Layer Tennis: Art as Competition

We've discussed Layer Tennis before: it's a live online competition in which graphic designers trade art back and forth, building upon and changing the art during each fifteen-minute turn, in a kind of graphic design Battle Royale. You may say: huh? Well, here are some sample layers from last week's match between Brooklynites Armin Vit and Sam Potts. In the opening salvo, Vit introduces a wrestling/typography theme:

Potts responds with a beautifully-executed discus-related diss. Is he fronting?

Layer 2 by Potts

By the penultimate layer of the match, various new themes (Jell-O, birth and death, crotch-kicking, Photoshop abuse) have been added, and the match has become very personal. In the ninth layer, Vit responds:

Layer 9 by Vit

In the tenth and final layer, Potts wraps things up with illustration layered over a very lovely (and heavily discounted) bridge:

Layer 10 by Potts

New Match Tomorrow!

The next live Layer Tennis match begins tomorrow (Friday, March 27) at 3pm Eastern. Contestants are Jason Santa Maria (East Coast) and Derek Powazek (West Coast). Which man will dominate? Tune in to find out....

Season tickets are free, and ticket holders can join in the action -- by voting, commenting, remixing layers, and more. For more info, just check out the Layer Tennis site. For past matches, check the archives. (I recommend the psychedelic Owens vs. Gnewikow match from December 2007.)

Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air

Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.


As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]


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