TIMES, TIME, AND HALF A TIME. A HISTORY OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.



Showing posts with label Wonders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wonders. Show all posts

Monday, January 1, 2018

Wonders of the Millennial World 9: A New Year's Walk on the Beach


Image Source: Boston Magazine.

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018. Today, see the creations of Dutch artist Theo Jansen who "demonstrates the amazingly lifelike kinetic sculptures he builds from plastic tubes and lemonade bottles. His creatures are designed to move -- and even survive -- on their own." (Hat tip: The Outer Light.)

Car commercial: BMW (South Africa). Defining innovation (15 August 2006). Video Source: Youtube.

Jansen creates skeletons which walk by means of wind- and solar power. His latest creation in 2017 was called Strandbeest, or 'Beach Beast.' TEDx explains that Jansen tries to invest his creations with primitive intelligence so that they can act autonomously in their own rudimentary self-interest:
"[The artist] builds large works which resemble skeletons of animals that are able to walk using the wind on the beaches of the Netherlands. His animated works are a fusion of art and engineering; in a car company television commercial Jansen says: 'The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds.' He strives at equipping his creations with their own intelligence to manage avoiding obstacles, by changing their course when one is detected, such as the sea itself."

Image Source: Web Urbanist.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Exoplanets In Kepler's Eye


Click to enlarge. Image Source: Stellarium.

I have the free program Stellarium on my computer and set it to show the night sky on my computer while I am reading. I turned on the 'exoplanets' option and jumped! What are those alien green blobs? In the screenshot above, the green circular grid near Vega in the night sky shot for 4 May 2017 shows where the Kepler space telescope has focussed, with corresponding discoveries of exoplanets. They are marked as bright green dots. There is another cluster of exoplanets in the bottom corner in the constellation of Sagittarius, by the star Alnasl and the planet Saturn.



Launched in 2009, the Kepler space telescope trails Earth in a heliocentric orbit. NASA's Kepler and K2 projects have yielded several thousand exoplanets, of which 21 are almost habitable like Earth. A list of the projects' news releases is here. On 20 April 2017, the lead Kepler scientists were included among Time's 100 most influential individuals in the world:
"Three extraordinary planet-hunters have been recognized by TIME Magazine as this year’s top 100 most influential people: Natalie Batalha from NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley; Michael Gillon from the University of Liège in Belgium; and Guillem Anglada-Escudé from the Queen Mary University in London.

'It is truly exciting to see these planet-hunters among the other movers and the shakers of the world,' said Paul Hertz, Astrophysics division director at Headquarters in Washington. 'These scientists have transformed the world’s understanding of our place in the universe, and NASA congratulates them for their well-deserved recognition.'"
Later in 2017, players of the MMPORG game, EVE Online, are participating in the crowd-sourced scientific discoveries of Kepler exoplanets. Raw Kepler data will be added to the game.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Your Cyber Smile for Today: Curing Deafness



Some readers cannot see the embedded video. This is the same video on Youtube. Video Source: Youtube.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wonders of the Millennial World 8: The Kaleidoscope


Image Source: World Arts Film Festival.

Posts on this blog have asked about the impact of technology on traditional life, a destabilization of norms, and a dislocation from stable geographical and economic bases. The shift from static to kinetic applies in media as in life. Perhaps the dynamic Millennial existence resembles a kaleidoscope, where identity, time, memory, place, beliefs, the virtual and real, constantly tumble and lock into new realities. All elements are moving pieces which come together in a way that resembles living systems. The trick to see this is depth of perspective.

Naturally occurring fractal pattern, cells in a cross-section of a plant stalk. Image Source: pinterest.

Neuronal cells. Image Source: Eye of Science.

"Equivocal kaleidoscope. Ai Weiwei welded 150 bicycle frames into an impressive installation. The work is not only a reference to cars taking over the streets in China, but also to a prominent show trial. Several years ago, a young Chinese man was arrested and mistreated for not registering his bicycle. He was later sentenced to death." Image Source: DW.

Microphotograph of the ovary of a flower by Ray Nelson. Image Source: The Daily Polymer Arts Blog.

Image Source: Hotel-R.

Electric pulses from a human brain cell. Image Source: 123RF.

Trippy 014: Psychedelic particles randomly pulse and flow (Loop). Image Source: Shutterstock.

Human Cerebral Cortex, Alfonso Rodríguez-Baeza and Marisa Ortega-Sánchez, scanning electron microscope (2009). Image Source: pinterest. Compare with the brain cell gif in my post, Making Memories.

Marker art installation by artist Heike Weber (2013). Image Source: Bored Panda. Compare with the installations of artist Clemens Behr.

