Now playingSpaceCollective Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction.Introduction Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
Just like ivy grows on the outside walls of a house, technology similarly wraps the human body becoming its new skin. Sometimes we even merge what we see in monitors with real life. Technology that would have been considered futuristic in the past, does not surprise our eyes anymore. And now in the reality we inhabit, machines, devices, and networks exist side by side in a shaky parallel.
The exponential growth of technology is practically invisible, and we no longer notice that the cleaning lady in the cafeteria was replaced by a tireless robot vacuum cleaner. Technology became the equivalent of plants - we spend our precious time watering them with upgrades, cutting the branches of useless extremities, and watching them grow into more advanced creatures. The machines even immigrate into us, and vice versa, by ways of robotic body parts and remote controlled drones.
But this technological evolution promises to raise a few theoretical questions: being aware of the presence of machinery, looking through the eyes of the machine, cohabiting with a machine - what does it make us feel? How many devices and codes "run" around us on our train ride home? Do we feel a constant presence?
Looking at the "drawing machine" created by Kanno and Takahiro Yamaguchi, I can just imagine a world where analog graffiti artist creeps in the shadows of doorways to turn dead walls into living canvases. It is repulsive, yet enchanting.
Sometimes rethinking about all the ongoing problems that exist on our planet, I wish to separate from Earth and fly to the cosmos searching for another green planet. And not alone, no. I want everyone who shares my values to join. I know how selfish it sounds: "MY values"; but I don't ask for much. All I want is the priority of ecology and environment, and freedom and truth in science. It will not matter if you are a cat person or a dog person or if you prefer to smoke and drink. All those things do not matter as long as it does not affect the well being of our planet.
Alex Grey - Gaia
I saw Gasland yesterday and I was in a paradox of emotions. I felt devastated, helpless, cheated and yet, angry, empowered, proactive, all at the same time. Some of these gas extraction sites look like a sci-fi movie on a lifeless planet.; it is really scary.
After I came home, I spent the next few hours doing research on hydraulic fracking, writing letters to congress people, spreading the word... And then I thought about how much energy I am using (I don't want to say wasting) on something that doesn't give me any pleasure nor does it teach me anything, and worst of all I'm not creating anything. It is just a movement of information from one place to another. And this is the saddest part. The fact that if everyone just did what is best for the world, our society would be culturally richer. I mean, think about it. If people would not go fight wars, but instead become astronomers, biologists, artists, writers, etc., imagine how much more beauty and knowledge we would gain. I once read that Hitler wanted to become a painter, but changed his mind...
(Black Cherry Comics)
So what do you say? Who is coming with me on the search for a new planet?
Just wanted to spread the word to those of you who do not already know; Acid Mother Temple is having a tour in the US right now and for the price of the tickets it's really worth going. They will be playing in NY today (April 7, 2010) and in DC tomorrow (April 8, 2010). You can check out other states on this link: Tour Schedule. I'll definitely be at DC9 so let me know if any of you will be going.....
Since moving to a new city, I've been exploring or continuing new and existing hobbies and endeavors. However, recently, I've been so overwhelmed with choices that I end up either not finishing anything or finishing something without effort, without the desire for perfection, just to move on to my next project. A year ago, I was so overwhelmed with college and searching for work, that I have not had the time, nor the energy, to focus on my creative side. But as soon as I've slowed the pace of my life, I had to refill it; and not as in the past, but with even more aspirations. Am I trying to catch up with everything that I missed before? And if so, what is my optimal choice?
In short, how does anyone choose anything when too many desirables are lined up in front of your nose?
Although, I haven't found a concrete solution, I have encountered expressions of this same exasperation in media. This made me feel a bit more serene... Now, I am aware that this dilemma exists inside many souls and you have to learn with time and self improve, just like Pandora ;)
My first revelation came when I went to watch the new film by Terry Gilliam called The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. To tell you the truth, I believe that if this movie was made in 3D, Avatar wouldn't stand a chance. Although confusing at times, it really demonstrates the quandary that exists within each of us. The plot goes like this:
The devil makes a wager with the magician, Doctor Parnassus. If he is able to win five souls, he will be able to keep his daughter. For the Doctor to win a soul, a person must to go inside the Imaginarium (Doctor Parnassus’ mind, which looks like an aluminum curtain), confront the two choices and choose the right one, meaning the good.
It is interesting to see that even as a viewer of the film, you don't always know what should be the right decision. Whether to choose something easy, challenging, sweet, or even intricate; it can be confusing. Ultimatelly, the film tries to show that your conscience will know the “right” choice. Here is a trailer of the movie for those that haven't seen it yet:
My second revelation came to me when I was driving home from New York and ended up listening to NPR's Radio Lab. The topic of that evening's show was choices; what a coincidence! It turned out to be pretty interesting and inspiring. (Because Radio Lab’s topics are always contemplative and philosophical, I ended up listening to all the other recordings of Radio Lab online). Here is a link to the Choice of Radio Lab.
