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Slideshow: Ai Weiwei and the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion
The team behind the 2008 Beijing Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium are at it again. Herzog & de Meuron joined forces with Ai Weiwei to create this summer's commissioned installation at the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London.
The installation invites visitors to explore the inner workings of the exhibit below the surface. The cork interior is protected by a platform that sits five feet above the ground. It gathers rainwater and creates a reflection pool to capture the changing colors of the sky. The designers made it a point to pay tribute to its predecessors. The 12 supporting beams represents each of the previous commissioned designs and the interior's contour is inspired by layering the foundations of the former Pavilions.
The Pavilion is presented as part of the London 2012 Festival, which is a series of events and performances that celebrates the 2012 Summer Olympics.
While Ai had a heavy hand in the design, he will not visit the installation. He is under investigation for pornography and bigamy in China and is prohibited from leaving the country. This won't be the first time Ai missed out on the Olympic festivities. Although he contributed to the Beijing National Stadium's Bird's Nest design, Ai distanced himself from the project, withdrew 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony and criticized the event for its "pretend smile" to the outside world.
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
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Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.
- Outplacement is an underperforming $5 billion dollar industry. A new non-profit coalition by SkillUp intends to disrupt it.
- More and more Americans will be laid off in years to come due to automation. Those people need to reorient their career paths and reskill in a way that protects their long-term livelihood.
- SkillUp brings together technology and service providers, education and training providers, hiring employers, worker outreach, and philanthropies to help people land in-demand jobs in high-growth industries.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute analysis [PDF]<p>Work in understanding the skills at the heart of the new digital economy is leading to novel assessments that allow individuals to prove mastery to faithfully represent their abilities—but also to give weight and stackability to the emerging ecosystem of micro-credentials that make education more seamless across time and education providers. And we are seeing the beginnings of a renewal in the liberal arts, focused on building human skills in affordable ways that are accessible to many more individuals and far more effective.</p><p>Amidst these dark times, there is much opportunity to refresh the nation's education and training solutions to support the success of individuals and society writ large.</p>