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Two 17th-Century Paintings Have Been Found In A Rest Stop Dumpster


Image via Cologne Police

The old adage about one man’s trash being another’s treasure couldn’t be truer, as two 17th-century paintings possibly worth thousands were picked up from a dumpster at a highway rest stop in southeast Germany last month.

The Cologne police department is appealing to the public for knowledge about “who knows the paintings shown and/or how they got into the dumpster at the service area.” The oil paintings were retrieved by a 64-year-old man, who was taking a breather from driving, from the garbage of a rest stop near Ohrenbach on May 18 at around 4 pm. He collected the artworks and handed them to the police.

An initial examination from an expert concluded the framed pieces as original 17th-century paintings, CNN reports.

#PolizeiNRW #Köln #Leverkusen: Wertvolle Ölgemälde in Müllcontainer an der A7 in Mittelfranken entdeckt/Fotos – Infos unter https://t.co/2pnX3zs6I8 pic.twitter.com/Fblk5wpQTN

— Polizei NRW K (@polizei_nrw_k) June 18, 2021

One of the paintings, a self-portrait of the mustachioed Italian portrait artist Pietro Bellotti, is believed to have been from 1665. Bellotti would paint for esteemed families in “Venice and beyond,” per Switzerland’s Galleria Canesso.

Artnet News reveals that a “very similar” version of the painting, entitled Self-Portrait of the Artist as Laughter, was put up for auction at Christie’s London in 2006, with an estimate selling price of US$55,000 to US$91,000, while another copy was slated to go under the hammer at Bonhams London for US$29,000 to US$44,000 in 2008. However, both paintings did not sell. It’s worth noting that the highest paid for a Belloti is US$190,000, though.

The other painting, depicting a boy in a red cap, is attributed to Dutch painter and writer Samuel van Hoogstraten, though the year it was created remains unknown.

You’d notice that Van Hoogstraten’s art style is similar to Rembrandt’s, and that’s because he was a student of the Old Master. Given his first-hand learning experience with the Dutch painter, Van Hoogstraten’s writings have been deemed a “valuable source of information about Rembrandt’s views on painting” by the UK’s National Gallery. The record price for a Van Hoogstraten is US$788,000, Artnet News reports.

[via Artnet News and CNN, images via Cologne Police] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414413/Two-17th-Century-Paintings-Have-Been-Found-In-A-Rest-Stop-Dumpster/

Chinese Gallery Shutters After Artwork Ranking Women’s Looks Receives Backlash


Image via OCAT Shanghai

OCAT Shanghai, a non-profit art gallery, has shuttered indefinitely following outrage over an exhibition of a video work that ranked women “from the prettiest to the ugliest.”

The 2013 piece, titled Uglier and Uglier, was filmed by artist Song Ta – who compiled an eight-hour video of over 5,000 female college students at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts.

The controversial video was on display since April, as part of a group exhibition The Circular Impact: Video Art 21, which featured 21 artists’ works. In the artist statement for the show, Song recommended visitors arrive early for the viewing, saying the video started off with the “most attractive” women.

“If you want to see the campus queen, you have to go to the museum as early as possible. Otherwise, when dusk comes, it will become a living hell in this place,” he wrote, as per ARTnews.

The video garnered international attention after co-host of Mandarin-language podcast Chinese Murmurs Afra Wang shared a post criticizing the display on Twitter.

The following day, OCAT Shanghai took the video off the exhibit, before shutting down altogether. The gallery then apologized for the oversight in a statement on Weibo.

“After receiving criticism, we re-evaluated the content of this artwork and the artist’s explanation, we found it disrespected women, and the way it was shot has copyright infringement issues,” wrote OCAT Shanghai, as translated by ARTnews.

“Thank you for your concern, criticism, and oversight. OCAT Shanghai will reflect upon the public issues and social concerns arising from the incident. As a museum supporting the concept of diversity, we will take this as an admonition to show more empathy towards all.”

