Allison Crank
Allison Crank

With Virtual Reality, You Can Go Shopping With Giraffes

Allison Crank
Allison Crank

Trips to the mall can be excruciating, especially during the busy holiday season. Now, with virtual reality, fed-up consumers can get the experience of walking through the mall, but without the crowds—and with a lot more zoo animals. 

For her masters thesis, British designer Allison Crank created a digital mall that users can stroll through at their leisure. Called The Reality Theatre, the experience immerses the user in a completely different kind of shopping center.

"[With] the rise of online shopping and cyberspace, shops and malls are facing rapid obsolescence. To counter this, I propose that stores should be transformed into playgrounds for experiences, where consumers become actors with the ability to perform, spectate, play and indulge themselves in the environment," Crank explains on her website.

By putting on an Oculus Rift headset, users are transported to a technicolor shopping center with futuristic floating signs and free-roaming virtual zebras and giraffes (because why not?). They'll also encounter other shoppers, all wearing wild, colorful dresses.

However, shopping is not the main objective at this kaleidoscopic playground, according to the artist. "Shopping is a public performance. Stores are theatres where you can be both performer and spectator," Crank says.

"You assume the role of Ms. Smith, who is shopping for a chair in the Reality Theatre, from the moment she enters, to her interactions with the designer, to when she leaves. I leave it up to the viewers to immerse themselves in the virtual stage and performance."

The new spin on shopping was shown at the Design Academy Eindhoven as part of Dutch Design Week 2015.

[h/t Dezeen]

A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

When Chuck Yeager Tweeted Details About His Historic, Sound Barrier-Breaking Flight

Seventy years ago today—on October 14, 1947—Charles Elwood Yeager became the first person to travel faster than the speed of sound. The Air Force pilot broke the sound barrier in an experimental X-1 rocket plane (nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis”) over a California dry lake at an altitude of 25,000 feet.

In 2015, the nonagenarian posted a few details on Twitter surrounding the anniversary of the achievement, giving amazing insight into the history-making flight.

For even more on the historic ride, check out the video below.


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