Earthrise restored

Direct comparison of the original photo to the restored version

Between 1966 and 1967 NASA sent five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft to the Moon. Images from these spacecraft were used by mission planners to select the Apollo landing sites.

The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) is a project funded by NASA, SkyCorp, SpaceRef Interactive, and private individuals to digitize the original analog data tapes from the five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft that were sent to the Moon in 1966 and 1967

The first image to be successfully recovered by the project was released in November 2008. It was the first photograph of the Earth from the Moon, taken in August 1966.

More

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Light-based media

The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project

The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) is a project to digitise the original analog data tapes from the five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft that were sent to the Moon in 1966 and 1967.

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Old-style British Rail logo at Sevenoaks station

The arrows of indecision. The barbed wire. The crow’s feet. In the 50 years since he drew up one of the UK’s most recognisable symbols, designer Gerry Barney has probably heard them all. But he doesn’t mind.

The story of the British Rail symbol began in 1960 when a 21-year-old Barney successfully applied for a job as a lettering artist at the prestigious Design Research Unit (DRU) in London, and quickly established a close working relationship with the studio’s co-founder, Milner Gray. Despite being forty years older than his new employee, Gray seemed to have found a kindred spirit in Barney – he became the first person in the studio permitted to work on the head designer’s drawings, and the first to address him directly by his first name.

“I was a lettering artist, I wasn’t a designer.”

“The designers at DRU were given the brief and, to my knowledge, it didn’t satisfy Milner. So he threw it open to the rest of the studio, six or seven people. I just happened to think of this symbol.”

British Rail identity

Appropriately enough, Barney first sketched the idea ‘on the back of an envelope’ while taking the Tube to work. “When I got to the office I drew it up,” he says. “It was exactly how I drew it the first time, with straighter lines. I just had to formalise it.”

“In the BR [British Rail] symbol, the lines aren’t all the same thickness: where the angled bars meet the horizontal ones they will appear thicker at the join, so they actually widen slightly going out. But that comes from lettering, where you have to pay attention to the counters; the spaces that are left, not the thing you’re drawing. They work together.”

References

See also

Craft and creativity

The untold story of the British Rail logo

Writing of the project in the pages of Design magazine in 1965, Robert Spark reflected on some of the basic visual elements that DRU created for British Rail: the symbol, the logotype and a palette of house colours. These elements would then be applied to every part of the railway system, from locomotives and rolling stock, to stations and offices, signposts, posters and publicity material, uniforms and cutlery. Even by the standards of today’s multimedia applications, it was quite an undertaking.

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St. Petersburg's Internet Research center
Life on the Internet

A professional Russian propaganda troll tells all

Dmitry Volchek and Daisy Sindelar talk to former professional Russian troll Marat Burkhard about his well paid work perpetuating a pro-Kremlin dialogue online:

There are thousands of fake accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and vKontakte, all increasingly focused on the war in Ukraine. Many emanate from Russia’s most famous “troll factory,” the Internet Research center, an unassuming building on St. Petersburg’s Savushkina Street, which runs on a 24-hour cycle. In recent weeks, former employees have come forward to talk to RFE/RL about life inside the factory, where hundreds of people work grinding, 12-hour shifts in exchange for 40,000 rubles ($700) a month or more.

St. Petersburg blogger Marat Burkhard spent two months working at Internet Research in the department tasked with clogging the forums on Russia’s municipal websites with pro-Kremlin comments.

RFE/RL: How many departments are there at Internet Research?

Marat BurkhardBurkhard: It’s a modern building, four floors. There’s a LiveJournal department, a news department, a department where they create all sorts of images and demotivators (Editor’s Note: Demotivators are satirical graphics that tend to undermine their subject matter), a department where they make videos. But I was never in those departments. Each of them has its own office, tables, and computers, and no one prowls around from place to place. Everyone stays in their spot.

