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Pumping iron in Phnom Penh
Ringdal loves to give you his new spin on development. 'Body building is nation-building,' he says, fixing you with a glare.
Inside An Old Chicago Packing Plant, Inspiring Proof That Urban Indoor Farming Can Succeed
By Agus Echague At The Plant, a group of food businesses runs in awe-inspiring harmony. A fish farm fertilises the plants. A new brewery supplies carbon dioxide to help plants grow. And refuse from the cheesemaker feeds a digester that powers the whole operation. “When you do this sort of thing in the middle of the city--there are about 9 million people in the metro area--you have endless amounts of waste to pull from, and it doesn’t have to go very far,” he adds. “That’s a huge savings in labor and diesel.”
Interview with a Librarian for Incarcerated Youth
By Lee & Low Books What is it like to be a librarian in a juvenile detention center? Amy Cheney, a librarian and advocate who runs the Write to Read Juvenile Hall Literacy Program, answers our questions.
LEGO Robot House DJ Creates Original Tracks [Video]


Using Lego Technic’s interconnecting parts, full-time coder and part-time arts PhD student Alex Allmont created an intricate Lego array that not only contains moving figurines, but also churns out original acid house music. Allmont has been experimenting with Lego in creating his prototypes over the years, and is particularly focused on developing Lego music machines.


This project consists of many complicated parts, but essentially a main sequencer keeps the melody and drum sounds in sync. Play House’s random number generator design consisted of a bull that bounced through a set of Lego pieces, instructing the machine like a composer. An array of wiring and cables help control the bass drum, high hats, and snare that are all wired to a matrix mixer, an effects system, a reverb pedal, and a delay. For a complete explanation, you can see the full R&D; process over at Make.

The project was made possible by a commission from Oxford Contemporary Music, who also co-promoted the AudioGraft festival alongside the Sonic Art Research Unit from Brookes University.

Alex Allmont

[h/t] Make:

LED Lights Transform The Archaic Newspaper Into A Real-Time News Source [Video]

When Jung von Matt/Limmat acquired Swiss German-language newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung as a client, the creative agency had its work cut out for it. The paper is known for its publication history going back to 1780, its distinctive look, which like The New Yorker has scarcely changed since its inception, and its declining readership, thanks to the majority of its fans being older than 50. Now the paper is looking to get some attention for its online edition, and the agency decided the best method was to put a fresh spin on the newspaper holder, a popular accessory among traditional readers in Switzerland.

The agency sought to answer the question: “How can you ask a conservative audience about the advantages of a digital publication?” The answer, as it turns out, was respecting the old ways of reading while promoting the advantages of the digital format, such as its capacity to be more timely. The digitized newspaper holders use an LED board that shines through the wood, using an infrared transmitter to provide updates on stories from an RSS feed. Thus, newspaper readers in cafés will soon realize that online publications move faster and can provide updates on their printed counterparts. For example, while the newspaper wrote about the finals of the America’s Cup, the holder was able to announce the winner in real-time.

Though Jung von Matt/Limmat has had success with LEDs in the past (for example, with its Invisible Car stunt a couple of years ago), the low-tech aspect of this campaign stands out. The monochrome readout resembles many early digital stock tickers except for the elegance of the wood. The advantage of this approach is that it’s friendly and non-intimidating to the older audience. It also avoids the information overload that so many news websites are eager to provide, instead guiding readers gently into the up-to-the-minute digital world. See it in action below:

[h/t] Vimeo

Lego voor outdoor': dit bouwsysteem gaat mee op survival

Een hut bouwen wordt makkelijker met dit bouwsysteem, de Lego voor outdoormannen.

Een bouwsysteem voor buiten, dat is Macian. Met spanband, touw en knalrode klikbare onderdelen kun je ongeveer alles bouwen wat je bedenkt. Zonder dat je gereedschap of verstand van knopen nodig hebt.

