The audacious plan to end hunger with 3-D printed food
Anjan Contractor’s 3D food printer might evoke visions of the “replicator” popularized in Star Trek, from which Captain Picard was constantly interrupting himself to order tea. And indeed Contractor’s company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his universal food synthesizer.
But Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a background in 3D printing, envisions a much more mundane—and ultimately more important—use for the technology. He sees a day when every kitchen has a 3D printer, and the earth’s 12 billion people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store. Contractor’s vision would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.
Highly recommended read
Medieval animals made out of words
This is a special book from the early Middle Ages (France, 9th century). Not only does it contain a high volume of very attractive images, but these images are also not what you would expect: they are drawn, as it were, with words. They illustrate Cicero’s Aratea, a work of astronomy. Each animal represents a constellation and the written words in them are taken from an explanatory text by Hyginus (his Astronomica). His words are crucial for these images because the drawings would not exist without them. It is not often in medieval books that image and text have such a symbiotic relationship, each depending on the other for its very existence.
Pics (BL): London, British Library, Harley 647 (France, 9th century). The manuscript is available fully digitized here. More about illustrated Aratea manuscripts here. English extracts from Hyginus’ texts are found here (including the swan).
We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.
- Buckminster Fuller
I really needed to read this. —TO (via tobia)
Odilon Redon (French, 1840–1916)
Day: From the series Dreams, 1891
This is an unbelievable story about how a cameraman called Bebot resurrected a dead Yashica 365.
Loch Etive, Scotland | by Paul Carroll
You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.
- Jamie Tworkowski (via thatkindofwoman)
Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem,
I whisper with my lips close to your ear.
I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you.
- Walt Whitman
Pirkle Jones, Figures in the Rain, San Francisco, 1955
Bridge Zayandeh Rud (Darius the Great developed this road linking the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, running from Sardis in northwest Turkey across Mesopotamia to Susa in Iran. King Midas, the prophet Daniel, Queen Esther, the historian Herodotus, and the conqueror Alexander the Great all traveled this road…)
Armenian Cemetary, Tehran.
Bogheh Harunieh Tomb in Toos, Mashhad.
Ashraf Castle Ruins.
photogravure © Axel von Graefe - 1930s
Bowl with prince on horseback, Seljuq period (1040–1196), 12th–13th c. Iran
Stonepaste; applied decoration, polychrome in-glaze and overglaze painted and gilded on opaque monochrome glaze (mina’i)