Peculiar image of the week, by Arnoud van den Heuvel.
Peculiar image of the week, by Arnoud van den Heuvel.
By hooking up a commercially available EEG headset to a Nokia N900 smartphone, Jakob Eg Larsen and colleagues at the Technical University of Denmark in Kongens Lyngby have created a portable system to monitor neural activity of the brain. Wearing the headset and booting up an accompanying app, creates a simplified 3D model of the brain that lights up as brainwaves are detected. The brain-image can be rotated by swiping the screen. Furthermore, the app can connect to a remote server for more intensive data-processing, and then display the results on the cellphone. The system might assist people with conditions such as epilepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and addiction. One small step for science, but a giant leap for health care. Source: newscientist.com
Behold the heroic journey of one of the most illustrious creatures on our planet.
Created by the good people of Healthebay.org.
Principle number four: Humane technology should resonate with the human senses, rather than numbing them.
If you’re an office worker or a video game fanatic, you may spend most of your waking hours staring at a screen, and not tasting, touching, or smelling much of anything. How much more engaging would the constructed environment be if we had squishy computers or scented information? This is the basis of information decoration, which attempts to expand the digital interface beyond the flat screen of a computer or cell phone.
Humane technology recognizes that humans are sensory organisms, made to live in a rich three-dimensional environment. Neurologists have counted between 9 and 20 difference human senses. It’s time we engage more than just the ones required to operate a computer. That blaring 7 AM alarm may be the norm, but it feels better to be awoken by the gradual glow of a sunrise-style lamp or pillow.
Captain Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he’s drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.
Sometimes next nature breaks down and things fall back on an older nature. Luckily, this guy still had a horse around. Peculiar image of the week.
Do you suffer from small health inconveniences and do you like to put salt on your morning egg? Why not combine the two? Medicinal All-Salt provides a low-dosage solution for things like headaches, depression and low libido. You refuse to pay insane amounts for birth control pills? Just season your dinner with the hand-harvested and sun dried salt. Or make it yourself for that matter. Via the site of All-Salt you can find a small guide that will help you to create your own medicinal salt out of the waste-water of your local water treatment plant.
Mushroom based plastics? Designer Eben Bayer must have eaten too much of the wondrous chanterelles perhaps? No seriously, the man is turning his vision into a reality with an utterly–innovative–fungus–grown–plastics–packaging–material.
Welcome in the 21th century folks! Yet we couldn’t help noticing that Eben in his TED talk presents a very traditional, static idea of nature. Amazing that a guy who grows plastics from mushrooms gives a talk so deprived of next nature thinking (rather than seeing nature as static, we should perceive it as a dynamic force that changes along with us).
Hence, we can’t help but wonder what Eben thinks of the bugs that eat plastic – rest a sure, we applaud him nonetheless for his innovative mushroom material.
Chinese designer Daizi Zheng created a conceptual mobile phone for Nokia that could be powered by cola. The idea is the phone could run on a battery that uses enzymes to generate electricity from carbohydrates.
A bio battery is used instead of the traditional battery to create a presumably pollution free environment. Unfortunately the idea bounces back in your face once you calculate the energy required to produce a can of cola. But there is hope, as it won’t require ‘the real thing‘ to charge your phone. It will also charge on sugar water.
Besides the benefit of having a fully biodegradability battery, the notion of having your electronic appliances run on the same energy sources as yourself is stimulating, to say the least.
Nowadays buttons are completely mundane and natural objects in our environment. You find them on phones, alarm clocks, keyboards, elevators, dishwashers and of course on the computer screen. You press buttons countless times throughout your day, but hardly think of them consciously.
The little symbols of control are so omnipresent, it is difficult to imagine that buttons did not always exist. Certainly people in the stone age did not press them – taken that nipples do not count as buttons – but we don’t know exactly when we started pushing buttons and who invented them.
Apparently buttons were unknown until the early 20th Century, with the possible exception of valves on wind instruments. When small controls were needed, for example on camera shutters, they were usually styled after latches or triggers.
Recent RCA graduate Nitipak Samsen, took it upon himself to re-investigate and re-design the concept of the button altogether, moving from the button as a symbol of control, an extension of the human desire to harness the planet, to inter-control.
Haroon Baig from Germany has figured out a way to key up the amount of 50+ Twitter addicts.
This progressive nostalgic cuckoo device displays new tweets from any twitter stream or search on the built-in display, “accompanied by the charming yet obtrusive call of a mechanical cuckoo popping out of the clock”.
Our peculiar image of the week learns us that what is good for the environment doesn’t always look good for the environment.
The adieu of this disused tank into the Gulf of Thailand last week looks like a blatantly disgraceful act of dumping waste. Yet all was done in the name of ecology. Trucks and 25 old Army tanks were dropped into the ocean to form artificial corals hoped to improve the ecosystem’s fish stocks.
Now lets hope some future archeologist that might find the tanks won’t mistake the site for an ancient war zone flooded by the trenches of global warming.
Via the Mirror.
Resource-poor Japan discovered a new source of mineral wealth: sewage sludge. In its first month of operation, a sewage plant in Japan’s Nagano prefecture has mined 5 million yen ($56,000) worth of gold from sludge.
Sewage plant operator Nagano Prefecture Suwa Construction Office announced that approximately four pounds of gold can be mined from each ton of molten fly ash generated when incinerating sludge at its facility in the town of Suwa. That is better than the 20 to 40 grams of golden metal retrieved from each ton of ore at Japan’s Hishikare mine, according to Reuters.
The ‘Decay’ project explores how traces of time and use can be embedded in textile. By wearing a carbon fibre suit over a white blouse, textile designer Marie Ilse Bourlanges captured the gestures of the body bending, stretching, scratching and rubbing. The transfer imprint on the blouse was then translated into a pattern of lines that ebb and flower across the textile.
That’s one small tweet for man, one giant tweet for mankind.
Could this 2.0-bird be suffering from Infobesity? Then it must be the result of excessive infocalorie consumption.
Following people and news-sources on microblogservices like Twitter, has become a new addictive nature to many people. While our brains have only just adapted to print, radio, television and the (passive) internet, things worth knowing are now being funneled into them as if they were sponges. Read more »
It is a well known secret that plastic hardly breaks down and almost all of the plastic ever made still floats around somewhere. With the great pacific garbage patch now twice the size of Texas and over 500 billion plastic bags produced a year – which take about a 1000 years to decompose – plastic is well on its way of becoming a basic material in the Earth’s ecosystem.
Earlier, we’ve discussed some of the dramatic effects of this material and suggested how a future microbe able to digest plastic could thrive on the vast amount of plastic ‘food’ available in the biosphere. It might take a million years, however, for a plastic-eating microbe to evolve.
Following anorexia nervosa (under eating) and bulimia nervosa (overeating), orthorexia nervosa (healty eating) is the latest eating disorder in the book. It is characterized by a fixation on eating what the sufferer considers to be healthful food, which can ultimately lead to early death.
While anorexia is typically associated with our visual culture and its unreachable beauty ideals, orthorexia seems closely related with our information age and the easy access to facts and figures. Today so many data about health benefits of our food are available – how it was processed, prepared, etc– and food packages are routinely decorated with scientifically detailed data on their contents. We are suffering from ‘overknowledge’.
While most of us respond to the food-data-overload with an occasional dosage of self chosen ignorance – forget about the facts, grab a burger! – people suffering from orthorexia will spend just as much time and energy thinking about food as someone with bulimia or anorexia.