Nokia’s 4D Projection

“Millbank was plunged into darkness with the iconic tower acting as the canvas for a never-before-seen spectacular. Each of the 393 foot high building’s 800 windows were covered with vinyl as 16 powerful projectors, stationed 984 feet away on the other side of the river, beamed 3D images onto the structure. Huge butterflies flew across the London skyline and the tower was twisted, pulsated and even fell down. Billed as the ‘future of live events’ the spectacular show was accompanied by music from super producer deadmau5, who created exclusive remixes for the performance — adding the 4th dimension.”

Via: UniqueDaily

 

 

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The World’s Smartest RV

MARV’s cinematic debut has finally arrived! Check out the story of how we transformed a yellow 1973 RV into MARV, an interactive experience with his own personality.

After you watch the video, you can track MARV’s progress as he tells students across the country about Welcome to College.

Want to learn more about MARV? Visit our portfolio for the whole story.

Via: RealArtBlog

The Rebellious History of Pinball

Pinball was banned from the early 1940s to the mid-1970s in most of America’s big cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where the game was born and where virtually all of its manufacturers have historically been located. The stated reason for the bans: Pinball was a game of chance, not skill, and so it was a form of gambling. To be fair, pinball really did involve a lot less skill in the early years of the game, largely because the flipper wasn’t invented until 1947, five years after most of the bans were implemented. Up until then, players would bump and tilt the machines in order to sway the ball’s gravity. Many lawmakers also believed pinball to be a mafia-run racket and a time- and dime-waster for impressionable youth. (The machines robbed the “pockets of schoolchildren in the form of nickels and dimes given to them as lunch money,” New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia wrote in a Supreme Court affidavit.)

NYPD Held Prohibition-Style Raids on Pinball. In New York, the pinball ban was executed in a particularly dramatic fashion. Just weeks after Pearl Harbor was attacked, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia issued an ultimatum to the city’s police force stating that their top priority would be to round up pinball machines and arrest their owners. La Guardia proceeded to spearhead massive Prohibition-style raids in which thousands of machines were rounded up in a matter of days, before being dramatically smashed with sledgehammers by the mayor and police commissioner. The machines were then dumped into the city’s rivers.

Although pinball was illegal in New York, it did not disappear entirely — it just moved behind curtains to seedy pornography shops, in places like Harlem and Greenwich Village. And the police were still raiding illegal pinball operators through the 1970s.

Pinball production changed during World War II, much of America’s manufacturing infrastructure switched over to the war effort. The pinball industry, which was a major user of copper wiring, was no exception. During the war, few new games were made. Instead, pinball suppliers began selling so-called conversion kits, which would allow pinball operators to transform a machine’s artwork to a fresh theme. These conversion themes often took the form of wartime motifs, such as the patriotic “Victory in the Pacific.”

Because pinball was illegal for so long, it became a symbol of youth and rebellion. If you watch a movie or TV show that was either produced or takes place during this period, virtually any time pinball makes an appearance, it is for the purpose of portraying to the audience that a particular character is a rebel. For example, the Fonz is regularly seen playing pinball in “Happy Days” episodes. And when “Tommy,The Who’s pinball-wizard-themed rock opera album came out in 1972, pinball was still banned in much of the country. The album’s use of pinball is largely misunderstood by today’s audiences, who may view the deaf, dumb and blind pinball wizard as quirky. In all likelihood, The Who was using the game to portray the titular character as anti-authoritarian.

Filmmaker Richard Linklater makes use of this symbol in a significant number of his movies, with rebellious or outcast characters seen playing or talking about pinball in virtually every one. And in “The Simpsons,” Sideshow Bob once proclaimed, “Television has ruined more young minds than pinball and syphilis combined.”

