The Netherlands leads in cheese, clogs, and cultured meat. This sustainable and animal-friendly form of meat has largely been developed in our country. In 1997, Willem van Eelen obtained the first patent on the technique, whereby animal cells are grown into muscle tissue without any animals needing to be slaughtered
Already in the 18th century, French philosopher Voltaire said: “God created the World, except for the Netherlands, that they have done themselves.” Ever since the Dutch are working to meet that claim.
While other countries still have relatively untouched areas, in the Netherlands, every square meter has been designed. This includes natural reserves, which we not only conserve, but now also build.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have news for you: the robots are not taking over the world. Humans are still in charge”, announced India’s disarmament ambassador Amandeep Gill, who chaired a meeting at the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons to discuss the development of autonomous weapon systems.
In response to growing concerns about autonomous weapons, able to identify and eliminate targets without human control, a coalition of AI researchers and advocacy organizations released a fictitious video that depicts a disturbing future in which lethal autonomous weapons have become cheap and ubiquitous.
Sometimes our peculiar image of the week is simply weird and in-explainable. Indulge in these virtual Beatles trying to pass on a Zebra crossing. Figure it out dear intelligent readers. It’s metaphors we all live by. Peculiar indeed. Source unknown.
The Robots are coming! They keep getting smarter, more reliable, and more affordable. They work 24 hours a day and never get sick. It’s no surprise that some are proclaiming that robotisation and artificial intelligence (AI) will eliminate jobs. In 2014 Oxford scientists calculated 47% of the current jobs could be automated by 2034, due to robotisation and AI. Last year accounting and consulting firm Deloitte calculated 42% of the students at vocational high schools were still being trained to do these endangered jobs. Imagine being 16 years and discovering you’re studying for a job that soon won’t exist. What kind of future is that?
Robots are getting stronger and smarter every day. How long will I have my job before a robot steals it? And they’re taking over our families, our houses, our cars… basically, our whole lives. Visions of the future in which people are dominated by superior machines have always been with us. Sometimes they turn us into human livestock; in other scenarios, our appliances actively try to exterminate us. Though Hollywood movies usually depict robots as metal people, the reality is more subtle than that.
The presence of plastics in the World Ocean is well known, but what do we know about its presence in the sea salt widely consumed by humans across the globe? A recent study by Malaysian researchers examining the purity of 17 commercial sea salt brands from eight different countries found chemical traces in all samples. The contaminants include microplastics and pigments associated with textile, rubber and fiberglass products.
A multinational team of geologists made a rough estimate of the size of the physical structure of Earth’s technosphere – finding that its mass approximates to 30 trillion tons. That’s a mass of more than 50 kilos for every square meter of the Earth’s surface.
The Letter to Humanity is addressed to all 7 billion people on Earth and available in twenty-five languages. It encourages a new perspective on the role of humanity on Earth. The letter urges humans not to be slaves or victims of technology, but to use technology to enhance humanity.
It feels strange writing you a letter, I admit. Letters are generally addressed to an individual or a limited group of people. It’s unusual to write to humanity as a whole. You don’t even have a postal address, and I doubt you get much correspondence. Still, I thought it was time I wrote.
Obviously, I realise I can’t possibly reach you completely – if only because humanity not only consists of every person who’s alive right now but also of everyone who’s ever lived. That’s an estimated 107 billion people. And then there are all the others who haven’t been born yet – hopefully there will be a great many of them. I’ll return to that later, but before we talk about the future, I’d like to look back.
In the desert landscape of the Californian Coachella Valley, artist Jennifer Bolande installed a series of billboards that camouflage themselves with the surroundings. Drivers in the desert are treated with an advertisement of the very thing so often overlooked.
Our peculiar image of the week is picture of a tree. No wait, a tree with an advertisement. No wait, a cellphone antenna tree with an empty billboard and a tiny label that reads: Media 24/7. One has to agree the whole scene exemplifies media 24/7 alright. Only in lovely Dubai.
Artist: Unknown. Photo: Van Mensvoort
Instagram accounts with young girls featuring stunning selfies are hardly unusual. However, 21-year-old Paola Antonini’s popular IG account is certainly beyond the ordinary. The Brazilian model uses her Instagram to show off her prosthetic limb, the result of a tragic car accident in 2014 when Antonini was hit by a drunk driver.
Some 500 years ago surrealist avant la lettre, Hieronymus Bosch, painted his ‘The Garden Of Earthly Delights’. The masterpiece is a warning on the perils of life’s temptations. To celebrate the 500 year anniversary for the painter, our friends at Studio Smack made a contemporary interpretation in a hallucinatory 4K animation.
Oh no! What do we have here? A map of The Netherlands with all its major cities – Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Almere – flooded and vanished into the ocean. Must be a speculative rendering of what happens when climate change kicks in and ocean levels rise. Is this our future? Think again, this is what some historians believe our past was, long before people started building dikes in the lowlands.
In some parts of the world people don’t have access to clean drinking water, but you can buy a bottle of Coke there. This observation inspired artist Helmut Smits to create the installation The Real Thing, in which Coke is turned into water.