Winter has come to an end, and you may be eagerly anticipating spending time lounging on a beach, soft white sand flowing between your fingers and toes as you nap under the Sun. Well, forget relaxing and start worrying, baby!
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Jurassic Park had just six minutes of computer-generated dinosaurs in it, compared to modern blockbusters which can have thousands of shots requiring complex visual effects. It's no surprise that animators are eager to embrace any shortcut they can — which is why realistic-looking CG mud could be a game changer.
Video: There is peace when your feet sink into the sand and your ears hear the waves and your nose smells the salt. It's a beautiful feeling, standing on a beach and looking out into the ocean and imagining the edge of the world. But it might be even more beautiful to see the water creeping onto the end of land from above. Like in this video.
Bruce Shapiro's Sisyphus is a magic machine that shows a steel ball rolling around in the sand to create wonderfully intricate sand drawings. The balls are all controlled with magnets but they seem to have a mind of their own. It's like making a Zen Garden, only with the sorcery of magnets instead of old style rakes.
The new Mad Max movie is going to be filled with such crazy explosions and gnarly stunts that your eyes will pop, but that's just the beauty of being able to sprinkle special effects onto a movie blockbuster. Not all of that badassery will be real. What is real is this awesome Mad Max Peacemaker car, this thing just rips the Earth up.
It might not provide the same technical challenge as skiing or snowboarding, but it's hard to argue that sledding isn't one of the best ways to take advantage of the winter. But what about those other snow-free seasons? Wouldn't it be fun to sled all year round? Of course it would, so Germany's KHW has developed the world's first plastic sled that works on sand instead of snow.
You've probably seen Simon Beck's masterpieces floating around the internet. Up close it looks like an army has marched through the snow. But when you step back — way back — the texture turns into an extravagant design. Some look like snowflakes, some like elaborate fractals. They're all made with just a compass, Beck's feet and some simple maths.
Six years ago, a patch of land in the Inner Mongolian desert became unnaturally flat. Researchers, for the sake of science, had razed 40 acres — or the equivalent of eight city blocks — of desert. Then, for three and half years, they set up cameras and watched as small piles of sand grew and grew into full-fledged sand dunes.
Engineering the perfect sand castle is tricky even in ideal conditions. If you don't get the sand to water ratio just right, your majestic creation will collapse and wash away. Unless you're cool with cheating. In that case all you need is a jar of Brookstone's magical sand that's always the perfect consistency.