WATCH: A Pianist Play A Heartbreaking Funeral Song For The Arctic


Through his music, acclaimed Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi has added his voice to those of eight million people from across the world demanding protection for the Arctic. Einaudi performed one of his own compositions on a floating platform in the middle of the Ocean, against the backdrop of the Wahlenbergbreen glacier (in Svalbard, Norway).

Einaudi performed a heartbreaking “Elegy For The Arctic”, an original composition designed to raise awareness about climate change in the fragile, frigid region as a way of supporting Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign.

The campaign is currently encouraging government representatives at this week’s meeting of the OSPAR Commission to set up a protected area in international Arctic waters about the size of the UK. The OSPAR commission is a group of 15 European governments that is set up to protect the environment in the waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic.


Source: Popular Science

Microsoft To Shut Down Sunrise; The Best Calendar App

It’s not every day when your calendar app breaks up with you. And it doesn’t get any easier even if you’ve gone through this before… 😔

The popular calendar app, which Microsoft bought in 2015 for a reported $100 million, is shutting down and will be removed from the app stores in the next few days. On August 31st, they’ll officially shut down the app and it will stop working all together; the company announced on its blog Wednesday. Microsoft revealed last year that it was planning to merge its Outlook and Sunrise apps into a single app. (Outlook is not that bad!)

Don’t PANIC! Let’s explore some excellent alternatives:

  • Google Calendar (my fav.) is pretty fantastic these days (see Goals update)
  • Fantastical won Apple’s Design Award in 2015 (paid app)
  • Plan is sort of a list + calendar hybrid (that looks pretty tempting to try)
  • Rolo Calendar is a calendar for people who don’t use calendars 🙃

So, there you have it!

How Far Can We Go? Limits of Humanity

Is there a border we will never cross? Are there places we will never be able to reach, no matter what? It turns out there are. Far, far more than you might have thought…

Here Comes Hyperloop One: The $80 Million Startup

Hyperloop Tech prepares for historic public test

The concept of the Hyperloop belongs, of course, to Elon Musk. As if being the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, as well as the chairman of Solar City and a cofounder of PayPal, wasn’t enough, Musk in 2013 sent shockwaves through the tech world by introducing his idea for the Hyperloop, “a fifth mode after planes, trains, cars, and boats” based on a “low pressure tube with capsules that are transported at both low and high speeds throughout the length of the tube [and which are] supported on a cushion of air, featuring pressurized air and aerodynamic lift.”

Continue reading “Here Comes Hyperloop One: The $80 Million Startup”

Visualizing Music

If You Could See It, This Is What Music Would Look Like

What happens when an oscilloscope measures a funky techno beat?

Jerobeam Fenderson

The Brain Dictionary

Where exactly are the words in your head?

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure brain activity in seven people while they listened to more than 2 hours of stories from The Moth Radio Hour. This data was used to estimate voxel-wise models that predict brain activity in each voxel (volumetric pixel) based on the meaning of the words in the stories. Read the paper describing this research here.

Scientists have created an interactive map showing which brain areas respond to hearing different words. The map reveals how language is spread throughout the cortex and across both hemispheres, showing groups of words clustered together by meaning. The beautiful interactive model allows us to explore the complex organisation of the enormous dictionaries in our heads.

Explore the brain model for yourself here.

Read the paper here.

Why It’s Illegal To Know This Long Number

85650789657397829 + 1402 more digits is an illegal number. To understand why this is, we need to learn a little bit of cryptology, a little bit of math, and a little bit of programming.


Breathtaking Footage Of The World’s Highest Waterfall

Angel Falls is a waterfall in Venezuela. It is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 metres and a plunge of 807 metres.

Jermaín Odremán

Against Empathy

Paul Bloom, psychologist and Yale professor, argues that empathy is a bad thing—that it makes the world worse. While we’ve been taught that putting yourself in another’s shoes cultivates compassion, it actually blinds you to the long-term consequences of your actions.

The Northernmost Town on Earth

Way up north on the Norwegian Longyearbyen on Svalbard is the northernmost settlement on earth with over 1000 residents. It is only 1300 kilometers south of the North Pole.

Opened by the Norwegian Government in February 2008, this town host the world’s largest secure seed storage. From all across the globe, crates of seeds are sent here for safe and secure long-term storage in cold and dry rock vaults.


Curved/Labs’ Concept Restores Apple’s Egg-Shaped iMac

With Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) slated for June 13, 2016, Curved/labs asked themselves: What if Apple focused on the educational market with a desktop computer?

The following video introduce Apple concepts created by the team at Curved/labs:


Arab ranks in global press freedom

2016 World Press Freedom Index, released yesterday by Reporters Without Borders’

Really embarrassing! Or are we?

Here is the “Arab League” ranks (best to worst):

Country/Rank (out of 180)

1. Mauritania – 48
2. Comores – 50
3. Tunisia – 96
4. Lebanon – 98
5. Kuwait – 103
6. Qatar – 117
7. UAE – 119
8. Oman – 125
9. Algeria – 129
10. Morocco – 131
11. Palestine -132
12. Jordan – 135
13. Iraq -158
14. Egypt – 159
15. Bahrain – 162
16. Libya – 164
17. Saudi Arabia – 165
18. Somalia – 167
19. Yemen – 170
20. Djibouti – 172
21. Sudan – 174
22. Syria – 177

Really Good Job Mauritania and Comores!

Who is worse? Well, at the bottom of the list we have Uzbekistan – 166, Equatorial Guinea – 168, Iran – 169, Laos – 173, Vietnam – 175, China – 176, Turkmenistan – 178, North Korea – 179 and the “winner” is Eritrea – 180.

But more interestingly is who scored better than the Arab League? While most of the countries are from Europe, and putting Mauritania and Comores aside (being among top 50), your jaw will drop when you come to know that Namibia, Uruguay, Surinam, Ghana, Samoa, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Niger, Haïti, Madagascar and Guyana are among the top 60.

The U.S. is ranked at 41. In fact, Uruguay, Namibia, Samoa, Ghana, and South Africa all offer a greater “level of freedom of information” than the United States (and the so called “Only Democracy in the Middle East”, THE Occupation State of Israel – ranked 101).

Source: Reporters Without Borders’ 2016 World Press Freedom Index