29 June 2012
Jessica Bluemke at Friendly Atheist spots Michael Marantz's inspirational video mashup, The Future Is Ours...
"We need to be inspired by the immense possibilities of the future and work extremely hard to achieve them. We can do it, we just have to commit."
28 June 2012
China's eco-cities: Sustainable urban living in Tianjin...
"The world’s biggest eco-city in development, Tianjin Eco-city will be around half the size of Manhattan. [...] Few things can be certain about the future, as philosophers wiser than I have pointed out, but one trend that is likely to continue is urbanisation. The Anthropocene will be populated by city dwellers, in contrast to the rural demography of the past millennia, and this has profound implications for human society. [...] The site chosen for the project was an industrial dumping ground for toxic waste, barren salt flats abutting one of the world's most polluted seas. This was deliberate, says Ho Tong Yen, head of Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city Development and Investment, the firm charged with building the city. "In the past, so-called ecocities have been built in ecologically important areas or on useful arable land. We wanted to show that it's possible to clean up a polluted area and make it useful and liveable." [...] the city is setting itself up as a hub for green tech enterprise and creative industries. Six hundred companies have already set up shop, including an animation studio that is powered by its own energy station, incorporating solar PV walls as well as roof panels."Eco-City masterplan reveals more of location and progress...
27 June 2012
first MRI imagery of human birth!
"Doctors at a Berlin hospital have released an MRI video that shows the first real-time footage of a baby being born -- from the inside. The team led by Dr Christian Bamberg made the medical breakthrough in November 2010 but only published still images at the time. The 30-second movie shows a baby as it descends down the birth canal of a 24-year-old mother who volunteered for the project. The mother spent 45 minutes inside the MRI machine during the second stage of her labour, also known as the 'pushing stage'."P.S. This is, of course, the inevitable consequence of earlier activities, also captured via MRI;-)
25 June 2012
CNN's Mairi Mackay profiles Gene Sharp: A dictator's worst nightmare!
"He's been called the father of nonviolent struggle. He could be also described as a revolutionary's best friend. Or perhaps, more accurately, as a dictatorship's worst nightmare. Now 84, the American academic has dedicated most of his life to the study of the bold, some might say reckless, idea that nonviolence -- rather than violence -- is the most effective way of overthrowing corrupt, repressive regimes. [...] His practical manual on how to overthrow dictatorships, "From Dictatorship to Democracy," has spread like a virus since he wrote it 20 years ago and has been translated by activists into more than 30 languages. He has also listed "198 Methods of Nonviolent Action" -- powerful, sometimes surprising, ways to tear power from the hands of regimes. [...] His ideas of revolution are based on an elegantly simple premise: No regime, not even the most brutally authoritarian, can survive without the support of its people. So, Sharp proposes, take it away. Nonviolent action, he says, can eat away at a regime's pillars of power like termites in a tree. Eventually, the whole thing collapses. For a half century, Sharp has refined the theory of nonviolent conflict and crafted the tools of his trade. His methods have liberated millions from tyranny -- and that makes regimes from Myanmar to Iran quake in their boots."See here trailer for How to Start a Revolution...
24 June 2012
Neatorama spots Zipper Truck and moveable median barrier...
"Each 30-ton, 58-foot Zipper Truck is driven by a two-person team. As it passes over the barrier system, a series of wheels gently lifts each block off the street, funnels it through an S-shaped curve under the vehicle, and deposits the block into the other lane. The entire bridge-rearranging process should take less than ten minutes."
Catalan architect and Gaudí collaborator, Josep Maria Jujol, designed the stunning Casa Planells in 1922 at 332 de l'Avinguda Diagonal in the Eixample district of Barcelona!
23 June 2012
22 June 2012
19 June 2012
Thanks to the DailyMail for spotting America Revealed, the new PBS TV show on the hidden patterns and rhythms which make US work!
"Based upon the BBC’s award-winning Britain From Above. America Revealed is a unique look at what makes America tick, what it takes to keeps the biggest food machine in the world going, the delicate balance that keeps our supermarkets stocked with groceries and fast food restaurants supplied with fries. How we keep America moving with its vast and complex transport systems. How we propel ourselves through energy, what maintains the constant supply of fuel and electricity to our homes and businesses and finally how we keep up with the ever changing world, the import and export infrastructure that shapes our manufacturing industry [...] America Revealed uses beautiful and breath-taking aerial photography to provide an otherwise unseen view of America and use original data visualizations to demonstrate how our systems work."
24oranges spots LEGO computer built to celebrate Alan Turing’s 100th birthday by Jeroen van den Bos and Davy Landman from the Dutch Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)...
18 June 2012
The Sunday Globe has nice piece on The state of Biotech Hub together with online interactive map by Daigo Fujiwara of related companies and institutions...
"Massachusetts has emerged as a leading center for life sciences, supported by world class research institutions, venture capital, and entrepreneurial spirit. It's a concoction of brains, money, and risk-taking that one analyst described as "magic." The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council lists more than 900 companies in the state."
17 June 2012
Thanks to Newsweek's Design Innovation section for spotting the Dutch designers Demakersvan ("The makers of") and one of their brilliant and inspired designs, the chain Lace Fence!
"A panel of hurricane fencing whose wire is knotted like lace, creating a product that’s a cross between a barrier and a doily. “A chain-link fence, with a surprise added."
Thanks to Africa Unchained's Emeka Okafor for pointing to Nosa Garrick's documentary film project My Africa Is...
"The series will follow change-makers in 13 cities across sub-Saharan Africa -- they are young, doing some really cool things, and starting a new conversation. Their stories are real; some subjects will inspire, others will provoke, but each one will challenge what you thought you knew and reintroduce you to OUR Africa. Each episode takes you on a trip to a different location, discovering the uniqueness of each city and appreciating Africa’s diversity, as the series brings it all together."Join me in backing this on Kickstarter! Here's the trailer...
Thanks to DailyMail for spotting images of the instant a honey bee stings and flies off! The photos by Kathy Keatley Garvey show the flying insect tugging a long strand of abdominal tissue as it tries to pull away from UCDavis honey bee center apiculturist Eric Mussen!
16 June 2012
Wow, check out these slaughterbots, first UD spots lamb deboning... Here's automatic ham deboning system Mayekawa HAMDAS-R... Engadget spots the Nantsune Libra 165C intelligent meat slicer... (And, by the way, there's a broader range of agrobots, including this cow milking bot!-)
Congrats to our MIT Development Ventures 2011 alumco Essmart Global for $50K Grand Prize at the Dell Social Innovation Challenge!
"Essmart gives rural retail shop owners access to products that improve their customers' lives. We are a technology distributor working with existing retail shops to reach end users. We deliver the goods."
15 June 2012
Very cool to see this jambot gripping solution from the Cornell Creative Machines Lab made basically out of coffee and a balloon plus a suck'n'blow pump and some kind of positioning scheme! Thanks to Neatorama for spotting!