30 December 2013

Boston Venturemap ~ Kirsner Spots Startups...

The Globe's Innovation Economist Scott Kirsner shares how Boston's startup boom will continue into 2014 where he especially emphasizes venture hubs...
"When you put together the complete list, in 2014 there will be more places in Boston than Cambridge where you'll have a coterie of entrepreneurs working in the same office. [...] Here's an annotated Google Map I created of all these new incubators, accelerators, and shared office spaces in downtown Boston and the Innovation District."

28 December 2013

Malthus Miffed ~ Cohen on Human Demography

NYTimes DotEarthling Andrew Revkin writes in his Tutorial on Humanity’s Path to and Beyond 7 Billion about "meshing human development and planetary limits" and spotlights Prof Joel Cohen's Malthus Miffed: Are People the Problem, the Solution, or Both?

Futureplanes ~ Emerging Flight Concepts...

Nexpected spots E-Thrust from EADS and Rolls-Royce... NextBigFuture spots Spike Aerospace... The QSST... Boeing unleashed... Airbus future cabin... And here's a bit of history-as-future, a 2003 flight in the BA Concorde, the iconic supersonic airliner which, alas, has since been discontinued but which demonstrated design beauty, speed, and modernity in vivo...

Black Dolls ~ Modeling Beauty, Self-Esteem...

Lisa Hix in CollectorsWeekly shares Black Is Beautiful: Why Black Dolls Matter which points at the award-winning documentary Why Do You Have Black Dolls? by Samantha Knowles...
"Black dolls are more than just playthings -- they are powerful cultural artifacts that represent the history of the people they depict."
This reminds me of the still-shocking experiment on race by Drs Kenneth and Mamie Clark where in young African American kids were shown black and white dolls and asked their opinions, here replicated by Good Morning America... Filmmaker Kiri Davis earlier recreated the doll study in her A Girl Like Me documentary...

Into The Atmosphere ~ Shainblum's Timelapse...

The Creators Project spotlights Into The Atmosphere timelapse by Michael Shainblum... And here's The Art Of The Timelapse where we meet Shainblum and see how he does it! Thanks to UniqueDaily for spotting these!

27 December 2013

Star Wars Downunder ~ Homebrew Aussie SF;-)

MissC spots homebrew Oz SF, Star Wars Downunder;-)

Star Bubble ~ NASA APOD Spots Sharpless 308!

NASA APOD spots Jeff Husted's beautiful image of Sharpless 308, the Star Bubble! http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131224.html

Future of Humanity ~ Speculation & Forecasts

A few documentaries on Future of Humanity...

Coordinated Migration ~ FB on Human Relocation

Thanks to the DM's Ellie Zolfagharifard for spotting How Facebook reveals human migration...
"Facebook data scientists recently compared users’ hometowns with their current residences to uncover the top 10 cities that had coordinated migrations -- or the movement of large numbers of people from one place to another. The top destinations were found throughout the world in countries that are rapidly urbanising. In these areas at least 20 per cent of the population of one city had moved to another city. [...] ‘We believe that these migrations have cultural and political motives, on top of economical ones,’ said Facebook. [...] According to this data, countries such as India, Nigeria, and Turkey are becoming increasingly urban, with many people moving from rural areas into large cities such as Hyderabad and Chennai in India and Lagos in Nigeria. For most of the cities on the top 10 list, the megacity migrations are coming from within the same countries."
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2529905/How-Facebook-reveals-human-migration-User-data-shows-London-Lagos-Istanbul-places-relocate.html http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2529905/How-Facebook-reveals-human-migration-User-data-shows-London-Lagos-Istanbul-places-relocate.htmlhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2529905/How-Facebook-reveals-human-migration-User-data-shows-London-Lagos-Istanbul-places-relocate.html

Kung Fury ~ 1980's Action-Comedy is Kickstarting!

Check out Kung Fury which is Kickstarting now! Epic 1980's action-comedy-adventure done by homebrew team in Sweden!

