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.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Millennial Twelve Days of Christmas Day 8: Jewellery for New Year's

Binary Code Bracelet. Image Source: Trendhunter.

Happy New Year! Welcome the start of a new Millennial decade. Everyone is making resolutions, but no matter how many gyms you join, jewellery will always fit.  Trendhunter reports that the bracelet above: "Lets your computer say what your heart can't: this bracelet by Etsy retailer KarlaWheelerDesign is made out of sterling silver and can have a 50 character message engraved upon it in binary code. It’s amazing how many things become easier to say when you use ones and zeros instead of words."

The future of jewellery is electronic and interactive, involving the incorporation of electronic devices into necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets. It's also known as wearable technology. There's a blog devoted to one interactive jewellery design here.  There is another trend wherein designers use recycled or repurposed materials in jewellery. Other Millennial jewellery below the jump.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year: Around the World, Around the Clock

2011 arrives in Auckland, New Zealand. Image Source: Daily Mail.

This blog post will update through the day as the clock strikes midnight through the world's time zones.  The first major city to celebrate New Year's of 2011 in the world is Auckland, New Zealand (see video below the jump).

Millennial Twelve Days of Christmas Day 7: New Year's Eve

Individual Champagne Mini Fridge. Image Source: Trendhunter.

Out with the old, in with the new.  I don't know whatever happened to sticking a bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice, but Veuve Cliquot now sells miniature 'luxury cooling devices' for individual bottles of champagne, to keep your wine cold while you're traveling around.

Time lapse fireworks, Auld Lang Syne and resolutions below the jump.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Millennial Twelve Days of Christmas Day 6: Cars of the Future

Romanian design: Buldur Liviu Race Car. Image Source: Trendhunter.

Trendhunter reports: "No, the Buldur Liviu Race Car is not a Christmas ornament; it is the concept for a one-day-to-be real roadster. Looking more like a blown-glass art project, this hot rod is meant to redefine the dynamics of racing by not just using alternative fuel, but also going sans rims. Though it is a bit of a mystery to how this car will perform, Mr. Liviu has designed the body to break all kinds of speed records. As with many concepts, the Buldur Liviu Race Car still needs a lot of the details and inner workings to be flushed out, but you can be sure when this car debuts on the track, it is going to revolutionize the sport."

Image Source: Trendhunter.

See more futuristic car designs below the jump.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Millennial Twelve Days of Christmas Day 5: Christmas Sweaters

Ugly Xmas Sweater Smiling Reindeer (Lights) in Ladies Medium. Image Source: My Ugly Christmas Sweater.

Millennial irony: Christmas sweaters are hot.  The uglier and tackier, the better. The Atlantic Wire reported (here) that Bloomingdale's and H&M can barely keep up with demand and thrift shops are selling out.  The blog, Stuff White People Like, commented on the trend in 2008 (here) and linked it to the secularization of Christmas as well as world trends that see Christmas becoming an embattled holiday.  Christmas sweaters make fun of the merchandizing of Christmas and all its associated traditional symbols, while indulging in them at the same time. There are retailers loudly proclaiming they have the ugliest and cheesiest sweaters for sale here and here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In Memoriam: Dennis Dutton (1944-2010)

Mnemosyne (Lamp of Memory) (1881) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

The L.A. Times is reporting (here) that Dennis Dutton, New Zealand-based professor of philosophy who founded one of the most important and accessible academic sites on the Web, Arts and Letters Daily, has died. His site, hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education, is a compendium of all the current cultural chatter in, out of, and around the Ivory Tower and the arts world.  Believing that intelligent criticism and debate could flourish on the Web, his most recent book was about the appreciation of beauty in relation to our development as a species: The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution (2009). From the obituary report:
Dutton was at times considered a contrarian; in our opinion pages in 2004, he wrote, "[Peter] Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' represents the victory of special effects over dramatic art. ... I have never looked at my watch as often during a movie as I did in "The Return of the King." Toward the end, I found myself desperately cheering on the giant spider in hope of getting home early. Eat Frodo! Eat him!"

In February 2010, he gave a TED talk on the philosophy of art. "I try to figure out -- intellectually, philosophically, psychologically -- what the experience of beauty is," he began. Though most TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) talks feature the author speaking on stage, Dutton's video includes a collaboration with animator Andrew Park, illustrating his ideas of the hallmarks of beauty.

Dutton's work, contrary or inspiring, encouraged a multiplicity of ideas. "It's a grave mistake in publishing, whether you're talking about Internet or print publication, to try to play to a limited repertoire of established reader interests," he said in a 2000 interview with Salon.com. "A few years ago, Bill Gates was boasting that we'll soon have sensors which will turn on the music that we like or show on the walls the paintings we like when we walk into a room. How boring! The hell with our preexisting likes; let's expand ourselves intellectually.

He told the interviewer, "We'd love Arts & Letters Daily to be the meeting place for critical thinkers from all over the map."

Millennial Twelve Days of Christmas Day 4: Christmas Flash Mobs

Children participate in a Christmas flash mob dance event in the Grotemarkt of Antwerp, Belgium on Thursday, December 23. Image © Virginia Mayo/The Associated Press. Image Source: Guelph Mercury.

Nothing says 'Millennium' like a flash mob and nothing says 'Millennial Christmas' like a Christmas flash mob. Since flash mobs first started appearing in 2003, a result of people's interconnectivity via computers, cell phones and other hand held electronic devices, they became a weird, quasi-spontaneous phenomenon. They've never been seen before in human history. Seven years on, they're now orchestrated public happenings.  They prove that there's still space in our jaded, globalized sensibilities for surprise. Below the jump, here are some of the best recent videos of Christmas flash mobs circulating on the Web.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Millennial Twelve Days of Christmas Day 3: Heathrow Airport

Image Source: ABC Australia.

Dear Heathrow Airport: Thank you for making Christmas 2010 so memorable for so many people.  Apparently normal services will resume by December 30.  On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Deicing fluid.  Below are some pictures of Canadian, American, Finnish and Swedish airplanes and airports operating normally in average wintry conditions. No bouquets for Paris, either: Charles de Gaulle Airport only started operating again after Germany and the USA provided it with tonnes of deicing fluid. Yes, blizzards should ground planes.  But this was no blizzard.  No excuses.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas

Nativity Scene by Charles Poerson (1667). Image Source: Wiki.

Once upon a time, Christmas didn't end on December 26, it was only just getting started.  It would run for twelve days into January, ending on January 5 and followed by Epiphany on January 6. This is also the eve of Little Christmas or Orthodox Christmas, when the Nativity of Christ is celebrated under the Julian Calendar on January 7.

Anniversaries: Lest We Forget the Indian Ocean Tsunami

Science Channel ranks the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004 as the second worst natural disaster in the history of humankind: "It all started with an earthquake - a very big earthquake. The 9.1 magnitude Sumatra quake, centered off the coast of that Indonesian island, was the third largest recorded quake in history. It was also the longest. The earth shook for over eight minutes when the fault slipped at the Andaman-Sumatra subduction zone, where the Indian Plate is slowly sliding underneath the Burma Plate. The quake was so severe that the entire planet vibrated as much as 1 centimeter. However, the quake was just the start of Mother Nature's reign of terror. The tsunami that it unleashed was the most destructive in recorded history. Spreading over 14 countries, it killed nearly 230,000 people and displaced some 1.7 million more. Water levels rose worldwide and waves up to 100 feet high inundated smaller islands, eventually providing the impetus for a new Indian Ocean tsunami warning system."

Image Source: Science Channel.

See my previous blog post about the Indian Ocean tsunami.