When questioned on the piece in a 2019 interview with the now-defunct VICE China, Song defended his work, saying he had “the right to tell the truth.” He also said that he had employed a female assistant to film the women so as to appear “less creepy.”

While the artist might still defend his work or find it humorous, it’s clear from the public outcry that it definitely was not in good taste.

A disturbing dose of Chinese contemporary art: Song Ta, a video artist, has a piece called "Uglier and Uglier" is in exhibition in OCAT Shanghai. This 7+ hrs long video displays secretly shot footage of college girls ranked from the "prettiest" to the "ugliest." pic.twitter.com/COtSWEF7Xa

— Afra Wang (@afrazhaowang) June 17, 2021

[via ARTnews, cover image via OCAT Shanghai] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414411/Chinese-Gallery-Shutters-After-Artwork-Ranking-Women-s-Looks-Receives-Backlash/

Twitter Shares New Insights into the Rising Gaming Discussion via Tweets

Gaming discussion has increased by 18% YoY over the first six months of 2021.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/twitter-shares-new-insights-into-the-rising-gaming-discussion-via-tweets/602185/

Instagram Tests ‘Fan Club’ Stories, NFT-Style ‘Collectibles’ In-App

The new Stories option will enable you to post to smaller, exclusive groups, as opposed to sharing with public or 'Close Friends' lists.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-tests-fan-club-stories-nft-style-collectibles-in-app/602180/

Google Adds Streamlined YouTube Ad Creation Process, New Advice Tools for SMBs

The new resources and options provide more ways for SMBs to maximize their digital advertising opportunities.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/google-adds-streamlined-youtube-ad-creation-process-new-advice-tools-for-s/602177/

YouTube Announces ‘Small Biz Day’ Showcase Event, Which Will Include a New Live-Stream Shopping Experience

The event is another step in YouTube's evolving eCommerce connection tools.  

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/youtube-announces-small-biz-day-showcase-event-which-will-include-a-new/602172/

Facebook Adds New Post Control Options in Groups, Helping to Guide Group Interactions

The new tools will enable group admins to dictate what types of posts are allowed within their groups.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-adds-new-post-control-options-in-groups-helping-to-guide-group-in/602168/

Facebook Shares New Insights into How Users Engage with the Olympic Games [Infographic]

The data looks at how users on Facebook and Instagram have engaged with Olympics content in past years.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-shares-new-insights-into-how-users-engage-with-the-olympic-games/602166/

TikTok Launches ‘Jumps’ Feature to Promote Third-Party Apps and Experiences Within TikTok Clips

The feature could make TikTok a key destination for app promotion.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-launches-jumps-feature-to-promote-third-party-apps-and-experiences/602161/

Facebook Launches Live Audio Rooms and Podcast Playback In-Stream

Facebook's been developing these new options over the past few months.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-launches-live-audio-rooms-and-podcast-playback-in-stream/602117/

Ring Recruited Police Officers As ‘Influencers’ To Promote Its Security Products


Image via Shutterstock

While brand deals with influencers are nothing new, Ring’s choice of partnering personalities is arrestingly iffy.

For a number of years, the home security product company ran a program similar to influencer marketing campaigns that involved Los Angeles police officers touting its offerings “via word of mouth,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The news outlet shared email correspondences to back its report about this campaign, entitled ‘Pillar’.

“At least” 100 cops from the LAPD received free Ring products and discount codes, with “more than” 15 known instances of participants eventually promoting the brand, says Mashable.

The initiative was active from 2016, before Amazon bought over the company in 2018, and ended in 2019, some time after the acquisition.

“I, of course, will have to explain that I’m not endorsing your company specifically, but I think your product is a great crime prevention tool, and burglaries (and other theft related crimes) are the biggest problems for me in the area that I cover,” one senior officer was noted to have written to a Ring representative in 2016.

In another email thread, an officer detailed: “Every year, we have a West LA Division Beach party… We use our measly station fund and buy some gifts to raffle off as prizes. Without me asking, do you see where I’m going with this email?” The Ring correspondent replied, “We’d be happy to donate a Ring Doorbell and perhaps a new Solar Powered Security sign if that’s of interest?

