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An Innovative Pen That Lets You "Borrow the Colors Around You"

Familiar with the Photoshop tool called the eye dropper, which gives an artist the power to pull colors from any background? Mashable recently shared a product called the Scribble Pen that brings that color-matching ability to the real world, using a sensor and advanced internal ink-mixing technology.

As demonstrated in the promo video above, Scribble Pen users press a button while the top of the pen is pressed against an object. When the RGB sensor picks up on a color, the "smart micro pump" inside the pen combines lightfast, water-resistant inks to match what the sensor sees. Then, the ink flows from one of the pen's three available tips. The device is rechargeable and has an advertised battery life of around seven hours. Another model, the Scribble Pen Stylus for tablets, lasts up to 15 hours.

As Mashable and CNET point out, there was a bit of controversy surrounding the technology when it first surfaced back in 2014. After its initial launch on Kickstarter, disgruntled backers learned that they had supported a project that only existed as a concept. Kickstarter gave the team behind Scribble 24 hours to produce a video that showed a working prototype. They declined and moved the project to another crowdfunding site called Tilt. There, they were met with the same criticism and the campaign was canceled. Scribble managed to raise over $594,000 before the cancelations, according to Mashable, but the backers were refunded.

According to information on Scribble's website, the company now has working products to offer—but some are still cautious. "I'm going to remain skeptical until I try one out myself," Mashable product analyst Raymond Wong wrote. "The Scribble Pen sounds amazing, but I've been let down by too many cool ideas that are just that, a cool idea."

You can pre-order the Scribble Pen for $249 and the Scribble Pen Stylus for $119 on the company's site.

Banner image via Scribble on YouTube

[h/t Mashable]

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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