My Book is My Best Friend

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Take a Look at Me Now

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Isabeli Fontana for Vogue Mexico


Vogue Mexico March 2013
Модель: Isabeli Fontana 
Фотограф: Koray Birand 

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Zimmermann: A Bikini-Clad Aussie Takeover

For eons Brazil has reined supreme in the the bikini arena. Look Rio, we have to hand it to you, you’ve had a good run, but Lycra has a new daddy. We’re talking about Zimmermann Swimsuits, fresh from Sydney. Spandex-savvy sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann are the wonder duo behind the curve-loving cuts dripping in delectable colors. The Sydney sisters spent the past twenty years honing their craft, garnering a cult following in Australia. Now that Zimmermann is stateside, the fashion house opened its first shop in New York last year, their floral frocks are showing up on woman all over the world. The Aussie’s have just release their 2013/2014 swimwear collection which is bursting of tantalizing floral one pieces, delicately knitted bikinis, vibrant, silk wrap dresses and chic, high-waisted satin one-pieces (swoon!). We have to admit, the beach never looked so haute.
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Cellphone Towers Disguised as Trees Are a Puzzling Attempt at Aesthetics

With the rapid and lucrative growth in the smartphone industry, we’re always told that the world is in our hands. But the infrastructure of that world is not always as seamless as we would like. A sprawling web of infrastructure, made up of towers, buried fiber optics and orbiting satellites, sometimes encroaches in garish and inconvenient ways.

South African photographer Dillon Marsh‘s compact photo series (all 12 Invasive Species images featured here) is a meditation on the weird, and small, variations of design in tree cellphone towers.

“In certain cases the disguised towers might not be noticed,” says Marsh. “But then an undisguised tower might not have been noticed either.”

An important chapter in the history of tree-shaped cellphone towers was written in South Africa. In the mid-’90s, Ivo Branislav Lazic (who worked for a telecommunications service company calledBrolaz Projects) and his colleague Aubrey Trevor Thomas were commissioned by Vodacom to solve the visual pollution problem cellphones presented.

Lazic and Thomas came up with the world’s first palm tree cellphone tower. The Palm Pole Tower, made from non-toxic plastics, was installed in Cape Town in 1996.

“There were already a wide variety of designs by the time I started photographing,” says Marsh, who completed the project over six months in 2009. “The designs loosely mimic trees that are found in the local environment.”

Meanwhile, in the American Southwest, fledgling company Larson Camouflage was responding to similar style-sensitive network companies. Larson makes scores of different “trees” but it kicked everything off in 1992 with a naturalistic pine that concealed a disagreeable cell tower in Denver, Colorado. To dress up a cell tower in plastic foliage can cost up to $150,000, four times the cost of a naked mast. Marsh is skeptical about the need for high-tech camouflage.

“Even though the gesture is well-meaning, in many cases the result seems clumsy and unconvincing,” he says of the South African technoflora. “Most people don’t feel strongly positive or negative about them, but simply view them as a curiosity.”

Marsh isn’t the first photographer to peer at these bedecked boreals. Robert Voit has thoughtfully photographed tree cellphone towers in the United States, Italy, Portugal, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

The bizarre typology that is fake-tree cellphone towers is a reminder that our calls to India actually travel through something, and that something has to be close at all times. We just don’t want that something to necessarily look the way its function dictates. But the funny thing about camouflage is that, if done poorly, it actually draws attention to what one is trying to hide.

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One of These ‘Bots Will Be the Navy’s Next Killer Drone

The Navy's future robotic air wing is taking shape. On Tuesday, the sailing branch announced that it will pay four companies to hand over the technical specs for their various designs for the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system (UCLASS), a stealthy, jet-powered killer drone meant to operate off an aircraft carrier and fly alongside the latest manned fighters. The move clears the way for the Navy to pick one of the four designs to form the backbone of one of the most ambitious drone efforts ever.

Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman all "have credible, existing, comprehensive, UCLASS design solutions," the Navy said in its formal announcement. The sea service wants each company to produce a working prototype for a competitive fly-off "to support fielding a UCLASS capability within three to six years," likely to occur in mid-2014. The Air Force is also considering buying whichever 'bot the Navy picks -- finally giving the Pentagon the stealthy, jet-poweredarmed drone of its dreams.

With potentially billions of dollars at stake -- not to mention the chance to shape the military's future aerial arsenal -- all four companies began working on their designs years ago. When the Navy picks its winner, probably in 2015, one of the following four designs, each with its unique strengths, will become America's next killer drone.

Of the four killer drone candidates, Northrop Grumman's X-47B (pictured above) is the clear frontrunner. Since 2011, the 62-foot-wide batwing 'bot has been flying tests for the Navy under a $2 billion precursor program to UCLASS, one meant to prove that high-performance drones can function on carrier flight decks. The Navy is already familiar, even comfortable, with the X-47B. Colloquially, it calls the 'bot the "Iron Raven," a nod to the old Grumman Iron Works and how it seems to have a raven's beak when viewed in profile. In the second week of May, the Navy plans to launch the X-47B from the deck of theUSS George H.W. Bush in the Atlantic, marking the first time a robot has ever taken flight from a carrier at sea.

But the X-47B, a descendent of an earlier killer drone with its roots in the late 1990s, is possibly the least stealthy of the competitors, owing to Northrop's decision to build the drone big, thick and tough. Those qualities help it survive forceful carrier landings, but also make it a big target for enemy radars. Navy Capt. Jamie Engdahl, manager of the drone test program, described it as "low-observable relevant," a careful choice of words copping to the X-47B's relative lack of stealth.Spencer Ackerman contributed reporting.

Photo: Navy

Phantom Ray

A decade ago, Boeing's X-45A drone battled Northrop Grumman's X-47A, a smaller version of the X-47B, in a competition to provide the Navy and Air Force with new killer drones. But the Air Force unexpectedly backed out. The Navy rescued the X-47 for the UCLASS precursor test program, but the X-45 was left without a sponsor -- a shocking move to many drone developers, who praised the X-45's superior software.

Undeterred, Boeing quietly used its own funds to redesign, enlarge and improve the X-45. The resulting Phantom Ray, 50 feet from wingtip to wingtip, flew for the first time two years ago, showing off a thinner and potentially stealthier shape than its Northrop rival. (Some in the Navy have cheekily taken to calling the Phantom Ray the 'X-45C.') Boeing has declined to comment on the Phantom Ray's software-based control system, but if it's at all based on the X-45A's cutting-edge code, the new drone's real strengths could be under the skin.

Photo: Boeing

Sea Avenger
General Atomics cut its teeth manufacturing the mainstay Predator and Reaper drones for the Air Force and CIA. The jet-powered Avenger, unveiled in 2009, was intended to be a faster, stealthier follow-on. But the Air Force acquired just a handful of Avengers for testing, seemingly leaving the new drone in development limbo until the Navy's UCLASS initiative offered a way forward.

The 66-foot-wingspan Sea Avenger, as the carrier-compatible version is called, doesn't have the long lineage of the Northrop and Boeing drones, but it does boast one big advantage. General Atomics is planning to fit the new 'bot with advanced sensors, including a compact, ground-scanning radar and the same high-resolution cameras carried by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Photo: General Atomics

Sea Ghost
Lockheed Martin's entry into the UCLASS competition is the most mysterious. True to its name, the Sea Ghost has been glimpsed only in concept art posted to the company's website last summer. The new drone appears to share the flying-wing shape of the Pegasus and Phantom Ray -- and is probably in the same size class with a wingspan of 50-60 feet.

But there's no doubt Lockheed can build a stealth drone. The only jet-powered, radar-evading unmanned aerial vehicle in frontline service anywhere in the world -- that we know of -- is Lockeed's unarmed, roughly 2003-vintage RQ-170 Sentinel. It's a safe bet that Lockheed's drone-building skills have improved considerably in the decade since the Sentinel first took flight.

Art: Lockheed Martin
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