Tech's Next Feats ~ On Singularity & Abundance

Seb at Lifeboat spots PBS's Tech's Next Feats...

26 December 2013

English ~ Birthing of our Global Common Lingo!

Beautiful historical reflection on emergence of English language!
  1. Birth of a Language
  2. English Goes Underground
  3. The Battle for the Language of the Bible
  4. This Earth, This Realm, This England
  5. English in America
  6. Speaking Proper
  7. The Language of Empire
  8. Many Tongues Called English, One World Language
I'm particularly amused by the influence of America on English... And here's one final bonus nugget -- a compare and contrast of Shakespeare in Original Pronunciation versus contemporary English!

25 December 2013

Food Machine ~ PBS's America Revealed #1

PBS's America Revealed first episode, Food Machine...

Cargo Bikes ~ Urban Logistics History & Races!

Mikael Colville-Andersen over at Copenhagenize spotlights a great, often underappreciated element of urban logistics -- Cargo Bikes! First, a steady stream of photographic examples now gathered together as the Cargo Bike Nation book!
Second, an Episode of their Top 10 Design Elements in Copenhagen's Bicycle Culture. Third, a spotlight on the Cyclelogistics initiative. Fourth, a pointer to a Spectacular Cargo Bike Collection in Italy with a free e-book by Felino Tassi about Nello Sandrinelli's passion for vintage cargo bikes! And finally, they're crowdfunding a cargo bike race in Rio de Janeiro -- Campeonato Carioca de Cargueiras...

Titanic Disaster ~ CGI Simulation of Sinking...

NatGeo shares Titanic: The Final Word With James Cameron who with his team craft CGI of how Titanic hit berg, took on water, and ultimately sank and hit the ocean floor... And here's NatGeo's Seconds from Disaster story...

Slingers ~ Prospective SF Show Promo Trailer

Check out Slingers by Sizemore, et al...

24 December 2013

Behind Gravity ~ Making Cuarón's Space Thriller

io9's Meredith Woerner spots A Gorgeous Behind-the-Scenes Look at How Alfonso Cuarón Made Gravity!

Spike ~ 3D Measuring & Modeling via Mobiles

NBF spots Spike, laser accurate 3D object and building measurement & modeling via mobile with clip-on. See Kickstarter campaign vid... Especially check out this quick'n'dirty 3D building modeling element! This reminds me of Mok3 crossed with Viztu with a touch of C3 Technologies;-)

Earthrise ~ Story of NASA Astronauts Epic Photo!

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1249.html#.UrscPXOsvmoThanks to Scott Kirsner for pointing to Rebecca Rosen's Atlantic piece, How Astronauts Nearly Missed Taking the Iconic Earthrise Photo on Christmas Eve, 1968 forty-five years ago today! Check out the NASA retrospective video reconstructing the photography as-it-happened! And here we see the three astronauts reflect on that great flight during troubled times...

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

21 December 2013

Cubli ~ Jumping, Balancing, Walking Robobox!

Check out ETHZ researchers work on the Cubli...
"...a 15 × 15 × 15 cm cube that can jump up and balance on its corner. Reaction wheels mounted on three faces of the cube rotate at high angular velocities and then brake suddenly, causing the Cubli to jump up. Once the Cubli has almost reached the corner stand up position, controlled motor torques are applied to make it balance on its corner. In addition to balancing, the motor torques can also be used to achieve a controlled fall such that the Cubli can be commanded to fall in any arbitrary direction. Combining these three abilities -- jumping up, balancing, and controlled falling -- the Cubli is able to 'walk'."

Jewel Box Sun ~ NASA's SDO Sees Waves!

Thanks to Lauren Davis at io9 for spotting NASA SDO video Jewel Box Sun which...
"... shows the wide range of wavelengths -- invisible to the naked eye -- that the telescope can view. SDO converts the wavelengths into an image humans can see, and the light is colorized into a rainbow of colors. [...] Yellow light of 5800 Angstroms, for example, generally emanates from material of about 10,000 degrees F (5700 degrees C), which represents the surface of the sun. Extreme ultraviolet light of 94 Angstroms, which is typically colorized in green in SDO images, comes from atoms that are about 11 million degrees F (6,300,000 degrees C) and is a good wavelength for looking at solar flares, which can reach such high temperatures."

14 December 2013

This I Believe ~ Heinlein's Broadcast Creed...

Thanks to the Heinlein Prize for Accomplishments in Commercial Space Activities for posting the audio and transcript of science fiction grandmaster Robert A Heinlein's broadcast of This I Believe on the Edward R Murrow radio show in 1952... http://www.heinleinprize.com/rah/thisibelieve.htm

Religiosity vs Prosperity ~ Economic Correlations

While trawling through references about faith, irrationality, and other mental illnesses, I came across this interesting chart correlating Religiosity vs Prosperity -- measured as percentage of the population who self-describe themselves as a "religious person" plotted versus per capita annual income... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Religion_economy.png

13 December 2013

Hack This Book ~ Art of Tinkering's e-Cover!

Check out the Art of Tinkering's conductive ink cover...
"Its cover is printed with a special ink that conducts electricity, allowing readers to make their own circuits right on the book and get in on all the tinkering fun."

Smarty Ring ~ Finger Control of Mobile Apps!

Thanks to DM's Victoria Woolaston for spotting the Smarty Ring, a...
"...stainless steel gadget [which] connects to smartphones via Bluetooth using a dedicated app. Its LED screen lights up each time the wearer gets an email, text message, Facebook and Twitter notifications and phone calls, and the ring can also be used as a remote control."
(Seems too good to be true. I hope this is not merely "design & visualization" exercise and they've actually figured out power management, etc.)

Megacity Logistics ~ Emerging Research @ MIT

MIT colleague Willow Brugh took Prezi notes on CityScience luncheon talk by MIT's Edgar Blanco of the Megacity Logistics Lab about his research on understanding...
"Megacities -- cities with a population of at least 10 million people -- are increasing in both number and size, and their share of world GDP is expected to grow from about 15% to over 20% in a decade. Most of the 31 megacities that currently exist are located in emerging markets. Up until now research on the megacity phenomenon has centered on the urban landscape, people mobility and managing traffic congestion. Based within the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, the Megacity Logistics Lab focuses on understanding and transforming the supply chains that interface with these sprawling urban centers."

08 December 2013

Miracle Rising ~ South Africa’s Political Reboot...

The History Channel's Miracle Rising documentary shares how...
"South Africa, against all odds, avoided a civil war, ended apartheid enabling the country to have its first free and fair democratic election. The word ‘Rising’ comes from a comment that Oprah Winfrey made during her interview which was to “rise and transcend to something higher” which is what happened to make this miracle possible. [...] “Also the idea of a “Miracle Rising” is something that is never finished or complete -- but always in process -- is a more accurate way of describing most political situations in that they are always evolving."

The 16th Man ~ Mandela and the Springboks

ESPN's 16th Man documentary... Plus, here's the actual 1995 match...

07 December 2013

Generations ~ Germain's Portraits of Families!

Thanks to John Farrier at Neatorama for spotting Julian Germain's Generations series of photographs showing recursive {child + parent} family portraits! http://www.juliangermain.com/projects/generations.phphttp://www.juliangermain.com/projects/generations.phphttp://www.juliangermain.com/projects/generations.phphttp://www.juliangermain.com/projects/generations.php

DataViva ~ Visualizing Economic Activity!

MIT Media Lab Professor César Hidalgo and his Macro Connections group colleagues working with the state of Minas Gerais have created DataViva to visualize and help people understand the full richness of Brazilian economic activity.

