Dust Art: intriguing images of dust that won't make you sneeze

I can't say that I've ever felt compelled to examine all that closely the dust particles that my vacuum cleaner accumulates; I'm rather more interested in getting it out of the house. You too? I'm not surprised. However, a project by electrical goods manufacturer Electrolux not only investigated what the dust churned up in different houses across the world said about their respective environments, it produced enlarged images of different types of dust particles and turned them into Tumblr and Pinterest posts, too. Intrigued to know what plant residue with iron rich clay found in Stockholm looks like? Or how about calcium phosphate from Singapore? What of titanium white paint in Seoul? You can take a look at them on the Dust Art Tumblr or Pinterest run by Electrolux.

Iron rust dust from Taipei

As well as the unexpectedly pretty pictures, Electrolux's research turned up the perhaps-not-so-unexpected findings that our dust says a lot about our individual lifestyles—do lots of laundry and you'll have a higher than average zeolite particle numbers, play tennis and there might be grass or clay amongst your dust—and about where we live. On average 58% of the dust particles in a home come from outside of it. (Want to help reduce that? Take off your shoes when you come inside and open the windows when it rains.)

Plant residue with sand in Los Angeles

What city-specific findings did the researchers turn up? Well, if you live in Taipei you're more likely to have iron-rich gypsum particles amongst your dust because it's used as a coagulant to produce Chinese-style tofu. Old buildings in Paris had high lead particle counts, because lead used to be added to paint to help it dry and make it more durable. Brazil is the world's top producer of aluminium, meaning that Sao Paulo's prevalance for bauxite dust shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Los Angeles homes had traces of marine organism skeletons in their dust. And Singapore's damp climate means that its houses have little by way of external mineral content because it's harder for the wind to distribute it.

Fluff dust with old paint in Paris

I'm never going to look at a vacuum cleaner in the same way again.

Gallery: Embedded with the Territorial Army

For one of my final years of university assignments (I was an International Journalism student at Liverpool John Moore's University), I contacted the Territorial Army to see whether they would let me come along on a training exercise. They agreed, and I spent a long week-end in the rain and the fog, chasing people holding guns with my Canon.

This was back in 2003, and I just re-discovered and re-edited the original files. I remember clearly editing them, one by one, in Photoshop, the first time around. This time. I gave them the Lightroom treatment, in order to make them look like older photographs; Like the ones you might see coming out of the makeshift dark-rooms in conflicts in the 1950s and 1960s, perhaps.

The photos are in the gallery carousel above. Enjoy!


25 Wedding Photos That Break the Mould

Some wedding photos are not like the others...

Whether it's just you and your significant other in front of a judge at a courtroom or a rowdy crowd of family and friends filling a large reception hall, weddings are festive and exciting events. While many of us prefer to stay simple, elegant, classy, or tasteful, it can't be denied - a lot of wedding photography is so acid-reflux-inducingly boring that the prospect of looking at twenty-five wedding albums might want you to dig your eyeballs out with a cake spoon.

To counteract that instinct, I've collected 25 wedding photos that are worth an extra peek - because they're awesome and inspirational in similar doses!

25. Undead Wedding

Okay, so themed weddings have risen in popularity in the last couple of years as couples seek ways to host unique and creative wedding events. That said, this undead wedding album should be rated PG-13 so we don't scare the kids!

24. Video Game Wedding

Hopefully, this bride knows that there is no restart button or cheat codes to her marriage…

23. In Sickness and In Face-Paint

We aren't sure if this guy is getting married or going on a tribal hunt, but either way, this has to rank as one of the weirdest wedding photos we've found.

screen_shot_2012_01_19_at_082522.jpg22. One Super Wedding

Best man? Superman. Maid of Honor? Superwoman. Yikes.

21. Poor Child

We're all for themed weddings and fun, but this is taking it a little too far. Someone get this kid out of there! Oh, and please someone bring the groom a robe!

20. Hold On, Brother!

Every groom understands exactly what this groom is feeling. Sure, this picture is probably staged, but we're rooting for him to hold on tight…to the rail!

19. Hold On To Your Balloon!

We're wondering if this balloon dress was filled with helium, could the bride fly away? Either way, one wrong move is certain to deflate her wedding day (HA deflate, get it?).

18. That's HUGE

Classic, but still disturbing. Hopefully this picture (nsfw) found it's way out of the wedding album, but we're still glad that it found its way onto to the internet!

17. Is That The Groom?

In sticking with the trend found in #18, this picture has some more adult humor. Another picture that mommy might want to edit before it makes the family album.

16. Camouflage is the Perfect Accessory

We're guessing the wedding registry for this couple can be found at Smith & Wesson. Rumor has it the pastor had to stop the wedding for a brief intermission when the groom spotted a buck. Unfortunately for him, his bride beat him to the shot…

screen_shot_2012_01_19_at_083936.jpg15. Track Star

It is going to be tough to get the men and the women to agree on whether or not this is a good idea, but when a groom actually convinces his bride-to-be to let him wear an Adidas track suit to his wedding…that's just downright amazing.

14. Ghetto Wedding

Where do you get a wedding dress like this? Do you have to get it made or are these actually available? All we know is, she MUST be in love. On the bright side, the groom's graffiti jeans match the bride's graffiti wedding dress very nicely.

13. NC-17 Wedding Album

Certainly we've had some photos that likely will be left out of the family wedding album, but we have no idea what this couple will do…

12. The Old Will Be Made New

Or at least we hope so. Yikes. We're not judging where people find love, but she could be his grandma!

11. When Ya Gotta Go...

Alright, so there are a number of photos to this effect on the internet, but this was the most classy. You get the idea.

10. Supersize Me

Remember the celebrity jeopardy SNL skit when "Burt Reynolds" wore an oversized cowboy hat and then explained why it was funny? This lady should have watched it because this photo is hilarious.

screen_shot_2012_01_19_at_083854.jpg9. Cute Ride

Okay, we'll admit it, this picture is actually kind of cute. Not the way we'd spend the money, but this is definitely clever and unusual.

8. That Cake Looks Gross

Sorry bride and groom, there's nothing you could say to get me to eat that cake.

7. Tell Me How You Really Feel

Wow. To think that one day they will reflect on this photo and remember it as one of the best days of their lives…

6. What A Catch

Hey guys, you missed out on this one, and we're not talking about the turkey!

5. Need A Ride?

Guess this couple was running late to their wedding reception. Good thing this driver was nice enough to give them a ride!

4. Speaking Of Rides, Maybe We Should Get A Different One

Notice the conspicuous license plate number. I think maybe I'll take the train.

3. No Honey, Let Me Cut The Cake

Somehow this picture just seems frightening. We're sure they are madly in love and will be married for years…just don't let him have the knife.

2. Plank Wedding

No unusual photo compilation would be complete with a reference to the unusual fad of "planking." Good luck explaining this one to the kids. And to think, these two probably think their parents are weird!

1. Pillow Bride

Believe it or not, this is not a joke. This guy actually married his 'dakimakura' pillow. This is simply the most unusual wedding photo we could find.

0. Git yer Gun!

After I completed this list, I came across this absolutely astonishing shot... What can I say - it doesn't look like the kind of wedding I'd particularly enjoy attending, but unique, for damn sure...

Okay, so I did say that these photos would be inspirational. I may have lied a little - but at least it illustrates that you don't have to go with the tried-and-tested... Marriage is a beautiful thing, usually, and hey, if you want to be creative, go all out! Just remember, it's a fine line between edgy and creative, and ending up on this list!

What's your most memorable wedding shot? Mine is at the top of this post - show me yours in the comments!