Saving Knowledge From Going Extinct

Ultimology is a new field of thought which may help is in the future when we need it the most and don’t realize it. It’s the study of of extinct or endangered subjects, theories, and tools of learning. The Department of Ultimology is an art project that has set out to interpret what the study of dead/dying studies could look like and how it can be accomplished. It’s a groovy project that explores the fringes of knowledge with some real world examples of how very recently required knowledge for some disciplines have already been forgotten.

Knowledge of how things work is always needed and it’s good practice to keep abreast of changes in how and why we keep certain knowledge sets while discarding others.

For example, we met with Dr. Sylvia Draper, Head of the School of Chemistry at Trinity, and asked her what had changed in the discipline of Chemistry. She spoke about how glassware used to be an essential part of research. If you were a student of chemistry, you might actually design a piece of glassware that goes with your research. Draper told us that Trinity College had a glassblowing workshop on site with a glassblower named John Kelly, but that he was going to retire in two years and would not be replaced. It ties back to the commercialization of the university: the reason he’s not being replaced is because he’s salaried and a salaried employee is a high cost for the university. And so he and his work become expendable because in theory the department can just bring in cheaper, standard glassware from abroad.

However, if you’re a student and you’re planning your experiment and it requires an intricate, strange, unique piece of glass, it might now be much more expensive for you to get it, which might impact how you look at your research. You might be less willing or able to do something weirder, essentially. I picture it like these tiny little cracks that maybe can’t be explored in a discipline as people are funnelled down into a more particular standard route.

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The Best Way to Understand Earth’s Temperature Changes Through History

2016 has been the hottest year ever recorded on Earth, and every month this year has broken records for being so dang hot. It’s hard to put these records into context since they seem so abstract since it’s just what we’re used to. You might even be sick of hearing about how hot it’s getting and brush all those recent articles about the heat aside.

Despite all of this climate changed induced temperature escalation there are too many people who think that temperature changes like this are natural. They are, but not at the rate of change we’re seeing. Randal Moore of XKCD fame put together a fantastic infographic/cartoon/image of why we should care about climate change and how fast the temperature is increasing.

It’s worth scrolling through and sharing with anybody who thinks that we don’t need to act on climate change. Spreading knowledge in a fun way about a serious topic is a good thing.

Visualization of the history of Earth's climate temperature. XKCD is amazing!

A Tribe Singing For The Future

Earth Guardians are a new group which is poised to take the political music scene by storm. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is leading the Earth Guardians around the world to take charge of the planet’s future by changing our attitude and policies. He spreads sick wisdom while dropping hot beats all while spiting hot fire!

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is not your average kid. Dubbed the ‘Anti-Bieber,’ he is mobilizing his army of teens in 25 countries to demand greener policy from our world’s leaders. Under the banner of Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl has begun mobilizing young badasses around the planet to become the ones we’ve been waiting for – a global collective of youth leadership to defend the planet.

Check it out.

Five Artists To Inspire You

Art can take so many forms and with new technologies those forms can get more and more bizarre. Over at the Creators Project they have put together a collection of artists that they think will be influential this year. If you’re looking for inspiration or you just want to see some neat art you should check it out!

2015 was a nonstop year for NONOTAK, the Paris-based design duo whose immersive, ethereal light and sound installations are commissioned internationally. Artist/illustrator Noemi Schipfer and architect/musician Takami Nakamoto can barely process their windfall: “We didn’t have time to digest what happened in 2015,” they reflect. “At some point we realized we were writing music and working on new content in different hotel rooms, in different continents, on a daily basis. Feeling like a band recording their new album on the road is great and inspiring. You get rid of all the comfort you get at home, and do something radical and spontaneous.” This year is already off to a busy start—with two installations at the Sugar Mountain festival, presented in collaboration with The Creators Project—and promises more experimentation: “[We’ll be] more focused on reflections and movements,” they say. Experience the first iteration of their new concept, PLUME, above.

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