Epic. If you’re in the LA area, definitely check out Jeremy Fish’s Hunting Trophy show at the Mark Moore Gallery that just opened tonight. All the details and the feeling of walking into his “hunting lodge” like room ~ complete with mini woodland creatures painted into the faux log cabin walls are not to be missed. In classic Jeremy Fish style, the creatures take on surreal forms ~ sometimes unzipping like nested russian dolls, evolving into vehicles, or an interpretation of a bear skin rug, or some of his amazing creature/vehicles! So many tiny amazing details! The fish scales are little fish! Go peek inside the hunting lodge on the next page!
Entries tagged with: animals
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Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.
This morning, I made my way to Top Drawer at London Olympia. The show features a wide range of suppliers and was filled with fun products and design inspiration. Here are a few of our highlights featuring designers from Britain as well as around the world, including Australia, Sweden and more! Can’t wait to see more of these products in stores soon! Check it all out on the next page.
Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.
As we move into late summer, fruits and nuts seem to be forming everywhere in all sorts of shapes and colors. While walking through London, these oddly-shaped green acorns caught my eye, with their ridges, knobs and slightly sticky appearance. On closer inspection, most of the acorns were covered with these intricate, ridged growths, called Knopper Galls. The galls result from a chemical reaction in response to the gall wasp (Andricus quercuscalicis), which lays its eggs on the developing acorns. The shapes and textures of the resulting galls are fascinating (and quite variable). The degree of ridging on the gall is thought to be related to the number of larvae competing within the gall and we found as many as three separate galls on a single developing acorn. Their name “Knopper Galls” comes is thought to be derived from the English word ‘knop’, meaning “a small rounded protuberance, boss, stud, button, tassel or the like” and German ‘knoppe’ meaning “a kind of felt cap or helmet worn during the 17th-century”.
Galls like the ones we found occur on the Pedunculate or Common Oak tree (Quercus robur), but the wasp also requires a second oak species, the Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris) in order to complete its life cycle. Like aphids, the wasp undergoes both a sexual and asexual components of its life cycle. The knopper galls we observed are part of the agamic (female only) generation. Only adult females will emerge from the Knopper galls in the spring and these females will go on to lay their eggs on the catkins of the Turkey Oak. It is from these small conical galls that a sexual generation of male and female wasps will emerge, mate and produce further knopper galls. As a result, knopper galls are only found where both Common and Turkey Oaks grow. While galls have a negative effect on the reproduction of the trees, they don’t appear to harm other aspects of the tree’s health and in a typical biological twist, the wasps themselves are also often parasitized by a number of hyperparasites! You can find out more at ARKive, The Wildlife Trusts and Hedgerow Mobile, but for now see more pics (and my dissection) on the next page!
EPIC Bar. The name is perfect, as these bars are truly EPIC. Gluten free, paleo friendly, grass fed protein bars that are impressively branded (from their packaging to graphics… sprinter van to bandanas… hats, matchboxes, booths and more!) Based out of Austin, TX, these bars went wild across the internet a few months back (we even had it on NOTCOT.org) and we’ve been meaning to order some to try, so when we ran into the EPIC Bar booth at OR, it was like its own little oasis tucked along the wall in one of the pavilions, and we had to taste them all.
I wasn’t sure what to expect out of a “protein bar” that was made of meat and packaged to resemble something like a clif bar wrapped like an artisanal chocolate bar… my head could never figure out what to expect, but it turns out it tastes more like something between a sausage/beef jerky/energy bar… think meaty with a little fruit mixed in. The flavors are Turkey/Almond/Cranberry, Bison/Bacon/Cranberry, and Beef/Habanero/Cranberry. They are all delicious, but i think my favorite is the Bison currently! I expected it to be tough to taste as good as the packaging, but it does, and it’s definitely worth trying ~ especially if you’re on a high protein, paleo, etc diet. They even had a 9 month shelf life, and each bar has one of those little “do not eat”moisture absorbing packet, so it’s perfect to stash as a snack in case of emergencies. Take a peek at the fun booth, design details, and more on the next page!
p.s. See more of our Outdoor Retailer Show adventures here!