See my earlier post on Microphotography.
See all my posts on Wonders of the Millennial World.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wonders of the Millennial World 7: New Millennial Humanism


Image Source: The Pictorial Arts.

Some of you may remember this interview at HOTTC about Thom Buchanan's new magazine, The Pictorial Arts Journal. The interview coincided with the release of a sampler or preview issue of the magazine, which grew out of Buchanan's blog, The Pictorial Arts. The magazine allows longer articles and deeper explorations than the blog. In this larger project, Buchanan, and other artists, designers, illustrators and writers seek to define new humanist values.

It's so easy to concentrate on dystopias, but this is a positive and nuanced understanding of our times, a search for the wonders of the Millennial world. Thom's project is a reminder of what the Web was supposed to be about. From its inception, the Web was supposed to be the home of unfettered grassroots creativity. The Pictorial Arts blog and magazine remind me of one of the most innovative sites I ever saw on the Web in its earliest days (until Mac Tonnies came along with Posthuman Blues). That early site was called The Strip. I will never forget The Strip or Posthuman Blues - or more recent projects like Kate Sherrod's Suppertime Sonnets, Paul Laroquod's Extratemporal Perception, and Dia Sobin's Trans-D Digital art blog. These people express what the Web is supposed to be about. It is not supposed to be about Facebook, Anonymous and the NSA.

Today, Thom announced a new Kickstarter campaign to support the launch of the magazine's first issue:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1126292849/first-flight-for-premiere-issue-of-pictorial-arts
I have 28 days to raise the needed funds to publish the premiere issue of PAJ. I will be posting pictorial updates with developing details along the way.
See the promotional video below the jump. The promo widget will be up in the sidebar here while the Kickstarter campaign runs. The smallest donation is USD $1 for this amazing new project. If you contribute at the higher levels, check out the Kickstarter page for some of the bonus prints you can get along with the magazine.

Image Source: Kickstarter.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wonders of the Millennial World 6: Canadian Astronauts are Cool


Image Source: Healing Ana.

And now for a space first. Someone had to do it: half the world has probably seen Commander Chris Hadfield doing a cover of the 1969 hit Space Oddity by David Bowie on 12 May on the International Space Station. For those of you who haven't seen him, the video is below the jump. My earlier post on Peter Schilling's related 1983 hit, Major Tom is here.

Unlike David Bowie's famous fictional astronaut, Hadfield landed safely in his Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan on 14 May 2013; from the LA Times: "During his sojourn on the station, Hadfield effectively reset the bar for social media with his tweets from space, including the video he posted Sunday. He is the first Canadian to command the station, heading the six-man Expedition 35 crew."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wonders of the Millennial World 5: Sehnsucht and Written Dreams


Recently, John Hornor tweeted: "When I was in my 20s, every guy I met played guitar and was in a band. Now I'm 40, and everyone I meet is a novelist." Yesterday's post on saudade as a nostalgia for a lost, pre-tech world continues with a similar kind of longing today, Sehnsucht. This is the longing to be, or be part of, something larger than ourselves.

Wiki quotes psychologists' definitions of Sehnsucht:
Psychologists have worked to capture the essence of Sehnsucht by identifying its six core characteristics: “(a) utopian conceptions of ideal development; (b) sense of incompleteness and imperfection of life; (c) conjoint time focus on the past, present, and future; (d) ambivalent (bittersweet) emotions; (e) reflection and evaluation of one's life; and (f) symbolic richness." ... Some researchers posit that Sehnsucht has a developmental function that involves life management. By imagining overarching and possibly unachievable goals, individuals may be able to create direction in their life by developing more tangible goals, or “stepping stones” that will aide them on their path toward their ideal self." [Sehnsucht has] important developmental functions, including giving directionality for life planning and helping to cope with loss and important, yet unattainable wishes by pursuing them in one's imagination." It can also operate as a self-regulatory mechanism.
Sehnsucht was an important type of idealism for English writer C. S. Lewis:
Lewis described Sehnsucht as the "inconsolable longing" in the human heart for "we know not what." In the afterword to the third edition of The Pilgrim's Regress he provided examples of what sparked this desire in him particularly: That unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of The Well at the World's End, the opening lines of "Kubla Khan", the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves.
In Lewis's terms, Sehnsucht resembles a yearning similar to that evoked in this post about the world created by Lewis's friend, J. R. R. Tolkien. It is the ineffable call of 'home,' expressed through emotion and metaphor. Tolkien was interested in creating a fantasy world which brought to life our original hopes and dreams, as well as our consciousness of a lost, great land which existed in mythical terms before memory and before history.

In the western imagination, that lost land lies further in the west, and is often embodied in rumours of Atlantis. In the eastern imagination, a similar lost land lies further in the east and is described in myths of Fusang. In India, the lost continent of myth is Lemuria, which lies to the imaginary south. Most major civilizations have this common thread of displaced yearning and memory, often expressed in symbolic terms as a lost land.

