Turns out man can make better plants and trees than mother nature, as we’ve discovered in the news this week.
that absorb the same amount of CO2 as 90 eucalyptus trees are being tested in Spain
to help reduce emissions from cars and factories. The trees, which look like lamp posts and can be customized to blend in with surroundings -- similar to silk tree cell phone tower concealment
-- have been installed to date in Valencia, Castellon, and Barcelona.
Meanwhile, an innovative artificial plant
product called TouchPot that was recently brought to market
by Aydan Design can harness kinetic energy when its leaves are moved by wind or by people manually turning them. The TouchPot can re-charge portable electronic devices while providing a LED glow for those college kids who want something other than a lava lamp for their dorm rooms.
We reported on the proliferation of artificial plant technology
in an earlier post, such as for hidden cameras, soil readers, and humidifiers. All in all, it certainly seems -- somewhat ironically -- that artificial trees and plants are helping make the world a greener place.
Recently silk trees
have made an appearance in Hollywood and the obituaries. Sound incredibly obscure? We thought so too, and here’s a quick run-down.
Initially when we saw Lady Gaga and silk plants
in the same article, we assumed a far-out costume was soon to be referenced, but quickly learned otherwise. Lady Gaga, The current queen of popular culture, unveiled her newest song at Elton John’s infamous White Tie and Tiara Ball. As if Gaga’s costumes weren't spectacle enough, silk trees were used for stage decoration, with performance artists dramatically suspended from the tree limbs.
[more]On a more solemn, head-scratching note, a deer crashed through a church door
in Massachusetts and later died. The panicked animal had broken through glass and cut its neck severely, leading to a fatal end. What, then, ties a church break-in, a deer, and artificial plants together? Apparently, in what you might find in a dark and dramatic independent film scene, an office administrator arrived to find that the deer had used a silk Ficus tree from an office as its final resting spot, laying peacefully among the silk foliage and tree stems.
So to answer the million dollar question that has been sweeping the nation -- What do Lady Gaga and a dead deer have in common? -- we finally have an answer. Silk trees.
This edition of Silk Plants and Trees In The News brings us a few oddball stories from around the country and confirms that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
A reminder that you probably haven’t seen it all comes courtesy of artist Justin Shull. Something in his artist brain told him to construct a mobile shrub rover made of silk plants. The rover, which appears from the video to be able to handle both normal streets and off-road conditions, has a side hatch door revealing a box shaped compartment with enough room to fit a lone driver. No windows, no problem. The roving shrub is also outfitted with cameras and small LCD screens inside for navigation.
[more]Several sparrows have made themselves at home in the McNamara terminal of the Detroit airport. Though the airport authorities have tried to banish the sparrows with "scary" automated bird calls, the sparrows have found the terminal artificial trees too comfortable to leave. Many other techniques like traps, nets, and even birth control have failed to control or disperse the birds, leaving authorities playing the role of Wile E. Coyote. For their next effort, perhaps airport authorities should employ a mobile shrub rover to capture their winged nemeses.
With technology becoming more and more a part of our daily lives it was only a matter of time before the silk plant industry got in the game. As you'll see in the examples below, faux plants are being used as soil meters, humidifiers and cloak and dagger spy tools reminiscent of your favorite James Bond movies. Not surprisingly, the "devices" discussed perform many of the same functions as normal silk plants -- to enhance, shape, or disguise contraptions or sights that are best served hidden.
The Easy Bloom Plus is an innovative device outfitted with technology used on the Mars rover that will bring out the geeky side of any gardner. Outfitted with soil sampling technology, the Easy Bloom collects sunlight and soil readings. The tech savvy gardner can then remove the device and plug it in to a usb port of any computer to analyze the data. The best feature of may be its look, which resembles a real plant and is hard for any observer to detect without knowing it's there.
Having a hard time remembering when to re-fill your humidifier? The Bionic Humidifier will remind you in a familiar and (according to the manufacturer) emotional way. When your humidifier water gets low, the plant will actually sag like a normal plant when it needs to be fed. Fill it up and the plant returns to its healthy, perky self and provides you with a happy plant-parent glow.
If you're looking for new and interesting ways to surveil and gather information from your arch enemies, look no further than Dynaspy, a company that provides silk plant hidden camera equipment. Whether it's a nanny cam, a business surveillance system, or anything else you can dream up, a harmless looking silk plant just may be too outrageous to arouse suspicion.
In each of these cases, technology was used to take silk plants to a new level by combining form and function. Though hard to categorize as a necessity, all of these devices will no doubt satisfy your technological curiosity.
You can decide for yourself whether the iPad is truly a revolutionary device or just a passing fad. We were excited to learn, regardless, that there is a new app game for the iPad called Plants vs. Zombies
. In this tower defense game, your job is to plant a variety of foliage that shoot thorns and other plant-style armaments to stop zombies from entering your house.
[more]On a more sober note, we were reminded of the real life dangers that artificial plants and trees can pose when they are not manufactured with fire retardant foliage. A Marion, OH woman was startled to find that a fire had broken out
in her home after coming back from gathering wood outside. The fire started from an incense candle that ignited an artificial plant nearby. As our own fire retardant plant tests
(video) have shown, artificial plants that are not properly protected can be very dangerous for hotels, offices, restaurants, and other commercial properties. The woman was unharmed and thankful she returned when she did, as her house was not entirely destroyed.
Last but not least, an artificial palm tree
competition was recently held in a Poland village to celebrate Palm Sunday. The annual event saw a new height record
, with the winner reaching 35.1 yards tall. To the participants, the palm trees symbolize both sacrifice and rebirth.
Carrie Underwood likes to make a splash in her personal and professional life, whether it's dating Coybows star quarterback Tony Romo, or screaming out lyrics on stage. Recently, though, she's taken it to new heights with her concert set design, which featured a virtual fake forest and a rope swing hanging from a giant artificial tree limb.
Our beloved US government, known for it's slowness and insatiable appetite for paperwork, put out a bid looking for a company to water its artificial plants. To be fair, the contract did also call for watering live plants. Bidders with a GSA Contract were expected to submit a quote on a very short deadline prior to the end of the department fiscal year, which may have led to the editorial oversight.
[more] Ice dancers are known to push the limits of fashion, but many believe that the line was crossed at this year's Olympics. Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, a Russian ice dancing team, chose themed costumes with artificial foliage attached to their arms, legs, skates, and necks. They were universally panned by culture critics around the globe, and were thought to have damaged the image of the sport as a whole. We at Commercial Silk Int'l agree that artificial foliage belongs on trees, not on the ice.
In Brockton, MA this week, a judge ordered a car wash owner to remove artificial grass he had installed on his business property, citing the dictionary definition of landscaping in his ruling. The owner had installed it because of how impractical and expensive it was to maintain real grass in his place of business, and is vowing to appeal the decision.
Artificial plants and trees continue to be popular choices for water parks and aquatic centers where live plants are difficult to maintain due to pool chemicals, mistreatment from people, and unnatural moisture levels in the air. Commercial Silk's project at the Southeast Missouri State University Aquatic Center was featured recently, with flattering images of very authentic looking artificial palm trees.
Most people know that silk comes from silkworms, but not many people know that artificial plants are often made from silk as well. Looks like all that plant eating by silkworms is, in essence, creating more plants, albeit the artificial variety.