In 1927, Dorothy Gerber was straining vegetables through a seive to make them edible for her baby daughter Sally. Her husband, Daniel Gerber, owned a canning factory. He said that machines in the factory could carry out that process a lot faster. Dorothy proposed that he do precisely that.
Thus was born the Gerber baby products commercial empire.
To market his products better, Gerber held a contest to compose an image of a baby that could serve as a logo. Dorothy Hope Smith, an artist, made a charcoal sketch of a baby who lived nearby. This baby was Anne Turner Cook. Smith won the contest and Cook went down in advertising history at the Gerber Baby.
Cook is now 87 years old and every bit as lovely as she was eight decades ago. CBS News interviewed her about her life as the Gerber Baby. You can watch the video here.
A food truck is a mobile kitchen where you go to get food. A reverse food truck is a place to go and donate food and money. Finnegans, a brewery in Minneapolis, made one in order to help feed hungry people in the Upper Midwest. Martin Williams, the company's pro bono ad agency, proposed the idea and Jacquie Berglund, the founder and CEO of Finnegans, ran with it.
The truck travels wherever people congregate in Minneapolis. Sometimes people mistake it for a regular food truck and try to place orders. Organizer Angie Lee says:
They'll try and order a hamburger or a taco and we say no, we're actually taking food. And then they're like, oh my gosh, this is the coolest thing ever.
Finnegans hopes to collect $50,000 worth of food over the summer using the truck.
"What time is it?" You may say that question at work or hear it from your co-workers. But this question is really asking something else: "Can we go home yet?" This wall clock by M&Co will answer that question one way or another. Until we have a "yes," the minutes will drag on.
In the beginning, after focus group testing, God created the heaven and the earth. Unfortunately, being an inexperienced designer, he did not understand that clients do not always express their desires in a clear manner.
On the seventh day, he rested from his labors. Mike Lacher, having examined the preliminary design, sent a lengthy email to God about what he saw so far:
Thanks so much for the latest round of work. Really coming together. Few points of feedback:
1 – Really liking the whole light thing but not totally sure about the naming system. “Day” and “night” are OK but we feel like there’s more we can do here. Thoughts? Definitely need to nail this down ASAP.
2 – Re: the “sky”… not really feeling the color here. Would like something that pops more. Please send additional options. […]
6 – Seas teeming with life is fine, but again, we need to reduce the sea. This is a showstopper for us.
7 – Are the winged birds final, or placeholder? Some kind of weird stuff going on with those. Just want to get some clarification before giving more feedback.
8 – Can we get more livestock and wild animals that move along the ground according to their kinds? Again, the passion points for our target users (slide eighteen) are ground and animals that move along the ground. Whatever we can do to increase the amount of ground will go a long way toward converting our users from passive consumers into brand evangelists. […]
Realize it’s Saturday and you were planning to be OOO tomorrow to admire your creation and everything, but I’m hoping you can keep rolling on this through the weekend. Need to get this in front of my exec team by EOD Monday so hoping to sync up EOD Sunday. Will be around all weekend via email and chat if anything comes up. Looking to you and your team for a big win here.
Please consider the environment before printing this email
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is, of course, a majestic tale of one man's struggle against the looters who seek to rob him of the fruits of his genius and to break his will and desire to be an individual. Mallory Ortberg quotes at length from it in The Toast:
“Malfoy bought the whole team brand-new Nimbus Cleansweeps!” Ron said, like a poor person. “That’s not fair!”
“Everything that is possible is fair,” Harry reminded him gently. “If he is able to purchase better equipment, that is his right as an individual. How is Draco’s superior purchasing ability qualitatively different from my superior Snitch-catching ability?”
“I guess it isn’t,” Ron said crossly.
Harry laughed, cool and remote, like if a mountain were to laugh. “Someday you’ll understand, Ron.”
At Hogwarts, Harry teaches the other students how to be free. He does this not for their sake, but for his own:
Professor Snape stood at the front of the room, sort of Jewishly. “There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don’t expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However, for those select few who possess, the predisposition…I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death.”
Harry’s hand shot up.
“What is it, Potter?” Snape asked, irritated.
“What’s the value of these potions on the open market?”
