The Neuroscience of Creativity, Perception, and Confirmation Bias

By: Big Think
Via YouTube | June 28, 2017

To ensure your survival, your brain evolved to avoid one thing: uncertainty. As neuroscientist Beau Lotto points out, if your ancestors wondered for too long whether that noise was a predator or not, you wouldn’t be here right now. Our brains are geared to make fast assumptions, and questioning them in many cases quite literally equates to death. No wonder we’re so hardwired for confirmation bias. No wonder we’d rather stick to the status quo than risk the uncertainty of a better political model, a fairer financial system, or a healthier relationship pattern. But here’s the catch: as our brains evolved toward certainty, we simultaneously evolved away from creativity—that’s no coincidence; creativity starts with a question, with uncertainty, not with a cut and dried answer. To be creative, we have to unlearn millions of years of evolution. Creativity asks us to do that which is hardest: to question our assumptions, to doubt what we believe to be true. That is the only way to see differently. And if you think creativity is a chaotic and wild force, think again, says Beau Lotto. It just looks that way from the outside. The brain cannot make great leaps, it can only move linearly through mental possibilities. When a creative person forges a connection between two things that are, to your mind, so far apart, that’s a case of high-level logic. They have moved through steps that are invisible to you, perhaps because they are more open-minded and well-practiced in questioning their assumptions. Creativity, it seems, is another (highly sophisticated) form of logic. Beau Lotto is the author of Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently.

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6 Powerful Ways to Build Unbreakable Self-Discipline

Author: Max Weigand
Via Life Hack | January 25, 2017

If you look at your life right now, what is the reason you are not as successful, happy, or healthy as you could be at this point in your life?

Apart from many excuses, there is probably just one simple reason: Lack of self-discipline. You simply don’t do what you need to do to enjoy the levels of success you want. If you think about it, what does it really take for you to be successful in all areas of your life? Chances are, it’s no secret. Everybody knows what it takes to get in shape, but how many people are? Everyone knows what to do to perform better at their job, but how many people still don’t do it? Everyone knows which foods to avoid and which ones to eat, but most people still don’t do that, either.

In short, all the knowledge in the world is worth nothing if you don’t possess the self-discipline to use that knowledge. Elbert Hubbard defined self-discipline as “the ability to do what you have to do, when you have to do it, whether you feel like it or not.” It is the one skill that is necessary above anything else to succeed in any endeavour.

Success in life comes from the actions you take on a consistent basis; and only self-discipline allows you to do that.

Here are 6 powerful ways to build unbreakable self-discipline:

1. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” – William Johnson

No matter what your goals are in life, there is one great law that you need to obey in order to be successful: No one else is going to climb the ladder of success for you. No one else is responsible for your health, wealth, happiness, or success. From the day you leave your parents’ house and start to make your own choices, you are responsible for your life and the choices you make. You choose the job you work in, the person you live with, and how much you exercise every day. Only you can choose how you spend your time, and the decisions you make on a consistent basis will make or break your life.

If you want a better life, you need to make better decisions. You can blame other people for your lack of results or happiness all life long, but it doesn’t change anything. Only you can change your life by changing the choices you make. Take responsibility for everything in your life, even if you can’t directly influence it. Even if it’s not in your direct control, you can always choose how you respond.

2. The Big Enemy of Success

According to motivational speaker Brian Tracy, the biggest enemy to success is the path of least resistance. If you choose what is fun and easy over what is necessary, you will never reach the levels of success and happiness you are capable of achieving in your life. That’s because every great victory requires great sacrifice. If success was easy, everybody would be successful. But because success in any area of your life requires hard work and sacrifices, most people will never reach their full potential.

Whenever you decide not to what you should be doing, you not only waste your opportunity to grow as a person, but you also lose confidence in yourself. You start to see yourself as lazy and unsuccessful, and that self-image will become a successful prophecy.

To achieve any goal you have, there are only three things you need: A clear vision for what it is you want, a plan to get there, and massive action consistently repeated over time! While the first two parts are the easy parts of the equation, most people struggle with the last part: Hard work.

There is nothing that you can’t achieve with hard work, so it is necessary that you build the habit of choosing what is hard and necessary over what is fun and easy to do. Doing this is probably the surest way to succeed in life.

3. Think Longterm

To quote Abraham Lincoln, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” If you ever wonder where you will be 10 years from now, look at your current life. What actions are you taking to make your goals reality? How many books are you reading to grow as a person, and how many new things are you learning? Which people are you associating with? Are you putting in the effort necessary to achieve your goals today?

People oftentimes think that their lives will suddenly change through some magical event in the future, but that is not the case. Your life changes only to the extent that you change. If you are not happy with your current circumstances, are you taking actions to change them? If not, you are just daydreaming. Nothing will ever change if you don’t change what you do daily. As Aristotle noted over 2000 years ago, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

A great way to actively create your future is to ask yourself: If I already achieved my goals, how would I act on a daily basis? What books would I read, how often would I work out, and how would I spend my time at the office?

Once you answer these questions, you know what to do. Act as if you were already successful.

4. Obstacles are Part of Success

In life, nothing worth having comes easy. You have to make sacrifices in the form of time, effort, pain, and hard work if you want to succeed. There will be many setbacks, and any time you get close to finally succeeding, there will be some more adversity testing how bad you really want it. Only after passing one more test, and then another, will you be able to succeed.

The great tragedy of life is that most people give up right before achieving success. They already made it to the five yard line, and all they need is one final push to make the touchdown and bring home the sweet victory. But right before they do that, there is one final obstacle standing in their way – one last failure that they need to overcome. Way too many people give up right then and there, without realizing how close they are.

If you just take one thing from this post, let is be this: Whenever you encounter failure and adversity, keep going! Success is supposed to be hard because that’s what makes it so special. If it was easy, anybody could do it. But it’s hard, and that’s your chance to separate yourself from the people that don’t want it as bad as you.

The only way to grow as a person is by facing the biggest challenges in life and enduring long enough to succeed. No matter how long it takes or how hard it gets, always remember the words of motivational speaker Les Brown: “It’s not over until I win!”

5. Rewrite Your Goals Every Day

To maximize your self-discipline every day, it is necessary that you keep the bigger picture in mind. Only by remembering why you do what you do will you take the necessary actions and follow through even if it gets hard. After all, you don’t just work so hard for no reason. You have specific goals that you want to achieve that make all the effort worth it.

As Nietzsche said, “He who has a ‘why’ to live for, can bear almost any ‘how.’” I believe this to be absolutely true. If you know what you want to do, and you have enough reasons to do it, you will do whatever it takes.

The problem is, we tend to get so caught up in working and achieving our goals that we forget why we started in the first place. We forget why we do what we do and instead get overwhelmed by a seemingly endless to-do list. No wonder that most people seem so unexcited and even bored with life – they have no goals to strive for!

The easiest way to counter this problem is by rewriting your goals every day and imagining the future as you want it. Every morning after waking up, write down the most important goals you have for your life. This will not only immediately get you motivated and excited, but also crystal clear on what you need to do to succeed. Only when you are focused on your goals and your vision for your life are you able to make decisions that contribute to those goals.

