Earth now has a flag

News, Space

 

Does Earth need a flag? Perhaps not, at least not until we have another planet on which to plant it (or another civilisation with which to exchange diplomatic stationary). But that doesn’t mean actually designing one is a pointless process — as proven by the results of a new project to do exactly that.

Oskar Pernefeldt of the Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm,designed a new flag for the world as part of his graduation project and it’s already causing a stir online.

The flag is a combination of seven interlocking rings on an ocean blue background, is stately but modern, and is illustrated with a stunning selection of images depicting humanity planting the flag on Mars and waving it at the World Cup.

Pernefeldt describes is as follows: “Centred in the flag, seven rings form a flower — a symbol of the life on Earth. The rings are linked to each other, which represents how everything on our planet, directly or indirectly, are linked.”

Construction of The International Flag of Planet EarthBeckmans College of Design

“The blue field represents water which is essential for life — also as the oceans cover most of our planet’s surface. The flower’s outer rings form a circle which could be seen as a symbol of Earth as a planet and the blue surface could represent the Universe.”

The flag is designed with space travel in mind, pointing out that astronauts are “more than just representatives of their own countries”. The flag is therefore designed to “remind the people of Earth that we share this planet, no matter of national boundaries. That we should take care of each other and the planet we live on”.

The flag was designed with the help of companies including LG and BSmart, and Nasa appears to have been involved to some extent too according to the project’s website — though exactly what they provided for the design isn’t clear.

Freetown : Christiania

Culture, Travel

Christiania is Copenhagen’s infamous, self-governed squat community. It was described to me as a magical town where cannabis is sold freely in the streets and hot, girly-looking boys frolic about giving people blowbacks.

Freetown Christiania is a self-proclaimed independent state of about 850 people, spanning 85 acres. It was founded in 1971 by a group of hippies, anarchists, and idealists after they squatted an abandoned military barracks in Copenhagen. One of the perks of the town’s special set of laws is their ability to legally trade cannabis. The authorities tolerated this for over 30 years, but since 2004 there have been constant efforts to try and normalise the legal status of the community.

The main cannabis trade in Christiania takes place on the centrally located Pusher Street. Though there’s a lot of pot, in 1979 the town administrated a “no hard drugs” policy which remains in effect today. ( Of course, you can still find a lot of mushrooms…)

Many of the houses in Christiania were built by the inhabitants themselves. Some fail to meet health and safety standards, lacking things like water and electricity, but whatever. This is yet another reason why the government wants to put an end to this hippie/loser paradise.

To leave Christiania you have to pass under this sign that reads, “You are now entering the EU.”

christiania-drug-stall

Buckethead : His wicked story

Biography, Music

The Buckethead backstory begins with a kid named Brian Carroll growing up in a Southern California suburb not far from Disneyland. He’s a shy kid and spends a lot of time in his room, which is filled with comic books, video games, martial-arts movie memorabilia, slasher-flick stuff, all the usual youth-culture detritus. He also spends a whole lot of time at Disneyland.

As a teenager, Brian takes up the guitar, plonking away under the sway of
such metal masters as Angus Young of AC/DC; the late Randy Rhoads, of the Ozzy Osbourne band; and Swedish overdrive virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. Like the latter two, Carroll incorporates a considerable amount of classical-music consciousness into his burgeoning style. He reads a lot of music theory. He starts getting really, really good.

Nobody much liked the 1988 fright flick “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.” After 10 years, this slasher franchise was pretty much played out. (Even though it’s still with us today!) But Brian Carroll was inspired by the film. He went right out after seeing it and bought a Michael Myers-like white mask. Then, that night, as he was eating from a bucketful of take-out fried chicken, another inspiration struck. He described it in a 1996 interview with Guitar Player magazine: “I was eating it, and I put the mask on and then the bucket on my head. I went to the mirror. I just said, ’Buckethead. That’s Buckethead right there.’ It was just one of those things. After that, I wanted to be that thing all the time.”

This is one of his most popular songs :

School kills creativity

Education, News

A 2.0 student can know more than a 4.0 student. Grades don’t determine intelligence, they test obedience. Yes, school kills our creativity.

Robinson is becoming a legend in education reform. He led the british government’s committee advising on creative education. His findings were so powerful that he was knighted in 2003. He uses Lynne’s story at the close of his popular TED Talk, “Why Schools Kill Creativity.” It’s now the site’s most-watched talk by 8 million views.

Watch the video :

Esports, Geeks are athletes

Gaming

esports – or electronic sports – is the umbrella term for organised, competitive computer gaming, usually between professionals. As with traditional sports, esports consists of many different games. But the most popular is League of Legends, a multi-player strategy game whose Wikipedia description sounds like it was written by the lovechild of JRR Tolkien and C-3PO.

There are plenty of people who get esports, in all its forms. In 2014 there were 205m viewers, according to Newzoo, which conducts market research for the computer games industry. The 2013 League of Legends world championship attracted 32m online viewers, more than double baseball’s World Series and even trumping game seven of basketball’s NBA finals. The 2014 League of Legends world championship attracted 40,000 fans to Sangam Stadium in Seoul , which hosted a football World Cup semi-final in 2002. While South Korea is considered by many to be the cradle of esports, it is now doing enormous business in Europe and North America. In July 2014, 11,000 fans watched an esports event in a Seattle basketball arena. The event offered the highest esports prize pool so far – $10.9m, more than golf’s USPGA Championship – and was streamed by US broadcasting giant ESPN.

Top esports players  are feted all over the globe, and can earn upwards of £1m a year. But they are like traditional sportspeople in lots of other ways. They compete as part of slickly-operated teams , which in turn compete in regional leagues. They might train for 14 hours a day. They study strategy, technique, the opposition. They demonstrate remarkable reflexes and mental agility. They deal with enormous pressure, experience euphoric highs  and shattering lows.

Here’s a video from “Vice.com” explaining more everything about this wicked stuff :