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About David Pierini

David PieriniDavid Pierini is a former newspaper writer and long-time photographer. Considered a luddite by most of his friends, they did not believe him when he broke the news that he would be freelance writing for a technology website. He is fascinated by human nature and would love to cultivate stories about the people driving the tech bus. Reach out to him at the e-mail address below.

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No lightsabers were used to carve these impressive Star Wars wax figures

"Do. Or do not. There is no try" at Madam Tussauds wax museum.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try,” at Madam Tussauds wax museum.

Voltaire was the first. Now Vader is a wax figure.

Madame Tussauds has been in the business of meticulously sculpting lifelike models of the famous since 1777. Now, in a gallery far, far away (well, London), the wax museum has produced 11 famous sets featuring 16 Star Wars characters. And a new video shows the tedious, behind-the-scenes creative process, which involves much more than just pouring hot wax into molds.

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Artist Richard Prince cashes in on others’ Instagram photos

Inkjet "paintings" from a body of work by Richard Prince from Instagram.

Inkjet “paintings” from a body of work by Richard Prince from Instagram.

Instagram users, adjust your privacy setting and remember the name Richard Prince.

Should he request to follow you, he could one day “appropriate” your pictures and make thousands of dollars off you.

Prince featured 38 screenshots from his Instagram feed in a show in New York City last fall and at the Frieze Art Fair earlier this month, and some of the people featured are just now finding out about their pictures appearing in giant form on gallery walls.

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Online romance budding? Send her fields of flowers with this drone film

Fields of flowers in the Netherlands as seen from a drone.

Fields of flowers in the Netherlands as seen from a drone.

If flowers are your photographic muse, you use a macro lens to create pictures from a bee’s-eye view.

But consider what a bee sees when it flies. Voormedia in the Netherlands did, flying a drone and filming over breath-taking flower fields in bloom that may have you wanting to give your macro the day off.

Shooting is easy in Keukenhof or Noordwijkerhout in the spring where acres and acres of vibrant pinks and purples bloom at once. Watch the short YouTube video below and you’ll make room in your bag for a quadcopter and GoPro camera.

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Hockey’s goalie mask saved face and grew into a bulletproof work of art

Jacques Plante made history in 1959 when refused to play after a facial injury without a protective mask.

Jacques Plante made history in 1959 when he refused to play hockey without a protective mask after suffering a facial injury.

In hockey’s early days, if you took a puck to the kisser you got stitched up and put back on the ice. No goalie would dare wear a protective mask — fans considered it unmanly. Coaches worried their netminders would lose their courage. Reporters echoed these judgments in their stories.

Hockey’s goalie mask saved face and grew into a bulletproof work of art But after stopping a hard wrist shot with his face early in the first period of a game against the Rangers in 1959, Montreal Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante refused to return without the crude, flesh-toned fiberglass mask he used in practice.

The press fussed at him, but Plante believed playing without a mask was like a skydiver jumping without a parachute. Plante’s ghoulish face cover went on to win over goalies, became an enduring symbol of the game and even evolved into a high-tech artistic statement for today’s goaltenders.

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These are the garden gnomes of the starship Enterprise

Even in a red shirt, a garden gnome is not safe.

In a red shirt, not even a garden gnome is safe.

Your garden may be seasonal, but part of it can live long and prosper with a set of Star Trek garden gnomes from the warped minds at Think Geek.

There are four, including a dead yeoman in a red shirt, lying on a slab that says, “Join Starfleet they said. It’d be fun they said.”

Imagine if Mr. Scott in the transporter room mixed up the energy patterns of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock with elves and you would have the Think Geek creations.

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Oxboard: Like a Segway without handles

The self-balancing Oxboard works like a Segway but is less bulky and needs less room to move.

The self-balancing Oxboard works like a Segway but is less bulky and needs less room to move.

It’s springtime in Chicago, and one sure sign is the bizarre lines of helmeted tourists teetering on Segways on the biking paths along Lake Shore Drive. When I am stopped at a light and see a group of Segwayers crossing the road, I always think to myself “Those things never really caught on.”

A Dutch company has created a mode of transportation that borrows the technology of Segway and the cool of the skateboard culture.

The Oxboard houses gyroscopes that help a rider maintain equilibrium as they subtly shift their body to guide the two-wheel electric scooter. Gone are the handlebars and the cost. While a new second-generation Segway runs between $6,000 and $8,000, the Oxboard costs around 900 U.S. dollars.

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School takes harsh stance on snapping selfies during commencement

This selfie during a recent graduation in Malaysia earned the student a suspension from the university.

This selfie during a recent graduation in Malaysia earned the student a suspension from the university.

We are in the middle of the cap-and-gown selfie season, when dorky high school and college graduates hold up the line to snap a quick picture with the person handing them the diploma. The relatively new custom drags out an already long and boring commencement ceremony. It’s harmless otherwise.

But a university in Malaysia didn’t see it that way when it suspended one snap-happy graduate for two years with one official saying, “Let them call me cruel, but I’d rather let a child die than lose our customs.”

According to a report in TODAY, an English-language newspaper in Singapore, Muhammed Hasrul Haris Mohd Radzi apologized and said he was just excited when he took the picture of himself with the school’s chancellor during a recent commencement ceremony at Universiti Teknologi Mara Lendu in Malacca.

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Screaming ‘fire!’ in a crowded Russian space capsule is useless

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, left, and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov work through artificial fire aboard a Soyuz simulator.

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, left, and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov work through artificial fire aboard a Soyuz simulator.

A first-class flight in a Soyuz space capsule is rocky, reliable and rather snug. An astronaut sits in a semi-fetal position, works the controls with a stick and feels a pretty heavy G load, especially on reentry.

So imagine if a fire breaks out on the Soyuz spacecraft. There’s no extinguisher, no exit and no help to call.

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen narrated a video showing he and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov going through a simulated fire on a capsule to train for an upcoming flight to the International Space Station.

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Angry fan’s Super Bowl ring design needles Patriots over Deflategate

Think the New England Patriots deserve this for a Super Bowl ring? A Kickstarter campaign aims to make this a symbol of Deflategate.

Think the New England Patriots deserve this for a Super Bowl ring? A Kickstarter campaign aims to make this a symbol of Deflategate.

A Super Bowl ring is the most coveted of football’s rewards, a talisman with the sparkle to match the magic of a championship season.

An Indianapolis Colts fan wants to give the New England Patriots the ring he thinks they deserve. Sitting on top of his 3-D-printed blue ring is a ball-inflation needle, the kind the NFL now believes was used in the infamous Deflategate game where the Patriots “cheated” their way to the Super Bowl.

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Image is everything as restaurants plate their food for Instagram fame

Food photography

Restaurants try to take advantage of the free marketing Instagrammers provide when they share food photos.

Some restaurants take pride in offering perfect food and wine pairings. Others think more in terms of food and phone pairings.

Yes, you can blame Instagram if your restaurant is a little brighter and the presentation of the food is a bit fussier. Restauranteurs are trying to cash in on our obsession with photographing our meals by giving Instagram users better lighting and compositional conditions to make more appetizing shots.

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