Web-site design and the Human Brain Cloud

As a canvas, a Web site or a flash player can offer seemingly infinite possibilities for online graphic design. Here are a handful of sites with inventive visuals.

Created by German artist Jens Meiert, the self-proclaimed world's highest Web site records itself as about 11.77 miles. Measuring the height of a Web site may seem just as impossible as weighing one, but Meiert is playing with the maximum size of a site as allowed by Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers. It's best understood simply by visiting the site.

Belgian comic duo Circoripopolo is also expanding its site's design to include your Internet browser. Click on this site and your browser will immediately shrink. You'll first see two pairs of hands squeezing out of a small crack in the otherwise black screen. The duo keep pushing outward until they've successfully expanded your browser. Later, when they explode their large balloon, your browser shakes.

Created by Kyle Gabler, the Human Brain Cloud is a giant word-association game that compiles the words most commonly associated with each other. "Selfish," for example, is strongly connected to "me." "Reporter" has a stronger association with "yuck" than journalists would prefer. The more common the association, the larger the bubble graphically representing each word. A similar effect is found at http:www.mike-love.net/. Calling itself a "Genealogy of Influence," this site links writers, artists, philosophers, scientists and mathematicians through their influences. Click on Ralph Waldo Emerson, for example, and watch a sea of names populate around him, from Coleridge to Shakespeare.

This is just simply an online version of the classic Hasbro game Lite Brite. It only glows in the dark, though, if you consider your computer screen as "glowing."

There are a number of flash programs that follow your cursor around the screen — like, for example, this dog: http:www.motionportrait.com/about/TIdog.swf. But the human-powered cursor by Recruit Media Communications is special. Ten Asian men carry a giant cursor, moving in formation wherever you move your cursor. It looks exhausting.

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