The Cosmic Web

The Cosmic Web is a scientific approximation of what the universe may look like at the largest scales, with massive clusters of galaxies linked together through vast filaments, with each containing trillions of stars. It would take light nearly 10,000,000,000 (10 billion) years to cross the distance of the Cosmic Web image

 

The Baptistère de Saint Louis and its Significance to European Culture

The Baptistère de Saint Louis was created by Malmuk craftspeople to be used as a luxury bowl to hold holy water during christenings, in fact King Louis XIII used the same object during his christening as an infant. Despite being created by Islamic craftspeople and depicting graphic violence of decapitation and limb severance, the Baptistère de Saint Louis was used for hundreds of years, seemingly without conflict between Islamic and Christian traditions and viewpoints. The object itself is a basin of metal and copper alloy which is inlayed with silver and was crafted in Syria or Egypt during the mid 14th century

 

China’s Influence Upon Foreign States and Their Associated Cultures

China has become highly adept at spreading its practices or at the very least, acquiring acceptance and tolerance of its practices, throughout the open markets of the world (e.g. American companies willing to do business with Chinese companies to access the Chinese marketplace despite the U.S. government experiencing continuous conflict with the Chinese government). Hollywood is perhaps the best example of this ideology taking shape. Hollywood’s business and by extension its profit model, is designed to produce blockbuster cinema for the box office, at regular intervals throughout each calendar year (e.g. for each holiday season etc.). China, due to its large population, has the worlds largest box office and as a direct result of this, in order to ascend to the level of becoming a major blockbuster film, movie studios are forced to capitulate and cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese government heavily censors cinema in China, however despite this, Hollywood movie production studios virtually always refuse to green light film scripts if they cannot be shown in China. This effectively means that the Chinese government has the ability to, and openly does, influence and shape the kinds of movies produced in the west simply by omission or refusal to accept a movie and its content. This means that in the future, China will become the cultural connoisseur and decision maker for the world, both in supply and demand of products and services (e.g. new films), solely due to the volume of the Chinese public and its appetite for western cinema

The Business Rationale Behind Videogame Pre-Order Perks

Videogame production companies focus heavily upon pre-order sales as these provide the best path to generating revenue, income which is then re-invested to make even more profit. Production studios spend a lot of time and effort trying to come up with appealing pre-purchase packages because the quicker income is generated, the quicker it can be re-invested, but perhaps as important, pre-sales are sold at the full retail price point unlike delayed sales which are often sold at a discounted rate. Video game production companies spend an immense amount of time developing demonstrations for conventions (e.g. E3, Comic Con, Blizzcon etc.) because this is considered the best opportunity to attract gamers and have them purchase on the spot. These demonstrations are often over the top and include features which won’t be in the final version set for release (e.g. advanced graphical shading features), akin to a bait and switch technique in which the best face is presented with the actual product which is less polished actually being delivered. This deception is intentional as it helps generate revenue which helps fuel the production of future gaming titles and franchises

The Rationale Behind the President’s Chosen to be Depicted at Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore used a combination of dynamiting and jackhammering. It was the largest sculpture of its time. From left to right, George Washington was chosen as the father of the U.S., Thomas Jefferson as the father of U.S. law, Abraham Lincoln as the father of equality for all U.S. citizens, and Theodore Roosevelt who made the U.S. a world power

The Four Ancient Greek Concepts of Love

The Ancient Greeks had 4 terms for love. The first term, “philia” (pronounced “feel-ee-ah”), refers to “affection which grows from friendship”. The second term, “storgē” (pronounced “stor-gay”), refers to the “kind of love one has for a grandparent or sibling”. The third term, “érōs” (pronounced “air-ohs”), refers to “romantic love, the uncontrollable urge to say “I love you” to another person”. The fourth and final term, “agápē” (pronounced “ah-gah-pay”), refers to “steadfast love as an action, the kind of love to take care of a partner in their elder years as they decline further and further”

The Traditional Practice of the Japanese Geisha

Japanese geishas, referred to as “geiko” (pronounced “gay-ko”) first appeared 300 years ago during the Edo period, an era when Japan was closed to the rest of the world allowing its indigenous culture to flourish. There were once 80,000 geisha but that number has dropped to just 1000 during the modern day. It takes 5 long years to become a geisha, this time spent with no smartphone, no romantic relationships, and only 2 days off per month. Geishas undergo lessons in music and dance as well as tea making and etiquette. All food and lodging is provided by the geisha training institution so that students become completely and totally immersed within the geisha lifestyle. Geishas wear white masks of makeup as symbolism that what is concealed is more desirable than that which is revealed. Pink is painted onto the earlobes as a way to hide embarrassment from blushing, and bare skin is left in a “W” or “V” shape upon the back of the neck to accentuate the neck which is considered highly beautiful, sexual, and erotic in Japanese culture. Geishas are only supposed to entertain their client with highly cultured activities, and the profession is not supposed to be associated with sexual interaction

