CLOSE

Fitting the World’s Largest Dinosaur in the Museum of Natural History

Last year, paleontologists unearthed the remains of what they believed to be the most massive dinosaur ever to walk the earth. The newly discovered species Titanosaurus lived 95 to 100 million years ago, and weighed in at nearly 80 tons (the combined weight of 14 African elephants). After the 122-foot-long skeletal cast of the creature has been assembled, curators at the Museum of Natural History in New York will face the challenge of trying to fit it into the museum.

The exhibit is larger than anything else they have on display, including their 39-foot T. Rex and their 94-foot blue whale. A spot will be cleared for it in the spacious Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Orientation Center on the museum’s fourth floor, displacing the model of a juvenile Barosaurus that had been there since 1996. The back of the skeleton will nearly reach the room’s 19-foot ceilings, while its head and a portion of its neck will poke out of the entryway doors and into the elevator bank.

Because the paleontologists only discovered about 40 percent of a complete skeleton, the museum will fabricate the rest of the bones. The discovered fossils will be scanned into a computer, where the files can be flipped to fill in the gaps on the corresponding side. The replicas will then be 3D-printed using foam milling and coated with resin or fiberglass, creating a lightweight product that’s comparable to a surfboard. This makes the “bones” easier to handle and helps construction.

The model will go on display at the Museum of Natural History in January of 2016. Hopefully, by then scientists will have come up with an official name for the species—Supersaurus and Giganotosaurus have already been taken.

You can check out the museum's digital rendering of what the exhibit will look like in the video above. 

[h/t: Wired]

Original image
Courtesy Chronicle Books
arrow
Design
Inside This Pop-Up Book Are a Planetarium, a Speaker, a Decoder Ring, and More
Original image
Courtesy Chronicle Books

Designer Kelli Anderson's new book is for more than just reading. This Book Is a Planetarium is really a collection of paper gadgets. With each thick, card stock page you turn, another surprise pops out.

"This book concisely explains—and actively demonstrates with six functional pop-up paper contraptions—the science at play in our everyday world," the book's back cover explains. It turns out, there's a whole lot you can do with a few pieces of paper and a little bit of imagination.

A book is open to reveal a spiralgraph inside.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

There's the eponymous planetarium, a paper dome that you can use with your cell phone's flashlight to project constellations onto the ceiling. There's a conical speaker, which you can use to amplify a smaller music player. There's a spiralgraph you can use to make geometric designs. There's a basic cipher you can use to encode and decode secret messages, and on its reverse side, a calendar. There's a stringed musical instrument you can play on. All are miniature, functional machines that can expand your perceptions of what a simple piece of paper can become.

The cover of This Book Is a Planetarium
Courtesy Chronicle Books
Original image
Ikea
arrow
Design
How IKEA Turned the Poäng Chair Into a Classic
Original image
Ikea

IKEA's Poäng chair looks as modern today as it did when it debuted in 1976. The U-shaped lounger has clean lines and a simple structure, and often evokes comparisons to Finnish designer Aalto’s famous “armchair 406.” Its design, however, is ultimately a true fusion of East and West, according to Co.Design.

In 2016, the Poäng celebrated its 40th birthday, and IKEA USA commemorated the occasion (and the 30 million-plus Poäng chairs they’ve sold over the years) by releasing two short videos about the armchair’s history and underlying design philosophy. Together, they tell the story of a fateful collaboration between Lars Engman, a young IKEA designer, and his co-worker, Noboru Nakamura.

Nakamura had initially come to IKEA to learn more about Scandinavian furniture. But the Japanese designer ended up imbuing the Poäng—which was initially called Poem—with his own distinct philosophy. He wanted to create a chair that swung “in an elegant way, which triggered me to imagine Poäng,” Nakamura recalled in a video interview. “That’s how I came up with a rocking chair.”

“A chair shouldn’t be a tool that binds and holds the sitter,” Nakamura explained. “It should rather be a tool that provides us with an emotional richness and creates an image where we let go of stress or frustration by swinging. Such movement in itself has meaning and value.”

Save for upholstery swaps, a 1992 name change, and a new-ish all-wooden frame that's easily flat-packed, the modern-day Poäng is still essentially the same product that customers have purchased and enjoyed for decades. Devotees of the chair can hear the full story by watching IKEA’s videos below—ideally, while swinging away at their desks.

[h/t Co. Design]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios