Realistic Glass Insects Sculpted to Scale by Yuki Tsunoda

Think twice before you swat that mosquito. It just might be a delicate glass sculpture, at least if you’re in the presence of Yuki Tsunoda, a young sculptor who shapes glass into insects and plants that are almost exactly to scale.

mosquito

The 26-year old artist first began working with glass in 2012 when she attempted to visualize the disgust and aversion most people have to insects, especially when they swarm together. But as she studied them more and more she began to take note of the beauty of each individual body part. Tsunoda eventually shifted her focus to emphasizing the beauty of insects by recreating them in realistic forms, and to scale, using glass.

dragonfly

Tsunoda at work

Tsunoda works primarily with Italian Moretti glass, which is a medium-soft glass and is known for its malleable and colorful properties. But because she works in such miniature scale she often uses pins, small spatulas, razors and other tools around the house to create her sculptures. She also uses dichroic glass and a form of quartz known as aventurine to obtain the type of metallic luster often found on insects.

bugs

Tsunada exhibits her work around Japan periodically but doesn’t appear to have any upcoming exhibitions. But she does have an online shop where you can purchase her glass insects. She is also on Twitter, where she occasionally shares images of her work.

honey pot ants

honey pot ants

snail and hydrangea

a mantis

leaf cutting ants

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Friday essay: trace fossils – the silence of Ediacara, the shadow of uranium.

Marcoo was a 1.4 kilotonne ground-level nuclear test carried out at Maralinga in 1956. The contaminated debris was buried at this site in the 1967 clean-up known as Operation Brumby. Author provided

As an archaeologist working in the remote areas around Woomera and the Nullarbor Plain, my understanding of South Australia was first informed by rocks and soil. This was a landscape of fossils and trace fossils – the preserved impressions left by the passage of a living body through sediment – jostling for attention. On this land surface, SA presents an arc extending from the “death mask” fossils of early multicellular life to the human leap into the solar system. Sure, you might say, this could be said of other locations on Earth. But here it seems laid bare for any who can read the distinctive pattern of signs.

The silent shore

This was once a shoreline in a silent world. Throughout some terrifying ice ages, when glaciers reached almost to the equator, microscopic single-celled creatures held on to life in the freezing oceans. As the ice sheets retreated, warmer shores opened up on the Gondwana supercontinent, including what would later become the Flinders Ranges. Microbes swarmed together in mats to colonise the sandy sea floor. Wind and water were the only sounds, but there was nothing yet with ears to hear them.

The rhythm of the waves created undulations on the sea floor, to which the microbial mats cleaved. For millions of years the green ocean carpet flourished in the shallow waters. Around 635 million years ago, new forms of multicellular life appeared as additional tiers in this simple ecology. Creatures similar in appearance to fern fronds anchored themselves in the mats by a round root-like hank. Others took the form of segmented worms squashed into round pancakes.

Fossil of an Ediacaran worm.
Wikimedia Commons

Far from “nature red in tooth and claw”, this was nature basking in the sun, in no hurry to change. Storms were the most dramatic events to occur over millions of years. The surges of water these produced would drag the button holdfast of the fronds across the sandy ocean floor, leaving a crackled trace until the wave passed and left it swaying again. In one of these storms, a sudden influx of loose sediment was dragged over some fronds, knocking them flat and covering them with silt. There was too much weight to break free and these limbless, toothless creatures had no way to burrow out.

Gondwana drifted, split, folded and, around 540 million years ago, uplifted, raising the ocean floor to form the slopes of a mountain range.

The fossilised fronds and pancake worms of the fauna from the Ediacaran geological period (635–542 million years ago) are now on display at the South Australian Museum. The ripples in the stone cast shadows that allow you to almost see the shimmering of the shallow water. The “elephant skin” texture – where the hank of a single fern frond was dragged in the storm surge – is visible in the stone, as is the wiggly path or trace fossil of a small worm that escaped burial.

In effect, South Australia is the trace fossil of an earlier continent, or an earlier planet – perhaps not even this one. The Ediacara fauna are vastly different to present life on Earth, and may provide an analogue for life elsewhere in the solar system.

The dust giants

In the Pleistocene era, starting from about 1.8 million years ago, the ice sheets advanced again. With so much water locked away in the ice, vast plains were exposed on the continental shelf. Plant communities died off and soil formation slowed as temperatures and rainfall decreased. No longer consolidated by vegetation, sediments were blown away in the cold winds. Aeolian is the word, like a harp with a dry rustling sound. The sand traversed huge distances and settled into waves of dunes reflecting the wind direction. The leaching of iron stained their quartz sands Martian-red.

Low saltbushes and bluebushes were studded across the dunes at the edge of the ranges, with occasional forests of large saltbush. Giant kangaroos, three metres high, were as tall as these forest canopies. They loped along the dunes with their smaller cousins, sometimes venturing to the open grasslands that stretched to the distant coast of Sahul.

The carnivore Thylacoleo carnifex roamed the plains, stalking Palorchestes azael and other herbivores. Waterholes were perilous places where the giant snake Wonambi naracoortensis coiled in wait. Taking shelter from the cold wind in a limestone cave, Aboriginal people might have looked out to see the huge shadows of a herd of diprotodons, the marsupial “rhinoceros”, or Genyornis, the two-metre-tall flightless bird. If these animals were reptiles, we would call them dinosaurs.