The Oldest Artwork in Human History

Near the Ardeche River (pronounced “arr-desh”) in southern France, less than 0.5 kilometers away, 3 explorers set out a few days before Christmas in 1994. While seeking drafts of air emanating from the ground which would point to the presence of caves, these explorers found a subtle airflow which was blockaded by rocks. The explorers found a narrow shaft which was cut into the cliffside, so narrow in fact that their bodies could just barely squeeze through it. Deep inside the cave the explorers stumbled upon the oldest known cave paintings in human history, twice as old as any other artistic depiction made by human hands. The cave itself had been perfectly sealed for tens of thousands of years which is why this 32,000 year old artwork was found in pristine condition. In honor of the lead discover Jean-Marie Chauvet (pronounced “zhan mah-ree sho-vee”), the cave was named “Chauvet Cave”. The French Ministry of Culture controls all access to the cave, an intervention which was rapidly implemented as this discovery was immediately understood as an enormous scientific find, perhaps one of the greatest anthropological and artistic discoveries ever made. Scientists and art historians are typically the only members of the public permitted access to Chauvet Cave, with archeologists, paleontologists, and geologists being the most common interdisciplinary teams provided entry

The Advent of the Computer Mouse

Apple-Macintosh-first-mouse

The computer mouse became a mainstream accessory for computers shortly after Steve Jobs viewed a prototype mouse from Xerox in 1979. Jobs asked his team to create a mouse which was under $15.00, would last for 2 years, and could be used upon either a particle board desk or the jeans of a persons lap. Dean Hovey ended up creating the concept of the computer mouse by visiting a drug store after Jobs made this request in a business meeting. Hovey purchased a roll on deodorant and a butter dish and began working upon the initial design. Hovey popped the spherical applicator out of the deodorant and covered it with the butter dish to make a rollable, undulating handheld device

The Future of Body Modification

nanotechnology-dermal-implant

Near field communication, often abbreviated as “NFC” is the ability for wireless devices to communicate with eachother and has now made its way into the bodies of human beings with some opting to implant small subdermal microchips using a large gauge hypodermic syringe (e.g. 14 – 18 gauge) which is preloaded so that these individuals gain the ability to start their vehicle(s), open their home door locks, send contact information to another persons smartphone etc., wirelessly and without any intervention or effort upon the end user. This adaptation is referred to as “transhuman” as it goes beyond what the biological human body can do by introducing technology which cannot be evolved into existence. Devices have been developed for a number of different purposes (e.g. vibrating when pointed towards magnetic north turning the body into a compass or implanting a small chip containing tritium gas which glows beneath the skin but is radioactive and therefore not battery powered lasting indefinitely as tritium gas has a 12 year half-life etc.). In 2018, at the University of Colorado, Dr. Carson Bruns and his team developed a technology which allows for smart tattooing in that newly and highly specialized tattoo inks will be able to deliver new functions to the artistic medium of tattooing. The first design invented was a tattoo ink which is sensitive to ultraviolet light which allows it to lay invisible under typical lighting conditions and only appear as a blue hue once outside in the presense of sunlight or an artificial ultraviolet light source. This technology would be practical as well as esthetic as it would allow a person to know when they’ve had too much sun exposure while outside. Bruns’ team has also developed tattoo ink which changes color as the temperature of the body changes which again would be functional as well as artistic, acting as a thermometer to indicate when a person has had too much or too little exposure to cold or heat. Nanotechnology is used to engineer and design tattoo particles which have specialized properties and characteristics (e.g. thermal battery and/or storage mechanism). Real world applications could be spurred by this advent like the ability to keep the entire body at a comfortable temperature at all times, regardless of the environment, if the entire body was tattooed, either visibly with color or invisibly with translucent ink. Specially engineered tattooing can also have medical applications such as that of the distribution of a pharmacological medication or hormone which helps regulate biochemistry (e.g. insulin or neural catecholamines to control mood etc.). World militaries may find use with specially engineered tattoos as well, allowing skin to become more resilient to abrasions or epidermal damage. Specialized tattoo pigments are also tactile sensitive in that when touched, they have the ability to turn on or off as well as perform other functions (e.g. manipulate an options menu upon a screen or act as a controller for a game or software etc.). In 2018, billionaire futuristic Elon Musk unveiled Neuralink, a technology which he states provides the ability of “self-directed evolution”. Neuralink will be installed within the human body by using a specialized, robotic hypodermic syringe to inject an ultra thin mesh, referred to as “neuro lace”, into the neurocortex of the brain, to form a body of electrodes which are able to monitor and influence brain function. These microelectrodes will be able read and write onto neurons; a bi-directional information exchange. This will allow for the downloading and uploading of information to and from the internet, wirelessly. This technology will allow for thoughts to be sent between users in the same format that data is shared online during the modern day using peer to peer networking. This technology will also allow for the control of devices, remotely; in principle, telekinesis. Nanotechnology now provides scientists with the technology required to manufacture electronics small enough to become tattooed, which means that in the future, Neuralink will only require a small, cranial tattoo instead of a cranial implant