Thursday, April 6, 2017

Vantablack vs. Black 2.0 is the Latest in Hilarious Artist Feud Over the "Blackest Black"

Message from banned artist Anish Kapoor, using PINK
Vantablack is a newly announced black hue created by attaching black nanotubes via copolymers in an industrial process that produces an ultra-black, ultra-matte color akin to staring into a black hole. It was immediately licensed for exclusive use by artist Anish Kapoor.  In reaction, artist Stewart Semple first created a superpigmented color called "pinkest pink" with a barbed message for Kapoor, and then a "blackest black available to artists" that specifically is licensed to everyone in the world except for Kapoor.  The blackest black battle is turning snippy and hilarious, and the innocent bystanders of the world can merely tune in and laugh.

Here's a glimpse of the Vantablack hue that started the kerfuffle:

Hunter Communications Original News Source:

Link to Article:
Vantablack vs. Black 2.0: Which Is the Superblack for You?

Excerpt: " Another shot has been fired in the war over Vantablack, the world’s blackest material. Artist Stuart Semple is taking aim yet again at Anish Kapoor, who infamously secured the exclusive rights for the artistic use of Vantablack. Semple has just released Black 2.0, billed as 'the world’s mattest, flattest, black art material.'

'With just one coat almost any object (even really shiny ones) become super-black and reflect next to no light, giving a Vantastic black hole type effect,' notes the product description, which does include one important disclaimer (and pot shot at Kapoor): 'this is not the blackest black in the world. It is however a better black than the blackest black in the world, as it is actually usable by artists.'

Previously, Semple has released Diamond Dust, the world’s most-glittery glitter, and a powdered acrylic pigment dubbed the Pinkest Pink. Despite being banned from using it, Kapoor managed to get his hands on the latter, and sent Semple an Instagram message as proof, provocatively extending a middle finger that he had dipped in the vibrant pigment.

You can also buy the Pinkest Pink in a four-pack set with Yellowest Yellow, Greenest Green, and Loveliest Blue. Semple has included, in the purchase agreement for all of these items, a clause prohibiting their purchase or use by Kapoor, as he did with Diamond Dust and Black 2.0:

'By adding this product to your cart you confirm that you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not purchasing this item on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor. To the best of your knowledge, information and belief this paint will not make it’s [sic] way into the hands of Anish Kapoor. '
Sample's Black 2.0 in action

Black 2.0 is currently on back order due to 'huge unexpected demand,' and is already making a splash on Reddit’s MildlyInteresting forum, where one astonished user described another’s photo of a Black 2.0–painted ping-pong ball as 'a portable hole.'"

Thursday, March 23, 2017

USC Village Ramps Up For August Opening With Massive Job Hiring Event

Click to view construction video on YouTube
The conversion of a run-down strip mall into a gleaming new village of student housing and retail space is invigorating the neighborhood around USC's campus.  This month, the looming opening of the development spurred over a thousand applicants to seek interviews for job positions at USC Village. The rapid progress of construction and the current finishing touches are readily apparent in the latest drone's-eye-view video of the impressive site.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
USC Village

Link to Article:
Ramping Up For August Opening

Excerpt: "With resumes in hand and best faces forward, thousands of local residents came to interview with recruiters from USC Auxiliary Services for jobs at USC Village.

The local hiring event, held March 8 in the ballroom at the Radisson at USC, attracted attendees who lined up around the block for interviews and information.

USC Village, the mixed-used residential and retail complex, is on schedule to open for the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year. The massive project will house 2,700 students and contain 100,000 square feet of retail space, presenting new job opportunities both at USC and with individual retailers.

More than 1,000 resumes were submitted in advance of the event, according to event organizer Lethy Navarrete, senior talent acquisition partner in USC Auxiliary Services.

Thirty recruiters from USC were on hand to conduct interviews. Throughout the course of the five-hour event, 1,500 applicants were interviewed for job openings in customer service, maintenance, building services management, custodial services and other permanent, USC Village-related positions."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Color Constancy" Tricks You Into Seeing Red

 Sometimes we're seeing red for real.  And then there are times like this, when our built in optical white balance system just goes a little nutty and makes us see red strawberries in a picture without a single pixel approaching any red hue. "Color constancy" makes us see the colors we think are appropriate to a scene by correcting for what we perceive as a tinted light (here an excess of outdoorsy blue).

Hunter Communications Original News Source: 
New York Magazine

Link to Article:
Strawberries Look Red Without Red Pixels

Excerpt: "Optical illusions come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of stupidity. There was the blurry ham picture that made Reddit scratch its head. (Really.) And the one that turned out to just be a cigar shoved in a brick wall. (Also, really.) But today’s viral illusion, a baffling picture of strawberries created by a psychologist that’s making the rounds on Twitter, actually has a bit more scientific gravitas than your average, run-of-the-mill photo of girl who seems to be missing legs.

The image comes courtesy of Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a professor of psychology at Ritsumeikan University in Japan with a specialty in optical illusions. (His website is so trippy, it comes with the disclaimer, 'Should you feel dizzy, you had better leave this page immediately.') The strawberries appear red, despite their lack of any red pixels, because of color constancy, or the way that the human brain is designed to perceive the same colors under a range of circumstances. Remember the Dress? Same deal.

