Boomeranged Metaphors

p2p spiders

It looks like spiders are learning from the web and use peer-to-peer technology to build their web:

“Entomologists are debating the origin and rarity of a sprawling spider web that blankets several trees, shrubs and the ground along a 200-yard stretch of trail in a North Texas park. Lake Tawokoni State Park rangers Mike McCord, left, and Freddie Gowin check out a giant spider web at the park.

Spider experts say the web may have been constructed by social cobweb spiders, which work together, or could be the result of a mass dispersal in which the arachnids spin webs to spread out from one another.”

And since spiders are checking out the web, it’s very possible they drop by at So… you guys please thay out of my house? Thank you.

Read the whole article at CNN

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Evolution in the Bathroom

I have been conducting some attempts to backtrack the evolution of Gillette shaving razors appearing in my bathroom. Whereas older shavers were simple sticks with a blade on top, the recent models appear like fully accessorized Ferrari’s. I and my colleagues believe wet and electric shaving are developing itself towards a common evolutionary optimum, possibly closely related to vacuum cleaner design.

Unfortunately our collection still has some ‘missing links’ and furthermore, there are serious scientific doubts about the second razor from the left, which is believed to belong to a different sub-species. If you happen to have a razor in your bathroom you believe to be this missing link, we would highly appreciate it if you send it to us for investigation.

Mail your ‘missing link’ razor to:

Next Nature Research
t.a.v. Koert van Mensvoort MSc MFA
Eindhoven University of Technology, Industrial Design Department
PO Box 513

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Bioprinting in Hawai

This Fall, the 1st world Bioprinting Congress is organized in Honolulu, Hawai. Four whole days of biopatterning, bioassembly and biofabrication! The ironic choice of location provides the event with the right Utopian flavor. Lets hope they manage to bioprint wonderful donor organs and design steaks.

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Printing virtuality

Phone, internet, television, photography, even books or music: today it is hard for the mind to escape from virtual worlds. A day without communication or interaction could make us feel like we left home without a wallet. The key to why communication and virtual reality is such a success, hence adopted in our every-day-life, is the concept of being in two places at the same time. This ability makes us feel like we can experience twice as much in the time given.

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Fake for Real: Image Consumption

Hey! That muddy, greasy burger on my plate isn’t the firm, fresh, delicious one I picked out from the advertisements above the counter, is it?

I vividly remember my first visit to McDonald’s as a child. Of course, I already knew all the products from the commercials, and when the burger came to the table, I remember thinking, “Ok, this is it then…” Although the burger tasted great, my awareness that I was actually eating an image gave it a weird flavor. I later learned that this is how things are in our time: the image no longer represents the product. Rather, the product represents the image.

From our Fake for Real series.

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Summit of the Mount Everest on Tour

Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth, as measured by the height of its summit above sea level. In May 2005, artist Xu Zhen led an ascent on Everest, and succeeded in removing the summit of the mountain, reducing its height by 186cm, Xu Zhen’s own height. The summit of the Mount Everest has been touring art exhibits throughout the world ever since.

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Back to the Tribe

Stoneage noodles

15.000 Years ago we lived in caves, wore animal-fur and ate mammut-noodles!? Oh well, though our knowledge has grown a bit, the human nature hasn’t changed that much: every second of the day supermarkets are hunted down by gatherers… Watch the other videos here.

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Fake for Real: World View

In ancient times, heroes like Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus explored unknown territories of the globe. The climax of these terrestrial explorations was reached at the beginning of the space age, when astronauts captured the entire earth in a single picture.

Today, world travel has become a teenage tourist activity, but luckily there still are other spheres to conquer. Whether we are roaming the globe with Google Earth, descending into the depths of our genes or traveling to the outskirts of the universe, our world view is fundamentally shaped through interfaces.

From our Fake for Real series.

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Permafrost seed bank

The Norwegian government will hollow out a cave on the ice-bound island of Spitsbergen to hold a seed bank. This seed vault is an answer to a call from the international community to provide the best possible assurance of safety for the world’s crop diversity. There are currently about 1,400 seed banks around the world, but a large number of these are located in countries that are either politically unstable or that will possibly face threats from the natural environment. The idea is that the gene bank will serve as a back-up.

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