Utility Fog is a hypothetical collection of tiny robots, envisioned by Dr. John Storrs Hall while he was thinking about a nanotechnological replacement for car seatbelts. The robots would be microscopic, with extending arms reaching in several different directions, and could perform lattice reconfiguration. Grabbers at the ends of the arms would allow the robots (or foglets) to mechanically link to one another and share both information and energy, enabling them to act as a continuous substance with mechanical and optical properties that could be varied over a wide range. Each foglet would have substantial computing power, and would be able to communicate with its neighbors.

More info here

Documentary About 8th Century Book Found in a Bog

Treasure from the Bog is an RTE documentary about the Faddan More Psalter. The book is described as:

a fragmented illuminated vellum manuscript encased in an unusual leather binding, a book of psalms dating back to the late eighth century. This unprecedented find, the first manuscript to be found in a water-logged state in a bog, posed unique and profound difficulties for the Conservation Department at the National Museum.

The image above is a screen grab from the documentary showing scraps of words recovered form the book. Larger sections of the book were also recovered including full pages and the cover which was lined with the only piece of papyrus ever discovered in Ireland.

Gerd Rohling


The chemical component in PVC that does not decompose in the consumer society's throw-away goods, as well as a deep fascination with rubbish, led Gerd Rohling to refine things he found on the beach and create precious imitation glasses.

There's a big collection of these currently on show at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.

Mafoombey - Acoustic Space


Mafoombey is a cardboard space for listening to music designed by Martti Kalliala & Esa Ruskeepää.

"The structure consists of 720 hand-cut pieces of cardboard sliced horizontally, then stacked on top of each other with no adhesive. It was designed using 3D modelling and scale models with the help of architect friend Martin Lukasczyk. The space includes a sitting area for two to three people and a DVD player to play music. Energy-saving lights and surround-sound speakers are built into the 360-layered structure, with one central wire leading out to plug in for electricity.

The cardboard was donated to the students from Finnish paper manufacturer Stora Enso, in whose factory the students cut the pieces with a controlled knife cutter one-by-one. The design won the competition and was built, becoming the first built project for the 26-year old architects."

More info and pictures here

Slime Mould Imitates Tokyo Rail System

"The researchers decided to task the slime mold with a problem human designers had already tackled. They placed oat flakes (a slime mold favorite) on agar plates in a pattern that mimicked the locations of cities around Tokyo and impregnated the plates with P. polycephalum at the point representing Tokyo itself. They then watched the slime mold grow for 26 hours, creating tendrils that interconnected the food supplies. Different plates exhibited a range of solutions, but the visual similarity to the Tokyo rail system was striking in many of them"

Via boingboing