Introducing...The Procrastinaut

We're serving up the very finest diversions that modern technology has to offer

Rob Walker, Yahoo News
Yahoo News

Rob Walker | @YahooTech | Procrastinaut

Will Ecuador really grant political asylum to Paula Deen? Don’t worry about that or any of the week’s headlines right now, because we have more important news for you: The debut of Procrastinaut, a brand new Tumblr brought to you by Yahoo News.

Procrastinaut.tumblr.com, updated throughout the week, will offer a steady stream of the very finest diversions that modern technology has to offer. Partly we aim to celebrate creativity and highlight inventiveness — the surprising, hilarious, disturbing, delightful things that people make and/or share with the ever expanding-digital toolkits at our disposal. And partly, of course, we just want to provide you with a pleasing alternative to whatever is you’re really supposed to be doing. After all, one of the miracles of modern technology is its enhancement of our ability to look busy.

Naturally we’ve been stocking this cabinet of curiosities for a couple of weeks before telling you about it, so dive right in. This week’s highlights (plus a few bonus items) below. Follow Procrastinaut on Tumblr, right here.

Your Scarf Looks Like It Sounds Nice: NeuroKnitting is an experiment in converting brain activity into textile patterns. As demonstrated in this video, the subject wears a 14-channel Emotiv Epoc headset while listening to Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” The headset measures mental states via brainwave patterns, then translate those into knitting patterns. Result: A nifty, and unique, scarf. Via FastCoExist.com.

Speaking of Wearable Tech: Witness the LED Tetris Tie Prototype. Via @gilbertjasono, via Hack A Day.

Think Your Commute Is Bad? Hubert Blanz depicts insanely complex and intertwined highway systems, digitally manipulated, in Roadshow. Looks a bit like Houston. Via Creators Project.

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The tangled, spaghetti-like junction of our future, by Hubert Blanz.

Secret Letters: ZXX Type is explicitly designed to be unreadable by Optical Character Recognition software, so that all of your communications are indecipherable to the NSA and other government spooks. It’s either this, or WingDings. Video demo here. Via Prosthetic Knowledge.

Speaking Of Spying: Speaking of the NSA: Artist duo FRONT404 marked George Orwell’s birthday this week by attaching colorful party hats to security cameras around Utrecht. For a cheery reminder that you are being watched, check out the pictures here.

Form Thwarts Function: Unlikely … but not impossible” objects from Giuseppe Colarusso, including single-lens sunglasses for a Cyclops and an authentic hieroglyphics keyboard. Via BruceS.

A New Way to Look Completely Insane: Gumulon is game in which you control a character by making exaggerated chewing gestures. At your smartphone. Please do this in public. Via PSFK.

Who Are These People? These “family portraits” by Jamie Diamond are actually composed of strangers recruited on Craigslist or the street.

One GIF A Time: That’s how Zoe Burnett is “making the world a better place.” Enjoy the looping animated results at Dreambeam.

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One of Zoe Burnett's many pleasing GIFs.

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