The 150 people watching this Youtube-commercial right now, will copy the source and blog or twitter it forward because it diggs. 40 of them have remorse over the fact that it is an ordinary commercial and not a live search engine to be able to know what’s going on in the Next Nature. 10% of them is thinking; “But this search engine is sure to exist in 5 to 10 years”. 2% will post a comment about it and there’s a 50% chance you are thinking to creatively post something to make me have my facts wrong.
These photos of disused newspaper racks in a San Francisco storage yard – taken March 13, 2009 by AP/Noah Berger – are pretty much all you need to know about the state of the industry. No one is buying, and it’s time to throw the old technology for distributing news away. Read more »
Talking about image consumption…
Remember the bacteria that eat waste and shit petrol? How about some microbes that eat plant waste and turn it in to sugar? Now you might say you have no need for sugar as you prefer diet-products. Sugar however, can be used to create ethanol, which in turn can be used to drive your car. Now that you want.
Biotech startup Zymetis has genetically modified a very rare, cellulose-eating bacterium to break down and convert cellulose into sugars. The bug was accidentially discovered twenty years ago and has not been found in the wild since. The special feature of the bug is that it can break down entire cell structures of plants, contrary to most microbes who can only play a small part within a larger ecosytem.
The company recently completed its first commercial-scale trial. Earlier this year, the modified microbe was ran through a series of tests in large fermenters. Results learn it was able to convert one ton of cellulosic plant fiber into sugar in 72 hours. According to the biotechnologist this illustrates the organism’s potential in helping to produce ethanol cheaply and efficiently at industrial scales.
… a new McDonalds opens somewhere in the world.
Discarded shells of computers and monitors float in a drainage canal in Accra, Ghana. Our peculiar image of the week was made by Peter Essick. Via National Geographic.
At this year’s TED conference, held in Long Beach California, Biotechnologist Juan Enriquez argued that even as mega-banks topple, the big reboot is yet to come. It will come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. According to Enriquez, our kids are going to be designed by evolution.
Chinese workers slaying monsters to earn gold for western consumers. It sounds surreal, but it is a far from virtual reality for the so-called ‘gold farmers’, who are working in 10-hour shifts to help players gain levels, and wealth, in online roleplaying games like World of Warcraft.
For thousands of Chinese workers, gold farming is a way of life. Workers earn between €85-€130 a month which, given the long hours and night shifts, can amount to as little as 30 cent an hour. After completing a shift, they are given a basic meal of rice, meat and vegetables and falls into a bunk bed in a room that eight other gold farmers share. Wages may be low, but food and accommodation are included. You can hire your own gold farming
slave employee via wow7gold.com.
According to an extensive report by Richard Heeks at Manchester University (pdf), a few hundred thousand Asian workers are now employed in gold farming in a trade worth up to 730 million a year. With so many gamers now online, these industries are estimated to have a consumer base of five million to 10 million, and numbers are expected to grow with widening internet access. Recently, the Chinese government started taxing gold farmers.
Games become jobs. And where there’s a demand, China will supply it.
Drinkpeedrinkpeedrinkpee is a project by Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray about the role our bodies play in larger ecosystems. It’s an installation about the Urine to Fertilzer DIY Kit; Derive houseplant fertilizer and ocean-safe water from your pee!
“We all think of human pee as gross and something that ought to be vigorously “cleaned up” or sanitized. However, human urine is actually sterile (unlike faeces, urine is bacteria-free). This liquid by product of our daily lives can be a rich food source if it gets into the RIGHT part of the right ecosystem. Now, most human urine travels untreated into the waterways and is a significant cause of eutrophication, a toxic condition caused by harmful algae blooms, in the oceans. The excess Nitrogen and Phosphorus in our urine overfeeds algae (like Red Tide) and effectively suffocates fish. However, a pioneering biological waste treament process being used in Switzerland can extract this phosphorus & nitrogen for use as a fertilizer, leaving the rest of urine almost harmless to aquatic life. This kit gives users the opportunity to replicate the new technique at home and fertilize their plants with their own pee.