Het gaat ontwerper James Fox uit Londen om het huttenbouwen zelf. "Technologie en leidt tot minder gezamenlijke activiteiten in de natuur. Door een product voor huttenbouwen op de markt te brengen komen deze activiteiten weer op het netvliesvan de consument."

Ook hut binnenshuis

De systematische set bouwmaterialen is simpel in het gebruik en ziet er aantrekkelijk uit. Een kind vanaf 7 jaar kan er mee werken, en ondertussen belangrijke vaardigheden en leermomenten opdoen. Wie geen bos in de buurt heeft kan het bouwsysteem ook voor een hut binnenshuis gebruiken. Ik kan me zelfs voorstellen dat Macian helpt bij andere problemen dan het bouwen van een hut, zoals een meubelreparatie of om een waslijntje of afdak te spannen.

Detroit Transforms Its Abandoned Homes Into Colorful Bus Stops

Cities in decline often produce a wealth of salvageable material from the rubble of their crumbling buildings. Detroit’s abandoned houses have made headlines and produced a wonderfully sad photo series, and now, instead of just being mined for copper by thieves, their battle-worn doors are being refashioned for a new transit-related project that combines public art and social design. They will now become part of a series of bus stops with the goal being to improve the image of Detroit’s public transit system while, in an upcoming ‘version 2.0,’ implementing modern amenities like GPS markers and solar panels.

According to the Detroit Community Design Center at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, an urban design project such as this can actually change many of the messages communicated by the streetscape:

Bus stops advertise the transit system to the public. A stop that looks dirty or neglected, or whose waiting passengers look hot, cold, wet, confused or vulnerable sends a devastating message: you’re lucky you don’t have to ride the bus. The use of public transportation is typically read as being without means; that the people, place and service of public transportation are at best, secondary considerations in the economic and environmental operations of the city. We wanted to change that.

By allowing residents to re-engage with their environment and local artists to expose their art to the public, the bus shelters will “provide an opportunity for riders and residents to create a space of their own making; a choice that will ultimately comment on the state of transportation and the quality of the public realm.”


Conceived of by Craig Wilkins, the lightweight structures may seem like a fairly superficial step towards a revitalized Detroit, but their life extends outside their immediate appearance and functionality. As described on the website for the A’ Design Award, which the project has recently received, the project’s designer is mostly interested in “design, research, and education.” With the possibility of installing these bus shelters throughout the city, the project can grow and change faster than the city’s deteriorating bureaucracy currently envisions.

A’ Design Awards

Sources: 100 Abandoned Houses, The Atlantic Cities, Detroit Free Press

Yahoo Reportedly Wants To Replace Google As The Default Search Engine On IPad And IPhone

Kara Swisher reports that Marissa Mayer is gearing up for a major pitch to Apple. What are Yahoo's chances?

Yahoo CEO and former Googler Marissa Mayer is leveling the cannons at her old employer, and the latest clash might end up taking place on furtive territory: Your iPhone.

Read Full Story

‘Surf Selfies’ Reveal Your Web Addiction

Surfkollen is a web plugin that monitors users’ browser history and provides users with an easy-to-read weekly report based on their online behavior. The service exemplifies a growing trend in visualizing personal online activity; Iconic History is another such tool recently covered by PSFK.

The visually-appealing report gives users insight about the number of pages visited (and whether that number is low, medium, high or extreme in comparison), the top three visited sites and number of visits, and a graphic representation of activity based on the day of the week. After scrolling through the report, users can generate their personal ‘surf selfie’ and save or share the report with others.

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 1.17.28 PM.png

The tool was developed by Swedish innovation agency Rodolfo in collaboration with educational company Nackademin to promote their IT courses. When a ‘surf selfie’ is generated, users are told how qualified they may be for IT studies, and are encouraged to learn more and apply. So even if you’re appalled by the amount of hours you spend online or the number of Facebook visits, it just might be preparing you for a career in IT.

The plugin is not only an innovative way to gain insight into online behavior, but also functions as a unique form of advertising for an educational company. The service is currently available for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, and in both Swedish and English.


Source: Rodolfo

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