6. Decide in Advance That You Will Never Give Up

To make sure that you stay strong in the face of adversity, make sure to resolve in advance how you will respond once it occurs. You need to have a plan for what to do when all hell breaks loose, or else it is too easy to just give up. When writing your goals, commit to making them come true, no matter how hard it may be. Determine how you will respond to failures and setbacks so you can bounce back stronger and better than ever before.

If you make this commitment and never break it, you will succeed at anything you set your mind to. Maybe not immediately, but definitely.

Photo credit: Jack Moreh via freerangestock.com

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John Wheeler’s Participatory Universe

Autor: Marina Jones
Vía futurism | February 13, 2014

Besides his extraordinary contributions to the field of theoretical physics, Wheeler inspired many aspiring young scientists, including some of the greats of the 20th century. Among his doctoral students were Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize laureate, with whom he coauthored the “Wheeler-Feynman absorber theory”; Hugh Everett, who proposed the many worlds interpretation; Kip Thorne, who predicted the existence of red supergiant stars with neutron-star cores; Jacob Bekenstein, who formulated black hole thermodynamics; Charles Misner, who discovered a mathematical spacetime called Misner space; Arthur Wightman, the originator of Wightman axioms; and Benjamin Schumacher, who invented the term “qubit” and is known for the “Schumacher compression”. The list could go on.

Wheeler had a reputation pushing his students into a place where logical thought would not necessarily take them. Former student Richard Feynman, to Kip Thorne, declared, “Some people think that Wheeler’s gotten crazy in his later years, but he’s always been crazy![Reference: Princeton] Wheeler was willing to make a fool of himself, to go anywhere, talk to anybody, and ask any question that would get him closer to understanding “how things are put together.” 

LEGACY:

Wheeler believed that the real reason universities have students is to educate the professors. But to be educated by the students, a professor had to ask good questions. “You try out your questions on the students”, he wrote, “If there are questions that the students get interested in, then they start to tell you new things and keep you asking more new questions. Pretty soon you have learned a great deal.” [Reference: Cosmic Search Vol. 1 No. 4]

Wheeler had a fantastic sense of humor. Often he engaged in Koan-like expressions that puzzled and amused his listeners. He saw beauty in strangeness and actively sought it out. He declared, “If you haven’t found something strange during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

Wheeler divided his own life into three parts. The first part he called “Everything is Particles.” The second part was “Everything is Fields.” And the third part, which Wheeler considered the bedrock of his physical theory, he called “Everything is Information.”

EVERYTHING IS PARTICLES:

John Archilald Wheeler was born on July 9, 1911, in Jacksonville, Florida, into a family of librarians. At 16, he won a scholarship to Johns Hopkins University. He graduated five years later with a Ph.D in physics. A year later he got engaged to Janette Hegner. They stayed married for 72 years.

Source UnknownIn 1933 in an application for the National Research Council Fellowship to go to Copenhagen and work with Neils Bohr, Wheeler wrote: “I want to go to work with Neils Bohr because he sees further than any man alive.” Bohr and Wheeler published their first paper in the late 1930s, explaining nuclear fission in terms of quantum physics. They argued that the atomic nucleus, containing protons and neutrons, is like a drop of liquid, which starts vibrating and elongating into a peanut shape when a neutron emitted from another disintegrating nucleus collides with it. As a result, the peanut shaped atomic nucleus snaps into two.

In 1938 Wheeler started teaching at Princeton University. In 1941 he interrupted his academic work to join the Manhattan Project team (which included the likes of Feynman, Bohr and Albert Einstein – with Marie Curie helping lay out the blueprints) in building an atomic bomb. Wheeler considered it his duty to help with the war effort, but the atomic bomb wasn’t ready in time to end the war and save his beloved brother, who died in Italy in 1944.

After the war ended, Wheeler returned to Princeton and taught Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which at a time was not considered a “respectable” field of physics. Wheeler’s classes were exciting – one of his tricks was to write on chalkboards with both hands. He frequently took his students to Albert Einstein’s house in Princeton for discussions over a cup of tea.

EVERYTHING IS FIELDS:

Wheeler co-wrote the most influential textbook on general relativity with Charles W. Misner and Kip Thorne. It was called Gravitation. While working on mathematical extensions to the theory, Wheeler described hypothetical “tunnels” in space-time which he called “wormholes”. He was not the first scientist to think of the possibility of wormholes, or even black holes, but he established the idea. In this regard, it’s worth noting that Democritus, an ancient Greek philosopher, suggested that matter was composed of atoms, which was “mainstreamed” by John Dalton’s discovery of atoms 2000 years later. In 1784, John Mitchell, a Yorkshire clergyman, suggested that light was subject to the force of gravity long before Einstein proved it.

After the publication of the theory of General Relativity in 1916, in which Albert Einstein predicted the existence of black holes, in 1967 John Wheeler named them. Nigel Calder calls them “awesome engines of quasars and active galaxies.” We now have multiple variations of the original concept: charged black holes, rotating black holes, stationary black holes, supermassive black holes, stellar black holes, miniature black holes.

EVERYTHING IS INFORMATION:

Let’s get to Wheeler’s three-part life- story, the last part he called “Everything is Information”.

In the final decades of his life, the question that intrigued Wheeler most was: “Are life and mind irrelevant to the structure of the universe, or are they central to it?” He suggested that the nature of reality was revealed by the bizarre laws of quantum mechanics. According to the quantum theory, before the observation is made, a subatomic particle exists in several states, called a superposition (or, as Wheeler called it, a ‘smoky dragon’). Once the particle is observed, it instantaneously collapses into a single position.

Wheeler suggested that reality is created by observers and that: “no phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon.” He coined the termParticipatory Anthropic Principle (PAP) from the Greek “anthropos”, or human. He went further to suggest that “we are participants in bringing into being not only the near and here, but the far away and long ago.” [Reference: Radio Interview With Martin Redfern]

This claim was considered rather outlandish until his thought experiment, known as the “delayed-choice experiment,” was tested in a laboratory in 1984. This experiment was a variation on the famous “double-slit experiment” in which the dual nature of light was exposed (depending on how the experiment was measured and observed, the light behaved like a particle (a photon) or like a wave).

Unlike the original “double-slit experiment”, in Wheeler’s version, the method of detection was changed AFTER a photon had passed the double slit. The experiment showed that the path of the photon was not fixed until the physicists made their measurements. The results of this experiment, as well as another conducted in 2007, proved what Wheeler had always suspected – observers’ consciousness is required to bring the universe into existence. This means that a pre-life Earth would have existed in an undetermined state, and a pre-life universe could only exist retroactively.

A UNIVERSE ‘FINE-TUNED’ FOR LIFE:

These conclusions lead many scientists to speculate that the universe is fine-tuned for life. This is how Wheeler’s Princeton colleague, Robert Dicke, explained the existence of our universe:

“If you want an observer around, and if you want life, you need heavy elements. To make heavy elements out of hydrogen, you need thermonuclear combustion. To have thermonuclear combustion, you need a time of cooking in a star of several billion years. In order to stretch out several billion years in its time dimension, the universe, according to general relativity, must be several years across in its space dimensions. So why is the universe as big as it is? Because we are here!”

