"Sub-Biosphere 2 is a closed, self-sustaining underwater habitat designed as a base for aquanauts, tourists and for studying oceanographic life science. The design was inspired by Phil’s love of diving, his childhood fascination with Jacques Cousteau and Ian Koblick, and studying the original Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Arizona as a student.
Underwater human habitation is an idea that’s been around forever. NASA astronauts already do sub-sea mission training, and closed-system environments such as advanced submarines and the International Space Station are already very well-developed.
The structure would play a role as a ‘global seed bank’, storing and sustaining human, plant and animal life. Sub-Biosphere 2 would offer a long-term habitat for around 100 people – the minimum number that would be required to rebuild our species in the event of a catastrophic man-made or natural disaster. Land-based events have wreaked havoc on life on Earth before, in the case of the dinosaurs and in more localised events such as supervolcanic eruptions and pandemics. If we cannot avoid a runaway greenhouse effect, it may be that we may be safer living underneath the sea in the long-term.
The structure has integrated systems to supply and manage air, food, fresh water and electricity. While the central biome monitors life-support systems, humans, plants and animals would live and interact around the eight surrounding domes. These biomes recreate Earth’s biosphere – the regions of the land, sea and air which hold life, known as the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere respectively.
Each biome recreates a different climactic zone on Earth, exchanging water and air flow between each other, mimicking the way in which Earth’s climates interlink. Zones would include the North Frigid Zone (the Arctic), North Temperate Zone, Torrid Zone, South Temperate Zone and the South Frigid Zone (the Antarctic).
To raise public awareness, the Sub-Biosphere 2 is a central feature of a young adult sci-fi novel, Moral Order, created by Phil Pauley and due to be published later this year. The book has been best described as Harry Potter meets Star Trek. The underwater biosphere is part of a vision of the future in which the remaining citizens of a climate change-ravaged Earth are seeking salvation beneath the sea. The novel will be the first element of what is hoped to be a multimedia franchise designed to ignite the interest of a global audience in sustainability and climate change. Beyond raising awareness, a further aim of the franchise is to raise funds to demonstrate the first Sub-Biosphere 2 research facility.”
Google unveils next-generation smartphone device featuring motion and depth sensors. This is really exciting as it offers computational photography to the masses and far more sophisticated Augmented Reality experiences. The prototype device is available now for developers to create something special - video embedded below:
As we walk through our daily lives, we use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around us. We observe the size and shape of objects and rooms, and we learn their position and layout almost effortlessly over time. This awareness of space and motion is fundamental to the way we interact with our environment and each other. We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.
The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.
You can find out more at the Project Tango website here
Deadly lake turns animals into statues
- by Rowan Hooper
“Accordingto Dante, the Styx is not just a river but a vast, deathly swamp filling the entire fifth circle of hell. Perhaps the staff of New Scientist will see it when our time comes but, until then, Lake Natron in northern Tanzania does a pretty good job of illustrating Dante’s vision.
Unless you are an alkaline tilapia (Alcolapia alcalica) – an extremophile fish adapted to the harsh conditions – it is not the best place to live. Temperatures in the lake can reach 60 °C, and its alkalinity is between pH 9 and pH 10.5.
The lake takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) thrown in. Here, this has come from volcanic ash, accumulated from the Great Rift valley. Animals that become immersed in the water die and are calcified.
Photographer Nick Brandt, who has a long association with east Africa – he directed the video for Michael Jackson’s Earth Song there in 1995 – took a detour from his usual work when he discovered perfectly preserved birds and bats on the shoreline. “I could not help but photograph them,” he says. “No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake.”
When salt islands form in the lake, lesser flamingos take the opportunity to nest – but it is a risky business, as this calcified bird (top) illustrates. The animals are all arranged in poses by the photographer. Above, on the right we have a sea eagle and on the left a dove, in what is surely the most horrific depiction of the “bird of peace” since Picasso’s Guernica.
Brandt’s new collection of photos featuring animals in east Africa, Across the Ravaged Land, is published by Abrams Books.”
(Source: New Scientist)
Firewall, used in the performance piece Mizaru
”Mizaru is about life and death, and how the border between them exists everywhere.
The title Mizaru is the name of one of the three wise monkeys in Japanese culture, Mizaru Kikazaru Iwazaru, better known in English as See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil. The literal translation of Mizaru is ‘not to see’.
The installation is comprised of a large transparent box, allowing all to see inside. Nothing is hidden. When one enters the structure, one is presented with a white wall. Upon touching it, the wall suddenly springs to life, creating five different worlds of visuals and sounds. This wall is the barrier between life and death. The five worlds represent conceptually: Illusions (desires), chains (being bound), fire (destruction), water (birth), universe (truth).”
Concept & design: Kiori Kawai/Aaron Sherwood
Free downloads of my Hawaiian Icepunk debut single. It is a live analogue electronic improvisation.