Future-ish Book Club

Our readers asked for it and we delivered...Welcome to the Future-ish Book Club!

Each month, we select a book from the world of science, design, and/or culture for our book club followers to read and invite them, and you, to discuss the book virtually on our site.

Have a book suggestion? Send us an email at studiof/at/future-ish/dot/com.

2017 Booklist
Jan | Hidden Figures | Shetterly
Feb | PhotoViz | Felton

2016 Booklist
Jan | Chaos Imagined: Literature, Art Science | Meisel
Feb | Of Beards and Men | Oldstone-Moore
Mar | Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind | Harari
Apr | By the People: Designing a Better America | Smith
May | The Physics of Life | Bejan
Jun | Hillbilly Elegy | Vance
Jul | Angela Merkel | Qvortrup
Aug | Scraps | Brown & McQuaid
Sep | The Hidden Life of Trees | Wohlleben
Oct | People Knitting | Levine
Nov | Cities that Think Like Planets | Alberti
Dec | The Natives are Restless | Hale

2015 Booklist
Jan | Physics for Rock Stars | McKinley
Feb | Voices of Wisdom | Harden
Mar | Our Final Invention | Barrat
Apr | Knowledge is Beautiful |McCandless
May | Galaxy | Geach
Jun | Fashion China | Williams
Jul | Whaikōrero | Rewi
Aug | Young Architects 16: Overlay | ALNY
Sep | Applied Minds | Madhavan
Oct | The Food Lab | López-Alt
Nov | History of the World in 100 Modern Objects | Hornak
Dec | The Great Lady Decorators | Lewis

2014 Booklist
Jan | Uncharted Erez Aiden & Jean-Baptiste Michel
Feb | Writing Science in Plain English | Anne E. Greene
Mar | Fashioning Apollo | Nicholas de Monchaux
Apr | The Humor Code | Peter McGraw
May | The Book of Trees | Manuel Lima
Jun | Science Ink | Carl Zimmer
Jul | Kua‘a¯ina Kahiko | Patrick Vinton Kirch
Aug | A Taxonomy of Office Chairs | Jonathan Olivares
Sep | Letters to a Young Scientist | Edward O. Wilson
Oct | Finnish Design | Pekka Korvenmaa
Nov | Liquid Intelligence | Dave Arnold
Dec | Learning Curves | Klara Sjölén and Allan Macdonald

2013 Booklist
Jan | Blasphemy | Sherman Alexie
Feb | Grace: A Memoir | Grace Coddington
Mar | Resilience | Andrew Zolli & Ann Marie Healy
Apr | Research is Ceremony | Shawn Wilson
May | Designers at Home | Ronda Rice Carman
Jun | Cooked | Michael Pollan
Jul | Beautiful Evidence | Edward Tufte
Aug | 101 Things I Learned in Engineering School | John Kuprenas & Matthew Frederick
Sep | Giraffe Reflections | Dale Peterson & Karl Ammann
Oct | Food, Genes, and Culture | Gary Paul Nabhan
Nov | (un)FASHION | Tibor & Maira Kalman
Dec | Science Writing in Plain English | Anne E. Greene

2012 Booklist
Mar | The Earth Knows My Name | Patricia Klindienst
Apr | Visual Complexity | Manuel Lima
May | Knocking on Heaven's Door | Lisa Randall
Jun | Information Graphics | Sandra Rendgen
Jul | About Time | Adam Frank
Aug | The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks | R. Skloot
Oct | Make it So | Nathan Shredroff & Chris Noessel
Nov | Silent Spring | Rachel Carson
Dec | Empress of Fashion | Amanda Mackenzie Stuart

Cocktail Astronomy | Stellar Snow Angel

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Here at Future-ish, we love astronomy and we love cocktails. So to prep our fans (and ourselves) for those stellar weekend cocktail conversations, we are pleased to offer our Cocktail Astronomy post each Friday.