Strangely enough, the campaign wasn’t found to have breached the LAPD’s guidelines. While cops cannot receive gifts that might affect their decisions at work, a department review apparently revealed no violations.

A spokesperson for Ring told the Times that it is no longer running this police-assisted campaign, or any other similar programs. “Ring stopped donating to law enforcement and encouraging police to promote our products years ago,” the company explained. “As Ring has grown, our practices have evolved, and we are always looking for ways to better serve our customers and their communities.”

[via Mashable and Los Angeles Times, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414410/Ring-Recruited-Police-Officers-As-Influencers-To-Promote-Its-Security-Products/

Yayoi Kusama’s Artworks, Now Showing On Your Plate, As Teatime Desserts


Images via Rosewood London

Yayoi Kusama’s saccharine, world-renowned artworks have been reimagined to whet not just the sight but also the appetite.

In celebration of the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms show opening at the Tate Modern, Mark Perkins—executive pastry chef of the Rosewood Hotel in London—has created an afternoon tea menu richly inspired by the work and depth of the Japanese contemporary artist. The selection will be served, quite aptly, at the hotel’s own Mirror Room.

The cherries on top (plural, because you’d need a handful of them to recreate Kusama’s famous polka-dotted art) are three cakes that closely mirror Kusama’s artworks. There’s an All My Love for Tulips dessert comprising a yuzu citrus mousse, raspberry yuzu jelly, almond cake, green tea cookie, raspberry cremeux and chocolate petals; Flowers that Bloom at Midnight featuring a tropical coconut mousse, matcha sponge, strawberry yuzu jelly, and strawberry crisps; and Dots Obsession – Soul of Pumpkin constructed with a flourless chocolate cake, passion fruit cremeux, chocolate mousse, praline feuilletine, passionfruit ganache, and chocolate art.

The menu’s other tea bites are also reminiscent of Kusama’s background and art style, albeit more subtle. Savory treats like cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, chicken teriyaki, and smoked salmon are entwined with Japanese flavors with ingredients like wasabi cream and shichimi, a Japanese spice mix. Meanwhile, dessert includes a chocolate cup with polka dots and a cherry blossom gel vanilla cheesecake.

Tea is served with a special-edition Veuve Clicquot champagne bottle designed by Kusama herself, envisioning her dots as bubbles.

The Kusama-inspired menu will be available at Rosewood London on Thursdays through Sundays. Find out more here.


Image via Rosewood London

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[via Time Out London, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414409/Yayoi-Kusama-s-Artworks-Now-Showing-On-Your-Plate-As-Teatime-Desserts/

Xiaomi Explores New Charging Tech That Powers Up Smartphones With Sound


Image via Shutterstock

Xiaomi is considering a new technology that allows smartphones and other devices to be charged using sound.

According to Live Mint, the firm filed a patent with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) detailing a system that uses mechanisms to store energy, as well as a sound charger that can power smartphones.

How it works: the charger will convert the vibrations from sound waves into an alternative current, which is then converted to direct currents to charge devices.

This isn’t the first charging technology the Chinese smartphone maker has unveiled recently. Last month, it debuted its HyperCharge technology, which saw a smartphone go from 0% to 100% battery in just eight minutes.

Back in January, it also launched AirCharge technology, which allowed devices to be charged remotely. As per Live Mint, the company said the charger’s built-in antennas could “accurately detect the location of a smartphone, before transmitting millimeter-wide waves directly through beam-forming.”

While smartphone technology advances year on year, charging technology hasn’t changed as much from the release of the first smartphone. With Xiaomi’s new advances in this area of technology, it could be sooner rather than later that a wholly unique way to charge handheld devices hits the market.

[via Live Mint, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414408/Xiaomi-Explores-New-Charging-Tech-That-Powers-Up-Smartphones-With-Sound/

Inflatable Motorcycle Can Take You Places While Packing Compactly Into Your Bag

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Video screenshot via Sato et al

The grownup version of bouncy castles is way more imaginative—and infinitely more useful.

