Thursday, November 30, 2006


Homaru Cantu uses at his restaurant Moto in Chicago a Class 4 laser, typically used for military experiments and eye surgery, and a vanilla bean to "caramelaserize" a wineglass — that is, to coat it with the flavor of vanilla — before filling it with red wine and pairing the altered wine with a beef course on his restaurant's tasting menu

[+ mixology]

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In 2004, Materialise.MGX started a project with French designer Patrick Jouin, who had discovered the Rapid Prototyping techniques Selective Laser Sintering and Stereolithography, as they were developed and used by Materialise. This encounter lead to SOLID, an amazing collection of self-produced furniture designs, which are the result of Patrick Jouin's research into the possibilities and qualities of these stunning techniques. Up till now, the RP techniques had only been used for small-scaled models in plastic, but together with Materialise.MGX, Patrick Jouin is now taking the entire process to another level, previously unheard of. This collection shows the endless possibilities and the great potential that lies in these remarkable manufacturing techniques as they have been developed by Materialise NV. Pieces and forms that were previously impossible to build by any mould, can now be produced on a large scale.

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[+ MGX ]

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Sunday, November 26, 2006


:: USING SALT IN COOKING [ with Dr Peter Barham ]

Heston Blumenthal (born May 27, 1966 at High Wycombe, near London) is the chef and owner of The Fat Duck, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in the village of Bray in Berkshire.

His fame is based upon his scientific approach to cooking which is often referred to as "molecular gastronomy" or "culinary alchemy". The phrase "molecular gastronomy" was coined by the late Professor Nicholas Kurti at University of Oxford and later promoted by the French scientist Hervé This. Kurti's original idea was that it is worthwhile for science to investigate the chemical processes that occur in food during cooking as well as the inherent physical properties of foodstuffs. Blumenthal has seen this idea as a way of making tastier food. While some are sceptical about the application of science to cooking, Blumenthal has remained a steadfast proponent, going so far as to open his own research and development kitchen in early 2004.

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[+ movies]
[+ restaurant]

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Friday, November 24, 2006


It has been known for some time how insects, spiders and geckos have such a remarkable talent for walking on walls and ceilings. Extremely thin hairs literally stick their feet to the wall and the larger the animal, the finer the hairs. Geckos, which are heavy compared to a fly, have been using nanotechnology for this purpose for millions of years. According to findings made by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart, the shape of the fibres is also significant; for example, spatula-shaped ends on the hairs provide particularly strong adhesion.

These discoveries aroused great expectations. Is it possible to simply copy the structure of the soles of insects’ feet and before long find equivalent biomimetic, i.e. nature-inspired, adhesive materials in everyday use? The researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research and their colleauges at Gottlieb Binder GmbH in Holzgerlingen, a specialist company for fastener systems, needed plenty of staying power themselves, because the first generations of the surfaces they created with a variety of methods were not effective adhesives.

[+ more]
via material stories

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. Check out the food related maps and compare them with the open population map. The example above shows the cereals import and export.

[+ more]
via core77

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The dark side of the cell is an audio-visual event treating one of the most interesting recent discoveries in nano-biotechnology: cellular sounds.
For a long time musicians have been inspired by microscopic life-forms and the fascinating structures of the smallest building blocks of the universe, but not until now have we been able to listen to the sound of living cells. Much mystery is brought forth by the discovery of cellular sound, and few answers can be given.

This project is the collaborative effort of the media artist Anne Niemetz, and the nano-scientist Andrew Pelling, who teamed up to combine their research and interests in nano-biotechnology, sound and installation design.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006


The official swimming facility of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, will span 7.8 acres, house five pools, and seat 17,000 spectators, yet it doesn’t contain a single steel cable, concrete column or structural beam. Instead its walls and ceilings are composed of a network of slender steel pipes linked together by 12,000 load-bearing nodes. These nodes evenly distribute the weight of the building, making it strong enough to withstand Beijing’s most severe earthquakes. A plastic Teflon-like foil—just eight one-thousandths of an inch thick—covers the entire structure like skin. It lets in more light and heat than glass does, helping to keep the pools warm and slashing energy costs by 30 percent. Construction wraps up this year with the official opening scheduled for the Summer Olympics.

[+ more]
via popsci

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Monday, November 13, 2006


Richard Wool creates his circuit boards by turning soya-bean oils into an environmentally friendly bio-plastic. He mixes this with a glass-fibre substitute made by splitting the chicken feathers into small fibres. Feather fibres are made of keratin, the same protein that makes your hair and nails.

Richard chose chicken feathers because they are hollow, light and tough, providing the same properties as a traditional plastic circuit board. They also insulate electric currents so they don't interfere with the circuit running through them.

Meanwhile in the UK, materials scientist Roger Wise has developed a different solution to the circuit-board challenge. His team have designed a biodegradable board that can break down into natural materials, stopping boards being sent to the local landfill site or the fiery furnace.

The design is deliciously simple - Roger's prototype is made of pasta.
Roger's prototype circuit is printed on a piece of lasagne. While it stays dry it is strong enough to have the metals and chips of a circuit welded onto it. Designers can also add a waterproof coating that makes the lasagne sheet last longer.

But remove the coating with chemicals, add soil and water, and the board breaks down, leaving the circuit's metals and chips unharmed, ready to be reclaimed and recycled.

[+ more]
via BBC news

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Thursday, November 09, 2006


Materialica 2006 Gallery is up at Core77 some snapshots :

:: Lightweight constructions and reduced material consumption are driving research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing and Advanced Materials (IFAM). Several metallic materials including fiber structures, hollow spheres structures and metal foams are available for new product development.

:: This woven rug for interior applications is made out of used bicycle inner tubes.

:: Thin slices of natural cork are laminated onto different textiles to create these cork fabrics. Various patterns and colors are available and are currently applied in footwear, bookbinding and clothing design.

[+ more]
via vanbezooyen

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Spanish culinary mastermind Ferran Adrià is famous for tinkering with food at the molecular level to produce wonders like liquid ravioli and frozen Parmesan air. His latest gastronovelty: solid espresso, dubbed èspesso. It's made by combining regular espresso with sugar and a secret ingredient, then squirting it out of a canister like whipped cream. You eat it with a spoon. The mousselike treat arrived in the U.S. in September, and is available in espresso, cappuccino and macchiato flavors.

[+ more][+ recipe]
via Time

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006


FOODSCAPES is a new initiative of "Food for design".
The objective is to inspire new uses for food materials and provoke new applications within a design context. Most experiments were born purely out of curiosity to see what happens when... without any attachement to products yet. Just new recipes for both old and new materials. The outcome is a feast of surfaces, textures, colors and other sensorial elements, using a large palette of food materials. So please take a seat and have a bite!

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Friday, November 03, 2006


Elegant Embellishments is working on a decorative tile that can be installed quickly to reduce air pollution in urban environments.

Emissions from combustion engines are identified as the largest contributor to air pollution in cities. The tiles, when positioned near pollutant sources, can re-appropriate polluted spaces for safe pedestrian use.

The tiles are coated with titanium dioxide (TiO2), a pollution-fighting technology that is activated by ambient daylight. TiO2 is a photo-catalyst already known for its self-cleaning and germicidal qualities; it requires only small amounts of naturally occurring UV light and humidity to effectively reduce air pollutants into harmless amounts of carbon dioxide and water. When positioned near pollution sources, the tiles neutralise Nox and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) directly where they are generated.

[+ more]
via wemakemoneynotart

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