Posts tagged with "My Modern Met"

Self-balancing robotic wheelchair helps give visibility to those with disabilities

January 25, 2024

There are many privileges that come with being able-bodied. Just the act of standing up or sitting down without assistance is often taken for granted by people with no visible disabilities.

But now, the Lithuania-based company Chronus Robotics has designed a self-balancing mobility robot that hopes to bring this freedom and visibility to those with lower limb disadvantages, reports My Modern Met.

Called Kim-e, this innovative Segway-like wheelchair helps people with disabilities navigate the world in a more visible and comfortable way.

“The idea to create an innovative mobility device was inspired by motorsport. Over the years, we have seen many people using wheelchairs in motorsport. Most of them use manual wheelchairs—even those from Formula One teams working with the most advanced technologies in the world,” writes Chronus Robotics, adding,  “This led to the idea of creating a personal mobility robot that would allow people to communicate freely and work with dignity.”

After ten years of planning and modifications, the first model was made, which ultimately led to the final product, Kim-e.

Photos and videos of the product highlight its striking differences compared to wheelchairs that are commonplace today. “Our challenge was to keep the person visible while leaving not only the wheelchair but also the disability unnoticed,” explains Chronus Robotics.

“Using our patent pending technologies, we have achieved our goal: If Kim-e is to be called a wheelchair, it is an invisible one.”

Rather than being bulky, Kim-e has a streamlined body that supports the legs and back of the user. The ergonomic design helps keep the user comfortable as he or she controls the device to travel up to 12 mph; and to change his or her position from elevated at eye-level with others, to sitting down.

Kim-e also is controlled by the user’s upper body movements—making it hands-free. The robot is powered by a lithium battery that can travel up to 19 miles on a full four-hour charge. It can also be folded down for easy travel.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Two rare dimes worth $2 million dollars each are still in circulation

January 19, 2024

Coin collecting is a passionate hobby shared by many. From early American gold coins to silver memories trapped in time capsules, the variety is endless. The values are deeply diverse too: Ranging from only twice their face value to in the millions, historic coins can be worth a penny or a pittance.

But beware: Some coins lounging in your piggy bank or at the bottom of your car’s cupholders might just be the holy grail of numismatics. One of the treasures to look out for is the 1894-S Barber Dime—an extremely limited, rare mint run of which only two are believed to still be in general circulation, reports My Modern Met.

Barber dimes—named after the sixth chief engraver of the United States Mint (from 1879 until his death in 1917), Charles E. Barber—were regularly minted from 1892 to 1916.

However, something unique occurred in 1894. The San Francisco Mint created only 24 of these dimes. They may have been created as novelty gifts for financial types associated with the mint, or possibly to equal out a deficit at the mint by a small amount. It is also possible they were testing the dies that stamp the coins.

Of the 24 minted, John Daggett—who ran the mint—gave three dimes to his young daughter Hallie. He instructed the child to keep them for their future worth, and she kept two. However, she spent one on ice cream almost immediately.

Today, many of the 24 are no longer extant. Like other coins of their era, they may have been melted down for the metals they contained as those became more valuable than the coins themselves. Today, only nine 1894-S Barber Dimes are believed to remain. The whereabouts of two of those are as of yet unknown.

They may be sitting in a private cache in some unknowing individual’s house, or perhaps lost to the dirt. The remaining seven are in collector’s hands. However, anyone with a jar of old coins should count their dimes and see if they’ve got one of the missing minted treasures. If you find one, it is likely worth about two million dollars in collector’s circles.

Instead, you might also discover you own slightly less scintillating, but still impressively valuable coins. Check out this list of the most valuable historic dimes to see if any match the coins in your collection, or your purse.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Rare painting made by all four members of the Beatles could sell for $600K

January 16, 2024

Almost everyone in the world knows The Beatles for their rock music, but very few know that the musicians dabbled in painting. Or, at least they did on one occasion while staying at a hotel in Japan, reports My Modern Met.

In 1966, while The Beatles were scheduled for five shows over the course of three days at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan arena, they were unable to spend much time outside of their suite at the Tokyo Hilton. After a fan brought art supplies during a visit, the four rockstars spent that solitary time making a painting together, which was later titled “Images of a Woman” by a Japanese journalist.

All four members of the band—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—were assigned a quadrant of the canvas and they painted it independently. Each artist used an abstract style, but their unique aesthetic and perspective still shines through. Starr’s portion in the bottom lefthand corner, for instance, features a bright array of hues and defined abstract shapes, whereas Harrison’s contribution on the bottom right has a gritty mix of dark shades. In the center of the painting is a blank unfinished circle in which each Beatle signed his name by his own section.

