All posts tagged “universe”

90 seconds of Skeletor insults prove he’s the meanest boss in the universe

You’ve got to assume that Eternia, the planet that He-Man and the Masters of the Universe call home, has very weak workers’ unions. Why else would the minions of Skeletor put up with a constant barrage of abuse and insults from their boss every time a carefully constructed plan to capture the good guys fails? Luckily, should StinkorKobra Khan, or Tri-Klops ever drum up a lawsuit against the nefarious Skeletor for his terrible treatment of subordinates, there’s video evidence to support their claims — DreamWorks TV has put together a 90-second video showing Skeletor’s harshest zings and baddest burns.

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The Verge – All Posts

Leave Earth Behind: “The Universe is a Small Hat”: Cesar Alvarez brings his fully participatory electronic musical to NYC’s Babycastles to examine the eternal problem of designing an ideal society

Leave Earth Behind:

It’s not extraordinarily uncommon to dream of packing your belongings, jumping on a spaceship and leaving Earth far, far behind. Motives may differ, from a hope to escape a planet polluted by unpleasantries, to an insatiable desire for adventure, but they all have…

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Cool Hunting

mycoocoon: Color Immersion Pod: Pantone Universe founders create a chromotherapy pod for sensory stimulation and relaxation at London restaurant Sketch

mycoocoon: Color Immersion Pod

by Caroline Kinneberg Experimental chef Pierre Gagnaire’s Sketch restaurant, a London design haven currently featuring work by beloved artist David Shrigley, has welcomed a new installation—a color therapeutic pod called );…

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Cool Hunting

Stephen Hawking joins Facebook, promises to share work toward ‘what makes the universe exist’

Stephen Hawking has joined Facebook, promising to share his work toward discovering “what makes the universe exist” with his followers of his new account. “Time and space may forever be a mystery, but that has not stopped my pursuit,” Hawking writes. “Our connections to one another have grown infinitely and now that I have the chance, I’m eager to share this journey with you.” His page has also posted a video of Hawking accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge, with his three children taking the plunge on his behalf. “It would not be wise for me to have a bucket of cold water poured over me,” Hawking says. The video is perhaps a fitting start given that Hawking has dealt with motor neuron disease for most of his life.

While Hawking joining…

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The Verge – All Posts

Pascal Blanche is building a stunning sci-fi universe

By day, Pascal Blanche is a senior art director at Ubisoft Montreal, a massive game studio where blockbusters like Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs are made. But by night, he’s an artist dreaming up captivating sci-fi worlds that harken back to greats like Chris Foss and Ralph McQuarrie. “I think it all started with Star Wars,” he says of his fascination with space and science fiction.

Unsurprisingly, the work of Foss, McQuarrie, and their ilk helped inspire Blanche to get into art in the…

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The Verge – All Posts

Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas

Alliteration Inspiration is a weekly column featuring the top twenty pieces of visual inspiration based on two random alliterative themes. This week’s thematic combo: universe & umbrellas.


While scientists debate whether or not the universe is infinite, there’s no debate that the possibilities of your brain certainly fit that description. Suit up, creative cosmonaut, and explore the far reaches of the inspiration universe with these ten pieces below.

Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Steve Wolf / Illustration
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Seth Eckert / Animated GIF
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Gregory Beauchamp / Xylene transfer print
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Chris Baty / Screen printed poster
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Jonas / Hand-lettered logo concepts
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Ronald Ferree / Poster
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Robin Heighway / Illustration
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Thumb Demon / Illustration
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Double Merrick / Screen printed poster
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Loulou & Tummie / Self promotion


While this noncommittal spring weather (at least here in Seattle) flip flops between rain umbrellas and cocktail umbrellas, the climate of creativity is always in season. For inspiration any time of year, open your mind to these ten uses of unbridled umbrella brilliance below.

Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Sneaky Raccoon x Stereohype / Illustrated pins
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Sam Smith / Movie poster design – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Brad Woodard / Illustration
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Priscila Manzini / Pattern design
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Ryan Pritchard / Poster design
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Tina Sharma / Poster design – An Awesome Wave, by Alt J
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Poppy & Red, Anna Deegan, Paula McGloin / Illustration
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Carlos Savage / Illustrated advertisement – Blunt Umbrellas
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Phalen Elonich / Illustration
Alliteration Inspiration: Universe & Umbrellas / on Design Work Life
Olga Vasik / Poster design

Design Work Life

Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe: The Guggenheim’s new exhibition presents a holistic view of the avant-garde art movement and its revolutionary ideals

Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe

Taking over nearly the entirety of NYC’s Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Guggenheim Museum, the upcoming exhibition “Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe” will ambitiously showcase the lesser known, early 20th century art movement. Originating in Italy in…

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Cool Hunting

Find out how the universe works with this entertaining app

Read more about Find out how the universe works with this entertaining app at

The universe, eh? What’s that all about? If you’ve ever wondered how it all works but found all the available literature a little too impenetrable and those Brian Cox programs a shade too heavy on the gazing wistfully at the sky stuff, here’s Snapshots of the Universe, an app that makes it a bit easier to get your head around some of the more difficult aspects of cosmology.

Creative Bloq

How to Be the Worst Freelance Designer in the Universe (in Just 10 Steps)

How to be a what? -asks you.

Well, yeah, being the honest freelancer seems a bit too mainstream. Besides, it’s way too difficult. So why not just be the worst one instead – the underachiever of the freelancing world if you will?

How to Be the Worst Freelance Designer in the Universe (in Just 10 Steps)

Now, why am I going with such an angle? Frankly, everyone knows that there’s more than one path to success, but there are certainly even more paths to failure, and I bet you any money that for every successful freelancer, there are at least 10 struggling. And don’t get me wrong, even though I personally embrace failure as the best way to learn things, I don’t actually want anyone to fail, so contrary to what the title says, this article is about succeeding.

The thing here is that, as it turns out, bad habits and bad practices often go unnoticed, and when you finally manage to realize the mistakes you’ve done, it can take a long while to fix the situation.

Therefore, here are the 10 steps to becoming the worst freelancer in the universe (and how not to be one). I encourage you to use this list for reference when assessing the things you are doing in your business.

Disclaimer. This post is written in a reverse manner. A rare approach, but I think this topic is perfect for it. In other words, instead of talking about things you’d do to improve at something, I’m listing the things you’d do to kill your career. So, if you indeed want to succeed in your freelance design journey, do the exact opposite.

All of the things featured below are practices that I’ve actually seen happening, either being done by my peers or being done to me (hey, even freelancers become freelance clients at some times).

1. Try Getting Almost All of the Money Upfront

instantShift - Try getting almost all of the money upfront

Asking for a 50/50 split (half of the money upfront and half upon completion) is just so 2006. Really, the new breed of freelancers does it differently … 60/40, or 50/30/20, which is even better.

The trick is to convince your client to give you as much as 80%+ of the money before the work is done.

This is all about crafting your pitch correctly. For instance, no one will take you up on your offer if you word it like this:

“Yeah, so you pay me 90% of the money upfront via Western Union, and then 10% upon completion. By the way, no revisions included.”

However, it’s a different story if you do it like this:

“We can start right after the initial 50% upfront payment. Then, we have one milestone point mid-project, at which we expect another 30% of the payment. The final batch is paid upon delivery.”

What the above means in plain English is “you pay me 80% of the money before you get any actual outcomes you can use for anything.” (Fairly common practice, by the way.)

2. Avoid Contracts at All Costs

Contracts are bad. First of all, they force you to meet deadlines (more about deadlines in a minute) and face some consequences if you miss them. Secondly, they hold you accountable for things. And as you’d guess, being vulnerable in any shape or form is not good for business.

Think about it, if you screw up, some legal action can actually be taken against you since there was a contract involved. So what’s the simplest solution here? … Not screwing up? No, too complicated. Not having any contract whatsoever? Yes!

3. Bash Your Peers (Your Freelancing Competition)

instantShift - Bash your peers

This is the first step after getting any new project on your radar. Always start by looking at some previous work that other freelance designers have done for your client and immediately laugh it off.

The idea is that instead of acknowledging your peers and trying to understand what the previous goals of the projects were (etc.), you’re boosting your ego and portraying yourself as the all-knowing expert.

4. Always Focus on What You Want Out of the Project

…as opposed to focusing on what the client wants.