The entire article is fascinating and includes multiple example case studies. These trolls work in teams of three — a troika with a well defined process: Villain Troll > Link Troll > Picture Troll.

Burkhard: Our department commented on posts. Every city and village in Russia has its own municipal website with its own comments forum. People would write something on the forum — some kind of news — and our task was to comment on it. We did it by dividing into teams of three. One of us would be the “villain,” the person who disagrees with the forum and criticizes the authorities, in order to bring a feeling of authenticity to what we’re doing. The other two enter into a debate with him — “No, you’re not right; everything here is totally correct.” One of them should provide some kind of graphic or image that fits in the context, and the other has to post a link to some content that supports his argument. You see? Villain, picture, link.

Ukraine, rise up! Southeast, sit down, don't make a fuss, and put up with it.

Translation: Ukraine, rise up! Southeast, sit down, don’t make a fuss, and put up with it.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: One Professional Russian Troll Tells All (via)

See also

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You Are Not So Smart
Humans and other animals

How we naturally think vs. the scientific method

In the most recent You Are Not So Smart podcast, host David McRaney broadcasts a 2014 lecture he gave at DragonCon about ‘just-so stories’, contrasting how we naturally think with the more formal scientific method.

“Throughout all of our history we kept falling into this giant hole of stupid, and the only way we could climb out of that hole was to create a tool by which we could do that climbing. That tool is of course the scientific method. Without it we get into a lot of trouble, because this is the way we naturally think:

“You have a emotion or an intuition and then you form a biased conclusion (I’m sure you’ve seen this on Facebook before). Then you seek supporting evidence through motivated reasoning, you stop when you think you’ve found enough evidence. That’s actually called in psychology the ‘make-sense stopping rule’. You only question the disconfirmatory evidence; everything else passes through. You argue for your conclusion with logical fallacies and then you feel smug. And then you repeat all that if you get challenged and you avoid all challenges.

“The unnatural way we think is that you have an emotion or intuition, but then you form a hypothesis and you have observation and experimentation to see if it confirms your hypothesis. Then you disconfirm it and if you disconfirm it well enough you can let other people replicate what you’ve done then you debate and you argue and everybody gets together and then based off everything you’ve learned you can form a theory and then you can feel smug.”

I’ve been perfectly guilty of this behaviour myself.

See also: How to sound smart in your TEDx talk

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Artist rendering of New Horizon over Pluto

On July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto, and we will map that distant world and its moons for the first time.

The New Horizons team plans to assign names to the features on the maps of Pluto and its large moon Charon, once we have seen them in sharp detail this summer.

At the Our Pluto site you can suggest your ideas for names and vote for your favourites. The ballot closes on 7th April 2015, so get in there quickly!

Continue reading

Shape of things to come

Help name the new places NASA will discover on Pluto and Charon!

At the Our Pluto site you can suggest names for the features that will soon be discovered by NASA’s New Horizons probe.

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Renderman
Light-based media

Pixar’s RenderMan is now free!

RenderMan is now free for all non-commercial purposes, including evaluations, education, research, and personal projects. The non-commercial version of RenderMan is fully functional without watermark or limitation.


In this video subsurface scattering is demonstrated using the skin shader from RenderMan For Maya on an Alien from Toy Story.

Currently there are only RenderMan plugins for Maya and KATANA, but Cinema 4D and Houdini support is on the way. Personally I’m hoping someone will get on Blender support ASAP.

RenderMan Plug-in Support 
  Supported Underway Potential
Maya      
KATANA      
Cinema4D      
Houdini      
3DS Max      
Modo      
Rhino      
Lightwave      
Blender      
Nuke Supported via AOVs, LPEs & Deep Textures

See also

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William Smith's Geological Map of England and Wales

‘A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland; exhibiting the collieries and mines, the marshes and fen lands originally overflowed by the sea, and the varieties of soil according to the variations in the substrata, illustrated by the most descriptive names’

A first edition copy of one of the most significant maps in the history of science has been rediscovered in time for an important anniversary.

Tucked away in a leather sleeve case, the mislaid artefact was last seen roughly 40 or 50 years ago. Smith spent the better part of 15 years collecting the information needed to compile the map. It is said he covered about 10,000 miles a year on foot, on horse and in carriage, cataloguing the locations of all the formations that make up the geology of the three home nations.

The roughly 1.8m by 2.5m map is made up of 15 sheets.

The outline of the geography and the strata were printed from copper plate engravings, but the detail was finished by hand with watercolours.

The lower edge of a formation is saturated and then the paint is made to fade back to the high edge. It is this colouring technique, combined with the tendency of many of England’s rocks to dip to the south or southeast, that gives Smith’s map its iconic look.

Further information

See also

Craft and creativity

Seminal William ‘Strata’ Smith geology map rediscovered

“This map, produced by William Smith, is acknowledged as the first geological map of a country ever produced. Although there were ‘geological’ maps in existence before this, these invariably only identified rocks by types and are therefore more accurately described as ‘mineralogical’ maps. Smith’s innovation was to attempt to classify rocks according to age and manner of deposition – that is stratigraphically.”

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Marijuana Eradication Team

The other important point to consider is that many patches are essentially private documents, made by law enforcement officers for law enforcement officers. “They’re made as collectibles,” [retired special agent with the IRS’s Criminal Investigation division and author of “The Encyclopedia of Federal Law Enforcement Patches”, Raymond] Sherrard says. They’re for internal morale-boosting and team-building. Officers from different agencies trade them with one another, “like a business card in some ways,” Sherrard says.

(via 70sscifiart.tumblr.com)

See also: The Creepy, Kitschy and Geeky Patches of US Spy Satellite Launches

Craft and creativity

Trippy retro DEA patches

DEA and other federal agencies created their own patches to identify different units, and they had a particularly definitive flair during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s.

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Goat Simulator
Light-based media

Goat Simulator Post Mortem

“It could turn out great, it could also turn out terrible, but in either case, it’ll be really, really interesting.”

Armin Ibrisagic’s Goat Simulator post mortem:

What happens when a joke trailer for a game you had no plans to make goes viral?

Before we released the game, we were unsure of how it would be received once it was out on Steam. Today it’s safe to say that it’s the most successful game we’ve ever made. Perhaps the only thing that was more strange than the game itself was the way it was developed. We’ve made a game in a way we never thought we would, and it actually worked.

What went right:

  1. Used our limited time where it mattered: “We didn’t have that many artists working on Goat Simulator from the start, so we bought most of our assets from the internet. Fun fact: the 3-D model for the actual goat in Goat Simulator cost $25 on TurboSquid. But it was on a 75% off sale, so we got a pretty good deal on it.”
  2. No planning or long-term think: “One of the most important parts of our employees not having a pre-set schedule was that everyone could find some time if they suddenly had an idea for something, or if one of their co-workers had an idea.”
  3. Try really hard to not try too too hard: “After the trailer had received over a million views, we sat down and had a very long design discussion about the future of Goat Simulator. Some of our fans asked us on Twitter to release the game immediately, while others asked for a full-on Grand Theft Auto game where the protagonist is a goat.”
  4. Fan interaction over social media: “I just use the same honest and “don’t try too hard”-approach with our community as we do when it comes to development. I think having this relaxed approach helps us connect much better with our fans.”

What went wrong:

  1. No planning or long-term think: “Once the game was set for release, we had to scramble to finish a Mac and Linux version too. This took a lot of time and effort, and ended up being released several months after the PC version, which I think lost us a big chunk of sales.”
  2. We should have focused on optimization since day one: “The game is way more optimized and smooth today than compared to launch day but sadly, first impressions persist.”
  3. We should have started working on the mobile version earlier: “We basically thought that we would release it on Steam first, and then if that goes well, we’ll release it on mobile. However, only a couple of weeks after the first video of Goat Simulator went viral, there were already clones on the App Store and Google Play that had millions of downloads.”
  4. We should have focused more on Steam Workshop, and promoted it better: “It’s become apparent to us that implementing Steam Workshop is just maybe one third of the work, the other two thirds should be continuous community management of the players making the mods, and updating the modding tools and making them easier to use for everybody.”

