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Fantastic street artist transforms the world with pixel art



(Pocket-lint) – Johan Karlgren is an incredible street artist with an eye for creating new views of the world with awesome pieces of pixel art.

This brilliant Swedish artist is essentially using the world as his canvas. Decorating the streets, coastlines and landscapes with handcrafted wonders.

He uses a mix of beads and ingenious imagination to craft incredible little pixel style visions of some of our favourite cartoon, gaming and TV characters from over the last few decades.

We’ve collated a gallery of our faves for you to enjoy, but be sure to check out his Instagram account and follow him for more.

@pappasparlor

Everywhere’s a golf course

The great thing about this tiny little pixel creations is a simple change of perspective and the smallest area of the world can seem enormous. This shot is a perfect example of that as a small strip of grass is turned into a personal golf course. 

@pappasparlor

Zombies!

Just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse, along comes a bunch of zombies. Though to be fair, at least you could just squash these chaps under foot. 

@pappasparlor

Sonic catching some waves

Even Sonic the Hedgehog needs some downtime. Of course, our nifty little blue friend never slows down though. This shot shows him catching some waves in the middle of the urban jungle. 

@pappasparlor

Luigi in danger

Luigi looks fairly cheerful considering he’s plummeting off the side of the road into the waters below. Totalled automobile will be the least of his problems. 

@pappasparlor

Guybrush Threepwood fishing

Guybrush Threepwood is not above a good adventure. The star of the classic Monkey Island series of video games (that originally started in the 1990s) is seen here engaging in a casual spot of fishing. Why not? Adventuring is pretty exhausting and everyone needs a break now and then. 

@pappasparlor

Nevermind Mario

What awesome pixelated display of classic video game characters would be complete without Mario? 

Johan Karlgren, aka Pappas Pärlor, went even further with this one though, by using Mario to recreate the iconic cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind. The old plumber taking the place of the naked baby and the dollar bill being swapped for a mushroom. 

@pappasparlor

Cookie monster

Some of this art almost creates itself. A blue overflow drain by the side of the road, quickly and easily transformed into the cookie monster with the addition of some wild eyes, a cookie and a single munching arm. 

@pappasparlor

Grumpy Cat

Alas, the most famous feline to ever grace the web, Tardar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat) passed away in May 2019. This pixel art recreation of her may well be a fitting tribute to the much loved pussy. 

@pappasparlor

Mario Kart in real life

We all enjoy a spot of Mario Kart. Imagine if you could race on real beaches and turn the entire world into your race track. How much fun could you have? These chaps are certainly having a blast. 

@pappasparlor

Mo tavernless

Simpson’s bartender Mo is rarely the happiest of chappies, but being without his tavern and forced to sell his wares on the street, he looks even more put out. We love the reimaging of Duff beer in pixel form though, bound to quench the thirst. 

@pappasparlor

Homer meme

It’s great to see the classic Simpson’s meme recreated in wonderful pixel art – Homer Simpson backing carefully through a hedge to avoid the neighbours. 

@pappasparlor

Hulk smash

Hulk smash! Even a tiny, tiny version of the green-skinned Marvel superhero packs a serious punch. We always enjoy seeing artists using potholes to create artwork. There are plenty of different ways these individuals create something cool out of an urban menace. This one might be one of our favourites. 

@pappasparlor

OutRun

Arcade-style racing game OutRun came out back in the hazy days of 1986, but it’s still an iconic legend and sports visual that are instantly recognisable. Pappas Pärlor used his skills to create an awesome homage to the gaming classic with a video that makes it look like he’s racing against the Ferrari in real life. 

@pappasparlor

Sensei Splinter

Mentor and trainer of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sensei Splinter looks pretty impressive in this close up snap of him above ground guarding the entrance to his lair. It does look like he’s casually dropped a cigarette butt though, we don’t approve of smoking or littering. 

@pappasparlor

Robocop

It seems like everyone is selfie obsessed these days. This spot of artwork does make us wonder what it might look like if Robocop was real and had his own Instagram account though. 

@pappasparlor

A different kind of ring

It seems that Sonic’s compulsive need to collect golden rings isn’t limited to virtual ones he can catch as he runs through a gaming level. Crisps and ring-shaped cereal is also fair game. 

@pappasparlor

Finish him

Mortal Kombat fighting legends Subzero and Skorpion have taken to numerous locations on the mean streets to battle it out and see who will be the victor. Who will be the first to pull off their finishing move? 

@pappasparlor

Never eat yellow snow

No Yoshi! Bad dinosaur! Don’t eat yellow snow! Everyone knows you shouldn’t eat yellow snow. 

@pappasparlor

Ninja turtles surveying their surroundings

While Sensei Splinter might be standing guard on the harsh streets, the Ninja Turtles are busy looking for the nearest place to grab a slice of pizza. Guessing by the looks on their faces, we’re not sure they’ve found the right spot. 

@pappasparlor

Vader’s day a the beach

Photos from Darth Vader’s holiday snaps show that even one of the greatest screen villains of our time enjoys a little time by the shore. We’d love to know why he felt the need to take his lightsabre with him though. 

@pappasparlor

Shark puddle

Another pothole, another classic piece of artwork. This small section of the urban landscape has been transformed into a much more dangerous place to be. Jaws strikes again, only this time from the ankle-nipping shallows. 

@pappasparlor

Spiderman just hanging out

Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can. Does he hang from some stairs? Yes does because he’s Spiderman. A little light and a brilliant location shows off a wonderful vision of Spiderman like we’ve never seen before. 

