Cocktail Astronomy | Quasar Quartet

Image credit: Hennawi & Arrigoni-Battaia, MPIA via Astronomy Now

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.

Some of our readers may be off to the symphony tonight or this weekend to listen to their favorite classical pieces. Among them there will certainly be some exceptional quartets. For this week's Cocktail Astronomy we are sharing a story from Astronomy Now about a cosmic quartet of four quasars recently discovered by a a group of astronomers led by Joseph Hennawi of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy using the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

Quasars are produced by matter falling into black holes. The existence of this quartet is sending scientists back to the drawing board regarding the formation and evolution of quasars because generally quasars are so rare and so far apart. Not these four fine fellows. Scientists are also now referring to the nebula surrounding the quasars the "Jackpot Nebula" given the rarity of the nebula itself and that of the quasars within it. Rare event on top of rare event...perhaps a stop at the local casino after the symphony is in order.

>> More information about the discovery is available in the May 15, 2015 issue of Science.

TBT | HG Wells & Future Studies

Wells in 1890

For a little throw back Thursday fun we wanted to point the spotlight at Mr. H. G. Wells, considered by many to be the founder of what we today call 'future studies.' In 1902, Wells delivered a lecture at London's Royal Institution titled "The Discovery of the Future" that called for scientific studies of the future rather than simply speculating on the future. The lecture followed an book published in 1901 that made many predictions on the future, some of which were quite accurate. In 1933, during a BBC broadcast, Wells went so far as to advocate for the establishment of "Departments and Professors of Foresight. Wells is also well known for his works of fiction that made predications of the future as well.

>> Future Studies Wikipedia page
>> H. G. Wells Wikipedia page

Farm Forward | Mason Lane Farm

Image credit: de Leon & Primer Architecture Workshop.

Our search for modern farm houses, barns, and other structures continues. The LEED Silver, award-winning Mason Lane Farm in Goshan, KY by de Leon & Primer Architecture Workshop is one of our newest favorites. Completed in 2009, the farm is a 2,000 acre property with a mix of functions including conservation, recreation, and a variety of agricultural operations and storage activities. All done with sustainability in mind and an eye for great, functional design.

Nissan EPORO

These little robots debuted in 2013 but we recently ran across them while researching mobility systems of the future. These Nissan EPORO robots are inspired by the movements of group animals and will serve to help car engineers reduce car injuries and fatalities. With eyes like bumblebees and movements like swarms of fish, the EPORO is breaking new ground in understanding how robot cars can interact in safe ways.

And yes, they do remind us a little of another little robot, perhaps one of the most famous little robots in the world...R2D2.

NewsFusion | 014

Betabrand at Silicon Fashion Week, via Business Insider

NewsFusion for May 2015


Modern Meadow

The team at Modern Meadow

Breeding animals for food and materials has been part of human history for almost as long as human history has been around. Some of this activity involves non-lethal husbandry of animals to obtain things like eggs or wool while other activities, such as for meat, leather, or medicine, require slaughter of the animal.

There are examples of both ancient and modern cultures and communities that eschewed use of animals that require lethal measures and there are certainly many flavors of vegetarianism today (from vegan to conscious carnivore). At the same time there is an ever-increasing demand for things like meat, leather, and medicine that require the killing of animals.

One US company with ties to both the big city (New York) and the farm (Missouri) is working with a diverse team of researchers to offer a thoroughly forward-thinking solution to the dilemma. Modern Meadow develops cultured animal products with no animal slaughter and much lower inputs of land, water, energy and chemicals. It is without doubt, revolutionary biofabrication and tissue engineering.

Cultured meat could be very well be a 'Holy Grail' in the ethics of killing animals for food and materials so we look forward to seeing how Modern Meadow and other technologies progress and evolve. One thing we here at Future-ish that we hope is part of the conversation early on is something we all learned from the Henrietta Lacks story of HeLa cells legacy: it is important - in fact, necessary - to acknowledge and honor the animals, cell-lines, and any other living 'inputs' that go into such technologies and developments. If successful, the cells used in the Modern Meadow cultures could be used for centuries to come so it is important to


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