Happy Meals come with toys… kid’s cereal comes with toys… but this is the first WINE i’ve seen that comes with fun toys! While in Sitka, AK at Ludvig’s Bistro, we had Torres’ Sangre de Toro and it came with a little plastic bull toy adorned on the side! It got even more interesting when the second bottle arrived, and the bulls were different! Then the waitress gave us a third from their house bottle, and it was different too! On the back of each bull is a number, and so far, we’ve seen them go up to 7, but who knows how many there are? Can you line them all up on a disc and spin them to animate a running bull? Also, out of curiosity i picked up another bottle at Bevmo when home, and between that and quick internet searches, it looks like the bulls and the ways they are attached evolve regularly. Take a peek at the bulls and packaging shifts up close on the next page!
On amazing experiences ~ the opportunity randomly came up to spend the last week in Sitka, Alaska salmon fishing, and we had to go! My dad has been going annually with the incredible Angling Unlimited folks for over a decade now, so Shawn and I were thrilled to finally get to join in the fun. Beyond the excitement of finally going to Alaska ~ we were lucky enough to have incredibly beautiful weather, calm seas, and great fishing, and even see many humpback whales, puffins, otters, deer, bald eagles, albatrosses, giant slugs, and so much more! When it happened to drizzle/rain on us ever so slightly, the perfect semi-circle of a rainbow came out. Beyond the wildlife and fantastic fishing ~ we also got to know the adorable island town of Sitka, visiting local bars, the totem park, raptor center, the airports infamous pie spot - Nugget Restaurant, the only brewery on Baranof Island and more… only thing we didn’t make it over to which we’ve shown you before on NOTCOT was the Fortress of the Bear! The sunsets were breathtaking every day too… Take a peek at all the inspiration and randomness we discovered on the last week’s adventure in Sitka, Alaska on the next page!
Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she visits the London graduate showcases!
I popped over to the Central Saint Martins 2013 Degree Shows after a day at the Horniman Museum & Gardens and was delighted and surprised to see some of my beloved Natural History specimens within the show, through the illustrations of Gabriela Tomczyk. Natural history museums and art are a natural pairing, and this hasn’t been the first museum/grad show crossover, but it was fantastic to see some of my favorite specimens illustrated so beautifully!
Gabriela’s “London’s Natural Curiosities” took the form of a multi-fold brochure-like series of illustrations and featured some of my favorite London treasures, not only my beloved Horniman Museum & Gardens, but also the Grant Museum of Zoology (see our earlier post on the museum here) and Hunterian Museum. Her sketched pages look like a much friendlier and thoughtful guide to treasures in London and really communicate time taken to enjoy the details and a real appreciation for these museums (and their specimens) and the piece was titled I love that she included specimen numbers too as I recognized specimens like familiar friends! More photos on the next page and on Gabriela Tomczyk’s website and behance.
On the plane about to land in memphis and battery about to die, but wanted to share this with you first! More details to come soon…
On the must see when in LA list ~ or the, if you live in LA, must see list ~ the LA Natural History Museum’s newest additions the Nature Lab and Nature Gardens literally bring it all to life! Being a born and raised angeleno with a sister who ended up getting her doctorate in animal behavior, you can only imagine how many local creatures large and small i grew up (and continually am) fascinated by all around me… from the parrots, finches, hummingbirds, etc. that constantly take over the yard, to the coyotes, deer, raccoons, alligator lizards, spiders, and so much more… Well for their 100th Birthday, the NHM has brought in quite the selection of living creatures that are all around us in a beautifully designed urban/modern interactive exhibition that is not to be missed. They create such a personal awareness about the interaction and roles that our city and communities have played in the rise and urban evolution of certain species, as well as teaching us all a bit more about all the creatures we encounter (and may not even notice) regularly here in Los Angeles. It was so inspiring to see kids and adults alike completely mesmerized, engaging with the exhibits with giddy smiles as they darted from one thing to the next. I couldn’t help but constantly wonder, “where was THIS when we were kids running around trying to find all these crazy creatures?”
