Back in my undergrad days, I used to front a band…  Oh, it was glorious, we had a blast, and the guys are all pro musicians now.  Another crazy picture of me with hair:

Jim and Chet Atkins, rocking the Suburbs

We had so much fun!!!  I used to wear those crazy shirts at gigs at the bars in town that were all Japanese and silky and dragony and such, and of COURSE the silver mirror shirt!  I have been looking all over the place today looking for a picture of that great shirt, but I can’t find one anywhere!  Oh it was shiny, I bet the house lighting guys hated me… I was surfing some design blogs and found this lovely light catcher, reminded me of the old days!

(ok, now imagine a guy singing blues and wearing a shirt made out of the same material as her hoodie…)

LOOK AT THAT HELMET!  This is Natalie Walsh‘s creation (Natalina on Instructables), and this Disco Ball Helmet comes from her Instructable.  I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you used to be in a band, you’re Brandon Flowers, you’re a fabulous narcoleptic, or you’re fabulousness is equal to or greater than that of our own Daphne Mir — although I’m not sure how MORE fabulousness is possible…

WAY too freaking cool, Natalie! thinks you rock!  Check out Natalie Walsh’s design portfolio, she’s got the skills.

Thanks, PSFK!

Moray McLaren’s “We Got Time” Music Video – Praxinoscope Heaven

Do you know what a praxinoscope is?  Have you ever heard of a zoetrope?  It’s similar in structure, but better in output:

The praxinoscope was an animation device, the successor to the zoetrope. It was invented in France in 1877 by Charles-Émile Reynaud. Like the zoetrope, it used a strip of pictures placed around the inner surface of a spinning cylinder. The praxinoscope improved on the zoetrope by replacing its narrow viewing slits with an inner circle of mirrors, placed so that the reflections of the pictures appeared more or less stationary in position as the wheel turned. Someone looking in the mirrors would therefore see a rapid succession of images producing the illusion of motion, with a brighter and less distorted picture than the zoetrope offered.


The director of Moray McLaren’s recent music video made a bunch of praxinoscope plates (drew and colored them) and set up a series of the device for the video.  I have to say that it is one cool example of the Law of Reflection!

Check out the video:

Thanks, Scene360 and Wikipedia!

Frosted Glass VS Scotch Tape

Okay, this is one of the neatest tricks – frosted glass + Scotch tape = clear glass.  You have to see this:

Is this magic?  Is this some kind of interstellar phenomenon?  It is certainly cool and mysterious, but it makes sense if you think about the way that light, reflection, and refraction work together.  This is a very simple analogy, but imagine a stretch of blacktop on a highway – when the sun is shining on it on a dry day, the blacktop is rough and not reflective at all.  The matte surface of the blacktop, if anything, has a diffuse surface that takes a beam of light and turns it into many beams of light, all separate and at less strength than the original – just like velour or a busted piece of porcelain.  I made a few images to express this phenomenon – the first shows a beam of light (incident light) hitting the surface of a matte object:

matte reflection

In the case of a frosted piece of glass, some light makes it through the glass (is refracted), but nothing in its original beam form – it is very diffused and spread, like so:

matte refraction

The Scotch tape trick is pretty cool, as it basically fills in the rough surface of the matte glass with the adhesive and whatever other goodies are in the glue on a piece of Scotch tape, allowing the light to pass through the frosted glass without a lot of extra refraction and diffusion.  The tape acts as a filler, in other words, giving less spread to the frosted glass, as below:

low refraction

Now obviously in the image above I have not accounted for real refraction, the normal angle of the glass, or any of the factors that would basically make the smarty pantses of the world say “a beam of light would never just pass through the two materials without SOME kind of refraction and diffusion!”  Well, you’re right.  My illustration was more to show that the diffusion would be less.  But does the overall point make sense?