For this week's Cocktail Astronomy, we're all about the Holidays. With Justin Bieber holiday songs playing in the background, we'll be raising a our eggnog, hot spiced wine, and other favorite holiday cocktails to Sharpless 2-106, or S106 for short, that just so happens to look like a cosmic snow angel. Located in the constellation Cygnus, S106 is over 2,000 light years from Earth and is the 106th object to be catalogued by astronomer Stewart Sharpless in the 1950. The image above was taken by Hubble in February 2011 and shows the birth of a massive star, IRS 4 (Infrared Source 4) to be exact. Hot gasses create the wings of the angel and a ring of and gas orbiting the star serve as a belt.

Futurazzi | 21st Century Smart Set at 2017 Breakthrough Prize

The Futurazzi are buzzing! Great to see celebs and scientists mixing and mingling at the 2017 Breakthrough Prize event. Emceed by Morgan Freeman and co-hosted by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan; Yuri and Julia Milner; Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki; and Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter, the event saw over $25 million going to some of the most amazing minds in life sciences, physics, and math.

Celebrities from the entertainment world included Vin Diesel, Alicia Keys, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Dev Patel, Samantha Vincent, and will.i.am. Athletes in the house were Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Durant. There was also a healthy group of venture capitalists such as Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Sergey Brin, Chris Sacca and Ron Conway.

Jump to Vanity Fair's Hive article, Watch Zuck, Brin, A-Rod, K.D., Dev Patel, and Vin Diesel Party in the Name of Science, to get more info and lots of great photos of the 21st century smart set.

Vanity Fair essentially called the even the Cannes Film Festival of brilliance. We agree and can't wait to see more.

NewsFusion | 036

Sailor Brinkley Cook applauds Victoria's Secret 2016 Fashion Show models, offers encouraging real-world message for young girls. Image credit: Victoria's Secret Instagram

NewsFusion for December 2016


10 Years of Future-ish | Our First 10 Posts

That's right, December 2016 marks ten years of unique reporting and innovative promotions of the science, design, and culture that is shaping the future of our world. We're excited and hope you are too...woo hoo!!! Our passion to increase interest, literacy, and involvement in science, design, and culture continues to grow, as well as our commitment to have a lot of fun along the way. We look forward to offering even more good stuff in the decades to come.

We plan to celebrate in lots of little ways throughout 2017. Our monthly '10 out of 10' lists are one of those little ways. Below is our first '10 out 10' list. Enjoy!

Our First 10 Posts
  1. Sceleb | Chancellor Angela Merkel
  2. Field Guide | Seattle
  3. Unity: Journalists of Color
  4. Sceleb | Cynthia Breazeal
  5. Sustainable Everyday in Milan
  6. Seed Magazine
  7. Marcel Diallo Does Good in Oakland
  8. Fast Future | Fashion's Future
  9. Skins Footwear
  10. Jaak Panksepp Named Chair of Animal Well-being Science

SeanChron | Praise for Nature's Endorsement of a Candidate in a National Presidential Election

On October 19, 2016, the prestigious science journal Nature took the brave and unprecedented step of endorsing a candidate for a national presidential election. In this case, it was the 2016 American presidential election and the endorsement was for Hillary Clinton.

The last time Nature chimed in on politics, March 2011, it was in response to Republicans cutting funding for the National Science Foundation by $4.6 billion, so perhaps somewhat warranted in the opinion of many scientists and other Nature readership. This time around, Nature's editorial is creating much more controversy. Some are praising the journal while others are admonishing it for wading into politics at all, especially the 2016 American presidential election, and cancelling their subscriptions.

Well, I'd like to make Future-ish's opinion on Nature's endorsement clear...we love it! One of the reasons I started Future-ish was to get more scientists, designers, and cultural leaders into politics. That objective certainly encompasses science, design, and culture media as well. It is THE reason we started our Public Intellectual Service & Advocacy (PISA) List.

