Monthly Archives: February 2010

Cradle to Cradle design

R. Buckminster Fuller once noted, "Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value." This inspiring documentary is about the "Cradle to Cradle" design concept of chemist Michael Braungart and architect William McDonough, which substantiates and applies Bucky’s notions of sustainability. It won the Silver Dragon award at the Beijing International Science Film Festival in 2006.


Dubbed by Britain’s Channel 4 as "the crack cocaine of the thinking world," Edge is an organization of thinkers which includes some of the most interesting minds in the world. Each year Edge poses a question, this year collecting 172 essay responses to the question: How is the Internet changing the way you think? This essay from science historian George Dyson was one of our favourites.

In the North Pacific ocean, there were two approaches to boat building. The Aleuts (and their kayak-building relatives) lived on barren, treeless islands and built their vessels by piecing together skeletal frameworks from fragments of beach-combed wood. The Tlingit (and their dugout canoe-building relatives) built their vessels by selecting entire trees out of the rainforest and removing wood until there was nothing left but a canoe.

The Aleut and the Tlingit achieved similar results–maximum boat/minimum material–by opposite means. The flood of information unleashed by the Internet has produced a similar cultural split. We used to be kayak builders, collecting all available fragments of information to assemble the framework that kept us afloat. Now, we have to learn to become dugout-canoe builders, discarding unnecessary information to reveal the shape of knowledge hidden within.

I was a hardened kayak builder, trained to collect every available stick. I resent having to learn the new skills. But those who don’t will be left paddling logs, not canoes.

Read more Edge essays here.

The Unveiling of A Clean Energy Fuel Cell

Great strides are on the horizon for conserving the remainder of our earth’s strained resources. A Silicon Valley company, Bloom Energy, will unveil this week a fuel cell that is "capable of producing clean energy in amounts sufficient to power homes and corporations," Information Week reports.

Company founder K.R. Sridhar explains to a 60 Minutes correspondent how his invention, the Bloom Box, produces electricity through "a chemical reaction created by combining oxygen in the air with any fuel source, including natural gas, bio-gas, and solar energy."

With its technology remaining a guarded secret and mystery within the industry, and nothing at all being announced on the company’s website, the Bloom Box is garnering as much excitement and hope as it is skepticism. Watch for an announcement on Wednesday to judge for yourself.

Parkour Documentary “My Playground” by Kasparworks

Danish filmmaker Kaspark Astrup Schröder offers this preview for his forthcoming documentary about traceurs and freerunners. These athletes challenge the intentions of architecture and manmade environments as they use surface areas of buildings for recreation and physical exploration. In the film, Schröder gives an in-depth look into the development of the first parkour park (located in Copenhagen), designed for the sole use of this burgeoning physical artform.