September 13, 2013 - FILED UNDER Mindjet
Fun Friday Links: Body Heat Replaces Batteries, Visualize Your Life, and Humanity’s Space Postcard
Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to email@example.com for consideration.
Who Needs Batteries When You’ve Got…Hands?
When I entered science fairs as a kid, I did stuff like grow poisonous mushrooms and fail at making baking soda volcanos. Then there are people like Ann Makosinski, the 15-year-old British Columbian high school student, who designed the “hollow flashlight,” a flashlight that’s powered by the heat produced from the palms of your hands. From her interview with Mashable:
A few years ago, in grade seven, I did an energy harvesting project for this local science fair. I used Peltier tiles, which I also use in my hollow flashlight. Basically, they’re these flat tiles, and if your body heat runs on one side, and you cool the other side, it will produce electricity.
For this first project, I heated one side with a candle and cooled the other side, so there was a very large temperature differential. I noticed that the greater the temperature differential, between the hot and the cold sides, the more power was produced. I think I had powered enough to run an mp3 player or something.”
Your Life Story, in Graphics
With all of the apps designed to capture even the most infinitesimal moments of our lives, it’s hard to keep track of what we’re using, let alone use them to track what we’re doing. But with visualization at the top of the list in terms of things that successfully capture and translate info, it’s possible that mem:o, a new personal data app, has finally gotten it right.
Says co-founder Caroline Oh, “Mem:o aims to add a small moment of delight to an everyday task. We imagined that most people would use mem:o toward self-improvement and self-understanding, and we wanted this to feel encouraging and rewarding, as well as productive.” The app displays data in customizable categories and various forms, depending on what you’re after, and on top of that, the design is sleek, sophisticated, and hip. FastCompany’s Margaret Rhodes said mem:o’s note-taking feature adds an “emotional layer to what’s otherwise a robotic set of measurements. If it’s raining, you might not run that extra mile, or if you’re hosting a house guest, perhaps you log fewer hours of sleep. These notes contextualize our habits, and could shape behavior moving forward.”
Greetings From Sunny Outer Space
Don’t get excited — we haven’t received any interstellar communications from non-Earthly beings yet, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t trying. In fact, we’ve been at least planning on trying since the ’70s, with the Voyager Disc, which is now officially flying around the universe just waiting to be discovered. This human time capsule is intended for rogue space aliens who, should they happen across it, will need to speak English and know how to operate what is essentially a record player. But if they can, they’ll get a sampling of what being an Earthling is all about through some select music, images, and even a message from Jimmy Carter.
This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.
It’s a little outdated, perhaps, but hey — at least we didn’t rick-roll them. It’s doubtful even the most compassionate of space beings would forgive that.