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Design

These bricks are made out of desert sand, but are as strong as concrete

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After air and water, usable sand is the natural resource that we use the most of. It’s what entire cities are made of and it’s running out. 

A group of students in London have found a way to bind desert sand – which is abundant but useless in construction because it’s too fine and round – into a new biodegradable composite material, called “Finite,” which is as strong as concrete. Read more…

More about Design, London, Mashable Video, Environment, and Beach

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Art

Artist Creates Absolutely Epic Geometric Drawings on Beaches Around the World

Not simply content to relax by the ocean with a Mai Tai in hand, Santa Cruz-based land artist Jim Denevan has been beautifying beaches with intricate sand carvings for the past 20 years. Often using driftwood found nearby, he creates the most intricate and compelling of a pattern he can before the tide washes away his work like a Tibetan sand mandala

A new video from Great Big Story documents the process behind several carvings on the scale of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, but without Jetty‘s permanence. It’s fascinating to see how the works, photos of which have appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, MoMA PS1, and gallery shows from Laguna Beach to the UAE. Aside from beaches, Denevan has engraved Burning Man’s Black Rock Desert in Nevada, and created 10-mile-circumference work in a dried lake bed that, he says, holds the world record for largest art. 

Check out these works and more in the video below.

See more of Jim Denevan’s work on his website and check out more from Great Big Story here.

Related:

Earthwork Artist Makes Whimsical Installations by Learning as She Goes

An Artist Dug 400 Holes in the Desert to Write This Enlightening Message

Watch Massive LED Snow Murals Come to Life

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Art

Watch Skaters Thrash a Halfpipe Made of Sand on a Frozen Beach in Norway

Four Norwegian skateboarders ride alongside the crashing waves of the Lofoten Islands in Northbound in Norwegian, a skate film released last week by Turbin film. Karstein Kleppan, Henrik Lund, Hermann Stene and Didrick Galasso glide across the sandy coastlines of Northern Norway’s Nordland county as if they were coated in freshly paved cement. In just under 10 minutes, the skaters experiment using creative natural obstacles, testing their street dexterity amongst the harsh terrain of the Arctic Circle.

At the start of the film, a title card reads, “The skateboarding in this film is done on frozen sand and water only.” In our conversation with director last year, following the film’s Tribeca Film Festival appearance, Jørn Nyseth Ranum explained that he came up with the idea while he was surfing one cold winter day. When he got out of the water, he felt that the sand was rock solid, “It felt like concrete in a way.” That’s when he had the idea to try and make a film about skating on a frozen beach.

In addition to the thrilling skate footage, Nyseth Ranum captures beautiful imagery in 4K of the Norwegian countryside, a wintry landscape as beautiful as it is extreme. It’s no surprise, then, that Northbound has garnered the attention of a number of festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, and the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. 

Watch the film in its entirety below:

Stay up to date with new works by director Jørn Nyseth Ranum on Facebook.

Related:

‘NO TREND’ Explores a Group of Skaters Who Also Make Art

Ari Marcopoulos on Death, Zines, and Decades Documenting New York City Skateboarding

You Can Thrash This Pop Art Skate Park

Hilo Bay Beachfront Park

The bay has a breaker way out, which keeps the surf down at the shore. The black sand can be very silty and can get hot when the Sun is bright, although that has seldom been a problem for me. The trees tend to give enough shade in the latter half of the day. The focus of the beach is on canoeing and lots of clubs have their boats and take them out when the weather is nice. Around 5:30,a half hour before sunset, is when you’ll see lots of canoe-ers and longboarders paddling back in to shore. The beach is pretty unkempt, but that’s part of the charm. You have to look for restrooms and washing stations but they’re there.

It’s so close to downtown that it’s a default beach if you just want to hear some surf and walk barefoot in sand, but it’s not as nice as other spots further south. I wish there were a better way to cross Kamehameha. Watching for traffic feels dangerous, especially with a stroller.

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Park

Coconut Island

Coconut Island is a very pleasant island in Hilo Bay, about a 10-15-minute walk from our place. It’s near the Castle Hilo Hawaiian hotel, which has the same architecture as our building. The grass is trimmed short, unlike some of the other parks in the area, so it’s a good space for keiki to run without tripping. It’s surrounded by rocky beach with some sand, and the water is pretty fresh, being close to the ocean, so it’s a good spot to swim or wade. Whenever I’m there I see many men fishing, and they catch good-size (20″ or more) fish just with rod and reel.


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There are lots of luau spots and on weekends many are filled with families, sometimes with enormous bounties of food.

It has a nice view of the city and the air is noticeably fresher on the island than it is in town.

The island is connected to the land by a short bridge, but half the time we’ve been, we haven’t even made it to the island itself and have just played along the shore on the “mainland” side of the bridge.

To get there we walk past Liliuokalani Gardens, which are lovely, and Suisan (suisan.com) where you can get a good-priced poke bowl. It has the freshest-smelling fish store I’ve ever been in. When I’ve been there is no dead-fish smell at all, nor any lingering bleach smell. That’s how fresh the fish is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_Island_(Hawaii_Island)

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