Author: Rolf Coppens




The Sababa is the first real time lava visualiser kit of global city flows. It takes the lava lamp one step further by reconstructing it according to the language of the current on-line culture.
The result is a new generation of interactive lava’s that are connected to a growing network of data sources around the world.

The word sababa means “cool” and is borrowed from Hebrew low tech slang. It stands in contrast to the hi tech words used to describe the product the Sababa stands for, indicating that behind the hi-tech quality of our product there is also a valued low-tech requirement.
The Sababa might end up being a satire, it might turn to be vaporware, but it is also cool and desirable – it is Sababaware.

More here


20 years after Chernobyl


Pripyat was built as a town for workers at the Chernobyl power station, where the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred 20 years ago. The town was abandoned 36 hours after the explosion.
Nature has been reclaiming the abandoned town. Wild boars roam the streets at night. Birch trees have been shooting up at random, even inside some apartment blocks.

It’s literally culture becoming nature. See the whole series here.


24 hours economy

Could the biggest, most successful discount store in the world really meet your every need? Twenty-four hours a day? That’s what the TV spots are saying. Really living there. Eating, sleeping, checking out the DVDs, never leaving.
Skyler Bartels walked into the big box wearing jeans and a white T-shirt. He had his cell phone in case of emergency, his heart medicine, his bank card, two forms of identification, and nothing else. He spent the first afternoon watching “Chicken Little,” the animated Disney film. He watched it all. Deleted scenes, interviews, outtakes. Everything.

“They had it on a continuous loop the whole time I was there,” he said. “I’d pass through the department and say, ‘Oh, it’s about halfway through’ or, ‘I like this part. I think I’ll watch it again.’ “

He decided not to buy anything he couldn’t carry around the store. He ended up with a jacket (for storage space), a note pad, some pencils, an electronic voice recorder, a three-pack of underwear, a comb, a toothbrush and some toothpaste. He lived off energy drinks, doughnuts, yogurt and Subway sandwiches. He figures he slept four hours out of the 41 in captivity. He’d catch a few minutes whenever he could – in a Subway booth or a restroom stall.
The best place for dozing was lawn and garden, where the lights weren’t so bright. Nobody worked there between 2 and 4 a.m. Bartels found a lawn chair, kicked back and wondered how life could be better.

By Tuesday morning, not even halfway through the great experiment, the store was on to him. His debit account was frozen. He was exhausted and paranoid. Game over. His med-student brother picked him up and took him away.

“We weren’t aware of this,” said corporate spokeswoman Sharon Weber, “but it’s not something we condone. We’re a retailer, not a hotel.”

Like real life, you can’t get everything at Wal-Mart (new slogan: Not a Hotel). Bartels couldn’t get a shower or a bed. He couldn’t find one of those miniature bottles of shampoo.


Code Country

There’s some loophole in international maritime law that allows you to start a free state off the coast of Los Angeles.

In the summer of 2005, the San Diego-based company SeaCode announced that they would permanently anchor a cruise ship off the coast of Los Angeles, in international waters, filling it with an army of “offshore” computer programmers. Sea-coders, in other words.

This odd new micronation would beam the results of its cheap labor back to mainland clients via microwave and T3 internet connections. It would have a steady labor base, sovereign terrain, potentially even immunity from taxes – and loads and loads of code.



Technology behind Google’s results


As a Google user, you’re familiar with the speed and accuracy of a Google search. How exactly does Google manage to find the right results for every query as quickly as it does? The heart of Google’s search technology is PigeonRankâ„¢, a system for ranking web pages developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University.


USB Tanner


Don’t let the sun have the monopoly on making people love you more. Get the USB Desktop Tanning center and, in the comfort of your own cubicle, a scrumptiously golden tone can be yours in about the same time it takes you to update your lame blog with another meaningless entry that nobody will ever read. Ever.


