Large scale Murals made of tiny objects by Joe Black

London-based artist Joe Black uses a very unique medium to create stunning murals. The artist uses thousands of tiny objects from small toy soldiers, chess pieces to various hardware items like nuts and bolts to create large-scale portraits of iconic and historical figures. The medium used plays an important role to portray the message behind the creation.

This mural of US President Barack Obama below has been created with thousand of black and white toy soldiers and has been named “Shoot to Kill” signifying the fight of good and the evil.

Joe Black will be holding his first solo exhibition, Ways of Seeing, at the Opera Gallery in London through November 19, 2013.

Nature’s Magical Destination – Green Lake, Austria

The Green Lake in Styria, Austria is one of the most unique lake settings in the world. The emerald waters of this lake provide a very scenic sight to visitors.

So what’s unique in the scenic beauty ? Well, the beauty lies under the lake. See below :

Mystified ? Let’s demystify it then. The Green Lake turns into a park for half of the year. Or maybe, it’s the other way around. This lake is formed during spring/summer, when the snow and ice begin to melt on the Krast Mountains which surrounds this site. The clean and clear water starts flowing in and forms a lake at the foothills of the mountains. By July/August,  as autumn starts settling in, the water starts receding. By Winter, the place is totally dry, covered with snow sometimes and becomes a hiking destination for tourists.  Wonderful isn’t it ? This phenomenon is unique to the Green Lake.

Don’t believe it still ? Check out this video :

Weird Fruits & Vegetables around the World

Taking a break from the recent technology posts, I thought of writing something about Food – my love. Instead of posting recipes which are in abundance across the internet, I shall post about some unusual and interesting things related to Food. So here below are some interesting and wierd fruits and vegetables which you might have never imagined to exist:

1. Purple Sweet Potato

Tasting like a normal sweet potato, this one would surely surprise you when you cut it. Purple sweet potato is a native to Okinawa, Japan.

2. Buddha’s hand

This fruit is often used by Chinese and Japanese as a fragrance for their rooms/personal clothing. It get’s the name as it is usually provided as a religious offering in Buddha temples.

3. Kiwano/Horned Melon

Grown in Southern Africa, New Zealand and California, this fruit has a citrusy flavour which some say is a mix of cucumber, lime and banana. Though it’s edible it’s usually used for food decoration. It does look like a piece of art doesn’t it ?

4. Romanesco

Is it a broccoli ? Is it a cauliflower ? Well, both they say. Romanesco has a broccoli-like appearance but tastes somewhat like a cauliflower with a nutty flavour. Interesting for a soup or a gravy perhaps.

5. Dragon Fruit

Bright pink in appearance, this fruit does grab attention at the supermarket counters. Dragon fruit is a native of South and Central America. It tastes like a pear with kiwi-like crunchy seeds. Apart from it’s attractive look and perhaps taste (I haven’t tasted one), the fruit’s a rich source of fibre and vitamin C.

There are many more interesting fruits and vegetables around the world. But I prefer to limit my posts to 5 things usually. I shall keep on adding them as and when I discover them. Do let me know some weird ones which you have come across.

NODE Sensor Platform

Don’t we all like sensors doing the magic around us ? Be it temperature, pressure, humidity, gas content, infrared sensors etc, it’s wonderful how sensors have made life easy for us. But for most of us, the behind-the-scenes is very scary. Not anymore. Presenting NODE by Variable Technologies.

NODE is a sensor platform which can be used to sense almost anything and displays the readings on your smartphone. It is a small device which can adopt the role of any sensor you wish, like a temperature sensor, a colour sensor or maybe even a motion sensing device. NODE comes with various interchangeable sensors which can have infinite applications. For now, the available sensors are Chroma (measures colours), Therma (measures any surface temperature using infrared thermometer), Clima (measures climatic conditions like pressure, humidity), Luma (a flashlight module) and Oxa (an industrial gas sensor). Oh and did I mention, you can also use it as a motion sensing game controller. The device lasts for about 30 days on a single charge and connects with your phones/tablets via Bluetooth.

What’s more exciting ? It’s an OPEN platform. So you, me or anyone can build the hardware and software for new applications. Let’s keep a watch where this one lands up in a few years from now. For more information check out the video below :

Romotive : Your Robot Companion

Everything around us is going virtual and digital. So why not a companion. Introducing Romotive : an amazing robot companion which learns while it plays with you. It’s literally an iPhone on wheels. Here check the pic below and if you want to see it in action watch the video too:

This robot can be docked with the iPhone 5/4S/4 & iTouch 4th Gen and can be remotely controlled from anywhere as long as you have internet. You can train it as well to perform certain pre-defined functions on certain conditions. It’s got face expressions too to make it more realistic.