[Reference: Cosmic Search Vol. 1 No. 4]

Stephen Hawking has also noted: “The laws of science, as we know them at present, seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.” Fred Hoyle, in his book Intelligent Universe, compares “the chance of obtaining even a single functioning protein by a chance combination of amino acids to a star system full of blind men solving Rubik’s Cube simultaneously.”

Physicist Andrei Linde of Stanford University adds: “The universe and the observer exist as a pair. I cannot imagine a consistent theory of the universe that ignores consciousness.” [Reference: “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the Universe“]

Wheeler, always an optimist, believed that one day we would have a clear understanding of the origin of the universe. He had “a sense of faith that it can be done.” “Faith”, he wrote, “is the number one element. It isn’t something that spreads itself uniformly. Faith is concentrated in few people at particular times and places. If you can involve young people in an atmosphere of hope and faith, then I think they’ll figure out how to get the answer.”

CONCLUSION:

Wheeler died of pneumonia on April 13, 2008, at age 96. His whole life he searched for answers to philosophical questions about the origin of matter, the nature of information and the universe. “We are no longer satisfied with insights into particles, or fields of force, or geometry, or even space and time,” he wrote in 1981, “Today we demand of physics some understanding of existence itself.”  [Reference: “The Voice of Genius: Conversations with Nobel Scientists and Other Luminaries”]

Let’s hope that young scientists will continue to be encouraged by these words and will push the boundaries of human imagination beyond its limits, and maybe even find the elusive final theory – a Theory of Everything.

John Archibald Wheeler (1911-2008) was a scientist-philosopher who introduced the concept of wormholes and coined the term “black hole”. He pioneered the theory of nuclear fission with Niels Bohr and introduced the S-matrix (the scattering matrix used in quantum mechanics). Wheeler devised a concept of quantum foam; a theory of “virtual particles” popping in and out of existence in space (similarly, he conceptualized foam as the foundation of the fabric of the universe).

Imagen destacada: How It Works

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MIR

MIR

Author: MIR
Via MIR

Website recomendado por Mariana Chávez Berrón, colaboradora de México para Replicación de Arttextum

We aim to produce images that are outside the “3d architectural visualization” category.

Our focus is on creating a unique overall feeling in the image, instead of forcefully instructing the viewer in what to think and feel about the project.

A Mir image gives space for an individual experience.

1.Natural light
We want to create images that humans instinctively relate to and connect with. Manipulating away shadows or faking light can backfire and result in images that feel “disguisive” and unnatural.

2.Unforced process
Strawberry cake and T-bone steak are both good things, but it is not a given that they work together in a dish. Camera angle, lighting, colour, and composition are the key ingredients that together make up the foundation of an image. A poor foundation cannot be saved with flares, fog and effects.

3. Thoughtful use of markers
Images that over instruct the viewer what to think and feel about the project can be unappetizing. We keep things natural and palatable by questioning the use of any symbolic markers such as “Kids with Balloons” or “Trendy Shopping Girls”.

Crédito de foto de portada: Neumann Machine, Gensler NY – Wasteland cITY/Wasteland, 2014.

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The Map of Physics

Author: Domain of Science
Via YouTube | November 27, 2016

Everything we know about physics – and a few things we don’t – in a simple map.

If you are interested in buying a print you can buy it as a poster here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/domin…

Or on a load of other objects: http://www.redbubble.com/people/domin…

Also you can download a digital version here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9586967…

I made the music, which you can find on my Soundcloud if you’d like to get lost in some cosmic jam. https://soundcloud.com/dominicwalliman

Errata and clarifications.

I endeavour to be as accurate as possible in my videos, but I am human and definitely don’t know everything, so there are sometimes mistakes. Also, due to the nature of my videos, there are bound to be oversimplifications. Some of these are intentional because I don’t have time to go into full detail, but sometimes they are unintentional and here is where I clear them up.

1. “Isaac Newton invented calculus.” Actually there is controversy over who invented calculus first Isaac Newton or Gottfried Leibniz. Regardless of who it was I have used Leibniz’s mathematical notation here and so he definitely deserves credit. I did’t know about all this so thanks to those who pointed it out. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leibniz…
2. “Maxwell derived the laws of electromagnetism.” This is a simplification as Maxwell’s work was built on the backs of other scientists like Hans Christian Ørsted, André-Marie Ampère and Michael Faraday who discovered induction and saw that electricity and magnetism were part of the same thing. But it was Maxwell who worked out all the maths and brought electricity and magnetism together into a unified theory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro…
3. “Entropy is a measure of order and disorder”. This is also a simplification and this does a good job of explaining it better https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy
4. Einstein and Quantum physics: I made it sound like quantum physics was built by people other than Einstein, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Einstein got a Nobel prize for his work on the photoelectric effect which was a key result to show the particle-like nature of light. Funnily enough he never got a nobel prize for his work on Relativity!

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Artist Uses Kintsugi to Mend Cracked Streets with Gold

Artist Uses Kintsugi to Mend Cracked Streets with Gold

Author: Jessica Stewart
Via My Modern Met | February 24, 2017

Article recommended by Mick Lorusso from the USA / Italy, collaborator of Arttextum’s Replicación

 

Contemporary artist Rachel Sussman is mending cracks in our urban environment with her series Sidewalk Kintsukuroi. Inspired by kintsugi—also known as kintsukuroi—the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, Sussman brings this philosophy to city pavements.

Sussman was already attracted to the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of wabi-sabi when an image of repaired broken pottery sparked her imagination. As chance would have it, she discovered the photograph of kintsugi around the time when her book The Oldest Living Things in the World was being published.

“Study for Sidewalk Kintsukuroi #01 (New Haven, Connecticut),” photograph with enamel paint and metallic dust
“Study for Sidewalk Kintsukuroi #01 (New Haven, Connecticut),” photograph with enamel paint and metallic dust

After spending 10 years photographing ancient organisms for that project, it was a natural next step to play with the idea of repairing what is broken. A new installation and studies from Sidewalk Kintsukuroi are currently part of the Alchemy: Transformations in Gold exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center.

Sussman repaired a crack in the center’s marble floor, an installation which is now part of the museum’s permanent collection. Also on display are study photographs, where the streets of New York City have their fissures filled with gold dust.

Study for Sidewalk Kintsukuroi #02 (MASS MoCA),” photograph with enamel paint and metallic dust
Study for Sidewalk Kintsukuroi #02 (MASS MoCA),” photograph with enamel paint and metallic dust

Whether permanent or theoretical, Sussman’s work falls in line with kintsugi philosophy.  “Cracks represent something in need of attention, and the surfaces we walk, bike, and drive over are usually overlooked until they’re in truly critical condition,” the artist explains. “By gilding them, it’s a way to see what’s around us with fresh eyes and to celebrate perseverance.”

All images: Rachel Sussman.

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World’s First Braille Smartwatch Lets Blind People Feel Messages on Screen

Author:​ Rokas L
Via Bored Panda | March, 2017

 

There are over 285 million visually impaired people in the world, and some of these lives are about to get a lot better. South Korean developer Dot has produced the world’s first Braille smartwatch, and its features are just what you’d expect from a 21st century device.

