Monday, 24 September 2007

Ready Set Go, Jump in and head off for the ?Basin

Mackeral Beach, Pittwater Panorama

40km North of Sydney
Click Go the Shears ...
Click Click Click

Aboriginal rock carvings
up the mountain behind you.


Olafur Eliasson: The Antimatter Driving Machine

A strangely fascinating new installation by contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson made its way into San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art. It's a project he's undertaken as a cooperative effort with BMW's Art Car program. Essentially, the artist has re-envisioned BMW's H2R race car in such a manner as to signify the fraught relationship between global warming and the automotive industry. It's as though he's turned the roadster into something of a technological glacier.

Encased in a room-size freezer in the Museum's architecture and design galleries,
and all the energy required to keep a 9600-cubic-foot refigerator running at 14ยบ F 24 hours a day for six months comes not from fossil fuels, but from a field of environmentally benign geysers and underground geothermal energy sources, 72 miles north of San Francisco–a very Icelandic gesture.

The Exhibition runs through to January 13, 2008, see the video.

Source: Goodmagazine

Friday, 21 September 2007

Repurposing discarded books

The image here entitled Fairy Tale is a photograph of a book that has been creatively manipulated by Cara Barer. She arrives at her imagery by chance and experimentation:

A random encounter on Drew Street with the Houston Yellow Pages was the primary inspiration for this project. With the discarded books that I have acquired through different means, I am attempting to blur the line between objects, sculpture, and photography.

Her photographs are primarily a documentation of a physical evolution. She has changed a common object into sculpture in a state of flux and thus captured as a photo image. Her journey continues to evolve and has unfolded in ways that have surprised and galvanized her to carry on, and search for more ways to make us consider the future of books.

More books repurposed as objet 'd art

Source: Kirsty Hall

iPhone Fun

Do you think the iPhone is a smartphone that integrates cellphone, iPod music player, camera, text messaging, e-mail and Web browsing? Well it's much more than that!

Or what about Adobe Photoshop CS3 for iphone

Source: Swissmiss

Sculpting Computer Graphics in the air Creates 3D Illustrations

Although the inventors of this technology refer to it as Drawing on Air, it is in reality a way of creating a 3D illustration in the air and is therefore a sculptural gesture. This technology works by the user donning a virtual reality mask and grasping a stylus with one hand and holding a tracking device in the other hand. This enables the user or artist to sketch a 3D object or virtual object in their foreground airspace.

Drawing on Air uses drawing guidelines, force feedback, and two-handed interaction to help artists draw this type of curve more precisely. The system then transfers the 3D drawing into the computer for use in 3D modeling, design, and illustration programs.

In a trial with 12 trained artists, results showed that Drawing on Air was easy to learn and provided sufficient control to illustrate complex 3D subjects with variety. For example, biologists studying bat flight find accurate 3D illustrations very valuable, since bats have a flexible wing membrane and curved bones that actually bend during flight. Artists in the trial successfully drew bats based on data from a bat flying in a wind tunnel, revealing the details of the animal’s anatomy in motion, and simplifying the uninteresting parts of the body.

This invention will presently moreso only be available to institutions or wealthy individuals, the rest of us will have to wait for cheaper alternatives to be developed. Nevertheless starving artists are usually good at begging, read sponsorship or residences.

Via: Physorg

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Bright Plumage Eschews from Skeletel-Star Befuddles

An object recently detected orbiting a neutron star is among the strangest planet-mass bodies ever found, astronomers say. Instead of circling around a normal star, the low-mass object—likely the "skeleton" of a smaller star—orbits a rapidly spinning pulsar, or neutron star. The neutron star spins hundreds of times a second—faster than a kitchen blender.

nevertheless the universe is an awfully large thing and so there are bound to be heaps more mysterious yet to be documented objects, phenomena and anomalies yet to be observed

via is > than

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Zeno: Cartoonistic Robot that Learns Expression

David Hanson creator of Zeno of Hanson Robotics believes there is an emerging business in the design and sale of lifelike robotic companions, or social robots.

