This Face ‘doek’ (Dutch for blanket) was designed by eighteen year old Noortje van Steenis and put in the corridor of her high school as a protest against the addiction of her fellow students to Facebook. She doesn’t have a Facebook account herself. The Facedoek functions like an old fashioned announcement space. Everyone is allowed to write on it. Peculiar image of the week. Picture by Marcel van den Berg.
Minutes ago the world’s first lab grown hamburger was grilled in London. The cultured beef burger has been engineered by Prof Mark Post, who lived up to the promise he made some years ago.
More remarkable than the look & taste of the burger, which only stood out because it was presented in a petri dish and described by one of the panelist as ‘hot’, was the revelation that Serge Brin, co-founder of Google.com, financed the project.
With today’s presentation of the first lab grown hamburger by Prof. Mark Post, in-vitro meat makes an important step towards our daily diet. Cultured meat could one day be a sustainable and animal friendly alternative to today’s meat production. Yet, despite this technological breakthrough, many people still find it is an unattractive idea to eat meat from the lab. Before we can decide if we will ever be willing to eat in-vitro, we need to explore the food culture it will bring us.
While most of the ongoing research focuses on duplicating current meat products (like hamburgers) and making the cultured beef affordable, sustainable and tasty, the envisioning of new meat products that fit this new technology is equally important. Just like industrial manufacturing brought us new furniture, in-vitro meat technology may lead to entirely new food products, beyond todays sausages, steaks and burgers.
Besides a Hamburger, What Else?
Although cultured meat is typically presented as a technology to solve problems like animal suffering, food scarcity and climate issues, the technology could also be framed positively: Eating in-vitro could bring us entirely new food experiences and eating habits that may enrich our lives.
Meet the first species named after a website. Discovered in 2004, the honor of naming this new monkey was auctioned off to raise funds for the national park it calls home. The monkey is now know as the Goldenpalace.com Titi. Yet another example of the dominance of the technosphere over the biosphere.
Since its christening as Callicebus aureipalatii, however, there’s no evidence that the titi enjoys online gambling any more than it used it.
Image via Nova Taxa.
Once a vast carpet of healthy vegetation, the Amazon rain forest is changing rapidly. This color-coded satellite image of Bolivia shows dramatic deforestation in the Amazon Basin. Loggers have cut paths into the forest, while ranchers have cleared large blocks for their herds. Fanning out from many of these clear-cut areas are settlements built in radial arrangements of fields and farms. Healthy vegetation appears bright red. This image was taken on August 1, 2000. We imagine the landscape has changed significantly in the last 13 years.
Are Drones the mosquitoes of the 21st century? They are rapidly propagating, while getting smaller and smaller. Soon they will be everywhere: Buzzing around you, spying on you and potentially attacking you.
A small town of Deer Trail, Colorado is considering a bold move towards the wild robotics. The town board will be voting on an ordinance that would create drone hunting licenses and offer bounties for shooting down the unmanned aerial vehicles.
Apes, dolphins and elephants are animals with remarkable communication skills. Could the internet be expanded to include sentient species like them?
Dolphin researcher Diana Reiss, musician Peter Gabriel, internet of things visionary Neil Gershenfeld and Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet discussed this remarkable developing idea at TED.
What if our food was still alive when served on our plate? Minsu Kim, a graduate from the Royal College Of Art, created a wonderful series of dishes consisting of hypernatural living organisms that wiggle on your plate, play with your cutlery and evoke whole new taste sensations in your mouth.
The dishes walk the fine line between luster and disgust and find its lineage in haute cuisine and molecular gastronomy. Extreme-connoisseurs only!
Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.
Over the years we have seen quite a few growing bottles, ranging from the classic Orangina bottle, to a bottle you can peel like a piece of fruit, to growing Heinz ketchup bottles. Yet, arguably, this growing beer bottle is the weirdest we have seen so far.
Apparently the biomimic-marketeers wanted to promote an all natural beer, so they envisioned a futuristic scenario in which beer bottles grow straight from the hop plants. Although any sufficiently technology will be indistinguishable from nature, we doubt that we will still drink beer from bottles by the time we are capable of such advanced guided growth. It is interesting, still, that a so-called natural beer is now marketed by portraying an utterly technological process.
Thanks to Alice for the heads-up.
We increasingly use digital technology to augment our senses, but we rarely realize that other senses are numbed in the process. Smell is a good example of a powerful sense that is hardly articulated in our technological culture. Designer Lloyd Alberts envisioned a speculative product called the Sniffer, which allows you to visualize scent in a Google glass style. Watch the video for an impression of its use in everyday life.
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.