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Stories from the Deep

What do a rotting steamship, a fleet of ice cream trucks, and a runaway giraffe have in common? All three have been discovered in the waters that surround New York City. A new blog explores these soggy specimens and many more through the stories they evoke. Created in the wake (get it?) of a 2009 article in New York magazine, Underwater New York (UNY) aspires to be an online anthology of stories, art, and music inspired by the underwater objects and phenomena that surround New York City. A recent UNY post detailed a haul from Brooklyn's Dead Horse Bay that included a pair of lizardskin handbags, a headless Dutch boy figurine, and a mysterious object resembling a fossilized baguette. Those bound for the Big Apple are advised to bring scuba gear and a sharp eye, as the site is currently seeking submissions "in any genre."

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Photoshop Seeks Superfan

Photoshop turns 20 this year, and Adobe is celebrating with a search for the "Next Photoshop Evangelist," one among the legendary application's legion of multilayered fans. (Admit it. You have a Photoshop window open right now.) The company will select a primo proselytizer of all things Photoshop based on video submissions. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: create and upload to Vimeo a two-minute Photoshop video tutorial demonstrating why you should be the Next Photoshop Evangelist. Your video must use Photoshop CS5, a new Photoshop CS5 feature, and, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Photoshop, incorporate the concept of "20" somewhere in the final image. The winner receives a fresh copy of CS5 Design Standard, a trip to next spring's Photoshop World, and the chance to demo his or her tutorial at the conference. Plus, all finalists will be showcased on the Photoshop YouTube channel. Ready to spread the Photoshop gospel? Entries must be received by Tuesday, August 24.

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Through the Pinhole

Pinhole cameras: They're not just for watching solar eclipses anymore! The ultimate low-fi imaging device gets its close-up in this Flickr pool of traditional and digital pinhole photography, which includes some jaw-dropping shots of people, places, and (yes) penguins contributed by "pinholers" from all over the world. Trying your hand -- and eye -- at the age-old technique is easier than you think, with a wealth of webpages offering step-by-step instructions for creating your own pinhole camera out of an empty, light-tight box (scarf down those Pringles and you're in business). Be prepared for exposure times that are more than a snap, particularly if you're using your lensless wonder in low light, and with a little practice, you'll see firsthand why pinhole photography is getting its day in the sun.

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YouTube Play

Your weekend mission, if you choose to accept it: create a video that will be shown to a global audience in one of the world's leading art museums. YouTube and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation have joined forces to create YouTube Play, which aims "to discover and showcase the most exceptional talent working in the ever-expanding realm of online video." Anything goes, as long as it's creative, from animation and mini-documentaries to music videos and non-narrative hijinks. A jury of experts including Stefan Sagmeister and Animal Collective will select up to 20 videos to be presented at the Guggenheim in New York City in October, with simultaneous presentations at the Guggenheim museums in Berlin, Bilbao, and Venice. Ready to nominate your work and claim your rightful place in the art world? The deadline for submissions is Saturday, July 31. Only one video is allowed per person, so choose carefully—and creatively.

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Threadless on Tour

It's hard to believe that a decade has elapsed since the birth of Threadless, the wildly popular t-shirt company with an ongoing, open call for design submissions. They're celebrating with the Threadless Everywhere Tour, a three-month, cross-country whirl of art parties, craft fairs, and community meetups that kicked off yesterday in San Francisco. Look for the company's distinctive Airstream trailer/art studio and spray-painted van tooling around your town or rally a Facebook group to convince them to stop by on the tour's third crowdsourced leg. Expect graphically intense birthday cake and plenty of t-shirts, including relaunched versions of some favorite designs from the last ten years.

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Lego World Cup

Have you caught World Cup fever? When there's no time to take in an entire, maddeningly low-scoring match, savor the highlights... in Legos! Since 2007, self-described crazy soccer fan Fabian Moritz has spent thousands of hours meticulously recreating major soccer matches in stop-motion animation with squads of smiley-faced Lego players. The resulting videos are collected on his website, Lego Fussball. Now the Hannover, Germany-based animator is working 'round the clock on World Cup matches. Among the most popular so far: Team USA's opener against England, which featured an astounding fumble by Brit goalie Robert Green. "In general, unusual scenes are a lot of fun, because I get to be very creative," said Moritz recently. "I have never recreated a goalkeeping error before, so I really enjoyed it."

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Pantone Hotel

Journey to the center of the color universe at the Pantone Hotel, a new boutique property in Brussels that invites you to experience the Belgian capital "through a lens of color and a spectrum of comforts." Designers Michel Penneman and Oliver Hannaert selected a distinctive palette for each of the hotel's seven floors (which range from "daring and fiery" reds to "captivating, esteemed, silky" shades of violet) and upped the contrast with clean white walls and the saturated outsized photographs of Victor Levy. Pantone consultants are on call to assist with any color crises. Our favorite touch? A rooftop bar serving color-matched cocktails. Choose from Pink Champagne (Pantone 12-1107), Lemon Drop (12-0736), or Daiquiri Green (12-0435).

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Grilled Cheese Invitational

What began in 2003 as a sandwich-making contest among friends in a Los Angeles loft has transformed into a national movement dedicated to perfecting the art of grilled cheese and regional competitions across the country. Tomorrow in L.A., thousands of cheese fiends will gather for the Grilled Cheese Invitational. The event "will surely be the best thing to happen to mankind, ever!" predicts artist and event founder Tim Walker. "Well, maybe second to that whole 'landing on the moon' thing, but as far as mankind's topmost achievements, it's totally way up there!" In addition to the competition that will crown the 2010 Grilled Cheese Champion, there will be a grilled cheese festival and multiple vendors to feed the hungry masses. Dress to impress, because delicious prizes are in store for the winners of the event's cheesy costume contest.

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Logo Awards

Good news: you’ve got a couple more weeks to show your logos some love by entering them in the mediabistro.com logo awards contest, a new initiative to celebrate the best in logo design. It’s as easy as registering, uploading a .jpeg of your best work, and then waiting for judges, including Armin Vit and David Airey, to deem you worthy of one of the gold, silver, or bronze awards. (An entry fee of $30 per logo is required.) All submissions must have been created by the designer or firm submitting the work between March 31, 2008 and March 31, 2010. The deadline for entries has just been extended to Friday, April 30, so submit soon!

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Curious George Goes to the Museum

Curious about the creators of Curious George, the world's favorite curious little monkey? A new exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York City offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives and work of illustrator H. A. Rey (1898-1977) and his wife, artist and author Margaret Rey (1906-1996). The German-born husband/wife team fled Paris by bicycle in 1940 and eventually settled in New York, where they authored and illustrated more than 30 books, including seven starring Curious George. The exhibition, on view through August 10, features original drawings and watercolors of the heroic monkey (who the Reys originally named "Fifi") and other characters as well as early drafts of their books, vintage photographs, and other documents that chronicle the couple's own curious adventures.

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