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Architecture & Design Nature Sports Travel

A timelapse of the Pas-de-Calais region

The Pas-de-Calais department hired a creative agency to promote travel to Northern France.

After taking 350,000 photos, the result is a beautiful look in both timelapse and hyperlapse formats at the diversity of the Pas-de-Calais region’s environment with an emphasis on architecture, landscape, and sport.

This video project was commissioned by the Pas-de-Calais department to promote its territory. While waiting for an original and creative idea, we opted for a dynamic video only realized in timelapse and in hyperlapse.

Through various themes (nature, memory, sport, …) we have, for two months, crisscrossed the Pas-de-Calais to capture the best of this beautiful department.
3 intense minutes to make you want to discover or rediscover this space so rich, conducive to change of scenery and the meeting of a marked culture.

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Architecture & Design

New York’s Park Avenue once included a walkable park lane

Park Avenue in New York City used to have a dedicated park lane that ran down the middle of 5th Avenue. Hence the name “Park” Avenue.

Even more, the term parking was first referenced in association with trees, not driving lines.

From The Etymology of Parking:

According to the 41st Congress, the proper way to park in cities was on the side of the streets with the roadway running down the center. Of course, in 1870 the members of the Senate were discussing the parking of trees and smaller plants, not automobiles. The first parking system was an early street tree system where parking defined the planting of trees, grasses, and flowers along the side of roadways and the creation of sidewalks for pedestrians.

But given the ubiquity and priority of cars, the park gradually narrowed to make more room for vehicles.

New York’s Park Avenue once included a walkable park lane
An aerial shot of Manhattan in 1924 with the walkable parks included

As a consequence of the automobile explosion, lawmakers also passed laws to forbid jaywalking. Cars officially ruled the road, not pedestrians. And crosswalks bloomed.

As someone who used to work in New York, remnants of these ambulatory streets are still there, especially around mid-town. Some of the small islands create a little space for statues and decorations, especially around Christmas time.

Hat tip to Adam Fisher-Cox on Twitter

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Nature Science

How 16-year-old Greta Thunberg inspired a climate strike movement

“No one is too small to make a difference,” says 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

Ever since the Swede took to the Swedish Parliament last year to call for stronger climate action against global warming, she’s inspired similar strikes across the globe.

On Friday, thousands of students skipped school and adults skipped work in cities around the world from New York to Paris, Nairobi, Seoul, Bangkok, Islamabad, and Johannesburg to protest inaction on climate change.

“We deserve a safe future,” said Greta Thunberg in her speech at the New York Climate Strike to an estimate 250,000 people.

A reluctant activist who proclaims Asperger Syndrome as her superpower, Thunberg serves as a reminder that all it takes the effort of one dedicated and persistent individual to change the world.

As Margaret Mead once wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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Animals Nature

Lollimeow Pet Carrier: A backpack that allows you to take your kitty anywhere

Ever wanted to take your kitty for a long walk through nature?

This pet carrier breathable backpack made by Lollimeow allows owners to take their fellow felines wherever the human wants to go.

The bag contains a bubble window for hiking with 9 large ventilation holes on both sides and the front.

A backpack that allows you to take your kitty anywhere

It’s time to let the cat out of the bag

There are obvious space and safety issues with the bag. Imagine using this on a hot day, not to mention potential bathroom mishaps.

Some folks might prefer to take their cats for a walk on a leash or in a stroller.

Of course, the ideal scenario for any curious cat is freedom from the tyranny of indoors.

All in all, the backpack may come most handy as a convenient go-to traveler for short trips to the vet. But it’s also airline approved!

Use wisely.

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Science Technology

Connecting human brains to computers

Art by MattiasA 

“You could just think your query and download the relevant knowledge directly in your mind.”

Forget Ritalin. Forget Google and Evernote acting as our second brains holding all the information we can’t. And instead, prepare for brain implants where the mind melds with machines. We don’t even have to type, click, or touch anything. We just think and imagine commands.

As part of a clinical trial called “Brain Gate,” 13 applicants at Brown University have had a sensor placed into their motor cortex and so far have been able to control cursor movement on a screen. Says doctor John Simerall at Brown University building the neurotechnology device:

“Simply by imagining intuitive movements participants can immediately control a robotic device.”

