Intro: Soul for Your Third Earhole

Intro: Soul for Your Third Earhole

I’m just getting on a flight from Medellín, Colombia. No, I wasn’t hanging out with drug lords, war lords, or Nazis who fled Germany after World War II. I was there for a conference on the near future called "Fractal." Fractal is the acronym (in Spanish) for Ficción Realidad Arte Ciencia Tecnología América Latina (Fiction, Reality, Art, Science, Technology, Latin America), but it also stands for a very cool, interesting group of folks. I had first heard about Fractal from a friend, Bruce Sterling, the renowned science fiction author, and I was curious. Plus, it was occurring in one of the most infamous cities in the Southern hemisphere, so I was into the vibe.

Basically, the festival brings together all the things that I’m into: smart, progressive people doing smart, progressive stuff—with multi-culturalism as a core ingredient. The "Orquideorama" designed by Plan B Architects was a stunning venue, and above all, the idea of a festival based on Latin American issues in science fiction was incredibly appealing. You can find extra info on the conference here, on the Orquideorama here, and on Plan B Architects here.

*record scratch*

Think of this blog as a fun, quirky spot for essays, brief thoughts on the ethereal side of hyper-globalized DJ culture, and what’s going on in the here, now, and always. Think of it as an elliptical, orbital, sonic fiction—soul for your third earhole. 

Things I like RIGHT NOW: 

That's it for the moment!

Titanosaur footprints discovered on the roof of a French cave

Scientists discovered footprints made by some of the largest creatures ever to walk the Earth.

Dinosaur tracks in the ceiling of Castelbouc Cave in France.

Credit: Jean-David Moreau et al./J. Vertebr. Paleontol.
Surprising Science
  • Paleontologists published a paper on the discovery of dinosaur footprints on the roof of a French cave.
  • The prints are deep underground and were made during the Middle Jurassic period.
  • The footprints belonged to titanosaurs, the largest land animals ever.
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The science behind ‘us vs. them’

Humans may have evolved to be tribalistic. Is that a bad thing?

  • From politics to every day life, humans have a tendency to form social groups that are defined in part by how they differ from other groups.
  • Neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky, author Dan Shapiro, and others explore the ways that tribalism functions in society, and discuss how—as social creatures—humans have evolved for bias.
  • But bias is not inherently bad. The key to seeing things differently, according to Beau Lotto, is to "embody the fact" that everything is grounded in assumptions, to identify those assumptions, and then to question them.

Catacombs of Paris: The city of darkness finds its new raison d'être

Ancient corridors below the French capital have served as its ossuary, playground, brewery, and perhaps soon, air conditioning.

Excerpt from a 19th century map of the Paris Catacombs, showing the labyrinthine layout underground (in color) beneath the straight-lined structures on the surface (in grey).

Credit: Inspection Générale des Carrières, 1857 / Public domain
Strange Maps
  • People have been digging up limestone and gypsum from below Paris since Roman times.
  • They left behind a vast network of corridors and galleries, since reused for many purposes — most famously, the Catacombs.
  • Soon, the ancient labyrinth may find a new lease of life, providing a sustainable form of air conditioning.
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