And yes, this really is possible. It’s all in the execution. Here’s what you do, in that order:

  • Remember that just a minute ago you laughed off the previous freelancer’s work. So now, start by ensuring your client that their needs will be met and that you understand the project 100%. In short, this initial step is all about listening to what your client says and acting like you care; and then…
  • Do whatever you wanted to do in the first place.

Now, what if the client gets a bit angry. Simple:

  • Say that you know better and that it’s probably the reason they hired you (so you’re kind of using their actions as a weapon against them).
  • Say that it’s your way of working and that it’s how you’ve always worked.
  • Add that your previous clients always enjoyed the final result no matter what.
  • Revert responsibility by blaming the client for not explaining the project properly.

Then comes the best part. At this point, listen again to what the client has to say, and repeat the whole process all over again.

5. Don’t have any Data Security

instantShift - Don't have any data security

“Sorry Mr. Karol, but your project got lost due to a massive hard drive crash we had yesterday. There really was nothing we could do about it…”

Well, sure they couldn’t. After all, it’s 2013 and tools like SugarSync or Dropbox haven’t been invented yet. Oh wait, no, they have…

([Gimmick-off note]: SugarSync and Dropbox are both quite similar and allow easy data synchronization across multiple devices. Google Drive has also entered this game and should be considered a sensible alternative.)

All in all, not backing up your client’s ongoing project is a serious douchebag-freelancer practice. But when a crash happens, you can at least get away with prolonging the deadline, so there are always some benefits, right?

6. Don’t Introduce any Professionalism into your Way of doing Business

instantShift - Don't introduce any professionalism

First of all, don’t have any professional-looking email address. Your old high school email is still cool, clients will love it (or learn to love it, which is the same).

Next, be as inaccessible as possible. I mean, don’t respond to email in anything even remotely timely. Don’t care about any messages from your client marked as “urgent” and don’t care about anything they say is important.

Have no actual branding or no identifiable feel that would make you look like a real business on top of the traditional “I’m in my momma’s basement with this business anyway.”

Say no to any request of having a phone call to talk over some project details. “Email is enough, you client!”

Use no good-looking client proposals that can be viewed, examined, and responded-to online, which would speed up your prospecting considerably. After all, like I said, it’s 2013 and tools like Bidsketch haven’t been invented yet… Oh wait, no, this one has too.

Forget about project management software! No one needs this crap, it’s only some additional hassle. If your clients want to have a look into what’s going on, they will have to grab their car keys and visit you personally because giving them some online access through Basecamp would be too much for you.

To bring this all together, everything that would convey a message different than: “Take my offer or whatev, I don’t even care” is not worthy of a true freelance design underachiever.

7. Don’t do Marketing

This one’s a no-brainer. Frankly, you’re a genius. And geniuses don’t need marketing. Think of yourself like the Kanye West of freelance design. Kanye doesn’t need any marketing. All he has to do is sit and wait for some monies to come to him just like that.

In the freelancing world, if clients don’t come to you begging for a project, you’re not good enough.

8. Don’t have any Actual Client Service/Support

instantShift - Don't have any actual client service/support

When a project is done, it’s done. There’s no need to follow up with a client or listen to their suggestions. For instance, if you get contacted by a client with concerns, ignore them completely. It’s no longer your business. If they’re persistent, mark their email as spam. This is how modern freelancing business is done!

9. Deadlines; “whatev”-lines

Remember, deadlines are not any actual important points in time. They are just a guide for you as for when the most convenient moment to deliver the project would be. But, you don’t have to be bothered with them. In the end, when you miss a deadline, all you have to do is say you’re sorry and move it a couple of days forward.

Really, it’s not like some actual money can be lost if you miss a deadline. Scratch that, it’s not like some actual money of yours can be lost.

10. Don’t Set any Milestones

instantShift - Don't set any milestones

Milestones are also known as sub-deadlines. They are not cool for one main reason. Once set, they force you to work on a project gradually, and not just completing it at the last moment in a huge surge of creativity and freelancing power.

It’s really really difficult to fake work when you have some milestones set in the project calendar…

Conclusion (gimmick off)

Whether we like it or not, the freelancing world can be harsh, and just like in any other environment, here too are many douchebags and people who are just interested in the quick buck.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to recognize them at first sight. And what’s even sadder is that it’s also easy to do something quite douchebaggy yourself without realizing it at first.