The Dot displays information using 4 active dynamic Braille cells, and its users can select the speed at which the characters update. The Dot connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth (just like any other smartwatch) and can receive any text from any app or service (think Messenger, directions from Google Maps, etc.). Users can also send simple messages using its buttons on the side. The Dot also supports Open API, which means that anyone can develop or adapt apps for it.

Various digital devices for the blind have been around for some time now, but the vast majority of them use sound. This creates problems, because either a user has to plug in headphones and detach from surrounding sounds (that are vital to blind people), or make their information public. Also, existing digital Braille reading devices are mostly bulky and expensive – only about 5% of visually impaired people own one.

The Dot smartwatch has been in development for 3 years, and the company will finally start delivering its devices to some 140,000 backers (they also claim that Stevie Wonder is one of them). They plan to ship 100,000 watches in 2017, starting March, and the rest 40,000 next year. 1,000 units will be sold on retail in London for $320 too.

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One of the World’s Only Globe-Making Studios Celebrates the Ancient Art of Handcrafter Globes

Author: Jenny Zhang
Via My Modern Met | August 20, 2015

 

A globe is the only “true” representation of the world that doesn’t distort the shape or the size of the earth’s features. Terrestrial (showing a map of the world) and celestial (showing the apparent positions of the stars in the sky) globes are known to have been made since the mid-2nd century B.C., but the earliest surviving terrestrial globe was made in 1492 by Martin Behaim, a German mapmaker, navigator, and merchant. Globe making developed rapidly during the Renaissance as a result of technological developments like the mechanical printing press, as well as the increasing availability of Latin translations of Ptolemy’s treatise Geographica. By the end of the 15th century, globe making had become a well-established craft in Europe, further motivating voyagers such as Christopher Columbus to go forth and explore new lands.

In the modern age, with the advent of GPS in addition to the abundance of mass-produced globes and maps, the art of globe making has fallen by the wayside. Only two workshops in the world still make handcrafted globes; one of them is Bellerby & Co. Globemakers, a studio based in Stoke Newington, London. Founded by Peter Bellerby in 2008, the artisan shop was born when Bellerby struggled to find a quality globe for his father’s 80th birthday present. Faced with a choice between a cheaply made modern globe or a fragile, expensive antique model, Bellerby decided to spend a few months and a few thousand pounds making his own, instead. The process turned out to be more complicated, costly, and time-intensive than he thought, eventually leading to the creation of his own globe-making studio.

Now, Bellerby and a small team of dedicated globemakers construct high-quality, handmade, artisan globes that are as much works of art as they are scientific instruments. From the stand, to the painting, to the mapmaking, each piece is expertly crafted in-house using traditional and modern globe-making techniques. Globe making is a difficult art to learn, with the act of applying the strips of map to the sphere (known as “goring”) alone usually taking a year to master, but the stunning results speak for themselves. In a day and age when digital reigns supreme and cheap products fall apart quickly, Bellerby & Co.’s classically beautiful, handcrafted globes are a testament to the wonderful quality and aesthetic of goods made by true artisans.

Bellerby & Co. has gained international acclaim for its globes, which range in size from mini 23-cm desk versions to massive 127-cm spheres. The globes have been used for BBC productions, in Hollywood films like Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, and by artists in installations. Other customers have commissioned customized globes that highlight their favorite places, fanciful illustrations, or the locations they wish to visit someday. Timeless in appearance and built to last over a century, Bellerby & Co.’s globes memorialize the ancient art of globe making while looking forward to a future of possibilities in craftsmanship, science, and art.

Images: Bellerby & Co. Globemakers

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Unseen Cuba: First aerial photographs reveal island’s spectacular beauty

Author: David Sim
Via International Business Times | May 18, 2015

 

Here’s Cuba as you’ve never seen it before. Lithuanian aerial photographer and publisher Marius Jovaiša is the first artist to receive government permission to fly over the country and photograph it from above.

“Nobody had been able to take aerial pictures of the country because of the secretive political regime and technical difficulties,” he told IBTimes UK. “I thought it would be awesome to try to become the first man on the planet who could convince the Cuban government to give permission for such an endeavour.”

“That was the beginning of a long story,” he continued. “I spent two years in the paperwork and bureaucracy stage. There were so many crazy requirements, unpleasant surprises, changes of circumstances, rules etc that I could write a separate book about it. I guess the Cuban military live by the rules written in the 1960s. Even though now you can go to Google Earth and see every square metre of Cuba, the military still tightly controls the airspace and its secrets.”

Jovaiša says on most aerial photography projects he would simply rent a helicopter, but the rental service in Havana had only a huge Russian-made MI-8 helicopter that wasn’t viable. He bought a custom-built ultralight trike and had it shipped over from Australia.

He says the Unseen Cuba project took five years and a million dollars to come to fruition. But the results are spectacular. Turquoise seas, white sands, ancient villages, dramatic mountains and cities frozen in time.

In this gallery, we publish a selection of his beautiful photographs. See the Unseen Cuba website to learn more about the project and buy a copy of the book, featuring 400 aerial photos of the Caribbean island. There is also an app for Android and Apple phones and tablets, with additional interactive content.

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SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe: Modern Ruins 1:220

Iván Puig, artista Arttextum

Author: The Arts Catalyst
Via SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe: Modern Ruins 1:220 | June 21, 2014

 

Artists Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene (Los Ferronautas) built their striking silver road-rail SEFT-1 vehicle to explore the abandoned passenger railways of Mexico and Ecuador, capturing their journeys in videos, photographs and collected objects.

In their first London exhibition, SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe: Modern Ruins 1: 200, commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and presented in partnership with Furtherfield Gallery, in the heart of Finsbury Park, the artists explore how the ideology of progress is imprinted onto historic landscapes and reflect on the two poles of the social experience of technology – use and obsolescence.

Between 2010 and 2011, the artists travelled across Mexico and Ecuador in the SEFT-1 (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada or Manned Railway Exploration Probe). In a transdisciplinary art project, they set out to explore disused railways as a starting point for reflection and research, recording the landscapes and infrastructure around and between cities. Interviewing people they met, often from communities isolated by Mexico’s passenger railway closures, they shared their findings online, seft1.com, where audiences could track the probe’s trajectory, view maps and images and listen to interviews.

The artists’ journeys led them to the notion of modern ruins: places and systems left behind quite recently, not because they weren’t functional, but for a range of political and economical reasons. In the second half of the 19th century, the Mexican government partnered with British companies to built the railway line that would connect Mexico City with the Atlantic Ocean – and beyond to Europe. This iconic railway infrastructure now lies in ruins, much of it abandoned due to the privatization of the railway system in 1995, when many passenger trains were withdrawn, lines cut off and communities isolated.

For this new exhibition, the artists are inviting British expert model railway constructors to collaborate by creating scale reproductions of specific Mexican railway ruins exactly as they are now. One gallery becomes a space for the process of model ruin construction. The room’s walls will show the pictures, documents, plans and other materials used as reference for the meticulously elaborated ruin construction. With this action a dystopian time tunnel is created.

The exhibition was held at the Furtherfield Gallery, Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQ, UK, 21 June to 27 July 2014.

