Finding lost dogs
In the United States, nearly 10 million dogs are lost each year. Faced with this situation, the dog food brand Iams has come up with a novel solution. The NoseID is an application that lets you to find your dog... using just the tip of its snout! Very much like a fingerprint, every dog’s nose is di!erent. Each owner simply creates a profile for their dog in the application, fills in some information (name, breed, coat...) and then scans their dog’s nose. If the dog gets lost and someone scans its nose, the dog can be matched and returned to its owner. The application, which is still in its infancy, is currently being tested in Nashville. If successful, the service is likely to be rolled out in other cities.
The good deed
Become a sponsor of a coral and help restore the reefs
We are seeing more and more sponsorship initiatives that hold out the hope of a more sustainable world. You can now adopt a coral as your personal contribution to reinstating the coral reefs that provide the home for 25% of marine biodiversity and whose existence is now under very real threat. Coral Guardian offers to “look after” a coral for €30. The lucky sponsor receives an adoption certificate with a photo, GPS location and the name of the team member who will transplant his or her coral. For its pilot project off Hatamin, Indonesia, the French association has transplanted 40,000 corals in four years, which has increased the number of fish by 30 times and created 30 jobs.
An infinite library
The Chinese bookstore chain Zhongshuge is setting out to encourage people to pick up books once more by offering them in a truly sumptuous setting. This challenge to help us rediscover our inner bookworm has been brilliantly met by the young architect Li Xiang and her company X+Living, who has designed the interiors of the new bookshops. The latest one has just opened in Taiyuan, 200 kilometres from Beijing, and covers 4,600m2. Zhongshuge has joined forces with Fab Cinema to offer a unique experience combining a taste of reading with the pleasure of entertainment. Very representative of Li Xiang’s design aesthetic, a multitude of mirrors play with volumes, enlarging the space and giving the illusion that one is surrounded by shelves stretching off into infinity. A vertiginous experience and a meditation on knowledge in its limitless diversity.
French entrepreneurs have been designing a 100% natural urban lighting system
“In France, we may not have oil but we do have ideas.” This slogan from the 1970s neatly sums up the ethos of the French startup Glowee, which is working on bioluminescence: the production and emission of light by living organisms such as fireflies and glow worms but also around 80% of marine organisms in general. In order to promote the use of low environmental impact urban lighting, the company is developing a raw material made from natural micro-organisms that can simply be cultivated ad infinitum. And they have now signed their first partnership agreement with the town of Rambouillet which will serve as a testing ground for this “brilliant” idea!
Our brain prefers adding to subtracting
According to a study published in the journal Nature, when faced with a certain problem or difficulty, our brains tend to add up rather than take away, regardless of whether or not it is the most rational or aesthetic solution. And this also applies to restoring symmetry as well as to adjusting a sense of balance or improving a certain text. Is it because additive ideas come to mind faster or because our subconscious has associated a positive character with the “+” sign and a negative character with the “-” sign? In any case, this cognitive bias makes it easier to understand overloaded schedules, the multiplication of functions or the seemingly limitless drive to exploit natural resources.
The suture that detects infections
With a little beetroot juice (and a lot of thought!), Dasia Taylor may have found a simple and inexpensive way to control scars and detect infection. The American high school student invented a suture impregnated with beetroot juice that turns from bright red when the skin is healthy (pH of about 5) to dark purple when it becomes infected (pH of 9). The African-American teenager was guided by a concern for fairness, aware of the inequalities in the risk of post-operative infection between people living in Africa and the United States. Encouraged by the many awards she has received, Dasia Taylor is continuing her research into improving her infection-detecting suture, including exploring the antibacterial properties of beetroot.
Surfing among the glaciers in the Lofoten Islands
Surfing in winter has some disadvantages, notably the temperature of the air and water, but also many advantages, such as being alone in experiencing the vastness of nature. Fortunately, surfing in the Lofoten Islands minimises the former and maximises the latter. On the one hand, the water is at a positively balmy 5°C in February, which is now more bearable due to the technical progress in equipment, although still requires a certain inner fortitude, and on the other hand, the waves are truly impressive, illuminated by the ethereal glow of the Northern Lights. This show can certainly be admired in isolation, in all its glorious splendour, given that tourists are few and far between on this remote Norwegian archipelago. As for the inhabitants, there are just 18 of them in Unstad, the most famous surf spot on the islands.
The chair that converts into a work of art (and vice versa)
Hamari is a Finnish company that specialises in creating chairs for auditoriums, theatres, cinemas and concert halls. Its recent collaboration with designer Philip Kronqvist set out to develop an art project that is rather more striking than the chairs it usually produces. Together they have designed an object that is both an armchair and a work of art, paying tribute to Piet Mondrian. Inspired by the famous Composition with Red Blue and Yellow, it looks like the painting when not in use and transforms when one is seated. Certainly a creation that we would love to see in theatres and museums!
Three emerging artists win the acclaim of KLEINWORT HAMBROS
Created in 2019, the Kleinwort Hambros Emerging Artist Prize is awarded annually to a particularly prolific UK-based young talent from the world of contemporary art. In view of the weakened state of the cultural sector due to the current health crisis, this year it was awarded to three finalists, selected from 15 applicants. Shawanda Corbett, Ayo Akingbade and Olu Ogunnaike, respectively a ceramist, a film director and a visual artist, were praised for the originality and clarity of their work by a jury of prestigious figures from the British art scene. A great opportunity to be cast in the spotlight!