Simple forms, when arranged in intricate and symmetrical patterns, can be absolutely mesmerizing. The Geometry Daily Tumblr is a testament to the power of minimalism, and bringing design back to basics.
The artist behind the imagery is Tilman, who only goes by one name, teaches interaction design at the University of Applied Sciences, and is also a graphic designer living and working in Nuremberg, Germany. He embarked on this daily design challenge while taking a year off of agency design work, and the Tumblr's popularity has grown so much that Tilman now sells prints and t-shirts featuring his designs.
Why did Tilman decide to immerse himself with 365 days of geometry? The shapes are "a simplification of our real world, but also their building blocks. Geometry . . . defines how our world is constructed," he explained. Each design is created as a vector graphic in Illustrator, then printed on paper. The creations are various shapes and sizes, but always designed with minimalism in mind, against a white background.
As the sun went down, Instagram user cyrenakh captured this swinging silhouette on the beach in Santa Monica and submitted using the #CoolCapture hashtag.
Have you been testing out your photography skills and snapped a shot you want to share? Submit your pics to our Cool Capture group or to Instagram with the #coolcapture hashtag, and your pic might be featured on the POPSUGAR Tech homepage. And don't forget to follow @popsugartech on Instagram!
While we've always believed geek to be chic, it's proving to be cool beyond the tech and fandom worlds. Between statement tops and the official decree of "geek chic" as a style, nerds are ruling the runway. Take a look at a few of our favorite pieces that showcase our motto to the world — it's about time!
If you were to stop and go through the quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies weighing down your purse or cluttering up your car cup holder, how much do you think you'd collect? $10? $25? Well, according to the experts at Coinstar, the average amount cashed in for eCertificates and/or gift cards at their coin kiosks is a whopping $56 — twice as much as people think they have. Talk about a nice, unexpected chunk of change as we head into the holiday season (especially since so many of us go over budget on holiday shopping!).
Our advice to you: make every coin count! Take a few minutes to grab all the spare change "jingle-belling" in your purses, pockets, car, and desk drawers, then hit your local Coinstar kiosk, where you can turn the contents of your coin jar into cash or no-fee eCertificates from popular brands, including Amazon, iTunes, Gap, and Starbucks. Click here to find the Coinstar kiosk closest to you.
Now that you know there might be more change lying around than you think, what would you do with those extra pennies this holiday?
Selfies on the next SAT? Maybe. This Summer Oxford Dictionaries online kept it classy, adding words like "twerk," "FOMO," and "jorts" to their online repertoire, making us "squee!" But, before you blame Miley Cyrus for the direction the English language is headed, take our quiz and test your new vocab knowledge. Spelling bees are about to get interesting.
Summer sunsets are unforgettable, but automatic camera settings hardly do the rich, pink, and golden tones justice. Take a look at three common sunset photography problems and the easy adjustments you can make to solve them.
The picture looks boring: Photos need a point of interest, and dark silhouettes like people, palm trees, mountains, birds, or boats add a breakaway contrast to the vibrant sunset backdrop. Remember the rule of thirds, and keep all lines, subjects, and the sunset itself slightly off center.
The colors are washed out: First, set the white balance to cloudy mode, so the camera will automatically bring out the warm, orange-pink hues of the sunset. Then set the camera to aperture or shutter priority mode. Shoot a little above and below the exposure bracket to experiment. Start with quicker shutter speeds and smaller aperture settings (larger number), and slowly work toward slower shutters speeds and larger aperture settings to bring in more light. If the camera struggles to focus automatically, thus preventing you from snapping the photo, then switch to manual focus.
The photos are blurry: Bring a tripod. Slow shutter speeds and large aperture settings (smaller numbers) will turn out blurry when you're holding the camera in your hand. The tripod stabilizes the camera, allowing it to soak up all the glorious golden light.