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Iván Puig

How To Open Your 7 Chakras As Explained In a Children’s Show

Network: Nickelodeon
Via: YouTube | March 4, 2016

How to cleanse and open your chakras, a must-see video if you are a beginner 😉

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Artis Micropia, the museum that displays the unseen world

Artis Micropia, the museum that displays the unseen world

Author: Micropia
Via: The Invisible World

Museum recommended by Mick Lorusso from the USA / Italy, collaborator of Arttextum’s Replicación

You can’t see them, but they’re here.
They are on you. In you. And you’ve got more than a hundred thousand billion of them.
They’re with you when you eat, when you breathe, when you kiss.
They are everywhere. On your hands. And in your belly.
And they meddle in everything.
They shape your world:
what you smell, and what you taste;
whether you get sick, or get better.
They can save us or destroy us.
Microbes: the smallest and most powerful organisms on our planet.
We know very little about them,
but can learn so much from them.
About our health, alternative energy sources, and much more.
When you look  from really close,
a new world is revealed to you.
More beautiful and spectacular than you could ever have imagined.
Welcome to Micropia.
The only museum of microbes, in the centre of Amsterdam.

It has taken over twelve years for the idea of Micropia to become a reality and for the museum to open its doors. The process has involved the close collaboration of many parties.

The history of Micropia began when Haig Balian was appointed director of Artis in 2003. He drew up a wide-ranging blueprint for the Artis of the 21st century, encompassing three core principles: more space for animals; more attention to learning about the natural world and a central focus on the Artis heritage. Balian’s children grew up as the Artis blueprint developed. As adolescents, they had their first romances, experienced their first kiss. But what actually happens when we kiss? The mouth is the entrance to the gastrointestinal tract, but is also the habitat of hundreds of thousands of families of bacteria. There are also the complex flora exchanged during a kiss. The idea of Micropia was born.

Images courtesy of Micropia

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Malala’s father: “She is the spirit of happiness in this house”

Author: Abigail Pesta
Via The NY Times | February 29, 2016

 

As the teenage Nobel prize winner prepares for her next step — college — her father tells Women in the World about how she is adjusting to her new life in England

When 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head on her school bus by the Taliban, a devastating thought crossed her father’s mind: Was he to blame?

Malala’s dad, Ziauddin Yousafzai, had strongly encouraged his daughter to pursue an education in Pakistan, defying the Taliban order that girls should not go to school, but should stay silent, marry young, and obey their husbands.

“When something bad happens, an honest person asks himself, what was my role? I think this is natural. The day Malala was shot was the most difficult day of my life. In that moment, it came to my mind, yes, could I have done differently? Could I have stopped her? I asked my wife if I had done the right thing,” Ziauddin told Women in the World by phone from England, where the family now lives. “My wife said, ‘Yes, you did the right thing. You and Malala are fighting for education, for equality. You are standing for your rights.’”

His moment of doubt passed, but he and his wife had to wait in agony for a week, wondering if their daughter would wake up from a coma. When she did, her first words, scribbled with a pen, were about her dad. “Why have I no father?” she asked, fearing he could be dead.

Ziauddin’s influence on his daughter’s life runs deep. In the documentary He Named Me Malala, which has its global television premiere on Monday night on the National Geographic Channel, it is clear how he raised his daughter to shun the patriarchal, tribal notions of a girl’s role of subservience in society. A schoolteacher and outspoken critic of the Taliban, he sent Malala to school at a young age and urged her to talk about politics and topics often reserved for boys. “I tried my best to treat my daughter as myself,” he told Women in the World. “I gave her a lot of freedom.”

He encouraged Malala to stay in school when she entered her teenage years — a time when Pakistani girls are typically “stopped from going out of the home” and married off, he said. He recalled how a man once complained to Malala’s mother that Malala was showing herself in public, continuing to go to school. “He said, ‘Malala brings shame to the family. You should not be doing this.’ When my wife told me this, I said, ‘This is my family. He should not poke his nose into my family affairs.’” Now, the same man “is a big supporter of Malala,” Ziauddin said. “Change starts in the close family, then it goes to the extended family, then it spreads to towns and cities and countries.”

Thoughout her school years in the Swat Valley, Malala became increasingly upset about how the Taliban targeted and bombed schools for girls. When a BBC correspondent asked her father if a girl at his school would anonymously blog about the situation, Ziauddin asked Malala if she would be interested. She said yes. Later she appeared with her dad in a video by New York Times reporter Adam B. Ellick, showing her face and saying she wanted to become a doctor. She began speaking publicly at events, campaigning for education for girls. In October 2012, a gunman boarded her school bus, asked for her by name, and gunned her down. She was not expected to survive. She was flown to a hospital in Birmingham, England, for medical care, and her family followed. Doctors performed brain surgery, attaching a metal plate to her skull and a cochlear implant to restore hearing to her left ear. Part of her face remains paralyzed.

Malala has struggled to adjust to school in the West. “Just think of a young girl who was studying in a far-flung area of Pakistan and had never been together with girls from the U.K., whose country and culture is different,” Ziauddin said. In the film, Malala talks about how the girls at her high school in England are busy dating boys. “Most of them have boyfriends. Most of them have broken up with some of the boyfriends and found new ones,” she says. In her native Pakistan, there was no dating, just marriage. If a family had a television, the Taliban burned it. And if people spoke out against the Taliban, they got executed in the town square.

“It was quite hard in the beginning for Malala,” Ziauddin said of his daughter’s new life. “But I must give her credit. She is so resilient and such a smart girl, she was able to get used to her new environment and make friends.” In the film, Malala surfs the Internet and giggles about a favorite Pakistani cricket player and tennis star Roger Federer. She enjoys mini-golf, bowling, and “fighting with her brothers,” her father told Women in the World with a laugh. “She is the spirit of happiness in this house. This house is like a dungeon without her.” Malala has two younger brothers, also attending school in England. Malala’s mother, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, is getting educated as well, learning to read and write, she said last October at the Women in the World Summit in London.

Malala’s school has made a point of treating her “as a normal student,” Ziauddin said. When she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, that was the first time she addressed the school, he said. Now 18 years old, Malala is applying to college and is interested in Oxford University, among others, her father said. He added that he will feel sad when she leaves home, but also “very pleased” to see her move forward with her schooling. In describing his hopes for her, he recalled a trip he took with her to Islamabad before the attack. “We went to a function and she gave a talk as if she was my son. My dream for her then was that one day, I want to see Malala come here to Islamabad on her own to give this talk, no chaperone. She should be independent. When she goes to college, she will be independent. She will be on her own. We will be good.”

Ziauddin grew up with five sisters, none of whom were given the opportunity for an education in Pakistan. They were married off, and never had an identity of their own. “No girl was given an education when I was a schoolboy,” he said. “I saw so much discrimination. Many men in society, they are comfortable with what is going on. Few people stand for change. Whatever I saw wrong in my early life, I wanted to respond with equality and justice. My goal was not to condemn, but to change.”

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Musical instrument uses 2,000 marbles to play incredible music

Author: Wintergatan
Via Wintergatan

 

Music, Machines and Homemade Music Instruments!

Wintergatan is a Swedish Instrumental band and are currently building a new Marble Machine to go on a world tour with once functional.

