Thursday, August 6, 2009

15 Examples Of Awesome Automotive Art

15 Examples Of Awesome Automotive Art:

Our cars, ourselves - and if tattooing our bodies is desirable, arting up our cars is as well. These 15 artistic automotive expressions illustrate how some are driven to put a personal stamp on the steel skins of the 4-wheeled objects of our affection.

Mobile Maker Meets Mobile Machine

art_cars_1(images via: World Car Fans and Jiazi)

It seems only natural that an artist known for creating mobiles would choose the ultimate mobile as his medium. Such is the case with Alexander Calder, commissioned by Herve Poulain to give his 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile” a new and distinctive look. Poulain, an art auctioneer when he wasn’t racing at Le Mans and other touring car circuits, took his Calder-ized Bimmer racing. BMW bigwigs were so impressed that the German automaker decided to commission more Art Cars in the Calder mode.

Bimmers That Glimmer

art_cars_2(images via: Look Into My Owl, Daylife and Autofiends)

Art ain’t cheap - at least corporate art sure isn’t, and when you’re BMW you can afford to bring cool cars and famous artists together. A unique series of four BMW Art Cars featured acclaimed artists like Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg doing what they do best on sheet metal canvasses.

Fender Bender

art_cars_3(image via: Wooster Collective)

Someone is driving this rolling statement of raw power around Berlin, Germany. Combining classic trompe l’oeil with a dash of surrealism, this is one piece of car art that’s a hands down winner.


art_cars_4(image via: Cartype)

As a great sage and eminent pitchman once said, “You know the Germans make good stuff”. They also have a thing for making their cars stand out in, ahem, unusual ways. Take this brace of Beetles, for instance, designed for the Volkswagen Olympic Art Car Campaign. Both full-size cars and fourteen 1:4 scale New Beetles were daubed up for display in a traveling show to help promote the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Exclusive Golf Club

art_cars_5(images via: VW Vortex and N1yln)

Any color you like, as long as it’s 4 colors… on each car. That’s what you’d get if you ordered a 1996 Harlequin Golf, one of the few painted art cars built for sale to the general public. Not al that many WERE built - 264 to be exact - but if you’ve ever seen a Golf with what seem to be mismatched body panels then that’s one mystery solved. If you actually own a Harlequin Golf, be sure to join the VW Golf Harlequin registry formed by Ross VW. Just 91 original Harlequins have signed up, plus one Harlequin wannabe in Japan who painted his regulation Golf in Ginster Yellow, Tornado Red, Chagall Blue and Pistachio Green just for the hell of it.

Harlequin Romance

art_cars_6(image via: Artcar)

Some folks really like the Harlequin paint scheme, so much that they’ll modify their own rides just to get that eye-catching, schizoid look. So-called Harlequin Wannabes are few and far between but if you do see one it tends to stick in your memory - which is likely what the owners have in mind.

A-Mazda-ing Art Cars


art_cars_7b(images via: Josh Spear, SURFING Magazine and IGN)

Mazda took a page from BWM with a gnarly series of art cars designed to promote the 2005 Mazda 5. Partnering up with west coast surfwear & surfware seller Quiksilver, the wild paint-jobs on the 5’s are meant to evoke the free-wheeling aesthetic of the surfing lifestyle.

Goood Kitty!

art_cars_8(image via: Steelworks)

You might ask, who would take a classic Jaguar E-Type and paint it up to look like, well, a jaguar? Not many would today, but this purr-fect paint job was applied way back in 1961 when the first E-Types arrived at American Jaguar dealerships. One such dealer thought it would be a good idea to tart up one of his stock and park it in the showroom as a promotional gimmick. It appears this car has been mildly restored over the years but its wild, animalistic “skin” still looks fresh.

Earning Your Stripes

art_cars_9(image via: Artcar)

Staying with the animal kingdom, creatures like zebras use their unique black & white striped coats to help them blend into the background. Oddly, cars painted in a similar style stick out like a sore thumb! It remains to be seen if driving a car with stripes helps you find better parking spots.

