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links for 2010-02-17

links for 2010-02-16

links for 2010-02-15

  • We don’t do a good enough job of teaching our students
    how to be productively stupid – that is, if we don’t feel stupid it
    means we’re not really trying. Science involves confronting
    our ‘absolute stupidity’. That kind of stupidity is an existential
    fact, inherent in our efforts to push our way into the unknown.
    Preliminary and thesis exams have the right idea when the faculty
    committee pushes until the student starts getting the answers wrong
    or gives up and says, ‘I don’t know’. The point of the exam isn’t
    to see if the student gets all the answers right. If they do, it’s the
    faculty who failed the exam. The point is to identify the student’s
    weaknesses, partly to see where they need to invest some effort
    and partly to see whether the student’s knowledge fails at a
    sufficiently high level that they are ready to take on a research
    project.

    The more
    comfortable we become with being stupid, the deeper we will wade
    into the unknown and the more likely we are to make big
    discoveries.

  • Have you ever wondered what would happen if our life cycles were reversed, that is if we were born old and died young? Well, there’s one animal that comes close and has achieved immortality in the process, just to top it off. Meet the Turritopsis nutricula, a small saltwater animal or hydrozoan related to jellyfish and corals.

    Like most jellyfish, Turritopsis nutricula undergoes two distinct stages in its life cycle: The polypoid or immature stage, when it’s just a small stalk with feeding tentacles; and the medusa or mature stage when the only 1mm-long polyps asexually produce jellyfish.

    Well, T’nut is able to transform between medusa and polyp stage, thereby reverting back from mature to immature stage and escaping death. The cell process is called transdifferentiation, when non-stem cells either transform into a different type of cell or when an already differentiated or specialised stem cell creates cells outside this specialised path.

links for 2010-02-13

  • Out with the ketchup-red. By 2010, all new McDonald’s restaurants in Germany will have its “golden arches” emblazoned on a hunter green background instead.

    The reason? McDonald’s Germany wants to reposition the restaurant as a bastion of environmental friendliness, Der Spiegel reported.
    McDonald’s is “trying hard to distance itself from the competition (think Burger King) based on the theme of sustainability, and it fits with the recent developments in the market,” a German marketing blog wrote. Most Germans still associate McDonald’s with obesity and litter, according to Der Spiegel. A greener color can probably help change its image, the article suggested.

  • The beautiful part of this store however, is that it shows the jewellery in what appears to be a hardware shop including its typical perforated walls and supermarket trolleys. This intriguing combination succeeds in its aim to trigger the nerve of consumerism and provides a sparkling place where new jewellery design can both be admired and purchased. Strange and unexpected combinations like this provide a certain thrill and makes you wonder why it’s still quite unique.
  • Wientjes' mobile bar is a cloak-and-dagger pub that deals with gentrification quite self-ironically. Four furniture lorries drive around the city, each equipped with one quarter of a hip bar. They meet at a random place and park side by side. Within a moment, a large and cozy internal space is created. Gentrification pioneers start meeting and right after it got around, the bar is taking off again.
  • Advertiser: Levi's
    Agency: Mortierbrigade
    Creatives: Tim Arts & Stefan van den Boogaard
    Designer: Daan de Haan
    Illustrator: Marianne Lock
  • Following the success of their pop-up shop in September 2009, online apparel retailer Roktic returns to Brick Lane’s East Gallery with a new lifestyle/concept store representing international independent street wear labels and underground contemporary urban artists. The event will focus around the release of ‘too hip to be square’, a limited edition print and exclusive t-shirt collaboration between Oh Death, Little Art book and Roktic, to celebrate Roktic’s first Year Anniversary. The shop will be a living canvas with unique artworks being applied straight to the galleries walls, as well as prints and original artworks by The Prodigy, Ded, RYCA, Rugman, The Krah, Static, Dscreet, Stik, Adam Hemuss available to purchase. Plus a stunning collection of vinyl toys will be on show and for sale from The UK Vinyl Toy Expo.

links for 2010-02-12

  • Apparently, American Apparel is aware of the issue because they’ve started printing this little message inside their leggings. You know it’s serious when your dealer tells you you have a problem.
  • Share your knowledge at Trade School, a pop-up classroom on the L.E.S. that offers eclectic classes (on everything from Baudrillard to composting) for a “price” determined by the teacher. Its Secretary and Principal, Caroline Woolard, is a Bushwick-based, interdisciplinary artist, and the school itself is the physical counterpart of an online bartering network called OurGoods, founded by herself and four creative cohorts from Brooklyn.
  • Conservative Bollywood movies are not known for their sexually explicit themes and even now heterosexual kissing is comparatively rare in Bollywood films.

    But the release of upcoming movie Dunno Y … Na Jaane Kyun is set to change all that. Roughly translated as Don't Know Why, the film is the tale of a male model who goes to Bombay to make his fortune, only to discover that his fortune is with another man.