So, we went to the 100th birthday bash for fun, and i wasn’t thinking about it as a post, but it was so exciting, Shawn and i ended up snapping a bunch of cell phone pics to share with Justine, and while cleaning them up, realized the inspiration (both from content and design) was too awesome not to share with you too! Take a peek inside the Nature Lab on the next page!
The Los Angeles Natural History 100th Birthday Bash was incredible ~ inspiring, innovative, playful, and filled with incredible energy! From the updates to the displays in their historic building to the launch of their impressive Nature Gardens surrounding the museum and Nature Lab showcasing some of the wildlife that surrounds us all… to the unveiling of the stunning new Otis Booth Pavilion! It resembles an apple store like monstrous two story glass cube with a whale skeleton suspended within, and between performances by GZA/the Genius and DEVO, they had a super heartfelt look back through the history and adventures of the NHM and a look at how LA has evolved over the last century, then the digital whales burst on to the projection… even breaching at the top! and then pretending to break through the glass, dropping the curtains and showing off the new pavilion. So many random pictures from that evening, but first, take a peek at the whale filled unveiling moments in pics and video on the next page!
Spotted at ICFF, these Kamina & C Stools designed by Takeshi Sawada are too cute ~ pictures really don’t do them justice. They are ADORABLE! And fuzzy and cute and perfectly little kid sized. Coming in Bambi, Sheep, and Cow variations, Bambi is by far the cutest, sheep at a close second… take a peek at the pics on the next page!
This post is part of the NOTlabs Laser Challenge: The ground rules are: Shawn and I are alternating days with executing and sharing a Laser Cutter involved experiment! And most importantly - we’re supposed to have fun, explore ideas, and it’s less about a fully formed product/concept at the end of the day, but more about seeing where the experiment takes us!
Laser Challenges #9 and #10 are here! We’ve slipped behind a tiny bit, but the rules still hold that each project goes from idea to post in less than a day… so today we teamed up for a pair of projects that complement and grew off each other. Looking around NOTlabs, i’ve had glass bottles around that are too pretty to throw away, but we also couldn’t figure out what to do with them (other than vases and as “future projects”) ~ including these Aladdin Sake Bottles and the Sofia Coppola Bottles… we also have a yard full of birds, from finches and jays to parrots and hummingbirds and more… so we decided to try turning them into bird feeders, with just laser cut acrylic and paracord. Of course all of this turned into a fun late night experiment playing with finding the perfect curves (and my learning more rhino from shawn), mastering snap fits down to such tiny measurements, and then a late night bird feeder hanging and photoshoot! Shawn’s #9 turns the wine bottle into a beautiful feeder that plays off of the curves so nicely! My #10 plays off of his ideas and takes them one step further with the stacked sake bottles of food and water (yay for the magic of surface tension) which can also be turned into a finches and little birds on top - hummingbirds downstairs set up. Just took the picture above while sitting here waiting to see if the birds come today… but for now, see the process and details of our two bird feeders on the next page!
p.s. If you have ideas, or want some laser cutting done, or want to play with us… feel free to use the contact form or leave a comment! And if you’re curious about the laser cutter we’re using, here’s the unboxing.
Today’s NOTlabs inspiration is coming from this furry little visitor that just showed up outside… a Jumping (thanks, commenters!) Spider! Couldn’t help taking a few portraits of his fuzzy little face and rusty colored patterned body before relocating him… take a peek on the next page!
