Michael Hansmeyer is a Zurich architect who uses algorithms to generate absurdly complex structural columns. He recently created plastic 9 ft columns that each have about 16 million unique surfaces and no two columns—or even two surfaces—are the same. Take a look!
The Irish Potato Famine was caused by a disease called potato blight that swept through Ireland’s farms, hitting the single strain of potatoes grown by most farmers. Up until the 1960s, the most popular banana in the world ate was the Gros Michel. It was all but wiped out by a fungal disease when we were forced to switch to the Cavendish. Here are 6 foods we could lose in an outbreak.
How will we design products for the Internet of things? —GigaOM -
As revolutionary as the mobile ecosystem is, it’s the interactions of more intelligent connected devices with people outside of the context of phones or computers that will drive more innovation, says Mark Rolston, chief creative officer at Frog Design. Rolston, speaking at the Mobile Future Forward conference Monday in Seattle described a future where devices become more contextually aware thanks to embedded and connected sensors.
Instead of thinking about the buttons on a phone or a laptop, manufacturers and designers need to think about what will happen when computers are embedded in everything and connected all the time. Instead of computing confined in a box on a desk or in the hand, computers will be everywhere pulling data from a variety of places. Understanding how those computers will pull information about their environment, relay that data to users and then interpret what users want them to do creates a web of interaction that will require new ways of thinking and design.
Star pummeling alien planet with X-ray attack
The alien planet may actually be responsible for keeping the star alive and its magnetic field active.
Cameron Moll / Designer, Speaker, Author: 600,000 for charity: water -
We’ve just unveiled this parallaxified mini-site as part of Authentic Jobs’ 6th birthday celebration.
I had the pleasure of collaborating with Michael Botsko on the site. I had my hands on the design, while he wrangled the markup. There are a few imperfect details remaining to be…
The Perfect Mark -
Late one afternoon in June, 2001, John W. Worley sat in a burgundy leather desk chair reading his e-mail. He was fifty-seven and burly, with glasses, a fringe of salt-and-pepper hair, and a bushy gray beard. A decorated Vietnam veteran and an ordained minister, he had a busy practice as a Christian psychotherapist, and, with his wife, Barbara, was the caretaker of a mansion on a historic estate in Groton, Massachusetts. He lived in a comfortable three-bedroom suite in the mansion, and saw patients in a ground-floor office with walls adorned with images of Jesus and framed military medals. Barbara had been his high-school sweetheart—he was the president of his class, and she was the homecoming queen—and they had four daughters and seven grandchildren, whose photos surrounded Worley at his desk.
Worley scrolled through his in-box and opened an e-mail, addressed to “CEO/Owner.” The writer said that his name was Captain Joshua Mbote, and he offered an awkwardly phrased proposition: “With regards to your trustworthiness and reliability, I decided to seek your assistance in transferring some money out of South Africa into your country, for onward dispatch and investment.” Mbote explained that he had been chief of security for the Congolese President Laurent Kabila, who had secretly sent him to South Africa to buy weapons for a force of élite bodyguards. But Kabila had been assassinated before Mbote could complete the mission. “I quickly decided to stop all negotiations and divert the funds to my personal use, as it was a golden opportunity, and I could not return to my country due to my loyalty to the government of Laurent Kabila,” Mbote wrote. Now Mbote had fifty-five million American dollars, in cash, and he needed a discreet partner with an overseas bank account. That partner, of course, would be richly rewarded.
The Ghost Sport -
Politicians, pledging to “fight” for a principle, sometimes hold up boxing gloves as a sign of commitment to cheering supporters. The gloves bring to mind a familiar image: a narrow, roped square; eager spectators surrounding the ring; and, in the fighters’ corners, old, wrinkled seconds with Q-tips behind their ears, holding buckets. The scene frames an odd, brutal human activity that disappears from the public mind for long periods, then surfaces again when a fight or fighter reaches out to us, demanding a response.
But that happens rarely today; few Americans could name more than one or two current boxers, if that. Boxing has become a ghost sport, long since discredited but still hovering in the nation’s consciousness, refusing to go away and be silent entirely. There was a time when things were very different. For boxing once stood at the center of American life, and its history winds a thread through the broader history of the nation.
Photo of the day: Northern Lights
Green wispy bands of the aurora borealis — also known as the northern lights — wind and twist through the early autumn sky on Sept. 13 above the small hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Solar particles recently expelled from the sun in a huge coronal mass ejection have careened towards the Earth’s atmosphere over the past week, providing a magnificent natural light show for skygazers living closest to the Earth’s poles.
Nice. Did you also know recently, the Senate passed the first large-scale reform to U.S. patent laws in over 60 years? The new America Invents Act is designed to quash patent trolling, cut red tape, and spur innovation. Read more.
The Real Thing