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Tim Urban, the author and procrastinator Musk has taken a shine to

Who's who - January 18, 2017

Tim Urban, an expert in the fine art of procrastination:

The site Wait But Why, cofounded by American Tim Urban, offers long articles, sometimes whimsical, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, on subjects like artificial intelligence, exploration of deep space, and his most disruptive inventions (the ones that change the world)… Another of his favs is procrastination, the art (or compulsion) of putting off until tomorrow what you could do today. He’s even given a TED talk on it.

So what does Elon Musk see in Tim Urban? Certainly not procrastination. Musk probably doesn’t even know the word. In addition to being one of the 4 people Musk follows on Twitter (of his total 38 subscriptions), Tim Urban is a sort-of conscience the engineer/entrepreneur has hired to assess his projects and companies – an ethical mirror. His 4 articles (complete with analyses, interviews, illustrations, videos, and plenty of rapier wit) are a useful warning light for Musk, keeping his projects on the straight and narrow.

  1. Article 1 introduces you to Elon Musk, the man, his background, his ambitions and his conception of Humanity.
  2. Article 2 is all about how Tesla is going to revolutionize the world.
  3. In Article 3, Tim Urban zooms in on Elon Musk’s most ambitious project, the colonization of Mars.
  4. Finally in Article 4 the author elucidates Musk’s method, deepest motivations, and the nuts and bolts of guiding projects and running companies.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Elon Musk, and more.

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Casey Hudson, the man who designed the aliens in Mass Effect

Who's who - January 11, 2017

Huge or little, hideous or sexy, humanoid or cosmic exotic, the space folk dreamed up by Casey Hudson are a pretty diverse crowd.

This artist and his Canadian studio BioWare have created an unbelievable number of space creatures to people its hit video game Mass Effect, the last episode of which, Andromeda, is slated for release in late March. In far-flung galaxies, Casey Hudson’s legions of bizarre creatures live on planets that humans dream of colonizing. The local space freaks aren’t about to roll out the welcome wagon for the invading earthlings, so this invasion won’t be a walk in the park.

Worse, the aliens outnumber the invading humans. May need some energy drinks for this one!

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© Casey Hudson dreaming up aliens

ELSEWHERE ON ORANGE POP

Who’s who: Syd Mead, the king of retro-futuristic design

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Olivier Kmia films earth with the help of his drones

Who's who - January 04, 2017

Miami, Denver, Buenos Aires, New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro… Oliver Kmia, American videographer and aerial film specialist, has captured all these cities with his ultra-sophisticated kit.

The result is as impressive as it is beautiful. The director, his crack mechanics, and the drones he’s dubbed Team Black Sheep, filmed the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building ever built (828 meters). His footage from airborne cameras zipping among skyscrapers or skimming the coast of Puerto Rico and Lake Tahoe (US) not to mention his time-lapse videos of Miami’s famous glitz and glitterati.

His films offer an alternative vision of earth, and through his lens cities can appear microscopic or gigantic. His perceptive eye reveals the diversity and beauty of the everyday and the spectacular, alighting on a detail, taking in a landscape that only an aerial viewpoint offers. Oliver Kmia has the knack for making the familiar brand new!

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A man and a woman destined to clash

Who's who - December 28, 2016

Time magazine names Donald Trump its “Person of the Year”

No other publication but Time could presume to award the honor “Person of the Year”, as it’s done annually since 1927. This year the prestigious weekly has selected American billionaire and president-elect Donald Trump, whose mug adorns the year-end issue. Fond as ever of irony and wit, the magazine calls him, ”The President of The Disunited States of America”, because as the editor-in-chief points out, “So, will he be the best or the worst? The challenge for Donald Trump is a country deeply divided by the answer to that question”.

In the long portrait piece published on Time’s website the freshly elected president responds via video, modestly affirming that he doesn’t need “Beyoncé, Jay Z and Bruce Springsteen to turn out a crowd. Me and my ideas are all people want to hear.” (meaning, “contrary to Hillary Clinton, who trots them out for rallies.”). The future will tell…

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Time cover for the 18 December issue © Nadav Kander for TIME.

Madonna is Billboard’s 2016 Woman of the Year

A few days later, Billboard magazine named Madonna its 2016 “Woman of the Year” 2016. She used her reception speech at the Billboard’s Women in Music ceremony on 9 December to blast Donald Trump, branding him a misogynist and racist whose business MO is harassment and denigration. At the age of 58 years, the “Queen of the Pop” isn’t about to leave the stage, or abandon her role of championing women’s causes! A great moment is pop history:

 

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Tom Fletcher, the young adult lit author shakes up the list of Xmas classics, sowing mirth worldwide

Who's who - December 21, 2016

Former singer/songwriter for the English group McFly, a band that had a nice run of success, Tom Fletcher was a total novice when he waded into the world of children’s books in 2012. He wrote the best-selling children’s book “The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas” with another McFly alum, his friend Dougie Poynter. The book sold 72,000 copies, combining a funny ginormous dinosaur with a lot of Xmas kitsch.

