For smartphone bird watchers. Peculiar image of the week. Via Nerdsraging.com.
For smartphone bird watchers. Peculiar image of the week. Via Nerdsraging.com.
These 100% biodegradable cigarette filters, called Greenbutts, deteriorate in one month rather than the typical 15 years. They are made from a natural blend of materials, including flax, hemp and cotton.
The company even designed a version with seeds inside, which sprout flowers when planted in soil, making for a very next natural way of gardening. Will this eco-friendly filter help the environment or just encourage littering? We’ll discover it soon: Greenbutts will be on sale in early 2014.
The gigantic rubber duck created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman floated on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, with the island skyline in the background. The XL duck showed up in nine countries, in cities from Osaka to São Paulo to Sydney, and finished its long bath in the ocean on May 14.
Via NBC News
While numerous children nowadays believe the woods smell of shampoo, there are also some critical young minds out there, willing to question things. Meet Luiz Antonio. When his mother tells him to eat his octopus, little Luiz responds by asking his mother where the octopus comes from and how it ended up on his plate. The mother explains the situation to Luiz, after which he responds with a pleading that drives his mother to tears.
Imagine bumping into a cola dispenser after a hike in the pristine Canadian forests for three days. Would you believe your eyes? Must be a modern Fata Morgana.
It happened to Dennis van Tilburg, who sent us this peculiar image of the week. The biomimic-marketing on the can dispenser only adds peculiar points to the scene. We are living in postcard nature.
There has been talk of 3D printed food for a long time. We saw meals materialized out of thin air in Star Trek. A few years ago, a beautifully designed food printer was featured on this blog, if only in an artist’s impression, with the end product being a brownish drop of liquid. But when will this elusive printer finally be here, in real life? It turns out it already is.
The biggest fight we have as an organism is life itself. Continuously resupplying our body with nutrients and energy takes its toll. Our cells that are constantly working, dying and dividing as we go through our life provide us with the means to live. However, these systems inevitably break down. Is this the way things have to be?
What would a caveman make of this optical illusion? He might simply conclude we are living in a Society of Simulations. Peculiar image of the week.
Our peculiar image of the week invites us to reflect upon the status of everyday artifacts like a baseball. Tomorrows Fossils? The rocks were fitted with a leather string by artist Elizabeth de Maray. A real baseball can be seen in the background.
Imagine your home adapting itself to seasonal, meteorological and even astronomical conditions by changing its shape. D*Dynamic is based on the discovery of mathematician Henry Ernest Dudeney, who found a way to turn a perfect square into an equilateral triangle.
During wintertime the house curls up by contracting the internal walls to thick external walls, minimizing the energy needed for heating. Conversely, on a warm summer day, it will fold out and extend itself. To put it differently, the house resembles the principle of human arteries that expand or contract to preserve the core temperature of your body.
However, there is more in store. The house can direct and rotate itself towards the sun to collect solar energy. If there is sunlight the house could rotate to let it stream into the living room. Or, you might program the house to welcome the morning sun into your bedroom. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up and to have the sun always there to greet you?
If you envision the concept on a slightly larger scale it might make complete neighborhoods more dynamic. Would it mean that you get new neighbors depending on weather conditions? It would certainly be a new way to get to know the people in your town.
Via Daily Mail.
Anthropologist Setha Low, one of the first to study the subject, defines gated community as “residential developments surrounded by walls, [and] fences” with a “structured entrance”; or, as estate agents nicely put it, exclusive property that sums- for those who can afford it- the much needed three P’s: privacy, protection and prestige.
Known as “Cerradas” in Mexico, “condomínios fechados” in Brasil or more eloquently as security estates in post-apartheid South Africa, the concept of a community defending itself from outside violence is, in a way, an ancient practice (think of Medieval fortress or, even before, walled Romans settlements). At first very popular in The States, where the first “self-contained suburban utopias,” sprung around 1850, gated communities are since the last decade a cross continental rising trend.
Every cloud you see is an airplane. Peculiar image of the week.
