Carpets that glow; the future of flooring

luminous

It can be hard for a business to stand out. Signs and email marketing campaigns are old school. How about making an impression from the ground up?

What are Luminous Carpets?

Brand new lighting technology is allowing for LED lights to be imbedded in carpet, meaning companies can display directions or even advertisements to people in ways they’re not expecting.

A system called Luminous Carpets lets you touch your smartphone or tablet, and then lights under your feet brightly display images or words. Even dynamic moving images are an option.

Just a few ways Luminous Carpets can be used:

  • Draw in crowds at tradeshows, with eye-catching floor displays
  • Greet and guide hotel guests, making them feel welcome
  • Go hand in hand with the aesthetics of your building, with high-quality carpet material that looks good even when the lights are off.

 

luminous_carpets_teatro_madrid“Luminous Carpets combine Philips LED technology with resilient but luxurious looking Desso carpet, explains the website for the technology, “The result is a durable, stylish flooring solution that you can use to greet, impress and inform people in new and exciting ways.”

Luminous Carpets can be connected to electrical or IT infrastructure, and synced to run a variety of pre-programmed light displays. Or, you can change the lights on-demand from tablet and any other networked devices.

How Luminous carpets work

The thin LED panels and lights pair with ‘light transmissive carpet tiles’ to allow light to shine right through the carpet on the floor. The LEDs are built into enclosed units that are strong enough to be walked on while still protecting against liquids or spills, and they’re designed not to overheat.

While the business and commercial applications are obvious, it could be pure fun to have something like this in a  home. Sick of your boring beige carpets? Why not sparkle things up with gold lights? Celebrating a birthday? You can write a bold welcome message for the celebrant’s arrival. Think of the fun you could have.

Want to find out more? Check out the website.luminous_carpets_cubics

‘Missing’ Calgary Herald Gargoyle found on eBay? Owner asks $4500

For many years, a gaggle of gargoyles presided over the Len Werry building that housed the Calgary Herald.   Rebuilding and renovations saw them removed from the building, and some were sold off to history and art buffs or former employees, while others were put away for storage to be re-used in the future.  Some, according to an article in the paper, are ‘missing’ or perhaps their ownership was never properly recorded. Continue reading “‘Missing’ Calgary Herald Gargoyle found on eBay? Owner asks $4500”

Artists to use old farm equipment to create giant walk-in camera

graineryFour artists are banding together to create works of art inside a giant empty grain bin.  The project will create a massive ‘camera obscura’ inside the old corrugated metal structure.

The plan is unfolding at the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage northeast of Nanton, Alberta. Camera obscura is Latin for ‘dark room,’  and as the group undertaking the project explains it, “the basic idea is to have light enter through a pinhole into a dark space; thereby creating a projected image,” says Dr. Josephine Mills, Director/Curator at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery. “This is the forerunner of the camera and the source of the name of this technology.”

Pinhole camera technology is one of the earliest forms of photography, and using the grain bin just takes something that can be make out of a cereal boxSketches or cardboard tube, and expands it to a huge scale, with what could be very interesting results.

“I’ve always wanted to exhibit the fabulous contraptions built by Kamloops artist Donald Lawrence to take pinhole photographs and make projected images,” explains Mills, “When I heard about Donald’s major SSHRC Research Creation Grant and the team of artists he had put together for the project, I knew that bringing these artists to work at the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage was a perfect match,”

So what will the finished photographs look like?

Calgary artist Dianne Bos is setting up her “See the Stars” prospector’s tent where she’ll make cyanotype prints.  “Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print, says Mills.  “It was used by engineers well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost way to produce copies of drawings called blueprints.”

A simple pinhole camera
A simple pinhole camera

Holly Ward, from Vancouver, is using cyanotype photography to explore the Coutts’ herbarium collection and will provide demonstrations throughout the day.  Sarah Fuller, based in Ottawa, will install video projects related to the Coutts home and gardens and conduct an Anthotype workshop using local spinach.