HAPPY EARTH DAY! (And the start of Earthling Month!) To celebrate this crazy box just arrived… and upon opening it smelled like… lasered cardboard! (Yes, we’re VERY accustomed to that distinct scent lately.) And inside was Whole Foods’ “PINEAPPLE Ambassador of the Earthlings” which resembles an armadillo… and it TALKS. Seriously. This fun press kit to celebrate Earth Month of April is all about what Whole Foods is doing for the month of April - “transforming itself into a hub for Earthlings — or humans inspired by the earth’s beauty and bounty — to meet up, share ideas and celebrate our planet online and in stores.” You can learn more about what they’re up to at EarthlingMonth.com, but for now, back to this crazy box - which is the “official vessel of the earthling ambassador”… I love that their creature is actually built from food-safe ceramic and recycled electronics, the packaging is reused cardboard, and the impact from chipping has been offset with verified emission reductions purchased from Renewable Choice Energy… and it goes without saying that the pineapple can be consumed… in fact the TALKING ambassador commands you to “Eat Me!” as you’ll see in the video on the next page! So, if you’re ready to see the full unbox and stab the ambassador parts into the pineapple and hear him talk, head to the next page!
p.s. Just updated the post with a peek INSIDE the electronic guts… and he has a HEART!
Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw!
Over the past few days, I have had been helping out on the live set behind Channel 4’s Easter Eggs Live, an exciting program that features eggs of all sorts hatching and developing live on air! With so many species about to hatch, there is nonstop action on the live streams which will continue until Monday. The newly hatched babies are pretty adorable too and you can watch them live as well on the live Baby Cams.
It’s been a busy day in the studio, with lots of animals to look after, and nonstop spawning and hatching activity. Check out more photos of the studio behind the scenes and of the incredible eggs, their layers and babies on the next page!
Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw!
As this year saw the addition of our own NotPuppy, Bucky, it seems like the perfect time to celebrate dogs with a visit to the world’s largest dog show, The Kennel Club’s Crufts! We attended Crufts on Gun Dog day, a celebration of all our favorite retrievers, spaniels, pointers and so many other breeds developed for work in the field. Check out the next page for pics from our adventures - from lots of awesome dogs in action, both working the judges and flying through the air during agility competitions, as well as the naps taken in between, bonding with people, and everything in between!
Wow. Tonight Emilio Garcia presented ARThropod Brain by Tokyoplastic at the Toy Art Gallery… and it is spectacular. Brains + bugs + 3D printing + hand painted high gloss metallics + skull faces + giant jumping brains and so much more… and a chance to meet the artists who have inspired NOTCOT for years now in person! It’s crazy to see that after 8 years of NOTCOTness, and over 53,000 posts that have made the front page of NOTCOT.org over the years, we’ve been writing about Tokyoplastic since the first thousand posts! (Their geisha drum machine flash piece is a classic, and we still reference it regularly) There has also been much love for Emilio Garcia’s Jumping Brains on NOTCOT for years, and they adorn the walls and shelves in NOTlabs too! Fanboying aside - these guys have been great inspiration over the years, and meeting them in person, and seeing this latest collection of work was incredible!
So back to the ARThropod Brain opening tonight is not only a beautiful collection of work, but technologically, it was great to hear that this collaboration came together through their digital models (where you can easily see Emilio’s brain motifs merging with the anatomically precise anthropods of Tokyoplastic) ~ which were then 3D printed by Shapeways, and then hand painted to have their metallic sheens. A nice example of taking 3D printing to the next level to create beautiful works of art - and digital collaboration from across countries! Take a peek at the show details on the next page, as well as Emilio’s new Skull Brains, and some huge jumping brains too!
Adventures with Bucky, the NOTpuppy! Currently he’s a mere 22 weeks and a whopping 47 pounds… which means, no more baby teeth, and he’s starting to lose that puppy coat… everywhere. Not to mention his digging and constantly bringing who knows what from the yard inside… from dirt to grass to twigs and more… so as you can imagine, while we cleaned the house and lab before, we’re cleaning more than ever now!