Remember Pearl ~ Surprise, Failure, & Lessons

http://www.nps.gov/valr/photosmultimedia/photogallery.htmImperial Japan's infamous attack on US forces in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 72 years ago today killed thousands and expanded WWII greatly. But it was such a surprise and so devastating largely because of unconcerned, inattentive, and incompetent intelligence, military, and government authorities, much like 9/11 sixty years later. Let that be the ultimate lesson:  visionary leadership, eternal vigilance, and creative ability are all three together paramount for civilization to survive the forces of malice and perfidy and indeed thrive towards human greatness, overcoming the evil irrationalities of colonial imperialism, religious fanaticism, and political collectivism. http://www.history.com/interactives/inside-wwii-interactive

05 December 2013

World Outside ~ ISS Views Timelapse!

io9's Robert Gonzalez spots The World Outside My Window - Time Lapse of Earth from the ISS by David Peterson & colleagues...

04 December 2013

Perfect Mannequins ~ Pro Infirmis Body Doubles!

http://www.proinfirmis.ch/de/home.htmlThanks to Anna Hodgekiss at the DailyMail for spotting the Pro Infirmis perfect mannequins project!
"A Swiss charity has created mannequins based on the bodies of disabled people in a bid to raise awareness that no one has a perfect body. Pro Infirmis, an organisation for people with disabilities, worked with people suffering from scoliosis (a curved spine), shortened limbs and a woman in a wheelchair. Each had a mannequin made to perfectly reflect their body shape -- which, to their delight, was then displayed in a high street store in Zurich's main shopping street. [...] The aim of the project is to raise awareness of people with disabilities, specifically in the image-obsessed worlds of fashion and retail. [...] Because who is perfect?"

Curing Aging ~ de Grey on Healthy Longevity!

Thanks to Johnny Boston at H+ for spotlighting Galactic Public Archives interview with a genial modern-day Merlin, Dr Aubrey de Grey, on addressing the world's most important problem -- the diseases and ravages of aging -- via Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence or SENS... This is especially important in light of the neo-luddite anti-gerontechnology movement festering in our society, for instance Daniel Callahan's screed in the NYTimes On Dying After Your Time.

03 December 2013

More Namba Parks ~ Urban Oasis in Osaka!

Namba Parks is an urban oasis in Osaka, Japan. Built on the old Osaka baseball stadium site and designed by Jon Jerde, NP is an eight level rooftop garden with waterfalls, terraces, etc! http://inhabitat.com/japans-namba-parks-has-an-8-level-roof-garden-with-waterfalls/ http://inhabitat.com/japans-namba-parks-has-an-8-level-roof-garden-with-waterfalls/ http://travel.cnn.com/tokyo/life/forget-ginza-osaka-japans-real-class-retail-act-932871 http://www.digitallifeplus.com/8814/an-impressive-8-level-park-in-osaka/namba-parks-03-640x480/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/arnisd/8008300397/ http://cwfoodtravel.blogspot.com/2013/02/japan-2012-namba-parks-osaka.html http://www.japan-photo.de/mod-au59-03.htm

02 December 2013

Mobile is Eating the World ~ Ben Evans Vision...

Benedict Evans shares how Mobile is Eating the World...

Surprise Rescue ~ Saved from Sunken Jascon 4!

Thanks to gCaptain's Mike Schuler for spotting the stunning surprise rescue of Nigerian cook Harrison Okene from the sunken tug Jascon 4, which had settled 30m down on the ocean floor after capsizing... And here's the simply amazing experience from the DCN Global diver Nico van Heerden's perspective... Note Nico's squeeky voice probably comes from breathing a helium-oxygen blend and not from getting a "huge fright" from a hand reaching out of the briny gloom! The long recovery period was to avoid the bends decompression sickness. Cook Okene stayed cool despite traumatic circumstances and speed with which things went wrong. This is great illustration of why should never quit and also of need for better imaging and mapping and robo-automation tools to help navigate and understand extreme conditions, including deepwater, sharp edges, etc.

ISON Lives ~ NASA Spots Sungrazing Comet

NASA APOD spots sungrazing Comet ISON!

29 November 2013

A Location to Remember ~ Villefranche-sur-Mer...

