About twenty years ago Danish artist Lars Kræmer started the Artmoney project. His idea is for artists to make small, bank note-sized pieces of art with a fixed value of two hundred Danish Kroner. These pieces of arts can be then be used to pay for goods and services. According to Wikipedia about 1,300 artists in 40 countries participates in this project and there have been exhibitions of artmoney. Continue reading Art and monetary policy
Today we celebrate 60 years of space flight. On October 4, 1957 the first man-made object, the Sputnik, was launched into orbit. This event caused a staunch competition between the USSR and the USA to put the first man on the Moon. After the Moon landings public interest in manned spaceflight faded away and so did political support. Continue reading six decades
Earlier we proposed that solving puzzles should be a school subject. A study by researchers at the University of Exeter shows that solving puzzles like crosswords on a daily base, strongly improves one’s cognitive abilities at old age. More precise: regular puzzle solving is linked to better memory and thinking skills.
This study supports our proposed policy of including puzzle solving in the curriculum of schools, as it suggests that this will improve overall intellectual skills and hence will likely have a positive effect on academic performances.
Daily crosswords linked to sharper brain in later life (Science Daily)
The Guardian has an interesting article on sex robots. Doctor Aimee van Wynsberghe points out that sex robots both offers possibilities and risks: on one hand this emerging technology could help certain people (elderly or disabled people) to get sexual satisfaction, but on the other hand there is the risk of increased objectification of women. Continue reading Sex robots
Cosmic radiation is one of the most serious dangers to human spaceflight and hence a serious issue for space colonization. Consequently radiation protection is no luxury for space settlers and without this space colonization is unlikely to succeed.
Researchers at the Australian National University have developed a new nano material that could reflect cosmic radiation. A thin film of the material could provide radiation protection of astronauts and space settlers. Compared to other shielding techniques this material appears to offer a light-weight protection.
Apparently there are plans to introduce an opt-out system of organ donation in England, after the Scottish government has announced to introduce such system there. An opt-out system means that every person is automatically an organ donor unless he/she or his/her next of kin objects. Continue reading Organ donation
A funny concept developed by artists Kris De Decker and Melle Smets is the human power plant. As the name suggests this is a power plant which converts human labour into electricity. Like many artistic projects, the main purpose of this project is to make people think about our energy consumption. Continue reading Human Power Plants
David Graeber, professor in anthropology at the London School of Economics has conceived the concept of bullshit jobs. He defines a bullshit as any job which would not be missed by anyone if those jobs would suddenly disappear. More over he classifies jobs as bullshit ones if the very people who do those jobs consider their work as useless. Continue reading Bullshit guarantee… (?)
A toy library is similar to an ordinary library, with the principal difference that instead of books people can borrow toys. Since playing – especially with other children – is an essential feature of growing up to a healthy individual, toy libraries should be support by (local) governments. Continue reading Toy libraries