“Why are you teaching children how to make these valuable products for ourselves at a schoolteacher’s salary instead of creating products to meet modern demand?”
“You impertinent boy–”
“Conversely, what’s to stop me from selling these potions myself after you teach us how to master them?”
“This is really more of a question for the Economics of Potion-Making, I guess. What time are econ lessons here?”
“We have no economics lessons in this school, you ridiculous boy.”
Harry Potter stood up bravely. “We do now. Come with me if you want to learn about market forces!”
The students poured into the hallway after him. They had a leader at last.
The thrilling anime series Attack on Titan has been a huge hit. Fans around the world have found the story of humans standing against annihilation to be compelling. We've previously seen some of the fan art and tattoos that these fans have made. Now let's look at amazing works of cosplay.
Yuki Goddess a professional cosplayer in Thailand with an impressive portfolio of work, including many costumes inspired by Attack on Titan. Here's a particularly clever one that shows the hero Eren Yeager in battle.
Here's one of the most ingenious, original costumes that I've ever seen. Drabblemeister uses a hoop skirt to show Carla Jaeger being eaten by a titan. (via The Mary Sue)
He's not out of diapers yet, but this toddler is ready to defend humanity. Here's a very young Captain Levi of the Survey Corps. His father, TOMY_papa, made the costume.
It's Christmas time at the Survey Corps' headquarters. Everyone got into the spirit of the season at a cosplay shoot in northern California last year.
One Week Friends (Isshuukan Friends) is a currently-airing anime series that Kotaku's anime critic Richard A. Eisenbeis calls one of the "Five Anime of Spring 2014 You Should Be Watching."
My rule when encountering anime recommendations like that is to try a series for one--and only one--full episode. I did and was immediately hooked.
It's a sweet, romantic tale that is quickly becoming one of my favorite anime series. You can watch it for free on Crunchyroll.
I'm not the only person to find One Week Friends appealing. It's inspired a lot of fan art, the best of which I've rounded up here. Warning: spoilers.
One Week Friends is a high school romance. Yūki Hase, the lead male character, is a typical if somewhat dorky and awkward teenager. He notices that a girl in his class, Kaori Fujimiya, always seems sad. She never talks to anyone and appears to have not a single friend. Karn Wongprasert shows her pain in this digital image.
One Week Friends is so captivating in part because it's so realistic. The characters are flawed people. Hase doesn't know how to approach Fujimiya. He's not suave. He simply walks up to her at the end of class one day, bows politely, and asks if they can be friends. Hase's approach, as shown by Yogi Park, is direct and clumsy. It's also successful.
I had never considered it before Daniel Feit tweeted this photo, but now it's obvious: Robert Picardo, who played the Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, would do an excellent job of playing the Doctor on Doctor Who. He has no name and already has the job title!
And who should be his companion? Jeri Ryan, who played Seven of Nine.
On the right is David Good, a man from Philadelphia. One the left is his mother, Yarima of the Yanomami people of Venezuela.
How this relation came to pass is a long story told in detail at the New York Post. David's father, Kenneth Good, was an anthropology student at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1970s. In 1975, Kenneth went on an expedition to a remote jungle area on the border of Venezuela and Brazil. Arrogant and stubborn, he separated from the group he was travelling with and set out on his own into the unknown.
There Kenneth found the Yanomami tribe. He befriended them and made further visits. On one visit in 1978, the tribe gave Kenneth a young girl as a wife. Her name was Yarima.
Kenneth went in and out of the jungle and did not provide the protection that a husband owes his wife in the Yanomami culture. By 1986, she was pregnant with his child, so he brought her back to the United States. It was impossible for her to adjust:
In November 1986, within a week of arriving in Bryn Mawr, Pa., Yarima went into labor and was panicked by the American hospital: the gurneys, the monitors, the machines, the needles. Once admitted, she sprung herself out of bed and attempted to give birth by squatting in the corner of the hospital room.
“It was so unnatural to her,” Kenneth says. “It went against everything she ever learned.” […]
Meanwhile, his wife was becoming ever more isolated and desperate. While Kenneth was teaching, Yarima would take the $20 he left every morning and go to Dunkin’ Donuts, then the $10 store, where she never knew how much she could buy. She had to adapt to wearing clothes every day and thought that running cars were animals on the attack. She had no friends.
