Paper Lab

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This small square of paper is probably the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. What looks like a modern cut-paper tree is really a tiny medical diagnostic tool. Invented by Harvard Faculty member George Whitesides and made of paper and water-repellent comic-book ink, these incredible little labs can detect diseases like malaria, HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis with just a drop of blood.

While paper medical tests are not new (pregnancy tests are probably the best known example), this little chip can test for multiple diseases simultaneously and the colors can indicate the severity of the illness.

prototypepaper chip

Check out the video below of Whitesides’ talk from TED to learn more about the making these chips and their practical uses in remote areas with limited access to medical facilities and doctors.

via inhabitat

Barack Obama: The Freshman

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I am a big fan of black-and-white photography, portraits and President Obama. As such, I would love to see this show, but sadly, I am not going to be in LA any time soon. If you are, you should check out these great pictures that were taken by Lisa Jack when President Obama was a freshman in college in 1980. The show is currently on view at M+B and closes on July 18th.

it was twenty years ago today

Sorry to bring up a bummer, but China is doing all it can to make sure you forget this image. But, it’s pretty important that we remember the things totalitarian states want us to forget. One awesome thing about the internets is that they’ve moved us past the era when technology helped a totalitarian state achieve absolute control over the distribution of information (as it was for much of the twentieth century) to an era when technology actively helps resist totalitarianism.

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The NYT Lens blog has a good expurgation and analysis of this and three other photographers’ images of Tiananmen Square, including how the photographers smuggled the film out of a country already deadset on erasing the memory of the event.

Keep Calm and . . . full circle

Y’all know about this poster, right?

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The classic sfgirlbybay edition as seen in the final issue of
Domino magazine, RIP.

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Maira Kalman’s version from
The Principles of Uncertainty. She’s wrong about the WWII thing, sort of (more on that later).

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Threadless typetee
‘s clever reversal (note inverted crown); the 1937 original poster hung in an old bomb shelter, apparently.

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Optimistic crafty homage by Matt Jones, available on 20×200; snarky, but true parody by Osborne Villas from flickr.

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Printable 2009 calendars by etsy seller littlebrownpen, available in a version for Women and one for Men.

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Rubber stamps
from Rubber Soul; lip balm from etsy seller leastlikely2breed (these should totally say keep calm and carry balm instead…)

But OK, what about these? Yikes!

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These are very very real though I think they are not intended to be quite so creepy as they come across. via BoingBoing via David Byrne!

I trace and analyze this phenomenon as best I can after the jump.

Continue reading Keep Calm and . . . full circle

More Than Meets the Eye

Let me be the first to say all of the experts are happy as can be that Obama’s the man for America. He’s got a lot of good ideas, and one of the best is getting the populace involved in making the changes he got elected to make. We’re excited, and hopeful.

And I think his graphics were (and are) top notch. He had a logo that will probably be studied by designers decades from now. He had the saavy to get capital-P Propaganda’s biggest fan Shep Fairey to do his iconic poster; hard to imagine another politician being half as astute about the importance of these things. When he launches a neo-WPA poster program, we’re all over it.

I say all of this not because we plan to make politics a big focus here at the experts agree — we don’t, fonts and photos and funnies are funner — but as preamble to posting this parody poster because it’s hilarious, even after seeing hundreds of parodies.

CHANGE INTO A TRUCK • Tim Doyle, for Nakatomi

Change Into a Truck • Tim Doyle for Nakatomi

Oh and we probably won’t do a lot of Transformers posts either…I think I was just feeling a little nervous about my first post as an expert.