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A New Acoustic Instrument That Creates Sounds like a Digital Synthesizer

The Yaybahar is a new acoustic instrument designed by Istanbul-based musician Görkem Şen that emits music right out of a retro sci-fi movie, a remarkable feat considering there isn'ta bit of electricity involved. The Yaybahar can be played in a variety of different ways using mallets or with a bow, relying on a combination of two drum-like membranes, long springs, and a tall fretted neck to create music.

Leaf Beasts: Simple Animal Sculptures Cut from Dried Magnolia Leaves

Leaf Beast is a recent project by freelance illustrator and artist Baku Maeda that seemingly brings dead leaves back to life. Maeda took advantage of the warped shape and veiny structure of dried magnolia leaves and made only minimal cuts to create each piece.

An Illustrated Cross Section of Hong Kong's Infamous Kowloon Walled City

Prior to the 1993 demolition of the infamous walled city of Kowloon in Hong Kong, Japanese researchers undertook the massive project of documenting the entire city. Their findings were compiled into a book that included, amongst other things, this detailed panoramic cross section that detailed what life was like inside.

Bathroom Fixtures at Alcatraz Transformed into Porcelain Floral Bouquets by Ai Weiwei

The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei currently has an exhibition on Alcatraz, the notorious island used as a military fortress and federal penitentiary. Amongst a large body of work created specifically for Alcatraz is "Blossom," which has been installed in several hospital ward cells and medical offices. And as its name suggests, intricately detailed encrustations of ceramic flowers are blossoming out of sinks, toilets and tubs that were once used by hospitalized prisoners.

Astonishingly Dense Quilled Paper Rugs by Lisa Nilsson

These astonishing renderings of symmetrically designed carpets are the beginning of a new paper sculpture series by artist Lisa Nilsson (previously) who arranges quilled strips of hand-cut mulberry paper at remarkably small scale.

Spectacular Paper Pop-up Sculptures Designed by Peter Dahmen

While studying graphic design in college, German artist Peter Dahmen was given the assignment of creating a 3D object out of paper. He soon realized a small problem. Regardless of what he designed, there was no safe way to transport it to class on his daily train commute. Instead of risking damage to his project, Dahmen devised a way to make his paper sculpture fold flat like a pop-up book, a fateful decision that changed the course of his life. He enjoyed the challenge so much that be became obsessed with creating more elaborate designs, eventually leading to a full-time career as a paper engineer.

From the Colossal Shop: Puzzlehead

Inspired by the doodles of artist-cartoonist-filmmaker-musician Richard McGuire, Puzzlehead is both a brain teaser and construction toy. Now available in two sizes from the Colossal Shop, Puzzlehead makes an incredible gift for kids 3-100 years-old.

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