The Kozmic Dream Machine


The Kozmic Dream Machine is one of three - yes, three - painted art cars conceived and executed by a young woman who believes “Creating art fills me with an unsurpassable joy. The psychedelic and surreal qualities of my work encourage the viewer to explore other places beyond their imagination.”

art_cars_10b(image via: DreamArtTeacher)

No arguments there, nor with our contention that if a well-worn Pontiac 6000 could dream, it would dream kozmic.

Write On! Part 1


Normally, taking a Sharpie to your bright, shiny new sports car would result in a trip to the local asylum and later on, the 5th circle of Hell. For a member of the E46Fanatics forum on the other hand, it was a quest not unlike a mission from God. The exquisitely hand-decorated 2001 BMW 330ci shown above is the result of 12 hours of non-stop drawing, literally “until there was no more metal to draw on.”


What a tragedy, then, that about an hour after the car was deemed complete, the car was vandalized in a restaurant parking lot and a significant portion of the art was destroyed.

Write On! Part 2


Some people yearn to ride in a Lamborghini, others prefer to write on one. The Sharpie Lamborghini is what happens when you combine Sharpies, Espresso and OCD - LOTS of each - and then pour the resulting goop all over a fresh from the factory Lamborghini Gallardo.

art_cars_12b(images via: Lysergid and Automotive Addicts)

In actuality the brilliant creation of artist Jona Cerwinske, this one-of-a-kind Lambo has definitely got the write stuff.

Car Wars


A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away… in this version it’s not a Galaxie, but a Chevy Cobalt done up like a rolling tribute to the franchise that launched a thousand geeks to film fandom. Although stunningly executed and faithful to Lucasarts, er, arts, this cinematic sensation is the ultimate babe magnet… that unfortunately happens to be set on “repulse”.

art_cars_13b(image via: Great White Snark)

In the image above you can just make out the window well from Mom’s basement.

Czar Art

art_cars_14(image via: Freshpics)

You just can’t top the Russians when it comes to painting cars in a, shall we say, exuberant fashion. Maybe it’s the vodka, maybe it’s an overreaction to the lack of Soviet-style repression, who can say? Whatever the reason, Russia rules the roost - where else (outside of Jersey) will you find a cheetah airbrushed onto a red Japanese sports coupe?

Smart Art

art_cars_15a(images via: Buckets and Spades and Paradoxoff)

3D graffiti artists Manfred Stader and Edgar Müller painted the Smart Car above… well, in a matter of speaking. They DID paint it - onto a cobblestone parking lot. Stader and Müller have done this kind of thing before, though the Smart piece may be their most famous car-related effort.

art_cars_15b(image via: Pantoffelpunk)

How do they do it? See above, at the risk of deconstructing the illusion.

They say that beauty is only skin deep and that may be the case with most of these artfully painted cars - not that there’s anything wrong with that, just the opposite in fact. Car art takes many shapes and forms but painted cars exist in a rarefied realm rife with risk and rust. Enjoy them while you can.

Chrome Releases New Beta, Improves New Tab Page, Adds HTML5 Functionality [Downloads]

Chrome Releases New Beta, Improves New Tab Page, Adds HTML5 Functionality [Downloads]:

Google has released a new beta for Chrome, featuring changes to the new tab page including the ability to pin web site thumbnails, hide pages, and other improvements.
You can now use 'the new New Tab page' to pin web site thumbnails to a designated spot to keep better track of them. Another addition is the ability to use the layout buttons to hide parts of the page. Additionally, the Omnibox now shows icons next to each site in the drop down menu. Google has also started to implement HTML5 capabilities like video tagging into this release. And yes, the new release promises even more speed in the form of JavaScript improvements and optimizations in how Chrome fetches pages.
All these new features are available for testing on the beta channel. While you're updating, make sure to take a look at Chrome's new theme gallery.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Diamond thermal paste

Diamond thermal paste:


[Jared Bouck] over at InventGeek writes about his experience making his own thermal paste. Diamonds can be up to five times as thermally conductive as silver, the primary ingredient in most popular thermal compounds. He combines 60,000 mesh diamond dust he ordered off eBay with non-conductive silicon grease using a special mixer he constructed to keep down the dust. After some experimentation he achieved a max load temperature of 38 degrees Celsius versus a leading silver paste’s temperature of 57c on the same system.

