Tag: Symbolic-Overdrive

Manufactured Animals

First Monkey Named after a Website

Meet the first species named after a website. Discovered in 2004, the honor of naming this new monkey was auctioned off to raise funds for the national park it calls home. The monkey is now know as the Goldenpalace.com Titi. Yet another example of the dominance of the technosphere over the biosphere.

Since its christening as Callicebus aureipalatii, however, there’s no evidence that the titi enjoys online gambling any more than it used it.

Image via Nova Taxa.


A Frankenstein-esque System

Life-support machines, they are designed to activate our bodies when anatomy fails. But what will happen when the machines keep each other alive?

Designers Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen created The Immortal; a machine which exists out of several life-support machines connected with wires and electric cords. They keep each other alive through circulation of electrical impulses, oxygen and artificial blood.

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Floppy wha?
Boomeranged Metaphors

Design Looking Backwards

Why do phones make the noise of a camera shutter every time a picture is taken, the save icon remain a floppy disk, your email have an envelope and your iCalendar look like its made from a cow?

On the one hand, being the creatures of habit that we are, we find comfort in the familiar. But does that come at a cost and limit functionality, as well as cheapen our experiences?

In products the real material generally costs more and (arguably) is perceived as better. (Think solid aluminium Macbook Air vs Ultrabook) but in the digital we’re already aware that the form is generally 2D and not physical.

In a sense skeuomorphism makes the digital more approachable and understandable, the argument remains as to whether we now need our digital technology to imitate that which exists, or on the other hand do we expect our technology to surpass the physical?

Handwritings great, but I guess most people bought a phone to type, and reading “marker felt” on a 4″ screen in pt. 7 size font is painful at best. Bring on Helvetica. Or better yet Newvetica.

dad hires virtual hitman to get son out of gaming

Dad Hires Virtual Hitman to Kill Son’s Online Avatars

A 23-year-old in China was recently puzzled why his online avatars were being killed off at disproportionate rates. After asking around, the young man eventually discovered that his own father was behind the virtual murders. It turns out that the father was concerned that his unemployed son had become addicted to gaming, and reasoned that hiring an online hitman would be as terminal a solution as a real-life assassin. The only problem? Virtual avatars usually have a pesky supply of extra lives.

Story via BBC News. Image via Kotaku. Thanks to Jack for the heads-up.


Happy Meat

While the meat-industry deliberately creates products in which you cannot recognize the animals they are made of, the toy-industry deliberately simplifies and exaggerates animal characteristics into caricature. The Happy Meat project by Type-B combine the best of both worlds in a rather uncanny hybrid. Bon appetit!

traditional chinese medicine

When Biomimicmarketing Kills

Loosely regulated and largely untested in clinical trials, herbal medicines nonetheless do big business based on their image of being wholesome, natural, and backed by millennia of tradition. Common sense tells us that it’s healthier to swallow a flower than a pill, and wiser to consult with a kindly herbalist than with a white-coated doctor.

Biomimicmarketing is so persuasive that it can sell poison, so long as the poison is “natural”. Aristolochia, a mottled purple flower, was a common medicine in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, and is still an ingredient in traditional chinese remedies and in certain weight-loss supplements. Prescribed for ailments as wide-ranging as childbirth, arthritis and snakebites, for thousands of years doctors and patients managed to miss the flower’s most potent property: It will kill you.

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Back to the Tribe

Twitter Followers as Currency

Imagine what you could do if you had one million Twitter followers. You would be so rich! Now seriously: Are followers becoming an alternative currency? Perhaps, although we are still awaiting the day that you can walk into a bakery and routinely buy a loaf of bread with your Twitter following. Scratch to win. Or if you don’t believe in lotteries, you can simply buy one million twitter followers for only $8295.

Image by Julian Bleecker.