The most memorable part of An Affair to Remember -- i.e. the ultimate chick-flick as immortalized in Sleepless in Seattle -- was for me not the Empire State elements but rather the brief stopover in the French Riviera, Villefranche-sur-Mer to visit a lovely house atop the hill. Not clear how much of this is on-location versus in-studio, but in any case, I like the aesthetics... http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/02/08/an-affair-to-remember-with-cary-grant-deborah-kerr/http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/02/08/an-affair-to-remember-with-cary-grant-deborah-kerr/http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/02/08/an-affair-to-remember-with-cary-grant-deborah-kerr/http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/02/08/an-affair-to-remember-with-cary-grant-deborah-kerr/http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/02/08/an-affair-to-remember-with-cary-grant-deborah-kerr/

Helmreich's New York ~ Walking the Metropolis...

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/nov/29/new-york-nobody-knows-william-helmreich-reviewThanks to PD Smith for reviewing The New York Nobody Knows by William B Helmreich in the Guardian...
"Sociologist William B Helmreich was born and grew up in New York City. As a boy, he and his father played a game called "Last Stop". It involved riding the subway from the station at 103rd Street near their Upper West Side apartment to the last stop on the line. Then, like intrepid explorers, they would discover the area's secrets on foot. (Helmreich's father died in 2011 at the age of 101.) In a sense, this book is a continuation of that urban game. To write The New York Nobody Knows, Helmreich walked 6,048 miles, covering almost every block in the city's five boroughs: Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn and the Bronx. It took him four years, walking an average of 1,512 miles a year. He wore out nine pairs of shoes. Helmreich admits that "you have to be a little crazy to explore the city as I did". But big cities do that to you. [...] It's refreshing to read a book that celebrates so unreservedly the ethnic diversity of a city and entirely fitting that it should be about a metropolis that has always been defined by its cosmopolitan culture. For Helmreich, the city's diversity is the well-spring of its success."
Be sure to also check out PD Smith's own book, City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age.

28 November 2013

East African Railway ~ Kenya Starts Building...

The BBC writes Kenya launches new railway to reach South Sudan and Burundi...
"Kenya has formally launched a new, Chinese-financed railway which should extend across East Africa to reach South Sudan, DR Congo and Burundi. The first section will link the Kenyan port of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi, reducing the journey time from 15 hours to about four. It is said to be the country's biggest infrastructure project since independence 50 years ago. The cost of the railway will be $5.2bn (£3.2bn) -- mostly funded by China. Some Kenyans have complained that the contract was given to the Chinese state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) without going to tender."

26 November 2013

EarMachine ~ iOS Hearing Enhancement App...

Thanks to MedGadget for spotting the EarMachine, a Free iOS App for Hearing Problems...
"Smartphones have essentially the same hardware as hearing assist devices, including a microphone, analog-to-digital converter, and a CPU to process the audio and modulate it to the specific user. The EarMachine is a new app that harnesses the power of iPhones to do just that."
http://www.medgadget.com/2013/11/earmachine-a-free-ios-app-for-hearing-problems.html If we combine this sonic adjustment app with noise cancellation, whisperware, voice recognition, translational "babelfish" apps and we can really make progress towards Smartbuds, the acoustic analog to Glass.

Ward's First Year ~ From Premie to 1yo Homeboy!

As wonderful illustration of Dr Koven's thesis In Practice, we have the lovely mini-documentary of Ward's First Year spotted by MissC... Says proud filmmaker-father, Benjamin Scot Miller...
"I want to thank all the doctors, nurses, and staff all over the world that make it their life's mission to help babies get better! It's because of you that my son ever stood a chance to make it home!"
Extra goodness and photos at HuffPo.

In Practice, MD ~ "Routine" Medical Miracles!

