Entries in FUTURE (17)
The 2011 Nike MAG shoes have arrived. 1500 of the famous, LED-electroluminescent shoes will be auctioned on eBay, Sept 8th - Sept 18th. All net proceeds from the auction sales will go directly to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
Straight out of the pages of an Arthur C. Clarke sci-fi novella - except very real, we bring you the city of Masdar. Conceived as community-sized experiment in urban planning and green technologies, this oasis in the deserts of Arabia is making the future seem more like today than tomorrow.
Conceived in 2006, phase one of the city is now complete after three years’ work and a spend of .4bn. The development, near Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, consists of six main buildings, one street, 101 small apartments, a large electronic library, and the Masdar Institute.
This offshoot campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has 167 students and 43 academics, most of whom are from other countries, the US, Europe, Asia and elsewhere in the Middle East. On campus there is a bank, a sushi bar, canteen, organic food shop and a concrete basement where 10 driverless vehicles whiz people along the 800 metres from the entrance of the city to the institute.
All this utopian engineering comes with a price: the green police. Scientists managing the energy consumption of the entire city can monitor and control every appliance via an intelligent digital grid that senses and controls energy use. Showers turn off after a few minutes, sensors switch on fridges and lights. Temperature and water use can be centrally controlled. American students living abroad must deal with extreme lifestyle adjustments on all levels:
“It felt like culture shock,” Laura Stupin, a young engineering student and one of the first inhabitants of the city, wrote on her blog. “The buildings are beautiful here, and they look so different from anything I’ve ever seen, anywhere. I keep telling people that it feels like I’m living in a psychology experiment. Every time I flip a light switch in the living room and the faucet in the bathroom starts running, or I desperately push all the buttons on the stove to try to turn on a burner, I can’t help looking over my shoulder and wondering if there’s a scientist observing my behaviour and reactions in this strange environment.”
We're highly intrigued by such a massively man-made environment that extends all the way to behavioral monitoring. How much freedom must we give in exchange for the good of the community?
The world was stunned to hear that efforts to re-create a wooly mammoth from frozen tissue are already thawed and preparing to enter the proverbial oven. A fully formed baby wooly is only about 4 years away from becoming a reality. Amazingly, two of those years are spent growing inside the womb of a surrogate mother African elephant.
Read more at the DAILY TELEGRAPH
The illustrations above are from the book First Men to the Moon authored by Wernher von Braun and illustrated by Fred Freeman. If you’re a little rusty on cold-war era aeronautics history, von Braun was the preeminent rocket scientist during the space race. He pioneered missile and projectile technology for Germany, then the U.S. Army, then NASA, where he lead the development of the Saturn 5 rocket that carried the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon.
But when von Braun wasn’t busy building revolutionary rockets, he found time to write a few books; books that fueled public interest in space exploration. He dedicated First Men to the Moon to his daughters 9 years before his rocket design would actually carry the first men to the moon. Working closely with von Braun to illustrate the book was Fred Freeman, who according to the book’s jacket, was “a member of the original space symposium which included Wernher von Braun, Mr. Freeman has worked closely with the author on the preparation of this book to achieve meaningful coordination of drawings and text.”
Growing up playing SimCity, one always knew that the way to the future was paved with arcologies. Today, that dream of indoor wavepools and shopping malls takes one greener step forward, with the official opening of Brooklyn Grange, the largest rooftop farm in the city. These urban plant husbandry masters describe themselves thusly:
Brooklyn Grange is a commercial farming business located on New York City rooftops. We grow vegetables in the city and sell them to local people and businesses. The goal is to improve access to very good food, to connect city people more closely to farms and food production, and to make urban farming a viable enterprise and livelihood.
Although we function as a privately owned and operated enterprise, Brooklyn Grange is community oriented and open to the public. School groups, families and volunteers are welcome to visit, participate and learn. This is a green space that contributes to the overall health and quality of life of the community, bringing people together through green business and around good food.
Aside from their groundbreaking new approach to the modern food chain supply, BK Grange found it's way using progressive crowdsourcing finance tools like Kickstarter, and their produce is available in the best locavore foodie haunts and markets in BK and the city.
WCIP salutes this forward-thinking and simple approach to bring fresh, local food to our plates and improving overall quality of life in our city.
Check out the video coverage here.