We had a lot of great stories this week for Brain Food, if I do say so myself. From tiny apartments to musical bridges and the positive aspects of pairing – if you were looking for a brain buffet, you’ve come to the right place!
The Xylophone Bridge (Treehugger)
One of the amazing entries in the Seoul Cycle Design Competition is the Xylophone Bridge – an interactive bike path that lights up and plays music whenever someone rides over it. Yes, please.
Tiny Apartment Transforms Into 24 Rooms
344. Square. Feet.You have to see it to believe it.
Netflix’s Time Off Plan (The Daily Telegraph)
The company lets its staff take as much holiday as they want, whenever they want. It’s not too good to be true — this non-policy actually seems to be working.
Re:Form School brings together artists from around the country with the intent of raising awareness around our flagging school system. It’s a part of the “Let’s Redu” project, which encourages both local and national engagement with education and youth initiatives.
Two is the Magic Number (Slate)
Sure, Lennon and McCartney were an abnormally adept creative pairing. However, there’s nothing magical about the increase in creativity and output that two heads can inspire. In this fascinating series from Joshua Wolf Shenk on Slate.com, we are able to get a better idea regarding the power of pairs.
This week, Brain Food ran the gamut. We had motion-sensing computers, comic book heroes and the weather – not necessarily in that order. Without further ado …
Gesture-based computing takes a serious turn (New Scientist)
As much as the computers in “Minority Report” have been touted as the future of online interaction and digital interface, the G-Speak system from Oblong Industries is as close to a full realization as I’ve ever seen. I could wax poetic, but the video below is probably more to the point.
Back Story: Books vs. E-Books (Newsweek)
Who will win in the epic battle between bound books and electronic downloads? Hardcover books sold over 200 million more copies than electronic books last year. Still, with more readers coming out, the latter’s reach will only be extended. Do you side with Team Jobs or Team Gutenberg?
Seeing with Sound (New Scientist)
By using a tiny microphone attached to a pair of sunglasses, Peter Meijer is letting the blind see – with sound. The vOICe system utilizes sound waves, much like a bat, helping the blind person navigate via a sort of echo-location.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The Animation (Adult Swim)
“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” might be one of the best movies I’ve ever seen and is definitely one of the most fun. It inspired me to shop for electric guitars and seek out the original source material. Will my axe skills push the future of rock ‘n’ roll? Doubtful … but it may push future roommates to the brink of insanity.
A Location-Aware Music Video (PSFK)
Lissie’s music video for “Cuckoo” might be the first geo-specific music video ever made; it’s at least the first one I’ve ever heard of. (Maybe not as much of a litmus test as I think it is?) When you go to the Lissie’s website, you will be asked if it’s all right for them to locate you. If you say yes, the music video will play – backdrop specific to the weather you’re experiencing.
Never-Before-Seen Twin Peaks Photos Go Behind the Scenes of Surreal Show (Underwire)
If any television show pushed the future of entertainment, it was “Twin Peaks.” Combining David Lynch’s undying weirdness and Mark Frost’s storytelling smarts, “Twin Peaks” was the perfect blend of murder mystery and sideshow. Paula K. Shimatsu-U worked as a publicist for the short-lived series and now, nearly two decades after the finale, she is preparing to release a book of never-seen images from the show.
The Universe: Beyond The Big Bang – Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Who Are We? (The History Channel)
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson briefly discusses humanity’s origins and its connection to the stars. It’s a short, but fascinating bit of possibility and a humbling look at our place in the cosmos.
Heart Chamber Orchestra (We Make Money, Not Art)
With ECG monitors hooked up to their hearts, this 12-person ensemble not only plays music – they visualize it. Their hearts beat during the performance (we hope) and this information feeds into a computer, which uses algorithms to visualize the heartbeats in time with the music.
Welcome to the very first Brain Food Roundup on the Push blog. If you’re a Facebook fan, you may recognize the links included below as those we share throughout the week on our page.
The weekly Brain Food Roundup will serve as a way for us to collect the five stories we post every week in a single, easily-accessible location. We’d love your feedback and constructive criticisms. Otherwise, we hope these inspire you to engage in some free form thought!
Mad Scientists Develop Wolverine-like Healing Factor (DVICE)
Joint regeneration would be a major milestone in medical science, not to mention an enormous boon to the United States’ aging population. At the University of Columbia, scientists were able to successfully implant a “scaffold” of sorts into injured rabbits. The implant served to guide cell growth around the joint, essentially rebuilding it. While Wolverine-esque, at the least, we wouldn’t recommend pushing it …
Opportunities for Talent in Ugandan ICT Firms (Africa Interactive)
ICT (Incormation and Communication Technology) services are most often associated with countries like India, where many formerly-internal jobs in America have been relocated. One place you might not think of is Uganda, though business there is close to booming – and if it’s not, interest is.
Roller Coasters Get Multi-Touch, 3D Treatment (Mashable)
This is not the sort of thing you’d ever catch me on, but it is pretty amazing how this Japanese roller coaster combines roller coasters with 3D technology and multi-touch surfaces. If anything, it shows how different technology might live together in unexpected places. For me, the Back to the Future ride and Universal will continue to be enough.
Since 2009, the Positive Posters challenge has asked graphic designers from all over the world to look on the bright side, and then share the view with others. Founded by Nick Hallum and operated out of Melbourne, the annual competition gives designers two months to create a poster based on that year’s chosen theme. The winning poster is printed off and distributed throughout Melbourne.
“Get Lamp” is looks to be a documentary focused equally on the technological aspect of early, word-based computer games and the pure creativity of those who created and lived in them. Before EA was producing computer-generated athletes that looked even better than the real thing, early adopters were imagining worlds confined only by the size of their dreams.
(image via Kody Thompson – Positive Posters)