Science for the Masses, a group of biohackers based a couple hours north of Los Angeles in Tehachapi, California, theorized they could enhance healthy eyesight enough that it would induce night vision. To do this, the group used a kind of chlorophyll analog called Chlorin e6 (or Ce6), which is found in some deep-sea fish and is used as an occasional method to treat night blindness.

Did it work? Yes. It started with shapes, hung about 10 meters away. “I’m talking like the size of my hand,” Licina says. Before long, they were able to do longer distances, recognizing symbols and identifying moving subjects against different backgrounds. “The other test, we had people go stand in the woods,” he says. “At 50 meters, we could figure out where they were, even if they were standing up against a tree.” Each time, Licina had a 100% success rate. The control group, without being dosed with Ce6, only got them right a third of the time.

WTF did I read?

[science for the masses] [paper]

“I originally studied to become a flight attendant and searched along with some other people for the job. That time was really great. My life had a particular goal. However, when I went to final interviews for a flight attendant position, I always saw the phrase ‘sorry’ on the last door. It was draining. However, while I was preparing to be a flight attendant I became really interested in makeup and skincare. Now I work as a manager for a makeup brand. The work I’m doing now is a lot of fun. I miss the days of preparing to be a flight attendant. But, the future? First I need to go forward, but I often don’t know where I’m heading.”

“원래 승무원이 되려고 공부도 했고, 다른 사람들하고 같이 취업 준비 했는데 그 때 참 좋았어요. 목표가 확실한 삶이었거든요. 하지만 승무원 채용 최종 인터뷰는 꽤 갔는데, 항상 마지막 문턱에서 ‘죄송합니다’ 문구를 봤어요. 힘이 확 빠졌죠. 근데 제가 승무원 준비하면서 화장품이나 피부관리 제품에 관심이 많아졌어요. 그러다가 지금은 아예 화장품 브랜드 매장의 관리직으로 일하는데 지금 하는 일도 너무 재밌어요. 승무원 준비 시절이 그립긴 하지만요. 미래요? 일단은 나아가지만 저도 어디로 가는 지 모를 때가 있어요” 

I said to chiasmuslovesme​ that I couldn’t imagine a new episode any more. In feeling that way it helps to love Kurt, because he and Rachel (and to a lesser extent Blaine and also Mercedes) were given a wonderfully arc-y arc. Even if some of the details weren’t my greatest joys, many of them were (taking over the world, holding hands, loving one another so individually) and I kind of forget to care about what I want when Kurt and Blaine and Mercedes are happy, so so happy.

But I started thinking about scenes I would love to see.

1.       Kurt’s well-attended opening night of some singularly Kurt Broadway show (I’ve written him several – the pop music David & Jonathan was the best of them but there were others, one with robots and one with a lot of Elvis Costello). Blaine and Rachel and Burt and Carole meeting him with flowers. And then Blaine and Kurt going back to their place to pay the babysitter (“Greer can come to our shows once she turns five”) and fall into one another’s arms, stumble to their bedroom. And they think they’re too sleepy to do anything but curl up together and look at one another. But Kurt is so talented and so Blaine’s and his eyes are so soft that Blaine can’t help but lean in to press his lips to his long neck and suddenly sleep isn’t the primary thing Kurt wants.

2.       Blaine being shyly approached on the street by a series of adoring (and sometimes crushing) young (and not so young) fans who’ve seen him in Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid and the new one, Nightwing/Blackbird (superheroes falling in love and saving the world) and want his autograph. Kurt standing to one side patiently, offering to take photos, amused and fond and so smilingly in love and then holding Blaine’s hand all the way home.  

3.       Kurt and Blaine on holiday with Brittany and Santana for their five year anniversary (Kurt protested, “Our daughter is *due* in two months. This is the last chance we’ll have to go away alone.” He almost won Blaine over when he said, “You know I need time for all the ways I want to take you apart”, but was placated with a private and intimate four and three quarter years anniversary trip). Kurt and Santana stretched out gloriously in the shade while their spouses make admittedly impressive attempts at kite-surfing and water-skiing and wakeboarding ‘til the others drag them back to their respective cabins and try not to listen through the walls.  (Kurt and Blaine hush one another with mouths and fingers, Santana and Brittany do not give a fuck.)

4.       Mercedes turning up at McKinley High School and knocking on the door of Sam’s choir room. It’s decorated with posters of Mercedes’ stadium tours and Kurt and Blaine and Rachel’s shows and Artie and Tina’s movies and Unique’s gala extravaganza and Marley’s gigs and Kitty’s American country music award and Mike’s dance movies and a drawing by Brittany.  Sam turns from teaching his latest (surprisingly successful) glee club about Johnny and June Cash and she walks in and gets down on one knee and proposes.  

5.       Quinn turning up on Santana and Brittany’s doorstep in tears after a rough campaign day and them taking her into their bed and then letting her loose to continue to pursue judge-ship.

6.       Roderick serenading Spencer. Or Kitty. Or Jane. Or Mason.

7.       Kurt and Blaine heading up to the roof of their building to sing more romantic unimaginary duets to one another under the stars.

8.       Also they can all do a group song to Hold Back the River

Tried to keep you close to me,
But life got in between
Tried to square not being there
But think that I should have been

Once upon a different life
We rode our bikes into the sky
But now we call against the tide
Those distant days are flashing by

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river, so I
Can stop for a minute and be by your side
Hold back the river, hold back


Festo: BionicAnts and eMotionButterflies forming an intelligent smart factory hive

The main focus of the Bionic Learning Network from Festo are principles from nature that provide inspiration for technical applications and industrial practice. Last year we saw a bionic kangaroo and a flying penguin. And in 2013 a remote-controlled drone that flies and is in the form of a dragonfly.

