Tag: Image-Consumption

pepsi-eggplant_
Biomimicmarketing

Pepsi Aubergine

Occasionally you bump into an image that seems related to our next nature quest, but you are unable to verbalize. If you have an idea, please enlighten us dear intelligent readers. For now it is our peculiar image of the week. Thanks Selby.

the reason why cities have squirrels
Image-Consumption

Squirrels Are in Cities to Keep Us Sane

If you stroll through a park in an American city, you might assume that all the squirrels you see got there on their own. After all, where there’s trees, there’s usually nuts, and where’s there’s nuts, there’s squirrels. But it turns out that those nut-bearing trees were specifically planted to support squirrels, and that all those squirrels were brought there on purpose. It turns out the existence of urban squirrels is linked to a history of changing attitudes towards nature, the wilderness, and animals:

The squirrel fad really took off in the 1870s, thanks to Frederick Law Olmstead’s expansive parks… the movement to fill the parks with squirrels “was related to the idea that you want to have things of beauty in the city, but it was also part of a much broader ideology that says that nature in the city is essential to maintaining people’s health and sanity, and to providing leisure opportunities for workers who cannot travel outside the city.” These squirrels were possibly the only wildlife the workers would ever see.

Read more about city squirrels at Gizmodo. Photo of a fry-loving squirrel via Serious Eats.

StreetGhosts
Boomeranged Metaphors

From Street View Pics to Real-Life Ghosts

Italian artist Paolo Cirio prints life-sized pictures of people found on Google’s Street View and posts them at the same spot where they were taken. By taking virtual identities out of the digital world and giving them a new life in three-dimensional reality, he reopens the debate about digital privacy.

Google permanently stores the digital pictures taken by the Google Car online. Cirio considers his “ghosts” victims, as he explains: “These companies keep this data forever, even when we die. And they commercially exploit it”.

To learn more, follow him during a night of work in some of Brooklyn’s busiest intersections on Motherboard.

frisky whisky atomic radioactive
Fake-for-Real

Frisky Whisky: Radioactive Booze from the Atomic Age

Every bottle tested by a geiger counter! No doubt one of the stranger beverages from yesteryear, Frisky Whiskey promises that it’s “the world’s first whiskey to be aged by atomic materials. Its thirty day process is equivalent to 40 years of standardized 19th century aging.” First, and hopefully last. This dubious drink is demonstrates how marketers jump on new scientific trends as a way to give their products an edge – even if that ‘edge’ is imaginary.

EDIT: Alas, too bad to be true. It’s a fake. Guess we’ll have to go back to drinking radium-infused water from the office Revigator.

Via Retronaut.

Jean-Marc Cote illustration 1899 uncirculated, kitchen in 2000, published in Isaac Asimov's Futuredays 1986
Food Technology

Bizarre Retro-Futuristic Visions of Meat

Turns out that people have been concerned about the realities of meat consumption for quite a while. This is an illustration produced in 1899 by Jean-Marc Cote. The illustrations were made for a company that went out of  business before they could be circulated, but a set was discovered much later and reproduced in a book with commentary by Isaac Asimov. Cote envisioned the kitchen of the year 2000, where food is produced in a chemistry lab rather than in a traditional kitchen.

Click through to see more retro-futuristic predictions, including a miniature factory farm and fields sprouting with “fat plants” and “meat beets”.

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fake shanty town in south africa for vacationers
Fake-for-Real

Fake Shanty Town Simulates Poverty for Rich Vacationers

Have you always wanted to experience poverty, but never felt like going through the hassle of interacting with an actual poor person? Emoya Luxury Hotel in South Africa offers vacationers an empathy-free way to experience an “authentic” life of hardship – if your definition of hardship includes free WiFi. According to the site:

A Shanty usually consists of old corrugated iron sheets or any other waterproof material which is constructed in such a way to form a small “house” or shelter where they make a normal living. A paraffin lamp, candles, a battery operated radio, an outside toilet (also referred to as a long drop) and a drum where they make fire for cooking is normally part of this lifestyle.

Just like stamp collecting or golf, grinding, abject poverty with limited access to electricity and sanitation is a ‘lifestyle’ to which anyone can aspire. Hold your next corporate retreat in this ersatz slum and wonder with your colleagues why poor people are always so miserable if they’ve got under-floor heating and optional breakfast.

Via Gawker.

Image via Mads Madsen
Hyperreality

Colorized Photographs Blur the Line Between History and Simulation

Recently, a number of talented artists have put their Photoshop skills to use adding color to many famous historical photographs. From Charles Darwin to World War II, there is a whole thread on Reddit now dedicated to expanding our perception of history by adding color to it. Despite widespread press coverage of this new phenomenon, one question has not been asked yet: Are these colorized photographs still real? Are they still photographs?

Image via Mads Madsen

Image via breakingcopy.com
Biomimicmarketing

How Much is a Polar Bear Worth?

About $420,000, if you ask Canada. According to a report commissioned by the Canadian government, its citizens would be willing to pay $6.3 billion dollars per year to ensure that the white creatures continue to wander their vast arctic home. That’s about $500 per household, and with around 15,000 polar bears in Canada today, it equates to about $420,000 per bear. Look at the numbers a little closer, though, and you may notice that the direct benefits associated with the bears (mostly tourism and hunting) add up to a statistically insignificant $9 million per year, meaning that nearly all of the value of polar bears (at least to Canada) is qualitative, or something along the lines of “we just like them.” But why?

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Fake-for-Real

NASA Solves the Toxic ‘New Car Smell’

The car buying experience is really a ritual – the glass-walled showroom, the pushy salesmen, the shiny just-waxed cars that feel like yours at the very first touch – and then there’s that new-car smell. Its a little bit like fresh paint, or old leather, but whatever it is makes it feel like the car just rolled off the assembly line. It turns out that new-car smell is a toxic soup of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) released by plastic parts inside the car. Last year, NASA researchers developed a remarkable coating that permanently seals in these gases for use in confined environments where out-gassing plastic poses a deadly threat. Despite this, car companies are working to find their own solution. So what still seems to be the problem?

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