MGH primary care internist Dr Suzanne Koven writes in her Globe column In Practice that Thanks to advances in medicine, life goes on...
"Many years ago, a little girl was rushed to a rural county hospital from summer camp for an emergency appendectomy. As a teenager, she received antibiotics for a bad case of pneumonia. When she grew up and was about to deliver her first child, fetal monitors indicated that the baby’s heart rate had slowed, and a Cesarian section was performed urgently. In middle age, she underwent laparoscopic repair of an injured knee. The little girl, the teenager, the young mother, the middle aged woman, was -- is -- me. My medical history isn’t remarkable -- and that’s the point. Like most people alive today, I’ve been the fortunate recipient of treatments now so routine that we take for granted they haven’t always been available. Yet, a century ago, or even less, I could easily have died at summer camp or succumbed to pneumonia; my baby and I might not have lived through that pregnancy; and if I had survived to middle age, I would have done so limping and in pain."
And that is simply epic, not a miracle at all but the glorious consequence of technological progress and human rationality applied to healthcare.

23 November 2013

Tecorep ~ Taisei's Floor-by-Floor Deconstruction

CNN spots Japanese super general contractor Taisei perfecting their Tecorep (Taisei Ecological Reproduction System) taking down a skyscraper by deconstructing from the inside and systematically lowering the remaining building... See also competitor Kajima's bottom-down approach...

Strip the City ~ London Underbelly Revealed!

Very cool Discovery show Strip the City goes under London!

Circuit Stickers ~ Peelable Sticky Chibitronics!

MIT Media Lab's Jie Qi and Bunnie Huang announce Circuit Stickers and advance purchasing via Crowd Supply...

Hand Tools ~ Family Tree of Enabling Tech!

MissC at Neatorama spots Chart of Hand Tools! http://popchartlab.com/products/the-chart-of-hand-tools

Healing Bobby ~ Injured Vet Turned Comic...

Peter van Agtmael's film Healing Bobby spotlights Bobby Henline an Iraq War veteran turned comic, an inspirational figure we first saw in 2009...

Epic Split ~ JCvD's Killer Volvo Promo !-)

Yes, I know it's pure viral promo, but it features one of my favorite vehicle companies and songs and the most amusing of the aging superhero actors!-) First, the teaser... Then, the stunt advert itself... Finally, backstory...

Stabilized Zapruder ~ JFK Motion Pano + SloMo

Kottke spots stabilized Zapruder film...

Planetary Resources ~ Mining Asteroids & More...

Brian Wang at NextBigFuture spots Planetary Resources infovideo...

Waldkindergarten ~ Back to Nature Campfire Kids

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/forest-kindergartens-could-be-the-next-big-export-from-germany-a-935165.htmlDer Spiegel's Rupert Neate writes about Campfire Kids: Going Back to Nature with Forest Kindergartens...
"These children are sitting on logs in a forest around a campfire. This no ordinary day care center, this a Waldkindergarten. [...] the risks are outweighed by the "massive" mental and physical benefits of playing outside. "Children who have attended a Waldkindergarten have a much deeper understanding of the world around them, and evidence shows they are often much more confident and outgoing when they reach school." [...] the US and the UK's obsession with health and safety and regulations may have slowed adoption of the idea, but [...] forest kindergartens have proved very popular in Japan, which is also known for its red tape bureaucracy."
And here's what it looks like in short docu by Hubert Ulrich...

GoldieBlox ~ Girls Construction Book & Kit...

Check out GoldieBlox girls construction toys! Plus see earlier Kickstarter campaign.

20 November 2013

Roborouter ~ MIT's Image-Guided Powertools

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/automated-handheld-router-for-woodworking-0808.htmlAnne Eisenberg writes nice story in NYTimes, For the Home Workshop, a GPS for Power Tools, on Alec Rivers and Ilan Moyer's roborouter image-guided powertool based on their MIT research on position-correcting tools with Fredo Durand...
"As soon as you put the tool on the material, it knows where it is,” Mr. Rivers said. “The screen shows you the path you are on, as well as the pattern you’re going to cut.” When the bit comes within a quarter inch of the pattern, tiny motors in the device go to work, keeping the tool along its correct route. Ilan E. Moyer, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at M.I.T., designed the hardware for the latest prototype of the device. “If you are straying from the path, going to the left,” failing to follow the exact design, he said, “the motors will shift the tool to the right to keep it on the path.” Mr. Rivers said that “all you have to do is get within the ballpark freehand.” Then the “tool GPS” and small-scale computer adjustments guarantee a precise cut."

inFORM ~ Topomorphic Danceplay Media @ MIT!

Colleagues in MIT Media Lab Tangible Media inFORM with danceplay!

17 November 2013

Wecyclers ~ Tech Awards 2013 Laureate!

Excellent to see MIT Development Ventures alumco Wecyclers winning Tech Awards 2013!

GlobalHealth Lab ~ MIT Sloan's 2013 Highlights...

View here highlights from MIT Sloan's Groundwork Initiative signature program, GlobalHealth Lab 2013...
"The GlobalHealth Lab gives students a unique opportunity to work on the front lines of health delivery on-site in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, cumulatively over 50+ Projects in 13 Countries since 2008 with more than 40 host organizations, including clinics, hospitals, startups and non-profits."

Civil Wars ~ Economist on Ending Conflicts...

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21589431-bringing-end-conflicts-within-states-vexatious-history-provides-guide?zid=312&ah=da4ed4425e74339883d473adf5773841The Economist reveals about Civil Wars, How to stop the fighting, sometimes...
"Ending civil wars is hard. Hatreds within countries often run far deeper than between them. The fighting rarely sticks to battlefields, as it can do between states. Civilians are rarely spared. And there are no borders to fall back behind. [...] Yet civil wars do end. Of 150 large intrastate wars since 1945 fewer than ten are ongoing. Angola, Chad, Sri Lanka and other places long known for bloodletting are now at peace, though hardly democratic. And recently civil wars have been ending sooner. [...] So far, nothing has done more to end the world’s hot little wars than winding up its big cold one. [...] More conflicts ended in the 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall than in the preceding half-century [...] Until 1989, victory for one side was common (58%). Nowadays victories are much rarer (13%), though not unknown [...] The main reason for jaw-jaw outpacing war-war is a change in the nature of outside involvement. In the Cold War neither of the superpowers was keen to back down; both would frequently fund their faction for as long as it took. Today outside backers are less likely to have the resources for such commitment. And in many cases, outsiders are taking an active interest in stopping civil wars. [But] the motives vary."

Urban Cougars ~ LA's Hazardous Habitat...

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/cougars/chadwick-textNational Geographic has compelling infographic illustrating the Hazardous Habitat for urban cougars in Los Angeles to complement the feature story on Ghost Cats...
"Cougars are now the most common apex predator across one-third of the lower 48 states. Most of the other two-thirds lack any big predatory mammal. So far, anyway, a large cat whose trademark is stealth appears to be the major carnivore modern society finds easiest to accept, or at least tolerate. But people still want a clearer understanding of potential problems."

16 November 2013

Transhuman ~ Docu on the Future of Humanity

Thanks to IEET for spotting Director Titus Nachbauer's documentary Transhuman which asks Do you want to live forever?
"It will become possible this century to upload your mind into a computer [thru] radical life extension and future technology that might change the human condition"

11 November 2013

Happy City ~ On Transformational Urban Design

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/01/secrets-worlds-happiest-cities-commute-property-pricesThe Guardian just published an edited extract from Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery titled The secrets of the world's happiest cities asking...
"What makes a city a great place to live -- your commute, property prices or good conversation? [...] Is urban design really powerful enough to make or break happiness? The question deserves consideration, because the happy city message is taking root around the world. "The most dynamic economies of the 20th century produced the most miserable cities of all [...] totally dominated by cars." [...] By spending resources and designing cities in a way that values everyone's experience, we can make cities that help us all get stronger, more resilient, more connected, more active and more free. We just have to decide who our cities are for. And we have to believe that they can change. "

10 November 2013

Executive Suite ~ Epic Film's Boardroom Finale!

