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R2-D2 Observatory

Photo credit: Cpt. Maggi via Laughing Squid
R2-D2, which stands for Second Generation Robotic Droid Series-2, was portrayed mainly by radio controlled props and CGI models in the Star Wars movies, but one German professor decided to create a larger than life version of the astromech droid. Professor Hubert Zitt decided to transform the Zweibrücken Observatory of the Natural Science Association into a giant R2-D2. Read more for another picture and additional information.

Wood Resin Fused Sculptures
Photo credit: Alpine Art via Twisted Sifter
Artist and master woodworker Scott Huebner specializes in creating other worldly sculptures that fuse burl – a tree growth where the grain has grown in a deformed manner – with resin. Burls are normally found on the trunk, at the tree’s base, and sometimes even underground in the form of a rounded outgrowth, thus resulting in uniquely patterned wood, which is perfect for these types of sculptures. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

How Light Changes Your Face
Nacho Guzman used a rotating light and changing colors to show how those two elements can quickly change how your face looks, without requiring CGI. This short clip is actually part of French electronic group Opale’s song “Sparkles and Wine” and was captured using a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR and two lenses. The lighting setup itself consists of two 10×10 centimeter LED lights, paired with a string of Christmas light-style LED, that were fixed to a ring and rotated around the woman’s face. Read more to watch both the teaser and official music video.

Shopping Cart Wheelchair
Photo credit: Design Boom
Let’s face it, purchasing old shopping carts ($45 – $50+) is far less pricier than a new wheelchair ($100+), so what better way to make use of the former than by turning them into affordable wheelchairs for those in need? This designer is doing just that, and is offering two models: a ‘manually propelled wheelchair’ that can be self-pushed and then a ‘transport wheelchair’ for use with a family member or a caregiver. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

Vanmoof Fake TV Bike Packaging
Bicycle startup VanMoof was losing quite a bit of money on its $3,000 bikes that were being damaged during transit, so they decided to start shipping them in fake TV boxes. “We asked ourselves, what do Americans really love? What would prompt couriers to be delicate with a parcel? That’s when we thought of a flat screen TV, because our box is the same size and shape as that of a really huge TV,” said Taco Carlier, VanMoof’s co-founder to CNNMoney. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

Old Cutlery Animals
Photo credit: Matt Wilson via Twisted Sifter
Artist Matt Wilson specializes in transforming old cutlery, whether they be spoons, forks, or knives, into amazing animal sculptures, like birds. When he’s not making these works of art, he dabbles in driftwood and scrap metal, finding ways to turn those into masterpieces as well, with some pieces making their way onto Etsy. Read more for additional pictures.

The Barisieur Coffee Alarm Clock Drink

Utilizing induction heating and stainless steel ball bearings, water in The Barisieur alarm clock boils and is siphoned over coffee grounds or tea leaves to drip into the included cup while you sleep. Its wood and steel base also holds a cooler for cream or milk that can be activated by an infrared sensor to not waste power if the machine is empty. The components themselves are crafted from stainless steel and laboratory-grade borosilicate glass. Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.

Forged Metal Puzzle Box
Photo credit: Seth Gould via Twisted Sifter
Coffer appears to be a normal chest at first, but this amazing project by metal-smith Seth Gould took 2 years to complete, and is actually a puzzle box made entirely from wrought iron, pure iron, steel and brass. What makes it even more amazing is that all the parts, screws and springs included, were handmade. The forging was done using a coal forge, hammer, anvil, and power hammer. Once the pieces are close to their finished shape, they were moved to the bench to refine the surface and then shaped with a file. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

New Year's Eve Google Doodle

New Year’s Eve is celebrated around the world, and it’s been an annual Google tradition to release a special animated doodle on this date. For New Year’s Eve 2018, it’s two animated purple elephants in party outfits, with the one on the left blowing balloons while a second is seen throwing popcorn into its mouth. There’s a clock on top that is just about to hit midnight, and if you click through the doodle, you’ll get search results for the places where people across the world are waiting to ring in the new year. Read more for an actual Google Doodle short film about Mister Rogers as well as a picture of the very first doodle.

Stan Lee 96th Birthday

Photo credit: Jun Chiu
Stan Lee would have turned 96-years-old today, and Marvel honored the late comic book legend with a Tweet that read: “Happy Birthday, Stan. Thank you for everything.” Despite stepping away from regular duties at Marvel in the 1990s, he teamed up with Peter Paul in 1998 to start a new Internet-based superhero creation, production, and marketing studio, called Stan Lee Media. After that, Lee, Gill Champion, and Arthur Lieberman formed POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment in 2001 to develop film, television and video game properties. Read more for more Stan Lee fan tributes.