Hanson believes robots should be about artistic expression, a creative medium akin to sculpting or painting. But convincing people that robots should look like people instead of, well, robots, remains a challenge that robot experts call the ''uncanny valley'' theory.
The so-called “uncanny valley” theory was proposed in 1970 by robotics pioneer Masahiro Mori. It suggests that the more realistic and humanlike a robot appears, the more positively a human will react to it, but only to a certain point.

Zeno has blinking eyes that can track people and a face that captivates with a range of expressions. Unlike clearly artificial robotic toys, Hanson says he envisions Zeno as an interactive learning companion, a synthetic pal who can engage in conversation and convey human emotion through a face made of a skin-like, patented material Hanson calls frubber.

It's a representation of robotics as a character animation medium, one that is intelligent. It sees you and recognizes your face. It learns your name and can build a relationship with you.

Nevertheless, perhaps future animators will use robots like Zeno in order to create cartoons instead of making thousands of drawings !

Source: Technology Review

Friday, 14 September 2007

Up Close With The Eye of Science

a dust mite gorging itself on a human hair

Monday, 10 September 2007

Did the dingo wipe out the Tasmanian Tiger

Scientists investigating the disappearance of the Tasmanian tiger from mainland Australia 3000 years ago have found damning evidence against a key suspect. It seems the dingo did it. It has long been suggested that the dingo out-competed the tiger (Thylacine) for food, and was a major factor in pushing the marsupial carnivore off mainland Australia.

The new analysis, which simulates the bite forces and stress patterns applying to dingo and thylacine skulls in the act of killing, confirms there would have been substantial overlap in their choice of prey.

The system gives a visual read-out. The "hotter" the colours appearing on the screen, the greater the mechanical stresses and strains being experienced by the skull, jaw, teeth and cranial muscles.

The team built sophisticated computer models of the animals' skulls to compare their feeding behaviour. The study showed that although the tiger was the bigger, more efficient biter, the dingo was better equipped to deal with prey that struggles.

The researchers say they may help explain why the tiger (Thylacine) disappeared. Nevertheless, Scientists stress that the tiger's removal from the mainland was not solely down to the dingo. Climate change, and a shift in Aboriginals' land-use and hunting practices would also have been factors.

The last tiger died in a Tasmanian zoo in 1936. Read the blog, watch the video but the song tracked with the video made me wonder what sounds the tiger may have made ?

via: BBC News

Saturday, 8 September 2007

New Mineral Neutralizes liquid nuclear waste

In the Khibinsky Mountains of the Arctic circle, Russian Scientists seem to have discovered a new mineral that totally neutralizes radioactively charged water

It does not yet have an official name and is known only as number 27-4. It can absorb radioactivity from liquid nuclear waste.

Scientists say they need tonnes of it and so far they have only discovered a few grams. But they are confident that they can chemically reproduce it on a much larger scale.

Every year ten new minerals are discovered in the Arctic Circle, and one third of all worldwide mineral discoveries are on the Kolsky Peninsula.

The latest find may prove to be extremely significant for the nuclear industry. Video.

Yes it would appear that the olde celtic saying about unholy materials:

If it came from this earth then there is something on earth that will perish it !

seems only to be slightly true in the face of our abundant global resources of U235 et al.

Nevertheless, 27-4 is merely a small step towards finding a way to deal with all nuclear wastes since the active half life of U235 is a mere 250 million years !


a bashful walrus

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- An analysis of 20 years' worth of real-life observations supports recent U.N. computer predictions that by 2050, summer sea ice off Alaska's north coast will probably shrink to nearly half the area it covered in the 1980s, federal scientists say.

The polar bear is being considered for threatened species status because of changes in habitat.

Such a loss could have profound effects on mammals dependent on the sea ice, such as polar bears, now being considered for threatened species status because of changes in habitat due to global warming. It could also threaten the catch of fishermen.

