Bio · Technology · Vital-Edible-Health

Nanoparticles may harm the brain

A simple change in electric charge may make the difference between someone getting the medicine they need and a trip to the emergency room—at least if a new study bears out. Researchers investigating the toxicity of particles designed to ferry drugs inside the body have found that carriers with a positive charge on their surface appear to cause damage if they reach the brain.

These particles, called micelles, are one type of a class of materials known as nanoparticles. By varying properties such as charge, composition, and attached surface molecules, researchers can design nanoparticles to deliver medicine to specific body regions and cell types—and even to carry medicine into cells. This ability allows drugs to directly target locations they would otherwise be unable to, such as the heart of tumors. Researchers are also looking at nanoparticles as a way to transport drugs across the blood-brain barrier, a wall of tightly connected cells that keeps most medication out of the brain. Just how safe nanoparticles in the brain are, however, remains unclear.

So Kristina Bram Knudsen, a toxicologist at the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, and colleagues tested two types of micelles, which were made from different polymers that gave the micelles either a positive or negative surface charge. They injected both versions, empty of drugs, into the brains of rats, and 1 week later they checked for damage. Three out of the five rats injected with the positively charged micelles developed brain lesions. The rats injected with the negatively charged micelles or a saline control solution did not suffer any observable harm from the injections, the team will report in an upcoming issue of Nanotoxicology.

Knudsen speculates that one of the attributes that makes positive micelles and similar nanoparticles such powerful drug delivery systems may also be what is causing the brain damage. Because cells have a negative charge on their outside, they attract positively charged micelles and bring them into the cell. The micelles’ presence in the cell or alteration of the cell’s surface charge, she says, may disrupt the cell’s normal functioning.

Negatively charged nanoparticles can also enter cells, according to other research. However, they do so less readily and must be able to overcome the repulsion between themselves and the cell surface. It is possible that the reason the negatively charged micelles were not found to be toxic was that they did not invade cells to the same extent as the positively charged micelles.

The findings are intriguing, says biomedical engineer Jordan Green of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. But he cautions that there is no evidence that all positively charged nanoparticles behave this way. Other factors can also play a role in the toxicity of nanoparticles, adds pharmaceutical expert Jian-Qing Gao of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. The size and concentration of the particles, as well as the strain of rat used, could all have influenced the results, he says.

Text and Image via ScienceMag

Bio · Design · Technology · Vital-Edible-Health

A new industry born from the disaster — LED indoor farming

Humans have spent the last 10,000 years mastering agriculture. But a freak summer storm or bad drought can still mar many a well-planted harvest. Not anymore, says Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura, who has moved industrial-scale farming under the roof.

Working in Miyagi Prefecture in eastern Japan, which was badly hit by powerful earthquake and tsunamis in 2011, Shimamura turned a former Sony Corporation semiconductor factory into the world’s largest indoor farm illuminated by LEDs. The special LED fixtures were developed by GE and emit light at wavelengths optimal for plant growth.

The farm is nearly half the size of a football field (25,000 square feet). It opened on July and it is already producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day. “I knew how to grow good vegetables biologically and I wanted to integrate that knowledge with hardware to make things happen,” Shimamura says.

Read full article at GE

Blog-Sites · Earthly/Geo/Astro · Public Space · Sonic/Musical

Sounds From Dangerous Places: Sonic Journalism | Peter Cusack

‘What can we learn of dangerous places by listening to their sounds?’

‘Sonic Journalism’ is the aural equivalent of photojournalism. It describes the practice where field recordings play a major role in the discussion and documentation of places, issues and events and where listening to sounds of all kinds strongly informs the approach to research and following narratives whilst on location.

Peter Cusack: Recent travels have brought me into contact with some difficult and potentially dangerous places. Most are areas of major environmental/ecological damage, but others are nuclear sites or the edges of military zones. The danger is not necessarily to a short-term visitor, but to the people of the area who have no option to leave or through the location’s role in geopolitical power structures. Dangerous places can be both sonically and visually compelling, even beautiful and atmospheric. There is, often, an extreme dichotomy between an aesthetic response and knowledge of the ‘danger’, whether it is pollution, social injustice, military or geopolitical.

Places visited include:

Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine;

Caspian oil fields, Azerbaijan;

Tigris and Euphrates rivers valleys in South Eastern Turkey threatened by massive dam building projects;

North Wales, UK, where Chernobyl fallout still affects sheep farming practice; nuclear, military and greenhouse gas sites in the UK, including Sellafield, Dungeness, Bradwell, Sizewell, Thetford Forest, Rainham and Uttlesford

Hear some samples from Chernobyl HERE

All text and Images via Sounds From Dangerous Places

Architectonic · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Human-ities · Public Space · Social/Politics

Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture

What makes the city of the future? How do you heal a divided city?

In Radical Cities, Justin McGuirk travels across Latin America in search of the activist architects, maverick politicians and alternative communities already answering these questions. From Brazil to Venezuela, and from Mexico to Argentina, McGuirk discovers the people and ideas shaping the way cities are evolving.

Ever since the mid twentieth century, when the dream of modernist utopia went to Latin America to die, the continent has been a testing ground for exciting new conceptions of the city. An architect in Chile has designed a form of social housing where only half of the house is built, allowing the owners to adapt the rest; Medellín, formerly the world’s murder capital, has been transformed with innovative public architecture; squatters in Caracas have taken over the forty-five-storey Torre David skyscraper; and Rio is on a mission to incorporate its favelas into the rest of the city.

Here, in the most urbanised continent on the planet, extreme cities have bred extreme conditions, from vast housing estates to sprawling slums. But after decades of social and political failure, a new generation has revitalised architecture and urban design in order to address persistent poverty and inequality. Together, these activists, pragmatists and social idealists are performing bold experiments that the rest of the world may learn from.

Radical Cities is a colorful journey through Latin America—a crucible of architectural and urban innovation.

Text and Image via VERSO Books

Book-Text-Read-Zines · Human-ities · Philosophy

On Cruelty | Judith Butler

‘Whence comes this bizarre, bizarre idea,’ Jacques Derrida asks, reading Nietzsche on debt in On the Genealogy of Morals, ‘this ancient, archaic (uralte) idea, this so very deeply rooted, perhaps indestructible idea, of a possible equivalence between injury and pain (Schaden und Schmerz)? Whence comes this strange hypothesis or presumption of an equivalence between two such incommensurable things? What can a wrong and a suffering have in common?’ By way of an answer, he points out that ‘the origin of the legal subject, and notably of penal law, is commercial law; it is the law of commerce, debt, the market, the exchange between things, bodies and monetary signs, with their general equivalent and their surplus value, their interest.’

In the first volume of The Death Penalty, Derrida considers the jus talionis, the principle of equivalence according to which a relation is set up ‘between the crime and the punishment, between the injury and the price to be paid’. Debt, in On the Genealogy of Morals, gives Nietzsche a way of understanding how ‘the “consciousness of guilt”, “bad conscience”’ came into the world. Earlier he laments ‘that whole sombre thing called reflection’, in which the self becomes its own object of relentless scrutiny and self-punishment. If one wants to keep a promise, one must burn memory into the will, submit to – or submit oneself to – a reign of terror in the name of morality, administer pain to oneself in order to ensure one’s continuity and calculability through time. If I am to be moral and keep my promises, I will remember what I promised and remain the same ‘I’ who first uttered that promise, resisting any circumstances that might alter its continuity through time, never dozing when wakefulness is needed. The promise takes on another meaning in Nietzsche when what I have promised is precisely to repay a debt, a promise by which I enter into, and become bound by, a certain kind of contract. What I have apparently burned into the will, or had burned there, is a promise to remember and repay that debt, to realise the promise within a calculable period of time, and so to become a calculable creature. I can be counted on to count the time and count up the money to make the repayment: that accountability is the promise. I can count on myself, and others can count on me. If I prove capable of making a contract, I can receive a loan and be relied on to pay it back with interest, so that the lender can accumulate wealth from my debt in a predictable way. And if I default, the law will intervene to protect his interest in the interest he exacts from me.

Read full text at London Review of Books

Digital Media · Public Space · Technology

What Happens When Digital Cities Are Abandoned? Exploring the pristine ruins of Second Life and other online spaces

I stand at the junction of several dusty, well-traveled roads. Passersby hurry through, chattering and laughing as they make their way from the city looming in the distance to the north, along the paths to the southeast, which branch out as the land grows less dense, winding through lakes and forests.

I haven’t been here in years, but it’s as familiar to me as if I’d been away only a few weeks. There are no familiar faces, and no one recognizes me. By memory, I make my way along the winding road and soon end up in a clearing by a lake. Trees bend over the water, dragging their tendrils across its mirrored surface. Birds chirp contentedly.

This is it; I’m home.

Sort of.

That’s because, in this case, “home” is actually “grove,” as in “a small wood.” It’s a term used in the text-adventure game I am currently playing, a Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) set in a vaguely Tolkien-esque world with touches of Greek mythology. I spent the better part of five years playing this game, all through high school and into college. It’s still running today, and it remains immersive to an astonishing degree, even compared with contemporary games—it has its own social mores, cultural life, history and folklore. Its political systems are complicated and well-developed, and to this day I still use some of the slang terms that were common. And it’s all presented via simple text on a screen.

Read full article at The Atlantic

Sonic/Musical · Wandercasts

Femina Potens 01

Considering that our previous musical mixes have an abundance of male artists, Femina Potens (Latin: Powerful Woman) will be a new series of sonic assemblages celebrating music made only by women. This series will include mainstream artists as well as less popular sonic explorers from different locations and time periods.

We already have a long waiting list, but please give us recommendations or pull our ears.

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Playlist

Starting Time= Artist / Song / Album

00:00:00′ = Wandercast Intro (Delia Derbyshire / AIR (BBC version)/ Enter the Void)
00:01:36′ = Asia Argento / My Stomach Is The Most Violent Of All Of Italy (With The Legendary Tigerman) / Total Entropy
00:05:08′ = Selda / Yaylalar / Selda
00:08:45′ = Julia Holter / Horns Surrounding Me / Loud City Song
00:13:30′ = THEESatisfaction / Queen County (4 Women) (feat. Gift Uh Gab & JusMoni) / And That’s Your Time
00:17:58′ = Suphala / Eight and a Half Birds / Alien Ancestry
00:23:57′ = Tammy / Perro Que Ladra (No Muerde) / Girls In The Garage Vol.11
00:26:11′ = Jill House on trills and non pulmonic airstream (excerpt)1995.
00:26:24′ = Solex / Low Kick And Hard Bop / Low Kick And Hard Bop
00:29:23′ = Tirzah & Micachu / I’m Not Dancing / We Make Colourful Music Because We Dance In The Dark
00:31:12′ = Suzanne Ciani / Princess with Orange Feet / Lixiviation
00:34:28′ = Kyoka / Lined Up / Is (Is Superpowered)
00:38:52′ = Lurdez Da Luz / Ping Pong / Rolê – New Sounds of Brazil
00:42:54′ = Leslie Winer / Flove / &c.
00:48:10′ = Arctic winds (Field recordings – Unknown source)
00:48:52′ = Tagaq / Surge / Sinaa
00:51:40′ = Kuupuu / Kissamuori Krapulassa (excerpt) / Spinning On Air session
00:57:40′ = An excerpt from Judith Butler speaking about turning rage and grief into theory and reflection. (2014) + Colleen / The Cello Song / Mort Aux Vaches

Assembled by Wanderlust

Architectonic · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Human-ities · Philosophy · Public Space · Social/Politics · Technology

A Critique of Everyday Life

Henri Lefebvre’s magnum opus: a monumental exploration of contemporary society.

Critique of Everyday Life Volume One: Introduction. A groundbreaking analysis of the alienating phenomena of daily life under capitalism.

Critique of Everyday Life Volume Two: Foundations for a Sociology of the Everyday. Identifies categories within everyday life, such as the theory of the semantic field and the theory of moments.

Critique of Everyday Life Volume Three: From Modernity to Modernism. Explores the crisis of modernity and the decisive assertion of technological modernism.

Verso Books: Henri Lefebvre’s three-volume Critique of Everyday Life is perhaps the richest, most prescient work by one of the twentieth century’s greatest philosophers. Written at the birth of post-war consumerism, the Critique was a philosophical inspiration for the 1968 student revolution in France and is considered to be the founding text of all that we know as cultural studies, as well as a major influence on the fields of contemporary philosophy, geography, sociology, architecture, political theory and urbanism. A work of enormous range and subtlety, Lefebvre takes as his starting-point and guide the “trivial” details of quotidian experience: an experience colonized by the commodity, shadowed by inauthenticity, yet one which remains the only source of resistance and change.

This is an enduringly radical text, untimely today only in its intransigence and optimism.

Text and Images via Verso Books

Digital Media · Public Space · Technology · Videos · Vital-Edible-Health

Digioxide: A Pollution Sensor that Converts the Results into Digital Art

This project aims to raise public awareness of the environmental pollution by artistic means. Digioxide is a portable wireless device equipped with sensors of air pollution gases and dust particles that is connected to computer via bluetooth. This allows a person with digioxide to freely move around a city, seek out ecologically problematic places and turn their data into digital artworks.

More info via vtol

Paint/Illust./Mix-Media · Photographics

Symbiosis by Rik Garrett

Rick Garrett

Animalia · Bio · Performativity

Dogs Smell Time

Can you smell time? Your dog can.