@pappasparlor

Genie in a bottle

A bottle of beer might not be your classic haunt for a genie, but it is an interesting one. This vision of Aladdin’s Genie brings back wonderful memories of the humour and acting talent of Robin Williams. 

@pappasparlor

Who ya’ gonna call?

Slimer is on the loose and the Ghostbusters gang have rocked up to sort him out and clearance the ghostly menace from the streets before he brings any harm to the local motorists. 

We love the attention to detail Pappas Pärlor puts into his work. Little touches including the colours of the ghost traps and even Egon Spengler’s spectacles make an appearance. 

@pappasparlor

Duck hunt dog

That pesky dog! Cheeky rascal that he was. Popping up to tease us when we were busy blasting ducks in Nintendo classic Duck Hunt. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing him reimagined for VR in Duck Season and we equally love seeing him recreated in pixel art too. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.





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It’s OK to Drool Over the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3


The new Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 comes in two sizes and a handful of different colors. The bigger 45mm model will be available in Mystic Silver and Mystic Black, while you’ll find the smaller 41mm model in Mystic Bronze or Mystic Silver. There are both Bluetooth and LTE versions, with prices jumping for that extra bit of connectivity.

Source: It’s OK to Drool Over the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3



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Modern politicians fantastically re-imagined in famous portrait



(Pocket-lint) – We’ve covered some fantastic works of art in the past. With talented Photoshop artists using their skills to create some nifty pieces of modern art.

Over at Design Crowd, there are a number of regular Photoshop contests, challenging people to come up with creative works of art on particular topics. There have been all sorts, from animals in Renaissance paintings, to cartoon characters to movies recast with new actors.  

This one is all about politicians. Whether you love or loathe politicians you’re bound to enjoy this collection of images where photos of the most well-known have been converted into painted portraits.

RBJK515/Design Crowd

Vladimir Putin meets Van Gogh

Vladimir Putin is perhaps one of the most well-known modern politicians you’re ever likely to see a photo of. The President of Russia has held high office in the country for many years. Here’s he’s seen in simpler times thanks to an artist who has tweaked his image to fit perfectly with the work of Vincent Van Gogh. 

We feel like the cheeky wink might not be a side of his character you’d normally see and that’s what really makes this image a winner. 

DutchPuh/Design Crowd

Hillary Clinton meets Mona Lisa

She might not have been the most popular of politicians, despite winning the popular vote in the 2016 elections, but there’s no denying that Hillary Clinton looks magnificent in this painting. 

The wonder of Leonardo da Vinci’s work has been reimagined with the likeness of the American politician. She’s no Mona Lisa but it’s still a cracking Photoshopping. 

christianpoetoe/Design Crowd

Kim Jong-Un meets The Son of Man

The Son of Man was a surrealist self-portrait painting by René Magritte originally crafted in 1964. The original image featured an apple hanging in front of the artist’s face and the hat still firmly on his head. Now re-imagined, it features Kim Jong-Un with Apple in hand and hat lost to the wind. 

CreArt/Design Crowd

Angela Merkel meets The Girl with the Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring was originally crafted back in 1665 and showed a beautiful, young European girl wearing an exotic dress and a large earring. Now it has been reworked to show a likeness of Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. We actually thoroughly enjoy this one. It’s both convincing and amusing. We wonder what Merkel would think of it. 

SimNa/Design Crowd

Dilma Vana Rousseff meets Princess Albert De Broglie

Dilma Rousseff used to be the President of Brazil before her impeachment in 2016. Here she is, seen as an alternative to the likeness of Princess Albert De Broglie, the wife of the Prime Minister of France in 1845. 

We feel that the updated version is actually a great improvement over the original image. Whether it’s a good tribute to either woman is entirely subjective. 

TerryLea/Design Crowd

Donald Trump meets Young Boy with Whip

Well, this one is pretty special isn’t it? The original painting from 1840 showed a boy in a pink dress holding a whip. A bit of an odd image on its own. Even more so when his likeness is replaced with that of Donald Trump. 

MsgtBob/Design Crowd

Francois Hollande meets Napoleon Bonaparte

Francois Hollande, the former President of France is seen here, reimagined in the regal glory of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Emperor of France and the great military leader from the time of the French Revolution. A fitting tribute? We’re not sure. 

Logo Master/Design Crowd

Clinton and Trump meet American Gothic

Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton appear Grant Wood’s iconic painting American Gothic. One certainly looks happier about it than the other. Another classic oil painting amusingly reimagined for all to enjoy. 

SimNa/Design Crowd

Bill Clinton meets Prince Leopold

Many of the oil paintings of old feature a look and feel like this. Important men of the time in full-blown military garb sporting a chest full of medals and posing for historic portraits. Here, the likeness of Prince Leopold has been replaced with that of Bill Clinton. 

Neohiro/Design Crowd

David Cameron meets The Death of Marat

A dark, if somewhat poignant Photoshopping replaces the likeness of murdered French revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat with that of ex-Prime Minister David Cameron. He certainly murdered the future of our nation. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.





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How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for free in 2020


Here’s how to upgrade to Windows 10 without spending a penny

In November of 2017, Microsoft quietly announced it was shutting down its free Windows 10 upgrade program. If you didn’t get your free version of its best operating system to date, well, you were pretty much out of luck. Or, so we thought.

Source: How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for free in 2020 | Laptop Mag



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47 breath-taking images from the International Space Station



(Pocket-lint) – Space is an incredible place, not just for the breathtaking views from new angles, but no doubt for the sheer feeling of insignificance the visions of our universe must give for astronauts lucky enough to blast off up and out of the atmosphere. 

The International Space Station is in regular orbit around the Earth. Not only serving as a home to astronauts and cosmonauts but also functioning as a unique science laboratory. 

Circling the Earth at roughly 250 miles up, travelling at 17,500 mph and orbiting the planet every 90 minutes, the space stations bares witness to some pretty incredible views. We’ve gathered some of the most impressive for you to see. 

NASA

Sun selfie

A close-up of the action shows one of the engineers on the space station carrying out repairs on the station during a spacewalk. This image was captured in 2017 and shows a brilliant view with the sun glaring in the distance. 

“Expedition 32 flight engineer Suni Williams appears to touch the bright Sun during the mission’s third spacewalk. During the six-hour, 28-minute spacewalk, Williams and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide (visible in the reflections of Williams’ helmet visor), flight engineer, completed the installation of a Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) that was hampered last week by a possible misalignment and damaged threads where a bolt must be placed. “

NASA

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, northern Colombia

Mountain ranges make for a regularly popular image of our world as captured by those orbiting above. Somehow these giant landmasses appear insignificant when seen from this view and yet they are some of the tallest and most impressive sights our Earth has to offer.

This photo of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta was taken from 215 miles above: 

“This early morning image, taken by astronauts looking from the International Space Station, shows a dramatic view of the many peaks of Colombia’s Santa Marta massif.

The highest of these (approximately 5700 m, 18,700 feet), named for Christopher Columbus, is so high that it supports a small but permanent snow cap (image far left), even though it lies only ten degrees north of the Equator.

The summits are so high that trees cannot grow–landscapes appear grey because only grass and small shrubs can survive the cold. Interestingly, glacial erosion features can be seen throughout the grey summit zone area–showing that an ice cap hundreds of times larger than the snow cap existed during the geologically recent ice ages.

Most of the image shows the lower slopes covered with the green tinge of forests. A forest fire gives off smoke in a large valley. 

The Santa Marta snow cap is the only place where snow can be seen from the tropical beaches of the Caribbean coast, 45 km distant (outside the top of the image). The region is a tourist attraction because visitors experience changes in climate, landscapes, vegetation and wildlife as they ascend the mountains. The massif contains dozens of endemic species. Much of the massif is now protected as a national park, now designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1979. A 2013 report identifies the reserve as the most irreplaceable park in the world for threatened species.”

NASA

Scandinavia at night

Space is an incredible place, not just for the breathtaking views from new angles, but no doubt for the sheer feeling of insignificance the visions of our universe must give for astronauts lucky enough to blast off up and out of the atmosphere. 

The International Space Station is in regular orbit around the Earth. Not only serving as a home to astronauts and cosmonauts but also functioning as a unique science laboratory. 

Circling the Earth at roughly 250 miles up, travelling at 17,500 mph and orbiting the planet every 90 minutes, the space stations bares witness to some pretty incredible views. We’ve gathered some of the most impressive for you to see. 

NASA

ISS repairs

Of course, orbiting the planet, the International Space Station needs regular repairs and these are parts of the duties of the crew. The highlights of their work include some pretty magnificent views:

“Backdropped by a colorful Earth, including land mass that covers parts of New Zealand, astronaut Robert L. Curbeam Jr. (left) and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang, both STS-116 mission specialists, participate in the mission’s first of three planned sessions of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction resumes on the International Space Station.”

NASA

The Nile at night

Another incredible view from the space station captured by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) shows the view of the River Nile at nighttime. The streetlights and lights from the cities and towns below look almost like fires burning on the Earth’s surface. 

NASA

The deserts of Iran

The views of the deserts of Iran from space show some fascinating patterns in the surface below. Almost fluid-like, these sights are actually rock formations and the results of erosion too:

“As the International Space Station passed over the deserts of central Iran, including Kavir, one of the Expedition 38 crew members used a digital camera equipped with a 200mm lens to record this image featuring an unusual pattern of numerous parallel lines and sweeping curves.

The lack of soil and vegetation allows the geological structure of the rocks to appear quite clearly. According to geologists, the patterns result from the gentle folding of numerous, thin, light and dark layers of rock. Later erosion by wind and water, say the scientists, cut a flat surface across the folds, not only exposing hundreds of layers but also showing the shapes of the folds.

The dark water of a lake (image centre) occupies a depression in a more easily eroded, S-shaped layer of rock. The irregular light-toned patch just left of the lake is a sand sheet thin enough to allow the underlying rock layers to be detected. A small river snakes across the bottom of the image. In this desert landscape, there are no fields or roads to give a sense of scale. In fact, the image width represents a distance of 65 kilometres.”

NASA

The moon 16 times a day

The International Space Station takes some adjusting too. The orbit around the Earth happens with such frequency that the astronauts get an intriguing view – including seeing the moon rise 16 times a day. 

“On Sunday, July 31, 2011, when Expedition 28 astronaut Ron Garan aboard the International Space Station looked out his window, this is what he saw: the moon. And, he saw it 16 times. Said Garan, “We had simultaneous sunsets and moonsets.” For Garan and the rest of the station crew, this extraordinary event is a daily occurrence. Since the station orbits the Earth every 90 minutes, each day the crew experiences this about 16 times a day.”

NASA

Rivers and snow in the Himalayas

The Himalayan range of mountains makes for some incredible views wherever you are fortunate enough to see them. From the International Space Station, the sight looks even more intriguing. The veins on the surface show where the rivers and waters have cut through the landscape. 

The photo from 2015 shows a fantastic image of the snow-encrusted mountain ranges below:

“This oblique image was taken from the International Space Station as astronauts flew over the Himalaya range in China near the Indian border. The view shows one of the main ranges of the Himalaya Mountains across the bottom of the image, where peaks cast strong evening shadows against the snow. The peaks reach great altitudes (5200 m, 17,000 feet), with those just outside the lower margin reaching high enough (6500 m, 21,325 feet) to host glaciers. 