  • Amirkhan Abdurakhmanov’s Change It! wall concept; allows you to configure walls in any color/design of your choice. The wall is constructed with three sided colored pixels that can be rotated between black, white, or a more colorful side. More images after the jump!
  • A recent New York Times article examines the science behind online sharing. Over a period of six months, a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania checked the most emailed list on the New York Times every 15 minutes to understand what helped get an article passed along.

    They discovered that positive articles tended to get shared over negative, longer pieces worked better than short ones – and that science was a popular topic. Emotion is important; the more emotional an article was, the more it got passed along. But even more important, was that an article contained an element of surprise, or inspired awe.

  • Australian multi-disciplinary design group The Creative Method recently released a customizable wine label design. ‘BYO: Build Your Own Label’ was created as a quirky gift for agency clients, each bottle coming with a range of stickers that allow you to create your own face on each bottle. This design is begging for a commercial release.
  • Cultuurcampus Vleuterweide has bitten off the right amount of ambition by drawing together an unexpected volume of lifestyle components; school x 55 residences x church x library x cultural center x theater x library; an expert collaborator’s wet dream.Categorized simply as an internet ‘café’, the idea dilutes what is traditionally known as a café; a place for human interaction and enjoyable hot beverages, raising the stakes with high end design and a multi-dimensional take on modern interactional activity. Designed by Vera Yanovshtchinsky Architecten with interiors by AEQUO BV Architects (known for their more educational projects with schools and libraries), this newest space in The Hague is sure to highlight new discussions in social pollination.
  • Talk about crowdsourcing. Is this how CP+B generates campaigns ideas? ;P Anyway, 10 000$ for the best idea for a NCAA/Coke Zero campaign.

links for 2010-02-11

links for 2010-02-10

  • YouMe allows subscribers to control real world people by sending real time requests delivered to that users mobile phone for them to carry out or deny; these users are known as “You’s”. Each of the users who are carrying out the requests are known as “Me’s”. The Me’s are equipped with live streaming video and audio recording equipment.
  • Youme offers subscribers the ability to control real world characters. Each character is a person somewhere else in the world, the user gets to pick their character based on several demographic fields such as age, location, sex, height, weight and so fourth.
  • The stylish but spartan ACE Hotel mini-chain works with artists local to each of their four locations, making each hotel a showroom of art installations.
  • The Future Well’s goal is to help those companies lay the foundation, the infrastructure both physical and virtual, to create a pleasant, and profitable, health experience that inspires people to live affordable, healthy, happy, and the most fulfilling lives possible.
  • Samsung have announced a new iPod shuffle competitor, and they’ve taken the Apple MP3 player’s shake functionality to its reasonable-logical conclusion. The Samsung TicToc has only one button; track playback is controlled by shaking the mediaplayer, and the TicToc can automatically choose a slow track if you shake gently or a faster one if you’re more vigorous.As for that single button, usually it controls power but, when held down, it adjusts the volume – you hold the TicToc upside down to reduce volume, or the right way up to increase it. No display (nor anything like Apple’s VoiceOver track announcement) but the presumption is that with only 2GB or 4GB of memory you probably won’t need it. MP3, WMA, OGG and FLAC tracks are supported, and battery life is up to 12hrs; Samsung have also produced a little docking station to recharge and sync the PMP. Look for the Samsung TicToc later in 2010, price to be announced.
  • In the first-ever effort to understand the values, hopes and dreams of young people in Europe, MTV asked over 7,000 youths to imagine their ideal world and to consider brands as people and whether those ‘people’ would be welcome in their world –‘Youthtopia’.

links for 2010-02-09

  • the 34 developed countries are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, NZ, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, US; note - similar to the new International Monetary Fund (IMF) term "advanced economies" that adds Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan but drops Malta, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey
  • In 2007, Singapore ranked 141th out of 167 nations by Reporters Without Borders in the Worldwide Press Freedom Index. Government pressure to conform has resulted in the practice of self-censorship by journalists.Singapore uses the death penalty extensively and has, according to Amnesty International, the world's highest execution rate relative to population size.Freedom in the World 2006 ranked Singapore 5 out of 7 for political freedom, and 4 out of 7 for civil liberties (where 1 is the most free), with an overall ranking of "partly free".
  • (tags: politics)
  • (tags: politics)

links for 2010-01-28

  • A new poll finds that Fox is now the most trusted name in news. This is not, shall we say, an intuitive finding. And if you guessed there’s a catch: You’re right. “Most trusted,” in the context of this particular poll means a 49%/37% trust/don’t trust split — meaning Fox beats out CNN at 39/41, NBC at 35/44, CBS at 32/46, and ABC at 31/46. And, unsurprisingly, that 49% number for Fox is driven not by widespread trust, but by partisan polarization: 74% of Republicans trust Fox News, but no more than 23% of Republicans trust any of the other four sources. Democrats are the mirror image, with a majority trusting all of the other outlets and only 30% trusting Fox.

links for 2010-01-25

  • A cult of personality arises when a country's leader uses mass media to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are often found in dictatorships and Stalinist governments.

    A cult of personality is similar to general hero worship, except that it is created specifically for political leaders. However, the term may be applied by analogy to refer to adulation of religious or non-political leaders.