“Releasing a game in such a short amount of time is very hard and tricky, but on the other hand, less time to develop a game means less time to mess things up.”
Armin Ibrisagic – Goat Simulator Post Mortem

Watch the epic Goat Simulator Official Launch Trailer →

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Iconic Arms is a series by Stuart Brown on YouTube about legendary weapons in FPS history.

“In games, your gun is player agency made manifest.”

Iconic Arms looks at the history of famous weapons like the double-barreled shotgun, AK-47, M16, the Magnum, their place in popular culture and how their performance characteristics and functionality have been tweaked – sometimes radically – for more balanced gameplay.

Though I’m no fan of guns, I particularly love the graphics in this series with their flat colourful silhouette shapes, bold uber-tightly kerned Helvetica and fast diagonal wipes.

See also

Light-based media

Iconic Arms: Legendary weapons in FPS history

Stuart Brown’s series about legendary weapons in video game history.

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Continue reading on The Nib

(via Matt Bors)

Humans and other animals

Lighten Up – the subtle racism of shifting skin tones in comics

“I’m always sensitive about bringing up this sort of thing in work environments. The mere mention of race puts white people on edge, and that puts everybody else on edge.” –Ronald Wimberly

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Negron and Schiavelli
Light-based media

No Small Parts

No Small Parts is a fan-made documentary series about character actors created by actor Brandon Hardesty. Each episode focuses on one particular character actor’s life and career in entertainment.

Vincent Schiavelli

I particularly loved Episode 2 about Vincent Schiavelli, known for his roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ghost, Man on the Moon, and countless other films and television shows throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s.

Remembering Taylor Negron

“After 30 years in show business I’ve given up on the idea that people will know my first and last name together, and I’ve accepted that I will never, ever be actually famous.
“Instead, I am fame-ish.”
Taylor Negron

Further reading: A Last Gift From The Genius Mind of Taylor Negron: Reflections On A Life Spent Playing Everyman

See also:

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Britain has a long history of invasions: over the past two millennia, various armies from the Romans to the Anglo-Saxons conquered the bulk of the British Isles. A new genetic analysis of the country has revealed which invading force had the greatest impact on its DNA.
The Verge: Genetic map of the UK shows which invasions created Britain’s DNA

Nature: The results throw new light on several aspects of the peopling of Britain. For instance the genetic contribution to southeastern England from Anglo-Saxon migrations is under half, suggesting significant pre-Roman but post-Mesolithic population movement from the European continent. The data also reveal that non-Saxon regions contain genetically differentiated subgroups rather than a general ‘Celtic’ population.

Humans and other animals

Genetic map of the UK shows which invasions created Britain’s DNA

“Peter Donnelly and colleagues use such data from a selected geographically diverse sample of more than 2,000 individuals from the United Kingdom to reveal remarkable concordance between genetic clusters and geography.” — Nature

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Blade Runner: The Final Cut

The version that’s being released theatrically is the 2007 digitally remastered Blade Runner: The Final Cut, which is different to the 1982 original in a number of crucial respects. For example, it lacks both the tacked-on happy ending and the controversial Deckard voiceover (regarded by many as clumsy and unnecessary).

Blade Runner: The Final Cut also features myriad other changes, including tweaks to both edit and soundtrack, a dusting of new shots, and a number of “fixes” and upgraded visual effects, executed primarily by The Orphanage, supervised by Jon Rothbart, with additional shots supplied by Lola VFX.