In 1976, the New York City pinball ban was overturned. The coin-operated amusement lobby (which represented the pinball industry) eventually succeeded in earning a City Council hearing to re-examine the long-standing ban. Their strategy: prove that pinball was a game of skill, not chance, and thus should be legal. To do this, they decided to call in the best player they could find in order to demonstrate his pinball wizardry — a 26-year-old magazine editor named Roger Sharpe. Fearful that this hearing might be their only shot at overturning the ban, the industry brought in two machines, one to serve as a backup in case any problems arose with the primary machine.

Suspicious that the pinballers had rigged the primary machine, one particularly antagonistic councilman told them that he wanted them to use the backup. This presented a problem: While Sharpe was intimately familiar with the first-choice game, he had never played the backup. As he played the game, surrounded by a huddle of journalists, cameras and councilmen, he did little to impress City Council’s anti-pinball coalition. So he made a final Hail Mary move that, to this day, he compares to Babe Ruth’s famous called shot in center field. He pulled back the plunger to launch a new ball, pointed at the middle lane at the top of the playing field, and boldly stated that, based only on his skill, he would get the ball to land through that middle lane. He let go of the plunger and it did what he said. Almost on the spot, the City Council voted to overturn the ban.

When asked Sharpe what he thought would have happened if he had missed the shot. After thinking about it for a few hours, he got back to me: “I’m not sure pinball would be legal today.”

Pinball is still illegal in some places. Just a few years ago, Nashville, Tenn. overturned its ban on children under 18 playing, or even standing within 10 feet of, a pinball machine. And, to this day, it is illegal to play pinball on Sundays in Ocean City, N.J.

Hugh Hefner collects pinball machines and has cooperated with pinball companies for at least three Playboy-themed pinball machines over the years. A former editor at Playboy told me that the magazine’s editorial offices had a Fireball pinball machine in the ’70s.

In 1999, Williams Pinball was the largest pinball company in the world. But it was also part of a larger, publicly traded company that demanded higher profits than the games were producing. And so the bosses gave the pinball division one last chance to save the company — and its jobs. It was to create a new game that would bridge the gap between pinball and video games. The result was Pinball 2000, and it was a strange hybrid of the two types of games. Instead of relying on physical targets, the system projected holographic characters on the screen that would interact with the flying ball. The new game was considered a modest success, and two Pinball 2000 games were produced. But it wasn’t enough for Williams’ parent company, which nonetheless pulled the plug on the entire pinball division.

The best-selling pinball machine of all time is still “The Addams Family,” which came out in 1991. Just one company still makes pinball machines and they’re all made in the United States. Every new pinball machine comes from one Stern Pinball factory in the Chicago suburbs, where factory workers assemble several thousand parts, mostly by hand.

The Boombox

Boomboxes were introduced commercially by various companies in the late 1970s, when stereo capabilities were added to the designs of existing radio-cassette recorders, that had appeared earlier in the decade and were capable of receiving radio stations and playing recorded music at high volumes. These high-tech electronic devices often supported many types of audio media from cassettes and CDs to records and even an occasional model with an eight-track tape option. Many models were also capable of recording from the radio and other sources. Designed for portability, most boomboxes can be powered by batteries, as well as a standard household outlet. As consumers began embracing the boombox as an indispensable form of portable entertainment, it became an icon of popular culture, that we’ve yet to let go of.

Later more powerful and sophisticated models were introduced that boasted such features as two or more loudspeakers, shortwave bands, amplifiers, graphic equalizers, Dobly Noise Reduction, dual cassette tapes and high speed dubbing features. These extravagant models were often associated with the 1980s phenomena of hip hop culture and breakdancing, and were introduced into the mainstream consciousness through music videos, movies, television and documentaries often referring to the boomboxes as ghetto blasters or jam boxes. During this time competing manufacturers scrambled to produce the biggest, loudest, clearest-sounding, bassiest, flashiest and/or most novel boomboxes. As the decade progressed, manufacturers tended to compete more on price, at the expense of quality and smaller designs became more popular.

Check out some of the awesome examples of these technological dinosaurs over at Pocket Calculator’s Boombox Museum