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The 240-Year-Old Robotic Poet

The 240-Year-Old Robotic Poet
A Week of Visual Ingenuity

Programmable 6,000-Part Drawing Boy Automata is Arguably the First Computer

If you ever procrastinated a bit too much back in school, you probably dreamed of a robot that could write your homework for you. Incredibly, just such a thing existed almost 250 years ago. Designed and built in the 1770's by Swiss watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz, The Writer could easily be mistaken for a simple toy doll. However, with almost 6,000 intricately crafted custom components packed inside, this is neither toy nor doll. Instead, The Writer is a fully programmable automata and arguably the world's first computer.

A Rotating Disco Ball Pizza Oven by Lukas Galehr

Designed by Austrian architect Lukas Galehr for the recently-opened 'Disco Volante' pizzeria in Vienna, this fully-functional pizza oven has been designed to look like a gigantic reflective disco ball. And yes, it even rotates.

Stunning Portraits of Siamese Fighting Fish by Visarute Angkatavanich

Thai photographer Visarute Angkatavanich shoots phenomenal portraits of Siamese fighting fish (betta). The intimate photos are perfectly lit in clear water and look as if the fish are floating in midair.

The Life and Times of an Aging Superhero Captured in Oil Paintings by Andreas Englund

In his ongoing series of photorealistic oil paintings called the Aging Superhero, Swedish artist Andreas Englund takes us into the candidly humorous life of an anonymous superhero who has probably seen better days. Though he still puts up a tough fight, the wear and tear of battling crime has taken its toll on this elderly action figure.

Cut Paper Sculptures and Illustrations by Elsa Mora

Los Angeles-based multimedia artist Elsa Mora creates beautiful cut paper sculptures, illustrations, and other visual curiosities using nothing but paper and glue. Her work will be featured at the upcoming About Paper exhibition at Couturier Gallery in L.A. starting December 7th.

The Beauty of Mathematics: A Visual Demonstration of Math in Everyday Life

This lovely video short from Yann Pineill and Nicolas Lefaucheux of Paris video production agency Parachutes succinctly demonstrates the underlying mathematics behind everyday occurrences in the format of a triptych. On the left we see the mathematical equation, in the middle a mathematical model, and on the right a video of such things as snowflakes, wind, sound, trees and magnetism.

Exclusively in the Colossal Shop: 'v3 Barrel Staves' Made from Repurposed Goose Island Beer Barrels

From the design team over at Studio 1.a.m. here in Chicago we're thrilled to offer these amazing v3 Barrel Staves made from repurposed oak barrels. These hefty wedges of charred oak were first part of bourbon barrels used by Heaven Hill Distillery in Kentucky before being acquired by Chicago's Goose Island Brewery to create their coveted Bourbon County Stout. As part of this limited-edition Colossal exclusive, the staves have now been transformed into functional wall art. 

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