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ToyMatrix’s eBay

11 Great Geeky Umbrellas

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ToyMatrix’s eBay

If April showers bring May flowers, then let’s all hope it rains plenty this month. Grab one of these great geek umbrellas to shelter yourself from the storms.

1. Umbrella Corp.

Aside from the awesome Resident Evil reference, this umbrella is doubly geeky because it also is an Umbrella umbrella. Oh ThinkGeek, you’re so punny.

2. Middle Earth

Unfortunately, toymatrix’s eBay listing for an umbrella featuring a map of Middle Earth is now over and I can’t seem to find any other place you can buy it, but the design is too beautiful and geeky to leave off of this list.

3. TARDIS

It seems that any normal household object has been turned into a TARDIS version by someone somewhere, and as a Doctor Who fan, I think that’s fantastic. Craftster user MissSadieMae converted her umbrella into a TARDIS and the result is something most Whovians would be proud to carry around—even in sunny weather.

4. Blade Runner

You might not ever get a functional replica of Deckard's LAPD pistol, but you can walk through the rain in style, like so many of the inhabitants of his city, with this great LED umbrella available at ThinkGeek.

5. Broadsword

Wish you could have the style of those in Westeros, but don’t want to have to carry around a real sword everywhere you go? Well then, try this great broadsword umbrella from ThinkGeek. It might not cut down your enemies, but it also won’t land you in prison.

6. Vader’s Lightsaber

Alternatively, if you enjoy your weapons to be a little more futuristic, you can always join the dark side with the Neatoshop’s umbrella that features Darth Vader’s lightsaber for a handle and the logo of the Galactic Empire on the canopy. For those who prefer the light, Obi-Wan’s lightsaber is also available in umbrella form.

7. Marvel

Any comic book fan, or at least any Marvel fan, would be happy to bring home this great umbrella from Geek Lounge that features an array of classic Marvel titles.

8. Ms. Pac-Man

Just imagine how great an overhead shot of umbrellas on a rainy day would look with this one by etsy seller CreativeCommunity hanging out in the middle. In fact, since it’s a little larger than average, it just might look like your umbrella is running around eating all of the other umbrellas on the streets as if they were pellets.

9. Kaylee’s Parasol

Don’t use this one in the rain as it’s for sun protection only, but any Firefly fan will instantly recognize that Etsy seller Karen McBrowncoat’s design is based on Kaylee’s hypnotic parasol used to help mesmerize potential travelers in the first episode of the show.

10. X-Ray

Anastacia Spada’s x-ray umbrella is as unique as it is striking. It’s also perfect for any doctors or biologists who wish to stay dry while showing off their interests. If you want to make your own, Spada has instructions for doing so at the link.

11. Mood-Changing

While you might be in the mood for your umbrella to look a certain way on a particular day, you might not want to carry that same design when you’re in a different mood. That’s why the My Day Umbrella by Hsiao Yong-li is so brilliant. It offers six different design options that each come with their own ambient tune that is played from speakers in the umbrella. Don’t like the design you chose yesterday anymore? Simply turn the handle and pick a new one, and if you get tired of the six pre-programmed designs, you can always download more online.

Do any of you have any particularly geeky parasols or umbrellas? If not, do you have any designs you wish were available as rain protection? I personally would love to see an umbrella with Totoro holding his umbrella painted on it.

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Art
Artist Makes Colorful Prints From 1990s VHS Tapes

A collection of old VHS tapes offers endless crafting possibilities. You can use them to make bird houses, shelving units, or, if you’re London-based artist Dieter Ashton, screen prints from the physical tape itself.

As Co.Design reports, the recent London College of Communication graduate was originally intrigued by the art on the cover of old VHS and cassette tapes. He planned to digitally edit them as part of a new art project, but later realized that working with the ribbons of tape inside was much more interesting.

To make a print, Ashton unravels the film from cassettes and VHS tapes collected from his parents' home. He lets the strips fall randomly then presses them into tight, tangled arrangements with the screen. The piece is then brought to life with vibrant patterns and colors.

Ashton has started playing with ways to incorporate themes and motifs from the films he's repurposing into his artwork. If the movie behind one of his creations isn’t immediately obvious, you can always refer to its title. His pieces are named after movies like Backdraft, Under Siege, and that direct-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen classic Passport to Paris.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Dieter Ashton

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photography
This Is What Flowers Look Like When Photographed With an X-Ray Machine
Original image
Dr. Dain L. Tasker, “Peruvian Daffodil” (1938)

Many plant photographers choose to showcase the vibrant colors and physical details of exotic flora. For his work with flowers, Dr. Dain L. Tasker took a more bare-bones approach. The radiologist’s ghostly floral images were recorded using only an X-ray machine, according to Hyperallergic.

Tasker snapped his pictures of botanical life while he was working at Los Angeles’s Wilshire Hospital in the 1930s. He had minimal experience photographing landscapes and portraits in his spare time, but it wasn’t until he saw an X-ray of an amaryllis, taken by a colleague, that he felt inspired to swap his camera for the medical tool. He took black-and-white radiographs of everything from roses and daffodils to eucalypti and holly berries. The otherworldly artwork was featured in magazines and art shows during Tasker’s lifetime.

Selections from Tasker's body of work have been seen around the world, including as part of the Floral Studies exhibition at the Joseph Bellows Gallery in San Diego in 2016. Prints of his work are also available for purchase from the Stinehour Wemyss Editions and Howard Greenberg Gallery.

Dr. Dain L. Tasker, “Philodendron” (1938)
Dr. Dain L. Tasker, “Philodendron” (1938)

X-ray image of a rose.
Dr. Dain L. Tasker, “A Rose” (1936)

All images courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery.

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