  • Two base units attach to either side of your monitor
  • 4 WOLFFE Ultra-violet 100 watt bulbs
  • USB Powered
  • Variable rate knob features three settings (Powder, Tea, Malignant)
  • Comes with eyeball cover thingies!

Buy here


Parasite building


Placed on the Las Palmas building in Rotterdam, but it can be everywhere. Attached like a parasite to a building and able to move everytime you want… If you have a heli that is…


Withus Oragainstus

Just read this article on Darpa‘s work on using bugs for war effort. They are planning to make a kind of insect cyborg to use in the army.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting research proposals in the area of Hybrid Insect MEMS. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices or systems. Specifically excluded is research, which primarily results in evolutionary improvement upon existing state-of-the-art.

It made me think of this piece by Banksy





A tropical fish that fluoresces bright red is set to become the first genetically modified pet to go on sale in the US. Alan Blake and colleagues at Yorktown Technologies LP say the GloFish will be available from January 2004.

The little zebra fish were originally developed by researchers in Singapore to signal the presence of water pollutants by changing colour. “These fish were bred to help fight environmental pollution,” Blake said. “They were bred to fluoresce in the presence of toxins.”

Blake and the scientists who developed the GM fish, which especially glows under ultraviolet light, say they pose no threat to the environment as they cannot survive in non-tropical waters. However, the news of the GM aquarium pet has sparked concern among conservationists.

Buy them here




This is one of the weirdest things I ever saw… It’s a commercial for a construction company. The text goes a little bit like this:

Anabukikonten is “Anabuki Construction Co.” and their mascot seems to be
Anabukinchan! (chan means little girl) During this time the narrator says, “This is Anabuki Construction Company’s Campaign Girl, Anabukin-chan! She tries to be good just like any good girl, this Anabukin-chan!”

During this time the narrator is saying “What’s this? It seems that the animals of the forest are coming to join her! Everyone is in good spirits!”

Then the narrator shouts “Sei no!” which means a song is coming up!

Everyone: Anabukin-chan! Anabukinchan, [go for it]!
Anabukin-chan: Hai! Okay!
Yume ga fukuramu Expanding dreams,
Sa-basumashon Service mansion!
Kitai ga fukuramu Expanding hopes,
Sa-basumashon Service mansion!
Mune no fukuramu Expanding chests,
Fukuramu fukuramu Expanding, expanding,
Wow! Wow!
Sa-basumashon! Service mansion!

Watch the commercial

Manufactured Animals



Scientists in Japan have developed a koi robot that swishes around in water just like the real, fishy thing, and does stuff real koi can’t: swim in reverse and rotate in place. Robocarp was demonstrated in a pond on the grounds of the Hiroshima Machinery Works facility of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The makers | or watch the video



Every ecology needs balance. So that’s also true for the ecology of the office. The office is a ecology that is highly regulated: temperature, light, humidity, distance to other living creatures and others are thought of and are standardized, often worldwide as more and more companies operate around the world.

So— what they need is a bug in the system:

We harness interruptive technology to expose the secret possibilities of the workday. As a time-stealing agency, the Bureau of Workplace Interruptions works directly with employees to invisibly insert intimate exchange into the flow of the workday. Our promise is to create interruptions that challenge the needs of our users and the social and economic conditions of the modern workplace.

You know how receiving flowers at work can put a buzz on the rest of the day? So do we. That’s why we create surprise, the kind that slices through the banal and opens up new places for your mind to wander. The ruptures we create are temporary spaces for open dialogue, invisible resistance, and general amusement. In short, we hope to invigorate some of the time you spend at work in order to create new experiences and possibilities outside the flow of capital.

How does this work?

When you submit a request for interruption, our agents go to work finding the right interruption for you. We consider your occupation, work hours, and the means by which we can contact you. Once a feasible interruption has been decided on, we work to slip it into your day via mail, email, telephone, or a workplace visit. We strive throughout this process to keep our actions invisible to your employer.