Interestingly, I haven't seen that endorsements by major design or culture focused journals or magazines have been all that controversial, perhaps because their endorsements were expected. But science, scientists, and science journals are a different creature. Some see 'science' as objective while others see it as completely biases depending on who is doing it, for what reason, where the funding has come from, and (LOL, but perhaps most legitimate) which politician or policy maker is interpreting it.

So to have scientists and/or science journals start speaking out on politics makes some uncomfortable. It reminds me a bit of when the Dixie Chicks spoke out against President Bush and many of their fans responded by saying "just shut up and sing". If you read the comments on the online version of the editorial, the preference for science and Nature to 'just shut up and report science' comes across pretty loud and clear.

Discouraging people form speaking out is never a good thing. So Future-ish says BRAVO! to Nature, we hope to see more science-related journals, magazines, other media, and scientists themselves speaking out on political matters, even if they don't endorse the legislation, policy, or candidate we might endorse.

Below is the article as it appeared in the print edition:

Cocktail Astronomy | Brahe's Marvelous Moustache

Image credit: Mads Nissen for Politiken.dk

Here at Future-ish, we love astronomy and we love cocktails. So to prep our fans (and ourselves) for those stellar weekend cocktail conversations, we are pleased to offer our Cocktail Astronomy post each Friday.

This week we join our fans around the world in celebrating Movember, the annual moustache growing (well, we've seen a few ladies and gentlemen glue them on too...in an "Mo" emergency of course) charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men's health issues, particularly prostate, testicular, and other forms of men's cancer.

We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the event than to raise a cocktail in honor of the very famous and very moustachioed 16th Century Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe. Brahe made many discoveries in the fields of astronomy and alchemy, but he is most noted for his his incredibly accurate observations of our solar system and many stars, noting a supernova in 1572, and providing evidence that comets are heavenly bodies rather than weather related. Brahe's celestial mechanics and detailed star maps were later used by Johannes Kepler in his theories of planetary motion.

SeanChron | Eco Fashion Week - Fall 2016

Eco Fashion Week made its first appearance in Seattle and I was SO excited to be a part of the inaugural year. I was one of the Collective Conversation speakers at the 2016 spring Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver and was over-the-top inspired by both the shows that I attended and the Collective Conversation panels.

Here are some photos of me and some fabulous people from the media wall this year...
Photos from 2016 Seattle Eco Fashion Week. L to R, with Eco Fashion Week Producer, Nancy Bouchard; with just a few of the production team; with Eco Fashion Week Founder, Myriam Laroche. Images credit: Dominic Arenas.

This year was even more inspiring as last year. I posted a few photos below, you'll see I made a couple small purchases...bow ties from Radley Raven that specializes in creating gentlemen's accessories, handmade in Seattle from rare vintage fabrics.

Below are photos from the Eco Fashion Week Staff of the Collective Conversation panels, perhaps the most important part of the week.

Panelists included:

  • Karim Lessard, Chief of Staff, EVRNU
  • Ruth True, Founder, Nube9
  • Kelsey Halling, Director of Impact, Thread
  • Kathy Hattori, Founder and President, Botanical Colors
  • Moderated by Alison Morrow, Reporter, King 5
  • Nancy Judd, Owner, Recycle Runway
  • Erin Nelson, Co-director, Seattle Made
  • Kerri Ulloa, Green Eileen
  • Kevin Myette, Director, North America, Bluesign Technologies
  • Moderated by Eve Andrews, Grist
  • Introducing the Value Village Rethink Reuse Panel, Ken Alterman, President & CEO, Savers/Value Village.
  • Liz Fikejs, Senior Conservation Program Manager, Resource Conservation, Seattle Public Utilities (Threadcycle program)
  • Eric Stubin, President of SMARTs Board of Directors
  • Denise Small, Senior Director of Marketing & Business Development, Northwest Center
  • Moderated by Tony Shumpert, Vice President of Recycling and Reuse, Savers/Value Village