Blade Runner city miniature

“In order to get aerial views of some of the cityscapes, the miniature structures were tilted sideways and aligned individually at varying angles so as to appear correct to the barrel distortion of the camera’s wide-angle lens. Numerous in-camera passes were required to balance external and practical lighting.”

Ridley Scott: “The Final Cut is my definitive version of Blade Runner, and I’m thrilled that audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy it in the way I intended – on the big screen. This new trailer captures the essence of the film and I hope will inspire a new generation to see Blade Runner when it is re-released across the UK on 3 April.”

Fantastic behind the scenes photographs from the Blade Runner model shop

Blade Runner - Spinner

Above: The full-size prop, decals and miniatures for the Spinner

Above: The Tyrell Corporation pyramid building plus a look at how the vast ‘Hades’ cityscape vistas were accomplished

More pictures after the jump →

Light-based media

Blade Runner model shop

“You have to remember, Blade Runner was made years before digital effects became common. Even now there are times you just can’t beat doing some effects like these “in camera.” Most of these cityscapes are a combination of models and traditional matte paintings. For the aerial shots they used a set about 12 ft. wide, and those towers you see belching fire are about 12 in. high. They’re made of etched brass and model parts and use thousands of tiny, grain-of-wheat light bulbs like you’d find in a dollhouse.” — Adam Savage

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The Wellcome Image Awards 2015: Showcasing the best in science imaging talent and techniques, this year’s Wellcome Image Awards winners include: a scanning electron micrograph of a greenfly’s eye; a clinical photograph of an elderly woman’s curved spine; an illustration of pollen grains; a confocal micrograph showing drug-carrying particles in the lungs of a mouse; and a picture that shows the intricacies of a paediatric multi-sensory unit.

“The breath-taking riches of the imagery that science generates are so important in telling stories about research and helping us to understand often abstract concepts. It’s not just about imaging the very small either. It’s about understanding life, death, sex, and disease: the cornerstones of drama and art.”
Adam Rutherford, scientist and judge for the Wellcome Image Awards

See also:

Light-based media

Wellcome Image Awards 2015: The art behind the science of life, death, sex, and disease

The Wellcome Image Awards showcase the best in science imaging talent and techniques. “This year’s selection of winning images is not only beautiful, they bring to life an incredible array of innovative imaging techniques, and hint at stories and ideas that go beyond the visual.” — Catherine Draycott, head of Wellcome Images

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TeleGeography's Submarine Cable Map

TeleGeography’s Submarine Cable Map has been updated for 2015. The latest edition depicts 299 cable systems that are currently active, under construction, or expected to be fully-funded by the end of 2015.

The map depicts routes of 278 in-service and 21 planned undersea cables. Capital cities for each country are also provided.

Submarine cable map detail

(via Vox)

See also

Life on the Internet

Ye olde submarine cable map

“To bring back the lost aesthetic that vanished along with these whimsical details, TeleGeography referenced a variety of resources in the design process. One of the most invaluable was Chet Van Duzer’s Sea Monsters in Medieval and Renaissance Maps book, which provides arguably the most complete history of the evolution of sea monsters and map design from this period. Our final product is a view of the global submarine cable network seen through the lens of a bygone era.” — TeleGeography

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Airport Codes

Every airport has a unique three-letter IATA code. Some make sense if you know the city or the name of the airport and others, well, what the heck?

Turns out there’s usually a reasonable explanation. Knowing what each IATA code stands for isn’t super useful, but it sure can be fun.

See also: Wikipedia: International Air Transport Association airport code

Miscellany

Airport Codes

A fun little site about the secrets behind those three letter airport codes.

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Planetfall cover

The startling majesty – and deceptive complexity – of Michael Benson’s space art can be traced back through a process he dubs “true color.”
Time: The Cosmos In Living Color: Michael Benson’s Interstellar Imagery

Benson is a visual stylist with a gift for framing and focus. Apart from cutting-edge high-definition renderings of our solar system’s most familiar objects, he also routinely converts extra-terrestrial terrain into thrilling, abstract landscapes that seem positioned somewhere between the scientific and the avant-garde.

