Origami Wreaths and Rings

a book by David Petty

In these pages you will find over 100 inventive variations around a circular theme using modular origami

If I were to describe this book in as few words as possible, I would choose these: easy, modular, organic origami. Easy, because the folding instructions are very clear and each of the pieces can be made in a few minutes by people with none to very little knowledge in origami; modular, because you create the models by assembling several small identical units together; and organic, because the result is a whole which looks much more complex than the sum of its parts: actually, many of the spiky stars and rings remind me of living sea stars and urchins. I came to this book after having seen several models a friend of mine had done, and I recommend it to anyone interested in any of the key themes mentioned above, as it will be a pleasing and rewarding discovery.

Update: I just found out that the author has made available several models with instructions here.

The postman keeps on ringing

http://www.postcrossing.com

The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost. The main line is: if you send a postcard, you’ll receive at least one back, from a random postcrosser somewhere in the world.

Postcrossing comes not long after after the well known bookcrossing, which I would define as an organized trend where people decide to free books they have read, leaving them out in the wilderness, tagged with a tracking number so that their path (with the subsequent readers´ help) can be followed. In this case, the subjects of free trade are postcards that you can start either sending and receiving as soon as you request an address from the aforementioned site. The process is easy, well described, and the site feels both professional and amusing. It particularly worths to say that this is a one person work, that of the portuguese Paulo Magalhães, who confesses to have been surpassed in his expectations by the rapid development of the initiative.
Since a postcard is something you write on your own, sending them to unkowns is a beautiful metaphor of giving oneself to another. My hopes are that Postcrossing keeps on growing, as representative of this spirit and as a kind of poetical justice towards the infamous chain letters. In times of email floods, give yourself a reality bite! 🙂

Switched on Air

http://www.mathmos.com/erol.html

Airswitch can be controlled by simply moving your hand through the air above the product.

I have liked mathmos’ lamps since the first time I saw one of their creations, the aduki, and though lava lamps are not of my preference, I believe that this brand succeeds in offering a consistent line of stylish, well designed, cool products. The Airswitch seems a step forward in their catalog, because it adds a clever and novel approach to the “interface” of a lamp, making it easy and natural. The concept of “gesture control” is nothing new under the sun, from the classic theremin to the air fx (as a music NAN I´m always searching for these kind of gadgets), but I have never seen it applied this way. It could be real fun if my cat learned how to operate it! (no doubt he would) 😛

Related Article: Make your walls glow with sTILE

Leave no space for doubt

http://www.theglowcompany.co.uk/acatalog/THE_FLASHER.html

The Flasher is the first fully programmable portable scrolling sign that can be used anywhere & stuck to almost anything!

I´ve been thinking on a funny acute comment but actually the flasher speaks for itself. With up to 32 characters, you can wear your resume, your favorite Confucius quote, or just that funny acute comment that will denote how NAN you are. About the pictures and what they do represent, I guess that they’re not very representative of the average user and use of the product… (sticks to almost anything, but seems to have its preferences) 😛

From the rest of the site´s catalog, I’d choose the Krill Lights, if only because they run on batteries and so they don´t wear out (forever) in a few hours. The Glow Gloves are probably too much for me, and the Laserpod seems to offer the kind of balance between sophistication and cheezyness that makes me avidly open the page and then shamefully close it right after.