Flying thousands of miles to see untouched nature
Recreation

What Is Next Nature? #6

As a mostly urban civilization we are completely detached from wild nature. The little stretches of greenery in cities require constant maintenance. We want the grass to be this tall, the trees in this order and the flowers in this color. Untouched nature has become something for adventurous travelers. Yet to experience the freedom and primordial beauty of ‘raw’ nature, one has to spend half a day in a cramped airplane seat. And it’s precisely this eco-tourism that is also threatening the livelihood of ecosystems.

Read the entire Next Nature is… series.

Tree and streetlight
Suburban Utopia

Streetlight Disrupts Seasonal Cycle of Trees

Prolonged exposure to artificial light prevents urban trees from adjusting to seasonal variations. Notice how the leaves of this tree have fallen, except for those directly under the streetlight. Recent research demonstrated how high-intensity light sources have the greatest impact on delaying leaf senescence, throwing off a plant response to the change of seasons. Peculiar image of the week via Physics FAU.

Wild Systems

The Movie Written by Artificial Intelligence

“The question for us was: is a computer able to write a screenplay?” these are the words of Oscar Sharp, director of this short movie, written by an artificial intelligence system. The answer is clearly yes. Sunspring is the result of this attempt: a sci-fi short movie of nine minutes where the main actor is Thomas Middleditch, character of the cult series Silicon Valley.

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Forward to Nature

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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?

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synthetic canine to save dog lives
Manufactured Animals

The “Dog” That Will Save Lives

A very realist and graphic synthetic dog is currently being developed by scientists for medical training and practice for veterinarians. This weird-looking dog will be used as a replacement for terminal surgery, where actual animals, mainly from kennels, are anesthetized, used for practicing different operations, from neutering to brain surgery, and finally euthanized.

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Wild Systems

Mapping the Online World

Before 1985 the virtual world was yet an uncharted space, an aerea full of potential but devoid of activity. Then in 1985, the online world has been permanently linked to the physical world. This happened when it was agreed that each country has to own its piece of virtual space, encapsulated in a two-letter code within the Domain Name System. Thirty years later, the online world counts 3.2 billion “citizens”, Internet users. But like our cities transformed the natural environment, the online domains shaped the virtual landscape.

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Walking on the grass, while there is a road, and feeling rebellious
Manufactured Landscapes

What Is Next Nature? #5

Can you relate to this? You’re walking on the pavement in a park or garden and you want to take a shortcut by crossing a grass field. You step off the road and on the grass, the soft soil underfoot feels comfortable, but it also feels like you’re doing something illegal. You look around expecting signs that say “do not walk on the grass”, but there are none. Indirectly we are taught that nature is something to behold, not to touch.

Read the entire Next Nature is… series.

Begging gettoblasters that hack the system
Suburban Utopia

Begging Ghetto Blasters Hack the System

In the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands, something strange is going on. Since a couple of years begging is prohibited there. The beggars were seen as a nuisance, disrupting the picturesque atmosphere of the old city center. Today, however, begging voices are echoing through the streets again. But this time it’s not homeless people, but ghetto blasters that do the begging.

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Anthropocene

Untouched Nature Is Entirely Gone

Human impact on this planet is evident, we modified ecosystems and landscapes. Since day one of our appearance on Earth we tried to know, understand and ultimately control our surroundings. Travelers all over the world constantly look for untouched lands and real nature, although lately this is harder and harder. After a long research, scientists now say that untouched nature is almost entirely gone.

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