Walk on water with the floating piers of Italy’s Lake Iseo

Monday, 27 June, 2016

The scenery is reason enough to visit Italy’s Lake Iseo, but The Floating Piers, an art installation by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, that link two islands in the lake, to the shore, by way of yellow coloured floating walkways, is surely an added incentive.

There’s no doing things by half measures here, is there?

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Ants may be better at traffic control than we are

Monday, 27 June, 2016

If we were to pay more heed to the way ants move en masse, we might just bring an end to traffic congestion on the roads.

In a 2012 paper, civil engineers from Texas A&M University wanted to see if ant colony optimization held its ground against a “genetic algorithm” approach for a common problem in traffic engineering: How to best coordinate timing for groups of traffic signals when traffic had reached “oversaturation” levels.

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ABBA’s SOS, by Portishead, for Jo Cox

Friday, 24 June, 2016

Bristol trip hop act Portishead have released a moving cover of Swedish pop group ABBA’s 1975 single, SOS, in memory of murdered British MP, Jo Cox.

Stunning.

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Darth Vader, the one and only rogue

Friday, 24 June, 2016

A surprise this is. Not. It has been confirmed that Darth Vader will feature in the first of the Star Wars Anthology series films, Rogue One, that is due for release in December. That’s less than six months away. Just thought you’d like to know. About Vader, that is.

While already known that Australian Ben Mendelsohn would appear as an officer with plans to ingratiate himself with the Emperor that might earn the wrath of the supreme commander Darth Vader, it has only now been confirmed by Entertainment Weekly that the black-clad, mask-wearing and not overly sweet-natured dark lord Vader himself would appear in the film.

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The natural environment, as portrayed by Terrence Malick

Friday, 24 June, 2016

Terrence Malick film’s are truly a visual experience, and the natural environment, and the wilderness, is very much a part of that. Nature Through Malick, by Vugar Efendi, brings natural scenes from a number of Malick’s works into a single continuum.

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There’s no accounting for taste, especially our own

Friday, 24 June, 2016

Why do our tastes, or preferences, become our tastes and preferences, why do they change over time, and why do we think we had bad taste in the past, when, say, we look at old photos of ourselves, and cringe at the way we used to dress, or style our hair? The here and now is always the new black, it seems, while the past, was, I don’t know, some other colour.

It is reminiscent of the moment, looking through an old photo album, when you see an earlier picture of yourself and exclaim, “Oh my God, that hair!” Or “Those corduroys!” Just as pictures of ourselves can look jarring because we do not normally see ourselves as others see us, our previous tastes, viewed from “outside”, from the perspective of what looks good now, come as a surprise. Your hairstyle per se was probably not good or bad, simply a reflection of contemporary taste. We say, with condescension, “I can’t believe people actually dressed like that,” without realising we ourselves are currently wearing what will be considered bad taste in the future.

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Wonderland, by Caravan Palace. Let’s go down the rabbit hole…

Thursday, 23 June, 2016

Wonderland, new music from Paris based seven piece electro-swing act, Caravan Palace. There’s no doubt, this is music to descend the rabbit hole by.

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If you want to know what workers really want, please keep quiet

Thursday, 23 June, 2016

What do latter-day employees really want of their workplace? Bottomless jars of snacks? No. A four day working week? No (though possibly they weren’t asked about that). A quiet working environment? Yes. That’s right, workers want peace and quiet, so they can concentrate.

While some argue that unlocking engagement from millennial workers lies in playground-like offices, CityLab highlights a new survey that says that it’s peace and quiet that’s the real key. Carried out by Oxford Economics (a spin-off organization of Oxford University), the results revealed that uninterrupted work time was at the top of most of the 1,200 respondents’ wish lists. Meanwhile, none said that free food was the most important.

I can go for that.

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Why are aircraft flight recorders called black boxes? Good question

Thursday, 23 June, 2016

An introduction to aircraft flight recorders, often known as black boxes. That’s a misnomer, if ever there were one, as they are usually orange in colour.

What’s also interesting is that no one in the aviation industry exactly knows how fight recorders became known as black boxes in the first place. Perhaps the term was made popular by the media? Black box certainly has more presence than orange box, so possibly that explains it?

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Is this minimalism, or is this running on empty?

Thursday, 23 June, 2016

People embracing minimalist lifestyles in Japan seem to be trying to out do each other, when it comes owning as few items as possible. Three shirts, and four pairs of socks, after all, doesn’t seem like much, but if it works for you, more power to you.

Fumio Sasaki’s one-room Tokyo apartment is so stark friends liken it to an interrogation room. He owns three shirts, four pairs of trousers, four pairs of socks and a meagre scattering of various other items. Money isn’t the issue. The 36-year-old editor has made a conscious lifestyle choice, joining a growing number of Japanese deciding that less is more.

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