Tweenbots by Kacie Kinzer:
Given their extreme vulnerability, the vastness of city space, the dangers posed by traffic, suspicion of terrorism, and the possibility that no one would be interested in helping a lost little robot, I initially conceived the Tweenbots as disposable creatures which were more likely to struggle and die in the city than to reach their destination. Because I built them with minimal technology, I had no way of tracking the Tweenbot’s progress, and so I set out on the first test with a video camera hidden in my purse. I placed the Tweenbot down on the sidewalk, and walked far enough away that I would not be observed as the Tweenbot––a smiling 10-inch tall cardboard missionary––bumped along towards his inevitable fate.
The results were unexpected. Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged. Often, people would ignore the instructions to aim the Tweenbot in the “right” direction, if that direction meant sending the robot into a perilous situation. One man turned the robot back in the direction from which it had just come, saying out loud to the Tweenbot, “You can’t go that way, it’s toward the road.”
The Tweenbot’s unexpected presence in the city created an unfolding narrative that spoke not simply to the vastness of city space and to the journey of a human-assisted robot, but also to the power of a simple technological object to create a complex network powered by human intelligence and asynchronous interactions. But of more interest to me, was the fact that this ad-hoc crowdsourcing was driven primarily by human empathy for an anthropomorphized object. The journey the Tweenbots take each time they are released in the city becomes a story of people’s willingness to engage with a creature that mirrors human characteristics of vulnerability, of being lost, and of having intention without the means of achieving its goal alone. As each encounter with a helpful pedestrian takes the robot one step closer to attaining it’s destination, the significance of our random discoveries and individual actions accumulates into a story about a vast space made small by an even smaller robot.
*weeps all over the place* I have robot feelings, okay?
Always reblog bot feels.
The real effect of Walmart’s takeover of our food system has been to intensify the rural and urban poverty that drives unhealthy food choices. Poverty has a strong negative effect on diet, regardless of whether there is a grocery store in the neighborhood or not, a major 15-year study published in 2011 in the Archives of Internal Medicine found. Access to fresh food cannot change the bottom-line reality that cheap, calorie-dense processed foods and fast food are financially logical choices for far too many American households. And their numbers are growing right alongside Walmart. Like Midas in reverse, Walmart extracts wealth and pushes down incomes in every community it touches, from the rural areas that produce food for its shelves to the neighborhoods that host its stores.
Walmart has made it harder for farmers and food workers to earn a living. Its rapid rise as a grocer triggered a wave of mergers among food companies, which, by combining forces, hoped to become big enough to supply Walmart without getting crushed in the process. Today, food processing is more concentrated than ever. Four meatpackers slaughter 85 percent of the nation’s beef. One dairy company handles 40 percent of our milk, including 70 percent of the milk produced in New England. With fewer buyers, farmers are struggling to get a fair price. Between 1995 and 2009, farmers saw their share of each consumer dollar spent on beef fall from 59 to 42 cents. Their cut of the consumer milk dollar likewise fell from 44 to 36 cents. For pork, it fell from 45 to 25 cents and, for apples, from 29 to 19 cents.
Onto this grim reality, Walmart has grafted a much-publicized initiative to sell more locally grown fruits and vegetables. Clambering aboard the “buy local” trend undoubtedly helps Walmart’s marketing, but, as Missouri-based National Public Radio journalist Abbie Fentress Swanson reported in February, “there’s little evidence of small farmers benefiting, at least in the Midwest.” Walmart, which defines “local” as grown in the same state, has increased its sales of local produce mainly by relying on large industrial growers. Small farmers, meanwhile, have fewer opportunities to reach consumers, as independent grocers and smaller chains shrink and disappear.
Food production workers are being squeezed too. The average slaughterhouse wage has fallen 9 percent since 1999. Forced unpaid labor at food processing plants is on the rise. Last year, a Louisiana seafood plant that supplies Walmart was convicted of forcing employees to work in unsafe conditions for less than minimum wage. Some workers reported peeling and boiling crawfish in shifts that spanned 24 hours.
The tragic irony is that many food-producing regions, with their local economies dismantled and poverty on the rise, are now themselves lacking grocery stores. The USDA has designated large swaths of the farm belt, including many agricultural areas near Springfield, as food deserts.
“We designed a series of bubbles that represented both the idea of the consumer as having options and the letter “o”” http://tinyurl.com/aeoppub
I made a vector drawing of the Faq livery.
Why? Why not.
Artist Nike Savvas transforms mathematic formulas into beautiful sculptures.
The extra-special key ingredient to make this tasty brain dish work is “perspective”.
Also, I’m gonna go ahead and throw out the word “Spirograph”
I know new stuff now!!
It took me 3 minutes to learn an information I would learn in school for like 3 years
that fucking shark
do you think like 600 years ago book nerds got real mad when the printing press was invented because filthy casuals could get books without having to copy them out themselves
Actually yes they did
and there were certain ancient Greeks who were angry when writing was invented, because it meant that literature was more accessible to the filthy casual masses
true shit, people
People never change do they
Thor and the lady dwarf
I’ll say this, though: 75 years after the debut of Superman…he ought to be in the public domain.
When Superman debuted, the expectation was that he’d be owned by the publisher for 56 years, maximum. Those 19 (so far) extra years were given by Congress to corporations, but the gift came from all of us, whether we agreed or not. Superman would have belonged to everyone by now, under the original deal. Not the publisher, not the creators’ estates, everyone. And I think it’s worth noting that we let — and are continuing to let — Congress and corporations simply take what would be ours and give it to the corporations.
Public domain enriches the world’s shared storehouse of artistic treasure. Unreasonable copyright extension harms that. Currently, Superman is scheduled to go into the public domain in 20 years. Unless copyright is extended again, of course. And that’s a big, big “unless.”
And keep in mind: when I say Superman should be in the public domain by now, I mean Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Namor, the Shadow, Mandrake and others, too. All these characters should be as available to everyone as Dracula, Hercules, D’Artagnan and Dorothy Gale.
I’ve had a great time writing Superman and other DC characters, but there should come a point that Superman, like Sherlock Holmes or Tom Sawyer, can be used by anyone. And that time should have come years ago.
That wouldn’t mean DC couldn’t still tell Superman stories — they’d have a great advantage, in fact, since they’d still solely own all the bits that hadn’t gone PD yet, so they’d be able to maintain and continue their legend, while others would only be able to draw on those concepts that had been published 56 years ago or more. A little more stuff every year, but then DC would have another year of new stuff they’d created, too.
But if Superman, Batman, the Shadow and others could be used as freely as, say, Elizabeth Kostova used Dracula in THE HISTORIAN (or dozens of others who’ve used him, including me), it’d be an interesting world.
And as long as I’m musing on copyright: You know, if copyright length was tied to the life of the human creator, even in work for hire cases, companies would have good reason to keep those creators healthy and secure in their golden years. Food for thought.
Thought experiment for the tl;dr crowd: The natural realm of an idea is the public domain, copyright is a temporary allowance granted by law to encourage the creation of new ideas - not to mine one idea repeatedly for eons.
Thomas Jefferson, speaking about patents, extols the virtues of the public domain:
If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.
That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.
Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody. Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices.
13 August 1813
all photos copyright Full Tilt Photography.
In 2006 we made this little burger meal for a competition on Craftster.org. It got quite a bit of online traffic at the time. Couldn’t find the links, so I re-edited and uploaded these for Parisa.
Me and Mr L put it together, and all the food was edible: baby onion, american cheese, baby gherkin, homemade bun, handcut fries. I made the tray and the drink out of polymer clay and printed up the Craftster branding.
What happens when you rotate Copper Sulfate while it is on fire!
GUYS! how does this not have 10000 notes already?! Seriously! this is awesome…