“I miss my family,” Yarima told People magazine. “I want to go home.” Kenneth was her translator.
In 1991, Yarima went back to her people, leaving her young son, David, with his father. Two decades later, David journeyed into the jungle to find her:
He arrived in August 2011, the tribe expecting him. When his mother emerged, he recognized her immediately. She wore wooden shoots through her face and little clothing, and he felt immediately that he was her son in every way.
He’d thought a lot about whether to hug her — he wanted to, but he was too nervous, and the Yanomami don’t hug — so he put his hand on her shoulder and told her what he’d wanted to for years.
“I said, ‘Mama, I made it, I’m home. It took so long, but I made it.’ ” Yarima wept.
Fear not, underappreciated artists! Some day, your sculpture may be used as a bludgeon. You sketches may become fire starters. Your performance art demonstrations . . . well, they will actually be lost forever. But that's probably a good thing.
Miyo Koba, 89, owns Frank’s Superette--a convenience store in Moses Lake, Washington. On Sunday, a man entered and demanded all of the money from the cash register. Koba refused and threatened to stab him with a pair of scissors. The thief pulled out a 3-foot sword and swung it around. Koba was unperturbed: “It just looked like a toy to me, so I didn’t feel threatened.” In fact, she was ready to fight. Koba grabbed a golf club and struck him in the legs.
Desperate to escape, the man ripped the cash register off the counter and fled the scene on a bicycle. Police later discovered the cash register, the sword, the bicycle, and the man’s clothes some distance away.
Matthew McCrory, a photographer in the UK, has a daily photo project that he calls “A Photo a Day of Kermit.” Among other themes, it shows our green friend in the place of characters in famous movie posters, including Jaws and American Beauty. I’m surprised that McCrory can afford the modeling fees that Kermit could surely demand.
This goat and his man ride through the streets of Addis Abada, Ethiopia, on a bicycle. The human glares at the bemused passersby with a camera. Why are they laughing? Can’t a designated driver get any respect? I'm keeping everyone else here safe from this drunken fool.
Two generations ago, American men wore suits and ties everywhere. Looking sharp and feeling uncomfortable was a required part of daily life. We have thankfully abandoned these strangling requirements. Alas, the long term consequences of this trend line are not good.
John Poppleton is a photographic artist in Utah. One night in 2010, he lay awake in a hotel bed in Denver, unable to sleep. It was then that a great idea hit him: use black light to create images. That itself is not a new idea, but Poppleton found an original use for black light. He uses fluorescent paint to create scenes of the night sky on the bodies of women. Then he photographs them under black light. The results are, as you can see, incredibly beautiful. You can see more works in the series here. Content warning: artistic nudity.
Kai Lin, a designer in Brooklyn, developed Klippa, a prosthetic leg for rock climbers. He designed it for American veterans who have lost legs, but would like to continue or take up climbing. Standard prosthetic legs are designed for walking and prove inadequate for the needs of climbers.
To make Klippa a functional tool, Lin interviewed climbers and examined how their legs move. He determined that a climber's leg needs easily replaceable rubber, an elastic pivot point, and a small contact surface with the rock. Animals contributed to the design, too: the foot is shaped like the hoof of a mountain goat.
When the big one hits, you have nothing to worry about because you're probably already napping under your desk. This the LifeGuard, a desk designed to serve as a shelter in the event of an earthquake.
It has steel walls and a floor to prevent punctures by debris. It has padding all around to ensure that even if the desk is thrown around, you may not receive a sharp blow to your body. The padded wedge on the left side provides comfort and is filled with survival gear. You can also lay down flat.
How effective is it? Although there's no indication that the LifeGuard has been in an earthquake, four desks were placed inside a hospital building in California before its controlled demolition. All four desks remained intact.
In 2009, Captain Matthew Freeman, USMC, was killed in action in Afghanistan. His mother, Lisa Freeman, founded the Matthew Freeman Project, a charitable organization, in his memory. Among her many activities with this foundation is the creation of teddy bears made from the uniforms of American soldiers who have died in the line of duty.