Whether you’re outside in bright natural light or inside in a dimly-lit closet with a dying 20-watt light bulb, your brain works to color correct — to make sure the colors you are seeing remain, well, constant. So even though Kitaoka’s image has been manipulated to include only gray and greenish pixels, you still see red strawberries."
The colors that we saw as red are isolated to the side so we see them as their true greyish greens.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Two Spaces After a Period? The Debate Still Rages On...

In case you haven't been paying attention, the style guide has CHANGED for the last fifteen years, to the point that print typography and website design strongly prefer (even require) that a single space is the proper spacing after a colon or the period at the end of a sentence. The counter-argument is a matter of honor among the Luddites who insist "Two spaces is what I was taught, so that is the correct style!", refusing to adapt to the modern streamlined version. Unfortunately, that puts them on the wrong side of design evolution and firmly places them on the bitter end of the age timeline.

But there are battles won and retreats in this punctuation war. Associated Press style guides, The University of Chicago, and the Modern Language Association have all advocated for the new standard, and until recently were joined by the APA (American Psychological Association). But the APA retreated, and now claims that readers may be more comfortable seeing the familiar double space where they have always expected it--they are back to preferring the full stop.

The origin of the double space, and its eventual fall into archaic antiquity, can be traced mostly to the days of writing and composition on the manual typewriter, which used a system of equal spacing for every letter and character. This led to a jumble of white space even between letters of a single word, requiring a decisive respite at the end of every sentence to complete the thought. Typesetters, computer typography, and HTML web design all rely on a system of proportional spacing, where a letter "i", "h" and "m" have different spacing assigned to reflect the proper width of the characters. So since the millennium, it has become superfluous to add any additional space and break the flow of sentences for no particular reason.

Here's the SLATE MAGAZINE battle cry that declared war on the dead-ender double space advocates, and still keeps proponents on both sides of the issue arguing about what is "proper" and "correct'. It's nowhere near being new, so if you are hearing about this change in style for the first time, maybe this is a good chance to get up to speed.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:

Link to Article:
Space Invaders: Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period.
Excerpt: "Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.
And yet people who use two spaces are everywhere, their ugly error crossing every social boundary of class, education, and taste.*  You'd expect, for instance, that anyone savvy enough to read Slate would know the proper rules of typing, but you'd be wrong; every third email I get from readers includes the two-space error. (In editing letters for 'Dear Farhad,' my occasional tech-advice column, I've removed enough extra spaces to fill my forthcoming volume of melancholy epic poetry, The Emptiness Within.) The public relations profession is similarly ignorant; I've received press releases and correspondence from the biggest companies in the world that are riddled with extra spaces. Some of my best friends are irredeemable two-spacers, too, and even my wife has been known to use an unnecessary extra space every now and then (though she points out that she does so only when writing to other two-spacers, just to make them happy).

What galls me about two-spacers isn't just their numbers. It's their certainty that they're right. Over Thanksgiving dinner last year, I asked people what they considered to be the 'correct' number of spaces between sentences. The diners included doctors, computer programmers, and other highly accomplished professionals. Everyone—everyone!—said it was proper to use two spaces. Some people admitted to slipping sometimes and using a single space—but when writing something formal, they were always careful to use two. Others explained they mostly used a single space but felt guilty for violating the two-space 'rule.' Still others said they used two spaces all the time, and they were thrilled to be so proper. When I pointed out that they were doing it wrong—that, in fact, the correct way to end a sentence is with a period followed by a single, proud, beautiful space—the table balked. 'Who says two spaces is wrong?' they wanted to know.
Typographers, that's who. The people who study and design the typewritten word decided long ago that we should use one space, not two, between sentences...

Every modern typographer agrees on the one-space rule. It's one of the canonical rules of the profession, in the same way that waiters know that the salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork and fashion designers know to put men's shirt buttons on the right and women's on the left. Every major style guide—including the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style—prescribes a single space after a period. (The Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association, used widely in the social sciences, allows for two spaces in draft manuscripts but recommends one space in published work.) Most ordinary people would know the one-space rule, too, if it weren't for a quirk of history. In the middle of the last century, a now-outmoded technology—the manual typewriter—invaded the American workplace. To accommodate that machine's shortcomings, everyone began to type wrong. And even though we no longer use typewriters, we all still type like we do. (Also see the persistence of the dreaded Caps Lock key.)

The problem with typewriters was that they used monospaced type—that is, every character occupied an equal amount of horizontal space. This bucked a long tradition of proportional typesetting, in which skinny characters (like I or 1) were given less space than fat ones (like W or M). Monospaced type gives you text that looks 'loose' and uneven; there's a lot of white space between characters and words, so it's more difficult to spot the spaces between sentences immediately. Hence the adoption of the two-space rule—on a typewriter, an extra space after a sentence makes text easier to read. Here's the thing, though: Monospaced fonts went out in the 1970s. First electric typewriters and then computers began to offer people ways to create text using proportional fonts. Today nearly every font on your PC is proportional. (Courier is the one major exception.) Because we've all switched to modern fonts, adding two spaces after a period no longer enhances readability, typographers say. It diminishes it."

