Contemporary ants


Contemporary Ants

I for one welcome our contemporary ants overlords!

This is the MOCCA (Museum of Conemporary Canadian Art) in Toronto, where I experienced a fantastic immersive multimedia installation, Necropolis by Tasman Richardson. Today was the last day to see it so if you missed it, well, you missed it. But do keep an eye on Tasman, he’ll probably have some mind-blowing stuff to show us soon.

What the Space Shuttle booster saw


This video is exceptional for several reasons: it’s a complete flight sequence shot from the Space Shuttle boosters, from take-off to landing, from multiple angles and it’s in HD, and the sound has been remastered by Skywalker Sound. Make sure you watch till the end, when you can see the other booster crashing in the ocean just a few hundred feet from the one the camera’s riding.


via Kottke

Cellphone tracking can be beautiful, fascinating and scary at the same time

society, tech

This gorgeous data viz represents the movements of population in Geneva, Switzerland tracked by the cellphone connections to the cell towers. It’s beautiful, fascinating and scary at the same time.

Switzerland had more cell phones than people, around 10 million. During one day Swisscom subscribers in Geneva generate approximately 15 million connections from 2 million phone calls. As most of us know, carrying your phone around without making any calls still leaves a digital record as we get handed off from cell tower to cell tower.

I’ll leave it to you to rate the beauty of the visualization and what it represents, I do however think this is a fantastic urban planning tool. It’s just scary how our every movement is tracked so accurately. I lived in Geneva for over 10 years and can perfectly picture myself going through town from the traces represented there. You could map the coordinates to Google Earth and recreate an entire population’s’ whereabouts.

“Ville Vivante” means “living city” in French, which describes pretty well what this work represents.

via ReadWriteWeb: A Pretty Data Viz From Geneva Switzerland

Leon Theremin: The man and the music machine

art, tech

The Theremin has always fascinated me, probably because it was featured in so many sci-fi movies soundtracks. The BBC celebrates the 90th anniversary of its invention by Leon Theremin, a then young bolshevik who got Lenin’s attention.

Ninety years ago this month a young Russian scientist and inventor, Leon Theremin, was summoned to the Kremlin to meet Lenin. It was the start of an incredible journey that laid the foundations for modern electronic music.

Leon Theremin had just invented the first electronic musical instrument and, by direct consequence, electronic music.

via BBC News – Leon Theremin: The man and the music machine.

Artist suspends real clouds in the middle of the room


This is so cool! The scale and lighting boggles the mind for an instant. After all, our brain doesn’t expect to see a cumulus cloud indoors I guess.

Smilde uses a fog machine to make the actual clouds, but also carefully regulates the humidity and temperature. Even so, these installations exists for a mere moment before dissipating inside the room. If you’re not there in the moment, then you only get to experience these brief scientific sculptures as photographs.

Via io9

Equal rights shop mannequin for short fat bald middle-aged blokes with glasses


Times correspondent Simon de Bruxelles (or so it says on his twitter profile) tweeted this great image of a Bristol equal-rights shop.

It’s funny, yet at the same time it’s the right thing.

via Twitter and Instagram.

Giant knitted rabbit can be seen on Google Earth


After almost 5 years of knitting the rabbit found its final place in the italian alps (close to Cuneo). It waits there to be visited by you. You might even take your time or check back every now and then as the rabbit will wait for you 20 years from now on.

This absolutely awesome! It’s big enough you can see it on Google Maps!

Via Design You Trust
Original article in Italian 
via Designaside

The story of Keep Calm and Carry On


You’ve seen the now-famous Keep Calm and Carry On poster and its many many variations, but did you know that this British WWII poster was never distributed to the public and was discovered only recently in an English book shop?

via Kottke: The story of Keep Calm and Carry On.

People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say

this can't end well

In light of this article (and many more political theories), one could easily correlate this to certain political ideologies that tend to favour education for the select (rich) few and leave the vast majority uneducated, thus easily manipulated, even by the worst dumbass in history.

The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people’s ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.

Read the rest of this fascinating article on People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say – Yahoo! News.