This year they presented at the Hannover Messe 2015 their latest development: BionicANTs as large as guinea pigs and eMotionButterflies (weight: 30 g) which are intended to illustrate how individual systems can be combined into an intelligent hive system for smart factories and industry 4.0 applications.

For the BionicANTs, the Festo engineers have not only taken the delicate anatomy of the natural ant as a role model. For the first time, the cooperative behaviour of the creatures has also been transferred to the world of technology using complex control algorithms. “Like their natural role models, the BionicANTs work together under clear rules”, explains Dr.-Ing. Heinrich Frontzek, Head of Corporate Communication and Future Concepts at Festo. “They communicate with each other and coordinate both their actions and movements. Each ant makes its decisions autonomously, but in doing so is always subordinate to the common objective and thereby plays its part towards solving the task at hand.” In an abstract manner, this cooperative behaviour provides interesting approaches for the factory of tomorrow. Future production systems will be founded on intelligent components, which adapt flexibly to different production scenarios and thus take on tasks from a higher control level.

While the ants do the hard work, the bionic butterflies supervise the workflow.

The eMotionButterflies developed by Festo demonstrate complex issues from the world of future production such as functional integration, ultra-lightweight construction and communication between individual systems that is networked and optimised on a real-time basis. The aesthetically appealing bionic butterflies show the extent to which the virtual and real worlds can grow together. The coordination between the individual flying objects is effected autonomously and safely by means of a well-networked external guidance and monitoring system. The communication and sensor technology used, which constitutes an indoor GPS system, enables the butterflies to exhibit collective behaviour without danger of collision.The combination of integrated electronics and external camera technology with a host computer ensures process stability by means of an intelligent guidance and monitoring system.

Last but not least, they have recreated the tongue of a chameleon: "The FlexShapeGripper can pick up, gather and set back down several objects with the widest range of shapes in one procedure – without the need for a manual conversion".

As always: Fascinating scifi prototyping. I’ll keep you posted with video material and english documents as soon as they are available.

[press release] [read more about the ants - PDF in german] [PDF in en] [more about the butterflies- PDF in german] [PDF in en] [picture credits: festo]

Letter to 2026 self,
I hope you went to Italy, California and England. I hope you sang as often as you wanted even though you are God awful. I hope you found your lover, your soulmate, ’ the one’. I hope he never lets you go to bed angry and only makes you cry from laughter I hope he says your name like like its the only word in the holy fucking bible. I hope he makes you blush, a lot. I’m not sure what kind of life you’ve had up until this point but I know you stayed an asshole but the nicest asshole at that. I hope you’ve had kids, four of them. And I hope in the future those kids have kids and those kids have kids and you’re blessed enough to be a great-grandparent. Maybe you won’t even have kids. If you don’t have kids, I hope you have dogs. Four of them. I hope you fucked up, grew a backbone and stood up for yourself for once in your life. I hope you continued to smile even on shitty days where you eat nothing and stay in bed for 15 hours straight. I hope you cried as much as you needed and hugged people for more than five minutes because you know as soon as you let go you will miss them again. I hope you see 5 am sunrises with people who mean a whole lot to you. I hope you love your job and it makes you happy. I hope your heart is content and your mind is at ease and your life is how you’d want it to be at 32. I hope you got out of Ohio. I hope you call your mother often. She misses you, always. I hope you never stop writing or petting dogs or making stupid jokes that are only funny to yourself. I hope you dance around your home in your underwear to your favorite songs from when you were 15. I hope your life is amazing and it’s memorable. I hope your soul always stays breathtakingly beautiful and you still laugh when you should be serious. I hope 32 is what you expect it to be and I hope you still drink like you’re 21 and regret it the next morning. I hope you are spontaneous and make a difference in people’s lives I hope you stay innocent and nice to everyone regardless of how much shit you’ve gone through. Above all else I hope you love yourself as much as you let others love you.
—  (m.a.b) // letter to future self

О простом-сложном

Давно пора бы перестать гнаться за кем-то, равняться и проецировать чью-то жизнь на себя. Давно пора бы перестать читать новости и восхищаться кем-то. Давно пора бы по-настоящему не обращать внимание на то, что скажут люди. Давно пора бы начать строить свою жизнь. Не нужно думать, что есть кто-то лучше - обязательно есть; не нужно думать, что что-то может произойти «как у того парня» - не может, все будет по-другому. Давно пора бы взяться за голову и постепенно начать воздвигать свои собственные стены, а не любоваться и вздыхать у чужих - жить мы должны самостоятельно. Юношеский максимализм - это похвально и не нужно от него отказываться, но и слепо доверять ему тоже нельзя; он может пригодиться в некоторых ситуациях, но на самом деле жизнь строится не за несколько месяцев и не за год, а гораздно дольше и тяжелее. Просто нужно донести до самого себя, что не начав строить, результата не будет. И опять это «я хочу как у того парня», а ведь для кого-то ты сам можешь стать «этим самым парнем», на которого захотят равняться - так стань же им, построй свою жизнь самостоятельно, без чужих мнений, советов, без чужих историй, что все так замечательно сложилось. Каждый путь тернист, просто, когда он уже завершен, кажется, что было не так и сложно и начинаешь рассказывать, что все получилось очень легко. Спрятаться от новостей, от чьих-то ярких и легких судеб и начать стоить свою, по кирпичику, по кусочку, не оглядываясь, не подражая. Быть самим собой, жить своей жизнью, добиваться своих целей, любить, слушать, создавать, то что нравится, идти куда хочется самому без наводок, не по воле тенденций, без трендов и сверкающих биллбордов. Быть аутентичным, самостоятельным, настоящим. Быть только собой.


Check out this great VFX Exercise based on a concept by Simon Stålenhag, “Fjärrhandske”