On a very basic level, so can you: When you crack the lid on that old quart of milk, tentatively sniff and—peeyouu!—promptly dump that foul stuff down the sink, you are, in effect, smelling time. Specifically, you can smell that far too much time has elapsed since that milk was fresh.

But a dog can smell time with a sophistication that puts our simple sniffers to shame. “Odors exist in time, and dogs perceive that,” explains cognitive scientist and canine researcher Alexandra Horowitz of Columbia University. “Dogs use smell to ‘tell time,’ in some sense, because a more recently laid odor smells stronger, and an older odor smells weaker.”

A dog’s nose is a notoriously sensitive piece of equipment. With up to 300 million olfactory receptors compared to our lousy 5 million, a dog can detect a single teaspoon of sugar dissolved into a million gallons of water, the equivalent of two Olympic-sized swimming pools. Unlike us, dogs are able to take in scent continuously, even as they exhale. What’s more, a dog’s nostrils are smaller than the distance between them, effectively giving dogs “stereo” sniffing power that carries subtle grades of information, including directionality.

Read full article at Strange Attractor

Sonic/Musical · Wandercasts

Music for Creative Reading 03

Keep Reading Keep Reading Keep Reading Keep Reading

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Playlist

Starting Time= Artist / Song / Album

00:00:00′ = Wandercast Intro
00:00:18′ = Roedelius Schneider / Hohner Omen / Tiden
00:02:36′ = Jon Brooks / Neap Tide / Shapwick
00:05:10′ = Seaworthy and Taylor Deupree / February 22, 2013 / Wood, Winter, Hollow
00:06:32′ = Sawako / Nemumel / nu.it
00:08:08′ = Sustainer / Diámetro / Escala No Uniforme
00:13:52′ = The The / Between Moons / Tee Sessions EP
00:15:34′ = Hans Appelqvist / Sperma / Sjunga slutet nu
00:17:56′ = Masayoshi Fujita / Snow Storm / Stories
00:24:08′ = Rod Hamilton / Agnes / Teal
00:26:54′ = Ben Lukas Boysen / You’ll Miss Us One Day / Gravity
00:29:30′ = Fax / Gravity / The New Rage
00:33:52′ = Eden Ahbez / Myna Bird / Eden’s Island
00:36:08′ = Scissors And Sellotape / For The Tired And Ill At Ease 07 / For The Tired And Ill At Ease
00:39:36′ = Tiago Benzinho / Portrait of an American High School / Roses of Time I
00:42:52′ = Modiac / Bimbase / Internes Gespräch
00:48:56′ = Mouse On Mars / Mood Leck Backlash / Glam
00:52:33′ = Mammane Sani et son Orgue / Lidda / La Musique Electronique du Niger
00:57:56′ = Kuupuu / Susipoika Siniset / Lumen Tädhen
00:62:04′ = Deep Magic / Alone In Her Cave / Reflections Of Most Forgotten Love
00:66:48′ = Gold Panda / S950 / Half Of Where You Live
00:68:32′ = Tba / Trepa N / Clicks & Cuts 4
00:70:28′ = Julien Mier / Little Footsteps / Have Courage Funny Thing
00:74:38′ = P.lewis / wine and roses waltz / Music of the Victorian & Edwardian Era Vol. 2
00:77:37′ = Derek Gripper / Kaounding Cissoko / One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali
00:81:52′ = Harold Budd / Jane 6 / Jane 1-11
00:86:08′ = Uncle Skeleton / Place Pigalle / All Too Human
00:88:08′ = Molly Roth / Plant Talk / Plant Talk Productions
00:88:26′ = Mary Lattimore / Poor Daniel / Withdrawing Room
00:90:53′ = Extro Wanderlust

Assembled by Wanderlust

Image above: Illustration by Kirstie Belle

Paint/Illust./Mix-Media · Public Space

Sam Songalio

Loving Sam Songalio

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Human-ities · Science

Avoiding “Sagan Syndrome.” Why Astronomers and Journalists should pay heed to Biologists about ET.

A new paper using data from NASA’s Kepler telescope came out recently, estimating that 22% of Sun-like stars harbor Earth-sized planets. This is a big increase over previous estimates. It’s very cool work. Love it. But the news spin was predictable:

New York Times: The known odds of something — or someone — living far, far away from Earth improved beyond astronomers’ boldest dreams on Monday.

USA Today: We are not alone.

You get the idea. Aliens under every rock. The existence of extraterrestrial intelligence (henceforth ETIs, or just ETs) is normally discussed in the context of the Fermi Paradox, which Wikipedia describes as “the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization and humanity’s lack of contact with, or evidence for, such civilizations.” Now I’m a strong advocate for there being no ETs in our galaxy, as explained in this recent post. In fact I’ve gotten so tired of hearing about ETs I’ve started thinking of it as “Carl Sagan Syndrome.” Name checking the deservedly well regarded astronomer and advocate for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). With this latest news cycle I got to wondering. Why so much Sagan Syndrome? What am I missing?

Read full article by Nathan Taylor at Praxtime.

Human-ities

A history of laughter – from Cicero to The Simpsons

One of Enoch Powell’s most famous quips was prompted by an encounter with the resident House of Commons barber: a notoriously chatty character, who enjoyed treating captive clients to his views on politics and the state of the world. When Powell went in for a trim, the barber asked the standard question: “How should I cut your hair, Sir?” “In silence,” was Powell’s instant riposte.

Even Powell’s political enemies have usually admitted, a bit grudgingly, that this was a rather good joke. But what they haven’t realised is that it has a history going back more than 2,000 years. Almost exactly the same gag features in a surviving Roman joke book: the Philogelos (or Laughter Lover), a collection of wisecracks probably compiled in the fourth or fifth century AD. As with most such collections, some of the jokes included were already decidedly old by the time they were anthologised. In fact, we can trace the “chatty barber” gag back to Archelaus, a fifth-century BC king of Macedon. The “how should I cut your hair?” question was standard even then. And Archelaus is supposed to have replied to his own garrulous barber, “In silence.”

Presumably part of the fun for Powell (who was a better classicist than politician) was that he knew exactly how ancient the joke was. Whereas others admired what they believed to be his spontaneous quip, he must have been taking pleasure in the secret knowledge that he was merely repeating the age-old gag of an ancient Macedonian king, and one that may already have been prompting more groans than giggles when it was featured in the Roman Philogelos.

Read full article at The Guardian

Film/Video/New Media · Human-ities · Philosophy · Videos

Omar Khayyam: The Poet of Uncertainty – Full BBC Culture Documentary

Sonic/Musical · Wandercasts

Around the World in a Few Beats

It is not quite the entire world but here we go.

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Playlist

Starting Time= Artist / Song / Album

00:00:00′ = Wandercast Intro
00:00:10′ = Charles Wilp / Pink Carpet / Charles Wilp Fotografiert Bunny (Germany)
00:02:00′ = SPYE / Oops Sorry / Oops Sorry (UK)
00:05:37′ = Richi & Viņa / Tin Tin Tin / Karaļūdens (Latvia)
00:07:14′ = Biga / Lanciorime / La Sete (Italy)
00:10:10′ = Kern Koppen / 1+1=ÉÉN / Één (Nederlands)
00:13:03′ = JZA / Result / MeJicanSoulTape Part III (Mexico?)
00:13:54′ = Minizza / La Voyage Immobile / Mind The Gap 105 (France)
00:17:10′ = The Neil Cowley Trio / Winterlude / Touch and Flee (UK)
00:19:01′ = Maga Bo / Rapinbolada (Feat. Gaspar) / Rolê (Brazil)
00:22:33′ = Tinariwen / Tiliaden Osamnat / Tassili (Mali)
00:25:42′ = Cosmic Analog Ensemble / Station V / “Subway to the Minaret” (Lebanon)
00:27:38′ = Excerpt from Invisible Invaders (1959) (USA)
00:28:13′ = Jonwayne / Black Magic / Rap Album One (USA)
00:31:12′ = Extro Wanderlust

Assembled by Wanderlust

Book-Text-Read-Zines · Paint/Illust./Mix-Media

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration, by academic medical historian Dr. Richard Barnett.

Publisher Thames and Hudson writes: The Sick Rose is a visual tour through the golden age of medical illustration. The nineteenth century experienced an explosion of epidemics such as cholera and diphtheria, driven by industrialization, urbanization and poor hygiene. In this pre-color-photography era, accurate images were relied upon to teach students and aid diagnosis. The best examples, featured here, are remarkable pieces of art that attempted to elucidate the mysteries of the body, and the successive onset of each affliction. Bizarre and captivating images, including close-up details and revealing cross-sections, make all too clear the fascinations of both doctors and artists of the time. Barnett illuminates the fears and obsessions of a society gripped by disease, yet slowly coming to understand and combat it. The age also saw the acceptance of vaccination and the germ theory, and notable diagrams that transformed public health, such as John Snow’s cholera map and Florence Nightingale’s pioneering histograms, are included and explained. Organized by disease, The Sick Rose ranges from little-known ailments now all but forgotten to the epidemics that shaped the modern age.

Images via The Guardian

Bio · Design · Technology

The Olfactory Future: Share the Smell of a Delicious Meal or a Hideous Flatulence Remotely and in Real-Time

Could you send olfactory messages in the future? Could you capture the scent of a delicious meal or something unpleasant and share it? Probably soon but for now, we are beginning to hear (or smell) about devices able to diffuse over 300,000 unique aromas. Among some of these devices entering the market and our consciousness, there are the apparently real, like the oPhone; and the hoaxy, like the Google Nose. Designer Lloyd Alberts has created an speculative product based on the Google Nose. It is called the Sniffer and it is featured in Next Nature.

“There is a landfill somewhere filled with all the products that have miserably failed in their quest to deliver a high quality aromatic communication experience (Smell-O-Vision, Odorama, iSmell, etc).” Lets take a smell at the Ophone. Developed by the inventor and Harvard professor David Edwards and his ex-student developer Rachel Field. According to their Indiegogo writeup:

What is the oPhone?

The oPhone is a revolutionary device that, in combination with our free iPhone app “oSnap”, allows you to send and receive electronic aroma messages. Think of it as a kind of telephone for aromas. With the oPhone, you can now bring complex scent texting into your mobile messaging life, and share sensory experience with anyone, anywhere.

How it Works

The oPhone DUO is able to diffuse over 300,000 unique aromas thanks to the small, inexpensive circular cartridges we call oChips, that fit inside the device. The oPhone DUO works with 8 oChips and each oChip contains 4 aromas – so the oPhone DUO works with 32 primitive aromas. They last for hundreds of uses, sort of like link cartridges, but for aroma. You can swap them in and out and capture any scent for which we have designed an oChip. And while we are starting with oChip families (what we call “aromatic vocabularies”) around specific foodie and coffee experiences, we will soon be diversifying these in exciting ways.

Using oSnap with oPhone is like using an aroma palette with a paintbrush and canvas. You will want to try your hand at it, or as we say, “aroma doodle”. And with the oPhone, you’ll quickly get the hang of how it all works.

Find the oPhone.
www.onotes.com

Paint/Illust./Mix-Media · Public Space

Behold Broken Fingaz

=

Israeli street artist crew, Broken Fingaz. Love them.

Performativity · Technology · Videos

How Your Great-Grandchildren Could Talk to You Decades after Your Death

Humans have sought immortality since at least the 22nd century B.C., if the ancient story “Epic of Gilgamesh” is any indication. And if we’re looking for biological immortality, we might have to keep looking. But if you don’t mind living a virtual life, immortality might be yours for the taking.

Our new digital lives have opened up countless ways for us to express thoughts and share ideas, particularly on social media. While you’re busy posting your latest selfie, something much more meaningful is happening. With each photo you take or message you write, technology is slowly capturing digital artifacts of your life. Artifacts that someday not too far from now might be reassembled into your virtual avatar.

Instead of flipping through photo albums, imagine if your great-grandchildren walk over to the latest voice-controlled computer of their day and say, “I want to talk to grandma.” In just seconds, a “virtual you” is projected into the room ready for a quick conversation. Your thoughts, stories, favorite phrases and even mannerisms are all correct. Sounds far-fetched, but not as much as you might think.

In fact, there are several companies who promise to collect your digital content and create a virtual you, including Eterni.me, LifeNaut and LIVESON.

Read full article by HuffPost HERE

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Photographics · Public Space

The Strange and Surreal Beauty of Show Caves Around the World

austinirving

Human beings have been drawn to caves for hundreds of thousands of years, using them as shelters, burial sites, and places of worship since the beginning of mankind. Nowadays, many of these geological formations have been turned into “show caves”—natural caves managed by government or commercial organizations that have been modified to accommodate tourism. Los Angeles-based photographer Austin Irving has been documenting such caverns for years in her series Show Caves, traveling all over the United States and Southeast Asia to photograph these natural wonders turned into tourist attractions.

Irving’s images show the obvious evidence of human intervention in these underground spaces. Using a large-format camera, the photographer captures the grotesque beauty of show caves, depicting manmade additions like artificial lighting, gift stands, concrete paths, and steel doors standing in stark contrast with the natural rocks, craggy overhangs, and darkness of the caverns.

“What excites me about this subject matter is the fact that these natural spaces have been curated to cater to the physical needs of sightseers as well as our collective idea of what a cave should look like,” Irving says. Commenting on the tension between nature and clearly manmade utilitarian modifications like elevators and doors, she adds, “I’m just really drawn to this contrast between nature and what we have done to make it accessible for a money giving public.”

Text and Images via My Modern Met

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Photographics

Daily Overwiew

Daily Overview is a project that shares one satellite photo from Digital Globes a day in an attempt to change the way we see our planet Earth.

The project was inspired by the Overview Effect, which first described by author Frank White in 1987 as an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of Earth and mankind’s place upon it. They’re having a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

Human-ities · Social/Politics

Why Did Borges Hate Soccer?

“Soccer is popular,” Jorge Luis Borges observed, “because stupidity is popular.”

At first glance, the Argentine writer’s animus toward “the beautiful game” seems to reflect the attitude of today’s typical soccer hater, whose lazy gibes have almost become a refrain by now: Soccer is boring. There are too many tie scores. I can’t stand the fake injuries.

And it’s true: Borges did call soccer “aesthetically ugly.” He did say, “Soccer is one of England’s biggest crimes.” And apparently, he even scheduled one of his lectures so that it would intentionally conflict with Argentina’s first game of the 1978 World Cup. But Borges’ distaste for the sport stemmed from something far more troubling than aesthetics. His problem was with soccer fan culture, which he linked to the kind of blind popular support that propped up the leaders of the twentieth century’s most horrifying political movements. In his lifetime, he saw elements of fascism, Peronism, and even anti-Semitism emerge in the Argentinean political sphere, so his intense suspicion of popular political movements and mass culture—the apogee of which, in Argentina, is soccer—makes a lot of sense. (“There is an idea of supremacy, of power, [in soccer] that seems horrible to me,” he once wrote.) Borges opposed dogmatism in any shape or form, so he was naturally suspicious of his countrymen’s unqualified devotion to any doctrine or religion—even to their dear albiceleste.

Read full article at the New Republic

Book-Text-Read-Zines · Social/Politics

Class in America: The Fault Lines

From “trailer trash” to “the one percent,” the language of class tends to evoke divisions both stark and simplistic. It’s easy to discern the outward differences between a single mother living in squalor and a socialite in her Park Avenue penthouse. But the lived experience of class takes place on far more fractured terrain. The way we understand our own class—and determine the class of others—is as much about yesterday’s legacy as today’s money, as much about perception as reality.

In this special issue of Guernica, the second of four made possible through your generous support to our Kickstarter campaign, we offer stories beyond the sleeping beast that is the Occupy Movement. As with our previous theme issues, we hope to start conversations, not end them, exploring how class lives in our minds and manifests in imperceptible and unexpected ways. Class lines are fault lines: politically fraught and personally subjective, actual and imagined.

In this issue:

Features:

Margo Jefferson: Scenes From a Life in Negroland

Luis Alberto Urrea: Ghosts in the Land of Plenty

Rachel Riederer: The Teaching Class

Ann Neumann: How the Other Half Dies

Jessica Pishko: The Price of Freedom

Lauren Quinn: Which Side Are You On, Girl?

Interviews:

Servings of Small Change: Meara Sharma interviews Jane Black and Brent Cunningham

Going Through Customs: Hillary Brenhouse interviews Cristina Ibarra

Talking Clean and Acting Dirty: Katherine Rowland interviews Robert Bullard

Art:

Alex Zafiris: Sight Lines

Fiction:

Tracy O’Neill: Who Can Shave Thirteen Times a Day

Tracey Rose Peyton: More Than This

Poetry:

Abigail Carl-Klassen: Temporary People

Tommy Pico: Thems

Via Guernica. Read this Special Issue HERE

Sonic/Musical · Wandercasts

Eclectic Selection 10

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Playlist

Starting Time= Artist / Song / Album

00:00:00′ = Wandercast Intro
00:00:17′ = Meridian Brothers / Niebla Morada (Purple Haze) / Niebla Morada (Purple Haze)
00:03:30′ = Wu-Tang Clan / Heaterz (Feat. Cappadonna): excerpt / Wu-Tang Forever + Ikue Mori & Maja S.K. Ratkje / Sand Castle / Scrumptious Sabotage
00:04:46′ = Osunlade / What Gets You High? / Dionne
00:08:12′ = Omar Souleyman / Arabic Dabke / Highway To Hassake – Folk And Pop Sounds Of Syria
00:09:52′ = To Rococo Rot / Untitled 01 / Kölner Brett (edited)
00:11:22′ = Acid Pauli / The Gap On The Grip / Trust
00:14:56′ = Infinite Third / (residu) / (eardrops2)
00:16:32′ = Red Axes / Only A Clown Can Catch An Axe / Ballad Of The Ice
00:22:15′ = Gobby / Message from John / Wakng Thrst For Seeping Banhee
00:22:53′ = Arai Toshiya / Sabre Dance (sabres of boss mix ) / Kawaii Vol.8
00:26:07′ = Dieter Zimmermann / Whole Lotta Love / The In-Kraut, Vol. 3
00:29:51′ = Klaus Johann Grobe / Kothek / Im Sinne Der Zeit
00:33:16′ = Claudette et Ti Pierre / Zanmi Camarade (Tropical Treats Edit) / Haiti Direct EP
00:39:46′ = Mandré / Isle De Joie / Island Music
00:43:16′ = Cliché / Helicon / La Souterraine Vol.2
00:47:20′ = Lone / Airglow Fires / Reality Testing
00:52:39′ = Bewilderbeast / Severed / Unreal Estate
00:58:40′ = Kris Bowers / Rigamortis (Kendrick Lamar Cover) / Camaleón EP
00:63:26′ = Turning Torso / Mosco / Nightfly Vol. 3
00:64:26′ = Hiroki Sasajima / Invisible sculpture / Circle Winds
00:66:45′ = Jungle Hell (excerpt 1956)
00:67:06′ = Seftel / Architects / Seftel

