In 1991, Kazakhstan became the last Soviet republic to declare independence. Six years later, the government moved from the Almaty to Astana (formerly known as Aqmola). There, with the help of architects like Norman Foster, they built a futuristic city on the remains of old buildings from the Soviet era.
Economy class usually consists of uncomfortable cramped seats that follow a standard row format. But that's changing. Several airlines have introduced economy seats that can be converted to flat beds, and some have taken that even further.
Air New Zealand's Skycouch allows for a row of three economy seats to be converted into a flat bed, all with the push of a button.
The arms on the seats retract, while the seat base extends and seat belts lengthen to give you space for reclining. Up to two people can recline together by lying horizontally against the wall. It's been dubbed the "Cuddle Class," and comes at the standard price for each seat, and the third shared seat for half price.
It’s now commonplace for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to turn their domiciles into startup incubators. Three years after Kenna started 20Mission, its 41 rooms are booked solid. A small room with a shared bathroom now runs $1,800 a month. Stays can last years but are typically a few months. Today every room has a door, and the front door unlocks with the tap of a smartphone. Rent is paid in cash, check, or Bitcoin. The Internet router takes up an entire closet. In the basement there’s a television studio, where residents produce a weekly Web program called Money & Tech.
“There are downside risks associated with shrinking workforces in some countries and/or productivity being impaired by: i) the rising average age of workforces; 2) insufficient competition in, or resource allocation to, or staff incentives in, education; 3) diversion of capital into financing old-age consumption rather than capital investment; 4) reluctance in western politics to roll back employment protection; and 5) rising inequality impeding growth in aggregate demand.
Upside risks include falling dependence on primary resources (e.g. oil) leading to a higher intangible element in wealth creation and a lower reliance on tradeables, which could reduce the scope for mercantilism. This should help to rebalance present global trade imbalances between surplus and deficit nations and tend to boost aggregate demand.”
My wife and I went to a Auguste Rodin exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal this past weekend. They had a marvelous collection of 300 of his iconic works in plaster, marble and bronze including the Prodigal Son, Eve and The Thinker.
The experience was enhanced by a mobile site accessed by the museum’s free wifi, with plenty of information on each of the sections of the exhibit and a chronology of his body of work.
I found it very thoughtful that they had a “Touching Rodin” section for the visually impaired. This had resin replicas meant to be touched and brochures in Braille. The room also had projections and a soundscape simulating Rodin’s studio designed by the SAT (Société des arts technologiques). You can only imagine how the tactile experience will improve with haptic gloves and other wearable technologies.
Finally, there was a stunning interpretation of various stages of unwrapping a Rodin sculpture by artist Adad Hannah. It is a nice representation of the protective wrapping and the masking tape that modern curators use to ship exhibits like this around the world – many in this case from the Musee Rodin in Paris.
The Vacation movie series continues – this time with the next generation of the Griswolds (Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, and old Walley World all have cameos).
It is a silly, silly movie, but the runaway winner is the Tartan Prancer van. It spoofs features in today’s cars (runs on gas, diesel AND electric, the key fob and the touch screen are incomprehensible, the cup holders are actually on the outside and ideal for tailgate parties, there are plenty of side mirrors perfect for taking selfies).
And it is mean on globalization – the van is supposedly Alabania’s proud export, the nav system barks menacingly in Korean, the promotional ad below makes fun of German announcers.
As an innovation author I loved all the jokes they poke on what all of us crave these days
Orbital Insight Inc. founder Crawford says he wants to create the “macroscope” that will alter the world as microscopes did centuries ago.
The Palo Alto, California, company uses advanced image processing and algorithms to track national and global trends. One product estimates sales at 60 U.S. retail and restaurant chains. Others generate a global poverty map and predict illegal deforestation by watching for road construction and other signs of logging.
Customers include hedge funds, banks, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies — “anyone who needs to understand the world at scale to make decisions,” said Crawford, who led the team that created the daily activity planners for NASA’s Mars rovers.
These images are a composite of oil storage facilities around the globe. Crude is stored in massive tanks whose capacity can be estimated from the shadows they cast. How much is stored can be gauged from the shadows on the interior lids, which move up and down based on the amount of oil in the tank.