Wallaby skin water carrier.
Stuart Humphreys © Australian Museum

At the height of this cold, dry period – 30-19,000 years ago – a person might have seen the ocean only a few times across their lifespan. A nacreous abalone shell, excavated at Allen’s Cave on the Nullarbor Plain and dated to 18,000 years ago, speaks of a journey hundreds of kilometres overland to the shore. Specialist knowledge was needed to travel far from permanent or regular water sources: how to find water-bearing roots, rock wells, and Artesian springs. Perhaps more was needed too: kangaroo-skin water bags, the endurance to carry a coolamon of water for miles without spilling a drop. The desert sands and the porous limestones of the Nullarbor don’t hold water reservoirs, and the aridity turned the lakes to the west and north of the Flinders Ranges into salt.

Aboriginal people would have noted but passed over the sedimentary rocks that preserved the Ediacara fauna. Instead, they searched for chalcedony, chert, and silcrete. With an understanding of how these stones fracture, you can make a cutting edge sharper and more sterile than a metal surgical blade. Glassy veins of such stone, nacreous in their own way, occur throughout the Nullarbor plain.

Countless scholarly papers describe the climatic conditions and biological record of the Last Glacial Maximum. Between the lines of these papers we can catch a glimpse of how Aboriginal people may have experienced these landscapes. In the field, I look for traces of their life where the red dunes are exposed – a stone tool or the ashes of a hearth, perhaps. Mining companies, however, would mostly prefer these traces vanished.

A line in the sand

The ice melted again, and water inundated the great coastal plains. The megafauna were long gone, leaving the regular kangaroos, emus and wombats behind to compete with new migrants: sheep, cattle, camels and rabbits. The livestock, particularly cattle, thrived on saltbush.

George Goyder.
Wikimedia commons

It was still arid out in the north and centre, though droughts lasted just a few years instead of thousands. The years 1863–66 were particularly severe. The Surveyor-General of SA, George Goyder, was sent out in 1865 to define the area where reliable rainfall divided agricultural from grazing land. In the absence of rainfall records, he observed geology and vegetation to create a line stretching over 3000 kilometres, from Pinaroo on the Victorian border to Ceduna in the far west. South of the line was dominated by mallee scrubs, and the north by saltbush and other chenopods.

A few years later, seasons had improved. The bold bought land above the Goyder Line for cropping. This line was not, however, just a mark on a map; as successive drought oscillations continued, farmers were forced back south, abandoning homesteads and even whole towns, the crumbling remains of which are still visible today.

In the process of settlement, trees were cut down for fence posts, telegraph poles and firewood. On the treeless Nullarbor Plain, soil was stabilised by delicate biological crusts formed from lichens and bacteria. The hard hoofs of the livestock cracked them like the toffee shell on a crème brûlée, and the dust blew again.

In 1945, the CSIRO scientist RW Jessup was sent to investigate soil erosion in arid areas of South Australia. He noted the degeneration caused by the combined effect of rabbits and stock. When rabbits reached plague proportions and began to run out of food, they ate the young shoots and ringbarked trees. Fast growing species could bounce back, but slower trees like mulga and myall suffered the most, especially in the absence of Aboriginal firing regimes to germinate seeds. Jessup noticed the Precambrian rocks but did not stop to look for fossils. He was more focused on the windblown sands: evidence of how pastoralism was recreating the arid conditions of the Pleistocene.

The same year saw the end of the Second World War. Far away in another hemisphere, a rocket capable of reaching outer space had been built and two atomic bombs deployed. These events would shape the world for decades to come, and leave their imprint in the outback of South Australia.

Uranium and rockets

In 1946, there were many people roaming the South Australian deserts. One was geologist Reg Sprigg, searching for uranium to supply the growing demand for nuclear weapons. He started with the old Radium Hill mine in the east, and surveyed Mount Painter in the Flinders Ranges, before coming to the Ediacara Hills in the north of the ranges. On the gentle slopes, he was struck by ancient sandstone slabs, generally a poor type of stone for fossil preservation. But he’d seen fossils in this sort of rock before. The round impressions that he saw looked like flattened jellyfish and large segmented worms, but the rock was clearly Precambrian – an age when only single-celled animals were supposed to exist.

The discovery was initially received with scepticism. Some argued that the shapes were natural phenomena. Others disputed the dates. It wasn’t until the discovery of similar fossils in Namibia, Siberia and other locations, and the support of some University of Adelaide academics, that the Ediacara fauna were acknowledged to be genuine.

Spriggina fossil.
Wikimedia commons

The creatures then received names. Dickinsonia was the flat pancake worm. The jellyfish turned out to be mostly the discoid holdfast of the frond-shaped Charnia. Reg Sprigg lent his name to the mysterious segmented Spriggina species – maybe a worm, maybe a frond, maybe something like the later trilobites.

While Reg Sprigg continued his search for uranium deposits, men from the Army’s Survey Corps were on the gibber plains around Mount Eba, mapping an area the size of England to enclose a rocket test range. The Anglo-Australian Joint Project was established to develop weapons for Britain, and Australia hoped, through this arrangement, to gain a greater defence capacity to fend off Asia. The German V-2 rocket, which had devastated London in the last months of the war, would form the basis of this new weapon system.

Senior British military personnel took a flight to see the proposed area for themselves. They flew over the Central Aborigines Reserve on the borders between South and Western Australia, the direction in which the future rockets would be launched. To their eyes, the red desert recalled another: the white sands around the Trinity site in New Mexico, USA, where the first atom bomb was exploded in 1944. The Australian author Ivan Southall described this view later in 1962:

Here it was, one of the greatest stretches of uninhabited wasteland on earth, created by God specifically for rockets.