Last year, a group of researchers from the University of Tokyo and mercari R4D unveiled an inflatable, functional scooter to get you to your destination while being surprisingly portable. ‘Poimo’, short for Portable and Inflatable Mobility, is said to be the first “soft mobility” personal transportation device, allowing its user to compress its soft, lightweight components and carry the whole vehicle around.

When it was first presented in May 2020, the entire Poimo scooter, made from high-quality thermoplastic urethane, weighed just 17 pounds. Meanwhile, its body came in at only five pounds, SlashGear reported. The team has made a few upgrades to the mobility device since then, so this could have changed.

The following months saw the group imagining customizations for the Poimo, based on users’ desired riding postures. Apart from an electric scooter design, there’s now a motorcycle and wheelchair. All are powered by a small in-wheel electric motor.

Almost as quick as it takes to start a car, the structures can be inflated within a minute using a pump.

There’s still no word on release details yet, since the inflatable mobility device is still undergoing design, weight, and safety enhancements. As it is, though, the Poimo is already much more visible than a skateboard or bicycle, and expectedly less painful to knock into.

[via Mashable and SlashGear, videos and cover image via Sato et al] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414407/Inflatable-Motorcycle-Can-Take-You-Places-While-Packing-Compactly-Into-Your-Bag/

Nissan Smashes Through Walls With 3D Illusion Revealing Its New Hybrid Car

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Image via Nissan UK

Nissan sees your Instagram panorama and raises you an outdoor display of its new hybrid car transcending real-world borders.

To show off the all-new, electrified Qashqai car with mild-hybrid power, Nissan UK took to London’s South Bank and installed a giant cube with a 3D optical illusion that depicts it driving “out” of the box.

“Curtains” in the spectacle are rolled back to present the shiny new Qashqai, swimming beneath stormy clouds. The car seemingly extends out of the cube, then reverses, before harnessing enough power to break the “glass” of the cube and finally roaming free.

According to Campaign UK, the minute-long advertisement refreshes every 15 minutes. The campaign was put together by Scott Andrews and Leigh Gilbert of advertising agency TBWA\London, with production from Pixel Artworks.

Passersby who scan the advertisement’s QR code will also be able to view the Qashqai through their smartphones in augmented reality.

The mind-boggling illusion will be on display for a week starting June 18.

[via Campaign UK, cover image via Nissan UK] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414406/Nissan-Smashes-Through-Walls-With-3D-Illusion-Revealing-Its-New-Hybrid-Car/

Startup Develops Vegan ‘Dairy’ By ‘Identically’ Mimicking Cow’s Milk Components


Image via Shutterstock

Dairy and veganism might be paradoxes, but one Israeli startup believes it has milked the future of plant-based food products with a cruelty-free, animal-free “dairy” product that acts and tastes as it had come from a cow.

On its website, Tel Aviv-based food tech startup Imagindairy describes its invention as a base for “tasty, healthy and nutritious dairy products that are environmentally friendly and care for animal welfare at affordable prices.” The vegan milk is developed in a lab from “dairy protein-based” components via a special fermentation process.

Through an artificial intelligence-assisted technique called “precision fermentation,” Imagindairy replicates milk proteins “identical” to the whey and casein proteins in a “cow’s mammary cells,” CEO Eyal Afergan told FoodNavigator. Fermentation takes three to five days, and comes from technology comprising 15 years of research.

Afergan said the protein can be “easily harvested” in high volumes, enough to mimic the amount found in dairy milk. It is then purified and dehydrated into a powder. At the end of it, you get “animal-free dairy” that matches cow’s milk in sensory experiences while being suited for the making of alternatives for dairy products like cheese.

Above all, the startup’s alternative apparently possesses the same nutritional value and composition of cow-based milk, yet remains free of lactose, cholesterol, and GMOs.

The company’s proprietary technology allows it to match qualities of cow’s milk that plant-based proteins in alternatives like soy, oat, and almond milks haven’t been able to replicate, as they do not share the biophysical features or nutritional value of whey and casein.