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Watch soap bubbles freeze

Watch soap bubbles freeze

Author: 
Via:  | January 18, 2017

Video recommended by Mick Lorusso from the USA / Italy, collaborator of Arttextum’s Replicación

A photographer in St. Paul, Minnesota captured this mesmerizing footage of soap bubbles freezing. It looks like time-lapse but it’s actually in real time!

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These Gorgeous Animated Shorts Celebrate 11 of Mexico’s Indigenous Languages

Author: Andrew S. Vargas
Via Remezcla | March, 2016

 

To residents of the Americas, Europe can seem like a tower of Babel with dozens upon dozens of languages crammed into a small geographical space and vying endlessly for dominance or survival. On this side of the world things are much simpler: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and a few Dutch speakers make communication generally much smoother across the continent, along with a few New World Patois thrown into the mix for good measure.

Como llegó el conejo a la luna / How did the rabbit get to the moon from Combo on Vimeo.

At least so the thinking goes. In reality, the American continent is a place of vast linguistic diversity, with more language families found solely in Mexico than in the entirety of the European continent. And with each language comes a particular vision of the world, an inimitable expressivity, a treasure trove of wisdom accrued over the centuries and codified in words and idioms.

Seri. El origen de la tierra from Combo on Vimeo.

Yet these languages struggle desperately for survival in the midst of a post-colonial landscape dominated by a small handful of European languages. Consciously or unconsciously, indigenous tongues are often viewed as backward and those who speak them stigmatized, relegated to the margins of official society for refusing to adapt to rules set by colonizers through violence and subjugation.

Ch’ol. El origen de la vida from Combo on Vimeo.

In Mexico, this problem is acutely felt. As one of the world’s most linguistically diverse nations, Mexico is also ground zero for language extinction as grandparents and great-grandparents leave us, and younger generations bow to the necessity of cultural assimilation. Yet despite their precarious status, Mexico currently encompasses 364 indigenous dialects, belonging to 68 distinct languages which branch off from 11 language families — a legacy of Mesoamerica’s pre-Columbian golden age as the center of indigenous civilization in North America.

Mayo. El origen del fuego from Combo on Vimeo.

And thankfully some people are working not only to preserve these languages for future generations, but to empower those who speak them right now. Sesenta y Ocho Voces, Sesenta y Ocho Corazones (also known as 68 voces), is a new initiative from Mexico’s government Fund for The Culture and Arts (FONCA) that seeks to elevate Mexico’s 68 indigenous languages by preserving their myths, legends, poems, and stories in the form of beautifully animated short films. Their goal is to foment pride amongst speakers of these languages, and respect among those who don’t, under premise that “nadie puede amar lo que no conoce” (no one can love what they don’t know.)

Muere mi Rostro / My face dies from Combo on Vimeo.

There are currently seven of these short animated films available, covering dialects of the Huasteco, Maya, Mixteco, Náhuatl, Totonaco, Yaqui and Zapoteco languages. Ranging from two to three minutes, each film employs a different designer to give powerful expression the wisdom contained in these indigenous languages. From reflections on life and death, to vividly recounted myths of the ancient times, these films give Mexico’s indigenous languages their due place amongst the great treasures of human civilization.

Check them all out on their Vimeo page!

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Human, A Film Project

Human, A Film Project

Author: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Via: Human, The Movie

Video recommended by Andrea López Tyrer from Chile/Spain, collaborator of Arttextum’s Replicación

HUMAN is a collection of stories and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. Through these stories full of love and happiness, as well as hatred and violence, HUMAN brings us face to face with the Other, making us reflect on our lives. From stories of everyday experiences to accounts of the most unbelievable lives, these poignant encounters share a rare sincerity and underline who we are – our darker side, but also what is most noble in us, and what is universal. Our Earth is shown at its most sublime through never-before-seen aerial images accompanied by soaring music, resulting in an ode to the beauty of the world, providing a moment to draw breath and for introspection.

human-film-arttextum3

human-film-arttextum2

HUMAN is a politically engaged work which allows us to embrace the human condition and to reflect on the meaning of our existence.


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The Woman Who Has Transformed English National Ballet

The Woman Who Has Transformed English National Ballet

Author: Roslyn Sulcas
Via The New York Times | November 18, 2016

Article recommended by Karla Castillo from Mexico, collaborator of Arttextum’s Replicación

 

LONDON — Artistic director, star ballerina, lobbyist, wrangler, psychologist, spokeswoman. Tamara Rojo, the artistic director of English National Ballet, is one busy woman.

Ms. Rojo, 42, a Spanish-born former Royal Ballet principal dancer, has been in her current job for four years, and she has made a startling difference to English National Ballet — a London touring company of 67 dancers that has no home theater and has struggled for a long time to establish its identity in the shadow of the Royal. On Tuesday, her company began a sold-out run of Akram Khan’s critically praised “Giselle” at Sadler’s Wells. Ms. Rojo commissioned the piece last year, part of her risk-taking approach.

She is also the company’s marquee ballerina (along with a fellow Royal Ballet alum, Alina Cojocaru), somehow managing to keep up her technical form and artistry while acting as a one-woman visionary, manager, cheerleader and glamorous high-profile ad for her organization.

Does she sleep? “As a dancer, you learn focus,” Ms. Rojo said.

Looking pale and slightly drawn, Ms. Rojo, even so, appeared full of energy in an interview earlier this month at the company’s headquarters near Royal Albert Hall. Every day, she said, involves a juggling act between dancing and directorial duties, with her attention constantly pulled among the needs of her dancers, administrative meetings and performing.

There are few female ballet company directors, but Ms. Rojo knew it was a job she wanted. “You can have a much wider impact on society as a director, than a dancer,” she said. “I think ballet can be so much more ambitious, do so much more, than it does now.” Since succeeding Wayne Eagling in 2012, she has worked that ambition, commissioning works from three relatively unknown female choreographers, and a war-themed program from Mr. Khan, Liam Scarlett and Russell Maliphant. She has also programmed challenging works by William Forsythe and Pina Bausch.

And last year, she formed an association with Sadler’s Wells that has given English National Ballet a London base to showcase its contemporary work. That is “the kind of risk-taking that a touring ballet company can’t otherwise do in this climate,” Debra Craine, the chief dance critic for The London Times, said in an email, referring to Britain’s recent cuts in arts financing.

Ms. Rojo has a narrow path to walk between popular appeal and artistic innovation. English National Ballet (called London Festival Ballet until 1989) was founded in 1950 by the British ballet stars Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin with the aim of taking ballet to the provinces. The troupe still has a touring obligation, and with subsidies at a much lower level than those of Royal Ballet, it depends on box-office certainties like “Swan Lake,” “Sleeping Beauty” and an annual “Nutcracker.” (The company’s annual budget is about $19 million, with $7.5 million coming from Arts Council England, a government body.)

“I’ve seen so many directors come through E.N.B. over the years — some of them with visionary ideas,” Judith Mackrell, a dance critic for The Guardian, said in an email. “All were defeated by cautiousness of the board and by the company’s remit from Arts Council England to deliver ballet to the regions.”

Ms. Rojo, who danced with English National Ballet for three years before joining Royal Ballet in 2000, doesn’t mean to lose. “I actually saw advantages in most of the things people thought of as problems,” she said. “Touring means you can really build young artists by giving them proper time onstage. And the beauty of rivaling the Royal is that we can really create an identity of our own. How should we look at the classical repertory and perform it today?”

