According to the Daily Mail the smog in Beijing has become so thick that only place to hail a sunrise is on the huge digital commercial television screens across the city.
Last week the reading for particles of PM2.5 pollution was 26 times as high as the 25 micrograms considered safe by the World Health Organization.
In response to the poor air conditions Beijing’s mayor pledged to cut coal use by 2.6 million tonnes and set aside 15 billion yuan to improve air quality this year as part of the city’s ‘all-out effort’ to tackle air pollution.
Thanks Andrea Graziano.
So, you are well aware that biotech will drive our evolution, you took the crash course on synthetic genomics, you’ve got your map of the DNA world in your backpack and are now eager to redesign some microbes that turn waste into energy, eat plastic, detect flu, or build a better being altogether? You have a brilliant project plan already, but only need some – let say– euro 25.000 and a bit of help from a research group to turn your vision into reality? We have cake for you.
Nowadays most people know more logos and brands than bird or tree species.
Go test your own knowledge. Take a look at the leaves and logos above and see how many you can identify without looking them up.
1. How many logos do you know?
2. How many leaves do you know?
3. Which 2 logos were the most difficult?
4. Which two leaves were the most difficult?
Answers after the jump. Read more
Drones are typically thought of as flying spying robots, or even worse flying spying shooting robots. But could we also employ drones for good? The people of conversationdrones.org employ drones to survey wildlife, monitor ecosystems and guard protected areas.
Although there is still a ‘boys with toys’ element to the practice, the idea to employ the technosphere to support the biosphere must be applauded.
A battle is underway between designers and engineers; at stake is the design of our technological future. It rages subtly like a moorland fire. Koert van Mensvoort adds fuel to the flames, but also offers a solution. The impact of new technology on our lives is hard to overestimate. Read more
Our ancestors could spot natural predators from far by their silhouettes. Are we equally aware of the predators in the present-day? As robotic birds will become commonplace in the near future, we should be prepared to identify them. Get into twenty-first century bird spotting with The Drone Survival guide.
The downloadable guide is an attempt to familiarize people with a changing technological environment. It contains the silhouettes of the most common drone species. It is also possible to order a copy printed on Chromolux ALU-E mirrored paper that, according to designer Ruben Pater, can be used as a defense against drone cameras because of its mirrored surface.
Prepare yourself for next natural predators. After reading the guide your follow up step could be to get a drone hunting permit.
Drones are typically thought of as flying spying robots, or even worse flying spying shooting robots. But could we also employ drones for good? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos certainly thinks so. In a 60 Minutes interview, he announced that Amazon wants to use octocopters to deliver your order within a half hour at any location you choose.
Initially you seem to be looking at just another clichéd landscape painting, but then you discover the branches are squared and things become more interesting.
Is this perhaps a recently discovered late Mondrian painting in which the master of abstraction returned to his landscape painting roots? Or was the tree transported in a square box, before it was planted there to satisfy our longing for a natural landscape?
The squared tree leaves you with the uncanny feeling that the naturalness we habitually indulge in, is merely an illusion presented by a system that aims to remain invisible itself.
Our peculiar image of the week was created by Persijn Broersen & Margit Lucács.
In his TED moment of fame, medical ethicist Dr. Harvey Fineberg presents three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: 1. to stop evolving completely, 2. to evolve naturally, or 3. to control the next steps of human evolution using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, smaller, better. According to Fineberg, the third scenario, also denoted as neo-evolution, is within our grasp. But what will we do with it? From a next nature perspective, which I guess Dr Fineberg is not familiar with, the term co-evolution is the elephant in the room.
This mesmerizing drone ballet was brought to you by Kmel Robotics and Lexus. Although, if you are living in Afghanistan or in some other gloomy future, the idea of drones entering your living environment while you sleep might feel less poetic and the waking face of the car at the end may evoke anthropomorphobic shivers.
Thanks Liam Young.
While vegetarian food products typically mimic existing meat products, the meat flower reverses this principle: In vitro technology is used to grow meat in the shape of a flower.
The Meat Flower is illustrative for the diminishing of borders between ‘meat’ and ‘vegetarian’ due to emerging technology: although the cultured meat is grown from animal cells, no animals are hurt and injured in the process.
Back in 1955 French cultural anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss0 published Tristes Tropiques, a book documenting his encounters with Brazilian tribes. Some 65 years later, artists Laurence Aëgerter & Ronald van Tienhoven set out for a reenactment with a group of inhabitants from Beetsterzwaag, a village in the region of Frysia (NL).
The photo’s learn us that, although we might feel our lives differ greatly from those of our ancestors, some of the most important aspect of life remain unchanged.
So you might have heard about the Technological Singularity, but did you ever wonder what happens after the fact? Black Sky thinking is a term that is being developed to shape an approach for dealing with unfamiliar territories – both real and conceptual.
Black Sky thinking seeks to understand more about our situation without prejudging or even needing to know the future. It travels into the unknown, not as a reckless gesture but as a creative act, so that we may envision the world we wish to inhabit. This does not mean that anything goes, but rather, signals a fresh exploration of things we thought we knew, so that we can look and imagine afresh.
This whole week you can come and taste meat ice at Le Bistro In Vitro in the main hall of Eindhoven University of Technology. Curious to hear what your favorite scoop is: Meat Fruit? Dragon? Polar Bear?
Our in vitro meat visions are also still on display at the Future Food house in Rotterdam. Want to help us explore the food culture lab grown meat could brings us before we decide if we accept it? Support our in vitro meat cookbook.