Researchers at MIT are taking superfoods to the next level. By embedding spinach leaves with carbon nanotubes, a team of MIT engineers has converted spinach plants into biological bomb detectors. The introduction of “plant nanobionics”, a method to augment plants with nanomaterials, basically give them superpowers.
Since the earliest days of media players with visualization software, such as Winamp, we have started to become accustomed to not only hearing, but also seeing our favorite songs. The pulsating animations on the screen brought an optical sensation to our experience of music. Artist Matthew Hollings aims to turn these into physical sculptures.
In March Amazon launched a game on their Echo smart speaker, inviting users to solve the fictional murder of Bruce and Martha Wayne, Batman’s parents. Needless to say the adventure was a marketing plug to promote the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. Surprisingly the fiction became a reality, when local police in Arkansas obtained a warrant for Amazon to turn over recording data from an Echo device to help prosecute a suspected murderer. Reportedly, Amazon has declined giving such information, twice.
Australia isn’t where you think it is! The continent is moving seven centimeters (2.75 inches) up northwards each year. From 1994, when the current coordinates of Australia were set, the land has shifted 1.5 meters (4.9 feet). It might not seem like a big deal, but it is still enough to disrupt global navigation satellite systems, putting Australia out of sync. This affects GPS, meteorologists, automated cars and even drones. For example, without updating the GPS, a delivery drone will leave the package at your neighbor’s house, instead of yours.
What happens when natural clouds are combined with cloud computing? Artist and writer James Bridle is exploring artificial intelligence, Brexit and the weather. By comparing vast amounts of historical weather data and polling results, Cloud Index uses machine learning in order to produce hybrid weather forecasts and questions on how communication technologies function in predicting, thus controlling, our future.
Peculiar image of the week. Via Twitter
The human olfactory system is capable of detecting one trillion different scents. The ability to smell not only lets us enjoy the fragrances of roses and perfume, it also warns us when something is not right. Take gas for instance, the addition of an artificial scent to the odorless matter allows our noses to function as a cautionary tool in case of a leak. The project Smell of Data has adopted this approach and altered it into a device that warns us against the unscented danger of our digital landscape: data.
On the main street of Ljubljana, Slovenia – green capital of Europe – artist Martin Bricelj Baraga set up a sculpture that measures the blueness of the sky. The self-sufficient installation fully operates on solar energy and functions both as monument and as open source software, which visualizes the air quality of the city. The work pays homage to the 18th century ‘Cyanometer’ attributed to Horace-Benedict de Saussure, a Swiss physicist who designed a circular tool to systematically document the blueness on a scale of fifty-three shades of blue, ranging from white to black. See for yourself!