A look at what – and who – is pushing the future in new directions

Brain Food: Internal Antennae, Hobby Astronauts and Designing Dollars

This week’s Brain Food wraps up all sorts of interesting news, from thorium reactors that could wean the world off of oil in five years to IF that cup of coffee you currently have in your hand is actually doing anything for you.

An Implantable Antenna (Technology Review)
Researchers at Tufts University have developed fashionably useful way to alert doctors to potential problems in our bodies. The silk and gold implant, pictured below, acts much like the internal reporting system used in software, recognizing changes in our body’s proteins and chemicals and shooting an S.O.S. back to our physician.

Now Playing: Night of the Living Tech (The New York Times)
Forms of media consumption don’t die, they adapt and morph – find what they do better than anything else and capitalize on it. Who’s ready for the death of hyperbole?

Danish Amateurs Hope To Launch Suborbital Rocket Next Week (Universe Today)
Don’t try this at home … Peter Madsen could be the first amateur astronaut to launch himself into space, assuming the test run, scheduled for next Monday, goes as planned. If successful, Denmark would be only the fourth country to successful launch a manned flight into space.

The Anthropology of Coffee (Boing Boing)
Perhaps the most literal “brain food” posting yet – coffee keeps us awake, engaged and … well, using the bathroom. BUT, where did our love for coffee come from and why do we keep coming back?

The Dollar ReDe$ign Project
America’s current currency design has been around for a while. Over at the “Dollar ReDe$ign Project,” founded by Richard Smith, a wide range of very talented people want to change that.

Russia in Color, a Century Ago (The Big Picture)
A far cry from the sepia-toned pictures I imagine documenting the 20th century, Sergei Mikhailovich’s vibrant color photos taken of Russia between 1909 and 1912 are incredible.

The Titanic is Falling Apart (National Geographic)
The Titanic is slowly succumbing to the wears and tears of life at 2.4 miles below sea level, but scientists are making one last attempt to ensure its heart will go on by preserving a 3D model of the ship and its final resting place.

Chris Watson’s ‘Whispering in the Leaves’
This extraordinary sound installation is the audio equivalent of 3D cinema. “Visitors will be immersed in a dynamic, spatial soundscape of primate calls and birdson, backed with a shimmering wall of insect sounds. Some of the species heard are currently unknown to humans. Visitors will experience the heard but never seen.”

Chris Watson – Whispering in the Leaves from Whispering in the Leaves on Vimeo.

Tree Cathedrals (Wired)
No matter your denomination or beliefs, you can’t argue against the beauty of these “tree cathedrals”. The coolest thing about them is that once they’re set up, nature is more or less allowed to take its course – creating a work of art/faith that is constantly changing.

Thorium Reactors (PopSci)
Thorium, named for the Norse god of thunder, is plentiful and potentially very powerful – 1 ton of the stuff could produce as much energy as 3.5 million tons of coal! Further development of tiny thorium reactors could be the key to a fossil-fuel-free world in just five years.

Article By: Forest Taylor

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