Our lost lands now are virtual. The Web is effectively the terra incognita, and there is a desperate push to find its limits, its outward borders. Once thus encapsulated by our understanding, perhaps the Web will become the new Promised Land. To get back to John Hornor's comment about novelists, the explosion of written output on the Internet might be a response to the Sehnsucht that has arisen in the hearts of countless small authors. If the Millennium is characterized by the destruction and reworking of old values, a confusion about the old order and loss of norms, there is a push in equal measure to find sources of inspiration. In other words, civilization is not teetering on the brink of implosion. It is not a black hole about to swallow itself. The vacuum is being filled, at an incredible rate.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wonders of the Millennial World 4: Underwater Museums

The Phoenix © J. deCaires Taylor. Installed in Cancun, Mexico, 4 metres undewater.

Jason deCaires Taylor is a sculptor who installs his sculptures underwater, where the sea life interacts with them and grows on them.

MUSA ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Several large installations are protected in an underwater sculpture museum in Molinere Bay, Grenada, which will develop into an artificial coral reef as time passes. Another such park, the Museum of Underwater Modern Art (MUSA), is situated off the coast of Cancun, Mexico.

You can see the Gen X artist's fascinating gallery of environmental sculptures in dreamy underworlds here (Hat tip: Ghost Hunting Theories). As the sculptures evolve, deCaires Taylor, who has been exhibiting since 2006, ties together the major subtexts of the Millennial mentality: immortality and mortality; science and art; immutability and transformation; blindness toward, and embrace of, the natural world. All photos are from the artist's online gallery unless otherwise sourced. Photographs of the artist's installations are being shown at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City from 30 June-28 July 2012. See more images below the jump.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wonders of the Millennial World 3: Singapore's Gardens by the Bay


These are the Supertrees in Singapore's new Gardens by the Bay complex. From Twisted Sifter:
As part of Singapore’s redevelopment and new downtown area at Marina Bay, the sprawling 250-acre Gardens by the Bay is an incredible public space with gardens, bridges, skywalks, parks and plants. The green development has been proclaimed a ‘horticultural heaven’. The attractions garnering the most buzz are the two massive climate-controlled biomes called Cloud Forest and Flower Dome and of course the massive man-made supertrees which are showcased below.

The biomes are equivalent in size to about four football fields and will become the new home for approximately 220,000 plants from ever continent on our planet. An interesting feature of the Flower Dome is that the horticultural waste will feed a massive steam turbine that in turn generates electricity that is needed to keep the biome climate-controlled. The two biomes are the only areas of the Gardens by the Bay where an admission fee will be charged. ... Gardens of the Bay is set to open to the public on June 29th [2012].
 Image Source: Twisted Sifter.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wonders of the Millennial World 2: Recycled Bottle Art


These photos came from Cool Hunter's photographs via the Saatchi Gallery, posted on 21 June 2012 on Facebook: "A fish sculpture constructed from discarded plastic bottles rises out of the sand at Botafogo beach in Rio de Janeiro. The city is host to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, which runs through June 22." (Thanks to -T.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wonders of the Millennial World 1: El Ateneo Grand Splendid

Image by: lucas_y2k.  Image Souce: Flickr.

One thing that sometimes makes our Millennial world beautiful is the repurposing of things from one era to serve the needs of the present time. A classic example of this is El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a remarkable theatre in Buenos Aires that has been converted into a bookstore, in fact, the 'bookstore to end all bookstores.' Isabelle Lagarde at Argentina's Travel Guide describes the building's history:
In 1919 a young man named Max Glücksman decided to construct a theater house that would be both grand and splendid. Newly immigrated to Buenos Aires [from Czernowitz in the Austro-Hungarian Empire], Glucksman was a visionary who saw his dream realized and opened his new theater, appropriately named The Grand Splendid. For years the theater presented Argentines with performances of all kinds and local greats such as Gardel and Corsini graced the stage. In 1924 Glucksman began broadcasting Radio Splendid from the fourth floor of the building, and his recording company Odeon recorded some of the early Tango greats. In the late twenties the theater was converted into a movie house and in 1929 showed the first movies ever presented with sound.

In its final metamorphosis the Ateneo was converted into the bookstore that it is today, but despite the abundance of books, the building still feels very much like the glorious theater it once was.
The theatre once had a seating capacity of 1,050.  It is located at 1860 Avenue Santa Fe.  There's a café where the stage once was; and reading areas are in the box seats.  In 2008, The Guardian named El Ateneo Grand Splendid as number two in a list of the world's ten best bookshops, many of which are breathtaking and impressive - or in some cases, already out of business (go here).