While the Beatles sat down to work on the painting, they were photographed by Robert Whitaker. “They’d stop [painting], go and do a concert, then it was, ‘Let’s go back to the picture!’ ” says Whitaker. “I never saw them calmer or more contented than at this time.”

This piece holds extra significance as it was made in the months before the end of their last major tour. “It’s such a rarity to have a work on paper outside of their music catalog that is [a] physical relic, this tangible object with contributions from all four of The Beatles,” Christie’s’ International Specialist Casey Rogers comments. “It’s memorabilia, it’s a work of art, it appeals to probably a much larger cross-section of collectors … It’s a wonderful piece of storytelling.”

Images of a Woman will go up for auction at Christie’s in February, and is estimated to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Baby torn away in a tornado is found safe and sound in a “little tree cradle”

December 29, 2023

Even when all hope seems lost, miracles still can happen. Just ask the Moore family, whose four-month-old baby, Lord, survived a recent tornado. The baby was inside his bassinet when the tornado ripped through the roof of his parents’ mobile home in Tennessee—picking up the child and disappearing with him. But, despite the terrifying scene, Lord was later found safe and sound, reports My Modern Met.

“The tip of the tornado came down and picked up the bassinet with my baby, Lord, in it,” Sydney Moore, the boy’s mother, told local news station WSMV. “He was the first thing to go up.”

While Lord’s father lunged to protect the baby in the bassinet, he ended up getting picked up by the tornado, as well. “He was just holding onto the bassinet the whole time, and they went into circles, he said, and then they got thrown.”

As it all unfolded, the mom of two was holding onto her 1-year-old, Princeton. “Something in me just told me to run and jump on top of my son,” Moore explained. “Literally the moment I jumped on him, the walls collapsed.”

Once the tornado passed, they were able to escape the rubble, and immediately started looking for Lord, worried about what might have happened to him.

Searching through the wreckage, they feared the worst. But then, they spotted a familiar sight—the bassinet, in what Moore described “like a little tree cradle.” Inside was baby Lord, with only minor cuts and bruises. “We are told that he looked like he was placed on the tree gently. Like an angel guided him safely to that spot,” wrote Moore’s sister, Caitlyn.

Once the family was reunited, it came time to make sense of their surroundings. Their home and car were completely destroyed. While the mom and her children only had minor injuries, the father had a broken arm and shoulder. While their renters have put them up in a hotel for a month, the family has lost everything. To get them on their feet again, a GoFundMe campaign has been launched by Moore’s sister.

“Sydney and her family would like to purchase a home. As you can imagine this has been extremely traumatizing for everyone involved, so they do not feel comfortable living in a trailer again,” she explains; adding that the family will need furnishings, vehicle insurance, and baby supplies. The fundraiser has happily met its goal, but you can still make a donation via GoFundMe.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Bird landing on bride’s head wins 2023 International Wedding Photographer of the Year contest

December 6, 2023

A small bird coming in for a crash landing helped win Tara Lilly of Tara Lily Photography the title of International Wedding Photographer of the Year. The Canadian wedding photographer beat out over 300 of her peers to rise to the top of the annual competition, reports My Modern Met.

As Lily recalls, “Mikaela and Mitch held an intimate mountaintop wedding in Whistler, Canada. We took 4×4 jeeps up to an alpine meadow, home to a number of animals, including whiskey jacks. (If you’ve visited Whistler in the winter, you may have seen these small birds entertain skiers waiting in the lift line by landing on their ski poles held in the air.)

“Just as Mitch began his vows, a curious whiskey jack swooped in and landed directly on top of Mikaela’s head. Mikaela’s shock, surprise, and laughter were not enough to dissuade this bird from his perch. “I’m Snow White!” Mikaela laughed.”

For her efforts, Lily is taking home a prize pool, including a share of over $3,000 and products from award spon

Over 1,700 images were submitted to 11 categories that show the creative range of

sors. In second place, Italian photographer Carmelo Ucchino captured a couple’s romantic first dance as water cascaded from the ceiling. The dramatic black-and-white image also won the Dance Floor category.

Above, the Overall Runner-up and Winner, Dance Floor, taken by Carmelo Ucchino)

possibilities when it comes to wedding photography. “It was an absolute joy judging so many diverse entries and the quality of imagery was off the charts,” shared judge and photographer Dee Kampe, who won last year’s contest.

“I was drawn to the winning entry for its perfection in capturing this chance encounter,” she continues. “It’s joyous, uplifting, and makes me grin from ear to ear just looking at it. There’s pure, unfiltered emotion, there’s surprise, there’s the unexpected. It encapsulates the emotions and narrative that runs through an entire wedding day in a single frame.”

