A native San Franciscan, Randolph attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland before finding his way to the film business. Eventually, he landed a job at George Lucas' Industrial Light + Magic, where he worked on many top-grossing films in both the camera and computer graphics departments. A proud member of MENSA, he's passionate about technology, optimal health, photography, marine biology, writing, world travel and the occasional, well-crafted gin and tonic!
Each year, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a non-profit group based at the Illinois Institute of Technology, selects structures from around the world which represent a blend of sustainability, technical innovation and appealing design. This year's winners, each impressive in its own right, hail from Australia, Canada, Italy and Qatar along with one from Abu Dhabi that took the organization's first-ever Innovation Award. An international panel of jurors made the picks which will be formally recognized at an awards ceremony in Chicago this October.
The soft, collagen-rich shock absorbers in our backs, known as intervertebral discs, both add to our height (a full quarter of the spinal column's total length) and cushion our vertebrae from contacting one another. Unfortunately, aging, accidents and overuse can damage them and lead to the costly phenomenon of chronic back pain – roughly US$100 billion is spent annually on treatment in the U.S. alone. Replacement
of damaged discs, rather than spinal fusion, is an option that's growing in popularity, especially because it helps maintain mobility in the spine. Now, a team from Brigham Young University (BYU) has unveiled their new artificial disc, a compliant mechanism that they believe has the potential to restore quality of life to millions of those with injured spines.
Office buildings have traditionally been so staid that whimsical departures from the norm
still trigger a strong response, both good and bad. The latest member of the avant-garde architecture club, the estimated US$1.08 billion, 44-floor, 768 ft (234 m) CCTV headquarters building in Beijing (already so iconic it's part of a board game
for architecture groupies) is now finally complete - after nearly eight years of construction.
Imagine you're hundreds of miles from the sea - you climb over a grassy hill and come upon a lake with perfect surf just waiting for you and your board. Spanish engineering firm Instant Sport is setting about making this scenario a reality with its custom-built Wavegarden. While artificial waves are far from new, engineer Josema Odriozola and sports economist Karin Frisch claim that their brainchild can bring an ocean-like break to land-locked surfers, body boarders and kayakers alike using less energy than any other existing wave generator to date.
We regularly feature the latest superyachts
on Gizmag because they offer a mixture of breathtaking design and cutting edge technology in a rarefied arena where price is seemingly no object. The resulting floating marvels often seem more like works of art than mere ocean-going transportation. An incredible 262 superyachts worth US$3.5 billion sold last year (including one that went for $300 million!) so it's no wonder that some of the world's wealthiest glitterati flocked to Istanbul earlier this month to take part in what is essentially the Oscars of the luxury boating scene - the World Superyacht Awards.
Comic book artists and animators often use posable mannequins or motion capture to help get tricky action postures just right, but transferring the figures to paper or computer screens still involves drawing or learning complicated animation and mo-cap software, not to mention all the cameras, hardware and people in funny suits running around. Last year, we reported on the efforts of a Japanese consortium to create what is essentially an action figure
equipped with sensors at several joints that would allow real-time pose generation of on-screen CG characters. Still in development then, it's now called Qumarion and when it hits the market in a few months, it'll no doubt prove to be a major time saver for artists and animators alike.
It seems the construction boom in bustling Dubai is far from over – already home to several world record-holding projects, including the tallest building (for just a little while longer), the largest shopping mall and biggest man-made island
, plans are now afoot to construct what will likely be the world's largest underwater luxury hotel, the Water Discus. Several years ago, we reported on another such ambitious project, Hydropolis
, which sadly never got past the blueprint stage. If Polish company Deep Ocean Technology's (DOT) plans come to fruition, however, guests could one day find themselves asleep beneath the waters of the Persian Gulf.
Looking for a place to stay that's sustainable, fun and suspended? The one-of-a-kind, mobile AirHotel, designed by a group of Belgian artists, may be just the ticket. Made from recycled materials, the quirky hotel's six elevated or hanging rooms are each unique in their own way and all come with an unusual form of room service that ranges from a love song to a disco party.
Honda has unveiled a demonstration house in Saitama, Japan, to showcase and test its new Honda Smart Home System (HSHS). Featuring a line-up of innovative energy production, management and conservation solutions, the company hopes HSHS will free homeowners from the constraints of on-grid living somewhat, give them a leg up on self-sufficiency when disaster strikes and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions both at home and on the road by networking electric vehicles into the mix.
With the 3D craze sweeping across everything from movies to printing, it was only a matter of time before data presentation entered the realm of the tangible, too. Sculptor Luke Jerram
wanted to better understand the significance of the charts and figures the media bombards us with daily, so he took performance graphs for several years of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) data and rotated them about their X-axis. The resulting sculptures turned out to be both visually compelling and highly unusual.