I am impressed with this very smart, outrageous concept, one that only a group like the Wu-Tang Clan could pull off. No matter what happens now, it is done. The statement has been made, the art is born. Your move, world.

Wu-Tang Clan will sell only a single copy of their new album

They recorded in secret and plan to tour the album in galleries and other places for listening events. Then it gets sold, and the owner can do whatever he or she wants to do with it–sit on it, sell it, distribute it for free, or something possibly even more radical.

“The idea that music is art has been something we advocated for years,” says RZA. “And yet it doesn’t receive the same treatment as art in the sense of the value of what it is, especially nowadays when it’s been devalued and diminished to almost the point that it has to be given away for free.” Whether or not Wu-Tang Clan is able to find enough people who want to go experience their album in a museum to make an impact remains to be seen — as does the viability of a multi-million dollar unique pressing of that album, but the group is OK with its plan going awry. “It might totally flop, and we might be completely ridiculed,” says co-producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh. “But the essence and core of our ideas is to inspire creation and originality and debate, and save the music album from dying.”

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They’re Taking Over! by Tim Flannery | The New York Review of Books.

Here’s a disturbing and fascinating book about the rise of the jellyfish. They’re destroying everything, which means, so are we. Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean by Lisa-ann Gershwin. (Actually, the link above goes to The New York Review of Books.)

 

Gershwin leaves us with a disturbing final rumination:

 

When I began writing this book,… I had a naive gut feeling that all was still salvageable…. But I think I underestimated how severely we have damaged our oceans and their inhabitants. I now think that we have pushed them too far, past some mysterious tipping point that came and went without fanfare, with no red circle on the calendar and without us knowing the precise moment it all became irreversible. I now sincerely believe that it is only a matter of time before the oceans as we know them and need them to be become very different places indeed. No coral reefs teeming with life. No more mighty whales or wobbling penguins. No lobsters or oysters. Sushi without fish.

Her final word to her readers: “Adapt.”

I read this a few weeks ago and lost a few hairs off my head, others turned white, then I saw this what-could-possibly-go-wrong idea:

These Robots Hunt Jellyfish–And Then Liquify Them With Rotating Blades Of Death | Co.Exist | ideas + impact.

Includes videos. Maybe they didn’t read the book–what happens to the jellyfish “pulp”? And releasing floating swarm robots with blades? Swallowed the spider the catch the fly…

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The Aluminum Airship of the Future Has Finally Flown.

The Aeroscraft is becoming a reality: an aluminum and carbon-fiber airship that uses a controllable helium bladder system to move up and down… and forward at a yawning 20mph. Cargo transport without the need for runways.

But c’mon, really what we’re looking at is someone’s childhood fantasy come true: Thunderbird 2. It’s green, even.

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Outliers Patent-Pending Pivot Sleeve, and How It Came to Be – Core77.

A remarkable innovation in shirt design for bicyclists. Made with purpose, solves a problem, and good-looking. I love this kind of stuff. It’s rare. It’s wonderful.

Compare this idea of “design” with Rafael Vinoly’s second death ray building. This one melts cars. Looking back at Vdara, one might guess he’s perfecting the idea of a solar-powered attach building.

With the profusion of consultants within the architecture industry–from engineers to interior designers to landscape and many, many others–there are really only a few aspects to building design left entirely to the architect. One is bathroom design and toilet layout, since very few have come forward to snag that prize. Another is building form. You would think (misguidedly) an architect would pay more attention to the shape of a building since he has so little else to work with, especially after having set fire to people’s hair in the past.

When you abandon research and ignore the functional, scientific, and pragmatic, you are in the world of decoration, not design.

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Wi-Fi signals enable gesture recognition throughout entire home | UW Today.

Detecting minor variations in WiFi signal and translating them to inputs.

All well and good, but it can’t be good news that you can actually do this. Just how much radiation are we absorbing every second?

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Modern Farmer | Who Can Stop These Adorable Pigs?.

Bet you didn’t know this:

Pig populations are nearing a million in the state of Florida, encroaching on urban areas and destroying an F-16 fighter plane in Jacksonville. Feral pigs are running (hog) wild in the streets of Berlin, with dedicated pig squads waging a losing battle to overtake them. They’ve become a fixture on the West Bank, after Israeli settlers, some say, released boars to destroy Palestinian croplands. There are even thousands of radioactive wild pigs wandering Europe, thanks to the tainted feeding grounds near Chernobyl.

A good read, with memorable phrases such as, “dolphins of the land,” “pig drones” and “pork chopper” (helicopters that hunt boar).

No clear solution in sight. Maybe the encroaching coyote and bear populations will even things out.

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This is interesting:

Using algorithms to find talented developers, rather than relying only on school name and work experience:

How Big Data Is Playing Recruiter for Specialized Workers – NYTimes.com.

Add that to this shadow industry:

Meet the Stalkers – The American Prospect

…and you arrive at the future possibility of algorithms tell you what you should do with your life, where you’re most likely to succeed, and get paid the most.

If all our lives are already being tracked and analyzed, down to the most personal and trivial details, why not do something good for society? Not everything has to be marketing.

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Stanford scientists develop new type of solar structure that cools buildings in full sunlight.

Nanotech that doesn’t heat up and is able to reflect heat at the frequency required to leave the atmosphere. According to the article, some panels on your roof could lighten your AC load by 35%.

 

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Watch This Sizzle Reel: Architect Stephen Chung Hosts ‘Cool Spaces’ – Arts And Culture – Architect Magazine.

Can it be? Will people watch this? Does it mean something that as of this writing there are zero comments on this page at architectmagazine.com?

I wouldn’t focus a show about architecture on the Master Architect. We all know what a lie that idea is. Why not focus on the people who use a building? Tell their story. Show how sunlight warms a room just so, inviting people to linger on a cold day. How a well-proportioned room with good acoustics works. Or how a streamlined, hard space does its job to move people through a transportation terminal. For example.

What architecture needs to sell, if we’re ever going to get anywhere, is the architecture. Not the architect.

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Ivanpah: The World’s Largest Solar Thermal Plant Passes First Solar Capacity Test | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

More about the project here.

Has anyone else noticed we’re solving more problems through building many little things (solar fields, drones…) rather than one big thing (nuclear plant, nuclear bomb)? Object-oriented programming, algorithmic facade design–it’s as if we are compelled to create mini-multitudes, not just a single Frankenstein. I’m sure this will all end well.

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