Mad Quickies

Mad Quickies: Eco-minded data viz, a sandy editorial, the Met gifts us all, and more!

We're back and we're Quickier than ever.

Hello, my friends! The Quickies are back and I’m happy to bring you some mind-blowing, super-smart, and exquisitely beautiful items for your enjoyment/inspiration/illumination. Let’s get to it, shall we?


Conceptual artist Nathalie Miebach “weaves colorful, complex sculptures using rope, wood, paper, fibers, and data from weather events.” Her two most recent series “The Changing Waters” and “Floods” “explore the impact of storm waters on our lives and on marine ecosystems.” Miebach’s work is a perfect amalgam of art and infographic and is totally stunning data-viz.


On May 30, Zero Waste Day in Japan, the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper “ran a full-page editorial made to look like a front-page headline titled ‘Plastics Floating in our Seas’ and highlighting the devastating impact that plastic is having on sea life.” The editorial itself was—and I kid you not—carved into sand by sand-sculpture artist Toshihiko Hosaka. The sculpture is 164 x 115 ft and you really have to see the story’s picture of the piece to get a sense of its scale.

The editorial calls out Japan for its “addiction of plastic.” The entire world—most particularly America—should be so sand-shamed.


“Have you really looked at a soap bubble? Notice how you can see a bunch of different colors? What about that tiny drop of gasoline in a puddle at the gas station—see the rainbow of colors?”

If you’re jonesing for some real science-y data—complete with wave graphs, a couple of equations, and chit-chat about reflection and refraction—I’ve got you covered with The Secret to Soap Bubbles’ Iridescent Rainbows.


Check out this 30-second video that is an “incredible visualization of the explosive growth on the island of Manhattan over the course of 400 years.” Content expert Danny Ashton of NeoMam Studios created the astounding piece. You can find the original post at Angie’s List.


Bonus: Wear yer old-skool cred with this Flying Toaster pendant. [Tip o’ the beanie to Steve for that.]


The Metropolitan Museum of Art put 400,000 high-res, public domain images online and made them free to use, non-commercially of course.” The Met’s online initiative is dubbed “Open Access for Scholarly Content,” and, while surfing the Met’s digital collections, you’ll know if a particular work is free to download if it bears the “OASC” acronym. In an FAQ, the Met provides simple instructions on how to figure that all out.”

Although the crux of the post is the 400,000-image availability, I think it’s just as incredible that we can also download 396 free art catalogs online.

You guys, I’d love to chat some more but I’ve got some catalog surfing to do. See ya’ next time!

~Featured image: Excerpt from “The Burden of Every Drop” by Nathalie Miebach.~




Geologic Universe, vault-keeper. Sheer Brick Studio, principal. Empty Set, designer. Bethlehem Mounties, media. WDIY 88.1FM NPR station programmer. Skepchick.

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