Cow’s milk proteins have the distinct ability to develop curds, which give dairy products their unique creaminess and texture. Adding even a single dairy-based protein to a plant-based product can significantly alter its taste and texture.

Afergan is a proud graduate of the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel, earning him a commendation by Technion UK CEO Alan Aziz. As quoted by The Jerusalem Post, Aziz responded, “Up until now, the vegan sector has focused on trying to find the closest alternatives to everyday dairy products. But it turns out that the best substitutes for milk and cheese are just milk and cheese – minus the cows.”

Imagindairy aims to bring the milk alternative to the masses in a couple of years, pitting it against plant-based meat company Impossible, which is also developing an animal-free product similar to cow’s milk.

[via FoodNavigator and The Jerusalem Post, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414405/Startup-Develops-Vegan-Dairy-By-Identically-Mimicking-Cow-s-Milk-Components/

Snapchat Discontinues ‘Speed Filter’ That May Have Encouraged Dangerous Driving


Image via Shutterstock

Social media app Snapchat is discontinuing a feature known as the “speed filter,” which had allowed users to capture how fast they were moving at any given time.

The feature was first launched in 2013, and although it has faced criticism over the years, Snapchat had always defended the feature—up until now.

Families have sued Snapchat over the feature, as users have been injured or killed in car crashes where drivers were speeding in order to take a Snap. While critics are glad to see the feature gone, some are questioning why the app took so long to make the decision.

A Snapchat spokesperson told NPR the feature “is barely used by Snapchatters,” and as such, the company would be “removing it altogether.”

Snapchat removing its speed filter is for the best, but I did have fun using it when I was on a plane pic.twitter.com/xqY3O456qH

— ᒎᗴᑎ🦋 (@jenlovescats) June 18, 2021

While Snapchat started deleting the feature last week, it could take a few more weeks before it disappears for all of its 500 million monthly active users.

However, attorney Michael Neff, who represented the families of those involved in car crashes, said the change will not ease the pain of his clients.

“While this will no doubt serve the safety of the motoring public moving forward, it does not remedy Snapchat’s choice to create and distribute the speed filter in the past,” he said.

Most of the crashes tied to the feature involved teenagers at the wheel. As per NPR, in 2015, a driver in Georgia was left with permanent brain damage after a collision involving the “speed filter.” That same year, three young women died in a car accident in Philadelphia, as per ABC.

In 2016, five people in Florida lost their lives in a high-speed collision involving the feature. And in 2017, three young men in Wisconsin crashed into a tree and died while clocking speeds of over 123 miles per hour.

Snapchat had tried to decrease the visibility of the feature in the past, changing it from a filter to a sticker, and adding a “Don’t Snap and drive” warning. The app had also capped the top speed which could be shared at 35 miles per hour. But it did not remove the feature entirely.

In May, NPR reported a federal appeals court ruled that the family of the young men who died in the Wisconsin crash had grounds to sue Snapchat for being negligent in designing a feature that could lead to foreseeable harm, though the lawsuit has yet to reach a conclusion.

As Irina Raicu, Director of the Internet Ethic Program at Santa Clara University puts it: “Sometimes, one of the most thoughtful ways to deploy a product is to never deploy it at all.”

[via NPR, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414404/Snapchat-Discontinues-Speed-Filter-That-May-Have-Encouraged-Dangerous-Driving/

Android Phones To Be Updated With Real-Time Earthquake Alerts Globally


Image via Shutterstock

Google is launching a new feature for Android devices that aims to alert users to approaching earthquakes instantly. The tech giant first started rolling out this feature to smartphones in April in a few select countries, and is now expanding the list.

Early warnings during earthquakes are key to helping people evacuate or take cover, but public infrastructure to alert everyone in the vicinity of an approaching quake can be costly.

Google aims to use its wide network of Android smartphones to fix the issue, providing users with timely earthquake information as well as real-time warnings.

As part of this joint network, each Android smartphone can work as a mini seismometer, joining millions of other devices to form the world’s largest earthquake detection network, as per Live Mint.

