Sunday, May 29, 2016

Shumakov hot air balloons featured in sci-fi movie short

The director had contacted me through the WCOG fB page.  She was looking for someone to fold hot air balloons and I put her in touch with the Shumakovs.  Check out Windows:

Windows is a near-future science fiction short that deals with the currently emerging technologies of computer-human interface and artificial intelligence. This project is a compelling exploration of the personal impact these technologies may have on our lives.
Windows tells the story of Luz, a woman who lives in a future where humans can choose to give up their individuality to merge into a single entity.
Maru Buendia-Senties is an award-winning writer/director with extensive experience in Visual Effects from working with Robert Rodriguez on films like Predators and Machete, and collaborating with ReelFX on the film Parkland. Windows is her most ambitious project yet and she has assembled a team of seasoned professionals with credits including: Game of Thrones, Boyhood, and The Hobbit, to make Windows a truly spectacular film.
Now we need YOUR HELP to cross the finish line!
One of the perks for contributing $250 would be

One beautiful 9" tall, hand-crafted origami hot air balloon made by the fine folks at Oriland. These works of art were used as props on the "Windows" set and are featured in the film (

President Obama's Origami Skills

Two of the cranes presented by U.S. President Barack Obama at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward (Yuta Takahashi)

The other day, I posted on President Obama's Hiroshima visit.  There's been some speculation as to whether or not he folded his four cranes himself.  So this is a follow-up post:

HIROSHIMA--On his historic visit to ground zero, U.S. President Barack Obama surprised and touched officials at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on May 27 with origami paper cranes he apparently made himself.

The museum is preparing to display Obama's four origami cranes, hoping to embolden efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

The president said he folded them with help from others as his envoy showed off the origami cranes, made of traditional Japanese paper graced with flower motifs, including apricots or cherries, placed on a tray.
As the acrylic casing that houses some of Sadako’s cranes was removed for the president, Obama studied them up close and said he brought his own.

He gave two of his four cranes to two students who were allowed inside the museum to welcome him, the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima.

Obama left the other two on the guest book he signed with the message: “We have known the agony of war. Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.”

The president later moved to a location in the park where he could view the A-Bomb Dome after laying a wreath of flowers to the monument for the victims and delivering a message. Kishida also referred to the monument modeled on Sadako.

All of Obama’s four cranes were subsequently donated to the museum.

“The president may have prepared the cranes after learning of Sadako’s story in the United States," said Kenji Shiga, the museum director. "We are going to exhibit his cranes as soon as we are ready.”

Two of the four origami cranes made by President Obama

De-Dimensional Furniture

Korean designer Jongha Choi has come with one of the best space-saving solutions ever, creating a furniture collection that easily flattens, turning a usual chair into 2D piece of art. Chairs and stools are made of aluminum and steel and perfectly practical despite their lightweight look.
Hat tip:  Catherine Ortiz

Yami visit yesterday

I drove out to Torrance after work on Saturday.

Yami told me Mike and Yukie Parthos were there and took his phone to the store, as they figured out it was broken.  They bought Yami a new phone to replace his old one.

 The embed code for the video in the other post keeps disappearing.  I restored it.  Let me know if it disappears again.

Chila and Hank visited him last week as well; and Chila left him a couple of Yara Yagi's slinky dogs.  Pam Miike also visited him on Friday and folded some while there.

My worry right now is that he doesn't get enough stimulation and lies in bed bored for long hours with nothing to do.  He says he is taken for exercise in the mornings for 30 minutes.  But that is not enough!  He can't lay in bed for the other 23 1/2 hours!

Hoping he receives some mail from fans and friends, soon.  I tried to show him some of the messages from Facebook by bringing my laptop.  But the center doesn't offer wi-fi service and so I read off of my phone.

Anyone who wishes to, can write him here:

Harbor Care Center
21521 South Vermont Ave
Torrance, CA 90502

He will be there for a good while.

Sunday Funnies


Friday, May 27, 2016

President Obama folds cranes during his Hiroshima visit

I'm impressed:  President Obama can fold paper cranes.