“At least with this particular subject matter, I usually try to give as accurate a representation as possible of what the human eye might see if we could travel to these places ourselves.”
Michael Benson — Slate: Curating the Cosmos

See also

  • Gordon Ugarkovic’s spectacular take on NASA’s Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan.
  • A Look Behind the Future — This fascinating documentary featurette looks at the production of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and also the Apollo programme, which had yet to put man on the moon.
  • Waltz Around Saturn with this video showing highlights from Cassini’s exploration of the giant planet, its magnificent rings, and fascinating family of moons.
  • …and other posts tagged ‘space
Light-based media

Planetfall: New Solar System Visions

“Michael Benson is a man utterly fascinated with outer space and he has fixed his talents on creating visions that break free of the confines of Earth, enabling viewers to behold the unseen wonders of the universe.” — Time

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The recreated ZX Spectrum is a flawless copy of the original device, and will ship some time later this year with a companion app for iOS and Android, as well as a number of ZX Spectrum games such as Chuckie Egg — one of the machine’s greatest hits. The games work on both smartphones and tablets, but the device itself also functions as a straightforward Bluetooth keyboard.

Pre-order at sinclairzxspectrum.elite-systems.co.uk

The original ZX Spectrum

An issue 2 1982 ZX Spectrum

The original ZX Spectrum is remembered for its rubber keyboard, diminutive size and distinctive rainbow motif. It was originally released on 23 April 1982 with 16 KB of RAM for £125 or with 48 KB for £175.
Wikipedia

Shape of things to come

Gorgeous Bluetooth keyboard replica of the ZX Spectrum

I find this amusing. The squishy rubber keyboard was apparently the worst feature of the Spectrum. This product is an admirable reproduction and I can certainly see the nostalgic appeal, but I think I’ll pass. It may be a gorgeous replica, but I doubt it’s a good keyboard.

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Ampp3d distorted the UK map to show where all the money is,
where all the people live and how much they pay to live there.
Also, obesity and pubs.

Five weird UK maps that show the real issues facing the country

See also: a map of racism around the world and 4,000 years of human history in one chart.

Humans and other animals

Warped maps of the UK illustrating the issues facing the country

How do Britain’s regions size up when you look at simply how much money they have? The country takes on a very different shape when you adjust it for where people actually live, how much they pay to live there, how much they weigh and whether there are any good pubs.

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Icon by Stephen JB Thomas
Miscellany

New category: Craft and creativity

It was always my intention with this blog that the categories I used would be under continuous refinement. Today I’ve deleted the Aesthetics category and replaced it with Craft and creativity.

(Oh, and I’ve also added a new tag for explainers, which are typically those YouTube videos which, well, explain something.)

Continue reading

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Microscope
Use your words

Fantasy worlds that break history’s back

Katherine Cross writing for Boing Boing’s new gaming blog Offword about Microscope, “a fractal role-playing game of epic histories” created by Ben Robbins.

The three concentric circles that form Microscope’s logo are perhaps the simplest description of the game. You begin by bookending the history you wish to explore, defining the limits between, say, cavepeople and interstellar colonisation, or something more focused like the founding of a religion and its ultimate schism. Once set, players take turns being “lenses” who set the focus for a given round of play, say a specific era in that history or a specific point in time, person, or event. During this round, every other player takes turns adding something to the setting and its history. The main rule is that they cannot contradict anything already established.

The game emphasizes the crisp spontaneity that emerges when time has no meaning for you. You can, at your leisure, wander through history filling in the blanks as you go. You can nuke a city and then travel back 5000 years to paint in all its little details for the rest of the evening, or travel forward in time to when the city is rebuilt. Only when the lens zooms in on a specific moment in time where character interaction is involved does everyone come together to roleplay a given scene. Here the microscope lens is at maximum magnification: You take a historical moment, say the assassination of an empress, and act it out in detail, explaining what happened and why.