Miro 2.5 Improves Speed & Performance for Windows, Linux, and Mac Versions

Miro 2.5 Improves Speed & Performance for Windows, Linux, and Mac Versions:

"If you’re looking for a free and easy to use desktop application for managing online audio & video content, it’s worth checking out the newest version of Miro. The last time we looked at the Open Source video player and podcast client was just under a year ago and they have since improved it a lot.

Using Miro 2.5

When installing you can choose Easy or Custom installation where the biggest difference is being able to select which files to associate with Miro with a custom install.

2 associate files

After installation is complete you get a First Time Setup Wizard where you setup how it will work with video downloads and content.

3 setup

4 organize vid files

If you have used previous versions the first thing you will notice is a more slick user interface that loads a lot faster.


The video player has a nice refined look and includes a pop-in or out options when watching.


It allows you to download videos from YouTube, Torrents, Music Blogs, and other video download sites. To download content from YouTube you first need to create a link on the sidebar by clicking Sidebar and New Site.


Type in the URL for YouTube and click OK.


Now that it is included in the sidebar when you watch videos on YouTube there will be a Download this video button at the top of the browser.


This newest version of Miro is much faster, supports more ways to download content, and a new audio podcast category.


While it is not perfect yet…version 2.5 is definitely a great improvement over the previous versions and worth checking out. Miro is a cross platform app that will work on Windows, OS X, Ubuntu and other distributions of Linux."


Download Miro for Windows, Mac, or Linux

Scientists create 'transparent aluminum,' call it a new state of matter

Scientists create 'transparent aluminum,' call it a new state of matter:
"Oxford scientists claim to have created a transparent form of aluminum by bombarding the metal with the world’s most powerful soft X-ray laser. The substance is nearly transparent to extreme ultraviolet radiation and is the latest addition to a growing list of exotic states of matter.
Crossing over from science fiction to fact, ‘transparent aluminum’ was [...] "

Use VirtualBox to Test Linux on Your Windows PC

Use VirtualBox to Test Linux on Your Windows PC:
Curious about a new distribution of Linux but not wanting to do a full install or use a Live CD/DVD just to try it out? Now you can enjoy all that Linux goodness by running it “Live CD” style inside of VirtualBox.

This can be very useful to get a good look at a Linux distribution without a lot of hassle. It will also allow you to quickly and easily access your regular programs that you use on a daily basis without having to shut down/restart your computer (as opposed to using an iso file burned to a CD or DVD).

This has been set up into three sections with screenshots for each step in the process. It may look like a lot to do at first glance, but the process only takes a few minutes and then you can start having fun.

Note: The Linux distribution used in our example is Dream Linux 3.5 (Gnome Desktop) and the version of VirtualBox shown in this article is Beta 2 running on Vista SP2. All links are provided at the bottom of the article.

Getting Started

Now that you have the iso file for the Linux distribution you want to try downloaded, a good location to place it in is in the “.VirtualBox” folder. As you can see, the home folders for your HardDisks and Machines are located here. You may also choose to use a different “home folder” to store your iso files in.

Note: When you are setting up your Linux distro for testing, keep in mind that any system resources (i.e. RAM) that you allocate for your virtual operating system will be taken from your actual system’s resources while you are running it in VirtualBox.


Once you have the iso file all settled in, start VirtualBox up and click on the “New” button in the main window.


This is the first window you will see when you start the process of setting up a new Virtual Machine. Click “Next”.


As you can see, the default settings displayed are “Microsoft Windows” and “Windows XP”.


The first thing to do is select the type of “Operating System” that you want to set up. Since we are setting up a Linux distribution in our example, “Linux” has been selected. Notice the variety of choices available.


Once you have selected “Linux”, you will notice that there is a good selection to choose from for “Version”. Since Dream Linux is based on Debian, that has been chosen.

Note: You may also choose to list your particular Linux distribution version as “Other”.


Next you can be as creative as you want in naming your Virtual Machine. Choose what works best for you. Here we have chosen to name ours “Dream Linux”. Click “Next”.


