This Week in Design: April 4-10

Pac-Man hit the IRL world, scientists created a beer dress, and a robot fell in love with a mailbox.

Look out!

Too fast, too hungry

Walking around the busy streets of Manhattan can feel like a cross between a game of dodgeball and The Fast and the Furious. Constantly merging in-and-out of crowds, while also watching out for incoming traffic can be a huge source of stress. The clever folks at Google thought so too, so on April Fool’s, they launched Google Pac-Man Maps, a way to make navigation a bit more fun. The way it worked was pretty standard: a real Google map of any city transformed into a game of Pac-Man. The game was created by John Tantalo, a software engineer at Google, and his wife Mary Radcliffe, an assistant professor of mathematics in the field of graph theory at University of Washington, WIRED reports. BGR suggested some of the most challenging areas to play were: San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Lombard Street in San Francisco, Vermont Street in San Francisco, and, yes, Wagner Cove in New York City’s Central Park.

Love is blind

Because robots are the way of the future—though, let’s be real, they’re here already—they, like us, deserve love too. Filmmaker Evan Atherton recently directed the cutest love story ever-to-be-told, between a robot and a...mailbox. The short film features R2-D2 searching for love all over the Bay Area and finally encountering something that looks a lot like itself. You have to watch the film to get the full scope of the chemistry between these two. How did George Lucas OK this project? He didn’t have to. There’s an R2 Builders' Club whose main mission is to build R2-D2 models!


Polaroid isn’t giving up without a fight. The photo company that’s been around since 1937 refuses to allow smartphones to completely monopolize the camera industry. Adweek reports on Polaroid’s latest endeavor to stay-in-the-game by reframing its packaging. Their new camera, called Socialmatic, looks just like the Instagram logo. The camera is an “Android-based, 14-megapixel digital camera with an LCD touchscreen and WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth connectivity,” which means the insta-pic that comes out of the camera is also shareable on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. At $300, the price isn’t bad if you consider all the fun to be had.

Leonardo Di-Nero

via The New York Times

When actor Leonardo DiCaprio yelled out “I’m the king of the world!” in that one ship movie no one saw, the dude wasn’t far off. He’s an A-list actor with a gang of models at his beck and call, so what more could you want? A less polluted world! DiCaprio has been an avid environmentalist for years, and his latest offering to sweet mother Earth is the purchase of some prime real estate. About a decade ago, for the asking price of $1.75 million, DiCaprio became the owner of 104 acres of wild, unpopulated land off the coast of Belize, the New York Times reports. Now that same island is slated to become an “eco-conscious” resort. The “Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island” will feature your basic luxury necessities: private villas, infinity pools, etc. The resort is set to open in 2018 and will probably cost between $2,000-$3,000 a night...maybe more?

Intoxicatingly beautiful


In 2012, scientists Gary Cass and visual artist Donna Franklin collaborated on a project that suited both of their interests, and created a fermented wine dress that ended up looking more like a low-budget version of Lady Gaga’s meat gown. This year the duo reworked their concept attire and came up with a better, tastier version. The result: the beer dress. The difference between these two (once) edible dresses is very apparent—beer obviously makes for better wear. The dress will be on view May 1st in Milan at the annual World Food Expo.

Ad (boob) space

This last one is a doozy. A company based in Russia is banking on the tendency of most heterosexual men to initially focus on a woman’s breasts before anything else by selling ad space on women’s chests. Tittygram (ugh), which recently opened, says they’ve already signed with a dozen or so clients, charging about $7 to $10 for up to 35 words, Vocativ reports. The hired women get paid about $88 a day. The ad itself isn’t very creative, but merely words scribbled on cleavage with a black marker.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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