Ballet has been her passion since she was 5, Ms. Rojo said, when she first glimpsed a class (“it was a revelation”) after school in Madrid, where she grew up. Her parents were not well off and made sacrifices to send her to an excellent ballet school, run by Victor Ullate, whose company she joined at 16. After winning the Paris International Dance Competition in 1994, she left Madrid to join Scottish National Ballet, where she spent just six months before being approached by Derek Deane, then the director of English National Ballet.

She didn’t think about directing a company, she said, until Spain’s government approached her in 2006, when she was with Royal Ballet. “The president wanted something like an English National Ballet for Spain, a touring company, and he wanted to know what it would cost, what infrastructure would it need, would I take on?” Ms. Rojo said. “I felt it was too early for me, but I began to do the research, and I realized that I wanted to know as much as possible about how to run a company.” (The Spanish government did not go ahead with the project.)

Ms. Rojo later participated in training for future artistic directors, shadowing Karen Kain at the National Ballet of Canada. When the Royal Ballet directorship opened in 2011, she was a front-runner, although the job ultimately went to Kevin O’Hare. Ms. Rojo said she was relieved. “A few years later, this position became available,” she said, “and I knew what I could achieve here.”

Ms. Rojo is a leader, said Alistair Spalding, the artistic director of Sadler’s Wells. “She is out there, looking for ideas, making things happen, looking for connections, a brilliant networker,” he said. “Despite the financial restrictions, she has been able to be more fleet of foot than she would have been at the Royal. The challenges for her are to raise enough money, and keep audience numbers up.”

Ms. Rojo’s big challenge will be raising money for the company’s planned 2018 move from its current cramped location to new headquarters it will share with English National Ballet School in Canning Town, East London. It will cost about $30 million, she said. As well as doubling studio capacity, the new building will have a production studio with a stage and full lighting and sound capability. (The stage is big enough for run-throughs, but the theater has a capacity of just 170.)

“Today, a ballet company will invest on average 1.8 million pounds” — $2.25 million — “on a new production, then give themselves two days onstage because it’s just too expensive,” Ms. Rojo said. “Compare that, again, with theater and its weeks of previews. But it’s the same audience. Right now, we are asking them to somehow bear with us, and I don’t want that. I want you to be moved and impressed and intrigued and overwhelmed. I want audiences to have the highest expectations.”

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The scientist who gave up his job to fold origami

Author: Faena Aleph
Via Faena | June 1, 2015

 

Dr. Robert J. Lang has revolutionized the wonderful world of origami to be able to make anything that enters his imagination.

Origami is pleasantly nostalgic. One remembers, perhaps, when one was a child and made their first bird that looked like a crane but had few features in common with the real bird. It could be described as one of the first meditative activities that we carried out voluntarily and full of expectation. The minute concentrations we put into each fold of paper blocked out anything else that happened around us. And that, for a child, is no small feat. But the obsession with the possibilities of a sheet of paper have gone far beyond a healthy and aesthetic educational entertainment; to begin with, they led one scientist to leave his job and dedicate himself full-time to folding paper and, in doing so, he revolutionized the world and the limits of origami.

That man is Dr. Robert J. Lang, an electronic engineer who, while he worked for a fiber optic company (JDS Uniphase) in the 1970s, invented the origami Jimmy Carter, Darth Vader, a monk and an inflatable rabbit, but whose real passion were insects (albeit in those days, together with crustaceans, they were impossible to create in origami as nobody had solved the problem as to how to fold paper into figures with robust bodies and thin limbs).

Dr. Lang’s obsession and talent were such that he began to investigate mathematical equations that would allow him to create figures beyond thirty folds, at the time the maximum number of folds that the Japanese art of origami had reached. By the end of the 1970s origami had changed so much thanks to Lang (insects were now possible as well as all kinds of complex figures) that he gave up his job to carry on experimenting with its possibilities.

robert-lang-origami-arttextum

 

The Japanese could not believe that a Western man could be an origami expert, and those who knew him as a scientist were amazed to find out that their colleague was one of the world’s most famous origami artists. But Lang, who had received his first book of origami at the age of six, was so infatuated with the possibility of creating three-dimensional creatures, almost magically, that he could do nothing else but dedicate himself to that.

In Japan, the art of origami has been practiced as a recreation for at least 400 years under one beautiful and simple principle: the sheet of paper is the essence, no matter what it becomes, there is never more or less paper; the same paper remains. What Dr. Lang added to that world of figures, and always respecting the rule of not cutting the paper, were mathematical equations. More precisely, the elegance of mathematical equations. And thanks to that, naturalism found its most beautiful three-dimensional accompaniment.

robert-lang-origami-arttextum2

 

In 2003 Lang published the book Origami Design Secrets and now, as well as designing sets for films and commercials, Lang has various jobs as a scientific designer. He has designed medical instruments and space telescopes and he made it possible for a cellular antenna to fit inside a mobile telephone.

Lang believes there is still much to be done with origami. And while his main activity is refining his beloved insects, its scientific application knows no limits in practice. Origami is no longer just an art, but is also mathematics, geometry, physics, philosophy and religion, all folded into a beautiful figure.

Images: courtesy of Robert Lang and FunCheap

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Leidenfrost effect- really cool maze of moving droplets at end

Leidenfrost effect- really cool maze of moving droplets at end

Author: SciFri
Via: Science Friday | November 21, 2013

Video recommended by Mick Lorusso from the USA / Italy, collaborator of Arttextum’s Replicación

In the Leidenfrost Effect, a water droplet will float on a layer of its own vapor if heated to certain temperature. This common cooking phenomenon takes center stage in a series of playful experiments by physicists at the University of Bath, who discovered new and fun means to manipulate the movement of water.

Researchers test ridged surfaces in order to control the movements of hot water.

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School Replaces Detention With Meditation And Results Are Amazing

Author: James Gould-Bourn
Via Bored Panda | October, 2016

 

Robert W. Coleman School in Baltimore sounds like the best school ever. Why? Because there’s no such thing as detention at the Baltimore Elementary.

Yep, you heard that correctly. Instead they have a Mindful Moment Room, a brightly colored “oasis of calm” that looks about as far as you can get from the windowless detention rooms typically used to punish unruly kids. It’s part of an after-school programme called Holistic Me, an initiative that teaches children to practice mindful meditation and breathing exercises while encouraging them to talk to behavioral professionals. The programme works in partnership with a local non-profit called the Holistic Life Foundation, and the results so far have been pretty impressive. In fact, since first taking part in the programme two years ago, Robert W. Coleman hasn’t issued a single suspension.

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Marcela Armas, artista Arttextum
Marcela Armas

 

Xiuhtezcatl, Indigenous Climate Activist at the High-level event on Climate Change

Author: General Assembly of the United Nations
Via The United Nations Live & On-demand | June 19, 2015

 

Remarks by Xiuhtezcatl, indigenous climate activist and Youth Director of Earth Guardians at the opening segment of the High-level event of the United Nations General Assembly on Climate Change (29 June 2015).

HIGH-LEVEL EVENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE
New York

BACKGROUND

2015 will be a critical year for the climate change negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The international community is expected to deliver a new, ambitious and universally binding agreement in Paris.