Lisa Freeman gives these to children who have lost loved ones in the war. It's a way for her to cope with the pain of her own loss as well as help families grieve and remember. In an interview with CNN, she said:
I don’t know about big, but I think that I’m making a difference . . . It makes me stop and think about Matthew . . . He’s loving that something good is happening out of something so tragic.
Jenny Trieu, an industrial design student at the University of Houston, stands with her award-winning chair named “Infinite.” She is the winner of an annual design competition held by Wilsonart, a manufacturer of household decorative surfaces. The objective of the competition is to build “a show-stopping, eye-popping chair using Wilsonart laminate.” As a result of her win, Trieu will win a scholarship and be entered into a design competition in New York City.
The looping Infinite bends into itself, creating a continuous surface and a place to sit. It’s made with a plywood rib cage, which is then covered in layers of a laminate.
This panda was born last year at the Chengdu Research Base in Sichuan, China. He’s slowly learning how to hunt and slay prey. Carefully, he stalks the wild bamboo shoots, moving slowly so as not to startle them. Then, at the right moment, he strikes!
Alas, fortune did not smile on the panda today. The bamboo got away and the panda got a bruising.
A well-formed nipple can make all the difference. If a bottle's nipple doesn't reflect the action of a baby's mouth or the opening becomes easily stopped, a baby won't eat properly. That's why Pigeon, a Japanese company that makes baby care products, subjects its nipples to high-tech testing.
At its research and development facility north of Tokyo, Pigeon uses 200 mothers and babies to learn more about the biomechanical processes of nursing. Data gathered from ultrasound sensors placed beneath the chins of feeding babies is particularly helpful. Ayai Tomisawa writes for Reuters:
"Babies can't tell us if they're comfortable with the bottles. For babies who can't drink from the bottle well, we can't ask what's bothering them, so we came up with using ultrasound devices," Nakata said.
Babies are born with a natural reflex to help them find and latch on to the mother's nipple which, when it touches the roof of the baby's mouth, triggers rhythmical cycles of sucking - called the peristaltic movement - in which the tongue compresses the nipple.
They're not cut and glued together. Instructables member tofu911 wove them together by hand. You can find his/her instructions here. This would be great for an inexpensive Spider-Man cosplay. Or perhaps you have a co-worker whose greatest contribution to the company would be to sit still and not touch anything. Just print out these instructions and hand over a box of rubber bands from the office supply cabinet.
A woman who has lost a breast to cancer may feel the need to undergo cosmetic surgery or wear prostheses to adjust to the loss. There is nothing wrong with this response.
But some women may take a different approach. Elina, the model pictured above, is more open about her experience:
I do not want to hide, I do not want to stop swimming, I do not want to undergo extensive plastic surgery operations, and I do not want to be forced to use the uncomfortable prosthesis on the beach. I want to feel as free and active as I did before my cancer . . . .
That's why she and several other women are participating in the Monokini 2.0 project. This is a line of swimwear developed by several Finnish fashion designers aimed specifically at the needs of women who have lost a breast to cancer. Elina Halttunen conceived of it as a practical response to her own needs:
The idea of Monokini 2.0 was born out of a need for clothing down as much as possible during a persistent heat wave. Having only one breast made finding fitting bikinis difficult, therefore I fashioned my own Monokini. Having done that, I thought that maybe there would be others out there like me, women who wanted swimwear that would not make them feel that they were missing a breast. Besides, being one-breasted creates great possibilities for cool swimwear design.
There's no Photoshop here! DeviantART member schaduwlichtje is an artist in the Netherlands who specializes in folding pages in books to create images and words. She made this sculpture by folding individual pages with chopsticks. It's a great visual representation for how you can get sucked in by a good story or a demonically-possessed book.
You can see more of her work here. Print book lovers: fear not for the fate of these books. Schaduwlichtje works at a used book store which receives more donations than it could possibly sell.
That bubble of water is Strokkur, a geyser in the West Fjords of Iceland, just as it erupts. The name translates into English as "churn." Every three to seven minutes, it shoots water 98 feet into the air.
Strokkur was first reported in 1789 and may have been formed as a result of the horrendous volcanic eruption in Iceland from 1783-1784. It later fell dormant, but drilling in 1963 reactivated it.