Rivers have eroded rock from these high mountains and deposited the sediment as broad alluvial fan surfaces (across the middle of the image). The snow cover shows these strikingly smooth surfaces. A trellis-work of gullies cuts into these surfaces casting sinuous shadows. The largest river in the view has cut a 500 m-deep (1650 foot) canyon through the fans (image left). 

Although the rivers in the view drain northward from the Himalayas, they ultimately flow back south through the mountain ranges as the Sutlej River (outside the image)–in one of the largest canyons in the world–before entering the lowlands of Pakistan and finally reaching the Arabian Sea.”

NASA

The eye of the storm

In 2003, Astronaut Ed Lu captured this broad view of Hurricane Isabel from the International Space Station. This image nicely shows the eye of the storm and the majesty of nature. 

NASA

The eye of Hurricane Isabel

Snapped in September 2003, this image shows a view over the Atlantic Ocean and the eye of Hurricane Isabel as it passed over that area. 

These views of cloud formations and harsh weather conditions look a lot less threatening from above. Certainly a beautiful view of the wonder of mother nature. 

NASA

Mt Cleveland

This photo, taken in 2006, shows an aerial view of Mt Cleveland as it erupts – an ash cloud bursting forth into the atmosphere. A thoroughly impressive view of nature at its most dangerous:

“Eruption of Cleveland Volcano, Aleutian Islands, Alaska is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 13 crewmember on the International Space Station.

This most recent eruption was first reported to the Alaska Volcano Observatory by astronaut Jeffrey N. Williams, NASA space station science officer and flight engineer, at 3:00 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time (23:00 GMT).

This image, acquired shortly after the beginning of the eruption, captures the ash plume moving west-southwest from the summit vent. The eruption was short-lived; the plume had completely detached from the volcano summit two hours later. Ash plumes from Cleveland Volcano have reached heights of 12 kilometres and can present a hazard to trans-Pacific jet flights.

The fog bank visible at image top centre is a common feature of the Aleutian volcanoes. Cleveland Volcano, situated on the western half of Chuginadak Island, is one of the most active of the volcanoes in the Aleutian Island chain extending west-southwest from the Alaska mainland. At a summit elevation of 1,730 meters, this stratovolcano is the highest in the Islands of the Four Mountains group. Carlisle Island to the north-northwest, another stratovolcano, is also part of this group. Magma that feeds eruptions of ash and lava flows from the volcano is generated by subduction of the northwestward-moving Pacific Plate beneath the North American Plate. As one tectonic plate subducts beneath another, melting of materials above and within the subducting plate produce magma that can eventually move to the surface and erupt through a vent (such as a volcano). Cleveland Volcano claimed the only known eruption-related fatality in the Aleutian Islands during 1944.”

NASA

Momotombo volcano, Lake Managua

In late 2018, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station snapped this photo of Momotombo Volcano in Western Nicaragua. Hard to believe this area was once referred to as “the smoking terror”.

From this angle, you can see the full magnificence of the volcano and its sulfur-stained peak. Regular plumes of vapour can be seen coming from this volcano and it has erupted as recently as 2015. 

NASA

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

An aerial view of Cape Cod like you’re unlikely to see elsewhere. This barrier island is thought to be one of the youngest of its kind – likely formed 20,000 years ago by glaciers. 

“Astronauts aboard the International Space Station used a very long lens to shoot this detailed image of the northern tip of Cape Cod–showing 8.5 miles (14 km) of its 65-mile (105 km) length. Cape Cod is one of the biggest barrier islands in the world, and it protects towns like Provincetown and its port facilities (image centre) from storm waves coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. It thus also protects much of the Massachusetts coastline. The cream-coloured features are symmetrically shaped dunes built mainly by northwesterly winter winds (image upper centre) blowing beach sands inland.”

NASA

Midsummer sunrise, Gulf of Saint Lawrence

Another brilliant snap shows a perfectly timed sunglint image. The sun’s reflection over the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador were photographed at around 4 am by an astronaut aboard the space station. For people on the ground, the sun wouldn’t rise for almost another hour – just another highlight of the different experiences for the crews of the station versus us lowly folk down below. 

NASA

Adele Island, Northwest Australia

“Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took this detailed image of a tiny island with many concentric zones around it.

Adele Island, off Australia’s north coast, is only 2.9 km (2 mi) long, but the entire tidal zone with all the concentric zones is 24.5 km (15.2 mi) long, surrounded by extensive sandbanks in the tidally exposed area…

Shallow water surrounding the island is light blue, compared with the deeper open ocean (upper left, lower right). During times of low sea level (repeatedly during the glacial stages of the past 1.7 million years), the entire platform and surrounding zones would have been dry ground–so that astronauts would have seen a much larger island occupying all of the image...”

NASA

Moonrise over the aurora

Back in 2016, astronaut Kate Rubins shared this image of a moonrise from the International Space Station. A brilliantly beautiful shot shows the majestic atmospheric glow of the aurora below. A backdrop of billions of stars is truly humbling from this angle. 

NASA

Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

This incredible image of Laguna Colorada shows a view of the lake below. The colours of the waters can be seen changing over time thanks to the algae that make up part of the ecosystem.

“Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took this detailed image of the brightly coloured Laguna Colorada, unique in this part of the Bolivian Andes Mountains and a well-known feature to astronauts.

