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.”
Forget about palmistry! MRI scans for candidates in top jobs such as bank directors could soon become part of the job-application package, says Erasmus University researcher Prof Willem Verbeke of Rotterdam, He’s confident brain scans will replace job interviews within 5 years.
Prof. Verbeke heads the department of neuro-economics, (NSIM), at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He predicts in an interview with Good Morning Netherlands radio station that employers demanding compulsory brain scans from their job applicants will soon become the most normal thing in the world – in fact within five years’ time’, he believes.
How to navigate the urban jungle? Adopting the metaphorical image of a dandelion in flight, Dandella is a GPS device that shows you the way.
Inspired by how young sunflowers always point towards the sun, Dandella simplifies the complex interface of current GPS devices to a notion of “follow where it points”. Dandellas can be programmed to track each other and their buds response by pointing towards one another.
The intuitive design should allow its users to find each other by following where the bud points, making it suitable for people of different ages from different walks of life.
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.
As soon as the USB Condom detects a virus, built-in software shuts off USB access, verifies the problem, removes the nasty bug, then reopens the communication bridge to your computer.
Gross? Be glad the metaphor isn’t boomeranging in the other direction: before you know it, you’ll be installing anti-virus software on your penis.
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.”
Article by Jonah Lehrer, published at boston.com
Scientists have begun to examine how the city affects the brain, and the results are chastening. Just being in an urban environment, they have found, impairs our basic mental processes. After spending a few minutes on a crowded city street, the brain is less able to hold things in memory, and suffers from reduced self-control. While it’s long been recognized that city life is exhausting — that’s why Picasso left Paris — this new research suggests that cities actually dull our thinking, sometimes dramatically so. [...]
One of the main forces at work is a stark lack of nature, which is surprisingly beneficial for the brain. Studies have demonstrated, for instance, that hospital patients recover more quickly when they can see trees from their windows, and that women living in public housing are better able to focus when their apartment overlooks a grassy courtyard. [...]
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.
19th century people needed some explanation to understand the difference between the regular candlelight and the electrically simulated candlelight. Note the disclaimer at the bottom: “The use of Electricity for lighting is in no way harmful to health, nor does it affect the soundness of sleep.”
For all we know 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was inspired by the developments in lighting technology when he wrote that “in the end, every second nature becomes the first”.
See also: Luxalive the emotionally aware lamp, Magical interaction. Thanks Berry.
Our friend the Self Control Freak is organizing his garden. Hover over the image above to help him get his wilderness under control.
Computerworld reports a big spam-spewing botnet, that was shut down a few weeks ago, has been resurrected and is again under the control of criminals.
The “Srizbi” botnet returned from the dead late Tuesday, said Fengmin Gong, chief security content officer at FireEye Inc., when the infected PCs were able to successfully reconnect with new command-and-control servers, which are now based in Estonia.
Srizbi was knocked out more than two weeks ago when McColo Corp., a hosting company that had been accused of harboring a wide range of criminal activities, was yanked off the Internet by its upstream service providers. With McColo down, PCs infected with Srizbi and other bot Trojan horses were unable to communicate with their command servers, which had been hosted by McColo. As a result, spam levels dropped precipitously.
But as other researchers noted last week, Srizbi had a fallback strategy. In the end, that strategy paid off for the criminals who control the botnet.
This rather illustrative but nonetheless peculiar object of the week is for all you Goths out there. Surely Douglas Engelbart – who invented the computer mouse in 1967 – would not have anticipated such sculptural wittiness to be projected upon his creation. Via Ubergizmo.
The people at Preem.se – the Swedish organization responsible for this advertisement – must think this is the way to promote environmental protection with a younger generation of people (nerds?), for whom the digital realm is their first nature.
Press [CTRL] [S] to save the environment. And when things go utterly wrong, you can always press [CTRL] [Z] to undo your actions. No?
The design of Marieke Staps used free and environment-friendly energy to create light. The metabolism of biological living produces enough electricity to burn the LED. The only thing the lamp needs is mud and water. The mud is spread out into multiple warrants. These warrants also consist of copper and zinc to conduct the electricity. The more warrants there are placed the more power will be produced.
José E. Rivera emailed us this image of his strangely evolving mouse. We are clueless on what motives or evolutionary pressure a computer mouse might have to transform itself into a dragonfly. Perhaps it wanted to break free? Surely Douglas Engelbart – who invented the computer mouse in 1967 – would not have anticipated such sculptural wittiness to be projected upon his creation. Hence it is our peculiar object of the week.
Meet midori-san, the first blogging houseplant! Through sensors connected to the leaves of this Sweetheart Hoya reads bioelectric currents through the plant, this gives information about the lighting coondition, temperature, humidity etc. An algorithm created by the Keio University Hiroya Tanaka Laboratory translates this data into japanese sentences. In this way the plant gives information about the weather and his personal condition. Blog-readers can also activate a lamp to give the midori-san a threat, which is often immediately replied by a thank you from the plant. The days that internet was the domain of humans only are over.
Via Pink Tentacle