President Obama made a symbolic gesture at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Friday, leaving two origami cranes behind at a memorial to a 12-year-old victim of the Hiroshima bomb who became famous for folding cranes as she died.


The White House said Obama visited Sadako's memorial and presented paper cranes to two local school children. Then, after signing the guest book, he left two more paper cranes alongside his inscription.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Yami is currently at Harbor Care Center- a nursing home.  He's not sure how long he will be there for. 

Anyone who wishes to send him well wishes, you can send fan mail to him here:

Harbor Care Center
21521 South Vermont Ave
 Torrance, CA 90502

His daughter wrote:

"He says he's fine but lacks vitality, and he gets confused.  I asked if maybe he was depressed.  He said he didn't know what I was talking about.  Lack of initiation is a common result of a brain injury, so I wonder if his not having the initiative to get out of bed or answer his phone goes back to his stroke.

I am in New York.  I have commitments keeping me here, and getting my own life in order continues to be a challenge, so visiting my father right now is not possible.  But I do know that having people visit him will help his well-being.  I am so grateful to you for spreading the word.  I asked Yami for his permission to let his friends know that he is at Del Amo Gardens so they can visit him.  He said that was fine.  If people do visit him, I hope seeing friends will whet his appetite again, for food and for life."

Yami Yamauchi​ turns 80 on July 29th.  Please wish him well!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dollar Cobra

stomach-repairing origami robot made of meat?!

Want to swallow an origami robot for your health?

On Thursday, researchers at MIT revealed the origami meat robot that they designed to patch stomach wounds, deliver medicine, and remove dangerous foreign objects that patients may have accidentally swallowed. In early simulations with pig esophagus and gut tissue, the robot traveled down to the stomach in an ice capsule that melted along the way. Once there, the robot unfolded and could be steered around the stomach using external magnets. In a demonstration video provided by MIT News, the researchers show that the robot can move a button battery in their simulation stomach. The researchers presented their robot this week at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
“It’s really exciting to see our small origami robots doing something with potential important applications to health care,” said Daniela Rus, lead researcher on the study and director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
The meat robot builds on other origami robots the lab has made. It consists of two layers: one of a biodegradable shrink wrap called Biolefin and another of dried pig intestines used in sausage casings. When sections of Biolefin are warmed up, that layer contracts and, based on the folds and slits in the pork layer, the whole robot folds. This contracting and folding action fuels a “stick-slip” motion, whereby a robot appendage sticks to the stomach surface via friction, but then slips free when a new area warms, the robot folds, and its weight shifts.
Embedded in the center of one of the robot’s accordion folds is a tiny magnet that allows the robot to be steered using magnetic fields outside the body.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Joel Stern wrote in an email:

Another message from Joel Stern:
Hi Everyone,

Group member Edie Gralla forwarded this to me, thinking it might be of interest to many of you. It looks like a fascinating lecture.
Click for more here.

Please join us for a IPAM Public Lecture featuring Tadashi Tokieda, Director of Studies in Mathematics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and the Poincaré Visiting Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Stanford.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
4:00 PM
CNSI Auditorium, 570 Westwood Plaza, UCLA
Reception to follow at IPAM

This lecture is aimed at a general audience; no particular technical background is necessary.
Starting from just a sheet of paper, by folding, stacking, crumpling, sometimes tearing, we will explore a variety of phenomena, from magic tricks and geometry to elasticity and the traditional Japanese art of origami.  Much of the show consists of table-top demos, which you can try later with friends and family.

So, take a sheet of paper . . .

Joel Stern Book Signing Today

Message from Joel Stern:

I want to let you all know that I'm conducting an origami workshop at Children's Book World tomorrow (Tuesday) from 4-5 pm. I'll be teaching models from my new book "Origami Zoo Kit."

The store is located at 10580 1/2 West Pico Blvd., two blocks east of Overland.

It would be great if you could come! And please forward this to friends and family who might enjoy it.

Many thanks!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Sunday Funnies

The History of First Origami:

[Ella confronts three thugs who have captured Slannen] Ella: Look, I think its only fair to warn you that Im practiced in the ancient art… of Origami! Bluto: Paper folding? Ella: Oh… I was hoping you wouldnt know what that was…
Ella Enchanted (2004)