Well, Dyson just sent over some of their Animal specific products (aka even more super sucking power) to help: specifically the DC41 Animal Complete and the Groom Tool. Currently, i’ve been combating the dirtiness with the cordless Dyson DC35 Digital Slim, which is still fantastic for quick clean ups… We’ve been huge Dyson fans for years now (long before NOTCOT even existed), for their beautiful, innovative designs, attention to detail, and ability to truly innovative with their machines both inside and out, but until Bucky, i haven’t had the chance to really put the suctioning power to the test with their Animal line. The DC41 Animal Complete is not just a DC41 Ball Vacuum, but it also comes with the new Tangle Free Turbine Tool, Soft Dusting Brush, Multi-Angle Brush, Stiff Bristle Brush, Crevice/Brush Tool, Stair Tool, a bag of Zorb Carpet Maintenance Powder, and a tool bag (that looks like a giant toiletry kit that unfolds to hang from the back of a door)… basically it has enough to tackle just about anything that you could need it to do… except brush your dog. For that, they included the Groom Tool, which functions much like your self cleaning brush, where you can push a button to remove the hair from the bristles, only this one has the super suction power of Dyson to vacuum it all in as you brush!
So here are some things i’ve learned. The suction power of the DC41 Animal is AMAZING. Bucky seems to think it is his foe - or a plaything - and either runs away or tries to play with it. I’ve always had problems with my long black hair getting twisted up on tube of the turbine heads - the Tangle Free Turbine Tool really works! (And you can attach it to the handhelds as well.) Re-vacuuming what i thought was a pretty clean floor, couch, dog bed - proved the sucking power of the DC41, and with the right attachment even helped us vacuum the impossible to reach thin spaces between the washer and dryer! There is something satisfying about the way the stand on the giant ball kicks up (just tilt the vacuum back and up it pops). While they say the Groom Tool doesn’t work with the handhelds, it DOES work technically, but since the power is only on when you hold the trigger, it’s a bit hard to handle pulling the trigger, squeezing the tool, and managing the dog all at once. The Groom Tool also works as your normal brush. Bucky isn’t quite used to the brushing + the vacuum noise so close/on his body… but treats help ease him into it.
Take a peek at the unboxings and details on the next page!
p.s. Here’s an outtake on instagram…
There is an amazing Gorilla that appears to be leaning on an ad/bench at Pacific and Brooks in Venice that i drive by every few days and have been meaning to stop and take a pic of for ages! To my delight, today on Yo! Venice!, they have shared the new mural above that just popped up on Abbot Kinney on the side of Topo Ranch… and even better, it brought me to the world of Isabelle Alford-Lago’s amazing gorillas! This Santa Cruz native went to USC, and currently works and lives right here in Venice, CA ~ which explains why so many of her gorilla murals have been popping up nearby. Take a peek at some of my favorites on the next page!
Here’s the latest natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London based editor, Justine Aw.
Photographer Linden Gledhill, who describes himself as “a biochemist by training, working for a large international pharmaceutical company developing biopharmaceuticals (protein molecules) to treat cancer and diabetes”, but whom you may know from his stunning work for Dentsu and Canon, photographs of snowflakes and homegrown snowflakes!
Linden has always had a fascination with the physical world, particularly nature and uses photography to capture the feeling of awe and inspiration that he feels. I love the way his work captures colors and textures and reveals entire worlds that are otherwise overlooked. In his butterfly wings series, Gledhill uses varying levels of magnification to show the tapestry of scales that make of the wings and the huge variety of scales themselves.
See lots of pictures on the next page!
Here’s the latest natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London based editor, Justine Aw.