This sensing feature is already built-in for most smartphones, which contain tiny accelerometers that can sense when a quake might be happening.

When a smartphone detects what it thinks could be a quake, it sends a signal to Google’s earthquake detection server, along with the relevant location information. The server will then combine information from multiple smartphones in the area to figure out if an earthquake is happening.

Last week, Google launched the feature to users in Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It hopes to roll out the feature first to countries at higher risk for earthquakes.

[via Live Mint, cover via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414402/Android-Phones-To-Be-Updated-With-Real-Time-Earthquake-Alerts-Globally/

Bill Gates Unveils His Favorite Books To Read For Summer In 2021

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Image via Gates Notes

Each summer without fail, Bill Gates presents his top reading picks to help broaden perspectives through difficult times. Last year, in the height of the pandemic, for instance, the Microsoft cofounder shared book recommendations that could help the world cope with its emotions and illness-related fears.

This summer is no different. In the midst of tumultuous times himself—involving the end of his 27-year marriage with Melinda Gates and resurfaced tension about his possible ties with late socialite and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein—Gates explores “the complicated relationship between humanity and nature” within the pages of five books.

The titles serve as a companion for the aftermath of the pandemic, as well as supplement Gates’ vision to “avoid a climate disaster.” They are: Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric by Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann; Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert; A Promised Land by Barack Obama; The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers; and An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives by Matt Richtel.

Gates explains that the insightful texts deal with how people might react when they “come into conflict with the world around them,” and what some of them have done to reverse the damage.

Have a rundown of his reading picks for summer 2021 right below, and find out more from his blog post here.

[via Fast Company, cover image via Gates Notes] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414403/Bill-Gates-Unveils-His-Favorite-Books-To-Read-For-Summer-In-2021/

Ireland Is Using This Popular Video Game To Illustrate Its Stunning Landscapes

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Image via Tourism Ireland

Ireland is using scenes from popular video game Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla in a tourism campaign to lure visitors to the picturesque destination.

The game’s first expansion, Wrath of the Druids, brings main character Viking Eivor to Ireland, featuring some of the country’s famous landmarks, including Dublin, Benbulben, and the Giant’s Causeway.

Ubisoft, the creator of the video game, teamed up with Tourism Ireland to highlight both Ireland’s gorgeous scenery as well as its notable sights and sounds.

“Ubisoft has done an incredible job in bringing aspects of Celtic Ireland to life in amazing detail,” said Mark Henry, Central Marketing Director at Tourism Ireland, as per Games Radar.

“The campaign is a fun and innovative way to bring Ireland to the attention of a new audience of gamers. We want to spike players’ curiosity about the featured locations and inspire them to come and explore them in the real world,” he explained.

Take a peek at the game’s stunning backdrops of Viking Ireland in the trailer below.

[via Games Radar, cover image via Tourism Ireland] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414400/Ireland-Is-Using-This-Popular-Video-Game-To-Illustrate-Its-Stunning-Landscapes/

Disney Reportedly Gets Loki Fan Art Removed Even Though It Doesn’t Own The God


Video screenshot via Marvel Entertainment

Most people would be familiar with the Loki personified in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by Tom Hiddleston. For others, Loki is a Norse deity worshipped by many for centuries.

So when artists received copyright claims for creating imagery and merchandise inspired by the shape-shifting god, they were appalled. A notice shared by Twitter user @YourBoswell from print-on-demand marketplace Redbubble suggests that Disney Enterprises, Inc. could be clamping down even on artwork unrelated to the Marvel Studios version of the mythical trickster.

Redbubble detailed that the artwork had to be taken down as it “may contain material that violates someone’s rights,” based on “guidance” from Disney “describing the type of content they consider infringing that should be removed from the marketplace.”

The fan art being flagged is entitled Low Key Loki, and features the punning phrase “Low Key” in green letters.

The creator said the listing had been up on the marketplace for years, intended as a product for cosplaying purposes. He added that the typographical piece’s shade and font were deliberately selected to avoid copyright infringement claims, “but I guess with the success of the show, they’re cracking down.”

It remains to be seen if this particular takedown order was issued by Disney or is simply a preemptive measure by Redbubble in light of the release of Disney+’s Loki series.

The marketplace explained in its email, “In most cases, this means that the rights holder did not specifically identify your work for removal, but that Redbubble has detected potential similarity between your removed work and one or more words, phrases or images included in the rights holder’s removal guidance.”

Nevertheless, followers of the non-Disney Loki are balking at this act of mischief. “So not even mythology Loki is allowed [because] Disney owns that too, apparently… It’s ridiculous that I enjoy their movies and series so much,” one Twitter user wrote. “Just want to warn all my occultists out there that Disney is coming for anything that has to do with Loki, who is still worshipped as a deity by many of us. Not only that, but the phrase ‘low key,’ apparently,” said another.

The artist said he intends to file an appeal for the removal of the graphic.

What the fuck????? pic.twitter.com/uN7vL2XYHr

— 🔞🏳️‍🌈Loki’s Buttslut🏳️‍⚧️⭕️🔞 (@YourBoswell) June 17, 2021

It’s been up for years and it’s a comic reference, simple text art I made for cosplays. I even made sure the color and font were different

But I guess with the success of the show they’re cracking down. I’m gonna appeal it when I’m more awake. If I change the name, maybe.

— 🔞🏳️‍🌈Loki’s Buttslut🏳️‍⚧️⭕️🔞 (@YourBoswell) June 18, 2021

This is a pretty terrible take.

Loki's been written about since the 1220's . And Loki is a deity I work with.

Disney is just a parasite.

— Josh Conway did the #Moderna and still SigInts! (@CrankyLinuxUser) June 18, 2021

Ah yes, disney, the owner of the norse gods 😀 https://t.co/vR6M5mbDX6

— maven | 🌘🌈🍖🦋🏳️‍🌈 LOKI SPOILERS (@darkalinas) June 19, 2021

Disney thinks they can copyright someone's culture now. 21st century colonialism right there.

— #CancelRent Völva (@SignyTheSage) June 19, 2021

[via Daily Dot, cover image via Marvel Entertainment] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414401/Disney-Reportedly-Gets-Loki-Fan-Art-Removed-Even-Though-It-Doesn-t-Own-The-God/

Thousands Sign Petitions To Stop Jeff Bezos From Returning To Earth From Space


Image via lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Over 54,000 people have signed petitions to ban billionaire Jeff Bezos from returning to Earth after he takes off into space next month.

The founder of Amazon and space exploration firm Blue Origin had said he and his brother, Mark Bezos, will be aboard the New Shepard rocket for its first-ever human flight on July 20.

Just a few days after Bezos’ announcement, two petitions were launched to try and stop him from returning to Earth, according to Insider.

Both petitions have garnered thousands of signatures in just over a week. More than 35,000 individuals have signed a Change.org petition titled “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth” as of the time of publication. Change.org describes that the page is on track to becoming “one of the top signed on Change.org.”

A second petition, “Petition To Not Allow Jeff Bezos Re-Entry To Earth,” has gathered over 19,700 signatures, and is still gaining traction.

The campaigns’ descriptions and comments highlight a common sentiment among signatories who want to defend Earth against billionaires like Bezos. “Billionaires should not exist… on Earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter they should stay there,” reads the first description.

Jose Ortiz, who set up the second petition, also said in its description that Bezos is “an evil overlord hellbent on global domination.”

Are these petitions a good laugh or over 50,000 people who really abhor Jeff Bezos? It’s hard to say for sure.

[via Insider, cover via lev radin / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414399/Thousands-Sign-Petitions-To-Stop-Jeff-Bezos-From-Returning-To-Earth-From-Space/

Thousands Sign Petitions To Stop Jeff Bezos From Returning From Space Trip


Image via lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Over 54,000 people have signed petitions to ban billionaire Jeff Bezos from returning to Earth after he takes off into space next month.