In the 1980s, sea ice receded 30 to 50 miles each summer off the north coast, said James Overland, a Seattle-based oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"Now we're talking about 300 to 500 miles north of Alaska,"


Proteus: spider boat 5,000 miles on one tank

Proteus, a Wave Adaptive Modular Vessel that looks like a spider, can travel 5,000 miles on one load of diesel fuel. The 100-foot-long, 50-foot-wide boat rides on metal and fabric pontoons that have hinges and shock absorbers to flex with the motion of the waves, which helps it to skim over the water at a max speed of 30 knots. It made its debut yesterday in New York harbor. Essentially conceived and built for military uses, biological studies, ocean exploration and sea rescue the Proteus was designed by Ugo Conti an Italian-born engineer and oceanographer. Its crew cabin, suspended like a gondola from its four-legged superstructure, is appropriately spartan for a boat named for a Greek sea god, who in mythology was able to change into different forms.

Proteus will be able to launch and recover automatic vehicles, do remote vehicle operations, it will be tested for standard dive support operations, putting instruments on the bottom, collecting data — all the things that we currently do in one form or another, but most likely more cheaply, effectively and probably better.

In keeping with that versatility, Proteus (video) does have pleasure-boat potential. It can be fitted with different types of detachable cabins that can accommodate anything from a honeymooning couple to 12 passengers.

Source: Goodcleantech

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Spaceport Construction to Begin 2008

The construction of the worlds first commercial Spaceport begins in 2008 since the owners of Virgin Galactic have made a final decision on the 100,000 square feet design.

Huh ? Spaceport ? I think perhaps the naming of Spaceport is moreso a marketing ploy
for instance, when we contextualise the naming of things we seem to move the real meaning of a word to something outside it; Airport is really a Terraport or Scapeport but Airport was chosen because Aircraft used it. But what will we do when Cars begin to use a similar facility, will that be a Carport ?
Terraspace Airspace Strataspace Outerspace
Terraport Airport Strataport Spaceport
interesting to observe how human naming employs a shift in meaning away from the object perhaps this is why we find driftwood so appealing !
Well shifting right along now the facility will cost a meagre $31 million, which the company will quickly recoup, no doubt. The SpaceShipTwo and its carrier craft, White Knight Two, will be completed in 2008 as well.

Is it possible that society uses Science Fiction to tell the real scientists what to focus on.


Tuesday, 4 September 2007

A Moving Art Piece: The Robotic Chair

“The Robotic Chair”

a collaboration with Canadian artists

Max Dean and Matt Donovan.

via: Artsy

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Clemens Kogler Creates Surrealistic Animation

This clever music video Animation is Clemens Kogler's latest work which was produced for an English electronic composer Clark's song Herr Bar. The music works well with the animation which might be described as Yellow submarine meets Monthy Python.

The film solely consists of photos of human body parts, which are arranged to form landscapes, animals and plants. The multipile collaging effect creates illusion thru texture. The film was produced as entry to the the Radarfestival, a creative competition of the three record labels warp, domino and tummy touch

The Animation is 50MB, quicktime-file or if you prefer You Tube

Dean Kamen Invents Prosthetic Arm

The wars in Iraq and Afganistan have generated over 30,000 casualties (not to mention the estimated 70,000+ Iraqi deaths. This has created a booming market for prosthetics of all types.

Inventor Dean Kamen previews the extraordinary prosthetic arm he's developing at the request of the Department of Defense, to help the 1,600 "kids" who've come back from Iraq without an arm (and the two dozen who've lost both arms). Kamen's commitment to using technology to solve problems, and his respect for the human spirit, have never been more clear than in this deeply moving clip.

Its important to note that advances in prosthetics that draw on robotics and artificial intelligence technologies result in the creation of Neural Interfaces that allow a person's brain to move bionic limbs. This gives rise to many individuals becoming cyborgs.

Source ;

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