The President of the General Assembly convened a High-Level Event on climate change on 29 June 2015, which intended to provide impetus and political momentum for an ambitious climate agreement, by keeping the issue high on the agenda at the mid-point between COP20 in Lima and COP21 in Paris. It aimed also to provide space for showcasing climate action and concrete initiatives, through multi-stakeholder approaches to address climate change.

2015 will also be a decisive year in shaping the post 2015 development agenda and agreeing on a framework for financing for development. The road from Addis Ababa to New York and finally Paris will be central to the global efforts to improve lives, achieve sustainable development and preserve the planet for the present and future generations.

 

FORMAT

The High-level event consisted of:

A high-level opening session,
Two high-level interactive Panel discussions, and
A closing session.

PARTICIPATION

Member States were invited to participate at the highest level. Representatives of the UN Agencies, the UNFCCC Secretariat as well as the private sector, civil society, academia and other relevant stakeholders were also encouraged to attend at the highest level possible.

OUTCOME

The outcome is a President’s Summary, circulated to all Member States and other stakeholders.

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These Two Women Designed A 3D Zebra Crossing In Gujarat And It’s One Of A Kind!

Author: Souvik Ray
Via India Times | Marzo 10, 2016

 

3D street art never fails to amaze us. Simply because they have a visual appeal that one can just immerse themselves in.

Artists Saumya Pandya Thakkar and Shakuntala Pandya from Ahmedabad designed something innovative that not only serves an artistic purpose but ensures road safety for pedestrians.The motto was to increase the attention of drivers through new flat patterns of Zebra Crossings.

The authorities have tested the effects in Ahmedabad and has approved it as successful concept till now. However there are limitations in designs due to the highway norms and the artist has just applied the ordered design by connected authorities. The design has been eligible for the copyright as well.

The 3-dimensional zebra crossing gives an illusion to oncoming drivers that it is a blockade, hence making them slow down. The novel idea will be used near schools and accident prone areas in Ahmedabad to reduce road related accidents and allow pedestrians to safely cross the road.

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Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Author: Rebecca Beris
Via Life Hack

 

In 2011, the Finish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sort to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence

A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice. The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

“We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

silence

The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.”

When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

As Herman Melville once wrote, “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

Silence relieves stress and tension

It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech.

“This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.

Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.

silence-arttextum

Silence replenishes our cognitive resources

The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making. The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.

Summation

Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

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The dream that you are holding in your mind is possible!

Author: Martin Luther King (via Mateusz M)

Via YouTube 

Recommended by Sandra Gael from Mexico, collaborator of Arttextum’s Replicación

I don’t know what that dream is that you have. I don’t care how disappointing it might’ve been as you’ve been working toward that dream, but that dream that you’re holding in your mind, that it’s possible!

That some of you already know. That it’s hard, it’s not easy. It’s hard changing your life. That in the process, of working on your dreams, you are going to incur in a lot of disappointment, a lot of failure, a lot of pain. There are moments when you’re gonna doubt yourself. You said God, why, why is this happening to me? I’m just trying to take care of my children and my mother, I’m not trying to steal or rob from anybody. How does this have to happen to me? For those of you that have experience some hardships, don’t give up on your dream. The rough times are gonna come, but they have not come to stay, they have come to pass.

be-your-dream02

Greatness, is not this wonderful, esoteric, illusive, god-like feature that only the special among us will ever taste. It’s something that truly exists, in all of us.

It’s very important for you to believe, that you are the one. Most people, they raise a family, they earn a living and then they die. They stop growing, they stop working on themselves, they stop stretching, they stop pushing themselves. Then a lot of people like to complain but they don’t wanna do anything about their situation. And most people don’t work on their dreams, why? One is because of fear, the fear of failure, “what if things don’t work out”? And the fear of success, “what if they do and I can’t handle it”? These are not risk takers.

You spent so much time with other people, you spent some much time trying to get people to like you, you know other people more than you know yourself, you studied them, you know about them, you want hang out like them, you want to be just like them. And you know what? You’ve invested so much time on them, you don’t know who you are. I challenge you to spend time by yourself.

be-your-dream01

It’s necessary, that get the losers out of your life, if you want to live your dream. But people who are running towards their dreams, life have a special kind of meaning.

If you want to be more successful, if you want have and do stuff you never done before, I’m asking you, to invest in you! To invest in you!

Someone’s opinion of you, does not have to become your reality. That you don’t have to go through life, being a victim. And even though you face disappointments, you have to know within yourself. . . that I can do this, even if no one see it for me, I must see it for myself.

This is what I believe and I’m willing to die for it. Period.

No matter how bad it is or how bad it gets, I’m going to make it!

I wanna represent an idea. I wanna represent possibilities.

There’s some of you right now, you want to go to next level. ‘I want a council, I want to be a engineer, I want to be a doctor.” Listen to me. You can’t get to that level. You can’t get to that level economically where you want to be, until you start invest in your mind. You are not reading books. I challenge you all to go to the conference. I dare you to invest time! I dare you to be alone! I dare you to spent an hour to get to know yourself. When you become who you are, when you become the person that you are created to be, designed to be who you were designed to be. When you become an individual. What you do is: take yourself and you start separating yourself from other people. I’m challenging you, to get to the place where people do not like you or do not even bother you no more. Why? Cause you are not concerned to make them happy. Because you try to blow up, you try to the next level. I need you to invest in your mind. Invest in your mind.

be-your-dream04

If you still taking about your dream. If you still taking about your goals. But you have not done anything: JUST TAKE THE FIRST STEP! You can make your parent proud, you can make your school proud, you can touch millions of people lives and the word will never be the same again, because you came this way. Don’t let nobody steal your dream! After we face a rejection and a “NO” or we have a meeting and no one shows up, or somebody said, you can count on me, and they don’t come through what if we had that kind of attitude that cause reposes, nobody believes in you, you’ve lost again, and again, and again! The lights are cut off but you’re still looking at your dream, reviewing it every day and saying to yourself: IT’S NOT OVER, UNTIL I WIN!

You can live your dream!

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This Is How Sand Looks Magnified Up To 300 Times

Author: Lina D.
Via Bored Panda

 

Comparing something to a grain of sand is usually supposed to mean that it’s small or insignificant, but Dr. Gary Greenberg’s microscopic photography aims to turn this stereotype on its head. His photographs of minuscule grains of sands magnified up to 300 times reveal that each grain of sand can be beautiful and unique.

Greenberg’s story is a fascinating one. First of all, he invented the high-definition 3D microscopes that he takes his pictures on, resulting in 18 U.S. patents under his name. He was a photographer and filmmaker until age 33, when he moved from LA to London and earned a Ph.D. in biomedical research. This seems to have given him a unique appreciation for biological and scientific curiosities and for the optical technologies he would need to document them.

sand-grains-under-microscope-arttextum2

Sand composition can vary drastically depending on where it’s located. The coastal sands in Hawaii, where Dr. Greenberg is located, are very likely the subjects of his amazing micro-photography. The sand in his images is full of remnants from various tropical sea organisms large and small. The sand on other coasts, depending on the temperature, surf conditions and marine environment, may include a totally different set of rocks, minerals and organic matter.

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