Users will test their urine before the reaction. Then, they will add an enzyme, wait for their urine to hydrolyse, and then add Magnesium Chloride. A sediment will build up at the bottom of the jar. Using a filter, they will pour off and flush the liquid, leaving the fertilzer in the jar. They can add water and the seeds included in the kit to grow their own watercress in the glass container used for the reaction.”
Information decoration on a city scale. Every night from the 22 to the 29 of February 2008, the vapor emissions of he Salmisaari power plant in Helsinki will be illuminated to show the current levels of electricity consumption by local residents. A laser ray will trace the cloud during the night time and turn it into a neon-style graph.
Using thermochromatic ink, which changes color when the temperature exceeds a specific degree, designer Josien Pieters created a prototype of a dynamic wallpaper that unobtrusively conveys the agenda of its user on the wall.
The idea is not to explicitly visualize your agenda for the week, but rather to provide you with an impression of your upcoming plans. Each yellow element represents an hour of the upcoming week. Dependent on the events you have scheduled in your agenda, the purple elements will lit up.
When looking at this wallpaper you will get an overview of how busy you are during the week. This way the wall decoration gives you the opportunity to create anticipatory pleasure, in addition it can be a great mnemonic device to help you remember important events. Since the data is being presented in an abstract way, other people will only perceive it as decoration.
This meat pig was reconstructed by Ton Meijdam.
We have lived for 200 years in a growth economy. That’s more than a lifetime, so it is no surprise people tend to think of economy as infinitely growing. Herman Daly, who popularized the term “Steady State Economy” over 3 decades ago, thinks differently. He argues economists have focused too much on the economy’s circulatory system and have neglected to study its digestive tract. Buckle up for some economic heresy.
“A failed growth economy and a steady-state economy are not the same thing; they are the very different alternatives we face. The Earth as a whole is approximately a steady state. Neither the surface nor the mass of the earth is growing or shrinking; the inflow of radiant energy to the Earth is equal to the outflow; and material imports from space are roughly equal to exports (both negligible). None of this means that the earth is static—a great deal of qualitative change can happen inside a steady state, and certainly has happened on Earth. The most important change in recent times has been the enormous growth of one subsystem of the Earth, namely the economy, relative to the total system, the ecosphere. This huge shift from an ‘empty’ to a ‘full’ world is truly ‘something new under the sun’ as historian J. R. McNeil calls it in his book of that title. The closer the economy approaches the scale of the whole Earth the more it will have to conform to the physical behavior mode of the Earth. That behavior mode is a steady state—a system that permits qualitative development but not aggregate quantitative growth. Growth is more of the same stuff; development is the same amount of better stuff (or at least different stuff). The remaining natural world no longer is able to provide the sources and sinks for the metabolic throughput necessary to sustain the existing oversized economy—much less a growing one.”
This report on spooky showhost holograms appearing on national TV might be a bit of old news…, but I guess still worth posting. The word “hologram” CNN uses in this Youtube, is misleading as such, for the effect appears on screen only and is not physically/visually/observably present in that studio.
Gadgets! You love them when you buy them, but what happens next? Over half of Brits have abandoned gadgets because they don’t know how to use them properly. Seventy-one per cent of Brits admitted they have up to 10 gadgets lying unused around the home. The total tally of neglected and misused gadgets is up to 190 million.
According to the survey conducted by BT Home IT Support, 94 per cent of people who experience problems with their home IT are too scared or proud to seek expert help. Over 80 per cent of those who have a problem try to fix it themselves, or ask family and friends for advice. Men look after their gadgets more carefully than women, the survey found, with 57 per cent cleaning their computer once a month. Only 42 per cent of women clean their PC as regularly.
What is that growing on my car dashboard? Is that a tree? Indeed, Ford and Honda’s next-generation dashboard instrument clusters feature trees (a vine in Ford’s case) that grow more lush as drivers maximize their fuel economy. Leaves grow like crabgrass in springtime if you use a light touch on the accelerator and go easy on the brakes. Drive like a speed car racer and they’ll wither faster than general motors stocks.