Old AND New - Modern Wedding with Māori Haka Goes Global

Aaliyah and Ben Armstrong. Image credit: Stacey Leah Photography

It's the wedding ceremony that's gone global and its everything Future-ish is all about.

New Zealand's Aaliyah and Ben Armstrong both share Māori ancestry so Ben's best man decided to incorporate a haka into their wedding ceremony. Friends filmed it, Westone Productions edited it, Ben posted it on his Facebook page on January 20th, 2016, and then the Facebook Page "I'm proud to be Tongan" shared it. Within a few days, the video had been viewed over 30 millions times.

Haka is a traditional Maori posture dance. Often used in war or other challenge situations, it also makes appearances in important community or life events, such as weddings, to honor those involved.

Incorporating a haka into a thoroughly modern wedding ceremony is exactly the sort of thing we want to highlight here at Future-ish. There is certainly the aspect of walking in two worlds that is often mentioned in such situations...which in itself has many layers of inspiration. But for us, it also points out the need to bring culture back into conversations of shaping the future and creating an inclusive future.

For us, it's clear that haka at weddings will continue to be practiced throughout this century and for centuries to come. It will be incorporated into more Māori weddings held in Aotearoa (the accepted Māori name for New Zealand), in other parts of the world, and yes, perhaps someday on one of Saturn's moons.

>> View the original video here

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Cocktail Astronomy | Celebrating Starman

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 is a special Cocktail Astronomy because this week we celebrate the life of David Bowie a groundbreaking musician, actor, artist, and activist. Bowie's outstanding achievements in all these fields are far too great to even attempt sharing in this small post, we would need thousands upon thousands of words to even start telling his amazing story.

So for this edition of Cocktail Astronomy, we invite you to raise a glass of Bowie's favorite cocktail (Gin Martini, Bombay Sapphire) in honor of his role in inspiring astronomers, physicists, and other space scientists. The obvious first step along this path is Bowie's many songs associated with space, including Space Oddity, Ashes to Ashes, and Hallo Spaceboy just to name a few. Bowie's performances often included clear, other-worldly inspiration. And then there's things like Commander Chris Hadfield's 2013 cover of Bowie's Space Oddity.

And then to January 5, 2016...upon hearing of Bowie's passing, social media was filled with farewells and praise for Bowie. These messages came from leading space scientists as well, such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Deborah Berebichez, Brian Cox, Queen musician turned astrophysicist Brian May, and many many more.

Given Hadfield's reverence for Bowie, his tweet on Bowie is perhaps most profound:
"Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust. Your brilliance inspired us all. Goodbye Starman".

Cocktail Pairing: Gin Martini
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RobotWatch | Robots Teaching Themselves

Now you all know that we are BIG fans of robots here at Future-ish. But we also get a little freaked out when things come a little too close to cylons in Battlestar Galactica or any other scifi in which robots get a little too advanced for our own good.

A new development is both very cool AND a little scary: robots that teach themselves. Yay but eek! Berkeley postdoc Igor Mordatch has created an algorithm that allows robots to perform taks, achieve goals, and teach themselves all along the way. Lucky for us, most of the fascinating work is being done mostly via simulated software robots at this stage.

Read more in Will Knight's article, A Master Algorithm Lets Robots Teach Themselves to Perform Complex Tasks on MIT's technologyreview.com.

SeanChron | Gwyndoline Christie's Captain Phasma

How awesome was it to see Captain Phasma on the big screen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens??? Played by Gwendoline Christie of Game of Thrones and Hunger Games fame, the character kinda kicked some ass. Sure, she was part of the dark side but that didn't stop millions of little kids getting into Darth Vader over the last few decades. I just think its it's very cool to have actors like Christie and characters such as those that Christie plays becoming part of mainstream pop culture so that young women (and yes, young men too) have a diversity of inspirational role models to look up to.

Even better, I'm loving the debates on wheter her character and armor is feminine enough. The now famous Star Wars Twitter response to a comment about it being hard to tell that she's wearing female armor sums it up perfectly: "It's Armor. On a woman. It doesn't have to look feminine". Bam! Sure, Daisy Ridley as Rey was kick ass to but she kinda fits the already established female hero character that is has become an important part of film and television these days. Christie and her characters are clearly a new persona. love, Love, Love it!

>> Prudom, L. 2015. Gwendoline Christie on the ‘Unconventional’ Women of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. Variety

Graphic Grinders

These bottle-shaped salt, pepper, and/or spices grinders offer modern shapes and full functionality when it comes to dispersing the desired tasty accoutrement. The Bottle Grinder Set comes with especially good design in the configuration...the mill is actually at the top of the grinder so no random spice dust on the countertops and tables.

Contemporary Crafty Candles

These contemporary Totem Candles by Grain Design offer both graphic shapes and a touch of traditional woodcraft. Made near Seattle, the candles are made of beeswax and then turned on a lathe to produce the sculpted lines. A little bit of science and nature plus a lot of great design make for the perfect gift for almost anybody.

Press | Večernji list

11.1.15. Večernji list, one of Croatia's premiere newspapers features Igor Stagljar in Bojan Arežina and Peter Maretić Žonja's article, 'Igor Stagljar declared most stylish scientists in the world.'

Cocktail Astronomy | Wiesn Nebel

Oktoberfest from Space. Image Credit: 2014 WorldView Satellite-2, DigitalGlobe

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.

In honor of Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich and around the world, we're happy to share with our fellow beer aficionados that yes, there is indeed a 'Wiesn Nebel', which would translate as 'Oktoberfest Nebula' or for some, it is the giant space stein known as the 'Beer Nebula'. Well, the cosmic keg is actually an interstellar gas cloud, but we're going with Wiesn Nebel...because it's Oktoberfest.

In Munich, Oktoberfest is known as "Wiesn" after the fairgrounds where the event takes place, Theresienwiese. Add that fact to the well known gas cloud near the Aquila constellation which is made up primarily of ethyl alcohol - the same alcohol found in beer, wind, and liquor - and you get what we're calling the "Wiesn Nebel".

Located 10,000 light-years away and over 1,000 times the diameter of our solar system, the nebula could serve up over 400 trillion pints of beer. Intergalactic alcohol was first discovered in 1975 by UCLA astronomer Ben M. Zuckerman. Our massive Wiesn Nebel was later discovered in 1995 by British astronomers Tom Millar, Geoffrey MacDonald and Rolf Habing.

Try remembering that after several Maß at Munich Oktoberfest!

Cocktail Pairing: easy...your favorite Oktoberfest beer!
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