This year’s contest was more successful than ever. Now in its seventh year, the International Wedding Photographer of the Year saw an increase in entries—showing that the world is back on track when it comes to celebrating these important life moments.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

A ‘good hair day’: The 2023 National Beard and Moustache Championships

November 20, 2023

Daytona Beach, Florida, was full of fun facial hair as contestants arrived for the 2023 Honest Amish National Beard and Moustache Championships on Friday, November 3, reports My Modern Met.

Photographer Elle Jaye was on hand to shoot the official portraits of those whose incredible beards, mustaches, and goatees enabled them to enter this year’s competition.

Participants could choose from a wide variety of categories and classes—including everything from neatly groomed facial hair to fantastical, crafted facial hair that uses creative materials to give the illusion of a beard or mustache.

But, by far, the freestyle category is where contestants really

Above, two of the freestyle contestants. (Photo source: Elle Jaye)

shine each year—as they use their natural hair to create incredible shapes. The final results are sculptural and demonstrate just how much you can do with a beard or mustache.

 Jaye’s portraits capture the pride these contestants have for their facial hair. For many, it has taken years to perfect their looks and the satisfaction of what they’ve achieved is written all over their carefully groomed faces.

Winners were named in an incredible 47 different categories, but it was Jacob Darlington who took home the top prize and earned the Best in Show award. His big win came after he first took the top slot in the Full Beard Garibaldi.

According to the official contest website, a Garibaldi beard is “wide and round at the bottom, and no more than 8 inches in length as measured from the bottom of the lower lip.” A natural appearance is preferred, and “the mustache may not be made distinct from the beard or styled.”

Research contact: @mymodernmet

‘After the Fire’ is stunning winner of the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year contest

November 9, 2023

Photographer Mik Dogherty has been named UK Landscape Photographer of the Year for his haunting photo, After the Fire, which he captured in the New Forest National Park in southern England. The photo freezes a dramatic moment in time, as Dogherty notes that regeneration has already begun, and these burnt remnants are no longer visible, reports My Modern Met.

“For many, there has been a series of deeply rooted multidimensional emotional responses to this winning LPOTY 2023 photograph, all of which may be triggered by thoughts of ‘otherworldly’ to ‘dawn of time’ or perhaps the frightening counter-response of ‘the end of time,’ ” shares awards founder Charlie Waite. “The tangled and stark reminder of what was once a beautiful and intimate wood perhaps brings forth a feeling of ‘profound environmental alarm’ and numerous other responses.

“We will all know, of course, that a still image has the potential to have a very considerable and powerful effect on our emotional interpretation of it and—perhaps over and above all of the thoughts discussed—there remains one overwhelming response, which is the sheer striking beauty of this photograph which transports us to a place of transcendent emotional experience.”

Now in its 15th year, the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year is a showcase for Britain’s natural environment. Open to photographers around the globe, all of the entries have been taken in the UK at some point in the past five years.

All of the winners will see their work included in the Landscape Photographer of the Year book, as well as a traveling exhibition that makes its way across the country.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

New ‘The Little Prince’ sculpture is unveiled in NYC in celebration of the book’s 80th anniversary

October 20, 2023

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince was first published in 1943. In the 80 years that have passed since its debut, it has become one of the best-selling titles of all time and has been translated into over 500 different languages and dialects worldwide.

Now, in celebration of its milestone anniversary, the titular character has made its way to the streets of New York City. Villa Albertine, a French cultural institution, has unveiled a bronze statue that will greet those who walk down Fifth Avenue, reports My Modern Met.

It’s only fitting for The Little Prince to be found on the streets of Manhattan. After all, the book was written in New York City and in Northport, Long Island, where Antoine de Saint Exupéry lived from 1940 to 1943—having fled from his home during World War II.

Furthermore, the original manuscript and drawings are housed in the Morgan Library and Museum, located just a few miles away.

“New York is a city known for its diversity, its mix of different cultures,” says Jean-Hugues Monier, board member of the American Society of Le Souvenir Français. “The Little Prince is a tale that celebrates the importance of such diversity and mutual understanding, which reminds us that as humans we are all connected, even if we come from different backgrounds.”

The sculpture was created by French artist Jean-Marc de Pas, who carved it from clay and cast it in bronze in one single piece at his studio in Normandy. At four feet tall, the statue is perched on the garden wall of the Payne Whitney Mansion on the Upper East Side.

The Little Prince has inspired generations of children and adults alike with its reflections on love, loss, friendship, and loneliness. Drawing from his own experiences, Saint-Exupéry tells the story of a pilot who crash-lands in the desert, where he meets a young boy, with whom he forms a bond shaped by insightful observations on life and human nature.

Now, the young royal is ready to meet those who have been touched by the life-affirming messages of the book. “We are all very proud that the Little Prince will now have a fitting presence in the city of his birth,” said Thierry Chaunu, president of the American Society of Le Souvenir Français. “This loving sculpture will undoubtedly delight New Yorkers and tourists of all origins, who will be able to sit next to him and gaze with him towards the stars.”

