During a time when computing power was so scarce that it required a government-defense budget to finance it, a young man used a $238 million military computer, the largest such machine ever built, to render an image of a curvy woman on a glowing cathode ray tube screen. The year was 1956, and the creation was a landmark moment in computer graphics and cultural history that has gone unnoticed until now.
Using equipment designed to guard against the apocalypse, a pin-up girl had been drawn.
She was quite probably the first human likeness to ever appear on a computer screen.
Read more. [Images: Lawrence A. Tipton]
Architects and critics within and beyond China have treated these derivative designs with scorn, as shameless kitsch or simply trash. Others cite China’s larger knock-off culture, from handbags to housing, as evidence of the innovation gap between China and the United States. For a larger audience on the Internet, they are merely a punchline, another example of China’s endlessly entertaining wackiness.
In short, the majority of Chinese architectural imitation, oozing with historical romanticism, is not taken seriously.
But perhaps it ought to be.
See more. [Images: Bianca Bosker]
[Images: Market Watch]
The word “bro” has been around for a while now. Yet despite its longevity, there is no universally accepted definition the term. Are bros chill guys who just wanna have fun, or obnoxious dudes who can’t string a sentence together? Must they play lacrosse? Is membership in a fraternity required to be considered a bro?
This week, two residents of Washington, D.C. (possibly these guys?) offered their attempt to define the term.
Read more. [Image: HBO]
It’s happened all over the world, and it’s happening in China, too. As the country’s middle class swells in number — and its people discover the pleasures and disappointments of a life spent pursuing material comfort — there has come the emergence of a distinct counter-culture. In Chinese, they are thewenyi qingnian (文艺青年), orwenqing for short, literally meaning “cultured youth.” It’s China’s closest equivalent to the alternately beloved and reviled English word, “hipster.”
What does a typical “cultured youth” look like? Baidu Baike, China’s version of Wikipedia, contains an entry on the term that quotes writer and musician Guo Xiaohan: “I’m a very typical wenyi qingnian. I like poetry, novels, indie music, European cinema, taking pictures, writing blogs, cats, gardening, quilting, making dessert and designing environmentally friendly bags.”
Read more. [Image: Weibo, Tea Leaf Nation]
We cannot reduce the ignorance of people like Mourdock and Akin to sound bites or place it in the category of election-season inanity. Their statements are the toxic runoff of our culture’s failure to prevent and address sexual violence in all its forms. The statistics stun: The high estimate of the number of women raped each year in the United States is 1.3 million, 54 percent of rapes are unreported, and a woman’s chance of being raped is one in five. The president’s elementary stance is nice but won’t fix anything on its own; what must change is the culture itself.
Given its well-documented and inexcusable problems with sexism, hip-hop might not seem a wise place to look to start making that change. But that fact actually makes the medium more ripe for reformers. Moreover, as one of the dominant, storytelling-driven art forms consumed and made by young people, rap provides a way for survivors and allies to testify, argue, and change hearts and minds. And as a song released this past week by the promising young rapper Angel Haze proves, rap’s potential as a weapon against rape culture isn’t merely academic.
Read more. [Image: Angel Haze]
Advancements in robotics are continually taking place in the fields of space exploration, health care, public safety, entertainment, defense, and more. These machines — some fully autonomous, some requiring human input — extend our grasp, enhance our capabilities, and travel as our surrogates to places too dangerous for us to go. NASA currently has dozens of robotic missions underway, with satellites now in orbit around our moon and four planets — and two more on the way to Ceres and Pluto. Gathered here are recent images of robotic technology at the beginning of the 21st century.
See more. [Images: USMC/Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans, AP Photo/Yonhap, Park Dong-joo]
What happened when the Canadian star’s “Call Me Maybe” lip-sync video gave a California-based knick-knack company 50 million YouTube views’ worth of free publicity.
That’s one of the key messages of a new ad campaign launched by the Canadian province of British Columbia. These ads appear on campuses and in transit lines in the province.
T.S. Eliot, quite possibly the greatest English language poet of the 20th century, oh-so eloquently reflected on the passing of time by saying, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” So have we Thomas, so have we. From the borough of Brooklyn to Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tokyo, and every other hub buzzing with creative productivity, we suspect that if they’re not all jump starting their days with Nespresso at the crack of dawn, they’re fueling their weary world with the rich, velvety, caffeinated goodness of some damn good direct trade, shade-grown beans roasted on vintage gear, pulled by an expert hand.
See more. [Images: Paulina Sasinowska/Visua, David Joseph/dezeen, Jelani Memory/Coava, CLUBANTIETAM; Tasting Adventures, Masao Nishikawa/The Design Home]