The lack of atmospheric haze at great altitude–the lake lies at 4300 m above sea level (14,100 feet)–helps make images of the region especially clear. The strong red-brown colour of this shallow, 10 km-long lake is derived from algae that thrive in its salty water. But the lake occasionally has green phases because different algae display different colours, the type being determined by the changing salinity and temperature of the water. As the lake water evaporates in the desert climate it becomes saline. Snow-capped volcanoes appear image top centre and lower left. Ancient shorelines show that the lake has been larger in the past.

Laguna Colorada is the centre of a wildlife reserve (listed in 1990 as a “Ramsar Wetland of International Importance”) and home to large numbers of flamingo. Access roads on three sides of the lake are used by tourists who visit these other-worldly landscapes. “

NASA

Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator

Although perhaps not the most breath-taking of images on this list, this photo is nonetheless a powerful view of the work carried out on the station. In May 2019 work was carried out in this section of the ISS to repair damaged components. This sort of essential work ensures the station can continue to function fully. 

NASA explains “The International Space Station continues to be a critical test bed where NASA is pioneering new methods to explore space, from complex robotic work to refuelling spacecraft in flight and developing new robotic systems to assist astronauts on the frontier of space. Technologies like these will be vital as NASA looks to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024.”

NASA

The snow-capped Kiska Volcano on Kiska Island

It’s not just awesome views of space and the edges of our world that are visible from ISS. The station also gives fantastic visions of areas of our home planet that would be otherwise tricky to visit, nevermind see from this angle. 

This view from May 2019 shows a snow-covered Kiska Island, part of the Aleutian Islands in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. 

 

NASA

The Frozen Wild Dnieper River

Another incredible view of a frozen tundra captured by a European Space Agency astronaut aboard ISS. 

“Curling snow drifts are magnified by the terrain around the 1,400 mile Dnieper River, flowing from Russia to the Black Sea.

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet, a member of the Expedition 50 crew, captured this image from the International Space Station on “Feb. 9th, 2017, saying, “winter landscapes are also magical from the International Space Station: this river north of Kiev reminds me of a Hokusai painting.”

Each day, the International Space Station completes 16 orbits of our home planet as the crew conducts important science and research. Their work will not only benefit life here on Earth, but will help us venture deeper into space than ever before. Crew members on the space station photograph the Earth from their unique perspective, hovering 200 miles above us, documenting Earth from space. This record is crucial to how we see the planet changing over time, from human-caused changes like urban growth, to natural dynamic events such as hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions.”

NASA

Buenos Aires, River Plate, Argentina

A muddy view of Buenos Aires from 220 miles up:

“This image was taken as astronauts aboard the International Space Station flew over the eye-catching delta and green swamps of the Parana River (image right) on the Atlantic coast of Argentina. The Parana River, South America’s second largest after the Amazon River, pours brown muddy water into a wide estuary known as the River Plate (image centre and left). The grey mass of Argentina’s capital city, Buenos Aires (metro population 12.74 million in 2010), is less prominent seen from space (upper left), although astronauts quickly attune their eyes to the subtle signature of such cityscapes. Numerous small farm plots on red soils surround the delta and city.

The muddy river sediment ultimately derives from erosion of the rocks of the Andes Mountains far upstream–mirroring the colour of the Amazon River which is also turbid and also rises in the Andes Mountains. In this image tidal backwash transports the muddy water a short distance upstream into the smaller Uruguay River (image lower right).”

NASA

Salt Ponds, coastal flats, Western Australia

Images of coastlines are common among the back catalogue of photos snapped from the International Space Station. These photos also represent a common view for astronauts looking down on our planet as they are the best indicators of which part of the world they’re looking down at. The familiar lines of the coasts are easy to identify compared with other landmasses. 

NASA

Hawaii from above

Another snap captured from the station, this time by European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) shows the island of Hawaii. A close look at this photo shows the peaks of the volcanoes too. 

NASA

Venice Lagoon

Another incredible view of our planet snapped from space in 2014. This photo shows the narrow barrier island which protects the Lagoon of Venice from the strong waves of the northern Adriatic Sea. The colours of the waters below are the result of many boats and other watercraft passing over the surface. Wear and tear on the surrounding lands caused by the wake of these boats has been of concern. So much so that a study was set-up to monitor the health of the Lagoon

NASA

Great Barrier Reef Near Whitsunday Islands

The Great Barrier Reef is an impressive sight from any angle. Though most people see it from tourist photographs, astronauts see it from 200 miles up – with the entire reef visible. This photo shows just 10 miles of the 1,700-mile reef. The reefs are easily visible from the station thanks to the change in colour – the iridescent blues of shallow lagoons contrast with the dark blues of deeper surrounding waters.

NASA

Red Sprites Above the US and Central America

This snap from the space station captures a view over Mexico when a red sprite can be seen over the white light of an active thunderstorm. These sprites are not caused by lightning in the usual sense, but are major electrical discharges, a cold plasma phenomenon similar to the discharge of a fluorescent tube. Large thunderstorms sometimes result in a burst of sprite energy but they are rarely captured on film.

NASA

Caribbean Sea Viewed From the International Space Station

A panorama photo of the Carribean Sea that includes parts of Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida. This brilliant image captures the glow of the atmosphere ringing our home planet too. 

NASA

Flooding on the Mekong River floodplain, Thailand and Laos

The Mekong River sits on the border between Thailand and Laos. This photo from the space station taken in 2015 shows evidence of flooding in the area. The floods below were caused by heavy monsoon rainfall that fell around July that year and affected everyone in the area. 

The crew of the International Space Station have often been tasked with documenting these sorts of floods. This sort of imagery helps authorities to assist with relief efforts on the ground and to save lives.

