Manufactured Animals

Cat Power

Athanasius Kircher first described the cat piano in his landmark 1650 work Musurgia Universalis. In order to raise the spirits of an Italian prince burdened by the cares of his position, a musician created a cat piano for him. The musician selected cats whose natural voices were at different pitches and arranged them in cages, side by side, so that when a key on the piano was depressed, a mechanism drove a sharp spike into the appropriate cat’s tail. The result was a wondrous melody of meows that became more vigorous as the cats became more and more desperate. Who could not help but laugh at such music? Thus was the prince raised from his melancholy.

Wild-systems

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.

The-map-is-the-territory

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.

Sentient Spaces

What’s Epic?

Epic is a fictional prospect (from 2004) on the future culture of media and internet-corporations. The human addiction to news and information must – according to this video – accumulate to one great scattered source with over too many editors. But is it the product we wanted? by Robin Sloan

Dynamic-architecture

The Living Tower

According to Environmental Health Science Department of Columbia University, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will, in the year 2050, reside in urban centers. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). The “Vertical Farm Project” shows a possible solution to this space-dilemma.

Calm-technology

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.

www.google.com/technology/pigeonrank.html

Calm-technology

Dreamkeeper

Skin conductivity sensors are used to deduce the emotional state of the sleeper. This information is brought to 3-D studio where a script is used to transform this into physical forms. Objects can be 3-D printed and keep as a physical mnemonic device to keep the dream memories from slipping away.

Creating tangible objects that are physical manifestations of dreams can have personal, social and psychological benefits. For example, tangible dreams can be worn as unique accessories or collected for personal remembrance. The tangible dreams can also be shared between friends and family to deepen relationships.

interaction-ivrea.it

Fake-nature

USB Tanner

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