Hidden in plain sight

Aboriginal people became a trace fossil in the land deemed empty – hidden in plain sight. Kokatha, Pitjantjatjara, Adnyamathanha and Barngarla people lived on missions around the state, and gathered in coastal towns that offered them the employment that the rocket range had promised but didn’t deliver.

At this time, white Australians thought Aboriginal occupation had been a few thousand years at most, and many believed Aboriginal people were dying out – the inevitable result of the “stone age” being superseded by the “space age”.

Ironically, it would take American chemist Willard Libby’s invention of radiocarbon dating in the 1940s – an idea that came to him when working on the atomic bomb for the Manhattan Project – to establish the much deeper antiquity of occupation. John Mulvaney’s 1962 excavation of Kenniff Cave in Queensland used radiocarbon to obtain a date of 19,000 years ago, during the Last Glacial Maximum.

Black Arrow rocket, Woomera.
Author provided

In 1947, on the first reconnaissance for a place to build the township that would service the rocket range, surveyors found tens of thousands of stone tools at Phillip Ponds. Recognising that evidence of Aboriginal occupation also meant the presence of water, they selected this location for the Woomera Village, named after the wooden spear-thrower used by Aboriginal people in many parts of Australia. The street names in the new town were sourced from a vocabulary compiled by HM Cooper, published in 1948 as Australian Aboriginal Words and Their Meanings.

In the following decades, Australian scientists designed sounding rockets for upper atmosphere research and worked on British long-range ballistic missiles like the Blue Streak. They also collaborated with the US in establishing another new technology: tracking the satellites that were planned for launch in the International Geophysical Year of 1957–58. In 1957, the world’s first satellite, Sputnik 1, sent its distinctive beep into the ether. The Space Age had begun.

Radioactive

My trips to the Woomera Prohibited Area are sometimes to advise mining companies about heritage issues, and sometimes to do my own research on Australia’s space program. One day, I’m taken out to the derelict structures once used as launch pads for a unique hybrid rocket.


The satellite launcher Europa was a collaboration between six European nations and Australia in the early 1960s. The two launch pads stand on the edge of a blindingly white salt lake. Rock art sites can be found on outcrops and boulders around the lower edge of the steep shores. Against the wind, I imagine the tremendous roar of the rocket’s engines and think of Ivan Southall’s description of the landscape in his 1962 book, Woomera:

It’s almost like you are living in another world, just as though you had been shot off in a spaceship and let down on some strange planet where men had never been before.

Writing about Woomera and Maralinga, Southall constantly emphasises the silence of a landscape where, he avers, even Aboriginal people speak in undertones. This seems supremely ironic when you think of rocket engines roaring, or the more sinister blast of an atom bomb. From 1956 to 1963, Australia supported Britain in a series of nuclear tests at two locations outside Woomera’s perimeter, Maralinga and Emu Field. Southall visited Emu Field in 1962 where

sprayed with yellow paint, and silent in the sand, are abandoned trucks and jeeps and weapons once too hot to handle. There, near the bomb towers that vanished, the very surface of the desert has become as glass.

Green-tinged nuclear glass at Maralinga.
Author provided

The vitrified sand is the same iron oxide-coated sediment of the Pleistocene aeolian dunes, now with a greenish tinge like a cheap wine bottle. Such nuclear glass is highly collectible, and is sometimes called trinitite after the glass from the Trinity site in New Mexico.

The resonances of these tests aren’t fading any time soon. Generations of Aboriginal people and white Australians still suffer the effects of exposure to radiation. The shadows of the radioactive fallout – the “black mist”, as many Aboriginal people call it – are almost inescapable when you travel west in this state.

At Woomera, I go to look at the grave monuments in the cemetery on the hill outside the town. There are multiple still births and infant deaths, often in the same family. People don’t like to talk about it, but there are stories of women wailing in the streets, driven by unassuagable grief. A local urban myth held that if a pregnant woman stood on the hill facing Maralinga during a bomb test, the sex of the foetus would be revealed in x-ray silhouette.

On the far west coast we’re walking through the saltbush and tyre-piercing bluebush to a rock hole, where some of the traditional owners want to carry out maintenance by clearing the accumulated weeds and dirt. On our way we pass an unusual farm shed. It’s made of radiation-proof lead, scavenged from Maralinga by the landowner. I learn that such scavenging has distributed the artefacts of rockets and bombs all over the state.

On another day, the women are driving up the Ooldea track towards the transcontinental railway line. One roasted a wombat the night before and distributes chunks to us. As we gnaw on the bones, the women point out campsites off to the side of the track. You can’t necessarily see anything from the road, but the locations are loaded with memory. These are places where they camped during the trek from the Maralinga lands down to the coast. It wasn’t safe to stay, but leaving creates its own devastation.

Finally, I’m here at Maralinga. Despite four phases of remediation, there is so much to catch the archaeologist’s eye. No doubt the last people in white radiation suits to leave the site after the 2000 clean-up thought all the residues of the hot yellow machines and bomb towers were safely interred in the burial mounds. I’m used to working at the scale of stone tools, though, and find the surface is scattered with small artefacts like broken ceramics and beer cans.

What really sticks in my memory are ephemeral traces of human presence. Along the wire of a perimeter fence, someone has looped bits of metal and twist ties in a line. A square grid has been drawn in the gravel near a radio tower. The tyre tracks of earth-moving machinery around and over the large burial mounds make me think of rover tracks on Mars.