The game forces you to answer that crucial question, why, again and again, and this is where it chisels away at tropes.
Fantasy worlds that break history’s back

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The Artiphon Instrument 1 has already raised over $600k of its $75k goal on Kickstarter, with 31 days still to go!

A guitar is designed to be strummed; piano keys are pressed; drum pads are tapped; violins are bowed. But what if a single instrument could be played with any of these techniques? That’s exactly what we’re creating – one instrument that lets you be the whole band.

Artiphon Instrument 1

It works with any music creation software that uses the MIDI standard, which is the universal language of digital music. MIDI has been around for over 30 years, and lets electronic instruments tell each other what notes to play and how they should sound. But don’t worry: we’ve made it easier than ever to get started making digital music; no acronyms required.

Artiphon

  • Play any instrument, style, and sound with a single device that connects directly to your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
  • Our patented multi-instrument technology transforms the INSTRUMENT 1 into a guitar, violin, bass, piano, drum machine… it’s any instrument you want it to be.
  • Plug in and play 100’s of apps like GarageBand with universal musical gestures: strumming, tapping, bowing, sliding, and more.
  • Digital string-like interface works with any MIDI-compatible software.
  • The unique ergonomic design can be held in multiple positions, and is fully ambidextrous.
  • Design new instruments and custom tunings via the Artiphon companion app.
  • It’s compact, portable, durable, self-powered, and simple.
  • Designed and engineered in Nashville, TN.

(via fubiz)

Shape of things to come

The Artiphon multiple instrument

“A guitar is designed to be strummed; piano keys are pressed; drum pads are tapped; violins are bowed. But what if a single instrument could be played with any of these techniques? That’s exactly what we’re creating – one instrument that lets you be the whole band.”

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I don’t know why I find these kinds of workspace photographs so appealing.

I know they reek of pretentiousness and elitism and just plain showing-off (either “look at what expensive toys and good taste I have” or “look how well I’ve got my life organised”), but I still aspire.

Of all these workplaces, the Ugmonk studio has to be one of my favourites.

I’m also endlessly fascinated by these workbag displays. So many things I need to buy to make my life complete.

Craft and creativity

Apple porn

I know it’s not strictly an ‘Apple’ thing – I’ve seen plenty of people showing off PC workstations and ultra-nerdy open source setups too – but let’s be honest, Mac geeks in particular love to show off.

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This Video Will Make You Angry

CGP Grey on how ideas spread as ‘thought germs’ (memes in the traditional sense) over the internet, how these ideas use our emotions to survive longer and how ‘opposing thought germs’ (divisive ideas) can survive indefinitely.


In a similar vein, here is a near-future startup promo video by Tom Scott:
The Bubble: imagine the web without trolls, or shocks, or spam

What if you could have a perfect filter for the web? Anything you’d regret seeing or reading: it’s gone before you even see it. Welcome to the Bubble.

Life on the Internet

The 4 types of audio that people share online

Viral audio types

Public radio produces a lot of audio — but it doesn’t always get the attention on sharing platforms that it might deserve. Our friends at NPR Digital Services want to fix that, which has led to a series of experiments. Here, NPR’s Eric Athas shares some of what they’ve found.

Nieman lab: From explainers to sounds that make you go “Whoa!”: The 4 types of audio that people share

See also: What can make audio go viral? NPR experiments with building earworms for social media

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Jumping to the End — Practical Design Fiction

Matt Jones: This talk summarizes a lot of the approaches that we used in the studio at BERG, and some of those that have carried on in my work with the gang at Google Creative Lab in NYC.

Unfortunately, I can’t show a lot of that work in public, so many of the examples are from BERG days…

(via O’Reilly Radar)