Across Paris, bees and their keepers have been taking advantage of the city’s pesticide-free parks, gardens and flowerbeds to produce pricey honey. The otherwise unused rooftops of many Parisian landmarks are now home to hundreds of thousands of bees. The exclusivity of the real estate shows in the cost: The world’s most expensive honey – E 15 for 150 grams – comes from the roof of Palais Garnier, the city’s grand opera house.
Image: A keeper fumigates the hives atop Saint-Denis. Story via Skyscraper City. Thanks to Wessel de Jong for the tip.
Primitive man lived in caves. He used the surface of these caves as a canvas (*) to make representations of the things that surrounded him: animals and hunting, stories of magic and ritual, which helped him to make sense of the world.
Over the years, his cave has changed quite a bit: today, it comes on four wheels and in bright, shiny colors. In their turn, tribes of other cavemen use them as canvasses for their own art. An art which in itself has become more primitive and abstract, or minimal and conceptual if you want. It doesn’t nessecarily want to tell a story, or say something about the world outside the cave. Rather, it seems to refer to the cave itself. Instead of making representations of magic and rites, the creative act itself has become the ritual. Now drive me back to the tribe!
Cliff swallows, as their name suggests, like to build nests on cliffs and other rocky outcroppings. They also like building their nests on bridges and overpasses, and sunbathe on warm roads. This puts them in the path of traffic, and adds thousands of swallows to the nearly 80 million birds killed by cars each year in the US. Swallows in the state of Nebraska, however, appear to be getting wise to the ways of the highway – or at least their genes are.
Researchers at the University of Nebraska have been collecting swallow bodies along several highways for the last thirty years. Not only have the total number of fatalities decreased over this time, but the wing length of the birds has also been decreasing. The swallows, it seems, are evolving to become more nimble. Shorter wings makes it easier to take off vertically or to quickly maneuver around vehicles. Time to add “vehicular selection” to the sub-categories of “natural” selection.
For a fresh perspective on modern branding and honesty, and as a parallel to Next Nature’s own vision of the honest egg, have a look at the work of Viktor Hertz. A designer from Uppsala in Sweden, Hertz decided to follow the idea of brand honesty to its logical conclusion by visualizing a complete range of outcomes.
Companies routinely spend thousands to hundreds of thousands on logos and branding aimed at putting a positive gloss over their products. What if the downsides couldn’t be hidden in the small print or conveniently omitted, and had to be up front in the branding? Viktor calls his set “Honest Logos”.
The full set of designs after the jump…
Over at the New York Times, a recent article exposes the clever and surprisingly immoral ways the food industry manufactures foods to rival hard drugs for their addictive potential. Well worth the read, the article discusses “designer sodium”, the genesis of the ideal kid’s lunch, and the search for the morphine-like “bliss point” in soda. One scientist’s description of Cheetos, in particular, highlighted the extraordinary detail that goes into what we see as a normal, familiar food:
“This,” Witherly said, “is one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet, in terms of pure pleasure.” He ticked off a dozen attributes of the Cheetos that make the brain say more. But the one he focused on most was the puff’s uncanny ability to melt in the mouth. “It’s called vanishing caloric density,” Witherly said. “If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there’s no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever.”
Nearly all widely available foods, from Cutie clementines to the dozens of Pringles flavors, have been exquisitely manufactured to appeal to our primal need for salt, fat and sugar, and for our just-as-ancient yearning to get the most calories for the least amount of labor. We’re all hungry and lazy. Anyone looking to introduce new and untested food – in-vitro meat, for instance – would do well to remember that food science has already perfected the art of hooking consumers on whatever they care to feed us.
Photo via Flickr user Bunches and Bits.
Beyond imitating known meat products like steaks and hamburgers, in-vitro meat could give rise to entirely new food products and dining habits.
Paint with meat! is a speculative product for children of 5-10 years old. It allows them to prepare their own meat dish in a very creative, fun and safe way: by painting! The meat paint lets children put some extra effort into their meal, which makes the dinner more valuable and meaningful again. By painting their own meal children get more affinity with their food and are therefore more willing to eat it.