Category Archives: Science/Nature

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The Desk with a Heartbeat

The holidays may be here and your brain may be taking a much needed break, but don’t let the drinking and dining stump your creative flow.

The Play Ground, Play Table from Korean designer Jin-Woog Koo’s Nothing Design Group, offers a much more stimulating place to do your work then the typical office cubicle.

With this desk you get to do your work overtop compartmentalized gardens and aquariums. The compartments are covered with a clear sheet of acrylic so that you can look down at your mini garden and fish while using the table as a functional workspace.

If keeping your desk tidy is a concern, then opt for the coffee table version of the living table and let your plants get some sun.

-Otiena Ellwand

Coffee version of the table. Photo: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com

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Tattoos Get a Futuristic Makeover

Technology is continually evolving and improving upon what already exists.  Cell phones are now smart phones, DVDs are now blue rays, and tattoos are now – moving? Body art is the latest thing to receive a wild technological makeover.

 

image from trendhunter.com

 

Researchers University of Pennsylvania have created the technology that could literally turn our skin into screens. Implantable LED-carrying chips will make this crazy concept possible. The silicon chips are tiny – only 1 mm long and 250 nanometres thick – and are held in place by silk, which will eventually biodegrade into the body. The lab mice who have tested the chips have shown no irritation.

The primary use of this bizarre technology is medical, for example being able to show a blood sugar reading on one’s arm. The world of body art, however, could experience some shocking changes as this science progresses. No longer would bad tattoos of our younger foolish days  be front and centre, instead we could have ever changing skin display thanks to these implantable LED chips.

 

image from gizmag.com

This new tattoo technology could potentially bring about a number of possibilities. The future may let you watch your favourite television show on the back of your hand or have human billboards walking around flashing new ads in your face via their faces every twenty seconds. Freaky stuff.

But is this taking it a bit too far? What about computer glitches? Scary and strange stuff…but is that what people may have said about walkmen 30 years ago??

Electronics giant Philips has already caught onto the craze, coming up with a video showing some potential and quite sexual uses of the moving tattoo.

-Emily English

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Addicted to Oil

Edward Burtynsky: Oil Refineries #34 Houston, Texas, USA, 2004

Highways, chunky suburban houses, manufacturing plants and desolate oil refineries make-up the new Edward Burtynsky exhibit on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

For over a decade, the Canadian photographer traveled the world documenting how far humans will go to comprise the urban and rural landscapes for fuel. Oil is a collection of 55 colour landscape photographs that pose the question, “What will happen to us when it’s gone?”

Edward Burtynsky: SOCAR Oil Fields #10 Baku, Azerbaijan, 2006

The massive-scale, detailed photographs seem to answer that question with their eerily futuristic appearance. There are no human faces in these vast landscapes of excess, staying true to Burtynsky’s style. Here the light reflects on the cyclical process of oil production and distribution: the mechanics, waste, urban sprawl and motorways involved.

Edward Burtynsky: Nanpu Bridge Interchange Shanghai, China, 2004

Oil continues to change and control our world, and there appears to be no antidote to our oil addiction.

So before you run out of fuel, check out the exhibit, on display until December 13th.

-Otiena Ellwand

Edward Burtynsky: Oil Refineries #22 St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, 1999

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Glowing Beauties: Mushrooms in Brazil

Image from livescience.com

Image from livescience.com

If you’re seeking food for thought, munch on this: scientists have discovered a new addition to a family of mushrooms that glow in the dark. In the depths of the Brazilian rain forest, in the dark of the night, biologists found Mycena luxaeterna, bringing the total number of recently uncovered glowing mushroom species up to seven.

Dennis Desjardin and colleagues from San Francisco State University were responsible for this latest find. “When you look down at the ground, it’s like looking up at the sky. Every little ‘star’ was a little mushroom – it was just fantastic”, he indicated to National Geographic.

This kind of find reminds us that art truly does imitate life. Just think; the inspiration for glow sticks, galaxy ceiling stickers, and even the glow in the dark cutlery that we reported on a couple months ago was likely drawn from nature. Whether inspired by fireflies, jellyfish, or mushrooms, glow in the dark art takes its cue from the most magnificent muse of all: Mother Nature.

-Cora Nijhawan

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