Here come the cyborgs.

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Science

Scientist Madeline Lancaster grows ‘mini-brains’

Neurological biologist Madeline Lancaster develops cerebral organoids or mini-brains, which she describes as “three-dimensional neural tissues generated from human stem cells which allow us to model human brain development.”

In other words, organoids can model the architecture of a human embryonic brain.

According to the Financial Times who interviewed the scientist, each organoid is about the size of a lentil.

The implications of Lancaster’s work are enormous, as are the ethics at stake.

She’s building a standalone brain, one that exists without a human body. That to me sounds like some potential hybrid between robot and human, aka cyborg.

Of course, the organoids don’t have a consciousness — at least yet. But Lancaster established a connection between organoid neurons and mouse neurons in tests. “In theory you could make a fully formed human brain in a pig,” said Lancaster.

Lancaster’s stem cell research could also one day treat neurological diseases, including autism, dementia, and epilepsy.

As Lancaster creates the future, obvious moral questions come up around the harvesting of brains with further testing on lab-approved animals. As a scientist, she is willing to drive the discussion over so-called mini-brains forward.

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Culture & Society

Margaret Mead’s Sources of Insight

Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who famously journeyed to American Samoa in 1925 to study adolescent behavior among the nonliterate peoples of Oceania.

Her book Coming of Age of Samoa is the result of her fieldwork.

Mead was also widely known for her progressive views on sex, providing a key spark on what would become the Sexual Revolution in the 1960s.

Below is a comprehensive list of her sources of insight for her social anthropology studies.

Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who famously journeyed to American Samoa in 1925 to study adolescent behavior among the nonliterate peoples of Oceania.  Her book Coming of Age of Samoa is the result of her fieldwork. #study #culture

Famous Margaret Mead quotes:

Always remember you’re unique. Just like everybody else.

There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing…when we save our children, we save ourselves”

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.

Margaret Mead
Categories
Science

The spherical nature of the Earth

The world is round, and it has been for some time despite the rise of the flat earth movement.

Take a look at some of the armillary spheres below, starting with the Chinese diagram from 1092. Even back then, they had could rationalize that the Earth adopted a round shape.

The curvy nature of the Earth is manifest.

Chinese Diagram, 1092

From Su Song’s book of 1092 

Damascus, 1526

Work of Taqi al-Din from the Constantinople observatory

Germany, 1585

Sphere on top of an astronomical clock, made in Kassel, Germany by Jost Bürgi and Antonius Eisenhoit
Categories
Nature

The Octopus in my house

BBC Earth is back with another excellent special, this time focusing on the intriguing creature of the octopus.

Octopuses are intelligent, containing nine brains, three hearts, and half a billion neurons in their arms which allow the tentacles to function independently from the brain.

The Octopus: Aliens living on Earth?

Alien-like, it is also believed that octopuses have a consciousness. So otherworldly, Hawaiian mythology believes that the octopus is the only surviving member of a previous version of Earth.

The octopus can also adapt to different colors and textures with fluidity, completely camouflaging with their surroundings. Be sure to check out the rainbow octopus!

From the BBC’s show notes:

A professor develops an extraordinary relationship with an octopus when he invites it to live in his home. The octopus, called Heidi, unravels puzzles, recognises individual humans and even watches TV with the family.

The episode also shows remarkable behaviour from around the world – from the day octopus, which can change colour and texture in a split second, to the coconut octopus, which carries around its own coconut shell to hide in. But most fascinating of all is seeing how Professor David Scheel and his daughter Laurel bond with an animal that has nine brains, three hearts and blue blood running through its veins.

Categories
Sports

The different angles of the Dr. J layup

These photos show how the incredible width and versatility of the legendary Dr. J. who literally went around and above the rim.

As you can see in the second picture, he’s holding the ball nearly out of bounds while flying up under the hoop.

The only other players that could pull these acrobatics off were George Gervin and in his own style, the floating Airness himself, Michael Jordan.

Dr. J incredible layup
Dr. J incredible layup
Dr. J incredible layup
Dr. J incredible layup