World’s Strangest

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Inflatable Concrete and Other Innovations in Materials Science

The Medium Awards is an annual materials sciences recognition program in the UK. Cliff Kuang of Fast Company has a slideshow of seven winners, including a carbon fiber alternative made from carrots, a sponge that absorbs oil but not water, and a very lightweight substitute for kevlar. Pictured above is an inflatable tent made from [...]

Custom Barcodes

Image: d-barcode The Japanese graphic arts firm d-barcode creates customized barcodes for clients who want to use them to grab customers’ attention. In Fast Company, Cliff Kuang writes: They’ve even begun selling their wares to anyone who wants to license them, starting at $1,500 for the design, and $200 a year for licensing. A custom or exclusive [...]

A Font Designed With E. Coli Bacteria

Image: Jelte van Abbema Dutch designer Jelte van Abbema created a typeface out of e. coli bacteria. Cliff Kuang wrote in Fast Company about how he did it: Van Abbema created the font by stamping bacteria into paper, and then placing the paper in a jury-rigged incubator, which provided the right humdity and warmth for the organisms. [...]