Earth’s Oldest Asteroid Impact is Two Billion Years Old
The oldest asteroid collision on the planet, the Yarrabubba impact crater in Western Australia, is a whopping 2.229 billion years old. After analyzing minerals at the crater site, researchers have found the asteroid hit at the end of an era called Snowball Earth (one of the planet’s ice ages). Scientists, led by Dr Timmons Erickson (a geochronologist at Houston’s NASA Johnson Space Center), studied around 200 pounds of rocks from the site and calculated the age of the crater on the “measurements of 39 zircon and monazite crystals.” The ballpark for uncertainty in those 2.229 billion years is just five million, and “the next oldest-oldest impact structure Vredefort Dome in South Africa is over 200 million years younger.” While the crater is no longer visible, and no topography signposts its existence, it still holds our planet’s secrets deep inside. Find out more at the New York Times.
Radiohead Public Library’s Huge Online Archive
Opened today, the Radiohead Public Library is a huge online archive of the beloved British band’s albums, music videos, live concert footage, television clips, merch, artwork and more. Members can even create (and print out) their membership cards. The Twitter announcement reads, “Radiohead.com has always been infuriatingly uninformative and unpredictable. We have now, predictably, made it incredibly informative.” Every day this week, a band member will take users on a curated (albeit personal) tour through some of their favorite pieces of ephemera. Today, bassist Colin Greenwood shows viewers various videos, one being a performance in Ireland, which he captions: “Dublin 2000. It was in tents. I think I bounced on top of it during the day. A big blue bouncy castle. Think I broke some working at height rules.” See more at the new Radiohead.com.
Pigalle Basketball Court’s 2020 Makeover
The beloved Pigalle basketball court (located on Rue Duperré in Paris’ 9th Arrondissement) has received a makeover, the first since its bright gradient look from three years ago. The Pigalle brand (founded and helmed by Stéphane Ashpool) joined forces again with creative agency ILL-Studio and Nike for the gaming-inspired refresh, which features only recycled materials and”blocks of color intertwined with graphic icons, including arrows, plus signs, and target symbols.” Shades of blue, along with splashes of peach, plum and lavender have been used. The court, which used to be a parking lot, is once again open to the public. See more photos by Alex Penfornis at designboom.
One-of-a-Kind Machine-Made Ceramics
Israeli designer Ofri Lifshitz’s “Industrial One Of” addresses our fear of automation overtaking craft. Lifshitz created a machine-run reproduction of a ceramic jigger that can produce impressive plates and bowls—complete with unique inclusions and a maker’s signature. The deviation is made using a string she programmed to stroke at a particular moment in the process, but each remains slightly different due to the jigger’s sporadic jolts and jumps. The project is an important exploration of craft, human touch and its value. Read more at Design Milk.
Short Film “Kamali” is About More Than Skateboarding
Directed by Sasha Rainbow, the 24-minute film Kamali documents societal changes in India through the story of a seven-year-old girl who lives in Mahabalipuram. The tender, thoughtful and aesthetically beautiful film (originally intended to be feature-length) shows how Kamali, a wildly talented skater, helps to redefine “gender roles amidst the backdrop of a rapidly changing India.” The narrative also follows Kamali’s mother Suganthi in the wake of her brave decision to leave an abusive husband. Addressing India’s caste system, identity, gender, courage and “the first separation between mother and child,” Kamali continues to make the festival rounds and receive awards. Read more about the Bafta-nominated short at It’s Nice That or watch it online now.
Lexus’ Vehicular Visions for the Moon
For Document Journal’s Fall/Winter 2019 print issue, editors asked Lexus designers a question: “How will we navigate the moon’s low-gravity, rocky terrain?” Using their current models as starting points, the designers drafted seven concepts up for the task and Ian Cartabiano, Lexus’ Design President, explained each one to Document Journal’s Maraya Fisher. “We were trying to create a very futuristic and avant-garde statement that still conveys a premium style,” he explains. From the four-wheeled “Moon Car” (which is capable of navigating the ground and taking flight) to the six-wheeled “LEXUS Lunar” (designed to confront cliffs and craters), these designs prove that automakers are considering vehicles and tech for use beyond our home planet. See more at Document Journal.
Inside Cruise’s Fully Autonomous Vehicle
With similar measurements as most SUVs, a new vehicle by Cruise (a subsidiary of GM) requires passengers to forfeit all control of the car. Without a steering wheel or pedals, the interior design references subway cars, rather than buses or vans. Officially named Origin, the first model is most obviously different from competitors’ autonomous rides in the absence of the option to take control should something go awry with the software. Engineers at Cruise stand by the belief that by the time Origin hits production (and roads) the technology will be at a “superhuman level of performance” and the likelihood of an accident, incident or malfunction will be near zero. Read more at The Verge.
Fortnite Video Game Is Now An Official High School and College Sport
The incredibly popular multiplayer game Fortnite is now a regulated high school and college sport, courtesy of a partnership between Epic Games (the studio behind the game) and PlayVS, the governing body that handles registering individual schools and teams. Since the game’s release in July 2017, it has logged 78.3 million users, raked in just under $2 billion in annual profits, and successfully attracted the coveted 12-24 age range. With professional matches and championships rivaling the Super Bowl in total viewership, potential for collegiate scholarships for the new sport, and a realization that professional gaming is a viable (and high earning) career, more and more students are being encouraged to play if they’re talented—a stark contrast to traditional efforts to dissuade playing video games. The country’s six conferences will begin their inaugural regular season on 26 February. Read more at Forbes.
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