The two friends did the voiceover for the video and digital versions themselves. It’s a kitschy, fun, fan-fest you don’t want to miss!

They followed up on their phenomenal success with more great tales on the twin theme of thunder lizards and scatology, and in October, Fletcher started writing his first young adult lit title: “The Christmasaurus. It’s the story of the zany adventures of young William Trundle on Xmas Eve. Hot off the presses, the book seems to have already caught Hollywood’s eye. Makes sense: Xmas and dinosaurs are kids’ two favorite things!

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Franck and Kim Kuhn, champs of the 2015 Great Christmas Light Fight

Who's who - December 14, 2016

Some take Christmas decorations more seriously than others. For the last three years, the American channel ABC has aired the show ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight, showcasing and discerning prizes to the most festive homes in the United States. One couple, from Saint George, Utah, decided to turn their house into a castle festooned with cartoon characters. The result is pretty impressive – turrets, ramparts, and even a drawbridge overrun by cartoon characters from the show “Phineas and Ferb”.

This spectacular deco extravaganza reached epic proportions on 7 December 2015, when they lighted all 500,000 bulbs to the blaring strains of the “Kuhns’ Christmas Spectacular” song. And with that, they secured the Grand Prize for the 2015 ‘Great Christmas Light Fight‘, pocketing a tidy $50,000 and the show’s famous trophy. The 2016 challenge started on 5 December. Get your sunglasses out!

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Ellen Kooijman, the researcher who’s trying to drag Lego into the 21st century

Who's who - December 07, 2016

Sometimes you gotta listen to your fans. Lego did when it heeded the advice of geochemist Ellen Kooijman. In 2012 she remarked that the famous Danish toy company’s scientist figurines were all men. The educational message Lego was sending kids was that women can’t do science.

So Ellen submitted some prototypes of women scientists to Lego’s electronic suggestion box, Lego Ideas, a platform that solicits new kit ideas from fans. Her proposal garnered over 10,000 signatures and her idea was taken up by Lego’s R&D team.

Nice work, Ellen! Now let’s push for an Ada Lovelace figurine.;)

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Lego whiz Ellen Kooijman at her day job © jaysbrickblog.com

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Fact of Fiction: Can Legos turn your rug rat into a scientific genius?

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The American artist and designer James Powderly

Who's who - November 30, 2016

This American artist, designer, and engineer teamed up with Evan Roth to found Graffiti Research Lab, an international organization of street artists, new tech tinkerers, and computer whizzes of all stripes for the mutual benefit of graffiti art and new tech. Their goal? “Provide graffers, street artists and new tech fiends with open source technologies for urban creativity”.

All their successes are in-house products and they post everything they make online for public use. GRL France won considerable acclaim recently during a year-long residency at Paris’s media tech hub La Gaîté Lyrique, in 2013. Among their inventions: the Near Tag Quality, Print Ball, tag E.U.L.E. SMS and Portable Tag.

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“Hannibal for King”, the one-and-only street workout superstar

Who's who - November 23, 2016

You may have seen him in a park or hanging off a telephone pole. In any case, you surely didn’t see him in a gym. Hannibal For King is the star and founding father of what’s been dubbed “the street workout”, outdoor weight training.

This American started popularizing the sport in 2008 with a raft of internet videos in which he demonstrates weight-lifting routines using park benches, utility poles, walls and even sliding boards. He’s the undisputed king of an urban sport that’s taken root all over the world. His version of cardio-vascular fitness and muscle toning is a reminder that you don’t have to spend a mint and buy $200 sneakers to get into shape.

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The story : The global phenomenon #RaceTheTube still goes on!

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Syd Mead, the king of retro-futuristic design

Who's who - November 16, 2016

Syd Mead is one of the giants of industrial design in today’s film industry. He may not be a household name, but he’s a superstar in the field of automotive design with several huge successes for Chrysler and Ford, and even a toaster!

And he conceived a lot of the legendary cities and objects that figure in Hollywood’s sci-fi movies. The father of futuristic design, he came up with the “light cycles” in Tron (1982), some of the space ships in Alien and Star Trek, as well as the city and the flying cars of Blade Runner.

In 1988, The Los Angeles Times Magazine published a special edition on the future and solicited Syd Mead’s vision of the urban centers of 2013. The visionary designer’s Headline for the magazine was nothing less than autonomous electric vehicles, the exact point the car industry has reached today. A bull’s-eye! Mead must have a crystal ball.

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Syd Mead, 83, the star of retro-futurism © Blastr

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