French Interactive Designer Filipe Vilas-Boas has created an awesome and beautiful way to turn peoples’ thoughts into shooting stars and constellations. Entitled Shooting Thoughts, Villas-Boas’ interactive art installation enables people to create their own unique constellations on the spectacular vaulted ceiling of Saint-Eustache Church in Paris, France.

Visitors create their constellations using their mobile phones by sending text messages to a certain number. The text messages are received by a computer program which translates them into instructions for a network of lasers mounted on the cathedral’s pillars. The lasers then project the patterns created by the software and, when certain beams of light align, a large cross is generate in the center of the ceiling.

Villas-Boas says, “Like all of us, each star finds its place at its own speed with its individual trajectory.”

Click here for a brief video demonstration of Shooting Thoughts.

[via designboom and the Daily Mail]

Today the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena shares a rare and incredible sight: a pod of sperm whales fast asleep, floating in a vertical position, some with noses pointed up towards the water’s surface, some pointed down to the ocean floor. It’s a haunting sight, something the whales are believed to do for only brief periods of about 12 minutes at a time. Quick, vertical power naps.

Researchers have observed sleeping sperm whales exhibiting the same sort of Rapid Eye Movement that’s associated with dreaming in humans. So now we’re wondering what sorts of awesome things whales dream about.

Above gif and image taken from video footage used in the Discovery Channel series The Magic of the Big Blue (episode 4 of 7). Click here to watch.

[via Twisted Sifter and Sploid]

America’s vice presidents have never looked so awesome. These tentacular ink and watercolor portraits are the work of Los Angeles-based artist and writer Jonathan Crow. His ongoing Veeptopus series depicts each US vice president with an octopus hanging out on his head (although he made a slight, yet somehow very appropriate, exception for Dick Cheney).

The portraits often accompanied by interesting historical tidbits and sometimes Crow deviates from straight cephalopod-VP portraiture to create wonderfully weird(er) pieces such as President Taft riding a badger.

Prints of the Veeptopus series are available via Jonathan Crow’s Etsy shop.

[via io9]

Even the Sun is getting into the Halloween spirit this year. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) just captured these awesome images of solar activity that make it look like the Sun has decided to dress up as the solar system’s largest, creepiest jack-o’-lantern.

The SDO has three instruments. The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager studies the magnetic field on the Sun’s surface. The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly is designed to study the solar corona, taking images 1.3 solar diameters in multiple wavelengths. The Extreme ultraviolet Variability Experiment is designed to investigate the varying spectrum of the Sun’s radiant energy and its interaction with the environment.

The goal of the SDO is to combine the data from these three instruments to improve our understanding of the solar physics that drives activity in the Sun’s atmosphere, which in turn drives space weather in the heliosphere and on the surface of planets.

Head over to Nerdist to learn more about NASA’s phenomenal work at the the SDO and how they’re able to show us our Sun as we’ve never seen it before.

[via Nerdist]

British artist Alex Chinneck recently unveiled an awesome new art installation in the piazza of London’s Covent Garden. Entitled Take my Lightning but Don’t Steal my Thunder, the piece presents the fantastic optical illusion that a 40-foot-long building has broken free of its base and floated up 10 feet in the air where it hovers in flagrant disobedience of the law of gravity.

The magical building is modeled on the original architecture of Covent Garden’s 184-year-old Market Building. The structure is mostly made of CNC-cut polystyrene.

"A 14 tonne (15.68 US tons) steel framework and a 4 tonne (4.48 US tons) counterweight were used to support the structure, and Chinneck employed a team of specialists including architectural consultants, structural engineers, steel fabricators, carpenters, and set builders, to help build it. The installation was transported to Covent Garden in pieces by truck and assembled within four days."

The mind-bending installation was transported to Covent Garden in pieces and assembled on site over a 4 day period. It’ll be on display through Friday October 24, 2014.

Click here for a short video about the creation of this amazing feat of art, design, architecture and engineering.

Visit the Covent Garden website for lots of additional info and click here for more photos.

[via Inspirationist, The Telegraph and Gizmag]

Master builders from the VirtuaLUG online LEGO User Group (previously featured here) teamed again to create another awesome collaborative build. This time they’ve turned their attention from Ancient Greece to 1980s American cinema with a phenomenal diorama depicting all of the locations and unforgettable scenes from The Goonies.

Builders contributing to this project include Tyler Halliwell, Davey Sterling, Stacy Sterling, Dennis Price, Betsy Sandberg, Heath Flor, Lee Jones,Chris Phipson, Hans Dendauw, and matt rowntRee. They constructed Mikey’s and Data’s houses, the wishing well park, One-Eyed Willie’s ship, and so much more.

Trying to take in all of the details they worked into this massive build is like going on your own treasure hunt. It’s a LEGO masterpiece and a wonderfully geeky love letter to an awesome movie. The VirtuaLUG team just displayed this diorama at the 2014 BrickCon in Seattle, where it was awarded the prize for Best In Town.

Click here for additional images.

[via Nerdist]

These awesomely surreal and delightful collages are the work of Eugenia Loli, a California-based collage artist who uses images scanned from vintage magazines and science publications to create bizarre and playful scenes. From a little girl creating our solar system by blowing bubbles to meat loaf that contains galaxies, children riding giant tortoises and planes that drop candy instead of bombs, these pieces reveal Loli’s love of science fiction and unabashed geekiness and we’re completely smitten.

For more of her wonderfully weird collages, follow Loli right here on Tumblr at eugenialoli. Prints of some of her collages are available here. She also offers many of her pieces as downloadable files under the Creative Commons license via her Flickr account.

[via Colossal]

Beijing-based Austrian architect and designer Florian Pucher turned a lifelong fascination with how the world looks from way up high in the sky into an awesome series of stylish area rugs.

“I have always loved to travel and tried to always get window seats on planes,” said the Beijing-based Austrian architect who even avoided travelling by night in order to see as many different landscapes as possible.

Pucher’s limited edition LANDCARPET series is modeled after aerial images, satellite photos and maps, of real locations from all over the world. Landscapes viewed from miles overhead are stylized and laid at your feet in plush maps of varying shape, color and height, made of 100% New Zealand wool.

Check out more of the LANDCARPET collection over on Florian Pucher’s website. Orders may be placed there as well.

[via Colossal]

Hungarian artist Ervin Herve-Loranth has unleashed a giant on the city of Budapest. Entitled Feltépve (“Ripped up” or “Pop Up”), the cranky colossus is made of polystyrene and appears to be emerging from a secret subterranean lair beneath Szechenyi Square. He was created for Art Market Budapest, a 4-day-long international contemporary art fair.

Head over to We Love Budapest for additional images.

[via The Telegraph, The Huffington Post UK and We Love Budapest]