BIG has been keeping busy with more than designing mountainous green-roofed buildings and drafting comic books. They’ve also been laying out plans for a driverless world, where compact electric cars navigate on smart streets to reduce pollution and traffic while meeting the changing needs of our urban environment. In theory, computer-controlled cars could move more efficiently with less accidents to create a city that dynamically transforms and adapts to life between buildings. [Source]
Using the wonderful words of acclaimed writer, actor and allround know it all (I mean that in the best of ways) Stephen Fry I have created this kinetic typography animation. If you like what you hear you can download the rest of the audio file from Mr. Fry’s website. stephenfry.com and then go to the audio and video section at the top of the page and look for the file entitled language. You can also find the file on iTunes by searching the name ‘Stephen Fry’s Podgrams’.
Every evening, Ahmet Akamak or one of his extended family boards a flight to Istanbul, keeping a careful grip on a bag loaded with solid gold.
The former banker runs a network of shops in Turkey’s south-eastern city of Diyarbakir, buying second-hand jewellery from people in need of ready cash, and selling it as scrap to the dealers clustered in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. His trade has boomed in recent years, as high gold prices turned Turkey – the world’s fourth biggest market for gold jewellery – into a net exporter of the metal.
“We need at least 2 kg a day to be worth the journey. A couple of months ago, we were taking 20kg every day,” Akamak says, as a man enters the shop to sell a worn gold ring for 298TL ($198).
Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.
The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.
Controversially, it will also enshrine the right of nature “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.
Read the full article in The Guardian here.
[via Naomi Klein]
Louis Theroux’s follow-up film to his 2007 original expose of the Westboro Baptist Church; “The most hated family in America”.
[via Emil Landgren]
Ousama Abushagur, a 31-year-old Libyan telecom executive raised in Huntsville, Ala., masterminded the operation from his home in Abu Dhabi. Mr. Abushagur and two childhood friends working as corporate managers in Dubai and Doha started fund-raising on Feb. 17 to support the political protests that were emerging in Libya. By Feb. 23, when fighting had erupted, his team delivered the first of multiple humanitarian aid convoys to eastern Libya.
But while in Libya, they found their cellphones and Thuraya satellite phones jammed or out of commission, making planning and logistics challenging.
Security was also an issue. Col. Gadhafi had built his telecommunications infrastructure to fan out from Tripoli—routing all calls through the capital and giving him and his intelligence agents full control over phones and Internet.
On March 6, during a flight back to the United Arab Emirates after organizing a naval convoy to the embattled city of Misrata, Mr. Abushagur says he drew up a diagram on the back of a napkin for a plan to infiltrate Libyana, pirate the signal and carve out a network free of Tripoli’s control.
My greatest mistake was being addicted to cocaine. I started after I left college and came to Los Angeles in 1974. It was very casual at first. That’s what people were doing when they were at parties. Cocaine was even in the budgets of movies, thinly disguised. It was petty cash, you know? It was supplied, basically, on movie sets because everyone was doing it. People would make deals. Instead of having a cocktail, you’d have a line. So it was insidious, the way it snuck up on everybody. Coming from where I came from—lower-middle-class life, from Houston into Hollywood—and all of a sudden this success starts happening to you, I just didn’t know how to handle that. Doing blow just contributed to me not being able to handle the fame, which, at the time, I guess I felt I didn’t deserve. I was doing my best imitation of an asshole there for a little while, trying to pretend everything was OK. Meanwhile my life was falling apart, and I noticed it myself, but I was hoping everyone else didn’t.