Each year, we change things up a bit and refresh the website with the PANTONE color of the year. For 2018, the PANTONE color of the year is Pantone 18-1838 Ultra Violet.

From the PANTONE press release:
"A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future."

"Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets."

The Future-ish PISA List

2017 PISA List addition, Shirley Ann Jackson. Image credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

PISA is a short but meaningful acronym associated with one of our most important and respected endeavors here at Future-ish, The Future-ish Public Intellectual Service & Advocacy (PISA) List. Some people say that public intellectuals have all but disappeared from our modern society. We strongly disagree. The Future-ish PISA List is a growing collection of people from around the world that we feel embody what it means to be a public intellectual.

Public intellectuals are individuals with extensive training and expertise in a particular discipline that speak or write publicly about their discipline to an audience outside their own field or industry. More importantly, they endeavor to relate their work to the larger social, economic, and political world around it. Albert Einstein, for example, was often asked to comment on art, politics, and religion in addition to his own work in physics. Public intellectuals are rigorous thinkers that offer their own ideas and opinions while still respecting the ideas and opinions of others. On rare occasions, public intellectuals are elected and/or are appointed to public office; Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is such an example.

In establishing the Future-ish PISA List, we hope to inform and inspire many generations of scientists, designers, and cultural leaders to follow in Einstein's and Merkel's footsteps and become more involved in public service and advocacy, from participating in civic panels and writing editorials to serving as subject matter experts in the media and running for public office.

We update the PISA List each December. If you have suggestions for additions to the list, please send them to us at StudioF/at/future-ish/dot/com.

Individuals with an asterisk (*) have been elected or appointed to public office. Years in parentheses indicate year added to the list.

2017 additions to the PISA List
Jared Diamond
Harold Frazier
Neil Gershenfeld
Shirley Ann Jackson
Maya Lin
Patricia Williams

Full list as of December 2016
Qanta Ahmed (2012)
Maya Angelou (2007)
S. Haunani Apoliona (2012)
Rachel Armstrong (2015)
Janine Benyus (2010)
Sass Brown (2016)
Majora Carter (2014)
Noam Chomsky (2007)
Yvon Chouinard (2011)
Stephen Chu* (2011)
Jared Diamond (2017)
Esther Duflo (2015)
Michael Eric Dyson (2015)
James H. Fowler (2013)
Harold Frazier (2017)
Tulsi Gabbard (2016)
Neil Gershenfeld (2017)
Jane Goodall (2007)
Janet Gray (2011)
Timothy Gunn (2016)
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama (2012)
Stephen Hawking (2016)
Segenet Kelemu (2014)
Katherine Hamnett (2008)
James Hansen* (2011)
Tyrone Hayes (2008)
Bruce Jackson (2012)
Shirley Ann Jackson (2017)
Áile Jávo (2014)
Michio Kaku (2008)
Zafra M. Lerman (2016)
Maya Lin (2017)
Jane Lubchenko* (2010)
Oren Lyons* (2010)
Angela Merkel* (2008)
Akira Miyawaki (2014)
Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) (2011)
Feryal Özel (2013)
Pope Francis (2012)
Lisa Randall (2009)
Yvette Roubideaux* (2013)
Bobby Sanabria (2009)
Martha Schwartz (2012)
Noel Sharkey (2014)
Vandana Shiva (2009)
Amanda Simpson (2015)
Brian Sims (2016)
Cameron Sinclair (2010)
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf* (2011)
Adam Stelzner (2012)
David Suzuki (2010)
Richard Swett* (2009)
Jason deCaires Taylor (2014)
David Tartakover (2012)
Tony Turner (2015)
Neil deGrasse Tyson (2007)
Ai Weiwei (2015)
Vivienne Westwood (2013)
Patricia Williams (2017)

Public Intellectuals in History
Elouise Cobbell* (2011)
Zaha Hadid (2011)
Wangari Maathai* (2010)

Cocktail Astronomy | Brahe's Marvelous Moustache

Image credit: Mads Nissen for

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 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.

Musk Matters | Hyperloop

Hyperloop Alpha. Image credit: SpaceX/Tesla Motors

Bus too slow for you? Train too old-fashioned? Have you been waiting for the transportation system of the future? Look no further. Elon Musk’s Hyperloop is on the way.
by Drue Johnson

The Hyperloop is essentially a high speed train designed to transport passengers and cargo, contained within a tube. Why the tube, you ask? The unique part about the Hyperloop is how it actually moves. By being sealed within a low pressure, near vacuum environment, these trains can move a lot faster in less time. The vacuum removes most of the friction from the area within the tube, which is what allows for quicker travel. The Hyperloop that Musk is designing is actually moved within that vacuum through the use of magnetism, which would draw the trains along the tracks without using fossil fuels.

Though the idea for an “atmospheric railway” has been around for quite some time, Musk began designing his version of the concept back in 2013. Citing his dissatisfaction with the California high speed rail project, he began envisioning a “fifth mode” of transport - the first four being cars, planes, boats and trains. In order to make it more palatable than the well-established modes of travel, he aspired to create something that would be safer, cheaper, more efficient, and more sustainable than all other vehicles to date. Given the lack of pretext for something like the Hyperloop, it remained little more than an idea for a few years.

Along with his company SpaceX, Musk has hosted several competitions over the years designed to get university teams involved with and pursuing a concrete version of something like the Hyperloop. The most recent one began in early September, and is due to take place sometime in the Summer of 2018. While Musk personally sat out of cultivating a real-life Hyperloop system, several other organizations have emerged in effort to create a high-speed, low cost, tubular transport. Though these other Hyperloop groups have successfully tested their systems, according to SpaceX's Hyperloop webpage, SpaceX remains the only entity to hold competitions designed “to advance the development of functional prototypes and encourage student innovation.”

As of late, Musk has been taken a bit more forward action on being directly involved with the creation of a Hyperloop system. Another one of his ventures, The Boring Company, has been developing cheaper and more efficient ways to build tunnels for travel underground. Tunnels like these would be a must for a convenient Hyperloop system, so his recent success with tunneling has pushed him back into the high-speed transport game. In fact, rumors have been swirling about that Musk had gained approval to start constructing a Hyperloop tunnel somewhere in Maryland. The rumors were bolstered by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s recent public announcement in support of the loop, but Musk quickly cleared the situation up. Responding to an APTA Twitter post, Musk tweeted “not ready to do a proper announcement yet, but maybe in a month or so. Maryland has been awesome to work with and just wanted to say thanks,” it seems that the deal isn’t completely done, but great things are definitely in the works.

NewsFusion | 045

Makerchair series, 2014. Joris Laarman Lab exhibit at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Photo courtesy of Joris Laarman Lab

NewsFusion for November 2017