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Today the Department of Teeny-weeny Wonders happened upon the tiniest post office we’ve ever seen. It’s so small that it fits inside the hollow of a tree located in the vast Tilden Regional Park in Orinda, CA. And it’s even more than a cute art installation. This wee postal station receives letters from hikers interested in striking up a correspondence with the tiny forest creatures who inhabit the woods and run this little office.

This exceptional tree stands at a fork in Tilden Park’s Curran Trail. It was created in December 2013 with the expectation that it wouldn’t last very long.

"The creators of the post office left little letters in the mailbox and after a couple of months simply left the whole thing to exist in secret. Much to their delight, when they returned to the spot six months later, they found that instead of deteriorating under the weather and woodland creatures, the post office had seemed to expand! Wanderers who had stumbled upon post office had added decorations, like miniature wall maps and trinkets on the desk; new notes had even been written and left in the mailbox."

Now the mysterious creators of this fairy post office regularly check the miniature mail and carry on written exchanges with the equally mysterious hikers who stop and leave letters for the chipmunks and fairies. These days the itty-bitty post office also distributes a wee newspaper, The Small Times.

Photos by Mallory Pickett

[via Atlas Obscura]

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Eunoia II

Tech art performance piece by Lisa Park creates sounds and visuals from brainwaves using an EEG headset and 48 arranged speakers each with plates of water - video embedded below:

"Eunoia II" is an iteration "Eunoia", which was my first performance using a commercial EEG (brainwave sensor) headset to obtain real-time feedback of my brainwaves and emotional reactions.

"Eunoia II" uses the emotional values (frustration, excitement, engagement, meditation) picked up by the Emotiv EEG headset, which then gets translated into sound waves that create vibrations in the pools of water placed atop speakers. Throughout the performance, the intensity of my feelings at the same time are mirrored in the intensity of the sound in terms of volume, speed, and the panning of the sound output.

"Eunoia II" is comprised of 48 speakers with metal plates in various sizes. The number 48 symbolizes philosopher Baruch Spinoza's definition of 48 different emotions from the book “Ethica”.

You can find out more about the artist at her website here, including the first Eunoia project.

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I Went to Japan and All I Got Were These Photos of Pets and Children

Melbourne photographer ​Heather L​ighton recently returned from the world capital of kawaii, and although we’re sure she saw a lot of interesting things, she mostly chose to take pictures of cute kids and hilarious pets.

There’s an argument that the west’s obsession with Japan as a saccharine, novelty wonderland that exists only to fuel our green tea Kit Kat–flavored fantasies is patronizing and archaic. But come on. There’s a picture here of someone taking a raccoon for a walk. We’re only human, people. 

More photos

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Nanotechnology on the Runway

The clothes we wear allow us to express ourselves, influenced by our moods and tastes. Fashion brand CuteCircuit goes one step further, allowing technology to help make a statement in our next fashion choice.

Most of the clothes designed at CuteCircuit have thousands of micro LEDs sewn into the fabric, which allow one garment to have different colours and patterns on it. As co-founder of CuteCircuit Francesca Rosella states:

"We are living in a digital future, so we do not need to sell 10,000 skirts. We could sell 500 skirts, but then could sell thousands of patterns that you download to your skirt."

These ‘smart textiles’ have the potential to evolve into even more drastic creations, especially with constant advancements in nanotechnology. One already impressive piece made by CuteCircuit is the “Kinetic Dress” (2010). This Victorian-style evening dress has sensors in the fabric which communicate to the electroluminescent embroidery when the wearer is moving. The faster the movement, the brighter the embroidery; it is translating movement into art and fashion.

If you would like to learn more about the different projects at CuteCircuit, check out this video: http://vimeo.com/104636495

-Anna Paluch