Decorated fence at Maralinga.
author provided

This land is already a nuclear waste dump. The locations and proposals change, but the same apparent “emptiness” that brought rockets, nuclear tests and detention centres now attracts commercial interest in storing nuclear waste from other nations. It’s the end of a cycle that starts with the mining and export of Australian uranium. The redistribution of uranium is a very Anthropocene process, part of the dismantling and reassembling of the planet.

In the end it will all be buried, all become an archaeological site. Long after the molecular structure of the human-made materials has broken down, the uranium and plutonium will still be decaying. Future archaeologists may find it difficult to determine if these radioactive deposits are natural or cultural. Maybe the distinction will be irrelevant.

Epilogue: the wind

The story isn’t quite over yet, though. The Ediacara fauna gave their name to a new geological period, and while their relationship with contemporary species is still hotly debated, they have changed the way life on Earth is viewed.

The megafauna had largely disappeared by 10,000 years ago. The role of Aboriginal people in their extinction is also hotly debated, though archaeological evidence does not support the “overkill” hypothesis. New genetic studies are now pushing back the date of Aboriginal arrival in Australia to more than 60,000 years ago.

The Goyder Line is shifting south under the impacts of climate change.

Reg Sprigg, who died in 2008, established the Arkaroola Sanctuary in the Flinders Ranges. The Mars Society of Australia selected it as their primary Mars analogue landscape to pursue both planetary science and practical aspects of Mars colonisation.

After becoming the fourth nation in space with the launch of the WRESAT-1 satellite in 1967, Australia’s ambitions have languished. Woomera is still a busy test range, but we are no longer at the forefront of space exploration.

Maralinga has been handed back to its traditional owners. You can visit as a tourist.

The wind has been a constant theme. Once the dominant sound in the Ediacaran world, now it drives giant wind turbines supplying power to the state.

One planet’s past may be another’s future. The Ediacarans have vanished from South Australia, but deep time is always waiting to burst through the crusts of the surface. In the words of Ivan Southall:

In the most barren regions, the most lifeless regions, strange things happen after rain. Primitive crustaceans suddenly stir in the saline mud, reminding one of the dawning of time.


This essay first appeared in Griffith Review State of Hope, the 55th edition of Griffith Review.

The author thanks Hilda Moodoo, Wanda Miller, Eileen Wingfield, Andrew Starkey and many others who have generously shared their knowledge.

The Conversation

Alice Gorman is a member of the Advisory Council of the Space Industry Association of Australia and the Alternate State Delegate for the South Australian Chapter of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc

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at home with A & B curated.

arched living room entrance via A & B curated. / sfgirlbybay

everything about this home is a harmonious mix of modernist meets traditional. the home of Barcelona-based bespoke interior designers A & B curated, they’ve paired the classical details of their home like sky-high ceilings, arched doorways and stunning crown molding (originally dark wood given a bright coat of fresh white) with vintage mid-century modern finds like rattan side chairs and dowel-legged eames dining chairs. featured recently on nuevo estilo, their style is a prime example of unique and unexpected mismatched pieces working flawlessly together.

dining room and living room with arched doorways via A & B curated. / sfgirlbybay

inspiring interior design via A & B curated. / sfgirlbybay

home of interior designers A & B curated. / sfgirlbybay

the home of A & B curated. / sfgirlbybay

green potted plants and modern table with stools. / sfgirlbybay

sun room in the home of interior designers A & B curated. / sfgirlbybay

bedroom in the home of interior designers A & B curated. / sfgirlbybay

arched hallway doors in the home of interior designers A & B curated. / sfgirlbybay

kitchen decor in the home of interior designers A & B curated. / sfgirlbybay

• photography courtesy of nuevo estilo.

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What if Amazon did housing?

Housing is key to providing a better future for our older selves. Ipsos Mori research reveals that we would much rather spend our latter years in our homes than in a care facility (no surprise there). But most housing, in the UK at least, is ill-equipped to cater for the needs of older people.

And the role of the home itself is changing. In future, healthcare and work may increasingly take place where we live.

If traditional housebuilders cannot deliver what we need in order to manage in our ‘age of no retirement’ what if service-based, or so-called ‘disruptor’ corporates got involved? What would housing look like if it was designed and run by, say, Amazon?

For the Home section of the Design Museum’s NEW OLD show, Future Facility was asked to “design a future-proofed home environment for independent living into old age”. Sam Hecht and Kim Colin’s response imagines an apartment complex for today’s ‘Digital Natives’ as they reach their later years.

The Amazin Apartment water fountain at the Design Museum's NEW OLD show. Residents can choose which brand of water to have plumbed in to it
The Amazin Apartment water fountain at the Design Museum’s NEW OLD show. Residents can choose which brand of water to have plumbed in to it

“Despite the implicit promise of digital technology to make our lives simpler and easier, there is a crisis afoot for the growing, older population,” Future Facility say. “Although many household appliances are easily acquired, these same products are inherently difficult to manage and maintain over time; what was once purchased as a convenience has potential to become a burden in later life. As we age, we become less likely to navigate the conditions that shops and manufacturers require of youthful consumers. This puts the ageing population in an unfortunate position – abandoned at the exact moment when they need better products, increased assistance and servicing. Alienated by the speed of change in trade, manufacturing and technology, older consumers would benefit from a revolutionary domestic independence: the Amazin Apartment.”

