Nano-Hazard Design Contest

I’m writing my thesis on an aspect of the ethics of nanotechnology, so I’ll probably be tempted to post things relating to the topic. Here are the 16 finalists for the Nano-Hazard design contest. The three winners are last. nanohazard%20etc%20group
The Winners are….
I think the first one is pretty cartoonish, the last could be “Beware the dust” but the middle one is just perfect. Simple and direct. The things to beware are small, and this is a warning sign. What are you gonna do? Go hunting with your electron microscope? Or just run?

Bad Journalism at NY Post re: NYU Suicide

Please click the image below to read about what happens when bad newspapers like ‘The New York Post’ create melodramatic fiction. It’s an image from a Facebook group devoted to a guy who committed suicide a week ago.

pdf of New York Post article here.

Excerpt of Post to the Facebook Group:

As to the tabloid article written by that rag, we were blown away by its 98% inaccuracies. (Again please see link on other, more accurate article below this message.) We have no idea where they dreamed up their journalistic angle; but that’s what NY tabloids do – they grovel to sell papers and “push” salacious subway reading (& scandalous online fodder) — oh well, gotta love ’em).

Interesting but sad story…

Here’s the better article about the story.

A Post Sputnik Era Reflection

Make sure you don’t miss ‘When the Space Age Blasted Off, Pop Culture Followed‘, another article typical in this blossoming period of Cold War reflection. But it’s not the typical ‘unclassified something or other reveals that…’ type of history/pop article. This article focuses on the space race/boom as a sort of cultural and artistic grandparent whose habits and tastes have significantly influenced our architecture and artifact design. Let me help illustrate.


Do you see Kubrick’s 2001, the Swedish design school of the 80s, The Jetsons, and trillions of other cultural possessions in the above shape?


As a genuine American aesthetic, the space technology influences provide us with the heritage to design the Mac, the Ford Thunderbird, and the insides of art galleries.

From the article:.

Many cultural critics say probably the biggest impact can be seen in architecture. Especially in California and elsewhere in the West, the work of architects like John Lautner transformed the look of cities and highways with upswept winglike roofs, domes, satellite shapes and starbursts that became the dominant visual language of motels, diners and gasoline stations.

A Russian-themed Sputnik enthusiast’s video. It sounded like this on ham radios worldwide.

John Lautner, spaceman supreme. Continue reading “A Post Sputnik Era Reflection”

Modern Music Copyright – Sending Samplers Underground

Came across a very informative post about modern copyright problems in the music arena today at Geek News Central. Here’s why I like:

The justification for copyright as it applies to music is that it encourages innovation. The argument goes that if people have protection for their creation then they can gain the financial benefit of that creation and are therefore encouraged to produce. This is only accurate to a point. While the recording industry tries to gloss over it, copyright is not binary (present or absent) there is a scale of control. While moderate controls can promote innovation, extreme controls can actually stifle it. If the laws of today were in place in the 80’s then the Hip-Hop genre would not exist. Regardless of whether that appeals to you or not, it would definitely make the music industry smaller than it is today.

The question I want answered, is this: If a ‘backyard sampler’ like Girl Talk sits down to explain his right to ‘creative expression’ and ‘innovation’ to a Judge, who but RIAA lawyers would represent the other side of the table. The logical perspective of economic language will sadly always truimph over weak appeals to ‘cultural enrichment’ or creative genre exploration. ‘Financial protection’ will trumps the Girl talk.

What if Girl Talk Was Illegal?

girltalkFar in the future, if sampling and major label infringement becomes a more serious crime, I hope at least the underground samplers (like the 80 year old Girl Talk dude) at least have the wherewithal to adjust their moniker to include reference to their a certain Swiss Bank account number to which devoted fans could deposit ca$holas. At least they’ll get their money.
The Geek news article also linked to a great video which provided a case study on the issue, featuring a drum loop and its use in hip hop (18min.):