And you thought GPS was supposed to make life easier? Created by Sheepfilms.
And you thought GPS was supposed to make life easier? Created by Sheepfilms.
DNA related tools, once expensive and restricted to research and crime labs, are rapidly becoming affordable. Like GPS – once a high-tech wonder now turned into a everyday gadget – simple DNA sequencing may soon be available to almost everyone.
Undoubtedly DNA related applications will transform society as we know it: Synthetic pets, Amateur food testing, Faked DNA evidence, Genetic mapping, Genetic social networks, DNA as information storage, HumanDNA trees, Hyper Fruit… the applications are mind bubbling and seemingly infinite.
Designer Niko Vegt, master student at the Next Nature theme, has been working on an imaginary map of the DNA world. Unlike a regular map, which represents a physical territory, the DNA World map represents a conceptual territory of DNA related applications and developments. Its main continents are Science, Medical, Heath, Personal, Social, Justice and Environment – all surrounded by an ocean of Ethics.
“It took just 10 minutes for a dozen prairie dogs to outwit the creators of the Maryland Zoo’s new $500,000 habitat. Aircraft wire, poured concrete and slick plastic walls proved no match for the fast-footed rodents, the stars of a new exhibit that opens today [June 12, 2009].
As officials were promoting the return of the zoo’s 28 prairie dogs – their former digs had been out of sight in a closed section of the animal preserve for more than four years – some of the critters found ways to jump, climb and get over the walls of their prairie paradise, a centerpiece exhibit just inside the zoo’s main entrance.
None got away, but for a few anxious minutes, they found every weakness in the enclosure built to hold them. (…) ” Read the rest of this article at baltimoresun.com
Prairiedogs may very well be the last creatures on earth laughing in the face of human world-domination.
“The internet is vast. Bigger than a city, bigger than a country, maybe as big as the universe. It’s expanding by the second. No one has seen its borders. And the internet is intangible, like spirits and angels. The web is an immense ghost land of disembodied places. Who knows if you are even there, there. Yet everyday we navigate through this ethereal realm for hours on end and return alive. We must have some map in our head.
I’ve become very curious about the maps people have in their minds when they enter the internet. So I’ve been asking people to draw me a map of the internet as they see it. That’s all. More than 50 people of all ages and levels of expertise have mapped their geography of online.”
Fleshmap touch investigates the collective perception of erogenous zones. Hundreds of people ranked how good it would feel to touch or be touched by a lover in different points of the body. The resulting images reveal a map of sensual desire with multiple focal points and islands of excitement.
This human-body-interface project was created by data visualization artists Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg. The data was gathered via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – a marketplace where paid workers perform simple tasks.
Visualization professor Jack van Wijk developed a new method of unfolding the earth: Myriahedral projections. The idea is take a map of a small part of the earth, which is almost perfect, glue neighboring maps to it, and repeat this until the whole earth is shown. Of course you get interrupts, but does this matter?
In the future, every street will be a Nokia street? Perhaps not, however we may expect some changes in street signage due to the arrival of mobile & gps technology. Once everyone is carrying a personal navigation device those bluntly placed street signage may become obsolete – Try and find a cellphone booth in your neighborhood if you are not convinced.
I guess the question is not whether GPS technology will alter street signage, but rather which navigation solution feels more natural. Lets do a quick poll.
Which of the following feels more natural?
A) Finding your way using street signs and a paper map.
B) Finding your way with an interactive GPS solution.
Type your answer + explanation (optional) in the comment box below.
Since the days of Plato, the lost city of Atlantis has captivated the imagination of many. The city, if you don’t already know, was said to be a naval power located roughly 600 miles west of the Canary Islands…until it sank.
While browsing through Google Earth’s new underwater search tool, British aeronautical engineer Bernie Bamford sighted a mysterious grid of undersea lines. The strange pattern was spotted in the Atlantic ocean, west of Morocco in North Africa, close to one of the possible sites of the legendary island.
The story was reported by The Daily Telegraph – a national UK newspaper – as well as by UK Tabloid Sun. However, Google later confirmed that the Atlantic floor pattern, measuring about the size of Wales, was an ‘artefact’ of its map-making process. The maps are made using sonar measurements of the sea floor recorded by boats. The area in question was mapped by boats traveling in straight lines, a Google spokeswoman revealed.
“It’s true that many amazing discoveries have been made in Google Earth including a pristine forest in Mozambique that is home to previously unknown species and the remains of an Ancient Roman villa. In this case, however, what users are seeing is an artifact of the data collection process,” she said.
Whether we are roaming the globe with Google Earth, descending into the depths of our genes or traveling to the outskirts of the universe, our world view is fundamentally shaped through interfaces.
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.
Kentaro Nagai rearranges the world map to create a series of illustrations he calls: “Twelve Animals”.
Its title might be self-explanatory and it sure looks intriguing… however kokkugia fails to give a thorough description for this architectual piece. Classified as ‘peculiar image’ until further notice.
Ten tons of cement were pourred into this grasscutters ant colony, revealing a subterranean structure of 8 meters / 26 feet deep. ‘Ant-City’ was built including circulating ventilation shafts and funghi gardens interconnected through pipelines.
Assuming that this is the work of a collective mind – would be logical. But then; imagine how would advanced aliens – studying earths cities – describe our architectual skills? Hence the real question should be: “How do aliens communicate?!”
This summer researchers from technology firm QinetiQ and from Aberystwyth University flew an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over fields in England and Wales to map the nitrogen levels in soil, to determine whether fertiliser applications were needed.
The data collected was then used to create a (NDVI) map, which tells you the difference between ‘green crops’ that are photosynthesising and bare ground. Where there is bare ground, more fertilizer may be needed.
The ecological impact of this technique is potentially huge. Imagine only watering crops that need to be watered (and only when required) instead of flooding the entire field. Imagine as well spraying just those diseased plants with herbicides (and only when there is an outbreak) instead of suffocating acres and acres of fields with poison all the time.
Imagine tractors using GPS and an upload of this data into an onboard machine that automatically regulates the application of fertilizer and pesticides—just the right amount and exactly where the chemicals are needed…
The Maldives, a chain of islands off the coast of India is taking the possibility of disappearance into account. This little piece of paradise is so low above sea level that it might be flooded due to the effects of climate change. That’s why the Maldive government is looking for new land to start a new country. I would suggest the moon, Antarctica or Greenland. Or maybe the Dutch can help? I kinda like that OSX screensaver… Via treehugger (what’s in a name) »
In the Kenyan wildlife conservancy Ol Pejeta elephants are tagged with a GPS-triggered text messaging device. Before the elephants start raiding the nearby villagers’ harvest they send a text message to the rangers. The rangers respond by chasing the elephants off again. The tag also enables online elephant tracking through Google Earth for preservation concerns. How long will it take until the wildlife online identity will walk around in second life for safari tours? And people get killed on the internet by grumpy elephant bulls?
Not only elephants are tagged with GPS coordinates, also other wild animals can be tracked easily. So the safari experience comes with ‘wildlife guarantee’ these days. It seems that even Africa looses its adventurous nature. When will we drive with our landrovers through the stock-market hunting for broke speculators?
Currently sequencing still costs about $100,000. The price drop is expected to allow pharmaceutical companies to make genome sequencing a routine part of clinical drug testing. A $5,000 genome would open up new possibilities in creating personalized medicine.
As prices are expected to drop further over the next decade, we foresee non-clinical applications will emerge as well. How about a human-genome sequence chip on your cellphone? Should be handy to check if your pick up at the party is also a suitable marriage-partner (you can just filter the father/mother or your kids right just out!?). Calculate your chances regarding that horrible disease in your family. Or determine whether that friend-of-a-friend should be accepted to your genetic-social-network. Playing doctor at the kindergarten will not be quite what it used to be.
At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Christopher Love and colleagues are working to find out whether energy from trees can be used to prevent forest fires. A sensor system taps into trees as a self-sustaining power supply. Each sensor is equipped with a battery that can be slowly recharged using electricity generated by the tree. The system produces enough electricity to allow the temperature and humidity sensors to wirelessly transmit signals four times a day, or immediately if there’s a fire. Each signal hops from one sensor to another, until it reaches an existing weather station that beams the data by satellite to a forestry command center. The project is called EWAN; Early Wildfire Alert Network.
Contrary to popular belief, global warming is not simply a bad thing: there are winners and losers. While low-lying countries, like Bangladesh, are expected to suffer extensively from rising temperatures and sea-levels, countries situated at the top of the Northern Hemisphere, like Canada and Russia, might gain enormous regions of pristine exploitable farming ground, as temperatures rise.
Contrary to popular belief, global warming is not a natural disaster: it is a political disaster. The countries that cause the global warming effect, aren’t necessary the countries who suffer the consequences. National political agenda’s hardly align with their globally felt consequences.
Imagine the effects of global warming were fair. The visualization above shows a distorted world map, in which the landmass of countries is scaled according the amount with which they’ve reduced carbon emissions between 1980-2000. Life would be so simple, if polluting countries would simply disappear into the ocean.