NASA

A view from a visor

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold (@astro_ricky) took this selfie during the May 16, 2018, spacewalk to perform upgrades on the International Space Station. He shared the incredible image on his Twitter account for everyone to see. Certainly an interesting view. 

NASA

The port of Sfax, Tunisia

This image shows Sfax, Tunisia as it appears from the International Space Station and highlights the radiating street pattern of Tunisia’s second city. These streets radiate out from the ancient walled city and create a distinct and beautiful image from above. The tiny buildings below, merely specks from this distance, house a population of over 900,000. 

NASA

Fish farms basins, NE China

Astronauts snapped this high-contrast image of the grid patterned fish farms on the coast of China. The view includes fish-farm basins built out of wood and shallow seabeds, mudflats and bays. Water flows from ships can be seen on the surface below too. 

NASA

Stargazing

Another incredible view from above, best described by NASA:

“Knowing the exact time and the location of the ISS, scientists were able to match the star field in the photo to charts describing which stars should have been visible at that moment. They identified the pattern of stars in the photo as our Milky Way galaxy (looking toward its centre). The dark patches are dense dust clouds in an inner spiral arm of our galaxy; such clouds can block our view of stars toward the centre.

The curvature of the Earth crosses the centre of the image and is illuminated by a variety of airglow layers in orange, green, and red. Setting stars are visible even through the dense orange-green airglow.

The brightest light in the image is a lightning flash that illuminated a large mass of clouds. The flash reflected off the shiny solar arrays of the ISS and back to the camera. The dim equatorial cloud sheet is so extensive that it covers most of the sea surface in this view.

Knowing the exact time and the location of the ISS, scientists were able to match the star field in the photo to charts describing which stars should have been visible at that moment. They identified the pattern of stars in the photo as our Milky Way galaxy (looking toward its centre). The dark patches are dense dust clouds in an inner spiral arm of our galaxy; such clouds can block our view of stars toward the centre.

The curvature of the Earth crosses the centre of the image and is illuminated by a variety of airglow layers in orange, green, and red. Setting stars are visible even through the dense orange-green airglow.

The brightest light in the image is a lightning flash that illuminated a large mass of clouds. The flash reflected off the shiny solar arrays of the ISS and back to the camera. The dim equatorial cloud sheet is so extensive that it covers most of the sea surface in this view.”

NASA

London at Night

A nighttime flyover of London shows the lights of the city shining brightly and the twists and turns of the River Thames cutting through the middle. 

NASA

Sunset over the Med

An incredible view of a sunset over the Mediterranean with the Alps, Adriatic sea and Italy just about visible below. The sun reflects across the surface of the planet, showing the beauty of our home from above. 

NASA

An Astronaut’s View from Space

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this beautiful view of the Earth with a sunrise over the ocean. A brilliant reflection of the beauty of our world

NASA

Iberian Peninsula at Night

An early evening photo of the entire Iberian Peninsula (that includes both Spain and Portugal) taken from the International Space Station in 2014. The bright glow of the towns and cities below can be easily seen, even from 200 miles up. 

NASA

Flying Through an Aurora

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst took this photo in 2014 as the space station passed through an aurora. These impressive views are caused by small energy particles from the sun interacting with the magnetic field lines in the Earth’s atmosphere. These interactions cause a reaction with the atmosphere as the oxygen sets off a beautiful green and red light display in the sky.

NASA

Earth’s changing vistas

This image was taken in 2015 and shows the views seen by NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Commander of Expedition 43, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko at that time. These views are clearly visible from special windows on the space station that allow a 360-degree observation of our world below. 

NASA

Hurricane Gonzalo

Another photo of a hurricane that makes these dangerous natural occurrences look like harmless swirls of cloud from above. This image, from 2014 shows Hurricane Gonzalo over the Atlantic Ocean.

NASA

Morning Aurora From the Space Station

This photo from 2015, was taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) and shows the magnificent view of the green lights of the aurora as seen from the space station. 

NASA

Panorama of the Night Sky and the Milky Way

Impressive visions from the space station not only show amazing views of Earth but also the stars and constellations around us. This eye-catching panorama of the night sky and the Milky Way was captured by NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman in 2014. The majesty of the stars dominating the skies above our planet. Below, the sands of the Sahara desert make the Earth glow with an orange hue. 

NASA

A colourful long-exposure

Taken in July 2020, this photo shows a long-exposure snap from ISS showing a colourful glow from the Earth’s atmosphere. 

NASA

Sun Glint in Angola

The sun catches the light of the river below as the space station passes over the African continent. This incredible view makes the water look almost gold. 

NASA

Russian resupply above the night’s sky

Here a Russian supply ship is seen docked with the ISS while below the lights of Europe can be seen on the surface with millions of people going about their business as the station orbits above. 

NASA

The Canadarm2 robotic arm

A fairly magnificent view of the marvellous tech used aboard the International Space Station.

“The Cygnus space freighter from Northrop Grumman, with its prominent cymbal-shaped UltraFlex solar arrays, is pictured moments after its release from the Canadarm2 robotic arm ending its 83-day stay at the International Space Station.” 

NASA

Clouds above the Philippine Sea

The views from the International Space Station sure are staggering. This snap shows long whisps of clouds above the surface of the Philippine Sea. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.





