The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is Aperture’s hottest new photographer. The fine art publisher is presenting 152 carefully edited images in a new book out this fall titled, This Is Mars.

It’s a lavish book of eye-popping images from the telescope camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), called HiRISE. All the images are in black and white and consistently cover areas of the planet that are just over three miles across, with no enlarged segments included.

“This camera equals a naked-eye view of the planet at a flight level of approximately one kilometer,” says astrophysicist Francis Rocard. “All of the images in the book retain their original range, an editorial decision having been made to not present images that have been artificially zoomed.” Even so, the variety of surfaces represented can be overwhelming.

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(Source: Wired)

Two years ago, Portland animator Chad Essley never could have imagined he would become the webmaster and primary public liaison for John McAfee, the reclusive millionaire and former antivirus software mogul now sought for questioning in a Belizean murder case. But that’s exactly what happened to the aspiring graphic novelist, who is currently at work on an illustrated account of his adventures with McAfee.

The relationship between the fugitive and the cartoonist began in 2010 on a private internet forum where an anonymous entrepreneur hired Essley to produce an animated web short for an antibiotic venture called Quorumex. The mysterious businessman soon revealed himself as McAfee, and the two struck up a friendship. When the news broke this April that a gang suppression unit had raided McAfee’s property in Belize, Essley was taken aback.

“After I [heard] about the first raid, I wrote [McAfee] saying, ‘Oh my god! They shot your dogs! I can’t believe that!’” said Essley. “I received a reply that said, ‘We’re fine. Things have calmed down. Time to come to Belize. Moneypenny will arrange the details.’”

Although Essley has done most of his professional work in the field of animation at his studio Cartoon Monkey, producing animations for clients that include Microsoft and Sesame Street, McAfee asked Essley to join him on his estate and document his life in a graphic novel. After spending nearly a month with McAfee this summer, the artist began work on The Hinterland, an illustrated first-person account of his time in Belize.

(Source: Wired)

One big problem with renewable energy projects is that they have to go somewhere. They have to occupy a part of the very environment that their proponents are often trying to save.

Photographer Jamey Stillings beautifully captures this tension in his images of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS). Located in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, the plant aims to eventually be the largest solar thermal power plant in the world – making enough electricity to run 140,000 homes all by focusing the sun’s energy to create steam.

Problem is, the system is located smack in the middle of the threatened desert tortoise habitat and the companies that built the system have already had to allocate $56 million to care for and relocate these ground dwellers. At least one major environmental group has argued the plant should have never been built on its current location.

“What I’ve discovered along the way is the issue of building renewable energy is a lot more complicated than one what might assume from afar,” says Stillings, who has been photographing Ivanpah since 2010.

Known for his photos of other large-scale industrial engineering projects at the intersection of nature and human activity, Stillings hopes the Ivanpah photos provide a way for people on opposite sides of the issue to find common ground for negotiations.

More @ Raw File.

Of all the images that have ever been made, would you be able to select just 100 to represent our species and human achievement? Trevor Paglen’s Last Pictures is a project to do not only that, but also launch those images into geosynchronous orbit around Earth – all so that long after humans are gone, any space-wanderer will be able to fathom what humanity was all about.

(Source: Wired)

Today’s leading-edge technology is headed straight for tomorrow’s junk pile, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. Everyone loves the latest and greatest.

Sometimes, though, something truly revolutionary cuts through the clutter and fundamentally changes the game. And with that in mind, Wired is looking back over 12 decades to highlight the 12 most innovative people, places and things of their day. From the first transatlantic radio transmissions to cellphones, from vacuum tubes to microprocessors, we’ll run down the most important advancements in technology, science, sports and more.

This week’s installment takes us back to 1911-1920, when machine guns on planes were synchronized with their propellers, the Model-T came off the first assembly line and the Panama Canal was completed!

(Source: Wired)

Using a cheap printer and camera, this New Yorker is recreating famous movie scenes around the city.

(Source: Wired)

From the archives of lost space design: the moon suit, circa 1949.

(Source: Wired)

Cosmo is huge — 6 foot 7 and 220 pounds the last time he was weighed, at a detention facility in Long Beach, California on June 26. And yet he’s getting bigger, because Cosmo — also known as Cosmo the God, the social-engineering mastermind who weaseled his way past security systems at Amazon, Apple, AT&T, PayPal, AOL, Netflix, Network Solutions, and Microsoft — is just 15 years old.

He turns 16 next March, and he may very well do so inside a prison cell.

Read more from Cosmo, the Hacker ‘God’ Who Fell to Earth over @ Gadget Lab.

(Source: Wired)

Unpublished photos of Steve Jobs and Silicon Valley’s early days finally surface.

(Source: Wired)

This what one artist looks like on bath salts. 

Bryan Lewis Saunders has been creating a self-portrait each day, every day since May 30, 1995. He currently has some 8,628 (or 8,629) illustrations and their influences (pardon the pun) vary from Mr. Potato Head to, yes, drugs (lots of them). 

Find out more about Saunders’s work and see a gallery of his self-portraits over @ Underwire

(Source: Wired)