Future Facility's Amazin Apartment installation at the Design Museum's NEW OLD show
Future Facility’s Amazin Apartment installation at the Design Museum’s NEW OLD show

Describing their idea as a “provocation” Future Facility claim that, compared to traditional manufacturers of domestic appliances, “the new generation of technology companies for whom consolidation and service is central to existence (Amazon, Google and Nest for example), are in a far better position to deliver a more reliable and worry-free form of independent living for seniors. Amazin Apartment is a theoretical invention, whose mandate is to remove the worry and burden associated with domestic upkeep by providing property development, management and supply. In this future, older people are less concerned with data collection, and allow companies to record, analyse and process their data in exchange for the comfort that comes from full-service.”

In other words, in return for your data, Amazin Apartment will cater for your every need via a system of concealed service corridors. Future Facility imagine a futuristic version of the Palace of Versailles where staff and robots replace goods and provide services as needed via hidden service corridors.

Servicing the Amazin Apartment at the Design Museum's NEW OLD show
Servicing the Amazin Apartment at the Design Museum's NEW OLD show

The NEW OLD installation features three segments of a typical Amazin wall. A washer/dryer “has a single button with one setting, not endless interfaces. It is positioned at standing height, with a shelf below, to avoid the need for bending down. On the service side, large boxes of powder that last up to a month are installed”.

The Amazin Apartment washing machine at the Design Museum's NEW OLD show. Put the washing in and unseen hands remove it, wash it and return it ironed
The Amazin Apartment washing machine, serviced by unseen hands

The fridge has two doors – “on the living side, the left-hand door houses new ordered produce that has been delivered – and is moved to the right side for consumption. On the service side, there is only a right door for delivering the orders.”

A water fountain “allows a choice of filtered or branded waters to be plumbed in”.

Future Facility are not suggesting that the Amazin Apartment is necessarily a ‘good idea’, merely a concept to provoke discussion. “It raises questions about the designed connection between products and their maintenance or serviceability, and equally about how much consumers consider fair ‘trade’ of their data in the expanded digital economy,” they say.

Today, our data – our selves – are almost as highly sought-after as our wallets and purses. Understanding what we are giving up when we sign our data away and the implications will be one of our greatest future challenges. Brands will reassure us that this is a fair exchange, or at least that it is our choice, made with adequate knowledge and understanding of what we are getting ourselves into. But as we are beginning to find out, it is an exchange that is almost impossible to evaluate. Particularly when what seems on an individual basis to be relatively harmless, becomes something else altogether when occurring at mass scale.

We’ve arranged a society based on science and technology, in which nobody understands anything about science and technology. And this combustible mixture of ignorance and power, sooner or later, is going to blow up in our faces. Who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don’t know anything about it?” Carl Sagan, interviewed by Charlie Rose, 1996 

NEW OLD, the first in a series of pop-up exhibitions at the Design Museum in London, runs until  February 19. It is curated by Jeremy Myerson, Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design at the Royal College of Art, and sponsored by the Helen Hamlyn Trust, and AXA PPP healthcare, supported by Arthritis Research UK

The 'service side' of the Amazin Apartment installation at the Design Museum's NEW OLD show
The ‘service side’ of the Amazin Apartment installation at the Design Museum’s NEW OLD show

The post What if Amazon did housing? appeared first on Creative Review.

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The Jollylook Is a ‘Retro’ Folding Polaroid Camera Made from Recycled Cardboard

The Jollylook is a new camera concept that merges the retro form-factor of a fold out camera utilizing polaroid film, and it’s fabricated primarily from recycled cardboard. Despite the bare-bones construction the Jollylook has an adjustable aperture, lens settings for different shooting modes (landscape, portrait, group, or macro), and a crank for extracting the polaroid once the image is taken. All you have to do is load it up with commonly available Fujifilm “instax mini” instant film cartridges. The project is currently funding on Kickstarter and reached their goal in just a few hours. (via PetaPixel)

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National Geographic Infographics – 128 years of “using art to explain”

Founded in 1888, National Geographic remains one of the longest-running magazines in the world and one of the most recognisable – its cover photography and familiar yellow border (a trademark) give the title a unique presence on the newsstand. Inside, it remains distinctive, too, and the magazine’s range of infographics – the various charts and diagrams, maps and illustrations it employs – have given it considerable standing as a scientific publication.

A new book from Taschen focuses on this one aspect of its story – how its infographics have helped to visualise aspects of history, science and technology, geography, the natural world – and man’s impact on it – within the magazine’s pages.

As its Deputy Creative Director Kaitlin Yarnall explains in her introduction, when the first issue of National Geographic was mailed to the 200 charter members of the National Geographic Society in October of 1888, the edition contained no photographs. What did it have, however, were maps, charts and diagrams.

“We are deployed to subjects that can’t be photographed,” writes Yarnall of the continuing efforts of the visual department. “Things too small (atoms!), too big (black holes!), too complex (migration patterns!), too old (Roman ruins!), too conceptual (dark energy!), or too numeric (trade flows!) to be photographed are our specialty.”

Taschen’s book is a huge undertaking. There are hundreds of inforgraphics to pore over and so, here, we present ten examples that highlight a range of approaches in use from the 1960s to the present day. “Some of the most powerful tools we can deploy are maps, graphics, charts, diagrams, and illustrations,” Yarnall says. “We’re in the business of using art to explain.”

National Geographic – Infographics is published by Taschen (£44.99). See taschen.com

The World of Flowers, May 1968. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
The World of Flowers, May 1968. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

This 1968 map shows, as the original caption explains, “the origins of 117 of man’s favourite flowers” – the spread of which has been enabled by the movements of people, “explorers, conquerers, and adventurers”. The caption expands on this: “Holland’s tulip is a native of Turkey; the ‘French’ marigold arrived in Europe with the return of the conquistadors from Mexico”. To make the map, geographic artist Ned Seidler consulted Dr Mildred E Mathias, professor of botany at the University of California.