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SIX TRENDS ON eBOOKS THAT CAN CHANGE THE FUTURE


The digital future of the book industry is emerging at an astonishing rate. eBooks are bridging the gap between the reader and the book. The publishing industry has revolutionized, and the trend of e-book readers is on the rise. eBooks are not only easily accessible, but they are also cost-effective, this is central to the publishing and growth of any book industry. The target group of eBooks is not limited to a specific area or country. That is why readers worldwide find it very convenient to read eBooks without the hassle of searching for a hard copy in bookstores. The revolution in any field, including the digital book industry, will redefine global risk and power.

ebook future technology trends

Here are five trends on eBooks that can change the future:

Enhanced eBooks 

eBooks are in digital form, but they have the same content as print books. To change the nature of the eBook, publishers are looking forward to enhancing this trend.  They are thinking about adding additional interactive features to ebooks to make them comprehend a particular situation better. Publishers want to make it an excellent experience for their readers. Their designs are conjuring up on the idea of changing fiction into reality. Enhanced eBooks are also known as multimedia books. Audio and video are incorporated into the new layout of eBooks to improve their quality. If you have limited time to prepare for a test or listen to a speech, you can play the video or audio on the eBook and save your time.

Enhanced eBooks are just getting started, and publishers are utilizing the skills of designers to speed up the progress.

Steps To Create An eBook In PDF

While the book industry is doing everything to make a substantial impact on the marketplace, it is easy to create an eBook from pdf

  • Create unique content and consult an editor to review your content.
  • You can put your ideas in the shape of an eBook by defining concepts.
  • Pick a layout from the customized eBook covers if you find it challenging to hire a designer.
  • Once your content is digitized, share it with the world.
  •  The popularity of digital formats has plateaued in recent years owing to the full range of books available in this format.

The “Right” Device

eBook technology has emerged, and developers are now making full use of e-reader software that will work on multiple devices. Today a reader has no confusion about which gadget to buy. This software also provides excellent portability and gives you full access to catalog titles. Except for a few exceptions, the kind of eBook format you have will run on all devices. Your desktops and laptops are also a convenient option for eBooks. Your phones and tablets are also a decent selection for eBook reading.

The Price War 

There is no standard price limit for eBook dedicated devices. With the new software and technical update, the price war of devices has seen a decline. Publishers and developers are working together to make the eBook a success and not to remain focused only on the price range of accessories. The quality of the devices gets upgraded to give users a more informed and enriching experience.

The Role Of Publishers

Publishing houses will play a significant role in shaping the eBook world through their experience, and this is a premium chance for writers. Unlike commodity content, eBook developers want to appreciate high-quality work edited by experts. Publishers can polish the learning experience for their readers. Publishers also think that the eBook trend is a wise decision because of the steady revenue. Statistics show that more segments of readers are now interested in eBooks. It is a good sign for publishers, and it can open an array of new opportunities for them. Digital content management will become easier for publishers and optimize their overall growth and maximize their revenue. The trends of eBooks are quite convincing for publishers and can allow them to expand.

eBook And The Business Model

eBooks will shape the online business market in various ways. A person who is accessing an eBook and wants further help or information about the topic can click on the extended tabs on the eBooks. These extended tabs will direct the reader to the publisher’s site and increase the page visits. It also depends on the publishers whether they want to charge the users for this extra information.  Learning apps tabs installed on the eBooks mean thousands of students trying to access this page. The eBook is providing a safe platform for previously under deserved readers. With the further enhancement in this field, publishers may start collecting work of all formats. It will be a challenge for publishers to keep the tile score equal if nonfiction tiles blow past fiction. Running ads on the eBooks page will eventually become a requirement. eBooks are the new buzz in the reading world, and with the worldwide availability of technology, there is an increase in the number of eBook readers.

The Final Word

Print media and books provide the same information as eBooks, and the main difference lies in how the material gets presented. The publishing and book industry is evolving, and eBook technology is becoming a game-changer.  The eBook can work as a business model. Unlike old times a reader does not need a specific device to access eBook stores. The software of your laptops, phones, and tablets get upgraded to support all sorts of data.  It is necessary to adopt these technologies to survive in the digital world.



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How to be an Instagram travel sensation without leaving home



(Pocket-lint) – We’re living in strange old times at the moment and Instagram is feeling it too. In the past, the social network was full of photos of Instagram travellers showing off the wonderful sights from all around the world. Now, everyone’s stuck at home, there’s less and less of these about. 

There is a solution though, as you can still travel the world by using Google Maps for a virtual tour instead of a real one. 

That’s what one Instagram user started to do when issues with agoraphobia led her to have a crippling fear of the outside world. Unable to leave her London Flat, Jacqui Kenny instead took to Google Maps to travel to faraway lands. 

When she struck upon the idea of uploading the images to Instagram, she soon became an Instagram sensation and is now over 126,000 followers. Maybe if you’re looking for something to do to alleviate the boredom you could use her idea as inspiration for some digital travels. 

We’ve been through the Agoraphobic Traveller’s Instagram account to show you some of the best destinations she’s travelled to, all from the comfort of her own home. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

A tree that casts a large shadow

Using Google Maps to travel to Sun City, Arizona, the Agoraphobic Traveller discovered this impressive street side view of a magnificent tree casting a large shadow over its sunbaked surroundings. 

This is just one of many desert locales this Instagrammer has travelled to thanks to the power of Google Street View – probably a welcome change to the rain-soaked views of London visible through her flat window. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

Boys and girls at football practice

In the foothills of Bolivia, a mixed-sex football team takes some instruction from their coach and prepares for practice in the sweet warmth of the summer sun. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

Paddling pool in the street

Summertime in Callao District, Callao Region, Peru must get a bit toasty. This view shows kids splashing about in a large paddling pool in the street. A refreshing dip in the sweltering sun. A brilliant view from another part of the world enjoyed from a computer screen.