Metro Recommends Underground Atlantic Blvd Route for new Gold Line Extension

Photo: jeremy jozwik | Curbed LA Flickr Pool
The long-term expansion of the Los Angeles Metro rapid transit system is taking shape, and the Metro is now recommending building an underground route under Atlantic Boulevard to extend the East LA Gold line toward Whittier.  The new proposed route will include a stop at the popular Citadel Outlets shopping center when it turns East at Washington Boulevard. LAist snarkily reports the route's construction phase may be finished before the sun runs out of hydrogen and burns out...

Hunter Communications Original News Source:

Link to Article:
Metro Gold Line Extension May Have Found Its New Route Through East L.A.

Excerpt:  "Metro's proposed extension of the Gold Line southeast to Whittier has may have found its new route. Metro staff proposed extending the line from its current terminus at Atlantic Station in East Los Angeles, via an underground subway beneath Atlantic Boulevard, reports Urbanize LA.
"This alignment would run through the City of Commerce, with a stop at the Citadel Outlets," adds Urbanize.
According to Metro, the proposed $6 billion extension will roll out in two phases, and will be funded primarily by Measure M, which county voters approved back in November. The Gold Line is expected to reach Lambert Road in Whittier sometime before the core hydrogen exhaustion of the Sun 2060, though, as with the Orange Line conversion, a private-public partnership may speed that up."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

7 Earth-Sized Planets Discovered, Including Three in Habitable Zone

Hunter Communications' interest in space spans the decades, with principal Matt Hunter's father Maxwell W. Hunter II widely considered as a founding father of the US space exploration movement.  (Check out our website to get a glimpse of his amazing five-decade career.) So we are very excited to hear NASA's news of the major discovery of dwarf star Trappist 1's nearby planets, including three with potential to harbor liquid water and the ingredients of life.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
The New York Times

Link to Article:
7 Earth-Size Planets Orbit Dwarf Star

Excerpt: "Not just one, but seven Earth-size planets that could potentially harbor life have been identified orbiting a tiny star not too far away, offering the first realistic opportunity to search for signs of alien life outside the solar system.
The planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1, about 40 light-years, or 235 trillion miles, from Earth. That is quite close in cosmic terms, and by happy accident, the orientation of the orbits of the seven planets allows them to be studied in great detail.
One or more of the exoplanets in this new system could be at the right temperature to be awash in oceans of water, astronomers said, based on the distance of the planets from the dwarf star.
'This is the first time so many planets of this kind are found around the same star,' Michael Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liege in Belgium and the leader of an international team that has been observing Trappist-1, said during a telephone news conference organized by the journal Nature, which published the findings on Wednesday.
 Scientists could even discover compelling evidence of aliens.
'I think that we have made a crucial step toward finding if there is life out there,' said Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge in England and another member of the research team. 'Here, if life managed to thrive and releases gases similar to that we have on Earth, then we will know.'
Cool red dwarfs are the most common type of star, so astronomers are likely to find more planetary systems like that around Trappist-1 in the coming years."...

IKEA Supersizes Burbank Location with North America's Largest

After including IKEA Burbank at Burbank Town Center as one of the retailers we worked with and followed for five years, Hunter Communications was really interested to see the GRAND opening IKEA had for the supersized location just a mile down the road that replaced their old store. Over 1000 customers were there waiting in line for the opening of this, North America's largest IKEA store.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
Los Angeles Times

Link to Article:
Grand Opening of the Nation's Largest IKEA Draws More than 1000 Shoppers

Excerpt: "Armed with inflatable vinyl thunder sticks, dozens of yellow-shirted IKEA employees greeted more than 1,000 shoppers Wednesday morning to the Swedish retailer's new store in Burbank, the largest IKEA in the United States.
The thudding sound from the noisemakers echoed for more than 15 minutes as a seemingly never-ending stream of people entered the 456,000-square-foot facility located at 805 S. San Fernando Blvd. ...
Before the store's opening, Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes and IKEA store manager Jeff O'Shaughnessy sawed a log in half, which, in Swedish tradition, is meant to bring good luck.
At around 9 a.m., the sliding double doors opened, and hundreds of people rode an escalator to the store's 77,500-square-foot showroom.
Granada Hills resident Patricia Dungo, 33, was at the store with her husband and children looking for new storage containers for their newborn.
'It's more spacious, bigger and a lot more walking for us,' she said.
Though in addition to a bigger showroom there is a 600-seat restaurant at the new store, Dungo said she is most excited about the underground parking and additional loading zones.
'It's much better than the old one, where you had to walk across a street,' she said.
Near the sofas was Sherman Oaks resident Mohammad Khalil Beik, who was with his wife perusing the various sections of the showroom.
Khalil Beik, 41, said they had bought new furniture at the old IKEA before it closed on Saturday, but they wanted to stop by the new store to see what changes were made.
'The old store was good, but a little tight,' he said. 'But here, I feel like I can breathe better and be more relaxed. You have space to go around, and you're not bothering other people.'"