I’m not religious, but I believe in Earth. Still, for Earth to have “believers”, Earth needs to have inhabitants (or colonists elsewhere, but that’s not something to consider, at least not yet). So Earth (or the concept of “Earth” as a pseudo deity) needs an intelligent lifeform, like Man (or the concept dies). And to sustain a lifeform on Earth, or form life, as we know it, we need light. The source of light would therefore become the source of life, and probably the closest thing I get to define as a god.
So if you ask me how I imagine the face of God, here it is:
More fantastic images at NationalGeographic.
Oh, oh, oh! There’s even a video!
Warning: if you’re as easily awed as I, this will blow your mind and make you feel very, very insignificant indeed.
23-year old Chinese designer Daizi Zheng has come up with a rather intriguing idea. What she’s presenting is a cellphone powered by carbohydrates! Utilising enzymes as a catalyst, the “green Nokia” would draw energy from liquid form sugar, like Coca Cola (though any brand soda, even sugar water, would do the trick). The technology is already available: back in 2007, Sony presented their bio-battery which works the exact same way.
From Daizi Zheng’s website: This is a client project aimed at designing an eco-friendly phone for Nokia. As a result of my research, I discovered that conventional phone batteries are: expensive, harmful to the environment and difficult to dispose of. In addition, the conventional battery manufacturing process consumes many valuable resources. The concept is based on the idea to create a pollution free environment by using bio-batteries as an alternative to conventional batteries. A bio-battery is an ecologically friendly, energy supply system which uses enzymes as a catalyst to generate electricity from carbohydrates (currently sugar). In order to use the bio-battery as a power source for the phone all that is required is a small supply of a sugary drink. Once the battery dies only oxygen and water remains. Bio-batteries are fully biodegradable and have, on a single charge, a potential life-span three to four times longer than conventional lithium batteries. Meanwhile, bio-batteries are a whole new way of looking at batteries and afternoon tea.
With the Burj Khalifa (previously known as the Burj Dubai) rising 828 meters in the air as the tallest building on Earth, it stands as a challenge to every new tower planned. I’ve seen a good few plans for taller towers, but the prospect of Miapolis is one of the more interesting. Sure, it looks monstrous, but it’s American after all. It would demand hovercars though.
Plans drawn by architectural design firm Kobi Karp, the Miapolis is to be a 975 meter high tower, built on Watson Island in the port of of Miami (hence the name). If realised, the giant set of tweezers will hold an amusement park, an observatory, a good few restaurants, shops, apartments, offices and a 792-room hotel. What, no spaceport? I blame the financial crisis.
This is kind of cool, although I’m not sure I see the use for it. Place the top side of the pen against any object, press the scan button, and the pen automatically mixes its three RGB colours to give you the colour you scanned. Or something close in range at least.
The colour given would depend a great deal on lighting, and although you’d get a blue colour pointing at something blue, I think it could be more useful if it came with a colour chart that the pen was calibrated to. Of course, now you could argue that it would be easier with a menu system inside the pen, saving you from carrying the chart around, but… Argh. It’s a nice idea. Clever and cool.
Even if it looks like a pregnancy test.
The New Zealander invention YikeBike promises easy movement and freedom for a mere (?) €3500-3900. Sure, it looks cool, and if it’s half as comfortable as it looks, it could very well be a nice little something for the environmentally aware man or woman. It’s not meant for off-road driving, so it’s probably better suited for use in the busy city life.
The enemy always keeps coming. That’s part of what being an enemy is about; they come, and we really don’t want them to. Or it’s us doing the coming and them doing the not-wanting-us-to-come-ing. Either way enemies are always unwanted, and so we’ve devised ways of alerting the people upon hostile invasion.
To begin with, we shouted. Then, we shouted louder, as this proved more effective. Then, cupping our hands, banging on drums, smoke singals, lighting fires on mountaintops, all that. With the radio invented, we soon heard the booming radiograph alarm signal telling us a distress message is about to be transmitted and would you please turn your radio on right away and pay attention because the government is about to tell you something bloody important. This is still the best solution we’ve got, but as with all forms of alarm, its effect depends on it being well ahead of the danger it’s announcing. So we had to come up with ways for being ahead of time, and this is where it gets interesting. Before the radar, would you know, we used fancy hearing aids!
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, please visit WebUrbanist.com or DamnInteresting.com for more insight.
Happy new year!
After a refreshing christmas holiday I am back online, more or less alive and gently kicking.
I’ll open the new year with a lolcat I made. Yes, I find them silly, and employing lolcats to look smart doesn’t help much, does it?
Yesterday, at the COP15 Climate Conference in Copenhagen, MIT students presented the Copenhagen Wheel, a hybrid smart wheel that harnesses your kinetic energy created when braking and stores the energy in the wheel for later use. The wheel can communicate with your smart phone, which may tell you how fast you’re going, where you’re going and when you’re likely to get there. Having the smart phone mounted on the handlebars, you can lock or unlock your bike, change gears and select how much the motor should assist you. The Copenhagen Wheel also monitors pollution levels, and this information can be shared online, making for a map showing you and your fellow citizens where to go to avoid pollution and traffic congestion.
In my blog article “My clone looks nothing like me“, I present the thought of having your own look-alike somewhere in the world.
Today, I found this marvellous Face Transformer created and hosted by the
University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Here, using the transformer script, my friend Sigurd has been given west-asian, afro-caribean and east-asian features, suggesting what his look-alike looks like:
The Face Transformer also has options to show how you might have looked like as a baby, child or teenager, and how you might look like as an old man (or woman). Also, you can feminise your features, see yourself as a Botticelli painting or even mix fifty percent chimp DNA into the gene pool. Good fun.
Resizing your photo aforehand to 640×480 is recommended, as large images will load slowly in the script (standard webcam size should be fine).
Yesterday, my friend Richard from London told me he saw someone over there that looked a bit like me. It got me thinking.
The idea of having a twin is strange. Of course, with 7 billion people in the world, chances are there’s someone out there who resembles you so much that people could be fooled, should you bring your twin to your hometown. That is, before your twin starts talking, laughing, moving, gesturing, all those other things that makes you you to other people. But at a certain distance, in a certain light, standing upright without moving or talking, you probably should be able to fool your own parents (or HE would fool your parents, rather). Somewhere out there is a man (or a very ugly woman) who looks pretty much like me.
Today, I came across http://facialprofiler.com, which is an ad campaign for Coca Cola Zero (they want us to believe it’s standard Cola’s twin – utter nonsense of course, tastes nothing like it). At the site, your picture is taken via webcam, pictures on Facebook or pictures from your harddrive and then compared to other people’s faces in their database. And then you’re waiting in excitement as “People ahead of you in the queue” gets matched – and their match actually looks like them! If you try this procedure a few times though, you’ll see the “people ahead of you in queue” are the same people every time, so that’s just something they’ve put in there to have you believe this thing works.
Well, does it work? You be the judge: