Meet Wendy, an installation in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 for the remainder of the summer. Wendy is the brainchild of HWKN, a New York based firm that beat out four other finalists for the chance to realize their project. One of the more interesting things about the project is its attitude about environmental responsibility. Instead of adopting passive strategies, Wendy elects to use active ones:
“Wendy is composed of nylon fabric treated with a ground breaking titania nanoparticle spray to neutralize airborne pollutants. During the summer of 2012, Wendy will clean the air to an equivalent of taking 260 cars off the road.”
In a lot of ways, the project is like an angry-looking raincloud. Wendy provides shade for folks underneath her, and a series of fans blows mist through the mesh that covers her spiky arms. But Wendy doesn’t have a silver lining, she has a titania coating.
Last week I downloaded a new weather app called WTHR, which was inspired by the design of Dieter Rams. The design is smart, focusing mainly on the temperature, though you do get a subtle look at the week ahead. Certainly worth the 99 cents.
Don’t know I missed it but Pogo released a new remix video called Lead Breakfast a little over a week ago. This time around he’s taken Tarantino’s classic Pulp Fiction and made it into a musical montage of epic proportions. I feel like he’s really outdone himself on this one, and I think it’s good that he’s taken a more mature theme to remix, perhaps moving on from his Disney/kid film roots. Be sure to watch this super loud with all of your co-workers around your desk!
When NASA’s Cassini dropped into orbit by Saturn it wasn’t just there for the planet. It was there to observe the sixty moons as well. It’s long been speculated but never confirmed that Titan could possibly contain water. The extent of which has never been proven until recently.
Lead study author Luciano Iess, a planetary geodesist (I honestly don’t know what that is and I took astronomy in college) at Università La Sapienza in Rome observed some crazy stuff by examining the gravitational field around the planet. Titan hides water deep in itself as its solid exterior glides and shifts on top of it. And the gravitational forces pull it relentlessly, giving hints to a possible ocean and (extremely theoretically) a place that could eventually sustain life. It could be methane – but that type of ocean can sustain life as well.
To get a glimpse into Titan’s mysterious interior, scientists relied on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which has orbited Saturn since 2004. They focused on the extraordinarily powerful tides the planet’s gravitational pull causes its moons to experience — tides ferocious enough to have once ripped apart titanic chunks of ice to produce the world’s rings. Titan itself faces tidal effects up to 400 times greater than our moon’s draw on Earth.
By monitoring how Cassini’s acceleration changed during six close flybys past Titan between 2006 and 2011, the researchers deduced the strength of the moon’s gravity field. Since a body’s gravity stems from its mass, these details helped reveal how matter is distributed within Titan and how this changed depending on how near or far the moon was from Saturn during its oval-shaped 16-day orbit around the planet.
How bizarre it is to see astronauts in extreme situations while safe on earth. The above depictions of space suit tests (noise, cold and heat respectively) were included in Werner Büdeler’sProjekt Apollo – Das Abanteuer der Mondlandung (Bertelsmann Sachbuchverlag, 1969). Projekt Apollo recounts the complete story of the Apollo missions and is stuffed with illustrations andphotographs. Büdeler was a German aerospace journalist and nonfiction writer. In 1970, he was awards the Jules-Verne medal for aerospace journalism. These look like they could be inserts into a Jules Verne science fiction narrative of brave explorers gearing up for the next beautifully bizarre mission, rather than the work of non-fiction.