Flying Dreams

October 20th, 2014

Frame of reference

October 18th, 2014

A traveler, by definition, moves around the universe—that, at least, is the Copernican view we believe in to begin with. But as we travel around the world, we discover that just the opposite is true, that we are in fact the center of our own universe, as the ancient cosmogony would have it.

Travelers stay put, with their personal tunes, their mobile computers, their phones that store cherished data, their friends in their heads and their pianos in their bellies, as the Henri Tachan song goes. Travelers remain at the center of the world, while the whole world moves and revolves around them, as in one of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films.

Travel is not about rushing to reach some goal or refuge. It’s about stopping to take in the changing surroundings, like a stormy sky. It’s about folding up your umbrella and letting the rain fall on your soul, as on a house without a roof.

But it is also about creating situations ripe for adventure, full of shifting viewpoints, relativity-style, full of fruitful, if random, moments, as in quantum mechanics.

To read a book, listen to a concerto or decode a mathematical proof is to embark on a journey; but to undertake a journey is to write a book with one’s actions and words.

Just choose (or not) a time and a destination and you have an outline of the subject and the main sections. Next come the chapters, with their twists, anecdotes and details that make it all true to life. You are in constant dialogue with your surroundings throughout the journey, adapting the plot, improvising, eliminating a protagonist you’ve grown tired of, as in a Conan Doyle novel.

The journey that takes form through an interplay of design and random chance is the novel the writer has to write, the cri du poète, as in a verse by Louis Aragon.

You feel soothed after the journey, a few cris lighter and enriched by the stars encountered along the way, as in one of Edmond Baudoin’s graphic novels.

Cédric Villani, 2010 Fields Medal laureate


October 18th, 2014

Le voyageur, par définition, se déplace dans l’univers. Du moins c’est la vision copernicienne à laquelle on croit, au début. Mais quand on voyage, on découvre que c’est tout le contraire, et que l’on est bien au centre de l’univers, comme dans une cosmogonie antique.

Le voyageur reste sur place, avec ses mélodies intérieures, son ordinateur itinérant, son téléphone porteur de données chéries, ses amis dans sa tête et son piano dans son ventre, comme dans une chanson de Tachan. Le voyageur reste au centre du monde, mais c’est le monde tout entier qui se déplace et tourne autour de lui, comme dans un dessin animé de Miyazaki.

Voyager, ce n’est pas se précipiter vers un objectif ou un refuge ; c’est s’arrêter et se rendre perméable à l’environnement changeant comme un ciel orageux, c’est retirer son parapluie et laisser pleuvoir en soi, comme dans une maison sans toit.

Et par la même occasion créer une belle aventure, pleine de changements de points de vue comme une théorie relativiste, pleine de hasards productifs comme une mécanique quantique.

Lire un livre, écouter un concerto ou décrypter une preuve mathématique, c’est faire un voyage ; mais faire un voyage, c’est écrire un livre, avec ses actes et ses paroles.

On choisit (ou pas, d’ailleurs) une destination, une période, et voilà le sujet esquissé et les principales parties mises en place ; puis ce sont les chapitres qui se rédigent, les rebondissements, les anecdotes, les détails qui rendront le tout plus vrai que nature. Au cours du voyage on dialogue avec l’environnement, on modifie le scénario, on improvise, on fait disparaître un protagoniste dont on s’est lassé, comme dans un roman de Conan Doyle.

Le voyage qui s’impose à vous par la volonté des éléments et du hasard, c’est le roman qui s’impose à l’écrivain, c’est le cri qui s’impose au poète, comme dans une page d’Aragon.

On ressort du voyage apaisé, plus léger de quelques cris, et plus riche de quelques étoiles rencontrées au passage, comme dans une bande dessinée de Baudoin.

Cédric Villani, médaille Fields 2010.

