Friday, November 30, 2012

Port-A-Hotel

Microarchitecture is becoming the macro solution for portability of living spaces with small footprints.  Urban Square is one such company that has come up with DROP - small bubbles of hotel rooms - that can be dropped anywhere to your liking with all the conveniences of a regular hotel room but with much more spectacular views!




Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tie Me Down

New York company Alexander Olch's amazing collection of men's accessories are so touchably attractive.  The attention to detail in their products is note-worthy.  I am especially impressed by their selection of handmade ties made from Fine British Wool, Superfine Peruvian Alpaca Wool, Italian Cashmere, Superfine Cotton, and Repp Silk.  If you are in New York this weekend, stop by Pop Up Flea V - they will be there.




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Anatomic Yoga Pose Viewer

BandhaYoga has a 3D Pose Viewer on their webpage.  It is great to see the muscles I am working during my Bikram Yoga class!  Here's one of my most favorite poses:





Monday, November 26, 2012

Plateau Problem

Plateau Problem asks the question if at least one minimal surface - the mathematical equivalent of a soap film - span every conceivable closed curve in space.  While this question perplexed mathematicians for a very long time, it also inspired German architect Frei Otto to create buildings from soap bubble prototypes.




Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hatchback Timepiece

The Belgian designer Nicolas Diacre was inspired by the Citroën hatchbacks to design the dramatic yet elegant DS N9 watches.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pencilwise

Pencilwise is a wonderful downloadable tool to gauge your mental flexibility!



Friday, November 23, 2012

Lass Es Schneien In Stopmotion

Rogier Wieland is a very talented stopmotion artist with a large portfolio expanding from ads for Moleskine to music videos:




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

* This Dreamer's Istanbul

My father and I left very early, not knowing what time the next ferryboat across the Bosphorus would be.  Drove from Çamlık to the historic Kadıköy district with ease, and started looking for the parking garage my brother recommended.  If you've ever traveled to Istanbul, you know what a maze those older parts of the city can become under your wheels while you are looking for the most obvious of places.  Of course we ended up getting lost, and unintentionally started following a trolley!  



After hitting several dead end streets, and driving backwards for a while, we finally found a parking spot conveniently located across from the ferry docks.  We got our old style ferry tokens, and waited just for a few minutes in the historical building before the doors opened to the flood of people to board our ride:





On the ride to the European side, I opted for the starboard side of the ferry, and got a good view of the monumental historic Haydarpaşa train station:



The Maiden Tower:


And more:



A half hour ride brought us to Beşiktaş on the European side of Istanbul, where we took a cab to my final destination at Nişantaşı where I met with one of my best friends since middle school.  Along the way we passed by yet another historical building in Maçka, which currently houses the Mining Engineering Department of Istanbul Technical University, and where I got to stay in the guest houses many years back:



Following the couple of lovely hours with my friend having lunch and conversations as satisfying as the delicious food we had, we hailed another cab to make it back to the ferry docks to head back. But first, we had to do the very typical thing of getting some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor to enjoy the warmth of those round scored fruits in our hands, and their sweet taste on our palates.



The taxi driver with the undefiable skills of a sword-juggling circus performer in avoiding danger, took us through the narrow cobblestone city streets with steep dispositions.



For the return trip, we situated ourselves on the starboard side of the ferry again to face the European shores of the Bosphorus.  As we departed the port, the delicately beautiful Dolmabahçe Palace quickly came into view, followed by piles of concrete buildings covering all possible surfaces on hillsides with more historical monuments in the background.  Without much need for squinting while watching the video below, you can make out the silhouette of the Galata Tower where the first successful human-flight experiment was performed by Hazerfan Ahmet Çelebi in the 17th century:

video

Once we made it back to the Asian side, the rest of the way was uneventful but very pleasant to my mind still lingering in the salt-water sprinkled memories of the past few hours.

Thank you Istanbul, this was a magical day!





Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Maps Of A Different Color

Apparently, there is a conundrum in the mathematical aspect of mapmaking on whether only four colors are sufficient to identify each country without having two boundary-sharing countries have the same color.  For the time being, it seems to be the case!




Monday, November 19, 2012

In Search For Exoplanets

Mirror Earth by Michel Lemonick is yet another good book that just made it into my reading list. It came by way of recommendation from a 'search for exoplanets' enthusiast.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Qualia Of Red

Qualia are the distinct raw sensations of particular experiences that make up our consciousness.  An example I was presented in the book I'm reading by Christof Koch says:  "The quale of the color red is what is common to such disparate percepts as seeing a red sunset, the red flag of China, arterial blood, a ruby gemstone, and Homer's wine-dark sea.  The common denominator to all these subjective states is 'redness'."




Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Mathematical Tourist

The Mathematical Tourist by the great science journalist Ivars Peterson, is a fascinating book for lovers of math and travel.  Perfect for my 10+ hour flights during my Thanksgiving vacation!




Friday, November 16, 2012

Bookshop Casanova

Very unfortunate that the British band The Clientele declared an indefinite hiatus in 2011.




Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fashionable Bicycling By Iva Jean

Ann DeOtte is one brilliant woman who started a clothing line for female commuters on bicycles.  Her pieces are very simple and chic, yet have very versatile features to make riding easy in a fashionable way.  I just backed her line Iva Jean on kickstarter and you should too!

