Photos from the mega regions of the future

Tuesday, 30 March, 2010

Talking of mega cities and mega regions, Thomas Birke has created a photo series “On Tokyo – the future of urban living”, which explores the human footprint on the urban environment, and also includes photos of Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The city resembles a jungle in principle. There is the shrub layer, consisting of millions of 1-3 story buildings, then there is the canopy made of 4-12 story buildings and the emergent layer, towering high above the rest, represented by skyscrapers.

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What happens to mega cities? They grow into mega regions

Tuesday, 30 March, 2010

Giant, or mega, cities situated in the same region, such as Hong Kong, Shenhzen, and Guangzhou, are gradually merging as their size increases, and coalescing into a mega region, or a single “endless city” entity:

The phenomenon of the so-called “endless city” could be one of the most significant developments – and problems – in the way people live and economies grow in the next 50 years, says UN-Habitat, the agency for human settlements, which identifies the trend of developing mega-regions in its biannual State of World Cities report. The largest of these, says the report – launched today at the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro – is the Hong Kong-Shenhzen-Guangzhou region in China, home to about 120 million people. Other mega-regions have formed in Japan and Brazil and are developing in India, west Africa and elsewhere.

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Engaging, photos from an underwater wedding

Tuesday, 30 March, 2010

Exchanging wedding vows while submerged, that’s one way to get married.

You may give the bride the kiss of life?

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The directors had more interest in the table than the agenda

Tuesday, 30 March, 2010

LEGO boardroom/meeting table

Dublin advertising agency “Boys and Girls” new LEGO boardroom table, designed and built by abgc.

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Heater bees heat the hive and also shape its workforce

Tuesday, 30 March, 2010

Specialised “heater bees” do far more than merely keep a beehive warm. By varying temperatures in different sections of the hive, particularly where the pupae are stored, they determine the roll various bees will have in the colony as adults.

The scientists discovered that the heater bees work to subtly change the temperature of each developing pupae by around a degree and this small change determines what kind of honey bee it will become. Those kept at 35 degrees [Celsius] turn into the intelligent forager bees that leave the nest in search of nectar and pollen. Those kept at 34 degrees [Celsius] emerge as “house keeper” bees that never leave the nest, conducting chores such as feeding the larvae and cleaning the nest.

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Art history: Sam Leach’s Archibald and Wynne Prizes

Tuesday, 30 March, 2010

Melbourne based artist Sam Leach has cemented his place in Australian art history, after taking out both the Archibald and Wynne Prizes last week.

His wins, for the portrait of Tim Minchin in the Archibald Prize, and “Proposal for landscaped cosmos” in the Wynne Prize, for landscape painting or figure sculpture, are notable for several reasons.

  • Leach is just the third Australian artist to win both the Archibald and Wynne Prizes in the same year.
  • The other two artists are William Dobell (1948), and Brett Whiteley (1978), making the phenomenon a “once every 30 years occurrence” (approximately).
  • Edmund Capon, AGNSW director, says Leach’s Archibald portrait is quite possibly the smallest ever winning entry.

I saw both works while at the AGNSW over the weekend, and they sure are small. In-fact I overheard one visitor asking an attendant in the Archibald room where she could find the painting, so small that it is.

At a guess, I’d say the Tim Minchin painting was about 40 cm high by 30 cm wide, while “Proposal for landscaped cosmos” was about 30 cm square.

Small is beautiful though, Leach has collected a total of $75,000 in prize money, $50,000 for the Archibald, and $25,000 for the Wynne. He hopes his winnings “will give him time to concentrate on his artistic [rather than commercial] endeavours”.

(Sources: The Age, ABC News, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Archibald Prize website.)

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A list of digital products and services I use most days

Tuesday, 30 March, 2010

John Johnston, who is probably better known via Twitter as @jjprojects, recently listed the digital products he uses each day. Gavin Heaton has posted likewise in response, but refers to his list as a “digital diet”.

Here’s my digital diet. I was surprised how long the list ended up being… I’d previously had the vague notion I use maybe “five or six” apps, etc, a day.

  • Laptop PC
  • WordPress
  • Twitter (login then often forget it’s open)
  • Facebook (once a day to check for messages, event invites)
  • Flickr
  • Statcounter
  • Remember The Milk (task/to-do list)
  • Mobile phone
  • WordPad (simple, effective, no fuss, does the job)
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Thunderbird
  • iTunes
  • Bloglines (yep, luddite)
  • Photoshop
  • Pentax Optio camera
  • MyPhpAdmin (not quite daily but I should use it more often)
  • CuteFTP
  • Quattro Pro (spreadsheet, yep, luddite)

Since I can be moving around a little, I try to keep the setup as simple as possible.

I also outsource most printing jobs, which I try to keep to a minimum anyway, to local net cafes. This means I can usually go without a printer, and makes for a great way to save paper, as I have to think twice about whether I really need a hardcopy of something.

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Three movies to inspire and motivate entrepreneurs

Monday, 29 March, 2010

Take a break from the start-up and check out Anthony Tjan’s list of must see movies for entrepreneurs:

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The Australian indigenous languages map

Monday, 29 March, 2010

Mapping the various and different Aboriginal and Indigenous languages across Australia.

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Doggone these are some fine canine styled fonts

Monday, 29 March, 2010

dog font poster

What font is your dog then?

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