@streetview.portraits/Google

Staten Island after the hurricane

This image was captured in 2013 and shows the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, one of the most deadly and destructive hurricanes of the time. Here we see the damage the hurricane did in Staten Island, but that same hurricane also did damage elsewhere. Winds whipped up to 115 mph, causing 233 people to lose their lives and damage totalling over $68 million. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

A home in the sun

In Western Cape, South Africa, a man stands in the doorway to his home watching the Google Street View car passing by. A simple view of life miles from home. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

The boy with the blue balloon

On a quiet street corner in the Western Cape, South Africa, a small boy can be seen blowing up a blue balloon. Small blue shacks can be seen behind him and the vast blue cloudless skies above. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

Workers in Bolivia

Another shot from the foothills of Bolivia shows some workers at the side of a dirt track watching as the Google car passes them by. Dust roads and green hills can be admired in this area, without all the hassle of actually walking. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

A lone horse is watching you

At the edge of the road, a lone horse looks befuddled by the car as it passes by disturbing his peaceful grazing. Not the usual Instagram snap of Rio De Janerio, Brazil you’d expect to see – no beaches or cocktails anywhere in sight. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

A long worn mountain road

This view shows the worn out roads of Mongolia, stretching off into the distant hills. This rural view would certainly require a long trip in order to see normally. Google Maps gives easy access to far-off lands with just a few clicks. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

A herd at the petrol station

Nature meets man. This image shows a petrol station in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia as a shepherd and his flock pass by the pumps on their onward journey. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

A well-used pitch

At the edge of the road in Peru, South America sits a well-worn sports pitch. Not many sports fields have a view like this, with mountain ranges stretching off into the distance. Another hidden manmade beauty spot captured by Google for all to see.

@streetview.portraits/Google

Cows disturbed by Google

Some cows check out the Google car as it drives by. These bovine beauties were snapped in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and show a standard roadside view not many of us would see on a daily basis. Though it would certainly make for a more interesting commute to work. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

A family cooling in the pool

Another snap captures a family cooling off in a paddling pool at the edge of the street in Callao, Peru. No doubt a refreshing treat from the heat of the baking sun. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

Workers in Russia

Kemerovo Oblast, Russia, some workers are seen digging outside a housing complex. An urban view from the depths of Russia you’re not likely to see elsewhere. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

A woman walking with her cat

A woman can apparently be seen seemingly walking her black cat along the streets of Bulgaria. Snow-clad roadsides and rolling hills tell a chilly story for her and her feline friend. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

A security guard taking some shade

A much warmer view shows a security guard attempting to cool off in the shade of a tree. Small and quirky domiciles can be seen behind him, a regular view on the streets of Celaya, Mexico?

@streetview.portraits/Google

A man and his birds

A much more rural scene from Belgorod, Russia shows some feathered creatures waddling down to the waters. A lone man seems distracted by something in the distance and completely oblivious to the passing Google car. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

Cactus by the road

Where your average road might have a few flowers at its edge, the streets of Peru are a little bit different. These neatly placed Cactii seem to be waving at the cars passing by. Cloud covered mountains can be seen in the distance too. Quite a peaceful view. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

Beautiful Saguaros cactus

Another cactus with a view – this time from the sun-baked desert of Florence, Arizona. This majestic cactus certainly makes for a smashing focal point of the barren surroundings. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

Colourful car camouflage

This image is so brilliant it almost looks staged. A colourful car is parked at the edge of this road in Mexico and almost matches the houses behind it. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

Just a man walking a cow

A snap of Kyrgyzstan shows a man walking with a cow following close behind. One of the Agoraphobic Traveller’s first photos. The caption reads:

“This is one of the first images I ever captured that got me excited about exploring the weird and wonderful world of Street View. It’s not my usual style but I really love the painterly feel of it. This was taken in the beautiful country of Kyrgyzstan.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed this selection of images. Be sure to check out the Agoraphobic Traveller’s Instagram account to see even more. 

@streetview.portraits/Google

A colourful view

In an otherwise harsh surrounding, a lone bush hangs over a wall, adding beautiful colour to the area. The Agoraphobic Traveller has an eye for finding beauty in the most unusual of spots. All from the comfort of home.  

@streetview.portraits/Google

Camels prancing in the desert

This wonderful view of nature captured by the Agrophobic Traveller while investigating the deserts of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. This view appears to show camels prancing in the sand, but they’re likely spooked by the maps car. Hopefully, no animals were harmed during the making of this image.

@streetview.portraits/Google

The abandoned playground

While virtually travelling around Baganuur, Mongolia, the Agrophobic Traveller found this large playground area, eerily abandoned like a small playful ghost town. Perhaps the sharks have scared all the children off. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.





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SD Express cards to increase speeds to 4Gb/s, ideal for 8K



(Pocket-lint) – The SD Association has announced a new standard for memory cards that will result in new SD cards with transfer speeds up to 4Gb/s – four times faster than previously possible.

Full-size SD Express cards can soon employ the latest SD 8.0 specification and use faster PCIe and NVMe architectures. They will be a much better fit for the demands of 8K video recording, RAW continuous burst mode in professional still cameras, and all other speed hungry applications.

Gaming systems can also benefit, claims the Association.

“By dramatically increasing the speeds for SD Express we’re giving device manufacturers and system developers more storage choices,” said the SDA’s president, Hiroyuki Sakamoto.

“SD 8.0 may open even more opportunities for extra high performance solutions using removable memory cards.”

The new, faster SD Express cards will appear across the SDHC, SDXC and SDUC ranges. Like current Express cards, they will sport an additional “EX” added to their on card specifications markers.

It is likely to be some time before the new spec appears on cards you can purchase, and they’ll likely to be extremely expensive when first released, but if you are a pro photographer or videographer, the investment could be very much worth it.

Writing by Rik Henderson.





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