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Firefighting, July 1968. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Firefighting, July 1968. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

This illustration drawn by RV Nicholson depicts the methods used (in the 1960s) to fight forest fires. “Fighting fire,” runs the caption, “like waging war, demands a battle plan”. The main aim shown here is the carving of “8-to-20-foot-wide fire lines. When the legions join lines in the path of the fire – over the crest of the mountain – they will contain the flames”.

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The Animals of Africa: A Continent’s Living Treasures, February 1972. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
The Animals of Africa: A Continent’s Living Treasures, February 1972. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

The Animals of Africa: A Continent’s Living Treasures appeared in the February 1972 edition of National Geographic and incorporated paintings by staff artist Ned Seidler and maps by Elie Sabban. Research was carried out by Jean B McConville, while the project was developed in consultation with Dr Theodore H Reed, then director of the National Zoological Park in Washington, DC. “Beside each animal, a map depicts its range in the early 1970s (in most cases larger and more expansive than current estimates),” explain the Taschen editors. “Where an illustration such as that for the zebra embraces several species, the map shows a composite of their habitats.”

———

Columbia Spacelab 1, September 1983. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Columbia Spacelab 1, September 1983. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

In 1983, Dale Gustafson painted this image of the Columbia space shuttle along with its its Spacelab 1 laboratory module that fitted inside the cargo for an article on the craft by Michael E Long. Columbia’s ten-day mission, launched on November 28, was “a joint venture between NASA and the ESA to conduct over 70 different experiments—in the fields of astronomy, physics, life sciences, and many others—to demonstrate that advanced research in space was possible.”

———

The Atom, May 1985. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
The Atom, May 1985. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

Illustrator and comics artist Barron Storey created this striking infographic – Milestones on the Inward Path – to explain our understanding of the atom (as it stood in the mid-1980s). Artistically, it is one of the most unusual approaches taken by National Geographic – and manages to be both informative and beautiful. In 1979, Storey became the first artist to be create the first official painting of the NASA space shuttle.

———

How We Perceive and How We Are Deceived, November 1992. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
How We Perceive and How We Are Deceived, November 1992. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

This inforgraphic, How We Perceive and How We Are Deceived aimed to show how “visual illusions can be more than curiosities, since studying people’s reactions to them may also reveal how the visual system works,” write the Taschen editors. “In the above graphic, the act of seeing a bird begins as our lenses focus the image, inverted, on the retina at the back of each eye. Within this sliver of neural tissue, millions of photo-receptor cells parse the image into an array of components. The bird’s colours, shape, and motion are received as photons of light and coded into electrical impulses, which are then channeled to the cortex where they are analysed and interpreted. Finally, the brain creates our perception of the bird, instantly and right-side up.”

———

Sea turtles, February 1994. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Sea turtles, February 1994. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

Painted by Dutch artist Braldt Bralds for the February 1994 edition of National Geographic, this image details the seven species of sea turtles (the black turtle is considered a sub-species of the green), all of which are threatened or endangered.

———

Space, December 2006. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Space, December 2006. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

Dana Berry of Skyworks Digital’s spectacular impression of Saturn (viewed from above its north pole) shows how the planet resembles “a miniature solar system”. The graphics, which include 14 of its 35 named moons, were based on NASA images and created with support from consultants at several leading universities.

———

Cheetahs, November 2010. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Cheetahs, November 2010. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

This infographic from the November 2010 edition is by Jason Treat and Bryan Christie and conveys how each part of the cheetah’s body – from its “propulsive spine” to rudder-like tail – contributes to its title of ‘fastest land animal’.

———

Vanishing Venice, August 2009. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Vanishing Venice, August 2009. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

Virginia W Mason created this graphic of Venice depicting how rising tides and sinking foundations are contributing to its flooding – “two factors that have, for centuries, threatened to submerge the city entirely,” runs the Taschen caption. “Some say the most regular flooding, however, is tourism: in 2007, the resident population was 60,000, while the number of visitors reached 21 million.” The money from tourism is however helping the city defences – in the form of a controversial plan that started in 2003. The MOSE project is a series of floodgates “that can be raised to stem the flow of seawater into Venice’s lagoon. With much of the city vulnerable to flooding, including the famous Piazza San Marco (one of the lowest spots in the city), officials hope the gates will buy Venice some time, while critics worry about the ballooning cost and the effect on local ecology.”

———

Cover of National Geographic – Infographics (Taschen)
Cover of National Geographic – Infographics (Taschen)

National Geographic – Infographics is published by Taschen (£44.99). See taschen.com

The post National Geographic Infographics – 128 years of “using art to explain” appeared first on Creative Review.

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National Geographic Infographics – 128 years of “using art to explain”

Founded in 1888, National Geographic remains one of the longest-running magazines in the world and one of the most recognisable – its cover photography and familiar yellow border (a trademark) give the title a unique presence on the newsstand. Inside, it remains distinctive, too, and the magazine’s range of infographics – the various charts and diagrams, maps and illustrations it employs – have given it considerable standing as a scientific publication.

A new book from Taschen focuses on this one aspect of its story – how its infographics have helped to visualise aspects of history, science and technology, geography, the natural world – and man’s impact on it – within the magazine’s pages.

