“I’m sliding my finger to the right of the screen to answer the call” is the modern translation of “I’m picking up the phone”. Even to the younger generation, who have never literally picked up or hung up the phone, the contemporary version sounds odd. But hanging up the phone really doesn’t make any sense today. Phrases like “rewinding the tape”, “dialing the phone”, or “cranking the engine” are called skeuonyms, expressions left over from a technology no longer used.
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It seems the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have taken the going-green trend to the ultimate extreme. Earlier this week, the women’s diving pool at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre mysteriously turned swampy green. The color change happened overnight in just one of the pools, arousing a great deal of speculation.
On the main street of Ljubljana, Slovenia – green capital of Europe – artist Martin Bricelj Baraga set up a sculpture that measures the blueness of the sky. The self-sufficient installation fully operates on solar energy and functions both as monument and as open source software, which visualizes the air quality of the city. The work pays homage to the 18th century ‘Cyanometer’ attributed to Horace-Benedict de Saussure, a Swiss physicist who designed a circular tool to systematically document the blueness on a scale of fifty-three shades of blue, ranging from white to black. See for yourself!
Last month the experimental solar powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 succeeded its record-breaking journey over the Pacific. The Swiss team behind the aircraft flew 43.041 kilometers around the world without fuel, entirely driven by solar energy. The aviation pioneers are now developing the next step of the project: solar drones.
Virtual worlds, printed food, living cities, wild robots – we’re so surrounded by technology that it’s becoming our next nature. How can we live in harmony with it? The Next Nature Network is a 21st century nature organization that wants to go forward – not back – to nature. We stir debate, create events, exhibitions, publications and products that bring biology and technology into balance. Because ultimately, we may not just have to save the pandas but the people too. Will you join us?
In the 1977 blockbuster Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Princess Leia appeared to Luke Skywalker as a hologram. Nearly forty years after, that fantasy is here. The Microsoft HoloLens is a holographic computer that enables users to interact with high-definition holograms through augmented reality. Unveiled in 2015, the headset is now available to the (rich) masses, at a price of $3.000.
Researchers at Harvard University have designed a miniature robotic stingray. By way of reverse engineering and taking heart cells from a rat, this robot is actually alive. The cyborg stingray was introduced on Science journal. Responsive to flashes of light, the movement of the creature gives the scientists a better understanding on how the human heart pumps blood.
In some urban areas blackouts are more common than others, but few areas have never underwent one. Anyone who has experienced a blackout is well aware of how dependent we are on electricity. Apparently the Internet cannot function without it! Which means that instant communication is out too. Although most clocks will keep ticking, time itself seems to lose meaning. Without electricity everything stops. The digital world is so thoroughly interwoven with the real world that we forget that software needs working hardware. For an unknown interval we live in a different world where only physical presence matters. As long as it is temporary, it might feel like a breath of fresh air. Hopefully, though, you’ve pressed the save-button first.
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As the saying goes “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, so Hallstatt – a small UNESCO World Heritage city in central Austria – can feel really proud. Among numerous fake Italian villas and French palaces, it is the only village in the world entirely copied and rebuilt in China. State-owned developer Minmetals constructed it in the suburbs of Huizhou, in the southern part of the country.
The advent of digital media has brought along some health conditions. For some years now, we have seen reports involving gamer’s wrist, text neck, Blackberry thumb and iPad hand. What these conditions have in common is that they are all forms of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), adversely affecting our muscles that may be caused by awkward positions and repetitive tasks. Recently a new injury was added to the list of tech ache, the selfie elbow.