Siavosh Zabeti, and Alexander Kalchev create a FaceBOOK, a social network in hard copy form. De-evolution.
Bouygues Telecom asked us to come up with an idea to launch their facebook platform. They wanted us to create something that would go beyond using your profile picture in a funny way, or pranking your friends with a small joke.
We decided to look at the way we use facebook and found that even though we use the social networking site everyday, we forget our favorite moments we share online. So we created an app that could change that, and keep your facebook, in a book.
This wallet has a hinge that automatically locks when you’ve exceeded your monthly spending limit.
Designers at MIT Media Lab have created Proverbial Wallets that vibrate, swell, shrink or lock in accordance with the amount of money or credit you have and/or monthly budget goals.
Financial sixth sense.
We have trouble controlling our consumer impulses, and there’s a gap between our decision and the consequences. This is magnified by the digitization of money. When we pull a product off the shelf, do we know what our bank account balance is, or whether we’re over budget for the month? Our existing senses are inadequate to warn us.
The Proverbial Wallet gives us that financial sense at the point of purchase by un-abstracting virtual assets. Tactile feedback reflecting our personal balances and transactions helps us develop a subconscious financial sense that guides responsible decisions. In addition to providing a visceral connection to our virtual money, tactile output keeps personal information private and ambient.
The beautiful and infinite geometry of our Universe is echoed in this vivid fractal journey generated by Chris Korda using the Mandelbrot set. Worlds within worlds within whorls.
Korda describes the making of the video:
This is an extremely deep dive into the Mandelbrot set, to 2^316 (binary). In decimal that’s 1E+95, or 1 with 95 zeros after it.
The video was rendered using my own fractal software, called Fractice, which supports distributed processing using a client/server architecture. The render took five months, using a cluster of up to 20 dual-core PCs on a LAN, all running the Fractice rendering server. The actual number of servers varied over the five-month period but averaged around 15. Rendering only occurred at night.
Through the cunning use of motion detectors and ye olde MAX/MSP software, composer Alexander Schubert and violinist Barbara Lüneburg create quite the arresting spectacle. Greatly expanding the vocabulary of the lone fiddler to nearly god-like proportions, every gesture of the performer is amplified and extended both visually and sonically. It works.
Philip K. Dick’s third wife Anne R. Dick has written “a biography dressed as a memoir” called The Search for Philip K. Dick which has just been published by San Francisco press Tachyon. Anne and Philip were married for only five years but it was a very vital period in Dick’s evolution as a writer. As poet Jack Spicer said in regards to his own Muse (and this could certainly apply to Dick) “the Martian kept rearranging the furniture in his head.” In Dick’s case, the Martian was moving at the speed of sound.
Any new book on Dick is an event as far as I’m concerned and this one looks to be a significant contribution to the understanding of one of America’s most underrated and least understood writers of major distinction.
The book, while refraining from literary analysis, is invaluable for Dick fans and scholars because it’s told by the one person he was close to at an important turning point in his career. He wrote or developed roughly a dozen novels during his time in west Marin, including “The Man in the High Castle” (1962), his only novel to win the Hugo Award, science fiction’s biggest prize.
The writer Jonathan Lethem, who included five novels from this period in the Library of America anthologies he edited of Dick’s essential works, calls it Dick’s most fruitful time.
“The river of his literary ambitions — his interest in ‘respectable’ literature — joins the river of his guilty, disreputable, explosively imaginative pulp writing,” Mr. Lethem said in a phone interview. “It’s the most important passage of his career — more masterpieces in a shorter period of time.”
Read the NY Times piece on The Search For Philip K. Dickhere. And to purchase it click here.
O boy, this was the kind of thing I wanted to make when I was about nine or ten, after watching too many episodes of Dr Who and Lost in Space, but found my imagination hindered by a lack of Meccano, and an excess of cardboard boxes and sticky-back plastic. Now it seems my childhood dream has come true as one of the UK’s first ever humanoid robots has been revived after spending forty-five years gathering dust in a garage.
Robot George wasn’t made by some sci-fi obsessed kid, but by a former spy catcher and RAF officer Tony Sale, who built this baby for around $25, using scrap metal form a crashed Wellington Bomber plane, back in 1950.
Sale was a fresh-faced 19-year-old at the time and his incredible, radio-controlled, man-sized robot, which looks like something from Flash Gordon, or even Flesh Gordon, could walk, apparently talk and carry out simplistic chores, as the Daily Telegraph reports:
“I made him in my spare time. He was 6ft tall and I put light sensitive cells in his eyes which enabled him to home in on an illuminated beer bottle,” he said.
“He was brought out and demonstrated at all the open days at RAF Debden and featured on Pathe News.”
The robot, which is powered by two motorcycle batteries can be made to walk, turn his head, move an arm and sit down. He can operate up to 30 feet from his controls.
He caught the imagination of the press and was featured in numerous papers as one of the earliest humanoid robots built in the UK.
George was pictured carrying the shopping, hoovering and even mowing the lawn.
“I think he really impressed people because he looked so lifelike,” said Mr Sale.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to improve him any further as computers weren’t developed enough at the time.
“He has no memory and there were no computers small enough to enable him to become an intelligent robot, so he was put away.
“He was left to languish until I found him again in my garage, where he hadn’t been touched for 45 years.”
However Robot George wasn’t Mr. Sale’s first attempt at building a robot, as this interview with the BBC explains:
Remarkably, George was not the first robot that Mr Sale had built. In fact, he was the fifth incarnation of a mechanical man that the young electronics wizard had put together.
Creating any kind of working robot in the early 1950s was an incredible feat, especially as Mr Sale was under 20 at the time. The version he produced then has a claim to be among the earliest humanoid robots built in the UK.
Mr Sale’s prowess with a spanner and soldering iron remained undimmed.
He was the driving force behind the rebuild of the famous Colossus computer and one of the founders of The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, as well as being a British spy-catcher.
Who needs drugs when life as it is is this trippy?
This video presented by the Enoshima Aquarium shows the bioluminescent mantle of a flame scallop (Ctenoides ales, a.k.a. noble file clam or electric eye scallop), a bivalve mollusk found around reefs in shallow tropical waters. The purpose of the flashing lips remains a mystery.
Illinois Rep. John Shimkus—candidate for chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee—is sure that climate change is no big whup. How does he know this? The Bible tells him so: God promises Noah he’ll never again destroy the earth and all living things. Whew! We’re all safe! Even us unbelievers!
Progress Illinois gives more reasons why Shimkus, of course a Republican, is probably not the best man for the job:
During a discussion at a hearing about the Environmental Protection Agency’s ruling that greenhouse gases threaten public health and the environment, Shimkus noted that carbon dioxide is a natural result of breathing and asked, “Does EPA propose we stop breathing?” (They do not.) At a dinner held by the Sangamon County Republicans in February, Shimkus suggested that the sight of farmers “ice-fishing on ponds in Southern Illinois” is the latest evidence that global warming is a “hoax.” Oh, and let’s not forget the time Shimkus expressed fear that curbing carbon emissions would “take away plant food.” (Scientists disagree.)
This idiot should be pointed at and laughed at. Instead we elect ignoramuses like this to Congress! We’re doomed!