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Tweet about railway station Rotterdam Blaak, mainly in blue and yellow, the colors of Dutch Railways

Twitter’s temporary decline?

I quietly started a tour along the social media. Previously I wrote about Instagram and Pinterest; today I want to talk about Twitter. The springtime with all its tweeting birds is an appropriate season for that, isn’t it? Toptweets And just like those two previous articles, I wanted to illustrate this blog post with my most successful tweets. But unfortunately, Twitter’s analytics have their limitations. You can view your statistics per period of up to three months. And then you can only rank the toptweets by number of impressions (and not, for example, by retweets or likes). The pictures in...

Artist impression of planet Earth, seen from a location at 50.000 kilometres above the Netherlands, showing the Northpole, Europa and Africa

Rotterdam, Netherlands, Europe, Earth, Universe

April 22, the birthday of this blog entry, is Earth Day. There is no better day imaginable to talk about satellite and astronaut photographs of our planet. History The first satellite in orbit around the Earth was, in 1957, the Russian Sputnik-1 (which in fact simply means Satellite-1). However there was no camera on board. The first pictures of the Earth were made a few years later , on April 1, 1960, by the American weather satellite TIROS-1. Since then, our home world has been photographed many times. Some of these images have become iconic, like the Earthrise photograph from...

Detail of a knitting pattern of the Rotterdam skyline

The Rotterdam Skyline Knitting Pattern

3Develop, the reliable source for all your knitting patterns … I have the feeling that a lot of my blog posts start with “… is not 3Develop’s core business, but …”. This is that kind of posts again. Graphic skyline It is yet another spin-off of my Rotterdam skyline project. I made this graphic portrayal of the city’s skyline a few years ago for a contest. Which I lost ingloriously but since then the picture, in different versions, has started to live a life of its own. It hangs on walls, it adorns birth announcement cards and on April 9...

A world map according to the Antarctic or Penguin projection, with the southpole in the middle and increasingly dramatic distortions towards the north

The Antarctic Projection: a Penguin’s World Map

A world map tells a lot about the person who has made it, or about the market it is made for. Here in Europe, we think it’s only logical to place the edge of the map in the Bering Strait and the Pacific. After all, there is almost nobody living there and besides: this way we put ourselves nicely in the middle. The Amero-centric world map People in North and South America, understandably, do not like to live on the edge of the map. That’s why one sometimes sees maps like below, with America in the middle. That the cut...

Downtown rotterdam between central station and the river and between Claes de Vrieselaan and Mariniersweg; fragment of a map of Rotterdam with all city blocks as glass in 15 different colors

The Glass Map of Rotterdam: a plan in fifteen colors

Wow! That must have been a hell of a job … Cutting all those pieces of colored glass, exactly the right size and shape. And then carefully arranging them on a steel plate to create a colorful map of Rotterdam. Digital glass No, fortunately these days we have software to simulate things like that digitally. This glass map of Rotterdam was made using an AutoCAD file of the city’s building blocks. In 3ds Max, I added some irregularity to make it look not too computerized. Then I, totally randomly, assigned to each block one of fifteen different colors of glass....

Snow-covered reed in the Hitland near Capelle aan den IJssel, The Netherlands

Looking Back at the Winter of 2017

On Monday, March 20th, 2017 at 10:28 AM, GMT, spring begins in the northern hemisphere of planet Earth. It is the day of the vernal equinox, when day and night, anywhere on the globe, have more or less the same length. The beginning of spring, that’s a good time to look back at the winter of 2017. I know: it ain’t over till it’s over and also late March and April can have cold periods. But something tells me we’re not going te see a lot of wintry weather in the coming weeks. And should I be wrong, I will simply update this blog....

Ferriw Wheel The View, a temporary attraction on Binnenrotte square next to the Market Hall in downtwon Rotterdam, seen from the bridge across Steigergracht

The Rotterdam Ferris Wheel

For the second year in a row, Rotterdam has a Ferris wheel, for a few weeks. With an English name: The View. Like last spring the wheel is on Binnenrotte square, almost touching the famous Markthal (or should I say Market Hall?). Motion When I went to take a look on one of the first nights the wheel was operational, Binnenrotte was teeming with photographers. For a photographer Ferris wheels are beautiful objects to portray. Especially during the blue hour after sunset, when the shutter speeds are getting longer. The movement of the rotating wheel creates beautiful abstract effects. An...

Composition with shards of a red and a gold colored Christmas bauble, sien from a low angle

Broken Christmas Baubles: Red, Gold and Silver

Beauty can be found in unexpected places. And sometimes it takes a little effort to really see that beauty. It started with a somewhat peculiar action of a fellow inhabitant of my apartment complex (which I recently started referring to as the 3Develop Tower). A few weeks ago this person had used the emergency stairwell to get rid of his or her Christmas tree. A little bit late, indeed; February was well on its way. Shards Dragging Christmas trees around is usually a good way to create a mess. As a result there were branches and needles all over the stairwell....

Artist impression of the interior of a giant hollow asteroid, seen from the shore of a lake, with two men on a wooden pier, looking out towards a city and the hills, lakes and cliffs beyond

Psyche Station: living in an asteroid

Some people use Facebook to watch cat videos or to read fake news. I use this medium for completely different things. A few weeks ago, my attention was triggered by a sketch my Facebook friend Shaun Moss posted. A simple drawing of a fairly extensive project: the excavation of asteroid 16 Psyche for the establishment of a space colony. The blue lines indicate a huge cylindrical space (the distances are in meters). Rotating the big rock around its central axis creates a centrifugal force on the curved walls of the cylinder. That force feels like gravity, like in a spinning washing...

Overview of all the Pinterest boards by Frans Blok/3Develop: webshops, photography, artist impressions, digital art and inspiration

Pinterest for Self-Employed Creatives

Of all the social media that emerged over the last few years Pinterest doesn’t seem to have a very cool reputation. The digital pin board is suffering of an image problem: it is thought to be populated primarily by elderly women who use it to exchange knitting patterns. There is of course nothing wrong with that, but apparentlyas a social medium you’re only taken seriously when you’re used by trendy food vloggers (Instagram), bored adolescents (Snapchat) or populist politicians (Twitter). Visual But on reflection Pinterest appears to have a much more diverse group of users. Women are, indeed, the majority, but one-third of all pinners...