As its Deputy Creative Director Kaitlin Yarnall explains in her introduction, when the first issue of National Geographic was mailed to the 200 charter members of the National Geographic Society in October of 1888, the edition contained no photographs. What did it have, however, were maps, charts and diagrams.

“We are deployed to subjects that can’t be photographed,” writes Yarnall of the continuing efforts of the visual department. “Things too small (atoms!), too big (black holes!), too complex (migration patterns!), too old (Roman ruins!), too conceptual (dark energy!), or too numeric (trade flows!) to be photographed are our specialty.”

Taschen’s book is a huge undertaking. There are hundreds of inforgraphics to pore over and so, here, we present ten examples that highlight a range of approaches in use from the 1960s to the present day. “Some of the most powerful tools we can deploy are maps, graphics, charts, diagrams, and illustrations,” Yarnall says. “We’re in the business of using art to explain.”

National Geographic – Infographics is published by Taschen (£44.99). See taschen.com

The World of Flowers, May 1968. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
The World of Flowers, May 1968. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

This 1968 map shows, as the original caption explains, “the origins of 117 of man’s favourite flowers” – the spread of which has been enabled by the movements of people, “explorers, conquerers, and adventurers”. The caption expands on this: “Holland’s tulip is a native of Turkey; the ‘French’ marigold arrived in Europe with the return of the conquistadors from Mexico”. To make the map, geographic artist Ned Seidler consulted Dr Mildred E Mathias, professor of botany at the University of California.

———

Firefighting, July 1968. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Firefighting, July 1968. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

This illustration drawn by RV Nicholson depicts the methods used (in the 1960s) to fight forest fires. “Fighting fire,” runs the caption, “like waging war, demands a battle plan”. The main aim shown here is the carving of “8-to-20-foot-wide fire lines. When the legions join lines in the path of the fire – over the crest of the mountain – they will contain the flames”.

———

The Animals of Africa: A Continent’s Living Treasures, February 1972. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
The Animals of Africa: A Continent’s Living Treasures, February 1972. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

The Animals of Africa: A Continent’s Living Treasures appeared in the February 1972 edition of National Geographic and incorporated paintings by staff artist Ned Seidler and maps by Elie Sabban. Research was carried out by Jean B McConville, while the project was developed in consultation with Dr Theodore H Reed, then director of the National Zoological Park in Washington, DC. “Beside each animal, a map depicts its range in the early 1970s (in most cases larger and more expansive than current estimates),” explain the Taschen editors. “Where an illustration such as that for the zebra embraces several species, the map shows a composite of their habitats.”

———

Columbia Spacelab 1, September 1983. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Columbia Spacelab 1, September 1983. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

In 1983, Dale Gustafson painted this image of the Columbia space shuttle along with its its Spacelab 1 laboratory module that fitted inside the cargo for an article on the craft by Michael E Long. Columbia’s ten-day mission, launched on November 28, was “a joint venture between NASA and the ESA to conduct over 70 different experiments—in the fields of astronomy, physics, life sciences, and many others—to demonstrate that advanced research in space was possible.”

———

The Atom, May 1985. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
The Atom, May 1985. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

Illustrator and comics artist Barron Storey created this striking infographic – Milestones on the Inward Path – to explain our understanding of the atom (as it stood in the mid-1980s). Artistically, it is one of the most unusual approaches taken by National Geographic – and manages to be both informative and beautiful. In 1979, Storey became the first artist to be create the first official painting of the NASA space shuttle.

———

How We Perceive and How We Are Deceived, November 1992. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
How We Perceive and How We Are Deceived, November 1992. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

This inforgraphic, How We Perceive and How We Are Deceived aimed to show how “visual illusions can be more than curiosities, since studying people’s reactions to them may also reveal how the visual system works,” write the Taschen editors. “In the above graphic, the act of seeing a bird begins as our lenses focus the image, inverted, on the retina at the back of each eye. Within this sliver of neural tissue, millions of photo-receptor cells parse the image into an array of components. The bird’s colours, shape, and motion are received as photons of light and coded into electrical impulses, which are then channeled to the cortex where they are analysed and interpreted. Finally, the brain creates our perception of the bird, instantly and right-side up.”

———

Sea turtles, February 1994. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Sea turtles, February 1994. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

Painted by Dutch artist Braldt Bralds for the February 1994 edition of National Geographic, this image details the seven species of sea turtles (the black turtle is considered a sub-species of the green), all of which are threatened or endangered.

———

Space, December 2006. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Space, December 2006. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

Dana Berry of Skyworks Digital’s spectacular impression of Saturn (viewed from above its north pole) shows how the planet resembles “a miniature solar system”. The graphics, which include 14 of its 35 named moons, were based on NASA images and created with support from consultants at several leading universities.

———

Cheetahs, November 2010. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Cheetahs, November 2010. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

This infographic from the November 2010 edition is by Jason Treat and Bryan Christie and conveys how each part of the cheetah’s body – from its “propulsive spine” to rudder-like tail – contributes to its title of ‘fastest land animal’.

———

Vanishing Venice, August 2009. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license
Vanishing Venice, August 2009. © National Geographic Partners, LLC All rights reserved NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society, used under license

Virginia W Mason created this graphic of Venice depicting how rising tides and sinking foundations are contributing to its flooding – “two factors that have, for centuries, threatened to submerge the city entirely,” runs the Taschen caption. “Some say the most regular flooding, however, is tourism: in 2007, the resident population was 60,000, while the number of visitors reached 21 million.” The money from tourism is however helping the city defences – in the form of a controversial plan that started in 2003. The MOSE project is a series of floodgates “that can be raised to stem the flow of seawater into Venice’s lagoon. With much of the city vulnerable to flooding, including the famous Piazza San Marco (one of the lowest spots in the city), officials hope the gates will buy Venice some time, while critics worry about the ballooning cost and the effect on local ecology.”