In this window you will be asked to choose the amount of RAM you want to allocate for your Linux distribution. The default is 256 MB for Linux, but here it has been raised to 500 MB. You are free to leave it set as the default of 256 MB or adjust to suit your preferences. Click “Next”.


In this window, you will not need to make any changes to the default selections shown. Click “Next”.


Once you reach this window, you will start the process of setting up a new Virtual Hard Disk for your Linux system. Click “Next”.


Here you can see the two choices available for Hard Disk type. The default is “Dynamically expanding storage” and this is the one that you want to use. Click “Next”.


Here you may adjust the maximum size that you want to allow for your Virtual Hard Disk. The default is “8 GB” and has not been altered for our example. Click “Next”.


The final summary window for the Virtual Hard Disk that you have just created. Click “Finish”.


Followed by the final summary window for the Virtual Machine that you have created for your Linux system.


That has your new Virtual Machine and Virtual Hard Disk set up. Clicking on “Finish” will return you to the Main Window.

Adjusting the Settings

Now you can see Dream Linux listed in the O.S. selection portion of the Main Window. Notice that you can see the settings already displaying on the right side. But there are a few settings that still need to be adjusted.


Click on the name of your new Linux system in the left side of the Main Window to select it and then click on the “Settings” button at the top.


Now that you have the Settings Window open, it is time to make a few changes. Here you can see basic information about your Linux system.


Select the “System” category. Since it is unlikely that you will be using a Floppy Drive, go ahead and deselect it so that it is not included in the Boot Process.


Select the “Display” category. For our example, “Enable 3D Acceleration” has been selected. You may also adjust the amount of “Video Memory” allocated for your Linux system to use while running. The default is “12 MB” and has not been changed here.


Since you will be running the iso file as a “Live CD”, select the “CD/DVD-ROM” category. Select “Mount CD/DVD Drive”.


Once you have that selected, make certain to select “ISO Image File” and then click on the folder icon on the right side. This will allow you to browse for the Linux iso file you are wanting to use.


Clicking on the folder icon shown above will open the Virtual Media Manager Window. Here only the two previously set up/used iso files are showing in our example, so the new Linux iso file will need to be added to the list. Click on “Add” to open a browsing window.


Browse to the home folder that you are using to store your iso files in (in our example the .VirtualBox folder). Select the iso file that you want to use and click “Open”.


Now the new Linux iso file is in our list. Click on the iso file you need and click “Select”.


Now the proper iso file is displaying in our Settings Window.


Almost finished now! If you would like to use USB/Flash Drives, select the “USB” category and make certain that “Enable USB Controller” and “Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller” are selected.


Now that all of that is sorted, click “OK” to finish the process.

Note: Since this is a way to test a Linux distribution, “Network” and “Shared Folders” settings have not been altered/setup.

Start Your Systems

Looking at the Main Window you can see the effect of any changes you have made to the Settings for your new Linux system.


Now comes the fun part! Select your new Linux system on the left side and click “Start”.


Start up time for each Linux distribution will vary depending on which one you are using. Here you can see the start up process for our example.


And there it is! Now you can really start trying out your new Linux system by checking for updates, making changes, installing/uninstalling programs or whatever your heart desires.


After you have finished using your new Linux system for a bit, all that you have to do to shut it down is hit the “Right Ctrl” key on your keyboard (unless you have set a different key to use to escape the virtual window), and go to the Machine Menu to select “Close”.

Note: You can also create a Snapshot to save the changes and alterations you have made to your Linux system using this menu.


Once you have started the shut down process, there is no need to lose any of the changes you have made (since the last Snapshot or if you have not made any Snapshots yet). Be certain that “Save the machine state” is selected and click “OK”. The next time you start your Linux system up, it will return you to where you were when you shut everything down (i.e. Desktop, etc.).



You can have a lot of fun trying out different Linux distributions with this method and if you happen to not like a particular distribution, then it is easy to delete the profile for that system from your VirtualBox set up. Have fun!


Download VirtualBox (version 3.0)

See the Operating Systems that run in VirtualBox

Download Dream Linux 3.5 (Gnome & XFCE versions)