Research contact: @mymodernmet

‘2024 Pissed-Off Cats Calendar’ unveils its cast of adorably angry felines

October 17, 2023

Cats can be cute, funny, and curious. They also can be mean, surly, and entirely indifferent. But it’s all of these personality traits that make them Internet royalty, beloved everywhere. As a tribute to the ruthlessness of felines, The Raccoon Society has created the 2024 Pissed-Off Cats Calendar, reports My Modern Met.

This is the second year that The Raccoon Society has released the Pissed-Off Cats Calendar, but its history began even before that. “A couple of years ago, we were developing some greeting cards that featured grumpy cats with humorous text,” Tim Sanders of The Raccoon Society tells My Modern Met. “We soon found so many moody-looking cat photos to choose from, we had a hard time settling on the handful we needed.

“After the success of those cards, we landed on the idea of the calendar as a way to have more

Above, now, you can fill your year with indifferent stares and snarky statements from our favorite fluffy friends. (Photo source: (The Racoon Society)

fun with grumpy cats and connect them to seasons and holidays throughout the year.”

As anyone who has been around cats knows, there’s no limit to the amount of funny faces cats can make—turning the selection process into a fun adventure. “As we culled through the images, I began to observe the facial cues of cats, and what separates a ‘mildly annoyed’ feline from a ‘get away from me right now’ one,” Sanders explains. “These facial expressions informed the captions we wrote, and it was great fun to interpret what the ‘June Cat’ was saying with its bored, irritated look, versus the ‘September Cat’ with its fierce fangs bared.”

Striving to showcase a variety of settings to match the season, The Raccoon Society worked with different photographers. “We were blessed to discover how many talented photographers love cats,” Sanders explains. This allowed them to have a funny and fully-rounded calendar rotation, boasting a cat in the snow, a summer garden, wearing a Halloween costume, and more.

As if looking up to a cat’s annoyed glare weren’t fun enough, The Raccoon Society also added over 300 quirky holidays to their calendar, which they consider one of the most fun parts to put together. “We knew about a few funny official occasions like ‘National Dress Up Your Pet Day’ (January 14), but we hadn’t realized how many exist, and how creative they are,” Sanders said. “Once we looked into it—and realized there are days that celebrate everything from napping (March 11) to waffles (March 25)—we picked the funniest ones and included them in the calendar. It adds an extra layer of fun to the experience, with folks checking each day to see what’s being celebrated or commemorated.”

You can order your $24 2024 Pissed-off Cats Calendar on Etsy and Amazon. To stay up to date with The Raccoon Society’s creations, you can follow them on Instagram.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

‘2024 Irish Farmer Calendar’ unveils quirky photos of shirtless men with adorable animals

Septembr 29, 2023

With the end of 2023 quickly approaching, it’s nearly time to start thinking about getting a new calendar. For those who want an entertaining series of 12 photos to get them through the year—complete with cute animals and shirtless men—the 2024 Irish Farmer Calendar is available now.

The newest edition of this beloved classic features the “fan favorites” from the calendar’s 13-year history in celebration of the project’s wide-reaching success, reports My Modern Met.

Opening the calendar reveals a new farmer for each month. Some of these men are captured cuddling rabbits or goats, while others pose seductively amidst a curated agricultural setting. These images include fellas from Cork, Wexford, Dublin, Roscommon, Tipperary, and Kilkenny.

“This year the calendar is a special edition of Fan Favorites featuring images from the last 13 years shot in locations over six counties and featuring the work of four talented photographers,” the team says. “So far, this has gone down a treat with fans and we see new orders coming in every day from all over the world. It is great to see the calendar still has universal appeal in its 14th year.”

These playful photos encapsulate some of the most charming aspects of agricultural life. Not only are there plenty of animals, but there are haystacks, beautiful greenery, and rustic houses.

“Variety is important. Hence, why we connected with many different farms over the years,” Ciara Ryan, creator of the Irish Farmer Calendar, explains. “All of the farms we worked with were extremely helpful during our photoshoots, for which we will be forever grateful for making the calendar what it is today. It really is a team effort as a lot of work and planning goes into the calendar behind the scenes.”

The calendar’s continued popularity is not only due to its human and animal models—but also its whimsical and oftentimes humorous compositions.

“Ireland can be viewed by many, and rightly so, as a romantic setting with 40 shades of green, a friendly nation who are known for their céad míle fáilte, which is Irish for ‘one hundred thousand welcomes,’” Ryan adds.

The final fan-favorite images were chosen based on the reception they received on social media; and, scrolling through the collection, it is easy to see why they’ve become so popular.

You can purchase the 2024 Irish Farmer Calendar via their website for €12.99 (or about $13.74).

Research contact: @mymodernmet