Thomassons Are Functionally Useless Architectural Relics
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Stroll about your city, and you'll likely notice a few staircases leading to nowhere, doors opening to brick walls, or pipes filled with nothing at all. Why have these useless vestiges been saved—or even, in some cases, maintained? The architectural relics scattered throughout your town that are purposefully preserved despite being functionally useless are known as "Thomassons," and they have an interesting backstory.
How Alonzo Clemons Overcame A Brain Injury To Become A World-Class Sculptor
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You've probably dabbled with Play-Doh as a kid. Most people's sculpting experience ends around there, but that wasn't the case for Alonzo Clemons. Severely disabled as a young child, Clemons could barely speak, nor could he feed himself or tie his own shoes. But his disability brought on one important gift—acquired savant syndrome, a condition where high-level, often prodigious skills appear after a brain injury. This gave Clemons an uncanny ability to create hyper-accurate sculptures of animals that started from a young age and only sharpened as he grew up. Today, he can simply glance at a horse on TV and, in just 20 minutes, sculpt a clay figure of that horse that is anatomically correct down to every muscle. Despite his still very limited vocabulary, Clemons has shown his work throughout the world. Hear Clemons speak about his work in the video below.
Gujō, Japan Is The Capital Of Artificial Foods
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Have you ever looked at a restaurant's menu and wished you could see the food before you order? Is the lobster ravioli worth the price, or will you be stuffing your face on fast food later? Perhaps, instead, you've traveled to a new country and had no idea what you were ordering, opting to trust your blind intuition. The Japanese have figured this out, and it comes in the form of beautiful and lifelike artificial foods.In the ancient city of Gujō, Japan, one of the top tourist attractions is the world-renowned food replica factory. Yes, you read that correctly. The artificial food, or sampuru, business began in 1917 in Gujo Hachiman (now Gujō), Japan. There's a romanticized legend that Japan's father of fake food, Takizo Iwasaki, simply had an epiphany one day as he sat with his ill wife by candlelight and was inspired by the melting wax. The more likely story is that he wanted to replicate the success of the wax skin and organ replicas that were used for medical studies at the time by being a pioneer in the food industry.
Do You Know What Chemicals Are In Your Tattoo?
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According to the European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC), 12% of Europeans and as many as 24% of Americans have tattoos. Which makes this next fact all the more alarming: a lack of research and spotty regulation of tattoo inks means those tattoos could contain a whole host of harmful compounds. For example, many pigments in tattoo inks are sourced from the textile, plastic, or automotive industry.
This Font Depicts What Dyslexia Is Like
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Daniel Britton was diagnosed with dyslexia in his final year as a graphic design student at the London School of Communications. He quickly found that the public perception of this learning disability was far from the reality. His classmates and teachers just thought he was slow, or at the very least lazy, and even public awareness campaigns often got depictions of dyslexia wrong. So he designed a font, called Dyslexia, meant to simulate the difficulty dyslexics have when they try to read. He erased roughly 40% of the lines from a classic Helvetica typeface, turning a clear, standard font into something that's quite difficult to make out. The 40% wasn't a scientific figure, but one Britton came to organically in his efforts to make a font that was hard to read, but not impossible. He's also not trying to recreate the visual experience of dyslexia. "...awareness ads will represent text as seen by dyslexics as a bunch of blurry letters, or an upside-down letter form," Britton told Fast Co.Design. "At least for me, that's not what it's like at all. It's more like text looks normal, but the part of my brain that decodes it just isn't awake." The good news is that his font worked: not only did it help his classmates understand his learning disability, it got him a job creating public awareness ads for the UK Parliament. Learn more about dyslexia in the videos below.