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7 Visions of the Future Sculpted in Play-Doh

Play-Doh, the wallpaper cleaning material-turned-sculpting compound, turns 60 today. To celebrate, the brand asked parents from around the world to share their kids’ predictions for what the future holds via social media. Some kids predicted dinosaurs would make a comeback; others thought we’d take a rocket to Mars; and still others thought the future would be rife with robots. The brand's official sculptor then brought those visions to life using nothing but Play-Doh, a process which took more than 40 hours to complete and required 200-plus cans of the compound. You can see the sculpts—and timelapse video of them being created—exclusively below, then share your own predictions for the future on social media using #PLAYDOH60 and #WORLDPLAYDOHDAY.

1. HUMANS AND ALIENS BECOME BEST FRIENDS

With the discovery of new Goldilocks planets—so named because they're "just right" for hosting life—happening all the time, this prediction seems likely to become a reality. As for what our future alien besties might look like, scientists have a few theories of their own (green tentacled monster sadly isn't one of them). Check out all the detail that went into creating this sculpt:

2. FASHION WILL BE FIERCER THAN EVER

Pretty much everyone—from The Strand magazine in 1893 to the British Pathé in 1939—has gotten in on the fashion prediction game. Thanks to the rise of wearables (which can track your fitness, measure your emotions like a mood ring, analyze your carbon footprint, and maybe one day even fly), it's safe to say future fashion will be more high-tech than ever before—so we'll probably be seeing something like this sculpt on tomorrow's hover-runways.

3. FOOTWEAR WILL FLY

Probably predicted by a kid wearing Heelys. (May we suggest said kid enroll in this sneaker design academy to make this a reality?) In the timelapse video of this sculpt, you can see how Play-Doh's artist painstakingly feathered layers of the compound to create those incredible wings:

4. EVERY FAMILY OWNS A PET UNICORN

Scientists recently announced that unicorns were real, and roamed the earth 29,000 years ago. Sadly, that animal was not as adorable as this sculpt—it was actually more of a furry rhino than what we typically think of as a unicorn. But we're holding out hope that scientists can make this prediction happen.

5. STOVES DO THE COOKING FOR YOU

Any talk of stoves that cook so you don't have to inevitably brings to mind Ray Bradbury. Of course, this stove is much cuter than anything Bradbury wrote about.

6. YOU CAN TRAVEL BACK IN TIME

We can only guess that this prediction was made by a kid obsessed with Back to the Future. (Ever wonder how Doc Brown and Marty got to be such good friends? We have the answer.)

7. HOUSES ARE IN THE SKY, AND CARS CAN FLY

We're constructing taller buildings every year, and we could have self-driving flying cars by 2018. What we're saying is, this vision of the future is happening sooner rather than later—and we're ready to live like the Jetsons.

All images and videos courtesy of Play-Doh and Hasbro.

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Art
5 Things You Might Not Know About Ansel Adams

You probably know Ansel Adams—who was born on February 20, 1902—as the man who helped promote the National Park Service through his magnificent photographs. But there was a lot more to the shutterbug than his iconic, black-and-white vistas. Here are five lesser-known facts about the celebrated photographer.

1. AN EARTHQUAKE LED TO HIS DISTINCTIVE NOSE.

Adams was a four-year-old tot when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck his hometown. Although the boy managed to escape injury during the quake itself, an aftershock threw him face-first into a garden wall, breaking his nose. According to a 1979 interview with TIME, Adams said that doctors told his parents that it would be best to fix the nose when the boy matured. He joked, "But of course I never did mature, so I still have the nose." The nose became Adams' most striking physical feature. His buddy Cedric Wright liked to refer to Adams' honker as his "earthquake nose.

2. HE ALMOST BECAME A PIANIST.

Adams was an energetic, inattentive student, and that trait coupled with a possible case of dyslexia earned him the heave-ho from private schools. It was clear, however, that he was a sharp boy—when motivated.

When Adams was just 12 years old, he taught himself to play the piano and read music, and he quickly showed a great aptitude for it. For nearly a dozen years, Adams focused intensely on his piano training. He was still playful—he would end performances by jumping up and sitting on his piano—but he took his musical education seriously. Adams ultimately devoted over a decade to his study, but he eventually came to the realization that his hands simply weren't big enough for him to become a professional concert pianist. He decided to leave the keys for the camera after meeting photographer Paul Strand, much to his family's dismay.

3. HE HELPED CREATE A NATIONAL PARK.

If you've ever enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park in California, tip your cap to Adams. In the 1930s Adams took a series of photographs that eventually became the book Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. When Adams sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the cabinet member showed it to Franklin Roosevelt. The photographs so delighted FDR that he wouldn't give the book back to Ickes. Adams sent Ickes a replacement copy, and FDR kept his with him in the White House.

After a few years, Ickes, Adams, and the Sierra Club successfully convinced Roosevelt to make Kings Canyon a national park in 1940. Roosevelt's designation specifically provided that the park be left totally undeveloped and roadless, so the only way FDR himself would ever experience it was through Adams' lenses.

4. HE WELCOMED COMMERCIAL ASSIGNMENTS.

While many of his contemporary fine art photographers shunned commercial assignments as crass or materialistic, Adams went out of his way to find paying gigs. If a company needed a camera for hire, Adams would generally show up, and as a result, he had some unlikely clients. According to The Ansel Adams Gallery, he snapped shots for everyone from IBM to AT&T to women's colleges to a dried fruit company. All of this commercial print work dismayed Adams's mentor Alfred Stieglitz and even worried Adams when he couldn't find time to work on his own projects. It did, however, keep the lights on.

5. HE AND GEORGIA O'KEEFFE WERE FRIENDS.

Adams and legendary painter O'Keeffe were pals and occasional traveling buddies who found common ground despite their very different artistic approaches. They met through their mutual friend/mentor Stieglitz—who eventually became O'Keeffe's husband—and became friends who traveled throughout the Southwest together during the 1930s. O'Keeffe would paint while Adams took photographs.

These journeys together led to some of the artists' best-known work, like Adams' portrait of O'Keeffe and a wrangler named Orville Cox, and while both artists revered nature and the American Southwest, Adams considered O'Keeffe the master when it came to capturing the area. 

“The Southwest is O’Keeffe’s land,” he wrote. “No one else has extracted from it such a style and color, or has revealed the essential forms so beautifully as she has in her paintings.”

The two remained close throughout their lives. Adams would visit O'Keeffe's ranch, and the two wrote to each other until Adams' death in 1984.

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Dan Bell
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Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

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