Swiss Army Knife with animals instead of blades – Boing Boing

22 08 2012

Switzerland came up in conversation today. Well, that and IKEA. Simplistic, functional design. “What have the Swiss ever done for us?” I mentioned cuckoo clocks and banking… but forgot two of the BEST things! Chocolate (what was I thinking?!) and Swiss Army Knives. I’m quite convinced Scouting would never have lasted the 100+ years it has, had Victorinox not had such a great little plaything for boys to have accidents with (apart from the one they’re born with obviously).

Then I saw this article on Boing boing… Perfect!

Great quote from David Suhami, the designer: “the piece is made for adults who still enjoy playing with small objects.” MM – it’s all for you, my friend! 🙂

Swiss Army Knife with animals instead of blades – Boing Boing.





Cool IKEA catalogue

17 08 2012

My daughter was making lots of “oo” and “ahh” noises again.

This time with an IKEA 2013 catalogue on her lap. Odd, methinks!

Then I see she’s floating her mum’s iPad over it, and I realise it’s interaracting with the catalogue in a REALLY cool way! The iPad is showing what’s behind the closed doors of the cupboard in the catalogue. Like those “x-ray specs” that used to be advertised in Spiderman comics, next to the Sea Monkeys. different pages had different things happen on the iPad. Beds came to life with drawers opening and closing. Videos, all manner of things. Those cunning Swedes have done it again! (Though their meatballs have become grey and flaccid of late, i note with less enthusiasm…)

IKEA: The 2013 Interactive Catalogue App | Digital Buzz Blog.





Well if I can do it, ANYONE can…

18 03 2012

OK, so I don’t claim these are actually that good at all, but I proved to myself that I could, in principle, capture the image of an ink drop in water.

Should I ever want to do it “properly”, I learned enough things this afternoon to do it w-a-a-a-y better next time. Allow me to share, and save you some time…

I took the Red Bubble set up as pretty much the starting place. A couple of things I learned though…

1) Don’t have the water container too close to the monitor… a round container acts like a lens, and you can actually see the pixel grid on the monitor, get interference patterns, etc. Probably better to get a more even light source. Outside on a sunny day? at least have the container sufficiently far infront of the monitor that the light is diffuse.

2) You might even be better with a flat-sided glass container. Perhaps an IKEA vase. This avoids the curved lens effect.

3) Use distilled water, or boiled water, and a very clean glass container. Otherwise you get little bubbles stuck to the insides, and the AF can lock onto them. (I wiped them off with a clean cloth.)

4) (Thanks to Bijou for this tip.) Focus is a pig, due to the moving ink. In the end, I used a fork in the middle of the container to give something nice for the AF to lock onto in roughly the place the ink would be, then switched to Manual to stop the camera hunting around.

5) I actually used food colouring – it seems to spread better than writing ink… and comes in a better range of colours.

6) Finally, I used the software “remote control” tool for my Canon, and set the ISO speed high, to allow the shutter speed/multi-shot to be pretty rapid whilst keeping the DoF as long as possible, by mucking with the light sources.

Above all… have some fun. If they don’t come out that good, so what? If you enjoyed the attempt, and didn’t spill water in either your fancy DSLR or your keyboard, who cares?

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Happens to me all the time…

28 01 2012

So I take no credit for finding this video.

I was doing a “Bored now. Entertain me!” trawl through WordPress, when I came across this posting: in love with the (hot guy off the) ikea advert by ActuallyAlice.

I’m led to believe that IKEA used a shortened version of this music video from “Man Like Me” as an ad, and there’s no denying the furnishings are from that blue and yellow establishment. It took me the entire video to remember the original singer’s name… Jona Lewie was the answer, though I admit having to look up the spelling. He’s the guy with the suit and white shoes in the first room, playing keyboard in the kitchen drawer, and with the mask on the back of his head at the dodgy masquerade scene.

“Keep walking”… loved it!

I loved this video of theirs too. Turn the sound off though… and consider it a visual only thing. Just sayin’…

But if you want to see a great IKEA ad, you’ll be hard pushed to beat this one:

A warning to any untidy wannabe mothers out there… 😉





Everything’s going to the dogs

19 01 2012

Loved this VW advert over on Ad Pitch

Though it’s undoubtedly the result of much editing, it reminded me of an OK Go music video with white IKEA furniture props… and dogs.  White Knuckles is the song.

OK Go videos are almost exclusively done in a single take with no camera motion at all.

And the music’s great too!