The cars we’ll be driving in the world of 2050

What will the cars of 2050 look like? What will power them? Will they even have a steering wheel? Sven Beiker peers under the bonnet of tomorrow’s autos. Car companies have recently been telling us what the car of 2020 will be like: autonomous is one word used, electric is another, and it will be connected to the internet too. Sound exciting? It is, but it’s doubtful you’ll find all of this on the forecourt in the next seven years (cars typically get completely redesigned every five to seven years). However, the directions being proposed are a very good starting … Continue reading The cars we’ll be driving in the world of 2050

This Man Thinks He Can 3-D Print An Entire House

Scientists already are working on 3-D printing organs. If we can do that, a house should be easy. While enthusiasts believe that there will eventually be a 3-D printer in every home, University of Southern California professor Berokh Khoshnevis has spent the last decade working on a far bigger vision: a gigantic 3-D printer that can print an entire home–concrete, electrical wiring, plumbing, and all. The idea of manufacturing homes using what essentially looks like a gigantic hot glue gun sounds crazy. But Khoshnevis and his students at the school’s Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies have been tinkering long … Continue reading This Man Thinks He Can 3-D Print An Entire House

“Other Universes are Pulling on Our Universe” — New Planck Data Triggers Controversy (Today’s Most Popular)

Is our universe merely one of billions? Evidence of the existence of ‘multiverse’ revealed for the first time by a cosmic map of background radiation data gathered by Planck telescope. The first ‘hard evidence’ that other universes exist has been claimed to have been found by cosmologists studying new Planck data released this past June. They have concluded that it shows anomalies that can only have been caused by the gravitational pull of other universes. “Such ideas may sound wacky now, just like the Big Bang theory did three generations ago,” says George Efstathiou, professor of astrophysics at Cambridge University.”But … Continue reading “Other Universes are Pulling on Our Universe” — New Planck Data Triggers Controversy (Today’s Most Popular)

Forget Prozac, Psychobiotics Are the Future of Psychiatry

For millennia, the human race has sought to combat psychological disorders through the intervention of natural – and eventually synthetic – chemicals. Originally, the sources for these psychoactive substances were the various fruits and flowers, including the Areca tree (betel nut), the poppy (opium), and the coca plant (cocaine). But in the 20th Century, new actives were being created in the lab thanks in part to the discovery of lysergic acid, better known as LSD, in 1938. By the middle of the 1950s, the psychiatric community was fascinated by the idea that mental health could be restored through the direct … Continue reading Forget Prozac, Psychobiotics Are the Future of Psychiatry

1st Black Holes Discovered in Milky Way Star Clusters –“May Produce ‘Ripples’ in Spacetime”

A team of researchers has discovered the first examples of black holes in globular star clusters in our own galaxy, upsetting 40 years of theories against their possible existence by using an array of radio telescopes to pick up a certain type of radio frequency released by these black holes as they eat a star next to them. Black holes in globular clusters may provide a way for them to get close enough to one another to merge into bigger black holes that may produce the ‘ripples in spacetime’ we call gravitational waves,” says Tom Maccarone, an associate professor of … Continue reading 1st Black Holes Discovered in Milky Way Star Clusters –“May Produce ‘Ripples’ in Spacetime”

Why Our Brains Love Curvy Architecture

People are far more likely to call a room beautiful when its design is round instead of linear. The reason may be hard-wired into the brain. When the great architect Philip Johnson first visited the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, designed by Frank Gehry, he started to cry. “Architecture is not about words. It’s about tears,” Johnson reportedly said. Something about the museum’s majestic curves moved him at an emotional level. Many others must get a similar feeling, because the building is usually ranked among the most important in modern times. Whether or not Johnson and Gehry realized it, the Bilbao … Continue reading Why Our Brains Love Curvy Architecture

MIT Invents A Shapeshifting Display You Can Reach Through And Touch

The Tangible Media Group at MIT’s Media Lab has unveiled a futuristic display made of atoms, not pixels. We live in an age of touch-screen interfaces, but what will the UIs of the future look like? Will they continue to be made up of ghostly pixels, or will they be made of atoms that you can reach out and touch? At the MIT Media Lab, the Tangible Media Group believes the future of computing is tactile. Unveiled today, the inFORM is MIT’s new scrying pool for imagining the interfaces of tomorrow. Almost like a table of living clay, the inFORM … Continue reading MIT Invents A Shapeshifting Display You Can Reach Through And Touch

Can We Use Smells To Design Better Cities?

Science says, yes. The scents of rosemary, lemon, lavender, and orange can help improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients. The smell of citrus can motivate people to clean their homes. And sniffing spiced apples can lower blood pressure. If these micro-examples of the benefits of smell sound like an ad campaign for scented candles, think again: they could be case studies for how designers might improve the quality of life in cities. Whole cities can be defined by their scent. Streetscapes fill with the aroma of roasting coffee spilling from Seattle’s cafes, or the bouquet of fruit and flowers at Amsterdam’s … Continue reading Can We Use Smells To Design Better Cities?

Do Our Brains Find Certain Shapes More Attractive Than Others?

A century ago, a British art critic by the name of Clive Bell attempted to explain what makes art, well, art. He postulated that there is a “significant form”—a distinct set of lines, colors, textures and shapes—that qualifies a given work as art. These aesthetic qualities trigger a pleasing response in the viewer. And, that response, he argued, is universal, no matter where or when that viewer lives. In 2010, neuroscientists at the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins University joined forces with the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore to conduct an experiment. What shapes are most pleasing, the … Continue reading Do Our Brains Find Certain Shapes More Attractive Than Others?

Paperhouses: the free online resource for architect-designed houses

The dream of off-the-shelf housing never ceases to engage us. Historically, builders have long worked to standardised plans, buying pattern books and floor plans to speed up the process of getting things done. Well into the modern era, there’s still a massive discrepancy between the number of bespoke, architect-designed homes and those designed with a set of bought-in blueprints. Over the years, we’ve seen more than a few innovators tap into the distributing power of the internet and the simmering demand for bespoke homes. Paperhouses is the latest such venture, and this time the system has an even more contemporary … Continue reading Paperhouses: the free online resource for architect-designed houses