The Prairie Sun Project, as it’s being called happens on August 21, 2016 is the first project involving major Canadian artists creating work at the Coutts Centre.

If you don’t know Goatstigram, you’re missing the best of the internet

goatstigram3We all know baby animals are adorable.  After all, small creatures doing cute things make people (and YouTube) a lot of money and garners millions of views online.

No surprise then that an Instagram account featuring nothing but goats is gaining popularity. “Goatstigram” has more than 15,000 followers (at the time I’m writing this) of its adorable posts featuring a small but spunky cast of pygmy goats named Blackie, Whitey, Kendall and the mischievous Kevin.goatstigram2

My sisters introduced me to Goatstigram’s feed which features short videos and photos.  While some pictures are just downright adorable, it’s the videos of hilariously benign goat scraps, twisty leaps, I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up spills, as well as what can only be described as goatnastics that have made me laugh until I cry.

Yes, I usually write about technology, but we all have hobbies, and for the last several months mine has been watching the @Goatstigram antics. I love this account so much, I thought I needed to see what’s behind the curtain, so to speak.  So I tracked down Quinn, who runs the account, and owns the goats.

Erin: Why did you want goats? Where did you get the goats?

baby whitey and blackieQuinn: I have a good friend Karl, who had two goats, Slasher and Jens.  Growing up he would take them to football games, for walks on leashes, they would butt heads, and most importantly munch on their grass. He was really trying to convince me to get goats. Funny, odd little pets, and not having to mow my lawn? Sounded interesting.  At the same time, as it turned out, I got in touch with some friends I hadn’t seen for years and they raise goats too! They told me if I ever had to leave town, I could just bring my goats over for a play date with their goats.

I ended up going online to the local classifieds and started looking for baby goats because they looked really adorable.

first morning home
Quinn’s favourite photo: Blackie and Whitey on their first morning home.

I found an amazing lady about 60 miles away that had some purebred pygmy goats.  Her goats are top notch, registered, great blood lines… and sell quickly. I put my name on the waiting list for the next babies being born. Sure enough she gave me a call one day and I drove up to see the babies.  I instantly fell in love.  The babies have to stay with the mother for a few months before I could take them home. I visited them almost every week until I could take them home.  These were the first pets I ever had!  I learned a lot about goats, safety, how to care for them, and this wonderful lady helped me a lot too.  So I built some fences, made the play area, and the rest is history.  They are so much fun and I love them to death.

EL: Where did the names come from, I guess Blackie and Whitey are obvious…so particularly “Kevin”?

 

scared of me
Blackie & Whitey; two little scaredy cats when Quinn first got them.

Q: After I had Blackie and Whitey for a while, I wanted to grow the family. I gave my goat lady a call, and got Kevin as a baby. When it came time to name Kevin, my friend Karl had compiled a list of goat names for me to consider. Names like “Apple” or “Monkey” or “Chupacabra” or even “Grand Old Flag” and in my humble opinion, none of those names really connected with this sweet baby goat.  I had another friend suggest the name “Kevin” after accompanying me up to the goat farm.  I thought it was a little atypical, an honestly a strange name for a baby goat.

The next logical step was to call Karl to talk about potential names, and I mentioned someone suggested Kevin.

He said, “Kevin?!?  Could you imagine, Whitey, Blackie…(typical goat names)….and KEVIN?!?”

We both started laughing and couldn’t stop for about an hour thinking about the name Kevin for a baby goat. Now I think it is possibly the best name ever and nothing fits little Kevin better.

Everyone forgets about Kendall, and I think she is the most underrated goat I have.  She was named after one of my best friends.  Kendall has the best style when jumping, she is really active and super fun.

What made you want to start sharing the goats’ antics?

first winter

I had been sharing the goats on my private, personal Instagram account for about 8 months.  My personal account became about 90% goat pictures and videos. I have a few close friends and family members that told me that I needed to make a goat only account. They said my videos were awesome and I just had to share them with the world.  I became convinced when some friends said their favorite activity as a family, was to go back and watch and re-watch my goat videos every Sunday night. At that point I decided to go for it and started Goatstigram.  I think the goats, to a small extent, spread a little joy in the world.  That is why I share.