Assembled by Wanderlust

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Public Space · Science · Vital-Edible-Health

How Much is the Earth Worth? Putting a Price Tag on Nature’s Defenses

A group led by Dr. Robert Costanza has calculated the value of the world’s ecosystems…the group’s most recent estimate puts the yearly value at $142.7 trillion.

“I think this is a very important piece of science,” said Douglas J. McCauley of the University of California, Santa Barbara. That’s particularly high praise coming from Dr. McCauley, who has been a scathing critic of Dr. Costanza’s attempt to put price tags on ecosystem services.

“This paper reads to me like an annual financial report for Planet Earth,” Dr. McCauley said. “We learn whether the dollar value of Earth’s major assets have gone up or down.”

The group last calculated this value back in 1997 and it rose sharply over the past 17 years, even as those natural habitats are disappearing. Dr. Costanza and his colleagues estimate that the world’s reefs shrank from 240,000 square miles in 1997 to 108,000 in 2011.

:(

Read Full Article at the NYTimes

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Photographics

In Search of Diamonds

The Mirny diamond mine (aka Mirna, Mir, or “Peace”) is one of the oldest diamond mine in Russia, located in Mirna City, just below the Arctic circle in the Sakha Republic of Eastern Siberia in northeastern Russia. The Mirna mine is built over the Malaya Botuobiya kimberlite field. The mine is located in permafrost which extends to a depth of 1600 feet, and temperatures inside the Mirna mine range from -50F to -70F.

The Mirna Diamond Mine is the deepest open pit diamond mine in the world, and one of the deepest open pit ore mines in the world, at nearly 2,000 feet. At that depth, it takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours for an ore truck to drive from the bottom of the mine to the upper rim. The first discovery of kimberlite in the Sakha region occurred in 1954, and the Mir kimberlite field was discovered in 1955. Opened in 1957, the Mirna mine has ceased operation since its exhaustion. While in operation the mine had an averaged yield of 2 million carats annually.

More Images via Livejournal
More Info via Wiki

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Science

Hidden Ocean Locked Up Deep in Earth’s Mantle

Deep within the Earth’s rocky mantle lies oceans’ worth of water locked up in a type of mineral called ringwoodite, new research shows.

The results of the study will help scientists understand Earth’s water cycle, and how plate tectonics moves water between the surface of the planet and interior reservoirs, researchers say.

The Earth’s mantle is the hot, rocky layer between the planet’s core and crust. Scientists have long suspected that the mantle’s so-called transition zone, which sits between the upper and lower mantle layers 255 to 410 miles (410 to 660 kilometers) below Earth’s surface, could contain water trapped in rare minerals. However, direct evidence for this water has been lacking, until now.

To see if the transition zone really is a deep reservoir for water, researchers conducted experiments on water-rich ringwoodite, analyzed seismic waves travelling through the mantle beneath the United States, and studied numerical models. They discovered that downward-flowing mantle material is melting as it crosses the boundary between the transition zone and the lower mantle layer.

“If we are seeing this melting, then there has to be this water in the transition zone,” said Brandon Schmandt, a seismologist at the University of New Mexico and co-author of the new study published today (June 12) in the journal Science. “The transition zone can hold a lot of water, and could potentially have the same amount of H2O [water] as all the world’s oceans.” (Melting is a way of getting rid of water, which is unstable under conditions in Earth’s lower mantle, the researchers said.)

Excerpt. Read full article at LiveScience

There’s a Huge Underground Ocean That Could Explain the Origin of Seas

The Inner Earth & Realm of Aghartha

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