———

Cover of National Geographic – Infographics (Taschen)
Cover of National Geographic – Infographics (Taschen)

National Geographic – Infographics is published by Taschen (£44.99). See taschen.com

The post National Geographic Infographics – 128 years of “using art to explain” appeared first on Creative Review.

http://ift.tt/1KjyLUn

Preview: Fat Free Art Present the 1st annual Bizarre Bazaar, a found art exhibition, 02/02/17 NYC

Fat Free Art is pleased to present the 1st annual Bizarre Bazaar, a found art exhibtion. This year’s show will feature art on found objets by the following tallented street artists: Icy+Sot, SUCKADELIC, Jules Muck, Free Humanity, Raphael Gonzalez, Curb Your Ego, JPO, ASVP, SacSix, loveMKM, Hektad, Frank Ape, City Kitty, Adrian Wilson, Urbanimal, Bianca Romero, what you willl leave behind, Matthew Stavro, Narcossist, Rep 1, E.F. Higgins, Douglas Higginbotham, Ivy Naté, Chika Yoshii, Tomaso Alberti, & Jonas Raider. 

Fat Free Art is a new gallery located in the Lower East Side Manhattan dedicated to showcasing the best street art NYC has to offer.  This show in particular challenged the artists to create original pieces based around found objects.  Each artist intertwined their trademark style with some of the every day objects one ignores or throws away on their daily commute through New York City.  Tonights preview for friends and family was packed so get to the opening early!

Fat Free Art – 102 Allen Street, New York, New York 10002

Come out to celebrate the opening of this one-of-a-kind show on Feburary 2nd, from 7 – 10PM.

Beer kegs and boxed wine will be provided! Let the Bizarre festivities begin!

All Photo’s & Text Copyright 2017 Matthew A. Eller.  Follow me on Instagram @ellerlawfirm

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Hyperrealistic Paintings of Bulging, Decorative Rugs by Antonio Santin

"corona" (2015), oil on canvas, 59x98.5 inches, all images via Antonio Santin

“corona” (2015), oil on canvas, 59×98.5 inches, all images via Antonio Santin

Antonio Santin produces works that are nearly impossible to identify as paintings, hyperrealistic depictions of decorative rugs covered in complex floral arrangements and patterns. Each piece is composed of thousands of paint strokes that mimic the texture of a rug’s weave, thick segments of oil paint that transform his nearly five-foot long canvases.

Adding another layer of difficulty to the detailed paintings, Santin includes bulges and creases that appear to obscure large masses beneath his 2D surfaces. Previously working with still lifes, Santin told The Creators Project that the rugs were a way for him to get rid of the figure within his works while still holding on to the outline of its shape. He calls his rug series “figurative paintings without a figure,” eerie pieces that give an illusion of a body hidden beneath the surface.

The New York-based artist was born in Madrid, Spain in 1978, and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2005. You can see more of his rug paintings on his website and Instagram. (via The Creators Project)

“alicia” (2014), oil on canvas, 73×110 inches

"flushing meats" (2014), oil on canvas, 56x98 inches

“flushing meats” (2014), oil on canvas, 56×98 inches

"festland" (2014), oil on canvas, 52x97 inches

“festland” (2014), oil on canvas, 52×97 inches

"incest coin" (2015), oil on canvas, 78 inches

“incest coin” (2015), oil on canvas, 78 inches

"dystopian blues" (2014), oil on canvas, 78x90 inches

“dystopian blues” (2014), oil on canvas, 78×90 inches

"Claire" (2014), oil on canvas, 94 1/2 inches

“Claire” (2014), oil on canvas, 94 1/2 inches

"Claire" (detail) (2014), oil on canvas, 94.5 inches

“Claire” (detail) (2014), oil on canvas, 94.5 inches

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fringe benefits.

pink ragamuf chair cover. / sfgirlbybay

ragamuf chair covers — handmade by Syrian refugee women near the border in Turkey. ragamuf hires syrian women without a livelihood to enable them to live fulfilling, independent lives.

why oh why do we love fringe so much? i think it must stem from some happy childhood memory — a whimsical frilly party dress we once wore, or perhaps a pink tutu worn in dance class. whatever it is, fringe is in and apparently makes us just a little bit giddy. everyone went gah-gah when i posted this Hans-Agne Jakobsson fringe lamp on instagram, so it was a big hint you’re fans of fringe. i went on the hunt for a few more fringe benefits.

pink and white cindy zell gulfoss wall hanging. / sfgirlbybay

cindy zell gulfoss wall hanging (above + below).

pink and white and gold cindy zell gulfoss wall hanging. / sfgirlbybay

pink fringe throw pillow. / sfgirlbybay

anke drechsel silk velvet fringe pillow from abc carpet & home

indigo * africa eyelash hamper, salmon lidded basket and mini eyelash fringe basket. / sfgirlbybay

indigo * africa eyelash hamper, salmon lidded basket and mini eyelash fringe basket.

le petit moose handwoven wall hangings. / sfgirlbybay

le petit moose handwoven wall hangings.

pink eyelash Fringe Sham Set from urban outfitters. / sfgirlbybay

Eyelash Fringe Sham Set from urban outfitters.

 

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