In an unusual attempt to prevent more [labour] protests, some of China’s biggest coal mining companies are now focusing on other…

“In an unusual attempt to prevent more [labour] protests, some of China’s biggest coal mining companies are now focusing on other businesses entirely, Chinese media reports. Coal mining companies in Jincheng, a city in north China’s Shanxi province have embraced pharmacies, solar power stations, restaurants, supermarkets, and vegetable and fruit planting, National Business Daily (link in Chinese) reported on Mar. 28.”

Zheping Huang, ‘China’s coal companies are so desperate, they’ve started farming to keep employees busy’ (2016)

Bohemians, Bauhaus and bionauts: the utopian dreams that became architectural nightmares

archatlas:

“From the ideal cities of the Renaissance, to Ebenezer Howard’s garden city movement, to Le Corbusier’s modernist City of Tomorrow, with its “single society, united in belief and action”, design was seen as a critical tool with which it was possible to transform both political reality and the quality of life. Architecture, the most utopian of the arts, was interpreted as a harmonising force, able to shape not only space, but to use technology to mould attitudes and beliefs for the better.”

“As modernist architects and designers pursued social perfection with uncritical zeal, utopian ideals often degenerated into dystopian realities. Writers such as Orwell, HG Wells and Aldous Huxley illustrated the dangers inherent in utopian thinking, and questioned the utopian faith in science and technology as an industrial lifeboat that promised to banish scarcity and waste.”

Bohemians, Bauhaus and bionauts: the utopian dreams that became architectural nightmares

I don’t think I’ve posted this yet! An old piece from grad school. Pistol shrimp, or snapping shrimp, have a disproportionately…

sheillustrates:

I don’t think I’ve posted this yet! An old piece from grad school.

Pistol shrimp, or snapping shrimp, have a disproportionately large claw from where it derives its name. As a defense mechanism and for hunting, when the claw closes with a quick snap, it emits a bubble. This bubble, upon bursting, causes an extremely powerful sound wave (sonic boom!) which can kill small fish and stun larger ones.

River morphology. Peru. Via. (You can make images like this too, read on). Rivers through time, as seen in Landsat…

climateadaptation:

River morphology. Peru. Via. (You can make images like this too, read on).

Rivers through time, as seen in Landsat images

Thanks to the Landsat program and Google Earth Engine, it is possible now to explore how the surface of the Earth has been changing through the last thirty years or so. Besides the obvious issues of interest, like changes in vegetation, the spread of cities, and the melting of glaciers, it is also possible to look at how rivers change their courses through time. You have probably already seen the images of the migrating Ucayali River in Peru, for example here. This river is changing its course with an impressive speed; many – probably most – other rivers don’t show much obvious change during the same 30-year period. What determines the meander migration rate of rivers is an interesting question in fluvial geomorphology.

The data that underlies Google Earth Engine is not accessible to everybody, but the Landsat data is available to anyone who creates a free account with Earth Explorer. It is not that difficult (but fairly time consuming) to download a set of images and create animations like this one.

Angola’s Wikipedia Pirates Are Exposing the Problems With Digital Colonialism

internet, free access, colonialism, wikipedia, Facebook, hacks, piracy, freedom

Many on the listserv are framing Angola’s Wikipedia pirates as bad actors who need to be dealt with in some way so that more responsible editors aren’t punished for their actions. This line of thinking inherently assumes that what Angola’s pirates are doing is bad for Wikipedia and that they must be assimilated to the already regulated norms of Wikipedia’s community. If the developing world wants to use our internet, they must play by our rules, the thinking goes. But people in developing countries have always had to be more creative than those for whom access to information has always been a given. A 20-year-old developer in Paraguay found a vulnerability in Facebook Messenger that allowed people to use Free Basics to tunnel through to the “real” internet. Legal questions aside (Angola has more lax copyright laws than much of the world), Angola’s pirates are furthering Wikipedia’s mission of spreading information in a real and substantial way.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/wikipedia-zero-facebook-free-basics-angola-pirates-zero-rating

Light Forms, Grey Forms, Dark Forms | Aleksei Kazantsev

anotherplacemag:

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Light Forms Grey Forms Dark Forms is a series of amorphous self-portraits made in twilight landscapes of urban forests.

The mysterious black and white images focus on photographer’s own body, nearly unidentifiable as a human figure between the woods.

Started as a reflection on mystical facets of nature in city areas, the project gradually grew into precise ritual with its own myth of unnoticed semi-dark life.

website

blog

All images & text © Aleksei Kazantsev

Some anthropologists of infrastructure have critically reexamined Star’s claim that infrastructure becomes ‘visible upon…

“Some anthropologists of infrastructure have critically reexamined Star’s claim that infrastructure becomes ‘visible upon breakdown’. Their key observation is that infrastructure can take on different meanings and thus different visibilities for different people, at different times, and in different places. For example, a large-scale piece of infrastructure may be treated as a monument. Or the act of breaking ground for a new highway or launching a satellite may be defined as a national project. Meanwhile, a regional information hub can be the target of terrorism, and a waste-disposal facility can be seen as a nuisance to comfortable community life. To put it simply, infrastructure is not always infrastructure only in a material sense: it can have many other symbolic or imaginative capacities.”

Shuhei Kimura, ‘When a Seawall Is Visible’, Science as Culture (2016)

Marble quarriers are visible in Carrara, Italy. The blue-grey marble that is extracted here is widely used in sculpture like…

dailyoverview:

Marble quarriers are visible in Carrara, Italy. The blue-grey marble that is extracted here is widely used in sculpture like Michelangelo’s David and in building decor like The Pantheon. With more than 650 active or abandoned quarry sites, more marble has been extracted here than any other place on earth.

44.1009886, 10.131797

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