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A French Inventor Once Proposed a Giant Mirror to Burn a Message on Mars

When we want to leave our mark on Mars today, we simply send over a few Rovers to roll around in its red soil. But 150 years ago, scientists had very different plans for contacting the planet, including one French inventor who wanted to use the refracted light of the sun to sear a welcoming message into the Martian… » 10/16/14 2:35pm 10/16/14 2:35pm

How the Enormous Mirrors on the World's Largest Telescope Are Made

The Giant Magellan Telescope is easily the most ambitious terrestrial astronomy program humanity's ever devised. It has—quite literally—been built from the ground up by leveraging a brilliant, unique off-axis design and bleeding-edge fabrication techniques. And nowhere is that more apparent than in the telescope's… » 9/03/14 2:15pm 9/03/14 2:15pm

This Reflective Facade Turns The Horizon Into a Gigantic Kaleidoscope

On the rocky shore of La Grande Motte, a seaside resort in the south of France, a reflective facade is turning the horizon-line into a kaleidoscopic head-trip. Breath Box is an installation composed of hundreds of mirrored panels that move in time with the wind. A word of advice: Don't stare directly into this super… » 8/04/14 8:20pm 8/04/14 8:20pm

There's a Trippy Walk-In Kaleidoscope Hiding In This Shipping Container

Drugs are illegal and often pretty bad for you. But who needs LSD when the world has talented designers like Masakazu Shirane and Saya Miyazaki. Last year, the Japanese duo took on the challenge of creating a mind-bending environment inside of a shipping container—and did they ever succeed. » 7/18/14 6:23pm 7/18/14 6:23pm

Keep an Eye on Rooftop Cargo With This Hood-Mounted Rear-View Mirror

Driving with anything strapped to the roof of your car—be it bikes, a kayak, or even a mattress—makes for a stressful road trip. The RoofScope promises to bring you a little more peace of mind with rooftop cargo, though, providing a constant view of how everything on top of your car is doing without having to leave… » 6/11/14 12:20pm 6/11/14 12:20pm

Lasers Create Ultra-Lightweight Mirrors From Styrofoam Beads

It's much easier for a telescope to see deep into the universe when it doesn't have to peer through the Earth's atmosphere, but getting them into space is expensive. There is a much cheaper solution, though, as researchers have actually found a way to make incredibly light mirrors using lasers and polystyrene—aka… » 1/22/14 2:20pm 1/22/14 2:20pm

This Funhouse Mirror Can Reflect Back a Smile When You're Frowning

Promising to revolutionize the amusement park funhouse as we know it, researchers at the University of Tokyo's Hirose-Tanikawa lab have created a remarkable mirror that does more than just make someone look overly thin or tall. It's actually able to change the emotion on someone's face, replacing a frown with a… » 12/03/13 9:40am 12/03/13 9:40am

Explore the Extraordinary, Glittering Infinity Rooms of Yayoi Kusama

Judging by the long lines that have snaked around Chelsea's David Zwirner gallery this week, it seems that New York has found its next big blockbuster art installation: I Who Have Arrived in Heaven, a spectacular and intense show by 84-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama—we got a chance to film inside. » 12/02/13 2:00pm 12/02/13 2:00pm

Feeding Digital Images Through This Mirror Will Warp Your Mind

There's a lot of lore about what we see in mirrors, or what happens if we go through the looking glass. And this vaguely sinister app offers some control of the situation. Unsigned Mirror is an openFrameworks Windows and Mac app written by the art and technology group Unsigned Long Long. It creates slit-scan craziness… » 9/01/13 1:15pm 9/01/13 1:15pm