Here we revisit the climactic finale scene from one of my favorite films, the 1954 entrepreneurial epic Executive Suite, where the young VP R&D Don Walling (played by William Holden) prevails in a boardroom battle royale over VP Finance Loren Shaw (played by Frederic March). Asks Walling: Why do men work? His answer: Pride!

Dutch Pensions ~ PBS on Pooled Risk+Benefits

PBS Newshour investigates Dutch pensions...

Queen Mary 2 ~ Rebirth of the Ocean Liners...

Check out Cunard's Queen Mary 2 ocean liner...

04 November 2013

Don't Panic ~ BBC's The Truth About Population

Gapminder's Hans Rosling is to be featured Thursday 7 Nov 2013 in the BBC's Don’t Panic -- The Truth About Population...
"We face huge challenges in terms of food, resources and climate change but at the heart of Rosling’s statistical tour-de-force is the message that the world of tomorrow is a much better place than we might imagine. Professor Rosling reveals that the global challenge of rapid population growth, the so-called population explosion, has already been overcome. In just 50 years the average number of children born per woman has plummeted from 5 to just 2.5 and is still falling fast. This means that in a few generations’ time, world population growth will level off completely. And in what Rosling calls his ‘Great British Ignorance Survey’ he discovers that people’s perceptions of the world often seem decades out of date."
Here's mini-trailer/promo from BBC... And here's the main event!

De Nieuwe Wildernis ~ NL's New Wilderness...

Thanks to Branko Collin at 24Oranges for spotting De Nieuwe Wildernis wildlife documentary trailer...

02 November 2013

26 October 2013

Saturn & Apollo ~ All Launches & Lunar Landings!

Robert Sorokanich at Gizmodo spots all 13 Saturn V rocket launches! And here's all six Apollo Lunar landings too!

Adventure Is Calling ~ America's Great Spaces!

Thanks to Alex Santoso at Neatorama for spotting Adventure Is Calling timelapse vista by Shane Black & crew with view of a dozen of America's great National Parks!

Lost Rivers ~ Rediscovering Urban Waterways!

Thanks to Jason King at LandscapeUrbanism for spotting the trailer for Lost Rivers documentary by Caroline Bâcle and Katarina Soukup...
"Once upon a time, in almost every city, many rivers flowed. Why did they disappear? How? And could we see them again? This documentary tries to find answers by meeting visionary urban thinkers, activists and artists from around the world."

25 October 2013

Petite Ceinture ~ Wild Little Belt Rail in Paris!

Nice BBC Stop/Start story by Neil Meads with French photographer Thomas Jorion on The wild abandoned railway in the centre of Paris...
"For 32km (almost 20 miles) the tracks of Petite Ceinture snake through bustling Paris, isolated and largely unseen from street level in deep trenches, long tunnels, and bridges. Nature has reclaimed the space and it has become a haven for wild flowers and animals. The line is officially off-limits to the public, but this hasn't stopped many people attempting to explore it. There is now a fierce debate in the French capital about what to do with the tracks and stations of the Petite Ceinture that still remain."

21 October 2013

Cyanide Slaughter ~ 300 Zim Elephants Poisoned

Peta Thornycroft and Aislinn Laing of The Telegraph share the horrific news of ecocide in Zimbabwe where poachers have slaughtered over 300 elephants and hundreds of collateral animals by deploying cyanide salt-licks and poisoning watering holes as well...
"The full extent of the devastation wreaked in Hwange, the country's largest national park, has been revealed by legitimate hunters who discovered what conservationists say is the worst single massacre in southern Africa for 25 years. Pictures taken by the hunters, which have been obtained exclusively by The Telegraph, reveal horrific scenes. Parts of the national park, whose more accessible areas are visited by thousands of tourists each year, can be seen from the air to be littered with the deflated corpses of elephants, often with their young calves dead beside them, as well as those of other animals."
P.S. Thanks to George Dvorsky at io9 for spotting this.