Airportraits, Crazy Stuff Confiscated by TSA, and Some Soothing Jellyfish

This week we take a look at Mike Kelly’s Airportraits, or those photos of dozens of planes taking off and landing in one shot, relaxing under the soothing stream of jellyfish, talking about why so many restaurants have gone bankrupt, and more.


You’ve probably seen pictures of Mike Kelly before. He stitches together footage of planes taking off from airports or approaching to land, and creates these magnificent “flocks” of planes that fly through the same sky, land or leave the earth together. I spoke to him briefly about his past and his experiences with these shots, especially the Los Angeles shot you’ve probably seen before:

I am actually an architectural photographer by profession, and in this area I do a lot of compositing: I mix lighting, time of day and people when I photograph buildings. Believe it or not, architectural photography often requires a lot of Photoshop, so I have been working with photo composites for many years to give my photographs an interesting look.

So that brings us to the original image from Los Angeles, taken in 2014. I have always been fascinated by aviation, and one day when I was observing planes in Los Angeles, I decided that I wanted to try capturing several takeoffs and collecting them into one image. to show their flight routes and the amount of traffic departing from Los Angeles airport. The craziest thing is that the first image was originally supposed to be just a proof of concept to see if there was any basis for the idea. I posted this on the internet as a sort of “hey check out this little thing I did, it’s kind of cool,” and it just went insanely viral.

The inspiration behind the entire set of images was pretty straightforward given the success of the original. I didn’t want to be a miracle monster, and I knew this idea had potential, so it was something to do. There are tons of amazing airports, airlines and planes that I wanted to photograph, so a plan was put in place to try and capture as many as possible. Since I am obsessed with airplanes, travel and visiting new places, this was also a great excuse to take me out of my comfort zone a little. When I started this project, I was photographing architecture for about five years in a row, and I had a break, so that was a good change of pace too!

I mainly chose airports based on their environment or their importance on a global scale. Heathrow is by far one of the most famous, for better or worse, airports in the world, located in the center of what is arguably the most famous city on earth. Haneda is the world’s busiest airport and you can see the iconic Mount Fuji on a perfect day – I wanted to connect these amazing places to their air traffic like never before.

Kelly is a professional photographer, so we’re not going to just include tons of examples of his work here – you’ll need to go to his website – and you should definitely do so. Best of all, if you like what you see, you can always buy a print so you can always decorate your walls with a little aviation. While you are doing this, follow Mike on Twitter and Instagram . [ via Mike Kelly , thanks Kottke ! ]

Why are so many restaurant chains going for bankruptcy?

From Ruby Tuesday to Bob Evans, tons of restaurant chains that used to be the cornerstone of suburban dining are drying up, closing branches and cutting back on production. What happened? Our friends at Consumerist went over the whole scenario :

According to the Wall Street Journal , oversaturation, new entrants, and the desire of customers to just eat at home have something to do with this. industry shake-up.

Having a variety of food options at your disposal is great for hungry consumers, but eventually you get to the point where there aren’t enough people eating out to keep all of these restaurants running.

So in many ways it is a matter of oversaturation, competition from the best, other restaurants (in particular, the story mentions places with fast everyday food, such as Chipotle and Panera), and then, on top of that, people just don’t eat outside. as much as before. Restaurant attendance has generally declined, and even some of the fast food outlets mentioned have not been able to avoid cutbacks – Cosi recently announced the closure of 29 stores and filed for bankruptcy .

It is possible that restaurant saturation in many communities has just peaked due to the customer base available to them. Simple economics, but that means something has to give, and now we see that. [ via Consumerist ]

The weirdest items confiscated by TSA

TSA is confiscating some weird, weird stuff, and if you want proof of it, look no further than their Instagram account . In addition, CNet put together this simple slideshow of (ugh, we know) weird, wacky, and unusual items that TSA has collected from verified and carry-on bags across the country. Any notable examples? A bag of eels, a loaded gun, buried in a mass of sculpting clay buried inside the old computer case shown above (which was in a registered bag, which is crazy because they could just pack the gun in a registered bag, unloaded, and that would be nice ), a real cannonball, a real cannon, a bottle of seahorses and a bataranga. There are so many batarangs. Seriously, watch all the slideshows. [ via Cnet ]

Millions of smart devices are being hacked to help criminals

Ah, the ” Internet of Things “, the new frontier of connected devices, household appliances and other products in your home and on your body that have access to the Internet and all communicate with each other. Back in the 2000s, we called it “convergence,” when appliance manufacturers and others were desperate to bring technology into your living room and kitchen — and now, for some reason, it’s just finally starting to catch on. There’s just one catch – smart devices aren’t usually very smart when it comes to protecting themselves and their data.

This means that , as Consumerist notes , millions of them have already been compromised and are being used by criminals as part of DDoS attacks, botnets and other network attacks. We’ve mentioned this ( and how to protect your home network and devices ) before, but it’s an even more common problem now, and as noted in a recent Threat Report from Akamai (PDF), things are only getting worse. From Consumerist:

The millions of connected devices that are sold and connected every day are poorly secured at best. In recent months, we’ve covered everything from baby monitors to firearms .

A huge number of devices come with widely advertised default passwords or no passwords at all, making it trivial for someone with ill intentions to access them remotely. This covers the entire spectrum of home appliances and gadgets, from coffee makers to routers, thermostats and TVs, and everything in between.

And this, according to Akamai, is precisely the problem. Anyone who has the intelligence and the technical ability to do this can use all these “smart” but not smart gadgets as a giant computing network, well, well, well, well, well, whatever he wants.

So basically, smart appliances are new routers, in that you have to make sure that you set them up properly when you get them home, don’t give them access to the Internet, if they don’t need to, change their default passwords, and when You are malleable accessing the Internet through a router or other device that you can control and monitor. [ via Consumerist ]

Relaxing, soothing broadcast … jellyfish

Jellyfish are probably one of the most interesting animals (at least IMHO). Many of them are incredibly dangerous, but from a biological point of view, they force us to rethink some of the criteria for what qualifies as “life.” However, you don’t have toponder over such difficult questions to enjoythis beautiful live stream of jelly at the Monterey Bay Aquarium . Sometimes they are in the frame, sometimes it’s just their extra-long antennae, but it’s always peaceful and strangely soothing. Enjoy. [via Monterey Bay Aquarium (YouTube) ]

Everyone this week! If you have thought-provoking stories, interesting podcasts, eye-opening videos, or anything else that you think is perfect for Brain Buffet, share it with us! Email me , leave it as a comment below, or send it in any way convenient for you.


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