December 30, 2005
With a bit of confusion, it's all over and we do have a winner: Iconomy, who e-mailed me the answer before anyone else came up with it (as well as timestamping her said answer on Metafilter). Iconomy's email reads:
We had a lot of fun on Ask Metafilter trying to discover what these were! They're part of the Dushanbe Optical Tracking Facility. These are part of the Okno system, in Tajikistan. It's an optronic system for observing space objects - a space tracking system. (Although USA thought it was a military laser system)
Much congratulations to Iconomy. This is how she found it:
I typed the words SPACE and DOME into Google. The image was on the second page of the returns. It was totally hit and miss. First I tried combinations of observatory and dome and all kinds of things. I spent well over an hour trying to find it...hee.
Iconomy says she does not desire the highly valuable and fashionable prize, which is quite astonishing given that it makes such a lovely handbag (I gave my wife 5 of them for Christmas). So now, because of Iconomy's evident unwillingness to accept this oh-so-chic masterful thing of coolness, I will announce the surprise second place winner!
Scott Elyard! You are the amazing second place winner in the "Win Big!" contest and you will receive Iconomy's prize! Scott's winning comment reads:
Next, on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom... witness the eggs of the fabulous Mechagodzilla--and, oh look! The one nearest to us is about to hatch--AIIIIIEEEEE! RUN AWAY
Great job, Scott! And great thanks to everyone else involved. All 5... thousand of you.
December 22, 2005
Guess where and what this thing is and you'll receive the grand prize... the admiration of Tinselman (and your peers).
Update: I've decided to up the ante. The first person who discovers the exact name, location and purpose of this large thing will win a sporty Ambo-face Messenger Bag. This contest will be judged by an esteemed panel of judges (me and my dog). If there is no clear winner by January 1st, Nutmeg and I will simply choose the most inventive answer. So good luck (and good cheer)!
Important... please remember the name, location and purpose of the mystery object. State all three at once or you may end up giving away vital clues to the other participants.
December 21, 2005
Down, down, down we shrink, 165 billion times into the fascinating world of the atom. We're either exploring a single iron crystal or we're visiting Atomium in Brussels, a colossal molocular model, designed for Belgium's 1958 Expo by engineer Andre Waterkeyn. The Atomium was planned to be disassembled within six months. Now it's considered by some (like the ultra-reliable wikipedia) to be the Eiffel Tower of Brussels.
If you visit Atomium, you'll get a suprise treat: the atomic structure is so big that all of Europe beneath it has been sucked into a time/space vortex and become oddly miniaturize. In scientific terms, we call this phenomenon "Mini-Europe" and the sensation is strongest directly at the crystal's base.
Or it may just be a little park of miniatures. Unfortunately, they forgot to make a miniature of the Atomium itself, which would have been somehow perfect. What a disapointment! For that, you'll have to travel to Minimundus in Austria.
December 17, 2005
He Yelps for Help
Poor Samorost. His dog has just been stolen by aliens and now you must help him (or be him) as he attempts to rescue his poor pup. The game is Samorost 2 by Czech design group, Amanita Design. The game-play is compelling enough but it's the visuals that really pull you in: they're beautiful – a Dr. Seussian world, but with more texture, dimension and dirt. I couldn't wait to get to the next area, just to see more.
I can't usually find games I enjoy, but I couldn't pull myself away from this one. Plus, half is free!
Lunch Break, in Pink
Aquired Art Crusade
It's time for shopping so relax, buy yourself a cup o' jo and go browse the stores. Greet your fellow shoppers and smile at Santa. But when your finished, don't forget to examine your change... it might be art!
In an effort to take the class system out of ownership, an anonymous artist has screenprinted 450 bills with black and red iconic imagery (an expensive undertaking). I don't know if he'll achieve his goal; I just like the pretty pictures! (Why didn't they get him to design our money?)
(via: Josh Spear)