The real Y2K, natural flavors, light design, the museum of the future, Afrofuturist film

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

1. How Y2K really went down.

"If Y2K has been remembered as a 'non-event,' a hysteria and a farce, is that because it was an overblown threat? Or is it because the preparation for it was successful? In particular, the Y2K compliance effort was characterized by a sustained, collaborative effort to understand and update the aging software that had been lurking in many of the world's most crucial business and public sector computer systems. (As Chen wrote forCreative Time Reports, even the US and Russia worked together to prepare for the unknown, jointly staffing a Y2K Command Center in Colorado.) It was not only a collective attempt to understand and manage the risks of that dependence, but also a public discussion about our dependence on complex technological systems."

2. So, what is natural flavor?

"Artificial flavors are entirely man-made — chemicals synthesized to deliver a particular taste. Natural flavors are processed from a substance initially found in nature, but those substances can vary widely. Take castoreum, for instance. 'Castoreum is a natural flavor extracted from the anal castor sacs of beavers,' Lefferts says, 'and it's used to help create a vanilla or occasionally a fruity taste. So, in other words, vanilla flavor doesn't necessarily come from the vanilla bean.' Okay, you are probably not eating castoreum, it's expensive and primarily used in fragrances. Most natural flavors come from more obvious sources like herbs and fruit."


3. A sandbox for creating sound-and-light interfaces for smart objects.

"What Method found was there's no easy way to design this ambient language of softly pulsing light and sound. While a designer creating a graphical user interface for an app is perfectly comfortable loading up InDesign, creating bliking patterns for the LED on a Nest still requires a technical know-how that is out of reach for most designers. Why do designers need a device like the Henri? When it comes to the ambient language of the way smart objects communicate their state to their users, it's total chaos out there."

4. The UAE has announced the "Museum of the Future." Hmm.

"His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, our President, has declared 2015 to be the year of innovation in the UAE. Today we show how serious and committed we are to that mission by turning the UAE into a major international destination for innovators. The museum’s motto, ‘See the future, create the future,’ is designed to reflect a new approach to government innovation. The institution will use design, technology prototyping and foresight to create real examples of change."


5. If you're in Brooklyn, go to this Afrofuturism film festival. Otherwise, just track down the movies.

"Named for the one and only film starring legendary mystic and jazz musician Sun Ra, Space is the Place: Afrofuturism on Film is a horizon-expanding exploration of alternate and imagined black futures and pasts. A kaleidoscopic journey of science-fiction, genre-bending global cinema, unorthodox documentary, and innovative music videos, the series features rare screenings of John Akomfrah’s The Last Angel of History (1996), Haile Gerima’s Sankofa (1993), Ngozi Onwurah’s Welcome II the Terrordome (1995), and more."


Today's 1957 American English Usage Tip:

disaffected. Disloyal, unfriendly, now almost always to the government or constituted authority.


The Credits

1. 2. 3. 4. / @phonetrips 4. 5.


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