This week in the Twitterverse, our favorite Internet celebrities modernized historic moments and received NSFW gifts from fellow geeks. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hopes to one day lead a March on Mars, and actors Martin Freeman and Simon Pegg shared a very special moment on The World's End set. See Neil, Martin, and more of our favorite geeks in this week's top 10 tweets.
StarTalk Radio host Neil deGrasse Tyson modernizes Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision, 50 years after the historic March on Washington.
I have a dream that one day . . . we will walk on Mars
Because books are one of our favorite gifts to give and receive, our houses are lined with some of the best geek reads. While not necessarily the most portable of books, the coffee table book, with its glossy pictures and random trivia, is a fun way to round out a collection of imaginative novels Whether you always have your head tilted toward the stars or have a passion for photography, one of these eight books will find a perfect spot in your living room.
National design competitions and penguin avatars are helping youth see success in math, coding, and computational thinking. Our partners at ReadWrite share this look at the benefits of gaming.
By Stephanie Chan
Video games are often at the center of negative press for their effect on children. But that's not the only story that can be told. Video games used as teaching tools can change lives and impart excellent skills.
With news of any youth in possession of a gun or worse being the perpetrator of a shooting, the eyes of the world fall on their consumption of media: What video game did that child play last? Names like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty have become synonymous with a supposed cultural degradation, the blame of many for the rise of youth violence and gun homicides.
But children can also learn from the creation of and interaction with video games dispelling the harsh stigma of the child/video game complex and bringing a revolution to the educational system. A revolution that will be gamified.
Video games utilized for education can have unique and positive effects. Two programs make this very clear: The National STEM Video Game Challenge is an annual call for middle to high schoolers to submit their own video game designs and compete on the national level with other children their age. By designing their own games, children learn the ins and outs of coding, strategy, and digital creation.
The Mind Research Institute's ST Math video game is another example of education gamification, as it utilizes the medium of a video game to teach students to conceptualize math in brand-new ways. This lets children have a visual representation of math problems in motion; what was once just numbers placed flat in a textbook now dance to life with a digital companion to aid in figuring out solutions.
The gamification of education is radical and effective. Such alternative methods to today's education system deserve a closer look.
The 2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge is a call for youth to design and submit their own video games in an effort to increase science and technology learning. This challenge, started in 2010, was created in response to the White House’s push towards STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. The goal is simple — plant an interest in technology and engineering by spurring youth to create their own video games. The question lies in if the students are actually able to build a platform themselves.
Turns out — to no surprise — they can. Here are the winners from the 2013 Challenge, with video game designs encompassing everything from community and literacy, to math, science and health.
Through the project, kids learn and take away a myriad of lessons about communication, collaboration, problem solving, and systems and computer thinking. The high number of educational Challenge submissions speaks to the interest of youth to see video games with an academic framework. It’s taking a medium already used by students and developing the games in a way that benefits their progress in school.
Matthew Peterson from the Mind Research Institute argues that learning through video games — sans words — is the key to increased learning opportunities. With an emphasis on math education, the MRI aims to forever change how students achieve success in math.
For example, MRI’s ST Math software is a video game where each level depicts a new math problem for the player to solve. Problems are presented without words, and instead inferred through pictures and numbers. An animated penguin is the friendly guide throughout each level — users must solve the math problem so that the penguin can cross the screen.
In his TED Talk, Peterson speaks about how teaching math through video games is the key to raising test scores, granting educational opportunities and achieving success for the future.
Youth thrive in being their own purveyors of their educational journey. Textbooks and paperwork provide only one way for students to engage in mathematics, a method that does not account for the variances in the many ways children learn. ST Math’s utilization of avatars, movement, and interactivity with problem solving grants players the agency needed to acquire a solid command of math skills. MRI's dataset shows the improvement of math test proficiency in schools across America who used ST Math for one to two years.
The conversation surrounding children and video games can be shifted to reveal the hugely positive hack it's creating in the educational system at this very moment. Kids may be born into the care of screens, but if utilized in the right ways, those screens can create significant improvement in areas like science, tech, and math.