CLOSE

Cheeming Boey: Styrofoam Cup King

Cheeming Boey likes to draw, both at his computer, working as a computer game designer and animator out of Newport Beach, CA, and on foam cups. As the Orange Country Register recently put it: "Styrofoam, or, rather, the foam products most people refer to as Styrofoam, gets a bad rap: It's cheap. Disposable. Never degrades. The coffee cup you toss away today will still be polluting some ocean or landfill after your grandchildren die.

"About the only time it makes the news is when some city bans its use "“ as more than 20 California cities have done. Or when some art auction sells a foam cup with a dead ladybug in it for $29,900 "“ as happened in 2001. All of which makes the simple, 4-cent cup the epitome of pop art. It's at once kitschy and unhip and dismissed by all. Yet it can be a demanding medium to master. It's curved. It smudges. You can't redo mistakes. And every drawing must re-connect to its start."

Master it, Boey has. His cups are such a hit, they sell for more than $200 a piece. Check out some of our favorites here, but for more great photos of his cups, take a stroll over to WildAmmo.com and drink it all in.

3794872651_3fd3ed67bb_b-675x506

3877846315_37b6125324_b-675x506

3795725134_32e823787d_b-675x457
WildAmmo.com.

arrow
History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
holidays
Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)
iStock
iStock

For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, UglyChristmasSweater.com sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios