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Numb to the pleasure of patience

@rafaeldearaujo

You can’t coax a train out of a tunnel. You have to be patient and wait it out behind the yellow line.

Perhaps the only thing we don’t have to wait for is the next alert or push message. Writes author Michael Harris on how mobile connectivity intercepts our sense of time:

Our sense of time has always been warped by our technologies. Church bells segmented the day into intervals. Factory whistles ushered workers. But the current barrage of alerts and pings leaves us more warped than ever. I’ve been trained not just to expect disruption, but to demand it. Back in 1890, William James wrote in The Principles of Psychology that “our sense of time seems subject to the law of contrast.” No kidding.

He goes on to explain how technology resolves our impatience by numbing us “to the pleasure of patience.” We quell our anxiety with the rectangular glow so the late train no longer puts us on edge.

In chasing any goal, it behooves people to keep the patience. Things always take longer than we think but appear shorter in the telescope of perspective.

The train will eventually come and we’ll hop on, prompting the nerves to jumpstart in anticipation of the next destination. As we grow nervous and impatient, the rectangular glow acts like a pacifier to allay our fears.

When we’re moving along plugged-in at warp speed, we are no longer tracking time. Like a carrot, the clock dangles in front of our eyes, waiting for us to notice its blessings.

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Vietnam’s Magical Golden Bridge 👐

There are two hands at the Cau Vang (Golden Bridge) on the top of Da Nang’s Ba Na Hills, one to pick up the people, the other to hold the bridge together. 

Suspended nearly a mile high above sea level, the 500-foot long bridge was designed by TA Landscape Architecture in Ho Chi Minh City. Said one of its principal designer Vu Viet Anh, the Instagramable scene intends to look like “giant hands of Gods, pulling a strip of gold out of the land.”

High into the sky, giant hands, instruments for coping. You can see more pics here plus check out the video below. 

Churches built in post-colonial India

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Vividly-coloured and shaped like stars, ships and castles, several churches in Kerala appear to defy one of the basic tenets of architecture as set by the influential American architect Louis Sullivan – “form follows function”.

Read Why are some Kerala churches shaped like stars, ships and castles?

Underground bicycle parking systems in Japan

The robotic system, called the Eco Cycle, stores bikes 36 feet underground. It can store 204 bikes at a time.

To use it, you need to attach a chip to the front wheel of your bike that links to your Eco Cycle parking account. When you pull up to the Eco Cycle, it will recognize you’re a paying customer. Simply press the button and your will be taken underground.

Bikes are so ubiquitous in Japan that construction company Giken had to build an underground system to store them.

Read more

 

‘Human beings can aquire a certain solitude, even in the middle of New York City’

gif of new york on camera

Every thing in the world, every event, is like a dewdrop on a multidimentional spider’s web, and every dewdrop contains the reflection of all the other dewdrops. But you see, the hermit finds this out through his solitide, and so also human beings can aquire a certain solitude, even in the middle of New York City. It’s rather easier, as a matter of fact, to find solitude in New York City than it is in Des Moines, Iowa.

Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety

How Japan uses blue LED light panels on station platforms to prevent suicides

Tokyo runs 13 billion passenger trips each year, making its train stations some of the busiest in the world.

Using sound design and various other psychological nudges, rail stations are able to bring some order to the chaos. One of the most effective tactics has been its use of blue LED mood lighting to prevent suicide attempts.

Photo by Allan Richarz/City Lab

Writes Tokyo resident Allan Richarz for Citylab:

According to a study by researchers at the University of Tokyo published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2013, data analyzed over a 10-year period shows an 84 percent decline in the number of suicide attempts at stations where blue lights are installed.

Operating on the theory that exposure to blue light has a calming effect on one’s mood, rail stations in Japan began installing these LED panels as a suicide-prevention measure in 2009. They are strategically located at the ends of each platform—typically the most-isolated and least-trafficked area, and accordingly, the point from which most platform jumps occur. Some stations, such as Shin-Koiwa Station in Tokyo, bolster their LED regime with colored roof panels, allowing blue-tinted sunlight to filter down on to platforms.

Whether it comes to the iPhone or infrastructure, Richarz’s piece is yet another reminder how everyday design can impact our lives.

Meet the flying train, a hybrid train and plane

image of hybrid train planeWhile Elon Musk is helping to combine hyperloops and space travel, the Russian architecture firm Dahir Insaat wants to build a hybrid train and plane that transports 2,000 people at a time.

The flying trains reach speeds up to 300mph, not much faster than the speediest train in the world, the 267 mph Shanghai Maglev. Even if it looks like a giant lego piece, most people would still rather ride in it than sit in traffic.

Furthermore, I wonder how we’ll look at any concept of transportation once SpaceX’s vision to fly people across the globe in 30 minutes becomes a reality.

These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musician and band names 🦉

James Mollison of TOPIC ventured into one of Tokyo’s animal cafes where you can sip your coffee with your animal of choice (cats, dogs, and rabbits). But this coffee shop was a little different.

Tokyo’s Pakuchi Bar is apparently one of eight owl cafes in the big city. The owner, Tomo Nanaka, owns 30 of them which she allows in public on the weekends and on special holidays. Even more, she’s named them after musicians and bands.

Below are a some of my favorite.

From left to right: Kurt Cobain, The Chemical Brothers, Beck, and The Cure.

There’s a video too.

(All images via James Mollison)

A timelapse of the Pas-de-Calais region

The Pas-de-Calais department hired a creative agency to promote travel to Northern France.

After taking 350,000 photos, the result is a beautiful look in both timelapse and hyperlapse formats at the diversity of the Pas-de-Calais region’s environment with an emphasis on architecture, landscape, and sport.

This video project was commissioned by the Pas-de-Calais department to promote its territory. While waiting for an original and creative idea, we opted for a dynamic video only realized in timelapse and in hyperlapse.

Through various themes (nature, memory, sport, …) we have, for two months, crisscrossed the Pas-de-Calais to capture the best of this beautiful department.
3 intense minutes to make you want to discover or rediscover this space so rich, conducive to change of scenery and the meeting of a marked culture.

Golden Gate City: San Francisco (1939)

Image taken during the San Francisco World’s Fair 1939

A few weeks ago, I blogged about a trip through New York City in 1911. This week’s archival videos goes back in time to San Francisco, 1939.

Some observations:

  • The cable cars ran on cables because the city’s hills were so steep. They also required ‘turntables’ (first time I’ve heard the term not in reference to hip-hop) to flip them around the other way. Both the cable car and trolleys (slightly different) are both staples of SF to this day.
  • The SF Mint factory not only produced US coins but also those for the Philippines. As they said about the California Gold Rush in 1849, “If you want to make money in a gold rush, sell shovels.”
  • I wonder if those golf courses looking over the Golden Gate still exist?
  • The seals of SF still lounge like royalty and sure run the show

Heed the motto: “San Francisco by the Golden Gate. City upon memories and visions of progress for tomorrow.”

Born to dive: This group of people spends 60% of their day underwater

Born to dive: This group of people spends 60% of their day underwater,
Image via James Morgan

The Bajau sea nomads are people from the Malay Archipelago (Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia).

Aquatic life is literally in their DNA. According to a study from the journal Cell:

They are renowned for their extraordinary abilities, diving to depths of over 70 m with nothing more than a set of weights and a pair of wooden goggles (Schagatay, 2014) and spending 60% of their daily working time underwater (Schagatay et al., 2011).

They’ve evolved to harbor extreme breath holding capabilities with up to 13 minutes underwater. For over thousands of years, the Bajau people have developed expanded spleens due to their dependency on diving underwater for food.

No one knows what originally compelled the Bajau to dive other than their need to survive and feed entire families.

Without experimentation, evolution does not exist. It is through struggle and adaptation we evolve.

Learn more in the video below.

Turkish musician Görkem Şen plays his Yaybahar at the sea 🎼

Turkish musician Görkem Şen uses a Yaybahar, an acoustic instrument that combines a hodgepodge of drums, coiled spring, and strings that he plays with a wrapped mallet.

Although the device looks antiquated, the sound is classical electronic. It reminds me of William Orbit’s ‘Adagio for Strings.’ It also pairs well with the beauty of the seaside.

Two birds, one stone. And deep space vibes.

‘Whatever diminishes constraint, diminishes strength’

Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons, books

“I shall go even further: my freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint, diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit.”

—Igor Stravinsky, Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons