Archive for April, 2007

Dr. Hawking Hovers Closer to Space Travel Goal


Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, paralyzed by Lou Gehrig’s disease, floats during a zero-gravity flight; an apple, a tribute to Isaac Newton, drifts along with him. (By Steve Boxall)

Stephen Hawking is one of the coolest guys on Earth— for now. He’s crippled by Lou Gehrig’s disease, he’s 65 years old, and he says we’re all f*#&ed unless we get off the planet. Says Hawking:

Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers… I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space.

Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic hope to make that dream a reality for Mr. Hawking in 2009.

Portals R Us

Doom meets Escher via Looney Tunes.

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Elvis May Be Dead But He’s Still Prettier Than Celine

I remember the scene in Forest Gump where Forest meets the President of the USA. He shakes hands, moves around the room and has his picture taken. It was probably one of the most technically difficult shots in the film. American Idol have done that, live, in 3D, in front of an audience, BETTER. I looked at this film twice and I’m still very impressed. It’s a tech masterpiece.
Now that’s entertainment.

 Thanks to Robyn for this awesome find. 

David Byrne Radio – Vox Humana

David Byrne

This month’s David Byrne Radio play list is nearly at an end. But not ended yet and it’s damn interesting. He writes a little essay on the theme for the month as well:

Vox Humana

This is the Latin phrase for the human voice, for a stop on pipe organs and is [I believe] the title of a play by Cocteau that features a distraught woman talking to her lover on a telephone. I’ve recently stumbled on a bunch of wonderful recent recordings that feature spoken word or the human voice manipulated in various ways — it almost makes me think this might be a time when this vague genre might be flourishing. Really exciting and sometimes funny stuff. Not quite singing, most of the time, but definitely musical.

Your ears will thank you and your friends will be impressed by your knowledge of this odd musical genre. My problem is where to get most of the stuff on this play list . Who stocks Casino Lost by Philip Bimstein? (eMusic seem to have some of it.)

Go here, hit play, copy the playlist.

ps. David Byrne is definitely worth checking out. As a musician and as a thinker.

About Kurt Vonnegut, The People and Our Planet!

This Peep Can Keepon Dancing

Read more about Keepon the dancing robot on the Engadget blog.

The Ad Generator Is Here. Fear Not.

Advertising is dead. Long live advertising.

The ad generator is a generative artwork that explores how advertising uses and manipulates language. Words and semantic structures from real corporate slogans are remixed and randomized to generate invented slogans. These slogans are then paired with related images from Flickr, thereby generating fake advertisements on the fly. By remixing corporate slogans, I intend to show how the language of advertising is both deeply meaningful, in that it represents real cultural values and desires, and yet utterly meaningless in that these ideas have no relationship to the products being sold. In using the Flickr images, the piece explores the relationship between language and image, and how meaning is constructed by the juxtaposition of the two.

The ad generator was created by Alexis Lloyd as a component of an MFA thesis project in the Design and Technology department at Parsons The New School for Design.

Here are 4 ads I made in about 4 seconds. The ads become hypnotic after a while, and you begin to feel giddy and lightheaded. I had to turn it off after about 85 minutes…


1000 Words: A [Reluctant?] Manifesto for Sustainability in Design

1000 Words
Allan Chochinov
of Core77 writes:

I don’t like the word manifesto. It reeks of dogma and rules—two things I instinctually reject. I do love the way it puts things on the line, but I don’t like lines, or groups. So a manifesto probably isn’t for me. The other thing about manifestos is that they appear (or are written so as to appear) self-evident. This kind of a priori writing is easy, since you simply lay out what seems obviously—even tautologically—true. Of course, this is the danger of manifestos, but also what makes them fun to read. And fun to write. So I’ll write this manifesto. I just might not sign it.

In exactly 1000 words, Allan makes the following observations:

  • Hippocratic Before Socratic
  • Stop Making Crap
  • Systems Before Artifacts
  • Teach Sustainability Early
  • Screws Better Than Glues
  • Design for Impermanence
  • Balance Before Talents
  • Metrics Before Magic
  • Climates Before Primates
  • Context Before Absolutely Everything

Here’s one more quote:

…designers are feeding and feeding this cycle, helping to turn everyone and everything into either a consumer or a consumable. And when you think about, this is kind of grotesque. “Consumer” isn’t a dirty word exactly, but it probably oughta be.

Read the entire post for the 1000 details.

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