Fake-nature

Hoax Dragon

“The baby dragon, in a sealed jar, was discovered with a metal tin containing paperwork in old-fashioned German of the 1890s. (…)
Some scientists believe that dragons, though the product of imagination, were inspired by the extraordinary creatures that once roamed the Earth.”

article: smh.com

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Manufactured Animals

Child Care Robot

NEC corporation is developping a “Childcare Robot PaPeRo” capable to play with and watch over children. The Childcare Robot is capable of recognizing and verbally communicating with people, sending images by mobile phone to persons far away, as well as playing games and singing along with others. With it, NEC is looking for new relationships and possibilities as a part of children’s groups at daycare centers, kindergartens and elementary schools.

“The aim of our research at NEC is not just to further robot technology, but to examine and develop better human-machine interface through the concept of living with robots“, said Yoshihiro Fujita, Project Manager, NEC Incubation Center.

www.incx.nec.co.jp

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Hyperreality

The Sleeping Garden

How to design an expierience of retrieving in nature in the middle of Holland’s second-biggest city? Design a park, built entirely from used railway sleepers. That was the basic idea of this proposal by graphic designers Hendrik-Jan Grievink and Kim Engbers (TEST), together with Henk Hartzema and Ruby van den Munckhof (ex-West 8 architects). The park was situated in a so-called “leftover space”, an area between three railroads near Rotterdam Central Station (NL). By simply creating a labyrinth of stacked up railway sleepers, a new and exciting urban environment is being achieved. Is it a park? Is it a playground? Is it a forest? Is it a monument? The no-programming of the spot will eventually lead to new and creative ways of using public space. In time, all kinds of flora will grow and take over the wooden structures. The Sleeping Garden was conceived for the competiition “A design for places leftover after planning”, commissioned by Atelier HSL.

www.atelierhsl.nl

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Biomimicmarketing

3D rendered bunnies prefer calm diesels

Kenichi Nagahiro, Honda’s chief engine designer, hated diesel engines. When asked to design Honda’s first diesel he flatly refused – unless he was allowed to start completely from scratch. The result is one of the cleanest, most refined diesel engines on the market today. Cute bunnies, pretty flowers and rainbows show their dislike of dirty, noisy, smelly diesel engines by destroying them in exchange for something better.

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Designed-by-Evolution

Fishscale

Sometimes this Old Nature thing seems so foreign and mysterious. Fortunately Next Nature is just around the corner! Check out this sweet site about deep-sea and oceanic life.

Explore the abyss

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Bionics

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


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Calm-technology

GloFish

 

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

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Biomimicmarketing

Anabukin-chan

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

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