Teen born without a jaw finds his voice, achieves dream of creating music

Published: Sunday, March 19, 2017 @ 5:59 AM

Headphones on a mixing desk (Photo credit: Image Source / DigitalVision / Getty Images)
Image Source/Getty Images

A teen born without a jaw is beating the odds again, launching a music career and helping other along the way.

When Isaiah Acosta was born, the odds were stacked against him. He’s now 17 years old and thriving in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Though he’s considered mute and will never have the ability to speak, Isaiah is now launching his music career.

“We knew we had a great story but we didn’t know it was going to explode like it did,” Tarah Acosta, Isaiah’s mother, told KNXV.

Last week, Isaiah’s hip-hop song “Oxygen to Fly” debuted. He partnered with Arizona rapper Trap House and a short documentary featuring his story was shared online. In just a few days, his story racked up more than 4 million views.

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“I don’t even think Isaiah thought this was possible. You know he is mute and we and a lot of people have told us they haven’t seen anything like this,” said Tarah.

You can listen to Isaiah’s song by clicking here. All proceeds from the song will go to the Children’s Miracle Network.

>> Watch a video about Isaiah here

He may not be able to talk ...

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, March 9, 2017

Seattle company designs invisible art revealed in rain

Published: Tuesday, December 29, 2016 @ 10:32 AM
Updated: Tuesday, December 29, 2016 @ 2:56 PM

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A Seattle startup said it is hoping to make rainy days a little brighter for everyone after designing a product that makes rain-activated art on sidewalks and other surfaces.

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The art is made with a stencil and a superhydrophobic coating spray that keeps water from soaking into surfaces, creating different shades of color.

>> Photos: Seattle invisible art revealed in rain

The product can be used on absorbent surfaces, including concrete, wood, stone, cardboard and fabric, and is invisible on a dry and sunny day.

The idea came from Peregrine Church, who considers himself part artist, part engineer and part inventor.

Last April, he and his business partner made a video for a Kickstarter campaign and it went viral.

The product is called Rainworks, and with 690 backers and $50,000 from the Kickstarter campaign, they've been filling numerous orders via their website

For $29, customers get a bottle of “invisible spray” that covers roughly 15 square feet, a stencil to make their own Rainwork and video instructions.

“My priority isn't making money. My priority is helping people make the world a better place. So once we're off the ground and flying, it'll be a lot of fun,” said Church.

The designs generally last about four to five weeks, depending on conditions. Since it’s temporary, it’s not considered graffiti in public areas.      

Rainworks is not only making art around the city, but is also putting messages and inspirational words in public areas, such as bus stops and parks.

The company is also creating online maps of Rainworks designs the company and others have done so that people can visit and see the designs.

Misty Copeland re-creates famous Edgar Degas paintings

Published: Saturday, February 13, 2016 @ 3:57 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 13, 2016 @ 5:04 AM

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Misty Copeland, who became the first African-American woman to be named a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre last year, has already established herself as a legend.

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Now the 33-year-old is re-creating the beauty of ballet in another art form. The March issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine will feature the ballerina in photos reminiscent of works of 19th century French artist Edgar Degas.   

In high-end fashions by designers like Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen, Copeland posed to capture scenes from Degas' famous portraits and sculptures like "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen," "The Star" and "Green Dancer."

"I definitely feel like I can see myself in that sculpture—she just seems content but also reserved," Copeland told Harper's Bazaar about posing for "Little Dancer." "I was really shy and introverted at that age. I don't even have an image in my head of what I remember a ballerina being or existing before I took a ballet class. Ballet was just the one thing that brought me to life."

The photo shoot celebrates "Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty," an exhibition that will debut at the New York Museum of Modern Art in March. 

Read more here.

Unpublished Andy Warhol works found on floppy disks

Published: Friday, April 25, 2014 @ 1:36 AM
Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014 @ 1:36 AM

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Pop art icon Andy Warhol, known for his colorful Campbell’s Soup cans, was one of the first artists to experiment with art on computers. And now a team of computer scientists has learned Warhol’s P.C. period is larger than previously thought.

The Andy Warhol Museum announced Thursday that the team has discovered more than a dozen unpublished experimental pieces on several 30-year-old floppy disks. The disks worked on the Commodore Amiga 1000, a computer released around 1985. It was popular in Europe and known at the time for its advanced graphic technologies. So advanced, in fact, that Commodore commissioned Warhol to use its machines for his creations and let him demo the Amiga before its debut in 1985.

HAGER: “You’ve found it to be very spontaneous, haven’t you?”

WARHOL: “Yeah, it’s great, it’s such a great thing.” (Via YouTube / theisotope)

And it’s all thanks to this YouTube video that Warhol’s new works were brought to light. As the story goes, artist Cory Arcangel saw the video in 2011 and asked the museum to check the disks.

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Without the technology to read the obsolete files, the museum waited until this year when it got the help of the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Club.

So what does the new art look like?

Well, it’s no surprise there’s a soup can involved, but researchers also discovered a three-eyed rendition of Sandro Botticelli’s "The Birth of Venus." According to The Andy Warhol Museum, Warhol embraced the Amiga as an art tool, writing: "Warhol saw no limits to his art practice. These computer-generated images underscore his spirit of experimentation and his willingness to embrace new media."

And Ben Richmond at Motherboard agrees. "Warhol of course always seemed like he'd be a natural for digital art: it's endlessly reproducible, it's new and experimental, and one can imagine his wry take on the 'everyone's face is everywhere' ubiquity that computers facilitate."

And as Arcangel says, "We can see how quickly Warhol seemed to intuit the essence of what it meant to express oneself, in what then was a brand-new medium."

An exhibition based on the discovered art will premiere in Pittsburgh May 10.