Happiness innovates

October 11th, 2014

Text and cartoon by @gapingvoidart

Drones Choreography

September 24th, 2014

Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and Verity Studios have partnered to develop a short film featuring 10 quadcopters in a flying dance performance. The collaboration resulted in a unique, interactive choreography where humans and drones move in sync.

Precise computer control allows for a large performance and movement vocabulary of the quadcopters and opens the door to many more applications in the future. More on this on Flying Machine Arena website.

Science Fiction Spaceships

September 23rd, 2014

This size comparison of sci-fi spaceships is totally useless… unless some of them are already flying in your head or in your dreams!.

From Deviant Art, by DirkLoechel.

Foiling in love

September 16th, 2014

"Foiling in love" is the signature of the Great Cup GC32 One Design Multihull.

Four GC32 have been competing during latest Marseille One Design, and it is really exhilarating to see them fly.

© François Déliac – Icarus – The Great Cup

Sebastien Rogues and his GDF Suez crew would have won the race had it not been for a rudder breakage on the opening day that forced them to count two ‘DNSes’ in their scoreline. Congratulations to the winners, Flavio Marazzi and his Armin Strom Sailing Team crew.

Innovation versus Creativity

September 10th, 2014

They’re synonyms. But companies shut their creatives up in a room together. And then ask the rest of the company to innovate.

This rarely works. Creativity can’t be bottled. Only guided gently in the right direction.

One quote that sums it up neatly, from a speech by John Emmerling: "Innovation is creativity with a job to do."

(Creativity is innovation when it’s off the clock.)

Text and cartoon by @gapingvoidart

Bringing New Light

September 9th, 2014

The perfect future. Everybody has their own idea about how to get there. But not everybody shares.

Entrepreneurs do. They take on the hard work of making their vision memorable. The saying goes, people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read – but 80% of what they see and do.

Entrepreneurs know: you can’t just tell.

You have to show. You have to let the light in.

Text and cartoon by @gapingvoidart

Tu or Vous explained (at last)

September 5th, 2014

The Science News Cycle

September 4th, 2014

Complementary to Random Medical News ;-)

Literary London Map

September 2nd, 2014

A map with fictional characters from London’s literary past and present. Featuring the famous and infamous. Each character has been plotted in the corners of the city they most liked to roam or chose to call home.

Find more there

Les règles de la maison

August 4th, 2014

Pills delivery design

August 3rd, 2014

Can’t judge the service by itself, but I like PillPack‘s design

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2014

August 2nd, 2014

Two stunning images from National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2014

The Independence Day

Photo and caption by Marko Korošec
While on storm chasing expeditions in Tornado Alley in the U.S. I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms.
This photograph was taken while we were approaching a storm near Julesburg, Colorado, on May 28, 2013. The storm was tornado warned for more than one hour, but it stayed an LP [low precipitation] storm through all its cycles and never produced a tornado, just occasional brief funnels, large hail, and some rain.

Diver in Magic Kingdom

Photo and caption by Marc Henauer
Green Lake (Grüner See) is located in Tragöss Austria. In spring snowmelt raises the lake level about 10 meters. This phenomenon, which lasts only a few weeks, covers hiking trails, meadows, and trees. The result is a magical diving landscape.

Better Presentations

July 28th, 2014

Just pilling (inspirational) links:

How to Draw an Owl

July 24th, 2014

According to @DesignUXUI, it applies to "99% of #programming tutorials on the web"

Pretty accurate… and I could add that, from fig. 1 you can also draw a cat.

Random Medical News

July 18th, 2014

Apparently, This great Cartoon by Jim Borgman was first published by the Cincinnati Inquirer and King Features Syndicate 1997 Apr 27; Forum section: 1 and reprinted in the New York Times, 27 April 1997, E4.

Obviously it was not a "world-changer" ;-)

I discovered it from the first slide of a presentation by Ivan Oransky (@ivanoransky), who, let’s have a dream, will now move it to the "historical humour" section.

They will always try change from inside the box

July 16th, 2014

Can’t stop trying to bypass deprecated paradigms

July 16th, 2014