In conclusion, although I haven't found a definite answer, I did realize that the world will always be full of choices and ultimate decisions and we mustn't stall because of fear of the unknown or jump to conclusions because of emotional impulses. In contrast, we must learn to create the perfect synthesis of logic and emotions and let them choose the right path for all of us.
My grandmother is writing a novella about a young woman who begins a journey through time to discover her family secrets. Because this woman is a geneticist, grandma must explore this field
to get familiar with the basics. This is how she found this site...
I could never grasp the size until I actually travelled from a coffee bean to a carbon atom. SIZE AND SCALE
Yesterday I went to a NPR and National Geographic collaboration event where photographers, as well as radio journalists described a new movement towards making photographs and storytelling collaborate into a rich piece of documentation. During this presentation the Infinite photograph was shown to express the significance of the photography that is submitted by regular users. I think this mosaic portait is a beautiful metaphor of our everyday world where everything around you contributes to your essence and you make up a piece of someone else. It's truly beautiful.
If you ever wanted to change your profession for just one day and become an astronomer, physicist, or any other being contributing to the exploration of the universe, this site is perfect for you. I found it spontaneously when searching for a good university to take my masters degree and it turns out that John Hopkins University is a prominent member in the astronomic community. JHU created a website that allows people from all over the world to participate in the classification of galaxies. From deciding the shape and size to the brighness and the clarity, it is all on you! I love it :)
It never seizes to amaze me how the human mind works.
Sometimes I have days where I forget my goal, the reason for me being. Just a few days ago, I was completely nostalgic for my home city, remembering the old routines, familiar streets... At that moment I understood that people (by people I mean me) like familiarity because it has been tested and there are no surprises. We try to bring back the old days or look forward to the future, not appreciating the present. I think this is because we like predicting; when we reminisce or prophesize, we feel in control. Those happy moments that we want to bring back were unnoticed when they happened. Only now we appreciate them. So why can't we unnotice the meaningless moments? We tend to focus on the negatives because this is the time for us to try to improve our situation and make the moment meaningful.
What we have to understand is that every moment is unique; whether it is meaningful or meaningless, happy or sad, cold or hot. Now, now, and even now are all unique because nothing stayed the same during those "nows"; something in the multiverse changed. Because uniqueness is a fact of our lives, we have to love it and only then will be happy "now".
Ares 1-X, a flight test rocket, is scheduled to launch today from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The goal of this prototype is to collect information on re-entry dynamics for recovery, vehicle control, and improve specifications based on new information received. Mainly, this launch will test the first stage of the rocket separation and the flight environment during this separation. Ares 1-X is equipped with never-been-used technology, which includes a reusable rocket booster, a flight control system, and a few other components that are beyond my knowledge. I hope you enjoyed the “little bit of a background” about this mission. But this is not an essay on astronomy, technology, or black holes (although it sounds enticing); what came to my mind is the ethics. Considering that a diverse sack of industrial gases gets released during lift-off causing not only air pollution, but ozone depletion; when does the need to preserve our planet begin to outweigh endeavor for knowledge of space?
Recent prognoses have shown that solid rocket motor emissions reduce the total amount of stratospheric ozone by only about 0.04 percent. Significance seems measly, I know; but think about the global warming prediction being 1°C increase every century and the effects this has on our environment. One of the many examples is the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf. This is the largest block of ice in the Arctic region that has been around for 3,000 years. In the year 2000 it began cracking and within two years it has split and is now breaking into pieces. And this is with only .01°C increase in temperature per year, which was also considered insignificant a few decades ago. Now NASA asserts that the temperatures have been increasing by an average of 0.2 °C every decade for the past 30 years.
Ok… You might argue that carbon dioxide emissions may have a different impact in terms of magnitude and the speed of escalation, but remember that space transportation, which used to be dominated by government, has become an important part of our commerce world. The industry of launching freight into orbit is expected to nearly double in the next decade.
At last, the main ozone-destroying radicals, such as the chlorine atom (Cl), nitric oxide (NO), and the hydroxyl radical (OH), are able to regenerate after destroying an ozone molecule. Scientific term for this event is a catalytic cycle; where these “toxic” molecules affect the ozone even at the smallest quantities. This means that small excretions of ozone-destroying radicals into the stratosphere caused by industrial activity, including rocket exhaust, might cause relatively large changes to the ozone layer.
Here is an example of the ozone hole found near the North Pole:
NASA – Arctic Ozone Depletion
Images courtesy Eric Nash and Paul Newman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
My question remains: did we come to love the outer space more than our planet Earth?
P.S. Just to leave on a positive note: solar radiation produces ozone in the stratosphere, so total ozone levels increase during the solar flares. Sunspot 1029 has been releasing 6 solar flares in the last few days. Here is a peak :)
Paul Haese photographed the maelstrom from his backyard observatory in Blackwood, South Australia
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SpaceCollective is a joint initiative of filmmaker Rene Daalder and designer Folkert Gorter. Daalder is the project's main author and creator of The Future of Everything. Gorter is the site's interaction designer and the curator of the Gallery. System architecture and technology created by Josh Pangell. The Future of Everything episodes are edited by Aaron Ohlmann and produced by American Scenes Inc; executive producer: Joseph Kaufman.