Surrealism, a bunch of memes, and a wedding: this week on Fresh Powder


You might have seen The Weather Channel give new meaning to the word “infographic” when it virtually embedded a meteorologist in (begin LeBron voice) not three, not six but nine feet of water in a surreal demonstration for Hurricane Florence. By our research, the demo was widely praised for inventing a new way to lay onto viewers the life risk of trying to ride the storm out when you’re being asked to evacuate. It’s a highly-impactful segment in that it begins as a typical weather report with numbers on a screen and a colored map, until suddenly the meteorologist is on a neighborhood street corner, no different than yours or mine, and water is rushing up around her. To do it, The Weather Channel utilized a “green screen immersive studio” it recently built at its Atlanta studio, which includes a wrap-around green screen (that’s where the water builds up), with help from its partnership with Unreal Engine, which specializes in “interactive mixed reality.” Both of those things likely make it beyond any of our reaches to recreate it, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. Did you watch the clip? Whatever, just watch it again.

… Also surreal

The Weather Channel was not alone in doing something uniquely interesting. Who better than The New York Times? The paper created its first holographic video recording to accompany a story about model and activist Ashley Graham — and it, too, is pretty surreal; I mean, seriously, this is nuts. Here’s how they did it: Using Microsoft’s new “volumetric capture” technology, a brief recorded sequence of Graham walking can be endlessly available (like a Boomerang) to be projected into the world. Readers with the New York Times app can “project this ‘hologram’ of Ashley into their spaces as she demonstrates poses and her runway walk,” the Times’ explainer writes. Hello, Weird Science. Nice to meet you, Princess Leia. She’s literally walking on water on the desktop site. News graphics really advanced a lot this past week.


A couple controversial things happened this past week: one in the news, one in advertising. The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a White House “senior official” titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” The internet, as it does, took the headline and “fixed it” into varioushilarious memes. Enjoy! The same happened in advertising when Nike unveiled its Colin Kaepernick campaign. One last time, enjoy!

On the podcast

We talked to The New York Times design team responsible for the revamped desktop homepage about how it all happened. Listen and subscribe now!

This also happened last week: Thomas, your SNO support superhero, got married last weekend. MARRIED! Please join us in congratulating him.