My fascination in animal behavior stems back to the creepy crawlies I spent hours watching when I was young. Inverts were a bit of an obsession of mine (I was even a member of SASI as a child!), and as a result I’ve still got a soft spot for them. I’m lucky enough to dabble in entomology in my volunteering behind the scenes at the Horniman Museum and biodiversity work for Mudchute Park & Farm, but it doesn’t quite satiate my appetite for ‘bugs’. That’s where blogs like John Horstman’s Sinobug come in. I discovered the blog through reddit’s whatsthisbug (a guilty pleasure) and have been a loyal reader ever since! I mean, sure I’ve encountered a fair few cool insects along the Rio Negro, but Horstman’s images coming from Pu’er, China are mind-blowing. Not only are they incredibly beautiful composites of textures, colors and patterns, they’re even shedding light on some of these species scientifically. See some of our favorites on the next page!
I was at a loss for words as i took these pictures. The most incredibly sweet package came for Bucky today. Like mind blowing amazing. Our favorite Natural Illustrator, Natalya Zahn, and her gorgeous Rhodesian Ridgeback, Oscar, created the most thoughtful and touching package of goodies for us. From Perfect Pumpkin Pup-Treats, complete with recipe… to BUCKY WRAPPING PAPER filled with illustrations of some of his instagramed puppy moments… and a USB key with the originals and more! I can’t imagine a more beautiful way to remember our adorable NOTpuppy’s precious puppy time as he gets bigger so so fast! Take a peek at all of the loveliness on the next page!
Here’s the latest from our resident zoologist and London based editor, Justine Aw.
We spotted these gorgeous new Gap holiday window and store displays featuring elegant wooden animal silhouettes entirely by chance. They caught my eye as we passed and I immediately recognized them as giant versions of the figures I adore from the Kingom Animalia series by Brooklyn-based Enormous Champion and was thrilled when they confirmed our suspicions via twitter. I’ve always loved their work (particularly the Kingdom Animalia series) and the giant versions in store are stunning and continue throughout the children’s section, where they work perfectly (though I confess, I was mentally rearranging furniture to figure out where to fit a moose!).
The theme for Gap’s holiday windows this year is ‘Be bright’, highlighting the unexpected use of color and the Kingdom Animalia figures with their brightly colored edges helped inspire the campaign! Jason of Enormous Champion tells us: “The creative team at Gap is familiar with the wood animals from my Kingdom Animalia line and thought they’d be a perfect fit for their windows and in-store holiday presentation for babyGap and GapKids. I partnered with them to create life-size Kingdom Animalia, adding pops of neon color that relate back to the overall holiday design for Gap.”
The window displays include 4 woodland creatures (moose, deer, fox & squirrel) as well as trees and other designs. Though we spotted the windows in London, we hear they’ve since made it to stores in the US too, so keep your eyes out for these beautiful wooden woodland creatures! See more pictures of the details on the next page!
p.s. We haven’t spotted them in the US yet, have you? And what happens to these awesome creatures after the holidays end? We want to bring some home!!!
The latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.
The latest book from Tim Flach has the loaded title “More Than Human” and is based on the artist’s photo series that explores the relationship between humans and animals. The book is a beautiful collection of hundreds of stunning images of a wide range of incredible creatures. In addition to the book, Flach’s ‘More Than Human’ series will also be the basis of a new show at the Osborne Samuel gallery this December and we were invited to his East London studio for a launch to celebrate the new book!
I actually discovered this amazing project through my work at the aquarium at the Horniman Museum & Gardens in London, as some of the aquarium’s jellyfish feature in the series! Here are a few photos of the photographer at work behind the scenes at the Horniman aquarium (and the stunning images he captured!). More highlights from the launch, images from the book and behind the scenes photos on the next page!
The shoot sounds like an incredible experience, bringing snakes, bats and other creatures to Flach’s Shoreditch studio as well as shooting on location at nearby sites like the Horniman as well as a wide range of locations internationally. The resulting photo series captures the beauty and individuality of its subjects and draws your eye into the beauty in the detail and structure of the individual. More highlights from the launch and photo series on the next page!