Chopin Funeral March

Over one million people like this video on You Tube. The link that lead me there:

“I am just listening to Frédéric Chopins “Funeral March”, played by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. Chopin had the unique talent to combine the most melancholic melodies with some of the most beautiful sounds. His “marche funèbre” is a very good example for this.” says Alexander Binder in Revel In New York interview

Design Politics Science

AI is on it’s way and the Military will be using it first?

Robotics coming to warfare is a mostly obvious topic from following the increased use of unmanned drones in “Targeted Killings” and surveillance, along with the ability to defuse a bomb remotely through the use of robotics etc. etc. – the presence and dexterity of real life robotics in use in war and industry is evident. But complex tasks and decisions still require a human operator. What caught my attention in the Fault Lines program was around 17:45 minutes into the video – when the interviewer/narrator states that most experts they contacted seem to be in general agreement that “in just a few decades the robots that will exist in our world will be unrecognizable by today’s standards”.

Followed shortly by Roboticist Robert Finkelstein saying he thinks “the probability is virtually one, a certainty, that machines will be as intelligent as people, that we will have intelligent robots, that robots will be ubiquitous”. And that this Artificial Intelligence (AI) will happen in our lifetimes.

Experts often underestimate the difficulty of certain feats, and AI certainly has been one in the past, but more and more it seems what computer programs achieve are indeed the initial steps to real AI. Primitive cognitive processes that allow for stable walking, achieving goals… evolving. And with technological evolution so much faster than biological evolution the predictions of 2030-2050 seem rational. In other words, a good idea or not, humanity is entering the Science Fiction realm of machines that are smart.

Design Interesting People Politics

Thank You Mask Man by Lenny Bruce

The film was completed in 1968. Its audio is derived from a recording of Bruce’s routine. The short was made by San Francisco-based company Imagination, Inc. and directed by Jeff Hale, a former member of the National Film Board of Canada.

After years of saving a small town, its population is angered that The Lone Ranger never stays long enough to receive gratitude for his deeds. He stays, and finds that he likes hearing the phrase “Thank you, Mask Man”. When asked what the community could give him in return for his services, The Lone Ranger points to an Indian, Tonto, and says that he wants him. Asked why The Lone Ranger wants Tonto, he replies that he wants to have sex with him, explaining that he is not a homosexual, but that he had “heard a lot about it and read exposes” and would like to “try now to see how bad it is. Just once.” The Lone Ranger also requests a horse, suggesting that he wants to perform bestiality. The townspeople react in disgust as The Lone Ranger and Tonto ride off into the sunset.

Bruce intended to deconstruct homophobia and other issues explored within the routine.

– info sourced from Wikipedia


From Cigarette vending machine to art vending machine

Progress. Take those awful dispensers of death and convert them to burpers of art. That is what Art*O*Mat does. They refurbish cigarette dispensers into art dispensers. Each machine gets an individualized makeover before it’s shipped off to various locations, from museum shops to small art boutiques. Cute idea.

Design Interesting People

Street trials pro Danny MacAskill displays amazing skills

This seems impossible to me, even after watching it. Street trials pro Danny MacAskill seems to be a unity of one with his bike, doing moves and stunts that would be amazing even if he had been born a hybrid wheeled life form. Knowing he is bouncing around like a flea, with the accuracy of a gymnast, on a bicycle… blows me away.

image taken from: Andy McCandlish/Red Bull Photofiles