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Deck of Cards Features History-Making American Women

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When Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president last week, her speech included these lines: "In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it. And we will help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable childcare and paid family leave is playing the ‘woman card,’ then deal me in!"

It’s not the first time she’s responded to charges of playing the "woman card," and in fact, the language surrounding the issue has become so well known that the Clinton campaign even sells a shirt reading "Deal me in." Now the figurative has become literal. A 54-card deck of playing cards featuring Clinton along with 14 other pioneering women is available for purchase. The set is called "The Woman Card[s]."

The project began as a Kickstarter and is a collaboration between Iowa-based siblings Zach and Zebby Wahls. The pair far exceeded their original $5000 goal—earning a whopping $150,000 with nearly 10,000 decks ordered. Those decks are now being shipped, and if you missed the Kickstarter, fear not: you can preorder one for arrival later this month.

Women like Amelia Earhart, Beyonce, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are depicted in all their glory across each of the suits, with Clinton serving as the ace in the deck, and Betty White and Ellen DeGeneres occupying the apt joker roles. The portraits were hand-drawn by Zebby, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa later this year.

If games aren’t your thing, you can also get your favorite card in an 18 inch by 24 inch premium print, or a 22 inch by 26 inch uncut sheet featuring all The Woman Cards—those are a limited set so you’ll need to act fast to secure one.

All images courtesy of Zach Wahls. 

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Scott Jarvie
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Design
Optical Illusion Rug Creates a Bottomless Void in Your Floor
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Scott Jarvie

Artist Scott Jarvie doesn’t believe home goods need to be warm and inviting to earn a spot in the house. That’s certainly the case with his mind-bending void rug: When viewed from a certain perspective, the interior design piece inspires feelings of dread rather than comfort.

According to designboom, Jarvie achieved the rug’s bottomless black hole illusion using clever, two-dimensional design elements. To people standing directly over it, the item resembles a shaded crescent moon cupping a flat black circle. But adjust your position, and the simple rug morphs into a stomach-turning void in the middle of your living room floor.

If the circular rug isn’t trippy enough, Jarvie also made a rectangular runner that can turn an entire hallway into an empty pit. Neither rug is something you’d want to forget you own on a midnight trip to the bathroom.

Void rug optical illusion.

Jarvie’s art isn’t limited to floor rugs that trick the eye. The Scotland-based artist’s creative furniture and home decor includes laundry balls, a cling wrap dispenser, and a chair made from 10,000 plastic drinking straws.

Void rug optical illusion.

Void rug optical illusion.

[h/t designboom]

All images courtesy of Scott Jarvie.

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Courtesy Umbrellium
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Design
These LED Crosswalks Adapt to Whoever Is Crossing
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Courtesy Umbrellium

Crosswalks are an often-neglected part of urban design; they’re usually just white stripes on dark asphalt. But recently, they’re getting more exciting—and safer—makeovers. In the Netherlands, there is a glow-in-the-dark crosswalk. In western India, there is a 3D crosswalk. And now, in London, there’s an interactive LED crosswalk that changes its configuration based on the situation, as Fast Company reports.

Created by the London-based design studio Umbrellium, the Starling Crossing (short for the much more tongue-twisting STigmergic Adaptive Responsive LearnING Crossing) changes its layout, size, configuration, and other design factors based on who’s waiting to cross and where they’re going.

“The Starling Crossing is a pedestrian crossing, built on today’s technology, that puts people first, enabling them to cross safely the way they want to cross, rather than one that tells them they can only cross in one place or a fixed way,” the company writes. That means that the system—which relies on cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor both pedestrian and vehicle traffic—adapts based on road conditions and where it thinks a pedestrian is going to go.

Starling Crossing - overview from Umbrellium on Vimeo.

If a bike is coming down the street, for example, it will project a place for the cyclist to wait for the light in the crosswalk. If the person is veering left like they’re going to cross diagonally, it will move the light-up crosswalk that way. During rush hour, when there are more pedestrians trying to get across the street, it will widen to accommodate them. It can also detect wet or dark conditions, making the crosswalk path wider to give pedestrians more of a buffer zone. Though the neural network can calculate people’s trajectories and velocity, it can also trigger a pattern of warning lights to alert people that they’re about to walk right into an oncoming bike or other unexpected hazard.

All this is to say that the system adapts to the reality of the road and traffic patterns, rather than forcing pedestrians to stay within the confines of a crosswalk system that was designed for car traffic.

The prototype is currently installed on a TV studio set in London, not a real road, and it still has plenty of safety testing to go through before it will appear on a road near you. But hopefully this is the kind of road infrastructure we’ll soon be able to see out in the real world.

[h/t Fast Company]

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