When it’s all said and done, we are in this world to grow and to realize the dangers that lay before us. That’s why having your finger on the pulse is so important, not only when it comes to having an overall picture of the market, but also being 100% conscious of the things you’re doing and what impact they have on your image.

I hope that this article and its forcible tone will guide your attention to this issue and help you stay on the light side of the force.

Also, let’s not make this all that negative. Instead, let’s have some more fun. Do you know of any other douchebag-freelancer methods and tactics that you’ve seen in practice? Feel free to share.


Image CreditsepSos .de, dead cat, Dell Inc., Aaron

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10 Free Apps For Amateur Astronomers To Discover Our Universe

Love astronomy? Get your smartphone in on your love for the stars. While we used to turn to astronomy books and home telescopes to observe constellations and planetary bodies, now we have apps for that, scratch that, we have 10 apps for your iOS or Android device to help find the locations of stars, planets, satellites and space stations.

Night Sky

Many of these apps use augmented reality combined the device’s camera to show you exactly where the stars are. You can point your device’s camera towards the sky and find the position of stars and constellations.

You can then use these apps to find out more educational information about a celestial body, or to plan ahead for your stargazing activities.

1. Star Chart

Apart from the augmented reality apps like Star Chart affords users, this app goes the extra mile when it comes to time travel, about 10,000 years forward or backward in time. You can also change your location to view the night sky from other points on Earth, and in-app purchases unlock enhanced star catalogues, meteor showers, comets etc.

Platform: iOS | Android

Star Chart

2. NASA App

Love to catch up on what NASA the space agency is working on? This NASA app keeps you in the loop about the latest NASA missions plus images (updated daily), news, features, tweets, satellite trackers and even live stream from NASA TV. It also has launch information, a countdown clock and it tracks the ISS sighting opportunities.

Platform: iOS | Android


3. Night Sky Lite

Despite the information you can get from these stargazing apps, at the end of the night, all we want is to gaze at stars. This app comes with a community that suggests great stargazing locations across the world. On top of that, it also checks weather conditions for the coming night so you know if it is a night worth staying up for stargazing.

Platform: iOS | Android

Night Sky

4. SkyView Free

SkyView uses the back camera to give you information like the paths of objects in the sky and names of the bright lights you see. You can also search for and locate specific stars or space stations. Like something you see and want to share it with the world? Sharing is enabled on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Platform: iOS


5. GoSkyWatch Planetarium

This app is available exclusively for the iPad. With its big screen, and 180 degrees view, it shows you information about any star or planet that you can view with the naked eye. Planets are shown in relative brightness. Touch any celestial object for a pop up that shows you the information about the object.

Platform: iOS


6. ISS Detector

Did you know that you can see the International Space Station (ISS) with the naked eye? This ISS Detector app can notify you with an alarm 5 minutes ahead of time before the ISS flies by. With in-app purchase, it also lets you track the Tiangong space station, the Hubble space telescope, satellites and comets too.

Platform: Android

ISS Detector

7. Sky Map

With Google Sky Map uses compass data and GPS to accurately identify the celestial object you are pointing your phone at. It can direct you to the section of the sky you should be observing, to find the object of your desire or you can ‘time travel’ and find out where the object will be at a different (later) hour of the night.

Platform: Android

Sky Map

8. SkEye Astronomy

With this app installed, you can strap your phone onto the OTA of your telescope to guide you on where to look. The database has 180 bright objects, Messier objects, planets in our solar systems and you can use the Time Machine object to jump ahead and plan your nightly stargazing events.

Platform: Android


9. Star & Planet Finder

Pick a star, planet or satellite from the list and it will show you where it is by using your device’s back camera and pointing you to the correct direction. The free option comes with only a few planets, but if you like the app, you can unlock other stars and satellites with in-app purchases.

Platform: iOS

Star & Planet

10. Satellite Augmented Reality

If for some reason you would like to observe and track satellites instead of natural objects in the sky, this app can help you track the path and location of satellites orbiting our earth. You can search through a database to look for the one you want, and then point your device towards the sky and it will show you where it is.

Platform: Android

Satellite AR