Newsletter | Tuesday, October 11th 2016
This week we talk RoboBees, glowing lanes, GIFs, cryptic symbols, and life lessons.
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Fun Fact: honey does not spoil. You could feasibly eat 3000 year-old honey.
Speaking about honey…we take for granted that almost one third of the food we consume is pollinated by Honeybees, and yet they’ve been dying at alarming rates – so alarming that the Fed recently placed seven yellow-faced bee species on the Endangered Species Act and the White House gave a task force “only” 180 days to create a plan to protect bees and other pollinators. How does one solve this issue? Well… a group of researchers think the answer lies in robot technology – RoboBees. These tiny robotic creatures (see image below) can lift off the ground and hover midair when connected to a power supply. While they’re still a work in progress, the Harvard researchers behind the project believe that these RoboBees will be able to artificially pollinate a field of crops within a decade.
Poland recently installed bike lanes that glow blue in the dark after having been charged by the sun throughout the day. How does it work? Particles called luminophores collect energy from the sun which allow up to 10 hours of glowing. The goal of the project is to prevent bicycle and pedestrian accidents at night. Pretty cool stuff… but is it as cool as this high-tech brick path in the Netherlands that glows in the starry night? Seems like the U.S. needs to step up our bike path game.
What do you think of when you hear the word “GIF”?This is the question that inspired Loop Dreams, a one-day exhibition dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what people think of when they hear the word “GIF.” 25 artists reimagined the file format as virtual reality loops, interactive installations and projection-mapped sculptures. Take a look-see of the first ever Virtual Reality GIF museum.
Ever wonder what goes into the creation of an album cover? This interview with Eric Timothy Carlson dives into how Eric was approached by lead singer Justin Vernon from Bon Iver to design the cover of 22, a Million. What is fascinating is the symbolism behind the art. The songs were all numbers at the start. Eric and Justin would then talk about the numbers, then talk about the song, watch the lyrics take form, make lists, make drawings. The final artwork was to be something of a tome— a book of lore, Jung’s Red Book, a lost religion— with real references and experiences collaged in both the music and the artwork.
One of the greatest impediments to creativity is impatience. We tend to overestimate innate skill when we learn about some creative teams building ground-breaking technology or listen to a moving piece of music. Truth is, every brilliant and creative professional has invested many hours to mastering that particular skill. Do you think Edison woke up one morning and whipped up a perfect design for the electric light bulb? Not a chance. He went through thousands of prototypes before getting it right. We all need to embrace and appreciate the process – wise words from Thomas Oppong.
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