Archive for April, 2008

“Nanophotography” Captures Nature’s Microscopic Beauty

Transmitted on Apr 28 2008 to technology

A new gallery of microscopic photography over at Wired presents some stunning glimpses of the very small. This gold crystal was captured through a state-of-the-art imaging process which runs tiny lasers back and forth across a surface, detecting even the smallest textural detail. Beautiful work.


Of Scale & Civilization

Transmitted on Apr 09 2008 to earth & nature

Much has been made of our universe’s seeming repetition of form, of nature’s unerring patterns splayed out in galaxies and electron orbits; wherever we look, we find clues written in the same language. Infinite and infintesimal seem not such polar opposites when one encounters the glow of nebulae within a cell, the roots of trees echoed in your iris. What does it mean, that these designs scale so endlessly?

On a warm summer night in upstate New York, the crackling lights of fireflies floated like lanterns in the darkness; I remember being astonished by the amount of activity they generated, the constancy of their flashing, their sheer ludicrous numbers. Several were flickering overhead, but as they began to flash and group in more geometric patterns I realized that they weren’t fireflies at all– they were a plane.

Without a sense of scale, fireflies and airplanes become the same symbol, the same candles in an unending night: are we really so different from them? Are our lights, or theirs, anything more than signals thrown against the unknowable?

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An Incomplete Manifesto

Transmitted on Apr 07 2008 to media & communication

Over at ArkiBlog is an intriguing collection of Canadian designer Bruce Mau’s thoughts on creativity and growth. Written in 1998, Mau calls this document the “incomplete manifesto”. Some of his ideas are particularly astute (numbers 1, 6, 18, and especially 29 and 42). What do you think?

1. Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

2. Forget about good. Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.

3. Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.

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