Like Ice In The Sunshine

Following a weekend of beautiful Summer-esque weather that has actually continued into Monday I’m beginning to believe that Summer is well on its way.

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What better way to celebrate than to feature Simone Rosenbauer’s deliciously simple Like Ice In The Sunshine series which takes an artistic look at slowly melting ice lollies set against a complimentary block colour background.

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Inspired by melting “bodies of different shapes and sizes” whilst sunbathing on Bondi Beach, Simone has captured that essence and translated it into something that everybody loves.  The saturated colours of the ice lollies so reminiscent of childhood summer holidays and the inevitable dripping and melting as the sun beats you to eating them.

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Nothing says summer like a Twister melting all over your shorts.

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Check out more of Simone’s work here.

Transparent Wood

Yes, you read the title correctly, transparent wood!

Transparent wood

The same block of wood before and after treatment

A team at the University of Maryland has developed a process to remove the colour and light blocking properties that wood has, rendering it not only stronger and more insulating than glass but also more biodegradable than a lot of current plastics.  Wow!

To turn the wood transparent, Dr. Hu and his team boil the wood in water, sodium hydroxide and other chemicals to remove the lignin (an organic polymer that gives wood its colour) to leave behind the colourless channels of the wood’s natural cellular structure.  They then pour epoxy over the block to increase the strength.

Video from New York Magazine

Ok, it doesn’t have the optical clarity of glass but for a material that is inherently opaque the transparency is impressively high.  And don’t forget, this is only a recent discovery.  I’m sure that with more research the process can be refined to improve the clarity beyond the current maximum of 90%.

The natural channels that remain in the wood have more than just an aesthetic quality to them.  They actually guide light waves along the internal structure, focussing them rather than dispersing them.  This means you could not only get more light in through “wooden windows” but you could also improve the yield of solar panels with a coating of transparent wood!

The potential for use as windows and in other building areas is incredible, particularly when you consider that it has the conceivable ability to surpass steel’s strength to weight ratio for structural elements.

I look forward to being able to build a transparent tree house for my daughter one day!

 

Ultra Marathon

It’s been a couple of weeks between posts here on IG, partly because work has been really busy, but mainly because I’ve been getting my head around my latest challenge.

An Ultra Marathon.

Yes, an Ultra Marathon.  The Thames Path Challenge Ultra Marathon.
That’s 100km.  62miles.

Whichever units you use to measure it, it’s beginning to dawn on me just how far it is.

In the past I’ve complete 40mile duathlons, 125+ mile bike rides, even a marathon (a few years ago), but this is something else.

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I’m still not entirely sure what prompted me to look into Ultra distance events, but here I am four weeks in to a 23 week training schedule and, bar a slight muscle strain last week, all seems to be going well.

I will try and post monthly updates on here with how it is all going, but for now I wanted to let you know one of the main reasons behind my motivation and that is raising money for Millie’s Trust.

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Millie’s Trust was created by the parents of Millie Thompson who tragically passed away in a choking incident in October 2012.  Their aim is the advancement of health and saving of lives by providing first aid education and awareness, first aid training courses, and paediatric courses for nurseries that are readily available and for minimal cost.

Having a young daughter myself that is approaching nursery age this charity resonates a strong feeling with me and really highlights the gap in the law regarding first aid and the lack of compulsory first aid trained staff in childcare settings.  I am hoping to raise as much as I can for the charity by putting myself through the challenge, the pain and the inevitable chafing that will come with the training.

Any donation or sponsorship that you can spare, however small, would be amazing and very gratefully received.  It will be giving me a much needed boost during my longer runs knowing that it is worthwhile with the funds going to an extremely valuable cause.

https://www.justgiving.com/gary-thornton-ultra-marathon

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I’ll check back in with an update soon, wish me luck!

Evian Babies

They’re back!

After winning our hearts with their swimming, roller skating and dancing, the Evian Babies are back with a new surfing advert Baby Bay.

This recurring Evian campaign must be one of the few relentlessly successful advertising campaigns out there.  The first spot of Water Babies aired nearly 18 years ago, and with only small changes (mainly to the activity that the babies take part in) the campaign is consistently turning out modern and engaging adverts that never fail to make us smile.

Another incredible advert that has been superbly executed, keep up the good work Evian.

Full credit for this goes to BETC, Wanda and Mikros Image.

More information (and some brilliant t-shirts!) over at babybay.evian.com.

Panda Slide

Happy Friday!

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The Risk Of Sitting

It’s been a long couple of weeks at work.  Logging many hours at my desk as well as a couple of long haul flights too.

All in all, lots of sitting.  Too much sitting really.

Maybe this is what I need to persuade the boss to invest in sit/stand desks in the office for us!

Thanks to Ted-Ed for another top notch animation.

Liam

You’ve all heard of Liam, right?

No, not Gallagher.  Or Payne.  Or even Neeson.  But Apple’s Liam.

A 29 arm robot which can disassemble over a million iPhones a year when they are ready to be recycled.  Here’s a snippet of it in action.

Whether you’re a fan of Apple or not, it’s great to see such innovation in committing to meeting the full life cycle of the consumer product.

Keep up the good work, Liam.  More information here.


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