Author: Arnoud van den Heuvel


Skin Suit

muscle man

The general assumption about sports, is that it’s healthy to exercise for a fit and nicely-shaped — perhaps muscular body. Such a body could be a sign of good health and is being deployed to glamourize its dominance or reproducibility in nature. But of course there is also the fashion issue and bodylanguage and several other factors to judge whether one is “in shape” or not. Tomek Pietek makes a nice conceptual piece about these subjects: With his Skin Suit he raises the question whether all that training leads to a well-designed body like nature intended… or just a strapping piece of meat.

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This smart-looking image is a model of what James M. Tour at Rice University (Texas) and his research team like to call a ‘nanocar’. The clustered molecules can roll around on a glass slide at about nine nanomiles per hour, and its wheels actually turn. The nanocar is no more than 4 nanometers across, which is slightly wider than a strand of DNA. Nanovehicles like these are designed to study the materials and movements, to make it easier for researchers to build more sophisticated molecular machines. Eventually the researchers want to build tiny trucks that could carry atoms and molecules around in miniature factories.

So in the future, we could have tiny ambulances racing through our veins instead of antibiotics.

One of the minor details that need to be solved: At room temperature, strong electrical bonds hold the buckyball wheels tightly against the gold, but heating to about 200 degrees Celsius frees them to roll.

Via: | Related: Ball of Being | Nanotech Food | Voyage of the Bacteria Bots | Nanoflowers | Nanotechnology Crashcourse

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Guided Growth

Earrings for Spontaneous Seeding

earrings for spontaneous seeding

Seed bombs away, because these earrings may awake the Guerilla Gardener in you…

You never know when an opportunity for planting might present itself. Be prepared with these tiny glass bottles filled with vegetable and flower seeds. Great for secretively planting in friends’ yards, medians, and those boring beds full of petunias outside your doctor’s office.

By Lea Redmond |

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Green Blues

Nature versus Culture

Let’s try this song to focus once more on the culture versus nature theme: “The Big Idea” by Nataly Dawn. The concept of this song is illustrated by the fact that she recorded it in someone else’s backyard whithout permission. I’m of the opinion that the precense of flowers, plants and trees in backyards is circumstantial. They certainly don’t know they are owned by means of fences. This applies for birds, bugs and most people too. Calling a backyard nature is only fair, because culture is a collection of agreements and nature is born free. I wish for Nataly much “nature” in her music and just enough fame to be able to keep on playing in other peoples backyards.

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Living Doll

cell capsule doll
Crying, talking, sleeping, walking… not really, but this is what Cliff Richard’s concept could look like when laboratorised.

“To demonstrate a new method for fabricating three-dimensional living biological structures, researchers at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) have created a 5-millimeter tall doll composed of living cells.

According to an announcement made on January 22 2009, the researchers created the tiny figurine by cultivating 100,000 cell capsules — 0.1-millimeter balls of collagen, each coated with dozens of skin cells — together inside a doll-shaped mold for one day. After the cell capsules had coalesced to form the doll-shaped mass of tissue, it was placed in a culture solution, where it reportedly survived for more than a day.

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Controlling the Uncontrollable

i love china
It is a home to crawlers, virusses, search engines, gamers, spammers, chatters, twitters, bloggers, worms and spiders. If calling it alive goes too far, it’s still safe to say that the internet forms a nature of its own. Would the new American president have won the elections if he had ignored its tentacles? How many people would be out of a job if it seized to exist? Internet’s garden is blooming like never seen before, yet some people only enjoy gardens without the weeds.

Article by Michael Bristow, published at

China is using an increasing number of paid “internet commentators” in a sophisticated attempt to control public opinion. These commentators are used by government departments to scour the internet for bad news – and then negate it. They post comments on websites and forums that spin bad news into good in an attempt to shape public opinion.

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Green Blues

Brain Needs ‘Nature’

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. […]

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Beaming Up Business

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.

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All Is Full Of Love

While time seems to flow in this one direction, some people just know how to walk straight through that fourth dimension; catch it in a videoclip and throw the message into eternity. Ten years ago – summer of 1999 – Bjork and Chris Cunningham knew exactly what it is all about. Let there be love in the Next Nature.

Related:  Saturn (Directors Cut) | Robot Asimo Conducts Concert | BicycleBot | Voodoo Communication Device for Lovers | The Telepresence Frame

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Search Engine

Search Engine

“Google has stationed approximately a million computers worldwide to be able to process the 40 billion searches per month. One search request uses as much energy as a low-energy light bulb in one hour.” (25000 Joule/Hour = 7 Watt/Second)

If there’s any truth in the calculation; we will all be searching in darkness soon.

Quote: Intermediair (article in Dutch). Image: Jeen Berting / Overburen (thanks Jeen!)
Related: Google 2084 | Google DNA search

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hemp-mote 01

This weeks peculiar image gives gaming that “natural” touch: the Hemp–Mote by

Made from 3 kinds of 100% natural hemp string on the outside, while remaining 100% functional on the inside.

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Scientists Extract Images Directly from Brain

neuron reading

(Extracted directly from Pink Tentacle, thanks!):

Researchers from Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person’s mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11 2008. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people’s dreams while they sleep.

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Grasscutter Architects

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?!”

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