The founder of Amazon and space exploration firm Blue Origin had said he and his brother, Mark Bezos, will be aboard the New Shepard rocket for its first-ever human flight on July 20.

Just a few days after Bezos’ announcement, two petitions were launched to try and stop him from returning to Earth, according to Insider.

Both petitions have garnered thousands of signatures in just over a week. More than 35,000 individuals have signed a Change.org petition titled “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth” as of the time of publication. Change.org describes that the page is on track to becoming “one of the top signed on Change.org.”

A second petition, “Petition To Not Allow Jeff Bezos Re-Entry To Earth,” has gathered over 19,700 signatures, and is still gaining traction.

The campaigns’ descriptions and comments highlight a common sentiment among signatories who want to defend Earth against billionaires like Bezos. “Billionaires should not exist… on Earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter they should stay there,” reads the first description.

Jose Ortiz, who set up the second petition, also said in its description that Bezos is “an evil overlord hellbent on global domination.”

Are these petitions a good laugh or over 50,000 people who really abhor Jeff Bezos? It’s hard to say for sure.

[via Insider, cover via lev radin / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414399/Thousands-Sign-Petitions-To-Stop-Jeff-Bezos-From-Returning-From-Space-Trip/

White House Opens Its First Historical LGBTQ+ Display For Pride Month


Image via Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com

In celebration of Pride Month, the White House is hosting an exhibit dedicated to artifacts of the LGBTQ+ community.

This is the first-ever physical display of historical items dedicated to the community, which the White House teamed up with the Smithsonian Institution to curate. As per the Advocate, the exhibit features artifacts from notable LGBTQ+ figures, such as Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson, and Rose Cleveland – the sister of the 23rd and 25th President of the United States, Grover Cleveland.

“For almost 30 years, Rose Cleveland maintained a romantic relationship with Evangeline Marrs Simpson Whipple. The women lived together in Italy from 1910, until Rose’s death from the Spanish flu in 1918,” the exhibit describes.

Naturally, there are also artifacts on display from historic moments in LGBTQ+ history, including the Stonewall Rebellion and the AIDS epidemic.

The hallway of the White House was also lit up in rainbow colors as a tribute, something that has never been done before.

White House partners with Smithsonian Institution for exhibit on #LGBTQ+ history. Features photos, documents, memorabilia and information on the history of Stonewall, AIDS, Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson, Rose Cleveland and more https://t.co/V5NYxRGpBO #LGBT #LGBTQIA #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/Y7KdzDyTrE

— LGBTQ+ News (@mondokoosh) June 19, 2021

White House hallway lit up in rainbow colors for Pride Month pic.twitter.com/HA3Bu4kyxt

— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) June 18, 2021

[via Advocate and LGBTQ Nation, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414397/White-House-Opens-Its-First-Historical-LGBTQ-Display-For-Pride-Month/

Fake ‘Mona Lisa’ Painting Sells For Over $3 Million


Image via Christie’s

While one might expect the original Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci to fetch millions should it ever go on sale, it’s a surprise that even copies of the artwork can fetch staggering prices on the market.

A reproduction of the famed artwork just sold for €2.9 million (US$3.4 million) at an online auction held by Christie’s Paris, far surpassing the auction house’s estimates of €200,000 to €300,000 (US$236,000 to US$355,000).

The replica, named after antiquarian Raymond Hekking, was acquired from an antique dealer in a small village in Nice, France. Hekking was convinced that his copy of the Mona Lisa was the real thing, rather than the one on display at the Louvre.

Hekking invited media from across the globe to his home in Nice, even challenging the Louvre to prove the authenticity of its version. The Mona Lisa had been stolen from the Louvre in 1911, leading Hekking to think it had been replaced by a fake.

Turns out, the work he owned was likely a copy by an “Italian school, early 17th-century, follower of Leonardo da Vinci,” according to a press release by Christie’s.

Take a look at the replica that fetched millions below.


Image by Christie’s

[via The Art Newspaper, images via Christie’s] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414396/Fake-Mona-Lisa-Painting-Sells-For-Over-3-Million/