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.
Solar impulse is a single-person aircraft that depends entirely upon solar energy for power. It employs no fossil fuel power once it is up in the air. As a result, the aircraft is a platform for technological innovation: structurally, it marks the first time mass-produceable carbon fiber composites are being used, along with ultra-light thin ply technology. The high-efficiency (22.7%) solar cells are the thickness of a human hair, and the LED landing lights were designed with the assistance of Swiss watchmaker Omega. “Intelligent fibers” stabilize the pilot’s body temperature, and personalized diets have been developed by Nestlé Health Science to ensure pilot nutrition. In fact, the list of innovations seems endless, and underscores the technical complexity of creating, constructing and flying an aircraft with “the wingspan of a jumbo jet (63.4 m/ ~208 ft), the weight of a car (1600 kg/ ~3527 lbs.) and the average power of a scooter over 24 hours.” Just a few weeks ago, in fact, a Brazilian aviation official told me of how he and his colleagues were monitoring the Solar Impulse experience, confident that there were glimpses into the future of flying to be gained by studying the lessons of this venture. Text and Image via FORBES. Continue THERE
32 year-old Dmitry Itskov believes technology will allow him to live forever in a hologram body. His ‘2045 initiative’ is described as the next step in evolution, and over 20,000 people have signed up on Facebook to follow its progress, with global conferences planned to explore the technology needed.
‘We are in the process of creating focus groups of experts,’ said Itskov. ‘Along with these teams, we will prepare goal statements and research programs schedules.’ The foundation has already planned out its timeline for getting to a fully holographic human, and claims it will be ready to upload a mind into a computer by 2015, a timeline even Itskov says is ‘optimistic’.
‘The four tracks and their suggested deadlines are optimistic but feasible,’ he said of the foundation’s site.
‘This is our program for the next 35 years, and we will do our best to complete it.’
The ultimate aim is for a hologram body.
‘The fourth development track seems the most futuristic one,’ said Itskov.
‘It’s intent is to create a holographic body. Indeed, its creation is going to be the most complicated task, but at the same time could be the most thrilling problem in the whole of human evolution.’
Thanks to new observation technologies, powerful software, and statistical methods, the mechanics of collectives are being revealed. Indeed, enough physicists, biologists, and engineers have gotten involved that the science itself seems to be hitting a density-dependent shift. Without obvious leaders or an overarching plan, this collective of the collective-obsessed is finding that the rules that produce majestic cohesion out of local jostling turn up in everything from neurons to human beings. Behavior that seems impossibly complex can have disarmingly simple foundations. And the rules may explain everything from how cancer spreads to how the brain works and how armadas of robot-driven cars might someday navigate highways. The way individuals work together may actually be more important than the way they work alone.
Excerpt from an article written by Ed Yong at WIRED. Continue THERE
“The future of” is a participatory book project initiated by Crap is good which tries to provide an insight into the future role of architecture. Realizing the problematic nature of the simple question ‘What is the future of Architecture?’ we feel it is still somehow relevant in describing the architectural practice of today.
Every architectural attempt starts by making a representation of an imaginative situation or design, which will happen, or could happen in the future. In many cases an architectural design remains a future plan, and in times of economical and political crisis, the question of what comes next, gains relevance. So, while architects shape the future, this book is concerning about the future of architecture.
In our era of instant gratification, the world of medicine seems like an outlier. The path from a promising discovery to an effective treatment often takes a decade or more.
But from that process—of fits and starts, progress and setbacks and finally more progress—grow the insights and advances that change the course of medicine.
A decade ago, the completion of the Human Genome Project sparked optimism that cures for debilitating diseases were just around the corner. Cures still generally elude us, but now the ability to map human DNA cheaply and quickly is yielding a torrent of data about the genetic drivers of disease—and a steady stream of patients who are benefiting from the knowledge. On other fronts, technology is putting more power in the hands of patients, and researchers are learning to combat disorders by harnessing the body’s own ability to heal and grow.
Excerpt from an article by Ron Winslow at the Wall Street Journal. Continue HERE
Under Tomorrows Sky is a fictional, future city. Speculative architect Liam Young of the London based Tomorrows Thoughts Today has assembled a think tank of scientists, technologists, futurists, illustrators, science fiction authors and special effects artists to collectively develop this imaginary place, the landscapes that surround it and the stories it contains.
In online and live discussions held during the past months the think tank came together to design this future city and discuss the possibilities of emerging biologies and technologies. This time there are no dystopian visions of the future, we’ve seen enough of those. Under Tomorrows Sky imagines a post-capitalist urbanity full of optimism and joy, full of life and aspiration.
It is a city of extraordinary technology but at first glance appears indistinguishable from nature. It is an artificial reef that grows and decays and grows again as the city becomes a cyclic ecosystem. A city as a geological formation of caves and grottos covered by a thick layer of soil and slime, a biological soup of human and non-human inhabitants. The city and us are one, a symbiotic life form. The city grows and we grow with it. Together we form a giant complex organism of which ecology and technology are inseparable parts.
At this moment the phase of creation has begun. An intricately detailed miniature model of this future city will rise under tomorrows sky and come into being at MU in the upcoming weeks. Between August 10 and October 28 all involved with the creation of the model will develop a collection of fictions based in the city. The model will be the backdrop for animated films and a stage set for a collection of stories and illustrations. The audience will also be invited to contribute their own narratives to the city through a series of workshops. Under Tomorrows Sky will be the starting point of a new ecological urban vision. The city of the future is not of a fixed time or place but it will emerge through the help of many.
Smart Urban Stage is a global online project dealing with the future of the city. We ask pioneers from metropolises around the world to question the urban status quo. The results are visions, ideas and solutions for sustainable lifestyles, modern social systems and forward-looking developments in the fields of architecture, design and technology. The worldwide event series ’smart urban stage’ is exhibiting ideas and solutions of forward thinking future makers.
“Very few people are being promoted into the humble, hard-working positions which make Wikipedia work.”
– Robinson Meyer via The Atlantic
Earlier this month Wikipedia held its annual summit in Washington, DC. Afterwards, The Atlantic summarized the event in an article outlining how Wikipedia is slowly running out of admins to edit the site’s content. A trend is emerging. Fewer people are applying, and the current editors are slowly leaving. The long-term future has a flicker of uncertainty. To spark some discussion, I surveyed four artists and writers about the decline. We can all speculate what effects a decline in editor participation will have on Wikipedia as a global knowledge-base, but what are the implications for artists who use it as a tool for research and making work?
Excerpt from an article written by Jason Huff, Rhizome. Continue HERE
The SKOR Codex is a printed book which will be sent to different locations on earth in the year 2012. It contains binary encoded image and sound files selected to portray the diversity of life and culture at the Foundation for Art and Public Domain (SKOR), and is intended for any intelligent terrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find it. The files are protected from bitrot, software decay and hardware failure via a transformation from magnetic transitions on a disk to ink on paper, safe for centuries. Instructions in a symbolic language explain the origin of the book and indicate how the content is to be decoded. La Société Anonyme noted that “the package will be encountered and the book decoded only if there will be advanced civilizations on earth in the far future. But the launching of this ‘bottle’ into the cosmic ‘ocean’ says something very hopeful about art on this planet.” Thus the record is best seen as a time capsule and a statement rather than an attempt to preserve SKOR for future art historians. The SKOR Codex is a project by La Société Anonyme.
Steven M. Johnson (b. 1938) is a former urban planner and future trends analyst from California, who defines himself in terms of Chinese astrology as a tiger “with a tendency to rush forward, defend the weak, and be foolishly brave.” Since the early 1970s, he has been creating scores of alternative products and systems—on paper—that he hopes will benefit “or at least amuse” his fellow consumer-citizens. “His ideas, and his methods for arriving at ideas, are somewhat unique,” he writes in the third person on his website. “He has perhaps benefited from having had little formal instruction in art, nor training in engineering or industrial design. Curious images have filled his mind during weekends and odd free moments.”
Excerpt of an article written by Steven Heller at The Atlantic. Continue HERE
The Center for Book and Paper Arts, a program of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago, recently received a $50,000 Arts in Media grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of a new electronic publishing initiative, Expanded Artists’ Books. This grant will support an award of two $10,000 commissions for new artworks for the iPad. These will have physical counterparts that intersect, modulate, or inform the digital components of the artwork. CALL FOR COMMISSION PROPOSALS – Two $10,000 commissions will be awarded
The equivalent of two Earths will be required to support the world’s population by 2030. That is the stark warning made by the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2012, which was put together in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Global Footprint Network. It warns that the size of the planet’s population and the resulting consumption of environmental resources, such as food and fuel, is unsustainable at current rates. “If we keep on taking more renewable resources than can be replenished, then eventually they will become depleted,” the report stated. “This has already happened locally in some places, for example the collapse of cod stocks in Newfoundland in the 1980s.
Excerpt of an article written by Nicholas Edmondson, IBT. Continue HERE
A lecture by Professor John Mullarkey titled Inventing the Future: On the Future Anterior and Philo-Fictions at Jerwood Visual Arts.
John Mullarkey is Professor of Film and Television Studies at Kingston University, London. He is the author of Bergson and Philosophy (1999), Post-Continental Philosophy: An Outline (2006), Philosophy and the Moving Image: Refractions of Reality (2010) and he edited, with Beth Lord, The Continuum Companion to Continental Philosophy (2009). Mullarkey is also an editor of the journal Film-Philosophy.
Discovery Channel documentary show about curious questions in science, technology, society etc. In each episode different question is being answered or is tried to be answered, featuring different celebrity host.
Physicists demonstrate a scalable quantum network that ought to be adaptable for all manner of long-distance quantum communication.
Quantum technologies are the way of the future, but will that future ever arrive?
Maybe so. Physicists have cleared a bit more of the path to a plausible quantum future by constructing an elementary network for exchanging and storing quantum information. The network features two all-purpose nodes that can send, receive and store quantum information, linked by a fiber-optic cable that carries it from one node to another on a single photon.
The network is only a prototype, but if it can be refined and scaled up, it could form the basis of communication channels for relaying quantum information. A group from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (M.P.Q.) in Garching, Germany, described the advance in the April 12 issue of Nature. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)
Quantum bits, or qubits, are at the heart of quantum information technologies. An ordinary, classical bit in everyday electronics can store one of two values: a 0 or a 1. But thanks to the indeterminacy inherent to quantum mechanics, a qubit can be in a so-called superposition, hovering undecided between 0 and 1, which adds a layer of complexity to the information it carries. Quantum computers would boast capabilities beyond the reach of even the most powerful classical supercomputers, and cryptography protocols based on the exchange of qubits would be more secure than traditional encryption methods.
Excerpt from an article by John Matson at Scientific American. Continue HERE
Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster. So says Australian physicist Graham Turner, who revisited perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s,The Limits to Growth.
Written by MIT researchers for an international think tank, the Club of Rome, the study used computers to model several possible future scenarios. The business-as-usual scenario estimated that if human beings continued to consume more than nature was capable of providing, global economic collapse and precipitous population decline could occur by 2030.
However, the study also noted that unlimited economic growth was possible, if governments forged policies and invested in technologies to regulate the expansion of humanity’s ecological footprint. Prominent economists disagreed with the report’s methodology and conclusions. Yale’s Henry Wallich opposed active intervention, declaring that limiting economic growth too soon would be “consigning billions to permanent poverty.”
Turner compared real-world data from 1970 to 2000 with the business-as-usual scenario. He found the predictions nearly matched the facts. “There is a very clear warning bell being rung here,” he says. “We are not on a sustainable trajectory.”
Most people know Kew Gardens as home of the world’s largest living plant collection but are not aware that it is also the location of an internationally important botanical research and educational institution. Going beyond the gardens as we know them, Lonelyleap produced two films for 2012’s Tropical Extravaganza Festival which showcase the behind the scenes work of Kew’s scientists whilst also exploring two of the festival’s themes, Earth and Air.
The second film in the series looks at the work of the the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership in Surrey, home to 10% of the world’s plant diversity, and how the Seed Conservation Department is helping to save wild plants and habitats for our future.
Randal Koene, Neuroscientist and Neuroengineer, discusses Substrate Independent Minds with Stuart Mason Dambrot on Critical Thought TV. Topics covered include the science, technology and ethics of Whole Brain Emulation, Universal Darwinism, Pattern Survival and a possible very far-future universe.
Ever wish you could cover up an embarrassing event? By getting your hands on a time cloak, you could make it seem like it never happened.
Now, a new animation by Moti Fridman and his team at Cornell University, who have developed a technology that can hide superfast events, demonstrates how such a device would work. It shows how a stealthy ball can sneak by a laser beam thanks to a series of light tricks that mask an event over a specific period of time.
The demo shows how manipulating the laser beam creates an opportune time gap. Laser pulses, shown in red, break the signal beam, denoted in green, into a rainbow of different wavelengths that travel at different speeds. This change creates an opening in the beam where the ball can pass. The effect is then reversed with another pulse of light to make the change undetectable.
So far, the team has used the effect to edit out 15 picoseconds as a light beam passed through filters. However, the technique could be developed for a range of applications, for example to hide data moving through fiber optic cables to prevent eavesdropping.
To find out more about the technology, read our full blog post. If you enjoyed this video, check out how to build a time machine or see why the past and the future are the same.
Hailing from the 1980s, the technology isn’t exactly new, but it has been making inroads lately in both art and engineering, being used to manufacture prosthetic limbs, car parts, furniture, and jewelry. It’s also subject of “Print/3D,” an exhibition of objects at New York’s Material ConneXion that opened this week. “3-D Printing breaks away barriers in design that are challenged by the constraints of standard manufacturing or manual production,” show curator Susan Towers told ARTINFO. While the process still has some definite kinks to be worked out, it’s already being put to revolutionary use.
Excerpt from an article written by Janelle Zara on ArtInfo
What is the future of humanity? What limits should we impose on our biotechnological and other scientific developments – what will happen when we don’t? Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now asks Debra Shaw from the University of East London, Blay Whitby from the University of Sussex, and David Gamez from Imperial College London, for answers. With live music from Bucky Muttel on the Chapman Stick. First broadcast on 14 February 2012 on Resonance FM.
Once Upon a Future is an imaginary fast-forward to a possible Bordeaux in 2030 – the target year by which the city today projects to reach the magic number of one million inhabitants. This work of social fiction, made in the format of a novel and exhibition, starts from the question – how would the future look if citizen’s collective capacity would grow and become Bordeaux’s main driving force? Curated by STEALTH.unlimited and Emil Jurcan, and made in collaboration with architecture center arc en reve, Once Upon a Future features contributions by writer and philosopher Bruce Bégout and a number of graphic and comic artists. It has been produced for the biannual Evento 2011 directed by artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, under the motto “art for an urban re-evolution”.