(Regarding the photo above) When Whitey and Blackie had been at my house for 3 months, we had a very cold December with temperatures down to 10 degrees Farenheit at night.  I bought some blankets and they cuddled right up!
EL: I’ve seen Kevin riding in the car but are the goats allowed into your home?

Q: I don’t have the goats come in the house because they don’t control their bowels, so I’m staying away from that one.  But, I will sometimes go into other people’s homes and have Kevin on my lap in a blanket.

I take Kevin on car rides because he is so small and easy to transport, and he always stays right by me on his leash!  We go hiking, to parties, camping, etc… When he gets big and I have to put him in a carrier in the truck bed, I will take him less places.

EL: Are you on any other social media or web platforms with the goats? Any plans to expand?

Q: If by expand you mean more baby goats… then YES!  Right now I am only actively on Instagram. No other plans, but who knows! It is super fun knowing my kids make people smile and laugh all across the world. I’m thrilled I have such a fun way to share.

EL : One last question, and since I’m usually writing about technology, it’s tech related: Have you ever thought of getting a GoPro camera for the goats to wear? You could make some pretty interesting videos.  You could call them “GoatPro” videos! What do you think?

Q: I have the goatpro!!!  I actually did it a few months back, and the footage was a bit shakey, and didn’t generate much response on my Instagram, so I haven’t done any more.  I need to refine the mount system a bit.  I actually prefer and use Replay cameras.  They have some awesome features.

Don’t forget to follow Whitey, Blackie, Kendall and Kevin (and Quinn behind the camera) on Instagram “@Goatstigram” .

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Creepy Travel: Would you go into Jacob’s Well?

Carl Griffin/HotSpot Media
Carl Griffin/HotSpot Media

Perusing the internet this morning, and I came across an amazing site; a very old natural well, that is filled with water, with a shaft that dives deep into the earth. 

Jacob’s Well, as it’s called, has no visible bottom, and is loaded along its edges with caverns and crevasses. This type of formation is known as a Karstic Spring.  That means is has a large opening to deep underground drainage system via caves. 

TripAdvisor.com
TripAdvisor.com

Located in Wimberley, Texas, Jacob’s Well is connected to an underground spring, which has flowed almost forever.  But there’s concern now about this rare attraction, as its water level has been dropping, and several times in the last few years, it’s actually stopped flowing altogether.

jacob4

While photos have a way of making it look like it’s rather massive, the well is actually quite narrow.  While divers have delved deep into its depths, the well has claimed more than its fair share of victims.  People have gotten stuck in crevasses or caverns underwater, or stirred up sitly gravel below, resulting in them becoming lost of disoriented.

jacob6

Like so many of the world’s great places, Jacob’s Well is beautiful, but also dangerous.

 

Photos courtesy: Trip Advisor, Amazing Places on Earth, NatureImg, and Daily Mail

Amazing Places on Earth
Amazing Places on Earth

Found on the Internet: Photos Document Abandoned Suitcases from 125-Year-Old Psych Center

Willard Suitcases / Anna B ©2013 Jon Crispin ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Jon Crispin Photo

I really love exploring abandoned or ruined buildings. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something thrilling about feeling like you’ve rediscovered a place left behind long ago. That’s probably why I’m really interested in this post I found on the interwebnets today: Compelling Photos Document the Contents of Abandoned Suitcases from a 125-Year-Old Psychiatric Center.

Jon Crispin photo
Jon Crispin photo

A photographer, Jon Crispin,  has taken amazing photos of the contents of old suitcases left abandoned when a 125 year old insane anylum closed up. A couple of the photos (All photos shown here are by Jon Crispin) are here so you can get an idea of this fantastically creative project. Please go to the project’s website Willard Suitcases for the whole collection.

He’s also on WordPress, so give him a follow!

Jon Crispin photo.
Jon Crispin photo.