop scene. With their encouragement, she kept improving her “flow,” which is what hoopers call their dance style. A moment of inspiration struck one night when she saw flashing red lights atop a movie theater. She had an engineer mount LED spokes on a hoop and program them to project words that glow when the hoop is in motion. “It uses persistence of vision phenomenon, where the light goes so fast that it’s created in front of your eyes,” Shaw explains. The positive response to this creation encouraged her to launch her company, SpinFX, which is dedicated to high-tech hoop solutions.

Her first version, the SpinFX Pro Hoop, became the flagship model; it’s customizable for corporate events and music videos, such as Vanessa Hudgens’ music video. For consumers, there’s the Phoenix. With 150 embedded LEDs, the Phoenix is programmed with 200-plus patterns, which create dynamic circles, spikes and trails of light. Extra patterns can be created at home, and many people in the hooping community share theirs online for free. And they’re a little crazy; think wildly spinning pizza slices and neon Mario Bros. The hoop can be controlled with its Android app (yes, a hula hoop with an app), which connects via Bluetooth.

Read more…

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Equine artists turn horses into works of art

Posted by admin on Dec 15, 2014 in Animal Oddities, Design and Home, geekery, news, style

Castle Clip JMC Equestrian

When most people see Jillian Scott’s horses they do a double-take. Is that really a zebra in North Lanarkshire, Scotland? Nope, it’s part of Scott’s art — but the canvas she uses isn’t paper or linen; it’s the bodies of horses. From shaving giraffes to dragons to Batman, this is the realm of creative clipping.

And some of the designs are crazy. For customers Scott has shaved everything from a skeleton to the Minion from Despicable Me on a horse’s rear — a type of clip called a “bum patch” that’s increasingly popular wIth people who don’t want to commit to a full-creative groom — to a One Direction logo onto a pony. But her favorite designs is her leopard print.

Halloween Horse Jillian Scott

A horse groomer for ten years, Scott, 27, started experimenting last year: she took out her clippers and carved a zebra pattern into her horse, a job that took around three hours, with breaks to consult images on her phone to make sure she had the pattern right. The same clip now takes her 45 minutes. Her work started getting her local attention — some positive, some not so friendly. “Some people don’t like new things,” she shrugged. She charges $63 for a “regular” clip and $78 for a creative clip.

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Scott isn’t the only groomer using horse hair as artistic medium. Melody Hames, 28, a graphic design student at the University of Salford, Manchester who works at JMC Equestrian, wanted to combine clipping with her art.

After sketching her designs on paper she clips freehand — with no stencils. Her most impressive creation: a detailed castle etched into the side of a Freddy, her 4-year-old horse. It took nine hours. Read more…

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Stupid Technology That You Don’t Want or Need: Instagram sunglasses and a GIF taking camera

Posted by admin on May 20, 2014 in geekery, lists, opinion, technology

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The world is full of great and amazing inventions, things that wow the mind and blow the senses. And then come the not so amazing, those that give pause, make one think ‘eh, and simply seem like a wonderful way to blow a lot of resources. That’s what I’m celebrating now, the many odd and surreal parts of technology that we really *might* have been better off without.

The Ten Lens

What is it: Think of these as Instagram sunglasses, shades that let you see the world through a variety of rose colored filters.

Why: Why let real life get you down? Why not view it all through pretty tinted lenses, that makes everything slightly saccharine and glowy? Who needs to reminisce over old times when every day has an old-timey feel. Yes, this is basically exactly what actual tinted sunglasses do, but these are “Tens Lens” sunglasses so it’s totally different. Seriously, the creators say that, “Whilst typical sunglasses block out the light with desaturated, cold colors; Tens work with the warmth of the sun to lend an uplifting tint to the world beyond the lens.” Absolutely not the same thing (insert eye-roll).

And that’s why you should pay 60 bucks for them through their Indiegogo campaign, instead of ten dollars at H&M for a pair you lose the same day.

Otto Camera Takes Only Gifs, really

Otto, the camera that takes only GIFS

What is it: This is a camera built with Raspberry Pi that can capture GIF’s – not pictures. Yes, you can GIF away with a snap and a crank and be ready for Meme heaven.

Why? You love Gifs. I love Gifs.The world loves Gifs. We crack up over Gifs all the timer- heck GIFs are continually one of the most popular and growing subreddits on Reddit, the internet purveyor of what’s cool for the modern disenfranchised moody hipster. Why should you have to painstakingly create a GIF in Photoshop or manually DIY it with one of the zillion free GIF makers out there? What a drag! Why not capture a GIF in one go with a camera that’s designed for your needs?

The Otto camera features a rotating crank that captures an insta-GIF, not an instaPic and shares it with your cellphone.. so you can share it with the world. Now that’s good symbiosis, right? The camera is adaptable as the creators have built in capabilities for add on accessories, including a an Arduino-powered flash bulb that can be triggered to capture GIFs when it detects certain actions, for example they say it can “trigger the camera [for actions] like a totally badass high-five.” I mean you could just use a GIF making app on your phone, but then you’d totally lose camera carrying “cool” credentials right? Read more…

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These Chicas Poderosas 2014 Projects Might Change The World

Posted by admin on May 7, 2014 in geekery, lists, technology

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“Fail Fast, Succeed Soon.” Sounds like a strange thing to say, but the more you think about the phrase, the more you realize that it’s a pretty productive mantra. Don’t get stuck working on an idea that doesn’t make sense if you can change it. This was the catchphrase of the Chicas Podersosas 2014 Miami event, a four day workshop that brought together smart men and women from across the globe.

They gathered to explore ways that technology can be used to create interactive storytelling – and to empower women. Led by visual storyteller Mariana Santos, a Knight International Journalism Fellow, stories were proposed, teams were chosen and goals were set.

Here’s a look at some of the projects that were created. None are “complete” – the goal was to demonstrate what you can build in a few days with mentorship and to develop the skills to then move these ideas forward. Where possible links to projects have been provided.

Here’s a look at some of the projects that were created. None are “complete” – the goal was to demonstrate what you can build in a few days with mentorship and to develop the skills to then move these ideas forward. Where possible links to projects have been provided.

Mapping Unmarked graves from the Drug War

“This is a story about drugs and where they end up,” said Andrés Lizcano Rodriguez, who proposed the idea.“Drug prices have gone up more than any other product in the last 20 years – apart from technology.”

This group used data to look at the deaths caused by the drug trade, the 20 million US consumers that have inadvertently caused the murder of 70,000 people in Mexico since 2006.. The group created a responsive website that mapped out this issue, including personal stories and statistics to back it up. Read more…

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