So next time you are on a business trip but your kids miss you a lot. No worries, just log onto to Romotive from your laptop and make them feel as if you are with them, albeit a little smaller in size and in a different shape.  There can endless number of applications one can think of with a moving, remotely controlled iPhone. Snooping is just one of them ;).

“Technossories” : Wearable Gadgets

Everyone wears accessories these days. While most of these accessories are just to complement your look, some have important functions like improving your vision or telling you the time. However, they are generally taken for granted. But time has now come for these accessories to interact with you. Welcome “Technossories” ! SoupTub brings to you a list of wearable gadgets which are already or soon will be available in the stores near you. Take a look :

1. Google Glass

One of the most talked about and anticipated of all of them, Google Glass. I don’t need to talk about it much, just a picture below. You can find out more about it here.

2. Samsung Galaxy Gear (Smartwatch) 

Samsung is due to commercially launch it’s latest invention – Galaxy Gear – a smartwatch on 25th September. Yes, get ready for it. But make sure you have either of these Samsung Note 3 (releasing on the same date), Samsung Note 10.1 2014 Edition or (after updating with Android 4.3) Samsung Galaxy S4, S3, Note 2 and of course $299 to buy it. Check the hands-on review here .

3. Rusty’s Wired Series Fleece Hoodies

This fleece hoodie features a wired pair of earphones already fitted inside. So no more hassling around with earphones which get intertwined or putting them from underneath your jackets. Moreover, these earphones are waterproof and washable, so you don’t need to remove them when throwing your fleece for a wash.

4. Interactive T-shirts

This new type of geeky t-shirt has a sound equaliser built-in which reacts to the sounds around you. Stand out from the crowd when going to a party or to a concert. Oh about washing them, they are not waterproof, you just need to remove the electronic board before throwing them in.

5. USB Cufflinks

Now impress someone in James Bond style. Suave, sophisticated, stylish, these cufflinks can turn into pen drives when needed. And yes, you won’t even forget your pen drive anywhere easily. These cufflinks come in gold or gunmetal and can be engraved with your initials also. The total cost of the package is about $100.

6. iWallet

Though not exactly wearable, but a wallet does form an important part of the accessory list. The iWallet is one of the ultimate-in-security wallet available in the market. Equipped with a biometric scanner and bluetooth technology to prevent thieves, this wallet comes in a hard-casing (carbon fibre and aluminium options available). The bluetooth pairs with your phone, and if your wallet is about 10ft away from your phone (read : pick pocketed) , the phone sounds a warning alarm. Pricing is in the range $459 to $599

7. Bluetooth Gloves (Concept stage)

This one comes from a Kickstarter project : BEARTek. While riding your bike or skiing, it’s almost impossible to reach out to your smartphone in your pocket, isn’t it ? BEARTek aims to make your life easier here. It’s a glove which has touch points to control your smartphone via bluetooth. Pick calls, change music, control volume. Check out the video here.

Unbelievable Travel Destinations

Have you ever wanted to travel to a place which exists only in your imagination or perhaps not even that ? Below is a list of some unbelievable travel destinations which exist in reality but of which you might not have even heard of :

1. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia : World’s Larget Salt Flat (and largest natural mirror)

Located in southwest Bolivia at a height of 3,656 meters above mean sea level, this salt flat is so flat that the variation in altitude is below 1 meter over the entire area. Every year when it rains, the area is covered with a small layer of water and when that happens, it turns into a massive mirror – a brilliant natural spectacle. You can check the real video here.

2. Zhangye Danxia Landform, China

No, it’s not a painting. A real life colourful landform covering southeast China. The landform consists of various landscapes which are collectively known as Danxia Landform.  In 2010, six areas of the landform were inscribed as World Heritage Site. The above picture is of the Zhangye Landform, located between Sunan and Linze County of Zhangye in China. You can see more views in this video here .

3. Mendenhall Ice Caves, Juneau, Alaska

Located in the Mendenhall Vally, Juneau, Alaska, these caves can be found below the Mendenhall Glacier. A soothing sight it is (if you can bear the cold temperature though). Check out this video here from the Cohn Family Adventures.

4. Tulip Fields , Netherlands

Who can not know about this beautiful wonder ? Colourful, well-laid, rich, these Tulip fields are one of the symbolic identities of the Netherlands.

5. Lake Hillier, Middle Island, Recheche Archipelago, Western Australia

This one is for the PINK lovers. Lake Hillier in Western Australia is a bright pink colour lake. Termed as one of the weirdest places in the world, the source for the colour has not yet been determined. The water retains it’s pink colour even when taken in a container. Upon closer look, the water in the lake is clear with a pink hue to it. Inspite of it’s pink shade, the lake is not known to have any adverse effects on humans. If you want to learn about the science behind this, this video here might help you get closer.

Let me leave you with these places for now. More Unbelievable Travel destinations will follow up soon.