Author Archives: Nicola

Fromidable!

Posted mainly for the pleasure of typing “Fromidable!” repeatedly. Thanks to the wonders of Canada’s bilingual labelling laws, and Loblaw’s stupendous “No Name/Sans Nom” brand packaging, we now have a fantastic new adjective to describe Johnny Hallyday’s greatest hits. And, of course, processed cheese spread. Fromidable! Posted to Twitter by @Wheeler, discovered via @doingitwrong.

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Mouldscape Architecture

IMAGE: Metamorfos 0611, Hans Jörgen Johansen via All Good Found/Liljevalchs. These atmospheric photographs document mould landscapes grown by Hans Jörgen Johansen. IMAGE: Metamorfos 0803, Hans Jörgen Johansen via All Good Found/Liljevalchs The Swedish artist is pioneering the practice of mouldscape architecture: designing and cultivating his way through a catalogue of horticultural styles, from the romantic […]

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Dot Bio

IMAGE: Mycorrhizal fungi connected to plant host roots. Photo: Yoshihiro Kobai, NWO. Last week, I received a press release promising that, as of April 14, 2014, “the organic world will have its own space on the Internet”: .bio. I was, naturally, rather intrigued. Was .bio to be a Gibsonian matrix, in which otherwise discrete, glitchy, flesh-and-blood […]

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Dietary Superpowers

The better part of an aisle of in most pharmacies and supermarkets is usually dedicated to dietary supplements: vitamins, minerals, and extracts that promise various flavours of biological optimisation, from an immune system boost to healthy joints or even stronger fingernails. Even a trip to Starbucks offers the option of ingesting substances that will speed […]

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Happy Hour Again

Although I have today off (I’m giving a talk about my favourite subject, artificial refrigeration, at The Berlage in Delft), for the past couple of weeks I’ve been happily posting more booze-related stories over at Gizmodo each Friday at 5pm. IMAGE: Six almost-identical prototype glasses being tested during the final round in the design process. […]

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Ur-Pasta

In 1965, conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth created One and Three Chairs, a piece that consisted of one wooden folding chair, a mounted photograph of a chair, and a mounted photographic enlargement of the dictionary definition of “chair.” The question (aside from the inevitable “is this art?”) is, which representation of the chair is most accurate? […]

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The Lost Beer of Spring

IMAGE: Great Divide’s Orabelle, Ninkasi’s Spring Reign, Sierra Nevada’s Southern Hemisphere Harvest, and Southampton’s Bière de Mars beers. I spent some trying to track down traditional spring beers for Gizmodo, and ended up finding that, unlike the other seasons, there isn’t really any such thing. I did find a Lenten beer that you can live […]

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Marine Dark Matter

IMAGE: A fish captured during the Malaspina Expedition. Credit: CSIC / JOAN COSTA. If you descend below two hundred metres in the world’s oceans, you enter the mesopelagic, or twilight, zone. The temperature plummets, pressure increases, light levels drop off quickly to almost nothing at all, and the water is filled with a continuous shower […]

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Container Spotting

IMAGE: Shipping containers, via. Intermodal containers — the standardised steel boxes that carry 90 percent of everything* — are ubiquitous: stacked five or six high on enormous container ships, tracing their way across the landscape in long ribbons on railways or split up into individual units and hauled by lorries on motorways, before being built […]

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Harvesting Winter

IMAGE: A block of Thompson Lake Ice, hauled onto the surface with tongs. All photographs by Nicola Twilley. In 1805, a twenty-three year-old Bostonian called Frederic Tudor launched a new industry: the international frozen-water trade. Over the next fifty years, he and the men he worked with developed specialised ice harvesting tools, a global network […]

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