Can't wait to receive my Daily Blouse!  :)





Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Come Undone Yarn

Imogen Hedges invented a machine to reclaim yarn from knit clothing while getting your exercise.  Just awesomely brilliant!

video



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

* Craniosacral Whales

Dark.  Where am I?  I feel movement.  Is it me moving?  There is something very close and very big.  What is it?  I am floating with my arms and legs slightly spread to the sides.  I am sure my eyes are open.  I see some tiny glint to the right. One more.  And one more.  Ahhh, as I slowly move, I get out of the shadow of the big planet I am passing by.  I am looking at the universe with its countless sparkling eyes.  I float by more planets.  Dusty colored sleepy ones.  The vastness of space surrounds me with the coziness of a small, familiar room.  Such beauty, quiet, peace, and clarity...
This one looks different.  It is brighter.   I like its vibrant colors.  And I hear them.  I hear them sing long deep sad sighs.  I want to go there. To them.
It is dark again.  This time a thicker blanket of a dark.  I still hear them.  I don't see them but I know I am with them.  I am them.  I sing their songs and take in the occasional phosphorescent light show in these virgin depths of the ocean.  I am happy and light and invincible.

"We are done.  Come inside when you are ready.  Take your time." she says in a whisper.  I do not want it to end.  I am not ready to come back yet.  But the light from the other room gently floods through my closed eyelids.  My first Craniosacral Therapy session is over....



Thanks, C.  You can practice on me any time! :)




Monday, November 12, 2012

Speak Dance To Me

The music video for Valtari by Sigur Rós is the most poetic I've ever seen.  Watch it at Nowness.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

* My Morning With Turkeyface Killa

Turkeyface Killa whipped out his pen, and told me to tell one of my favorite stories.  It was not hard to see there were several rivers flooding behind his mischievous smile.  As I kept talking, without moving his gaze from my face, he first held up a notebook he carries everywhere, to barricade his vision to the piece of paper in front of him, and started sketching.  His hand kept moving here and there, and a ghostly image of a face started appearing on the paper.  My face!

This very talented artist calls this series of his work "Whispers Of Memory", and I am very happy to be part of that collection.

He made me promise to not reveal who he is - making me feel even more privileged to be his subject.  Who knows, he might be the Banksy of automatic-drawing!



"Whispers Of Memory: Ayse"
by
Turkeyface Killa


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Every Pixel Is A Flower

Netherlands is one of my most favorite countries to visit and after seeing a video of Bloemencorso - the Parade Of Flowers in Zundert, it jumped up a couple of places in the list!


And around minute 30 of the video, what I heard and saw moved something special in my heart!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Auguries of Innocence

William Blake had a delightful way with words:

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

And a peculiar way with colors:


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

* I Learn LASIK

I will undergo a LASIK procedure today, so I am pro-actively blogging about this process I will be learning by experiencing first hand.

The term "LASIK" stands for "Laser ASsisted In-situ Keratomileusis".  These refractive surgical procedures that reshape the cornea, are designed to improve the eye's ability to clearly focus light directly on the retina.

Cheers to waking up to a clear vision tomorrow morning!




Monday, November 5, 2012

Enjoy Icky Blossoms

The trailer for Icky Blossoms's self titled first album released last July, says it all about this insanely danceable electronic band:




Sunday, November 4, 2012

* Pressure-Breath And Rest-Step Take Me To The Top

I did my very first longest, and steepest hike today to Mt. Wilson with a group of amazing ladies.  It was a 14 mile roundtrip hike, in preparation for my quickly approaching Inca Trail trek, where I got to try out my new hiking outfit, and new Camelback daypack.

I was very lucky to have the seasoned hikers around me - one of which is training for a hike to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro - tirelessly telling me how well I was doing, and filling me in on the very useful tricks to keep me going.  The three very important things I learned today, that literally helped me to make it to the peak without any injuries were:

1.  Pressure-Breath:  This very simple yet energizing breathing technique, gets rid of the stale air in your body, making room for a big volume of fresh Oxygen.  You breathe out very strongly, and quickly a couple of times, when you start feeling your heartbeat start to go up.

2.  Rest-Step:  Around mile 6 going upwards, I started getting cramps in my thighs right above my knees.  In this technique, you step heel first, and take shorter steps to make more use of the bigger muscles at the back of your legs.

3.  Hiking-Buddies:  Who you hike with makes all the difference in how good you feel about the hike, regardless of how long, or steep, or arduous the trail is.  After all, like J said "A 14 mile hike seems a lot shorter with great company".  And I was in the company of the greatest today!

Thank you, R, J, and M!




Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tommy Investigates Your Brain

Tomaso Poggio is one of the very prominent neuroscientists of our time and one of the most improtant pioneers in the field of information processing.  His greatest  invention of the functional formula for extracting stereo depth from two slightly different views of the same scene has led to the amazing advances in 3D visualizations we see today.







Friday, November 2, 2012

9-Axis Augmented Reality

Good news!  We will be able to navigate in-doors with our smartphones with a new 9-axis sensor technology from Bosch!

Completely supported by Bosch Sensortec's sensor fusion software FusionLib, BMX055 will enable new applications in Augmented Reality, HMIs, and many more location based tools.

Can't stop loving technology!



Thursday, November 1, 2012